Tuesday, 29 May 2012

who is in control?

Word wrote in a comment,
"One of the first things I understood was that it is the sub who is really in control."

A friend wrote to my submissive woman similarly,
"And as we know.  Its the subs who have the real power.  Without you they are nothing.... X x x"

So who really is in control? Who holds the real power?


Anonymous said...

In a good relationship power is exchanged, thus it remains evenly divided (don't confuse "power" with "control").

Finding that balance, however, is always a challenge.


Miss G said...

I think the easy answer is that the sub is in control, but that kind of reminds me of the 'Submission is a gift' triteness.

Why is the sub in control? What possible reasons could lead to this opinion? Because she can withdraw her submission? Because she can set limits? Because she has the pussy? Because she can manipulate her Dominant? Well, you know what, the Dominant can withdraw his control and set his own limits, and a skilled Dominant can manipulate the behaviour and reactions of his sub,(I'm not saying he should,I'm just saying he obviously can)
(Sorry to put such a hetero spin on that)
Maybe I've not thought of some reasons and I'm looking at this the wrong way, but this is problematic for me. As a submissive, apart from in deciding to whom I will submit, and some initial decisions about the parameters of a relationships I will ultimately accept; I don't want to be in control. I want the Dominant to have the power - I certainly don't want a Dominant who percieves that I have the power. What would be the point of that?

DauntlessVitality said...

I had this conversation just the other day and explained it this way...

Yes to a degree the sub has some control (the paradox of D/s), but once she gives herself to him, to a degree she has no more control. She has willingly given it all to him because she trusts him to care for and do what's best for her, even when she doesn't like it. She has put herself in his hands and trsusts and respects his decisions and that he knows what's best. That doesn't mean she can't respectfully question him, his decisions, or what he is doing in order to better understand his purpose and reasoning. Yet, he is in charge and has been given that authority by her...and has done so willingly. She has control on the front end of the relationship in deciding who she submits to and who is worthy of her submission. After that, she has made the conscious choice to not have control and to give to her partner.


little said...

but...@DV, Miss G...'she' still retains control..her choice is always to give over control, but in this modern D/s relationship she is always in a position to take it back. When and if she takes it back..does that herald the end of the power exchange? The end of the relationship?
This question is far to complex to be able to answer without all too many if but's when's where's and why's...at least from this chickens inexperienced perspective.

mouse said...

Dunno...think power and control are similar in this context.

Honestly mouse rather looks at it all this way...she didn't offer her submission to Omega, but begged for his Dominance. Needing his power and control to allow mouse to shine.

That's a power exchange. In this exchange mouse routinely and willingly (mostly) surrenders herself to him. So in our dynamic the power and control he has isn't an illusion.


Pygar said...

What a fascinating discussion that has started already! Thank you all for the contributions so far.

I may have to think a bit further about this before getting drawn into it. I do have views on it - but they are certainly being further shaped by your interesting contributions.

P xx

Miss G said...

@ littleone.

This is a fair point, but 'she' is not the only one who has the ability to take their side of the power exchange back. 'He' can just as easily take the leash away - a power exchange only works when all parties 'consent' to it, surely?

I need only to offer my consent once to a Dominant, when I submit to him, and I guess when I stop consenting then the relationship is over. Just as equally, he can end the relationship with me.

DauntlessVitality said...

Honestly, does it really matter if the sub has some control or not? Everyone has their view and opinion on it, and yes in some form or fashion there is some exchange of power between both.

The whole purpose is the sub has the need and desire to submit, thereby giving the Dom control. The Dom has the need to Dominate, thereby taking control. the two go together and work hand in hand. Every relationship is different and has some different aspects to it. As long at the exchange between the two people in a specific relationship works for them, then who has ultimate control really is only semantics.

This can sort of be like arguing religion. You can argue it until cows begin to fly, but at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter, and everyone has their own opinion. Not to mention you aren't likely to change someone else's view on it. What does matter, at least from a D/s perspective, is that there is some exchange of power between the two people involved, and what they are doing fits and works for them. There is no right or wrong...only what best fits an individual couple.


s81 said...

Ultimately, the sub becomes lifeless without the Dom...... The Dom can and will continue to find willing subs. The sub, however, is kept or thrown out by the Dom.....

nilla said...

s81...a sub can leave, too. (maybe not a slave...but a sub? Yes.)

I think it is a joint power. There is much said about "giving up" yourself (as a sub) and laying it in your Top's hands...

In any kind of power dynamic, there is ebb and flow as to who has the power.

I have that ebb and flow in my relationship...but I know He is the Ultimate Authority...His rules, and i obey...

This is a very complex question Pygar, because for every dynamic it will be different, I think.

He IS the Boss. (we're not 24/7) But I still have power. He doesn't ever make me feel..well hell, that's not true. Was going to say powerless...but in playtime? Yes, sure I'm powerless. Its what HE wants then.


I thought this would be easier to answer.

However...if I was unhappy, I could still leave. (I'd try to work it out first...and we've been there in our relationship)


David said...

Ultimately, the each have the power to end the exchange, but it is a power exchange. She exchanges her power for his control and having done so, as long as the relationship/exchange continues, the Dom is in control.

If the sub withdraws, there no longer is a "who?".

Subject to most of the caveats already mentioned.


Word said...

And I will elaborate on what I said in another comment. It is ultimately the sub who is in control of the relationship. Not the scene, not the play of the moment, but the relationship. Why? Because the sub ASKS. The sub wants to be controlled, or make a submission. If that doesn't occur, then it isn't a D/s relationship. Yes, there can be plenty of equality, but in the long run, there is give and take which is initiated by the sub. If I had never asked Wolf to spank me, to travel that road, it wouldn't have happened.

There also has to be trust. The sub needs to trust that the Dom will do what is needed for the growth or health or mindset of the sub. The power that comes from trust resides in the sub. That power is also a form of control.

Long before Wolf and I ever formally played in the D/s arena of life, there was trust. I knew that he was using Dominance techniques in our relationship. It was done in a manner that allowed for the build up of trust. It allowed for me to be able to ask and submit.

And if you want an example of power, go see the Secretary, which I've mentioned before. When she sits and puts her hands on the desk and stays, it is her that is in power. She decided to stay. She decided to wait in spite of hunger, needing to pee and everything else. And she was the one in power when he finally came to her and gave her permission. She empowered him to Dom her.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps. She can choose.
She needs you.... beyond belief.

Pygar's Submissive Woman said...

Who are you, anonymous? You have just spoken for me. I do need my Dom. Pygar. Beyond belief. More than he needs me. Yes, I ask him to slap me and hurt me. I ask for everything he does to me. I beg for it. He wants to, oh yes, he WANTS to, but he hears me begging for it first. Perhaps I do have the greater power. He can only do to me what I ask for. But he knows I also have the greater need. That I will go on asking. That I will go on needing to give up all control to this man whom I trust with my life. He knows he can do anything. If he waits. Anything. I have chosen him. To be owned by Pygar. I am his.

Pygar said...

Thank you again to all of you for your comments.

Rather than try to sum up with my own comment here I decided it deserved another post as this has generated such interest and fascinating, thoughtful contributions. I have started that post but unfortunately through minor illness and other commitments I think it is unlikely I will be able to finish it until next week.

I am also worried I will not be able to keep up with the high level of debate that you have all started!

Thanks again to you all.

P xxxx

choji said...

I wonder if, like Dannah warned against, we are confusing power and control. I also wonder at the terrible generalization of the premise: a submissive has "the" control? There are slaves inevitably lumped into the submissive category, and "control" is not really what a slave strives to achieve. Perhaps instead of using words like "power" and "control" in a discussion like this, it might be wiser to use more relevant terms such as "potential" (for power) and "direction" (for control) which may (I would hope, at least) help define what it is that the question really strives to address. I do not like the premise of the question, though, because as a submissive, my fantasy resides in (and depends upon) my dom exercising direction over me. I always have power (i.e. potential). I always have the ability to safeword or exercise right-action if necessary (at the expense of the fantasy and power exchange). That is power I never surrender -- Unlike a slave who theoretically abandons any room for negotiation and surrenders total control, total power, total direction, total potential. So, I would only add that, "who cares?" in the long run because I think this kind of nit-picking about who has "more power" in a D/s relationship fails to take into account the nature of the relationship in toto. Maybe it's just a tool of the vanilla world to get us to stop what we're doing and talk about this ha ha!

x said...

hmm...I loved reading all of the thoughts here. Many opinions mirror my own.

However, I think any question of who has ultimate control is futile. Because it's impossible for anyone in a relationship to have full control. Each party, in any situation, always has equal control or power. That energy is never ending and never one-sided in a relationship or play. To submit takes a tremendous amount of control, as does dominating. It's a yen yang, without one, you can't have the other.

The entire D/s dynamic is about the energy of control and power and both parties have equal amounts, otherwise there is an imbalance and it doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

God is always in control.. If God in not in control nothing will be in control..

Anonymous said...

I think it is like yin-yang neither can exist without the other.

Ana B. said...

I need the control. As in, I can't control myself - can't make up my mind. I have a thousand different possible directions running through my mind and as soon as I pick up one thread, I lose all the others. Its like being lost in a maze. I just want to be told what to do and what would happen if I don't do it. Like I know I'll have trouble if I am late/ don't go to work or something. But its intangible and I give in to myself. I think I'd find it easier to just not go through that struggle where I have to beat up one part of myself for every single thing. Plus I beat myself up over everything - like I said - I self regulate to the point that I think I ll be sick with anxiety. Then if I step a toe out of the imagined bounds, its like it hurts inside and I have nothing to lift the guilt. I know that its a lot of emotional baggage to thrust on someone but I can't do it on my own. Then I think, if I am so sick of myself - would anyone understand enough to put up with me. That's why I thought I'd need someone who liked to control as much as I needed to be controlled. I am still looking, can't seem to trust enough for it yet. But its just my take on things - I don't like to be hurt just controlled - otherwise I'd wreck everything, you know?