The topic this time for Tell Me About is control. I really don’t know if I have any more to say on the subject. And yet I probably do. Why? Well because control is the beginning and the end of everything in D/s really. You can’t have a D/s relationship without a power exchange. And a power exchange relies on one person taking control, to a greater or lesser extent, from the other. It therefore also relies on one person giving up control, to a greater or lesser extent, to the other.
But first, control and me
I think that many of my posts where I discuss control focus on my need for it. For me, control makes me feel safe. I crave its presence rather than wanting to be the person who creates it. Really, in order to relax, I need to throw off all the stuff of the past which supports my self-control and let it go so that someone else can take the reigns and show me what I want and need. It frees me, it means that I can explore things which would hold me back otherwise, and yet, without it, I become a little obsessive about retaining some control over myself.
As a person I know that I seek control because I have done so in ways which are not healthy when I have been under pressure. This has manifested itself in different ways for me from controlling my eating, to obsessive exercising, to micromanaging my life and the lives of those around about me. Recently I have responded to a sense of feeling a little out of control through baking. Baking sounds normal enough, but when every weekend is taken up with the production of more and more cake for those around about me, I have to wonder whether or not everything is actually ok.
For me, as for many, taking control is a coping mechanism. It is exacerbated when all is not well; this can be to do with stress, or emotion, or pressure, but I will respond in the same way, by creating a situation for myself which I can manage. It screams out the message that I feel that I am not managing really, and anyone who knows me well can probably see it, although because I see it myself, I will share that fact with those who matter. I did tell HL after the sixth week of cake that I thought there was an issue, for example. The behaviours are obsessive and therefore, not too difficult to spot.
Back to control and D/s
The flip side is that if there is enough control in my life, then I don’t need to do the weird stuff. Not that there is anything that weird about what I do, but it isn’t healthy when it is being done for the wrong reasons. This is one of the big reasons why a Dominant and submissive lifestyle works for me. The more D/s we are, the less control I exert over myself and the more I am able to give up control to HL. It is a simple equation: it is balanced and equitable. The more he takes, the more I give. Likewise, if he is not there, being in control himself, I slip back into the old behaviours, seeking my safety in other ways.
For me, control is both the key, and the barrier, to my submission. Behaviour which is very dominant usually smacks of high levels of control, and I respond by submitting to that. Conversely, my holding tightly onto control means that I am not easy to dominate. HL has to be on the ball all the time. I am not a dominant person and therefore, my control can look quite passive. It is made up of ‘I need to’ and ‘I have to’. I choose to set standards which I then have to meet, essentially domming myself, or at least allowing these other commitments to dom me.
This means that although the opportunities and options are plenty, there is not an actual gap. That gap has to be made or taken, for want of a better word. I won’t give up easily, not because I am stubborn or proud, but because I don’t want to be let down. I need to know that it will work, that it will be strong enough and good enough. It is about the trust, and that is something that grows based on experience so, the more, the more, and the less, the less. This can be a tricky thing to manage, and it is one of the reasons that we aren’t always growing in the ways that we want to.
Control in the bedroom
I am naturally sexually submissive, so I don’t do any of the taking control in the bedroom. It is an empty page on which HL can write his story. I don’t push back, there are plenty of gaps, and yet it seems less straightforward than that. This is because it is not just about allowing someone else to take control. It is also about letting go. It is about giving up control of myself. Letting him direct the play and use me as he wishes works on one level, but there is something else that runs deeper than that.
It is the giving up of myself, of the person I want to be on the outside and the exploration of who I am deep down on the inside that is at the heart of this letting go. If my head is not in the right place, then my body wont respond in the same way. The two are so intrinsically connected that they are hard to separate, but for me, D/s is about my brain. It is about that little part that remains in control of my thoughts and responses and when I am able to surrender that to HL, that is when real submission occurs. I would do anything, and be anything.
When I am his, and I mean my mind really, although my body follows suit, it feels like nothing else. Somehow nothing else matters, all the things that usually hold me back are cast aside, and I am free to delve deep into the unexplored parts of me. That is exciting and thrilling and dark and intriguing. It drives me forward, deeper into wherever I am going and I feel that I never want to stop. The freedom that comes from casting off the self-imposed chains that usually hold me down feels huge and never-ending. And at the centre is HL, who I have to hold on to as the person who is orchestrating it all and keeping me safe.
I cling to him and need him in all ways. He becomes all that I want and all that I am and it feels really good. He seems to see all of me, the good and the bad, and he welcomes and accepts it so that all of the other stuff pales and fades. But although this is what the physical control can bring in the bedroom, without the emotional control present in the lifestyle, the environment won’t be right. We will get partly there, but the complete letting go will not occur. I will hold something back, not intentionally, but it will happen none-the-less.
All about the balance
I don’t think that we all need the same thing, or even that we all need the same thing all of the time. As far as control goes, it is all about the balance. For things to work as well as they can in terms of the power exchange, HL needs to take the amount of control I need him to take. I can manage up to a point, but when the scales tip and there is surplus, that is where I need him to step in. It is a difficult equation, often shifting and adjusting based on outside circumstances, and this can be problematic.
Ultimately, the communication is vital, but a lot will be gleaned through observation. The little things that tell you something is up, or that something is wrong. As with many things, it is the changes that speak to you and alert you to a adjustment in the level of need. I think that is how a lifestyle dynamic works, so without the closeness and the connection, things won’t be as effective. Being finely attuned to each other, and the quirks and signs, is vital in being able to respond to them and either stepping up or stepping back.
When the balance is right, I feel that I can be the best version of myself that I am able to be. I am able to shine, and HL is able to enjoy the light and take pride in the part he has played in it. We become our best as a couple. It brings us together as it has been created together, and this is true whether it is shown privately in the bedroom, or more publicly in other areas of our lives. The right balance of control connects us and binds us and keeps us working well together. For us, control is the beginning and the end of everything in D/s.
To see who else is writing about control click the button above, or to read more of my Tell Me About posts, click here
If you would like to know more about control and how it works for us then you might be interested in the following posts:
All about Control
Letting go of Control