There is a certain camp of people who will tell you that Dominance is an all-natural product (like organic milk), but I don’t believe that’s true. There might be certain underlying personality traits that make it easier or harder, but I think Dominance (as a role in D/s) is largely learned. There are some great resources out there (and one I can recommend is Anton Fulmen’s book The Heart of Dominance: A Guide to Practicing Consensual Dominance).
If you’re in a situation where your partner has expressed an interest in Dominance/submission, it’s something that the two of you want to explore together and you’re ready to take it further, where do you start?
I think… for me, personally… a good starting point is “permission”. We live in a world where the rules are complex and seem to always be changing, and we’re all trying to be good people and do the right thing.
If you admire somebody’s body, is that a compliment to them or is it sexist and objectifying? Is someone being “head of the household” going to reflect negatively amongst your friends as not being politically correct and a throwback to the 50s? Shouldn’t we be promoting equality and empowerment and good manners and respect and… blah blah blah.
Not saying that you can’t have all those things in a relationship AND have a D/s dynamic. I think you can.
But, in multiple tiny ways I think we have to keep evaluating and re-evaluating the moral codes of our upbringing and of society around us. Nice guys treat their partner THIS way. Modern guys know that in this day and age relationships should look like THIS. etc etc
So, I think permission is important. Permission to act in certain ways, or do certain things, that might rub against his idea of what a “good” partner would do. And that’s something you can help him with.
- You can let him know that it’s OK to play with power and try out different things in the Dominant toolbox, and that actually the more he does that the happier you’ll probably be.
- You can communicate clearly the type of relationship you want, listen to the type of relationship he wants, and share ideas for how to get there.
- You can take the initiative in starting certain protocols.
- You can do your best to keep the communication lines open and flowing.
The only way to grow is going to be together, so don’t ever feel like the D/s labels we give ourselves should hinder that.