I saw this picture and statement a few days ago, posted by Michael Makai, and immediately loved it. In fact, I changed my avatar on Fetlife to this picture. I’ve read it over a number of times and have identified with it very strongly, but there is always a moment of pause because the part about being so damn good at it is really quite presumptuous. This train of thought sent me on a search to find out just what submissives think makes a great dominant, not what we dominants think makes us good.
I know I have preached to my readers about how it isn’t easy to be dominant. I’ve listed a code of ethics, I’ve talked about not being selfish or thinking it’s all about you, but all of that has come from my own point of view, not that of someone who wears the shoe on the other foot. So the following list are things I came across at least a few times when I set off on my quest to find out just what submissives think makes a good dominant. This is really very important. It’s something all us D types should be aware of because the saying on the picture up above cannot be true if we are only living up to the standards we think matter.
So here goes;
1. Integrity and trust – This was by far the most common characteristic. This is a quote “I know when he speaks it is the truth. He is able to be a good example of one I can respect and not just be some barking ass who treats me like shit because he knows he can.” Basically if someone can’t trust you and believe in the things you do by example, then you simply shouldn’t be a dominant. I have to agree here. I certainly wouldn’t accept a submissive who lied and lacked the integrity to do the right thing in all of the crazy situations life tosses at us with or without me by her side. A dominant must be someone they wish to follow, and no one wants to follow a person who lies, cheats, or steals. How on earth can a dominant like that help a submissive to grow and learn?
2. Is he Intelligent and industrious? – “ Mastery is NOT for the lazy or the unintelligent.” Mastery certainly is not! I do not have a stay at home submissive wife and several male service submissives because I am lazy. I have them because the world I have created around myself and my wife can’t be orchestrated alone. My life and world has a pyramid look with me at the top of the hierarchy, simply because I am the provider and decision maker. Those below wish to serve and be where they are, but I damn well better pull my weight and make solid decisions. The rest of those in my kink family have a niche to fill in the pyramid but I know that if there wasn’t some type of give and take where everyone got their needs met, they would remove themselves and the pyramid would be much weaker and possibly fall down. I’m not saying I can’t stand alone, because no one wants a dominant who doesn’t have their life together, I’m saying the family I have created works like a well oiled machine and those on the bottom row are as important in their own way as my wife and I.
3. Confidence – ”A good dominant is not cocky, rude or demanding. He knows he’s naturally dominant. He doesn’t feel the need to prove it to anyone. His strength, integrity and competence are evident in all aspects of his demeanor and physical presence.” I have to agree with this and certainly hope this is what my wife and my guys see when they look at me. I am small and at times (not often!) quiet and unassuming. When we go to munch or a party I don’t have or feel the need to run around and introduce myself with the title of Mistress or the trait of dominant. The person who wrote the above quote is named Rain, and I think she summed it up beautifully. Cocky, demanding, and rude are signs of insecurities, not confidence and a dominant must be confident. I love to lead and organize the chaos around me, it’s my thing. I was riding in the truck with one of my guys last weekend when we were moving my mom to a new senior facility and he told me “You certainly are good at directing everyone. You’re really precise and make things clear and step by step and you do it without speaking to everyone like they are 3 years old.” I don’t say this to toot my own horn. Well I guess a little bit because it made me feel good, but I never want those who are submissive to me to feel like I am talking down to them. I am not on a pedestal, and shouldn’t act like I am.
4. Communication – A good dominant must be able to communicate clearly and logically. A submissive may be taught that asking why isn’t acceptable, but a dominant who is able to communicate what is to be done, what is expected, what is desired and what the consequences will be doesn’t need to explain the why. A good communicator leaves a submissive confident that they know just what is required and the why of it either comes across or doesn’t matter. A dominant should never expect a submissive to have the ability to read minds. They have chosen you because they want you to lead, and you can’t lead properly if you can’t communicate with your submissive. This isn’t just for giving directions either. Emotions, disappointments, and outside issues should be able to be discussed with ease. I allow my wife to express her opinion, it make me a better communicator because then I know what she is thinking. I didn’t take a course in mind reading either.
5. Loving, patient, nurturing, and kind – I bunched these all together because really, these are the traits a human being needs to have if they are going to take over the running of another’s life. A submissive wants to feel cherished and secure. They need to feel nurtured, important, and protected so they can live up to their potential in a safe and loving environment. Do I always have patience? No, it’s one of my faults. I try, and I have taken to stepping back until my anger dissipates and trying to explain exactly what it is that needs to be done or why I am disappointed. Sometimes it falls on my lack of clear concise communication, sometimes a failure on Beauty’s part, but the who and why doesn’t matter as much as the kindness, caring, and forgiveness. No one will grow if they are afraid to try new things. We as people need to know it’s okay if we fail. If failure occurs then we need to know that there is love, nurturing, compassion and patience for us to be supported so we can try again. Fear may seem to be a good motivator for a short term gain, but nurturing will teach and get results in the long term. I didn’t come across causing fear on any of the lists of qualities I read over. Yes, I believe in keeping my wife on her toes, but not by instilling true fear. Yes, a submissive wants a dominant who causes those little flutters in their stomach, but not gut wrenching fear.
So these were pretty much the top five. There were varied forms of these such as honor, inner strength, compassion, the ability to make a submissive feel that they are the most important thing in their dominant’s world. If you are a dominant, you should read over this list very carefully, if you are submissive I’d love to hear from you if you want to add anything. Your voice matters because we can’t be the best at who we are or even be the tiniest bit dominant if there is no one who wishes to submit to us.
To those dominants who are really only one trick ponies full of bluster and a self inflated ego, you are really very transparent. Most submissives will see right through you from the start, and those you fool for a short time will see the real person who is simply masquerading in an effort to have the world be all about them. Being noble, trustworthy, fair, and just isn’t something you can fake for long because it clashes with your me, me, me mindset.
So is there hope for those who lack the characteristics submissive men and women seek? I would like to think so. Unlike play skills such as flogging, bondage, canning, etc that can be learned, compassion and honor must be found. Does it have to be there from the start? I don’t really know. I believe people can turn around, but I also believe that the kernel of lies, selfishness, or whatever negative trait that was once there never dissolves completely. Perhaps I am jaded. Life will do that to you, true colors can fade, but I think it’s easier for someone to reach back into their old bag of tricks when things get rough instead of standing tall and taking the path that is demanding on the heart and spirit.
Look in the mirror and who do you see? Self evaluation can hurt, but an honest judgment of character is needed if you intend to have what it takes to lead someone else’s life. I say this all from level ground. I’m not even up on my soapbox today because I have learned to reflect on my on behavior first. Let me tell you, it isn’t always fun, in fact sometimes it sucks, but taking responsibility for my own actions and in turn the actions of my wife is vital, so like it or not, I peer at the woman in the mirror without the benefit of any rose colored glasses. Anyone can be bossy, arrogant and controlling, but it takes integrity, intelligence, compassion, confidence, and finesse to be so damn good at it that people want to be part of your environment and share your destiny.