I have a bit of a temper. I’m much better than I used to be, but I think it’s one of those “character traits” that I’ll have to work on my whole life. It took surveying the wreckage of my first marriage to teach me to never open my mouth until I had it under control. Sometimes that meant walking away so I wouldn’t lose my cool.
When Beth approached me about making our relationship D/s, I was worried. My biggest fear was that learning to step up and become dominant would mean I would start taking my temper out on people around me—especially her. I didn’t want that. Happily the first thing I learned about being dominant is that losing my temper is the exact opposite of being dominant. In fact, the secret to being dominant is this:
You must be in control of yourself before you can be in control of anyone or anything else in your life.
The result of being trusted by Beth to assert my dominance over her is that I had to get myself under control in situations where previously I’d have needed to walk away to keep from exploding. But then I noticed something: people around me—people who didn’t even know I was starting to practice D/s—started to heed my advice more as well. They started to follow my lead more often. Without it ever really consciously coming up, they started to respect my dominance.
It goes round and round. The respect makes me trust myself more, which gives me more control over myself, which results in being still more decisive and effective when I choose to assert myself. It’s a “virtuous cycle” that feeds itself and gets stronger the more I push it. But the only part I push is the only part I can push: the control. I don’t need people to obey me to respect myself, I don’t need a fan club to be decisive. In fact, if anything the opposite is true: being in control of myself has allowed me to be around people with totally opposing opinions to mine and be calm enough to not just see, but actually appreciate, their point of view.
Dominance can choose to be loud and shouty, but it never needs to be. It is calm and controlled. All the other bits, the respect, the obedience, the trust, the surrender, the loyalty, the hot sex, the love… all of them come after the control.