Due to some unforeseen personal events, Illiana is taking a break from writing this week. Don’t worry, She will be back with her take on 30 Days of D/s next week. In the meantime, our dear friend, Sinistar,  has been gracious enough to guest post with what Dominance means to Him.

Much is made of the paradox inherent in a submissive’s service — how submitting evidences strength and the choice to submit gives the sub a degree of power and control — but few seem to realize there is just as much of a paradox on the Dominant side as well. The thought occurred to me recently when I was talking to a friend and writing partner who happens to be a submissive. She thanked me for something, and I ran through the usual mental checklist of responses: you’re welcome, no problem, of course, my pleasure, don’t mention it, etc. What popped loose, however, was variation of a line used by the Shienarans in the epic Wheel of Time series: “Heart and honor to serve.”




In the animated movie Hercules (1997), Phil admonishes a young Herc that being a hero is “like painting a masterpiece; it’s a work of heart.” The role of Dominant is no different — or at least should be. I realize there are far too many “Dims” and“Dumbinants” out there who see D/s as nothing more than a path to their own gratification with no concern for anything or anyone else, but they are not my concern for the moment. I am concerned with those of us who take this seriously and seek to aid and benefit our submissives. Dominance and the control exerted over another is an act of caring that comes from the heart.
I should note that this does not mean that being a Dom is one hundred percent selfless. Of course we have our own needs and desires that are met in a dynamic. But the utmost concern is that little s on the other side of the slash. From the most gentle, loving Mommy or Daddy to the most sadistic Master or Mistress, we care for the submissive. We act from the heart. Does that mean that it is always love? By no means. What it looks like varies by dynamic and occasion, but the heart should hold as a true constant in everything we do. Perhaps the most obvious case is aftercare. I have seen submissives fall to pieces and take a long time to recover because of its lack. Whether it is post-scene or post-punishment, the Dom is there to care for the sub and make sure that s/he has what is needed to come down and level out.
That being said, punishment itself should be as much from the heart as any other aspect of the dynamic. Rules should not be arbitrary; they exist for the sub’s benefit. They are there as a sort of fence to provide boundaries, limits for the submissive that define a space. Few things make a submissive feel safer and more cared for than knowing the rules are there. And few things turn a sub into an insecure, chaotic mess faster than finding that those rules are not enforced. Mine told me recently that consequences often punish the Dom as much or more than the sub. Meting out punishment is certainly never pleasant, but consequences for violating those boundaries are necessary. But punishment must come from the heart, not from anger. It is not capricious or random. It is a caring, even loving gesture that corrects and cradles at the same time.
Some Dominants are cuddly and want to hug and kiss all the time. Some seem detached or distant. My own mentor is like this in some ways, but he remains the finest Dom I have ever seen, and he cares about his subs as much as anyone. He pours everything into helping the submissives that he works with — and he gets the toughest cases you can imagine. Sexual assault, abuse, drug addiction, women who by all rights should not be able to function in society. And he uses what he has gained through forty-plus years of D/s to help them become not only functional but spectacular. Legal experts. Sought-after translators. He wants each of his “Ladies” to be the best she can be. Because he works from the heart.



“…and honor…”

Being fairly new to the lifestyle, I am still in awe of the fact that anyone would want to submit to my control. I am all to aware that I have been given something precious that has to be handled with care. I sometimes worry that I might take it for granted and start getting too puffed up for my own good, which can be a natural part of gaining experience and confidence in any endeavor. More mature Doms like my mentor give me hope that is not necessarily the case, though. Because being given someone’s submission should never be taken lightly. Sure, power exchange is arousing and a bit of a rush, but above all, it is an honor to Dominate someone.
When I first collared the one I call mine, we had discussed the possibility for a few days but she said that she was going to leave the decision to move forward to me. I decided to pull the trigger a few days later. I chose her. But, as I came to realize, she also chose me. And seeing as I was a green Dom with barely a clue, she had every reason not to. Experienced submissives have generally had more than their share of problems and heartaches with Dominants who know what they are doing. The potential for catastrophe with someone just out of the gate is exponentially higher. And yet, she chose me. An honor indeed.
It is important to keep in mind that Uncle Ben is absolutely right. We can do great harm or great good with the power that is handed to us. A Dominant can help someone overcome fears and problems, or monkey with his/her head to the point of mental breakdown. When a submissive hands a Dominant control, that comes with at least a piece of the heart as well. The trust expressed in someone saying “I will do this because you asked it” should spark a note of awe and humility. Submissives honor us with their submission, and it is an honor to be allowed to Dominate.



“..to serve”

Mufasa tells Simba in the 1994 Disney film The Lion King that “there’s more to being king than getting your way all the time.” Simba, understandably excited, exclaims, “There’s more?” His eagerness to be in charge and have everything his way is reminiscent of a new Dom(me) champing at the bit to show those submissives who is boss. D-types more than like control. We need it; it is part of who we are. However, too many coming to the big D (not Dallas) side see that as the sum total of being Dominant. However, as Mufasa says, there is more to it. Done properly, Dominance is also service.
We serve the submissive’s best interests. My mentor likes to say that a Dom gives the sub what she needs, not necessarily what she wants. The two may overlap, but they frequently do not. A compulsive shopper may want to purchase that new thing he or she just saw in the store; what is truly needed is to not buy it. A man who has been mugged and beaten may want to stay holed up at home forever; what he needs is to get outside, even if it is a little bit at a time. A woman in an abusive relationship may want to remain there; what she needs is to leave. The Dom pushes and nudges and guides the submissive where s/he needs to go. Not because it is simply what the Dominant wants, but because the control is used in a caring fashion as a service for the sub’s betterment.
A Dom should strive to ensure that the dynamic betters the sub’s situation, not worsens it. Of course, we are human. Mistakes happen. Personalities get in the way. Emotions run wild. But a Dominant must maintain a center. A lever is useless without a firm place to stand. The best way to maintain that center, to ensure the better outcomes, is to remember exactly what we have been given by the ones who have entrusted something precious to us. It truly is an honor to be allowed to serve through control. Let none of us ever forget that, and may we always do so from the heart.

Until next time, remember: This is your life; live it your way!



Sinistar is a “White Knight” Dominant still new to the lifestyle and learning things about himself. He is a nerd/geek/dork and professional educator who enjoys pop culture, particularly animation and TV shows, movies, and books that fall in the speculative fiction arena (horror/sci-fi/fantasy). He is stuck in the ’80s on a lot of things, but He does have some awareness of what’s going on today. He can be found on fetlife.com as KnightWhoSaysNi_

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