September/October 2002
Some Thoughts for the Dominant
by Master Wolf

A man once asked Mozart how to write a symphony. Mozart told him to study at the conservatory for six or eight years, then apprentice with a composer for four or five more years, then begin writing a few sonatas, pieces for string quartets, piano concertos, etc. and in another four or five years he would be ready to try a full symphony. The man said, "But Mozart, didn't your write a symphony at age eight?" Mozart replied, "Yes, but I didn't have to ask how."

::Smile:: Arrogant? Perhaps, and it does seem at times it seems that some people were just born in this lifestyle as it seems that others have to struggle to "Master" These skills. I say this because Dominance is a skill, as much a skill as a deft hand with a flogger or singletail. Yes, we are born this way, inherently "Dominant" or "Submissive" But in controlling and harnessing these traits we have to start somewhere. Just because we are Dominant in personality does not mean we know how to use this trait within a relationship context. Most do not. In fact most of us wish to change our roles within the BDSM context. Most Submissives I know have very dominant personalities when out in the vanilla world. But wish the release of offering themselves, their skills and at times even control over their very existence to one they feel deserves to be served.

So who deserves such a gift? And what are the traits that a dominant personality should have? How do you tell a dominant from a control freak? or someone who is Using the "Ideal" of dominance for their own selfish reward. First and foremost I believe learning is the most important skill for a Dominant. Without it we fail to be a "Good" Dominant. So what is a Good Dominant? What follows is my opinion and in no way states that Mine is the only or best path to follow, there are many differing opinions out there and I suggest you seek them all. All I am placing here is My personal Ideals crafted in over 22 years practicing this lifestyle from the bottom up. I use the male pronoun as I am MALE though a Dominant or Domme, Master Or Mistress is male or female.

What good traits in a Dominant? The question can only be answered individually of course, by both Submissives and Dominants alike. But here is my rendition of traits a Dominant should strive to attain. The Dominant should be in control of himself first and foremost, For to master others one must first master themselves. a Dominant should be confident, caring, and understanding,

Never allowing ego to get in the way of learning, both about himself and others, He should know how to love, as well as how to receive love, And how to cherish the gift of submission given to him. When a dominant meets a new submissive He is kind and guiding without demanding ritual, he does not demand respect, he earns it. He explores the mind first, learning a persons strengths and weaknesses, He does not seek to seduce, but gets to know the person first, building a relationship, slowly discovering if there is to be one. If he is a good Dominant he does not do this to gain another submissive, but only because he is able to befriend someone, without the trappings of sexuality, He is not a predator, but a teacher, willing to pass his knowledge with little or no reward, Only that it be worth his time to do so. a good dominant is usually rewarded with the pleasure of knowing he can assist another, and the satisfaction of helping someone define their own path.

If the time comes when a person offers themselves to His service, The Dominant is the first to question their decision, to ask them to look into themselves and discover if He is what they really want. At this stage He is the first to mention safety, to volunteer References, and to tell him or her to seek more. He supports safe calls and public meetings on this first step as this protects both parties, safety is foremost in His mind at this beginning. If He decides to take the submissive into service, he is the first to mention negotiation, to offer his own personal information, often risking his personal life in the process. this is a danger to him also, but even with the danger of his being "Outed" He realizes the danger she could be placed in is often more extreme. that in the wrong hands the gift of trust and submission can and has been abused. He seeks to guide the submissive in protecting themselves. He does not dismiss their worries, for he knows their risks are all to real. He knows his safety also depends on honesty and communication, He is at first only as protective of himself he needs to need be, but open and Honest about his life, tastes, what he expects, he knows that the submissive will be taking a leap of faith, and is supportive of this first tentative step.

To possess a persons body and soul he Knows he must first earn their respect, to do this He must prove he is what he professes to be. He must show that he is stable, knowledgeable and caring, that he would push boundaries only to build strengths, that in doing so he also respects those hard limits. That he is willing to spend the time to learn a person first as a human being, then as a submissive. He expresses that we are all equal in our rights as human beings and only with the offer of this gift of submission, freely given, is one to attain dominion over another. He knows how wonderful this gift is that is offered, and is willing to live up to the trust placed him. To this end, He talks endlessly with his new charge, learning their secret needs and desires, and in turn expressing his own, always ready to affirm their worth, to him, and to themselves. Increasing their confidence in self, and in the gift freely given, gently pushing boundaries to show that The submissive can be more than he or she feels they are, that they can go farther than they ever thought possible, Slowly opening the flower of submission, gently coaxing their passion for life and for him into full bloom.

If a person lacks self esteem he shows respect and the evident value and worth in a person, he shows that he finds them worthy of his time. He shows he or she that they have beauty and great value in his eyes, thus they are beautiful. He focuses on their strengths, to show them of their own power. He softly explains that the gift given is the most wonderful gift of all, the gift of a persons self. He takes the time to learn the Soul of a charge, before thinking of learning their body. As the Dominant learns his new submissive, a connection takes place allowing Him to sense their desires, needs and passions. With this new knowledge, the Dominant is able to take his Submissive to new heights of pleasure, to guide them and walk with them as together they seek new levels of love and fulfillment. In taking a submissive into his service the Dominant takes on many responsibilities. He pledges to help guide a person in their path, not only in the bedroom, but in life. He pledges to be there for them when they need Him, to care for his charge, ease their pain when depressed, comfort them when ill, assist them in overcoming fears and worries, to hold and love when affection is needed and to chastise when it is called for to do so. He does this because it is an honor to do so, for this is his gift to a person in return for their submission to him ... their gift given willingly, his returned with joy.

He seeks to understand their mind, to gaze into the soul, because only then can the two become more than each can be as individuals. The Submissive or slave is his most precious possession and he strives to prove his love, and that he deserves this cherished gift. Much the way they will, every day. The Dominant does not seek to change His submissive into what he wants, but revels in the chance to show them what they can become. He enjoys showing his charge those strengths they already possess, and guides only, helping them to grow into the person they wish to be. Never molding a person into what he wants them to be. He coaxes them into finding their own path. but never stating outright what that path should be. Once found, He will keep a submissive to their task, with a strong but gentle hand. deftly pushing them to become the person He knows they can be.

Is there a profile of the perfect Dominant? I think not -- perfection is something we all strive to obtain, but never reach. It is that very struggle to find perfection that makes a good Dominant. There is no one description of a good Dominant; just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, no viewpoint is wrong, merely different. All that can be said is that a good Dominant should have good qualities, that include strength, ability, confidence, control, tolerance of others even if their views differ from his own. He should cultivate the ability to learn and the presence of mind to know that he can always learn more. He should be loving, encouraging, honorable and chivalrous, he should respect and cherish humanity and show the respect to others that he himself wishes to be shown. The Dominant should be sure of himself, but in that confidence not think that to build himself up he must look down upon others. He should be sure of his ideals, but not so sure that His way is the only path, his truth the only truth. He is confident enough to allow others to follow their own paths without derision, no matter how different, and to see these differences without ridicule. If he witnesses a wrong he seeks to right it, but without pressing the view that his way is the only one, only expressing the danger he sees in another's action or offering his assistance to help guide them out of that danger.He knows the difference between punishment and play, between pain and sensation. He knows the difference between dominance and being a control freak, between S&M and abuse. He never exerts his power in anger, He never brings anger and hostility into a Scene. He does not use this lifestyle to vent his anger, but leaves outside concerns outside, He knows that to control others he must first master himself. He can exercise his art to help his submissive become the person they have always been, deep within their spirit. He takes this gift of submission seriously, knowing that it is not given blindly or lightly. He always remembers how precious the gift is, how rare it is, how beautiful it is. For this person has given him something that cannot be taken, but must be offered freely, the gift of self, the gift of a persons mind, body and soul. the Dominant should cherish that Gift as the rare jewel it is.

The submissive should be firm in the choice of their submission. offering themselves to the Dominant Honestly, freely, of their own choosing. Never indecisive about how much they are willing to let go that day but not the next. a person gives the gift of submission in exchange for love, care, knowledge and protection. But a submissive obeys because they choose to, not because they can be forced to. True submission can never be taken because it never reaches the heart when forced. A submissive comes to the dominant a fully developed adult, but unsure of their role, seeking His guidance, and quick learn what is expected of them. With this learning, and as he opens Himself to his charge, a submissive begins to give more of themselves, opening their soul, their secrets, until all the two can share is learned, building their relationship, sharing their secrets and souls, so they may walk this path together. There is no power lost, no control wrested from another to be used by the dominant, but given willingly, the Dominant giving of himself until an immense measure of trust is built between the two. The submissive must trust their Dominant completely in order to give him so much of themselves, and the Dominant must trust the submissive also in order for him to accept the gift given him.

"Training" (just another word for teaching) is only the process of learning what the Dominant desires. The submissive may learn when to kneel, how to kneel, how to sit to please their Dominant, how to address the Dominant, and so on. the submissive does these things because they wish to, it is the desire to please the Dominant in all ways possible that drives and fuels the Submissives own desires to serve. Even the most "bratty" submissive comes to know just what is expected of them and what their Dominant's limits are. It is said by some that the Dominant holds all of the control, and in some ways he does, Within the bounds of negotiation. This is a consensual relationship. The dominant holds control, but only as far as the Submissive is willing to go. He may push her boundaries for the pleasure of both, but always respects the Submissives limits. The Submissive can walk away at anytime, hard as that may be, if the Dominant loses sight of their needs. to my mind the ultimate "safeword" is good-bye. It is said by some that the submissive has no responsibilities, but a deeper observation shows otherwise. Many of the Submissives responsibilities are so subtle as to be overlooked. a submissive must please their Dominant, must act as He would wish, as their every action reflects on their Dominant. A submissive must uphold the dominants Honor, as well as their own as He must uphold his Submissives honor and protect his charge.

The submissive must have faith and trust in their Dominant, just as he must prove that this trust is well founded. A submissive needs the strength of will to know when their Dominant is acting in the Submissives best interests, and be willing, without embarrassment, to do as he asks, within their limits. Because that is what the Dominant wants and what the submissive wishes; to please him. a submissive should be willing do that which seems difficult and even embarrassing at the time, not follow blindly, but see that what their Dominant asks of a submissive is for the pleasure of them both. At times the Dominant may understand that the submissive can go farther that they thought, and with the use of safewords, he is able to take his submissive there. For the beginning of all relationships it is most important to abide by the perceived limits, it must be taken slowly. If a safeword is used and the Dominant does not heed the Submissives perceived limit, then an important trust is broken. The use of safewords should be stressed in any new relationship so that the trust and understanding are able to grow. With time and understanding, however, the two can reach a point where the Dominant knows how far the submissive can go physically, emotionally, and spiritually and the submissive can come to trust the Dominant's decisions. Even then a Safeword is still an important safety net. It may be dropped in session, but a worthy Dominant still holds the value of using safewords in new and uncharted territory, even in a long standing and trusting relationship. The caring Dominant knows he cannot read minds, even if he knows His submissive extremely well.

The submissive has a wonderful role to live with the right Dominant. They will grow emotionally and spiritually into what the submissive wishes to become, learn to love freely and unconditionally and find the true power deep within themselves. The Dominant also becomes the person he feels within his soul, proud to be able to walk the honorable path of Teacher, Lover, Poet, Warrior, Guide and Protector. Proud of his charge and the pleasure they bring each other. Together the two will embark on a journey that will take them out of the realms and limits of society and into the timeless dimensions of the Universe

© 2002 Master Wolf and Wolfhold