I have mentioned on a number of occasions how much the “One right way…” concept annoys me. The attitude that there is a one size fits all approach to D/s relationships and the dynamics within them displays a level of ignorance and, indeed, arrogance that needs to be challenged whenever and wherever it is encountered. The idea that you need to do X and Y in order to be a “Dominant” or that “Doms” don’t do A and B is, frankly ridiculous. Dominants and submissives are no less human than anyone else; we are all different, we all have our own needs, desires and tastes and we all express or personalities and the D/s aspects of them in our own ways.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the only right way to do D/s is the way that’s right for you.
There is a perception, perhaps somewhat understandably, that D/s is all about pain and punishment and discipline. Certainly the imagery in porn relating to D/s tends to bear this out but the spanking and thrashing, the rosy glow of a freshly tanned backside are just one aspect of the scene that, in terms of the overall importance of that element within a dynamic, will vary from couple to couple.
Just earlier today, I wrote about how my upbringing came into conflict with this element of D/s interplay. The idea that it can be OK to slap someone for sexual pleasure still does not sit easily with my fundamental belief that a man should never raise his hand to a woman. The fact that it is consensual and part of a dynamic does not necessarily make it easier and it is something that I can struggle with, particularly after the fact.
I am, however, digressing from the point of this post.
For me, in a D/s context, the principle role of the Dominant partner is to provide nurture, support and guidance for the submissive partner. It isn’t a one-way street; much of that also flows in both directions, but the Dominant partner is the one responsible for providing guidance.
Correction and punishment can be part of how this is done; it depends on the dynamic within the relationship. Punishments, where employed, do not have o be physical; verbal chastisement is no less, and often even more effective.
The key in any D/s setting that I have been in is that my role is to guide, to nurture, to provide a safe and protective framework for the submissive to explore their own boundaries. I’ve never been especially comfortable with the DDbg/DDlg dynamic, but I have always found there to be an inherent “parental” aspect to the Dominant’s role; allowing the submissive to grow and develop.
The concept of Dominant as mentor is one that I am particularly comfortable with. It suits me in a way that other dynamics don’t. I’m not a Daddy, I don’t really relate to Master. I lead, I guide and I direct and I am there to support at all times and comfort as required. I may be a “Dominant”, but above all else, I am me.