Power exchange in Dominance/submission is characterised by one person wanting to give up some degree of control, and another wanting to take that control on. On the surface it’s not a difficult concept, but like all things that involve degrees, there are infinite points of balance and it is only successful when both people feel that the balance in the exchange satisfies them.
Each to their own management style I think, may we all coexist happily together. For me, personally, comprehensive micro-management sounds not only exhausting, but extremely boring too.
I get into this kind of conversation with some of the friends in my life:
(Me): hey, haven’t seen you guys for ages, let’s catch up for dinner when you’re free
It’s a trivial example (here I go with my “champagne problems” again), but by the time the haggling is over I’ve made every decision. I feel like perhaps I should go over and choose what they wear too.
I’m as interested in other people’s favourite bars/restaurants/places as I am in sharing my own. Discovering what other people like is part of the fun of socialising.
A bit tangential, but I think if my relationships echoed that, I’d have to jump out a window. Cook me something I’ve never tried, suggest something you’d like to do, spring surprises on me occasionally, be into whatever you’re into. I like the people around me to be switched on and passionate about the things they love.
HOW MUCH MANAGEMENT IS TOO MUCH (OR NOT ENOUGH)?
You can probably tell, I’m not a micro-manager, so if I’m not running around telling my boys what colour their underwear should be or whether they can or cannot have icecream, am I a real Master? Or, more importantly, do they feel like I am a real Master?
To be honest, it’s not an easy line to walk. No control at all would make my relationship hard to distinguish from any other non-D/s one. Control over small things that I consider inconsequential would annoy me. It’s taken some time to find the sweet spot in-between, and it hasn’t been only about what I want. Along the way I’ve negotiated with the boys at various times and made adjustments based on their needs and feelings.
From the outside, it might seem that LESS power is exchanged in my relationships than in a more controlling ones. I don’t think that is the case at all, and in fact I’d argue that there is as much, if not more, D/s in my relationships as anyone else’s.
As Master in my relationships, power is given to me. It is a conscious decision to hand the small details in that power back, and both parties are aware of that. I “could” decide the meal menu and social engagements for the week. I choose not to, and we both know that is a choice. We call it “the illusion of democracy”, because we’re all aware that I can flex my power if I want to. Sometimes I do, just to keep everyone on their toes.
And, it certainly works to my advantage. I have no interest in tracking the bills that keep my electricity and internet on. Somebody does that for me. I don’t want to schedule the guy who comes to clean my air-conditioner. I outsource that task. My life is made a lot less complicated by empowering my partners.
REALITY AND PERCEPTION
I am aware though, that there is a danger of the “perceived” balance tipping the wrong way. By that, I mean that without some degree of direct control, it may start to not “feel” like D/s to my boys. Sure, with a little adult conversation and intellectualising, we could reaffirm the fact that our relationship is D/s, but having to regularly do that would be tedious and doesn’t negate the fact that the relationship would be surfing some kind of up/down power curve that could be damaging.
To some extent, we have rules, rituals and protocols in place that act as reminders of the D/s in our relationship. These are important, and they’re very effective. We have all kinds of standards of behaviour that we uphold within our relationship.
But, as a Dom, I think it’s important to always remain aware of how the power is flowing along the channels. By that, I mean “perceived power”, or how everyone in the relationship is feeling it. If you’re in a low control relationship, I think sometimes it can be important to play the Dom’s control card anyway. It’s one of many tools we have in our toolbox to keep our D/s relationships healthy. Your partner is an adult, not a child, and you might not “need” to, but it can often be the spark that sets things back in a happy balance again.
Besides, it can be a chance to have a little wicked fun. 😉