In a power exchange dynamic, the dominant and submissive or slave need to work out their roles, their power structure, their needs, wants and limits. Both sides of the slash need to take responsibility for themselves and accept accountability for their choices and actions. However, it is often with the D-type that the responsibility of shaping the dynamic and leading change where required lies. I’ve written before on matters of Responsible Dominance, Ethical Dominance, etc., but what so many of these things come down to is this – you have to Dom yourself.
What do I mean by “Dom yourself”? Simply put, it means using Self-Control & Self-Discipline to make better choices and act with your Goals and Principles in mind. This often means making choices which (a) don’t compromise the psycho-emotional health of those involved, and which (b) benefits the relationship dynamic despite what you might feel like doing at that time. Call it delayed gratification or being long-term oriented, either way, it’s about putting the greater value above that which can be had or enjoyed now.
Contrary to popular belief – being a Dominant or a Master is not about just getting your way.
We are always beholden to people and aspects of life that have influence over us. It might feel unfair or overly compromising, but that’s life. The natural order of the universe doesn’t care about your wants or needs, and does not extend the idea that anyone deserves anything – certainly not happiness. Nope, it’s a fight to get where ever you want to go, and more often than not its one you will waged against yourself.
Example 1: Do you want to graduate college but also want to stay out late partying and sleeping in? What’s it going to be? It’s usually in high school (and now college) that the reality of how our choices impact our ability to achieve our goals comes through. There is only so long before we realize our choices are undermining ourselves, and that we must stop avoiding taking responsibility for both our choices and consequences.
Example 2: If you want your independence and to have your own apartment or home on your terms, then you need to sever the parental cord and be responsible for yourself. Want to explore your identity fully and have your own space, food, your style of clothes, and a car? Then you are going to have to get up for work, even when you don’t want to. You’re also going to have to put up with things that don’t make sense, not to mention biting your tongue when your manager isn’t happy with something you did (or didn’t do).
These are two very common examples of using self-control and self-discipline to put off choices that will undermine your goals or work against your principles. You need to Dom yourself: push yourself and demand from yourself the obedience to making better decisions – or accept the consequences and not blame others when you’ve screwed up.
No one is born a Dominant or a Master or Mistress. It’s something that you grow into, learn, and practice. A spoiled brat with all the money in the world may get to a place of power, but they are often far from being Dominant because they’ve never had to practice emotional self-control, a disciplined mind, and the willpower to persist. They’re not alphas (a term I hate), merely the entitled and well connected who are enabled by those that listen to them.
So here’s a simple way to develop and grow as a D-type, if such is your interest. I’m using a little mnemonic device to make it simple, but read each so you Understand and then contemplate how you would implement this for yourself.
- Direction – mission, goals, objectives, priorities
- Organization – structure, assessing, planning
- Managing – adaptation, change, choosing, leading
To Dom yourself requires having some Goal and a sense of Direction. What are you trying to achieve? Where are you trying to go? You need to have some kind of Goal. Is it a style of relationship, a way of interacting, a set of priorities or values? These are all valid, but without being able to envision or identify some target you are floating in a sea without direction or intent.
Think of it like being a Captain of old on a tall ship. Your role is ultimately deciding where to head, and the critical stops along the way. Of course, that also means knowing where you are now, because if you don’t know where you are, or where you are going, then any direction is as good as any other. Or as Lewis Carroll put it:
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Start with your sources of inspiration for your interest; what drew you and are looking to recreate? How does that fit with your principles, core values and beliefs that are deeply rooted parts of your identity? If you had to create a rough map then what is the course to get you there? Ask yourself these questions and more to get a good mental picture of your lifestyle map. Then you can start plotting a course and getting organized for the journey…
Now that you have something in mind and know where you’d like to be going you need to assess what’s needed to get there. To Dom yourself requires getting yourself in order. Organizing yourself means not just knowing where you are and where you are going, but also accounting for what’s required along the way. What are the skills, talents, and resources at hand and those that need to be acquired or developed? Is there an order of operation to success? Also, what are the roadblocks and risks involved, and can you plan a way to get around or overcome them?
Returning to the nautical theme, this is the equivalent to plotting the course, given duration of the journey, available food & water and rate of consumption, opportunities for dealing with crisis or setbacks, making sure you have a backup plan if it comes to mutiny, etc. Ultimately organization is being thoughtful about your current and future so that we can actively manage our journey…
Even with the best of planning and organization, things still go sideways. To Dom yourself means realizing that the forces of chaos and chance are ALWAYS in play no matter how well you plan and organize – so it’s a matter of how you manage things. Fact: you cannot control the universe, all you can do is control what is in your direct and immediate sphere of influence.
We can either rant and rave, sit passively and blame the universe for victimizing us, or we can (1) take a breath and accept the circumstances for what they are, AND (2) make a choice as to how (or if) you are going to try to overcome it. Life is unexpected and largely out of our control – despite the frustrations, the rage, the depression, and the inner-child tantrums we feel. It’s how we Choose to Respond to the changes that occur (unforeseen or otherwise) and adapt accordingly that makes a difference.
This involves managing ourselves, our emotions, balancing between what to fight or go with, and how we plan on moving forward. It does require a certain measure of radical acceptance (it is what it is) and then taking personal responsibility for engaging that wise-mind within to figure how to proceed or what we can do next.
Want to be a D-type? To have a sub or slave and live as you envision? Then you are going to have to step up in the ways of setting a Direction, take Responsibility for getting Organized (and staying on top of it), and Managing to the way things play out (including yourself).
Copyright 2018 Limits Unleashed