Hello all, sorry I have been quiet, life getting in the way and all. Here is something I started writing a while ago, but it got rather lost in the machine.
Control in all things?
To be ‘in control’ is a deep rooted fantasy for many, and BDSM is just one dimension in which it can be expressed. For those of us with dominant proclivities having control over another living and lusting person can be almost intoxicating. However, I once heard someone say “Oh, I exercise control in all things [Miss Steele]...” with a confidence that suggested he actually believed this arrogant assertion. Admittedly the person I’m referring to is a fictional billionaire, but those words still made me want to slap him hard in his fictional face while yelling ‘Control this!’
I’m sure there are many reasons why people get into the dominant side of BDSM; for me it’s more of a fun hobby than an obsession. However, if I had started exploring the dominant side of kink because I wanted to bring more order and control to my love life then I think I would have been sorely disappointed. (See my book about my turbulent first year of kinky dating if you want to know more…)
Do you really need to delude yourself that you are in complete control of your life to classify yourself as ‘dominant’? Regardless of how much of an awesome top, master, or dom you are you will never be 100% in control of anything, let alone ‘all things’, and that’s not defeatism, it’s just physics. Even if you’re a billionaire with powers and freedoms that most of us could only dream of, you will still grow old and die just like the rest of us. However hard you try to achieve perfection you will make mistakes, you will overlook things, and people will disobey and disappoint you. Events in your life will rarely be dictated by you; the world is just too big and complex for any one human to put a collar around it.
Despite this reality popular culture is saturated with images of people with inhuman powers of self determination. Super heros, super soldiers, and super villains all constantly do battle on our TV screens, blessed or cursed with incredible strength, impossible endurance, amazing intelligence, or even just unbelievable amounts of luck. In our entertainment we have come to expect grand clashes between a small handful of individuals with massively inflated potency; their shoulders weighted with crushing responsibility as they battle to save the world, or the universe, or some other ends of gigantic significance.
We, however, are only human, and there is an danger in idolizing the impossible if we harm ourselves by pursuing it. Our western culture is ruthlessly individualistic and seems to be becoming more so. It’s every man and woman for themselves in a battle to distinguish ourselves from each other and to exceed each other by being ‘the best’ at whatever we do. We are also expected to be as independant and self reliant as we each can be. It is a philosophy that I think is crushing us, and I have seen plenty of intelligent and beautiful people struggling the yoke of insecurity that this culture creates.
My personal philosophy runs along these lines: you are a tiny and near inconsequential spec in a vast and uncompromising universe, but you do matter, you are special, and you can make a difference... it’s just not all on you. Your sphere of responsibility may seem pretty small in the grand scheme of things, but if you deal with yours and I deal with mine then together we can do some pretty amazing things.
Casting oneself in the role of ‘dominant’ can be isolating in both life and love. Perhaps sometimes that isolation is attractive, I know it often is for me. However, the taller you build your pedestal the further you have to fall, and there may not always be someone there to catch you. If you consider yourself dominant you still shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help and to learn from others, and to be open with friends and lovers about your personal demons, even if you feel this runs against your very nature somehow.
One of our greatest strengths as a species is our ability to work together; together we built the pyramids, split the atom, and sent men to the moon. Sure BDSM isn’t quite the same level of rocket science, but there can be a lot of complicated things involved both practically and ethically speaking. If we all can have the humility to learn from each other, rather than each of us inventing the wheel on our own, we may all get a lot further and have a lot more fun along the way.
Alone we should aim to control what we can and let go of what we can’t. To dominate someone is a major responsibility, and the more control you want to exercise over your submissive’s life the more responsibility and attention it will demand. Maybe god like control in all things is the purest form of fantasy, both infinitely desirable and infinitely impossible. However, if you strive too hard for it those forces may rip your mind apart like a star caught in a black hole.
As a popular prayer puts is:
“Dear [higher power of your choice]. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Which, of course, is a lot easier said than done.