Categories
Kink

“Mental Stuff Like Confidence or Self Esteem”: Vital Skills for Dominants

A gentleman on Reddit’s r/BDSMcommunity posted asking for advice, saying he “[feels] overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff I need to learn, want to learn.” He was essentially asking what kinky play and sex skills should a Dominant develop, and specifically mentioned that he wasn’t interested in “mental stuff like confidence or self esteem.” This was my reply:

Yeah, to echo some others, the mental stuff is more important than how you throw a whip or spank. So to directly contradict you, this is what I find admirable and attractive in a Dominant I’m considering for a power exchange relationship:

  • Consistency & Integrity. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you say you’re going to keep doing something, be able to keep it up or re-negotiate.
  • Self-insight. Know thyself. What motivates you? What type of play appeals to you and why? Do you have trauma? If so, how does it affect how you view relationships, kink, and sex? Keep investigating.
  • Self-motivation. Ambitious, motivated people are just sexy. If someone has the self-control to continue to motivate themselves, they can probably help motivate others.
  • Leadership. Have a plan for when shit hits the fan. Be able to command a room if necessary. Keep a cool head when things are challenging. Develop the ability to process several sources of information without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Empathy. Understand where other people are coming from. Listen to someone’s words, as well as their body language and facial expression. Confirm with people if you understand them by reflecting back what they’ve said. Seek connection over anything else.

Even if they never learned how to suspend someone with rope or intimidate them with knives, someone with all of these traits would be a wonderful dominant in my opinion.

I’m wondering how that resonates with readers. Do you have anything to add to the list? Am I totally missing the mark? Please let me know.

Categories
Personal Journey Reflection

Silence Can Change a Dynamic

In December of 2019, I overworked myself in the name of service at The Woodshed. I had been assigned to escort a friend who was new to the kink scene to an event and then the dungeon afterward. In order to make a good impression, I wore my button-up and tie along with a binder to help flatten the appearance of my chest. Over the course of a few hours in the busy dungeon, I began to feel uncomfortable, but I ignored these indicators, thinking that a good servant should be able to withstand a little discomfort. Ultimately, I developed heatstroke, and while I was fine at the end of the day, I was a little embarrassed knowing that my suffering and the concern of my friends was completely preventable.

Like me overheating in a restrictive outfit and sweaty dungeons, many servants tend to aspire to selflessness. If only we could focus wholly on the person we’re serving and turn our needs off like a light switch, we’d be perfect. Without feelings or needs, we could be wonderful tools, used with whatever purpose our chosen person or people desire, right?

I must constantly remind myself that all tools need maintenance. If I tried to mow the lawn without putting fuel in the lawnmower, I wouldn’t get anywhere. Washing the dishes with an old sponge could take longer than with a fresh, clean one. Disconnecting from our feelings and needs is equivalent to never checking to see if our saw is sharp. Tools, whether human or inanimate, have certain requirements. Not caring for ourselves is neglecting our first and most important tool: ourselves.

This maintenance can be built into a dynamic. For example, a simple body scan meditation could begin and end a period of intense service. Self-managed check-ins could be part of an ongoing protocol and include different phrases for different levels of formality.

As a Dominant or Master, whether you have a casual dynamic or a serious, decades-long relationship, encouraging your servant to assess their feelings and needs can allow them to serve you with greater quality and duration. Additionally, a servant that has a great deal of insight can more fully surrender power, as they know what motivates and drains them.

For the servant currently without a dynamic such as myself, I encourage you to begin this practice daily. A short body-scan meditation can connect you with your embodied emotions in a few minutes, and this insight can help you manage your emotions when you’re alone and offer detailed information about your mood regulation when you enter a dynamic.

If we aspire to be effective tools, we must maintain the tools we have at our disposal.