Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Must Doms have an alpha personality?

I was talking with a friend recently, eating lunch outside a cafe bar in Berlin. (Like you do!)

She is switch and I found myself talking about the roles of Dom and sub.

I used the following example.

I am imagining a couple in a bar. Is one of them a Dom because they are alpha and always go to the bar to order the drinks or are they Dom if they task their sub to go to the bar to order the drinks? (In the UK it is normal to go to the bar rather than wait for a waiter.)

It sounds minor but I think it is at the heart of whether "Dom-ness" is being an "alpha" personality or whether it is to do with having control and getting what one wants. Sometimes that can be through being an alpha personality - but not always.

The same friend emailed me recently. She is a switch and had told me that she was currently feeling much more in sub mode. She was excited to be in a new relationship. Her new friend was eager to fulfil her wishes. "Very submissive. She's service-oriented and needs a bit of a guiding figure and she wants to do everything for me. She washes my dishes, folds the laundry, brings me lunch to work, gives me massages, takes me for dinner, and pays for everything. And she LIKES doing all these things." Coming from a kink background she recognised this as sub. So was she now Dom?

I am not sure. I like doing things for Inès. However, I am doing things for myself. I do the cooking because I like to cook and I prefer my cooking to hers. I support her life and her work because that is right but also because if she is content then that impacts also on my own happiness. Does that make me sub? I think not but for some who see "Dom-ness" as being an alpha personality then perhaps it would.

I wondered too whether her friend might really be the Dom because she was doing exactly what she wanted - and my friend was reaping the benefits but was perhaps still the sub because her new friend was the one in control?

For me "Dom-ness" is about control. I can do what I want. It has been agreed. However what I want to do may be things that Inès enjoys. Surely that is the point.


EsMay said...

I believe there is a level of Domness in taking care of your sub. It is what you want to do, and seeing to needs is part of that control. By cooking for her, you are making sure she is getting a healthy meal, and making sure that she eats. By cleaning up, you are making sure she knows you value all she does and want to help her make sure she doesn't do too much, and also want her to feel appreciated in that you lightened her load (if she is in fact the one that cleans, lol). To me, what makes a Dom a Dom is his desire for control, but also his desire to lead, to help his sub reach their goals, to have more balance in their life, to hold them accountable, to help them make better choices, to help them find a more stable emotional balance, etc. I think a Dom is just as much in control if he gets the drink because he's stepping up and taking control by deciding they need a drink and he'll be the one responsible for getting them, as when he sends his sub to do it so that he can sit back and rest is feet. I see both as being in charge and both as being dominant. Now, if he went to get a drink, and said "I want to get a drink, what do you think, should I get one now, or later? And if I do, do you want one too?" Well, that's less Doming than people would expect. But if he says "Sit here, I'll be back in a minute with drinks." That's totally Doming. :) I think each couple has to figure out what Doming looks like, and be okay with it being different than another couple. What is Doming to one couple may be abuse to another. And what is Doming to one couple might just be borderline vanilla to another... if that makes sense.

Princesse said...

Good point. What is control and is the one wielding it...really the one with the power?

I think in each relationship , there is a little wriggle room.

Pygar said...

Thank you EsMay. Yes it does make sense. It is a very thoughtful response and appreciated.

P xx

Pygar said...

Thanks Princesse. You make an interesting distinction between being in control and having the power. The notion of the person with the power not being the one in control has certainly got me thinking.

P xx

PS A little wriggle room sounds fun.


DM said...

Very well stated!

willie said...

I think my short answer to the Dom statement is intent. Which I suppose is another branch or under the umbrella of control.

As for your friend's submissive: It took me a long time to understand what my submission was by 'definition'. Years into this someone told me I was a 'natural' submissive. I didn't see it that way ( based on the broader social ideas of what *a* submissive was). All of those things the submissive in your post did, are things I have always done for my husband- and for many people I care for. Being a 'anticipator' is part of my make up I suppose and while it helps with being submissive it isn't what makes me *a* submissive. Intent is what makes *me* a submissive. I think about what my husband/Dom would want me to do in any and all situations before acting upon it( doesn't mean I am always successful at putting aside my pride to do it) even if and especially if he isn't around to see it. Some days that does mean he 'serves' me. This is actually not a conscious mindset, it has always been like that- though I used to push aside my natural inclinations, and often did the opposite. Why? That is a LONG response. LOL. I also don't submit or do acts of submission because I am hoping to keep the famous 'ebb and flow' of D/s going. I submit because I need to not because he 'deserves' it. The days I find myself lacking I can justify it in a million ways why I am struggling, but that has to do with my mental state of him not accepting me more than him not being deserving of it. ( Once again I suppose intent. I think the submissive who does acts of service with the hope of nothing in return isn't being selfish)

My husband had and sometimes still has a difficult time with the social idea of a Dom, or at least the idea he has constructed in his head. He gets off track because he doesn't follow his heart in certain situations because he is concerned what that would look like to me. And SURE there are small times, like when he could say 'no' just for the heck of it, and chooses not to that might make me feel more submissive in the moment, but he doesn't WANT to. We thrive more when he just goes with his instinct and stops overthinking what a DOM looks like. Some days the Dom looks like the man giving me a bath, other days it is the immovable A-hole ( oh yes....) who will not 'listen to reason'...meh I'm honest! LOL.

Anyway it took me a long time to understand more about how I am being submissive and not selfish because I enjoy doing those things I do. How can it be submission if it doesn't mentally 'cost' anything? This was a huge challenge for us, and one my husband tries to rectify on occasion by giving me submissive exercises that push my limits whether this be physical, which he enjoys, endurance or mental. The mental ones are the most effective.

Wow, way more than you probably bargained for in a response once again! lol


Pygar said...

Thanks DM



Pygar said...

Thank you willie

That is a fascinating response. Thank you for taking the time to describe your thoughts on this so carefully.

The inclusion of the notion of intent is very interesting.

What also comes to me from your comment is a recognition that we cannot always be "in role" as Doms or subs. In real relationships that does not matter as long as we are confident with the relationship. Any problems can then be sorted out through good communications. However in new relationships or with people newer to their roles I think people can get hung up on whether something or the other really is Dom or is it sub. That can be when definition gets in the way of the dynamic.

Thank you again for your thoughtful reply.

P xx

neriche said...

I am very much drawn to an alpha Dom, but to me "alpha" is defined very differently. It's the unassuming cowboy in a white hat who never toots his own horn, for example.

I don't claim to understand much, but it sounds like you are in love.

I love it when a Dom shrugs off the perception of labels. He may well appear subservient or very non-alpha when he puts aside his own considerable physical arousal to spend the evening making me laugh and feel warm and safe after a difficult day - no agenda, no expectation of thanks or even that I'll see how wonderful he's being in putting my needs first. It may not appear very Domly for him to read me to sleep, and himself fall asleep unfulfilled (physically). But his good judgment -- whether it takes the form of Dom or sub -- makes him a superhero in my eyes. And of course, he reaps the rewards in the days that follow. ;)

Pygar said...

Thank you neriche for contributing your increasingly wise words to this blog.


I'm sorry to not reply more thoughtfully now. I will try to do so in good time.

(Reasons here)

P xxxx