how a dom thinks

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by Kor, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Kor

    Kor Member

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    I present myself as a dominant, but basically I'm just a simple uncomplicated sadist.

    Acting as a dominant I get to express my sadistic urges, but dominance isn't so much what I am as a path to get where I want to be. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy dominance thoroughly, even though doing a decent job of it takes a lot of time and effort, which I don't always have enough of to do a proper job of it on the long term.

    I'm not a dominant because I have a desire to bend people to my will, I'm a dominant because that's the most practical way to express part of myself.

    It has always been a source of wonder to me that there are people who will put up with my urges to get their own itch scratched. A submissive will put up with a lot to get what they want.

    Still, I've spent many idle hours trying to figure out what makes a sub tick. Some are probably masochists, though I don't think I've ever actually met one. A fair number have self-esteem issues, bad incidents in their past, or whatever. Those are your classical subs that psychologists used to write about; obviously, they were submissive because something was wrong with them.

    That idea has pretty much gone away now, as BDSM has come out of the closet and perfectly ordinary people with no obvious mental problems acknowledge they like to be ordered around or treated in ways that weren't socially acceptable until very recently. Submissives aren't people with problems, they're people with problems who also happen to be submissives.

    I had developed the theory that submissives were primarily driven by a desire for attention, possibly because that was such a visible facet of the first ones I dealt with. Over time I encountered subs who were much more internalized, which was a relief, because dealing with an emotionally needy sub wears me down.

    My current theory is that, while attention is still a factor, many subs are also driven by what I call, for lack of a better way to put it, a desire for direction, or perhaps order. They are happy when they know precisely what is expected of them, and the limits they operate within. Not just "you will be punished if you are late", but things like "you will meet me at the theater across the mall at 7 o'clock. Wear the green outfit."

    I hear a lot about "desire to submit" and similar things, but those concepts are so alien to me I keep trying to rationalize their behavior into reasons I can understand.

    Things were a lot simpler when submission was thought of as a mental illness... you could just drop someone into the appropriate box and not spend any time trying to figure out what made them tick.
  2. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Some subs are very service-oriented (like my slave). He finds a great deal of pleasure in following my commands as perfectly as possible, and wants to be praised when he performs well. He struggles with low self-esteem (and actually had a crisis a month or so ago that I talked about on this forum), and I've been using praise for performance as a way to help build up his self-esteem. He likes the idea of being the alpha slave and organizing my household for me. He's a waiter, and really takes good table service seriously as well. I think in the 19th century, he would have made a very good butler.

    Subs like this enjoy a sense of reflected glory. He takes very seriously the principle that if I don't look good, he doesn't look good. So when we go out in leather, he loves dressing me, getting the lint off my shirt, and keeping my boots in good shape. He wants other boys to envy him for having such a hot master.

    I think that subs like him feel overwhelmed by the degree of freedom that modern society ascribes to people (what the 19th century sociologist Durkheim called anomie, the sense that there are no rules to structure one's life and choices. Submission provides a comforting framework within which to live their lives, because the choices are simpler and more clear. Deciding what you want to do with your life is a lot tougher than deciding how much time to put into cleaning your master's apartment.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  3. Kor

    Kor Member

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    Ah, that's much closer to what I was trying to say than what I managed to write!
  4. Kor

    Kor Member

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    No comments from the subs?

    Or do we have to beat it out of you?
  5. WallFlower

    WallFlower New Member

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    Tempting, but I'll go and volunteer.

    As far as I can tell, what makes me tick is Objectification. I love the idea of being used as just another possession, no different from a chair or trinket. There is perhaps a touch of anomie in my fetish; a chair has no need for decisions nor say in its upholstery and I find being ordered about is quite appealing. Despite this, I don't find myself afraid of the freedoms of modern society. Quite the opposite in fact; outside of the bedroom, I'm rather ambitious.
  6. Topsbottom

    Topsbottom New Member

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    Outside of the bedroom I am VERY independent. I have no problem making decisions and being in charge. Recently I discovered that because of the amount of responsibility I carry outside of the bedroom, I want to be completely submissive in the bedroom. I’ve always preferred sex on the rough side so Dom/sub seemed like the avenue I needed to explore. I need to hand over the reins. Let the Dom make all the decisions and demands. By doing this, I feel an overall balance within me.

    Did society have any influence in this decision? Not that I'm aware of. Do I have a bunch of mental illness and skeletons in my closet? Nope. Just a lot of curiosity and an insatiable sexual appetite.
  7. Kor

    Kor Member

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    Hmm, my choice of phrasing wasn't good.

    Despite the fact that BDSM is very nearly mainstream compared to the bad old days, it's still considered an illness, and in some areas, falls under domestic abuse laws too.

    That doesn't get me any closer to understanding what goes on in a sub's mind, though.
  8. MainMan

    MainMan New Member

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    I was told not so long ago that I've got desires for control because I had issues with my father while growing up. I wouldn't say this is outlanding, and Freudian psychology would place me in about that same position, but it more amused me than actually impacted anything about me.
    Although, while I wouldn't put this to print without any sort of study myself, I'm sure most people with "sexual deviation" have some sort of childhood experience, growing up issues, or some other thing that greatly shaped them without really realizing it.

    Again, this is just my speculation, but I'm sure submission comes more into a very strong desire to nurture bonding with sexual desire. A sub wants to please and make another happy. It just so happens that sexual play is one of the best ways to please. Similarly, some of us want to lead and command, others want to follow and obey.

    Really think of it this way: Think of the feeling you have when dominating. A rush, thrill, happiness, excitement, or any other feeling you have. It's probably hard to explain that past saying it's just what you like. I'm sure it's exactly the same for a sub serving and doing something that pleases the one that she is 'nurturing'.

    Just my 2 cents.
  9. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    One reason that I love being dominant is that for a very long time I felt rather powerless to acquire a partner. I was overweight and felt that my only choice was to be very flexible and accommodating. The fact that I get to be demanding and in control is like a drug for me as a result.
  10. kajmir

    kajmir Member

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    For me:

    Most of what Topsbottom said with a "Just the sheer kink of it" thrown in.
    I'm kind of simply really, the actual kink factor it's self can turn me on to an extreme.
    There's 2 things that turn me on, neither I would EVER touch with a 100 foot pole in reality, I'd be utterly disgusted, but the sheer kink factor of them in fantasy, I physically get wet considering them.
  11. subarama30

    subarama30 Member

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    Whilst I have some childhood abuse (non-family related) and definately had a controlling father who I grew up afraid of (we are ok now though) I don't think anyone would have said that I was anything but IN control of things for most of my life, I was very much a leader and not a follower. I was a protector of weaker children and some might say dominant. I had many people as a teenager who told me they found me intimidating or were afraid to piss me off.

    From a very young age I was treated and seen as an adult, I was always tall for my age and could pass for older than I was so I got used to responding appropriately when dealing with people in general.

    I was always attracted to older and strong male figures and was aware of this at a young age. Funnily when watching movies I would often find myself attracted to the males in the film who were considered the 'baddie', even if I wouldn't usually find the actor attractive in a normal setting or in another movie, once he was playing a bad guy or psycho I was turned on. I realised then I might have a problem ;)

    My low self esteem and depression in my teens certainly enabled men to take advantage of me. I agree with Sebastion in that being overweight can make you feel like you have to take what is given to you, a sense of powerlessness in finding partners. It was as though I had to fit into a sub-group of society where normal rules did not apply to be accepted - as generally in the fetish world things like weight/age/status etc do not carry the same impact as in day-to-day life, as for some people it is not the person that is attractive but the fetish itself or the act they are partipating in. I know this does not apply in al cases but a lot in my experience.

    There is definately a sense of wanting to give up control sexually in a way I never would normally, of wanting decision making to be someone else's problem. A dominant male represents protection and safety for me too, even if that person has the potential to cause me harm. I also enjoy the element of the unexpected. A D/s relationship is anything but boring, there is no standard missionary for 10 mins and then roll over, I enjoy the variety and passion that bondage brings.

    So in summary (after all that rambling) I would say that I don't think of being submissive as a mental illness and I don't think it a by-product of the modern world in that homosexuality or feeling trapped in the wrong gender is not a 'new' craze. I think things have always been around but simply that it is acknowledged more readily these days.

    I think attention can come into it, in that a Dom has their full focus on the sub in that moment and to a certain extent 'needs' you in order to derive their own satisfaction.

    I do not think, however, that it is always as difficult to figure out what makes a sub tick as anyone else. I think 'normal' people can be far more complex and I'm sure a lot of men will tell you that even vanilla sex can be a minefield when trying to get a woman (or man) off (properly that is!).
  12. PinkUnicorn

    PinkUnicorn New Member

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    I've heard a lot of people say subs must have had trauma in their past, or low self-esteem. I don't have either though, so I don't think that is true at all. I am not completely confident with my relationships with others though, whether a friend or a lover. I can never figure out what it is someone expects of me, so if they just tell me what to do it makes it a hell of a lot easier, right? I would say my mind works pretty simple; I want to grow into a better human being. I work best on a system of immediate rewards and punishments.
  13. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Pink, I don't think that abuse or trauma or low self-esteem are prerequisites for being submissive. There are many doms who occasionally enjoy subbing, and there are certainly subs with very healthy egos and happy childhood memories. But I do think that many subs do demonstrate those qualities. It might be because those are common qualities in general, or it might be that there is something about those qualities that help create the psychological conditions to be a good sub.
  14. chaoticist

    chaoticist New Member

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    I have the same issue, partly in reverse - I'm not really a submissive, just a masochist. Many people don't understand the difference. I also have a sadistic side, but not a dominant one.

    I gave up trying to figure out labels and categories a long time ago, in life as well as bdsm. I find it's much easier to just be yourself, and understand and then follow your nature, rather than conform to some preconceived notion of identity. Stay open to meeting someone who appreciates you as a multi-faceted individual, rather than someone who's always trying to fit you into some category of their choosing.

    Most of these pigeonholing identity issues disappear once we trying to judge and categorise people incessantly.
  15. Kor

    Kor Member

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    Ah, yes. I have a pigeonhole just for that type of person...

    Pigeonholes and stereotypes exist because they're a useful handle for social interaction. In most cases nobody wants to appreciate you as a multi-faceted individual; they just want to expend a minimum amount of effort to deal with you (or not) and move on.

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