November/December 2002
Ascolta! *
by MsTurandot




Poor Form to Self-Mastery

I spent time trying to write this article from a Domme point of view. What I found after much soul searching is that the issues I find of greatest importance to address come from a human point of view not necessarily of a Domme. I feel that when we overcome our frailties as humans we find ourselves in a better position to work on the issues specific to our Dominant nature or Dominant Role. I also find that the thoughts I have most often, transcend any specific nature or role.

Over the course of my travels in this lifestyle, I have met a great many people. Not nearly as many as I’d like to meet but most of these people share a common thread and are very sincere about learning and working on the BDSM path that suits them. I have also on occasion met the few that seem more intent on making a name for themselves at the cost of others. These latter persons are the ones I wish to address. They spend a great deal of time demeaning others, both in public and in private, in order to feel more self important or stronger than they really are. They also set an example to their subs and slaves, that talking behind another’s back is OK and that demeaning a person to the core is good for their own benefits. This behavior goes on in Chat rooms, Discussion lists, Groups, Parties, Munches, semi private affairs and even behind closed doors with their significant other and sooner or later filters out to the masses. It certainly isn’t constructive discussion. Whether the intent is malicious or not, it is meant at tearing apart someone else, mainly due to the fact that these people pose some type of threat or perceived threat to these individuals.

I don’t recall near as much of this phenomenon as I started my own BDSM journey. Yes there were a few naysayers and ‘backbiters’. Years ago I learned to steer clear of them rather quickly. But as a co-founder of a BDSM support group a while back, I found myself in a new place. You can’t just simply remove yourself from the situation as easily as you once could. You can however, set the example for the new comers and be very direct in telling them that their behavior is not appropriate. Then teach them what is appropriate and give them alternatives to their errs. Too oft I see many just casting an uneducated new comer aside, after they’ve made some error, expecting them to know all without spending the time to educate them. These people are then outcasts while the reasons are spread as rumors about their transgression and sometimes without so much as the offenders even knowing what they’ve done. I’d say this is very poor form especially from a more experienced Lifestyler.

The majority of the time, this behavior is perpetuated by the people who are still wet behind the ears. They’re still in what I call “the competition mode”. I’m a better Domme because I demand high protocol or I’m better because I’m a slave and not a submissive. They don’t yet understand that there is no ‘BETTER THAN YOU’. They’re generally the ones that are saying things like …” I just don’t get switching so switches aren’t real” or “You’re nothing more than a wannabe.” Well you know what? You don’t have to ‘get’ switching, but I would encourage your acceptance of it. Also, it’s those ‘wannabes’ that someday may make the great Dominants/Tops or the most wonderful subs/slaves and Bottoms. I wouldn’t be discounting people so fast and throwing them off your personal list so easily. You may be tossing out your future Mistress. It always amazes me that we can tout acceptance to the transgendered or the M/s or the gay and lesbian communities, but we cannot tolerate a Domme/Dom that ‘appears’ weak. We call them ‘wannabes’ or ‘a sub in Dominant’s clothing’. Give me a break! Can’t we see past our need to puff ourselves up and see that they may be no less Dominant, but possibly need more tools of the trade? Are people so intent on tearing down another Dominant because they are perceived in your mind as competition?

A line from the movie, Down Periscope (isn’t it amazing where we come up with our quotes J) goes something like this… “You’re career is in the hands of those very assholes!” This line made me think about my time, not only with my boys, but the time I spend with people that attend our group functions. We make time for each and every one of them if they wish. We give them choices as to what path they may take, whether that’s the path of a Top, bottom, D/s or M/s relationship, Daddy/boy, Mommy/boi etc. You can’t expect behaviors and protocols from people if you haven’t taught them what they are. You also can’t assume that just because you teach your boys a high protocol that every Domme does as well. If I walked into a play party situation…I feel it is MY responsibility to explain my protocol to others in the room and I would expect my sub or slave to do the same if the need arises. I don’t get upset if a less experienced Domme makes a mistake or two (Obviously the people not learning from their mistakes are in a different category than what I’m referring to). Even in our own household the protocols that my Dominant husband expects are far less rigid than my own. He likes it that way. I don’t. We don’t sugar coat it when letting people know how our home functions and to some on the outside they probably scratch their heads in wonderment and say something akin to … What the hell? I say GOOD! Let’s shake them up! Let’s give them something besides the ‘norm’ (whatever that is) to think about.

I watch people at parties, at meetings and I watch what people say on lists. Maybe it’s just me but I feel that the Dominant that feels they have to put on a front or don the hard Dominant persona are doing the new comer an injustice. The sub/slave comes to think that Dominance is only about that rough, cold, bitch like, uncaring exterior or that a good Dominant is one that knows how hard they can whip a sub. When a sub starts broadening their horizons, coming away from that hard image and starts looking for their 24/7 relationships, they are generally stuck in that mindset and can’t see the forest for the trees. They see compassion from a Dominant as weakness, or a quiet Dominant on the sideline as a wannabe. They will completely overlook the best of the best in favor of the loud, arrogant, or perceived sadist. This type of sub is just waiting for the abuser in my mind. They are looking for a “bitch Domme” to make them look like the “best slave” they know themselves to be. Or I’ve seen those who just want to be “taken”. Predators eat this up. They use this persona to bait would be slaves to their lair and then convince them that they have to take it in order to be their best slave.

There is plenty of time for the cruel bitch in a scene but can you imagine living with this on a regular basis? Ladies…if your sole purpose is to degrade or humiliate your male at his expense or your purpose is to constantly beat the snot out of him when he derives no pleasure from it, I would say you need to reevaluate your reasons for being a Domme. Can we say Man hater? Quite frankly I’d be surprised if you can keep a slave very long if those are your motivations. But abuse can produce a staying effect in a slave that, in turn, makes it very hard to break and leave the situation. Obviously I am not talking about the males who enjoy humiliation or love to get the longest hardest beating they can take. All the lack of power to them!

On the flip side I think it’s necessary for the males to get out of this fantasy mindset that think we’re going to spend all our time hovering over our slaves on a constant basis. Watching every move and screaming at them or punishing them every time something’s amiss. Very few Dominant's have the time or the drive to do this. If you want that, go find a possessive control freak cause you’re sure not looking for a sexual Dominant in my opinion!

A Dominant is one that spends a great deal of their time working on their own issues as well as that of their subs or slaves. As you spend time working on your faults, and yes we all have them to spite the perfect fantasy Dominant image, you learn a great deal about others and start to realize that walking a mile in someone else’s shoes just might make the difference in how you perceive others. I call this part of the Dominant journey “Self Mastery”. Of course I also call the journey made as a submissive or slave “Self Mastery” as well.

Be well and play safe!
Looking in her own mirror


October 2002
This material may not be copied in any manner.
For permission to reproduce this essay, contact

* Italian for Listen!