Friday, March 18, 2011

Rules of Dominance and Submission

Someone new to the D/S game will immediately be aroused on reading rules of dominance and submission as long as they are well written by his standards. For example, I have seen several contracts written mostly by would-be male submissives as to how to behave with respect to their (imaginary or real) dominatresses. However, after reading a lot, maybe even practicing the discipline, one comes up with rules that apply in his or her case, and don’t necessarily apply to another submissive or dominant. With rare exception, D/S is not a religious doctrine that must be followed by the believers regardless of their position.

I am amused when a dominant woman proudly exclaims, “My submissive male has no rights except those that I allow him. He will do no more, nor less, than I prescribe…” Similarly, a submissive male claims that he will follow his mistreatesses’ orders to the letter, he expects nothing in return but to serve her, … OK, these are hypothetical characters created from the stuff that is out there masquerading as real relationships. If you do enough reading, you will run across them.

Most of us (notice, not “all of us”) who have some obvious dominant or submissive leaning could go with the above two caricatures for a short time, say a weekend, and probably enjoy it much. Very few of us could go with the roles they described on a long-term basis. Similarly, few of us would be likely to go with them forever, unless dying on the job. That leaves most of us dominants and submissives to follow our own rules. These rules intersect with rules of others, but are by no means the same.

When a dominant says, “There is no need for me to say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ when dealing with my submissive,” it is just her opinion based on her rules. When a submissive says, “My domina must tell me what I am allowed to do, how and when to do it, and punish me if I fail, and here is how she will …” he is similarly making his own rules. Some of us love these rules, others laugh at them.

If everybody followed the same strict rules, and wrote about how they live with them, there would be no interest in our reading about them. What makes reading about them interesting is how different the rules are, and how differently we react to them.

The behavior and demeanor of a dominant can range from firm but polite to sadistic and crude. When the D/S relationship is consensual, the submissive will find just the right combination offered by the dominant, and both will be happy at first. Over time they each may stretch their own and their partner’s limits. That trend is part of keeping a relationship vital and viable.

Pornographers often make the mistake of portraying dominants in a narrow stereotypical fashion, which makes their product trivial at best, annoying and offensive often. An example is a woman without redeeming features who is wielding a whip. I always say, “It’s not what you have, but what you do with it …” that counts. But, if she is unattractive, uses a nasal, whiny shrill voice, bad grammar, and badly improvised monolog while incompetently trying to impart some pain to a hapless male, the whole production is wasted. “To each his own,” to be sure, however, I have my limits. This is why I am still searching in vain for any video that would interest me to spend more than a few seconds of my time.

I don’t have rules for my own purposes, but do have preferences:
  • I like a dominant woman who does not feel the need to scream or to use profanity.
  • I like a dominant woman who knows what she wants and knows how to take it.
  • I like a dominant woman who does not mind causing pain for her submissive, but knows her and his limits. I don’t believe in using “safe words”. To me “yes” means yes, and “no” means no, and so it should be for her.
  • I like a dominant woman who is polite and caring while she can be strict and firm to any extent.
  • I like a dominant woman who can impart pleasure as readily as pain to her submissive. She knows just the right amount to satisfy herself.
  • I like a dominant woman who can give me instruction to the extent that I need them to accomplish my task, thereby assume that I am intelligent.

Note that none of the above precludes role-playing, or prescribes what she or I can do. I have preferences, but the scenario is hers to plan and to execute. Her looks, age, size, shape, and weight are not prescribed either. What she wears, what she says, what she uses is up to her. She can be totally her sweet self or a dominating bitch anywhere any time. She can be vanilla but with an edge that tells me that as sweet as she is, she is still in charge. She can show me off as her submissive, or play with the straights and pretend that I am in charge. As long as she is clean and healthy I am all hers.
Of course, all this is moot, since I am not in a position to be looking for a dominant woman of my dreams: I am married to MW for life.
As a support to my treatise I am posting a poll on the subject, titled, “What Kind of D/S Do You Prefer?” If you are a switch you can answer both sets of questions. There are two categories: dominance and demeanor. Although they can overlap, they describe different traits.
If you are dominant, which of the following dominance and demeanor traits fit you best? Pick one in each category.

  • Caring, firm, demanding, abusive, sadistic
  • Polite, civil, careless, rude, crude on purpose

If you are submissive, which kind of dominant do you prefer? Pick one in each category.

  • Caring, firm, demanding, abusive, sadistic
  • Polite, civil, careless, rude, crude on purpose

Due to the limited space and capability of the polling tool provided by my blogger ISP, the new poll on the right is slightly different, but still workable.


Miss AJ said...

I enjoyed seeing the responses to the poll. As a switch I do not behave as a dominant in a way that I would want as a submissive. Perhaps I need to up my game ;-)

Susan's Pet said...

Oh My, Miss AJ!

It is good to hear from you again. It would be wonderful to encounter you in either of your preferences. Perhaps in another life. Alas, we are committed, at least, I am. Still, I would love to hear your elaborating on your game. I find a dominant woman complex and a source of intrigue. But one who is a switch is even more so. I am ambivalent when it comes to D/S. I try to be submissive, yet, I could be a very caring and loving dominant if I were sufficiently challenged. D/S is a fascinating game if not taken too seriously.

Miss Jaye said...

In practicing as a dominant woman I have found D/s relationships the most enjoyable when they evolve over time and experience. I am asked what my rules are and my response is always that I will determine them as I become to understand the submissive. I believe knowledge of the submissive as a person is required for the best possible experience. As with any relationship I have minimum standards but those are a starting point, not the complete structure of the relationship. Having absolutes restricts the growth of a relationship and limits exploration that could be exciting and fulfilling to both participants.