Cultivating a Sense of Self within the Context of Dominance
Before I start, I should probably give you some context. I’m a new domme. The power dynamic I’m in right now is, really, the only one I’ve ever been in, and I’ve been in it for not quite two years at this point. In that time, we’ve gone from a part-time service arrangement, to a “24/3” service dynamic, to a 24/7 ownership dynamic, and our relationship (which is also a romantic partnership “ and that’s relevant because it does effect how our power dynamic is shaped) continues to deepen and develop as time goes on.
What I’m getting at is that, far from being an Expert, I’m pretty much trying to figure out some fairly heavy stuff from scratch and on the job. Which, as far as I can tell, is how most people in this situation figure things out. As far as I know, there aren’t actually that many of us who do 24/7 Owner/Property relationships, to begin with, and those of us who do are more likely find resources aimed at scene-based dynamics (which don’t always translate well), or that will tell us how to cultivate a slave but won’t give us many hints on how to cultivate our own dominance. So, these days, I’m spending a lot of my free time mulling over how to go about developing one’s own sense of power and empowerment.
And so I wanted to talk a little bit about that today.
See, I’ve known for years that, in order to come into your own power, you must first develop a strong sense of self; if only because, without a strong understanding of Who You Are, there isn’t really anything to empower. But I’m only realizing just now that, when it comes to holding power for another, you’re dealing with a similar situation. I mean, yes, you need a strong sense of self in order to hold power “ it’s the Self that’s doing the holding, after all. But it’s also your sense of Self that gives you a personalized road map on how to direct your submissive and how to shape your dynamic.
In this case, “sense of self means:
1) Knowing what situations make you happy, comfortable and fulfilled; and where the differences between “comfortable and “happy lie.
I bring up the difference between “comfortable and “happy for a reason: Sometimes what makes us comfortable “ what feels familiar or least likely to go wrong “ isn’t the same thing as what makes us happy. As an example: I feel more sure that things won’t go wrong if I am doing everything myself. That makes me comfortable. What makes me happy, however, is knowing that someone else is doing All The Things, while keeping me abreast of the situation, and giving me the opportunity to luxuriate the knowledge that I am being well-taken-care-of, that my trust is well-placed, and I can just relax and enjoy the experience.
2) Knowing what “ on your part and on other people’s parts “ makes you feel powerful and in charge versus what makes you feel powerless, ignored, disempowered, and so on.
Sometimes the stuff we see, or read about, as “traditional protocols or modes of interaction between in-dynamic submissives and dominants isn’t the stuff that makes us, as individual dom(me)s, feel powerful. Maybe having a servant following a respectful two steps behind you makes you feel great. Or maybe it makes you feel¦ uhm¦ stalked. But having your minion walk two steps ahead of you, right where you can see them and, incidentally clearing the path, makes you feel like a total rock star. YMMV. Pay attention to what makes you feel good.
3) Knowing what your preferences are for how things are done/organized/arranged.
This includes being able to recognize the difference between “I don’t actually have a preference for this, so you deal with how that gets done and “I DO care, but I feel that bringing it up would mean I was being incredibly petty or similar.
It’s also worth noting that, over time, as you get to know your Self better, you may discover that you have preferences about things that you didn’t have preferences about before. This is totally fine (but not everyone knows that when they first start out “ gods know I didn’t, and that was not that long ago).
So. Those are my thoughts on what “sense of self means within the context of dominance. A couple of suggestions for how you can get to know your Self within this context in the name of shaping your dynamic into what you want it to become:
1) Make a wish list.
This is something that my Servant asked me to do, close to a year ago, because she wanted to have an idea of What I Wanted, and I had yet to get to a point where I could just state my desires out loud (something I’m still working on, even now, fyi).
Making a wish list was a good work-around.
If you make a wish list, I suggest that you go over it, after it’s made, with an eye to which needs/wants are being met by each individual entry on your list. Which ones are meeting a need for control? What about security? What about knowing that someone has your back? What about romance?
See what turns up.
Doing this will help you to determine which over-arching needs and wants you are seeking to satisfy through your dynamic and this, in turn, will give you a clue as to how you want to direct your Person.
2) Make note of your pet-peeves.
While it’s not necessarily wise to focus heavily on all the Little Things that bug you, in this case, it has its uses. If you notice that every time your Person does X, Y, or Z, a little part of your brain cringes or twitches and you tell yourself “Just let it go? That’s a sign that you have a preference for something. A preference for how your shirts are folded, or how your cupboards are arranged, or for the order in-which you and your sub enter a given room or how zi presents hirself to greet you. Depending on the nature of your D/s relationship, you will be able to negotiate “ or just implement “ changes to how your submissive does X, Y, and Z, so that they’re being done according to your preferences.
If you have any suggestions or add-ons that would fit here, please feel free to drop me a note in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.