The basic cycle of D/s has been on my mind a lot lately. A Dominant is nothing without a submissive. Submission is a gift. So, it is the Dominant’s job to foster that submission by providing an environment in which the submissive desires to submit. On the other side of that coin is the submissive’s responsibility to foster Dominance and create an environment in which the Dominant desires to Dominate.
We, as Dominants do not have the right to demand submission. We cannot “beat it into” our subs. They will give it willingly if we create the right environment for them to do so. When Dominance falters or disappears, submission is not far behind. When this happens, it is not uncommon for a sub to ask for Dominance. Without it, the sub feels lost. Unheard. Unloved. Ignored. Alone.
There are four ways in which Angel most often asks for Dominance: Disrespect, Defiance, Over-Achievement, or by straight-up asking for it via down time.
For Disrespect and Defiance, I will always refer back to what I like to call, “The Fuckhead Incident.” The condensed version is this: My Dominance had been slipping and I was unaware. I asked Angel to do something and her answer was “Yes, Sir Fuckhead." Afterward, I told Angel that she was only to refer to me as Fuckhead. She could not call me Sir, Master, or even my name. She eventually begged for me to release her from the punishment. Why? Because she didn’t want to disrespect me in the first place. She just wanted me to lean in. She still has not called me Sir Fuckhead to this day.
This kind of Disrespect and Defiance comes from the feelings I mentioned above. When a sub feels ignored and unloved, their trust is compromised and their submission follows suit. The sub feels like they can’t let go and let their Dom lead because they feel that their efforts will not be met with praise. If there is no praise, then that must mean that their Dom is not pleased. If their Dom is not pleased, then what is the point in submission?
Disrespect and Defiance like this causes me to pull further away. I tend to feel as though I have failed entirely and those feelings can cause any number of reactions, the worst of which is backing down and failing to Dominate. I have come to realize that if I back down in a situation like this, I will only make things worse. Angel's Defiance and Disrespect are cries for attention, recognition, and praise. By backing down I am once again ignoring her and leaving her unfulfilled, which in turn, leaves me unfulfilled as well. Instead of backing down, I correct her disrespect or defiance and then give her a chance to behave and succeed.
Over-Achievement is a slippery slope in that it is a sneaky, subversive way for a sub to grab some praise and recognition. It causes a short in a Dom’s reasoning. The Dom can feel stuck between correction and praise. Certainly any Dom would want to praise their sub for achieving a goal. But, when that goal is overshot, do they then use correction to stave that behavior? How do you correct your sub for going above and beyond for you? A large piece of this will be knowing your sub. Angel is driven by perfection and is a type A personality. She must reach the goal and/or beyond or she feels extreme failure. You'd be surprised to find out how many submissives share this trait.
The problem with a driven sub is that she is setting her own expectations. This leads to a much higher risk of failure for the sub. This will lead to disrespect and defiance later when she hasn't been corrected for her perceived failure and feels ignored. The answer to this problem comes in two parts.
Part 1: Explain to your sub that by setting their own expectations they are in fact taking their submission back. As the Dom, you are setting the expectations for your sub. By setting their own expectations they have decided that yours are inconsequential. If they fail, you won't see it as a failure because they reached your goal, so no failure in your mind and no correction happens. Your sub will once again feel ignored and unloved. Explain this problematic cycle to your sub and be sure that they fully understand it. This is important.
Part 2: Set very clear and precise goals for your sub. Don’t just say, “Do my laundry.” This could lead to any number of interpretations. Lay everything out. Say, “I want you to wash my laundry. Then, I want you to dry it. After it’s dry, I want you to hang it all in the closet. Etc. Etc.”
Here’s an example from our dynamic. I tasked Angel to clean the kitchen. That was my only command, “Clean the kitchen.” In my mind this meant wash the dishes, sweep the floor, clean the stove, and declutter the large island in the kitchen. To her, this meant, deep clean everything. If there is a single mote of dust in any hidden nook or cranny, then the job is not complete. I came home and the kitchen looked amazing. But, there was Angel on her knees, nearly in tears because she hadn’t completed her task.
We had discussed her overly driven issue prior to this. My response to her was, “Your only failure is that you did not submit to me.” She looked at me confused. I asked her, “Did I ask you to deep-clean every nook and cranny in the kitchen?” She shook her head no. I explained she set that goal for herself and then failed because she set her own goals and expectations above mine. After this correction we moved on with our evening.
Since then, I am always very specific when laying out her tasks. I will no longer give a generalized command like clean the kitchen, wash the laundry, or make dinner. I will tell her precisely what I expect to see when I come home, leaving as little room for interpretation as possible or none at all.
Finally, sometimes your sub will just flat out tell you that they need you to lean in. When this happens, this is the prime time for you as a Dominant to gather as much detailed information as you can. Let your sub vent all of their frustrations to you and take notes during a down time. Your sub needs to feel safe and heard while she does this. Leave your own emotions on the doorstep and just listen. It is likely that your sub will reveal things that you were unaware of.
It has been a difficult road for me to learn submission. It sounds ridiculous considering I have asked Master of Angels to dominate me. Fantasy and reality are very different it turns out. I did not consider my own responsibility within the cycle of D/s. I knew my part in it was to serve him and to obey him but my responsibility was a concept I hadn't thought of at all.
I expected he would just pick up and do the work. I thought all I had to do was what I was told and the attention, praise, and acknowledgment would come. Well, that just isn't true. As I have found out, feeding his dominance takes more than just compliance and following orders.
Submitting is as much about my demeanor and attitude towards him and my praise to him as his is to me. When I feel ignored and hurt and I decide that disrespect is the way to grab his attention, I'm sliding back into vanilla ways that destroy and emasculate him. This is not creating an environment that he wants to dominate in. I'm throwing his gift of dominance back at him. When I decide I'm going to defy a command because he's busy and I want 2 more minutes of his time, I'm destroying his power over me and taking back what I promised him, my obedience. He can't rule over me if I'm not letting him. He is not in the business of abusing me through forcing my obedience.
These behaviors eventually lead me to try to compensate by going over and above what has been asked of me. Although it seems like I'm showing extra love, I'm actually taking his dominance away again by inwardly punishing myself and setting myself up for failure. It is NOT my place to punish myself. I would never pick up his implements and administer a punishment. This emotional punishment is not mine to give out either. I'm not the best one of the two of us to set me up to succeed. This is WHY I asked him to dominate me. By setting my expectations above his, I'm taking back my submission and displaying to him that he is not enough for me and thus, emasculating him again.
Master of Angels takes a great deal of time and effort to care for me through D/s and I need to return that by taking his teaching moments and actually using them to learn rather than as moments of instant gratification for attention. Instead of allowing my emotions and feelings of loneliness and irritation get in the way, I lean in.
When I make a mistake I need to self correct if I expect our dynamic to recover as fast as possible. I've learned to do this with small things. I'll ask him to open a jar, reach something up high, move a heavy object, or if my emotions allow it, ask for downtime. Often times, when our cycle gets to an ebb because I've acted inappropriately and I lean in this way, it is step 1 to alerting Master of Angels that I have acknowledged my mistake and am giving back my submission. He then knows that I'm ready to accept his correction and work with him to move forward.
It is finally clear to me that I have a responsibility to learn, grow, and self correct. Master of Angels is teaching me to behave the way I desire to, and have asked to behave. He is not correcting me because he enjoys doing it. He is molding me into the person I desire and the submissive he needs me to be. Master of Angels is my Master, not my handler. He teaches me, he doesn't jail me. I love him deeply for this huge responsibility he agreed to take on for me. He deserves the respect of me taking responsibility for my part as well.
Number of views (14683) Comments (4)
12/18/2018 12:37 PM
I love this more than you two possibly realize. This is me. My brain.
12/18/2018 7:38 PM
This was a fantastic eye opening read for me. I too am an over-achiever. I have been my whole life in all aspects. I have always strongly believed in the mantra "Go big or go home!" I am going to have to do a little soul searching with my Sir and see if this is an issue for us in our dynamic. Thank you for sharing.
12/30/2018 10:57 PM
Thank you for the excellent writing, both views. I felt you were writing about me at times, and didn’t realize what I was doing. I am also “A” personality, so seeing this in written form I see how I have not been as responsible in my submission and our D/s relationship as I should. Great read! Happy New Year also. Jewel
5/20/2020 4:04 PM
A great read. I see myself . Trying to hard to please. And now understand I'm taking from his power. So happy I found this site. Will help me be a better sub