A submissives journey
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The illusion of control
I posed a question in chat recently regarding a collared submissive's right to say "no" to Master/Mistress. As I
suspected, it elicited a spirited discussion and a variety of
opinions. I too have an opinion, and while it is no more valid
than A/anyone E/else's, I thought it had the makings of a good
of a submissive is an illusion. There, I said it. I'll take
minutes and let many of Y/you regain Y/your composure. That
long enough? Ok, I'll explain.
seems that most people have a good grasp on the many specifics
regarding Dominant submissive (D/s) philosophy. Most are aware of safe, sane
and consensual. Most are aware of a submissive's rights. Most
are generally aware of the expectations attached to the role
of Dominant and submissive in a relationship. In short, most
see the trees. But how do these disparate notions make themselves
into a forest, especially when many of the concepts may
appear to be contradictory?
purposes of this article I wish to dispense with refusals surrounding
limits and safety. Those are situations in which submissives
are universally expected to express their free will to
say "no" in order to protect themselves. However, there
times in which a submissive may say "no" to a Dominant's
request, when their safety or limits are not at issue.
answer to My question in the chat room, many said that the submissive
could not say "no" to areas of his/her life that had been
given in submission to Master/Mistress. Still, they recognized
that a submissive has free will, and submission must
be given freely. Many said that a Dominant should
wishes upon a submissive. Yet they recognized that force
was tantamount to abuse, for it would no longer be consensual.
Some pointed out that submissives should properly
identify the areas of their lives in which submission was
offered. But as humans, there are times in which submissives
will change their minds. They have the right and free
will to do so. Most thought that some sort of punishment would
be in order. But punishment that is forced upon an unwilling
submissive is also abuse.
then, do W/we reconcile these contradictory elements of a Dominant
relationship? W/who has the control? How can a submissive
have free will, and yet be made to comply with the wishes
of their Dominant? How can a Dominant "impose" Their
will upon an unwilling submissive, without being abusive?
and foremost, let's recognize what the origin of that "control"
is. It is the “power exchange”. It is the free will of
A submissive willingly accepts control, or there is no
control at all. That submission is, as W/we A/all know, earned
by virtue of love, respect, honesty, and all of the elements
of a relationship that are necessary for one to offer such
a glorious gift to One that has demonstrated Their worthiness.
Those elements will of course differ from individual
to individual, but the important concept is that they must
be present before a submissive can or will offer their submission.
submission is not a light switch. It is not all or nothing.
It is not
on or off. There are an infinite number of gradients in between.
And a submissive may be at any one of those infinite points
on any given day, and prone to change. So in order to help
conceptualize what submission is, consider it to be similar to
a dimmer switch, rather than an on/off switch. The light is turned
on gradually, or off gradually. The submission may vary from
day to day. What was agreeable yesterday, may not be agreeable
today. What was offered in submission today, may be
more or less than what is offered tomorrow. The trick, then, is
to help him/her to want to submit
As that level of submission brightens or dims, so does the "control"
of the Dominant. The Dominant has only the control that
is given by the submissive at that moment. No more, no less.
Attempt to take more and You have a fight on Your hands.
Along with the resulting anger, frustration and resentment.
Accept only what is offered You as a Dominant, and
You are not fulfilling Your obligations to guide and achieve personal
or lifestyle growth.
what's a poor Dominant to do?
people involved in the conversation recognized that there
may be a good reason for a submissive to say "no". But what
seems like a good reason to a submissive, may not seem so
great to a Dominant. They did suggest discussing the underlying
reasons for saying "no", and I wholeheartedly agree.
I would strongly suggest finding some time to sit down and
discuss things in a level, dispassionate manner. Perhaps Y/you
might find one of the following situations apply:
course, understanding the underlying reasons for saying “no”
is easier than determining how to respond. There are no hard
and fast rules to refer to in “The Dominant Handbook”. Frankly,
being a Master/Mistress is more of an art form than science.
it were a simple matter of imposing some punishment for the refusal,
there probably wouldn’t be a problem in the first place. Simply
put, if a submissive refuses a request, it’s highly likely that
they would refuse punishment for the refusal as well. And I caution
You Dominants here, if You press the issue forcefully, You
run the risk of completely losing the respect and submission
of Your one.
I believe, is need for a critical distinction in the role of a Dominant.
The distinction between “commanding” and “guiding”.
W/we are to consider submissives as no more than robotic Stepford
wives & husbands, then commanding would be both effective
and efficient. But they’re not. submissives are complex
human beings. Command as some sort of despot and You’re
likely to find a rebellion on Your hands as the submissive
exercises his/her free will to resist a stifling and demeaning
relationship. To be sure, there are some relationships
that will not survive frequent problems like this, nor
should they. But let’s assume it’s a good, healthy relationship
that deserves the effort to solve the problem.
I ask, what’s a poor Dominant to do?
don’t get angry. Remain composed and in control of Yourself
and Your emotions. Self-control, appearing to be in control,
is the first step to being in control.
determine when would be the best time to discuss the matter.
It may be tempting to do so immediately, but that may not
be effective. The time and place of that discussion will have a
direct bearing on how much information is shared with You, and
therefore on how successful it will be. Remember, while You
may be in control of Your emotions, Your submissive may not
also try to remember that any “punishment” or discipline is supposed
to be a learning experience. If We approach Our role of
Master/Mistress as a guide, We can see that the best learning experience
is to allow Our submissives to make mistakes. That’s
human nature. W/we are A/all given copious amounts of advice,
and still W/we do as W/we please, make the same mistakes
as O/others made before U/us, and then learn from them.
W/we learn because O/our mistakes have consequences and
W/we have to live with those consequences. Sometimes We
just have to let them err on their own. Saying “no” amongst them.
My advice to Dominants in this situation is to let Your submissive
learn from the consequences of his/her actions. Find
what the natural result of those actions are, and that will be
the “punishment” or discipline. For purpose of example, I’ll share
a quick story here. I had a submissive that desired to stay
late at a party W/we attended. When I desired to go, she said
“no”. I didn’t get angry. I didn’t rant or rave.
I could see that
her mind was made up, and so, W/we stayed. When W/we returned
home and she desired to play, but W/we had no time for
play. That time had been spent at the party. The natural
consequence of her spending extra time at the party was
that there was less time to do something else. And so, the lesson
kind of lesson is not a confrontation. It is just the natural course
of things given the decision the submissive has made. It
is not a test of wills, and won’t engender animosity or resentment.
True, it may be frustrating to the submissive. But the
frustration is that he/she failed to consider the consequences
of their decision, frustration with their own decision
and not Yours. It is a very effective learning tool. The submissive
learns that You as Dominant have the “big picture” in
mind, You have their best interest in mind, and Your requests are
proven to be worthy of his/her submission to them.
let’s recall that many submissives can be very self-critical. If
You don’t give them the fight they seek, if You keep Your composure
and maintain control of Yourself, You may find that guilt
gets the better of them. And while You may naturally ask if this
is proper, submissives “punishing” themselves, keep in mind
that You are making that decision. And as such, the punishment
or discipline is Yours.
Your submissive that it’s ok to make mistakes. That it’s
ok to be human. Reassure him/her that they are still loved, that
Y/your relationship is undamaged. Demonstrate that love with
hugs and kisses. Remind them that as Master/Mistress, it is
Your obligation to offer guidance, to promote personal and lifestyle
growth, and to make it the kind of guidance that is willingly
accepted because it is good and right for him/her. Remind
them that You are only fulfilling Your obligations within the
lifestyle role of Master/Mistress, and to him/her personally.
found that the offer of guidance, the maintenance of self-control,
the reassurance that it’s ok to make mistakes and be
human, and the reminder of the obligations of Your role as Master/Mistress
has a far greater impact than the threat of force.
After all, it always boils down to a submissive’s free will and
choice. Ask Yourself, which kind of Master/Mistress would You
want to submit to?
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