In recent post Take Control or Submit, I began talking about concepts in BDSM that feel relevant to my learning. I feel like the practice resonates with me even if I am not always actively practicing it sexually. Power and dominance has a language that also encompasses responsibility.
Dominants assume a great amount of responsibility. They must track limits, and often teach their submissives to actual make choices and define for themselves what they need. Under no circumstances are the needs of the Dominant to color the needs of the submissive. There are sheets of limits and checklists for people to use for reference.
Tasks are a beautiful way of creating connection between a Dominant and a submissive. I have had those submissive to me keep a running list of tasks to track the ways we connect…anything from a one time thing to an ongoing daily activity. Customized tasks can help the submissive address areas of growth. For example, I forbid a submissive from hiding his cock from me in pics. I wanted him to see his own body the way I did. There is no sense in shame when I can tell him he is beautiful. It saved him the energy of strategic photography and allowed him to present himself to me as fully vulnerable.
Submitting to a Dominant is freeing at times, when the Dominant can be trusted. If the Dominant remembers every boundary without flaw, and allows the submissive to stretch safely, it feels easy. I had some really great experiences submitting, and receiving the submission of a partner. I also had some shitty sub drop experiences when my Dom communicated poorly and left me directionless after fostering dependent connection.
When developing my own Domme voice, it was not surprising to find that I am a care taker. It was not a surprise to find the unconditional submission of a partner. It was a surprise to me to feel that as a weighted responsibility that was more than I could handle. Fostering close connection, reliance, trust…it is beautiful. When I needed space to breathe, it meant I dropped my submissive hard. He went from the warm glowing comfort of ownership to nothingness. I stayed with him through that, talked him through that, but I was very surprised by the power of that bond.
I have not left him to fend for himself as my Dom did to me. I didn’t fail my responsibility for his well being despite ending the active practice of that dynamic. When I look around at others in the practice, it seems more often than not, that Doms are okay with just walking away and letting the submissive take care of their own pain.
If you are privileged enough to earn the trust of a submissive, you must pay for that with flawless attention to after care. That is for one session or an ongoing, ever present dynamic. The responsibility is there when someone calls you by your title, and it never really ends. You can release your submissive, and you can dissolve your dynamic, but the imprint within the mind is made. Will your imprint be positive, colored by clean, clear energy? Or will your imprint be negative, colored by negligent, pungent pain?
I may never practice a sexual power dynamic again because of the level of responsibility I felt. I cannot stand the idea that my imprint on another is anything but radiant joy.
I cannot imagine a scenario in which I submit to another Dominant in an ongoing way. Reliance on another isn’t predicated on power dynamics expressed, but that bond is special. I learned of its potential power, and I will practice only with eyes wide open in the future.
My hope is that people reading this…and thinking about exploring BDSM…I hope that people will take the responsibility seriously, and practice with skill and awareness. You are responsible for caring for your partners beyond the fuck. Do not crawl into another person’s mind and take a proverbial shit. Be careful, be cautious, and be loving.