This has been a running thread and interest of mine for a while. I’m still not sure I can justify putting it into words but it’s worth an effort. Power. Power is the core of a D/s dynamic. It goes by many other names: control, dominance, ownership. Power is an elusive creature. It is something that can’t be taken, only freely given. If power is attempted to be taken by force, it’s not truly power. It is manipulation, capture. It is based on fear. Power cannot be based on fear. I think that the misconception is that power is just brute strength or force; it’s not. Just because a Dominant can put hands around a throat or threaten physical (or other) punishment for disobedience doesn’t mean he has power; he is using force for compliance. It’s a sign of weakness. Force is based on fear; true power, true leadership is built upon creating a space where the other does not want to respond out of fear, but out of love, devotion, dedication.
I also think that there is a transition that occurs… a time when function of behaviors is fear. I didn’t want to upset a D-type lest they leave me, abandon me, hurt me, take something I’ve shared and use it against me. I don’t want to disobey because I’m afraid of being punished. Over time, however, as safety and security settled in I shift out of fear and into devotion. I don’t obey because I’m afraid of getting caught or punished; I obey because I care about you. I am not on my knees because it is a reminder of my place in the power dynamic; I am on my knees because there is no other place my body could even possibly be. I’m grateful. I’m in awe. You can never force someone on their knees; the body can assume many positions but the soul will never comply.
If you think about those in power who are able to maintain it, they do so from a position of respect and authority. If their power is challenged, they do not become defensive. They often become curious. You rarely, if ever, hear a raised voice. And if it does occur, it’s in response to a tremendous transgression and a way of shifting back focus. They treat every matter and ever person with an equal amount of attention. They follow through on what they say they will do. They are truthful and honest. They will do what needs to get done, even if painful or challenging. They will risk being unliked for a greater truth. They know their own limits. They listen. They try to understand. Their presence elicits feelings of acceptance. They don’t throw out accusations, belittle, or argue. They state their truth and stand firmly in it. They are willing to change their perspective if necessary. They are human. They make mistakes. They admit their mistakes. They are a lighthouse in a terrible storm. With these individuals, it’s never a conscious effort to give up power (or submit) to them, it happens reflexively, automatically. It’s as if there was no other choice knowing there are an infinite amount of choices and nothing else would feel right.
The thing about power is that it never has to be acted out to be truly present. There are many displays of power from kneeling to collars, marking and branding, rituals, holding down limbs, gagging, dictates. These are all meaningless if true power exists. True Dominance and submission don’t require any of these things. I don’t need a prompt to remind me of who I am or who I am devoted to. They have been woven into my being. I like the prompt as a reminder but my thoughts are constantly going back to them. And when their name comes up, a gentle soothing runs over my being. This, this is true power. It is simultaneously freely chosen and given and under complete dominion. The desire to act in a way that brings the other joy creates a depth of submission that fear never would be able to. True power or true Dominance aren’t scary, they shouldn’t illicit fear, avoidance, or silence. It will open up authenticity, vulnerability, and openness. True power is subtle and gentle. It is a whisper, a single soft touch. True power means a single word or glance can move mountains effortlessly.
And submission? Submission becomes the only way the soul knows how to respond.