I mean, wow! That is an awesome question. I mean think about it. How do you define something that is so fluid and has a different meaning to just about everyone!
I think the best place to start is to look at the world around us. There are plenty of examples, people can be dominant in a sport by playing a position well. Pet trainers tell us that to be successful with our pets we have to demonstrate dominance over them. The animal kingdom shows us that dominant animals get the best meal, the best mates, the best… Well, the best everything.
Perhaps it is better to define what dominance is not:
- Dominance is not being an asshole and using power to influence and play political games. That is just being a dick.
- Dominance is not abuse, it is not being physcially dominant over a human being simply because you can.
- Dominance is not a head trip that comes from capitalizing some letters and not others. If you think you have power because you spell “SUBMISSIVE” in all lowercase then you really do not.
- Dominance is not just saying “I am the dominant in this relationship, so go make me a pot pie”.
Now, there are (and this is not a complet list) things that make a dominant successful:
- Confidence. You do not have to be right, but you should be confident in you decision and be willing to acknowledge when you were wrong; then try again.
- Courage. In the event that you find a person who is willing to let you be their dominant, you need to understand the responsibility you have just been handed and have the courage to own that.
- Work ethic. Being a dominant is hard work. You are responsible for the well being of another person.
- Caring. Remember that work ethic and more specifically the other ADULT human that has asked you to guide and manage their life? Yep, now you have to actually care for them. Sure you might tie them up and spank them; but you are not dragging them out into a field and publicly flogging them (unless that is something they are into).
- Rules. You get to follow the rules. You think the submissive has it hard? You have a ton of rules all created by giving the submissive a set of rules. Now you have to live up to that.
Not to mention being honest, open, even handed, and strong.
Of course the best part of any relationship is making it yours. Maybe you just want a partner who loves the same things you do and you want to spend every weekend walking in the woods (which would be awesome). Maybe you want someone you can keep in your home and lock up in your dungeon on the weekends (also awesome).
Either way, the same success factors exist:
- Shared desire
The secret to being dominant or submissive is that there is no secret. You simply have to want something and find the person to help you achieve that goal.
To make it even more complex, the success of being a submissive is created through many of the same words and strengths. Being a submissive is an amazing gift. You have to be strong enough to trust another person. Either druring the physical act of submission or through a 24/7 submissive relationship.
In the end, it is up to you to define “dominant” and “submissive” and to make it work for you.