I hope you have been enjoying Rika’s Lair, my monthly column dedicated to thoughts and experiences regarding power dynamics in Service-Oriented D/s relationships. Look up “Ms. Rika” in the search box for links to all my articles in KinkWeekly!
Today, I’m thinking about a tendency among many submissives, to think of a dominant as the entire person, rather than as a dynamic in a relationship with a person. You’ll hear them say, “I’m looking for ‘A Dominant’”, “Why can’t I find more ‘Dominants’?”, “I’m A Submissive, I need A Dominant”. It is as if the person is defined solely by their preference when it comes to power dynamics. The notion is that ‘A Dominant’ is what a person is…when, in reality, a person ‘is’ a lot of things – including being a dominant in their relationships.
From my perspective as a dominant woman, I see this predominantly from male submissives (but it is certainly not limited to a specific gender). Very often, they approach women, looking for ‘A Dominant’ without any consideration for who the woman really is. Worse, they have often already defined what ‘A Dominant’ is, and are looking for it, exclusively. The ‘Dominant’ is viewed as a collective object – predictable based solely on their preference for “dominance” – and consistent from person to person (as long as they “know how to dominate”). Any dominant will do, because they are believed to be interchangeable. Of course, since that’s not true, this often can create serious issues with the relationship.
This viewpoint manifests itself in several common ways: Many submissives have a predetermined view of what ‘a dominant’ does; how they act; their attitude; their dress – and don’t see a person as dominant unless they meet those criteria. Or, they may discover that they don’t have compatibility with a dominant from a relationship perspective, even though they’ve had compatibility in kink. Or, they may not recognize dominance, if it doesn’t match the femininely-styled masculine image of a dominant.
I’ve discussed this last point before; the notion that dominance equatesto masculinity – and therefore, female dominance is thought of as a femininely-stylized imitation of masculinity. In my previous articles, I’ve pointed out that the porn-imagery of the female dominant shows women as ‘penetrators’ with strap-ons, in biker leathers (stylized), and having the heels of their boots (stylized jack boots) sucked ‘like a cock’. The notion that someone who doesn’t prefer traditionally masculine qualities (e.g., aggression, anger, micro-management, competitiveness, desire to overpower, etc.) is not ‘allowed’ in that imagery of dominance.
Relationships are a complex collection of traits, personalities, and dynamics. Power dynamics are just one of many dynamics that may exist in a relationship. The person who is the dominant has many other facets totheir personalities – most having absolutely nothing to do with power dynamics. If you enter a relationship with a person, solely based on one dynamic or attribute, you are destined to encounter problems and potentially dissolution of the relationship. For example, people who have entered relationships because “the sex was so good”, have experienced the same types of issues. Folks doing the same for power dynamics likely are headed for similar negative outcomes.
The key here, is to submit to the person, not to their role in a dynamic. If you’re thinking something longer-termed than sharing a scenario, dedicating yourself in service to someone is a serious commitment. There needs to be something about that PERSON that makes you want to submit to them.
Something more than their gender and that they identify as dominant. You are submitting to the entire person, who they are, not just what role they prefer to play. You must get to know who they are to be able to establish a relationship based on more than power dynamics. Only then can you customize your submission to mold and serve the full person.
The next time you feel like engaging with someone who identifies as ‘dominant’, try to identify what it is about that unique person that is drawing you to serve them. If it’s nothing more than their gender and preference for dominance, slow down, get to know who they really are, and then THEN make the decision to submit!
Ms. Rika is a lifestyle dominant, educator, and author; living in the suburbs of NYC with her husband/slave. She has written several popular books on her approach to adding Dominant-Centric, Service-Oriented D/s to relationships. You can find her books (in both print and eBook formats) at Lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/msrika), or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iStore, Books-A Million, Kobo.com, or anywhere books are sold. Search for “Ms. Rika”. Write to me at Ms_Rika@hotmail.com