This was quoted in a Tumblr gathered by my puppy bear and I found it spot on. After a bit of looking I found the original here if you wish to follow.
Dominant Traits – Submission is Earned Not Ordered
In my seemingly endless quest to identify and describe the essence of Dominance and submission I have often found it easier to describe what it is not versus what it is. My writing it turns out has been less an act of description and more an effort to identify boundaries, framing D/s into something coherent and tangible. So once again I am going to begin with the contrast of what Dominance is not, and in so doing hopefully allude to what it is.
The greatest misconception I see from aspiring and wannabe Doms is that Dominance is about asserting active control and giving orders to satisfy one’s own desires. There is no doubt that the carrying out of commands can be a manifestation and indeed a fringe benefit of being a Dominant, but the selfish motivation is all wrong. Hubris, hedonism and narcissism are not the bedrock on which Dominance is built. Indeed, they are the enemy and even antithesis of successful dominance.
A submissive does not initially kneel because she has been ordered to. A submissive kneels because a Dominant has entered her world who recognized her deep seated need to kneel before another and serve them completely. But she does not kneel simply because she is in the company of one claiming to be a Dominant. Rather, she does so because someone has finally proven themselves worthy of her gifts and has successfully unlocked her desire to grant them without reservation.
The Dominant does not accomplish this through orders but rather through patient questioning and attentive active listening. The Dominant does not order a submissive to her knees to serve him but rather creates an environment of trust, desire and anticipation within which the submissive falls to her knees in devoted service of her own volition. Despite the pornographic BDSM imagery of force and even brutality and humiliation between a Dominant and submissive, long before there is kink and physical power exchange there is generally a full and complete emotional exchange of power. This is not done through bludgeoning or brutality but rather through patient and loving drawing out of desire. It is coaxing not command.
When my Muse first knelt for me I did not order her to her knees, she asked permission to do so. My job as Dominant was not to command but rather to enable. She reached the decision that I was the one she wanted to kneel before on her own. I simply created the environment where she felt comfortable, safe and desirous of doing so and I have the duty to continually and unfailingly nurture that environment for as long as our relationship continues. It is work. It is hard work.
A Dominant doesn’t get to enjoy this level of devotion and service by sitting back imperiously giving orders. They do so by continually and actively investing in the betterment of the relationship and the people within it. That means not only continually working to draw out the best in a submissive, but also continually seeking to be a better and more worthy Dominant. It is an active pursuit that takes hard work and unflinching dedication.
It is true that as a Dominant I get to give orders and often benefit directly from their being carried out; it is indeed good to be in command. But while I may be in command today, I have to continually earn the position, and could lose it in a heartbeat through misdeed or neglect. It is a revokable honor. But I did not gain the status of command by giving orders. I can give orders because the position of command has been granted me by a submissive. This is a distinction that seems to be lost on many.
Menacingly snarling out orders like “On your knees slut” does not make anyone a Dominant, but being a Dominant earns the ability to give such orders. Before any of that, the respect and desire of a submissive must be earned and that is an act of drawing out, not commanding. Only after submission is truly earned and freely given can a Dominant presume to have the right and ability to give orders. And even at that, obedience is only obtained when there is will and desire to do so. It is the job of the dominant to foster that desire.
I would argue that the title of Dominant or Master is NOT something one confers upon oneself as I so often see here on Tumblr and elsewhere. It is an identity and honorific that is earned from and bestowed by a submissive. I may believe myself to have a dominant personality, but I am not a “Dominant” or “Master” until a submissive identifies me as hers and we agree to that relationship. Anything less is mere posturing and bluster.
So the bottom line is that submission is earned not ordered. Dominance is a gentle act of drawing out not commanding; indeed it is a high form of seduction versus brutality. And while Dominants have egos, the act of dominance is not an ego-driven domineering state. It is perhaps most surprisingly an act of vulnerability and love.
© For The Love of a Submissive, 2013