It’s Ask Me Anything time again! Today, I’m covering a topic that came up in a chat with one of my friends who also “lives the lifestyle”. Curious what the #AskMeAnything is? Check out the official AMA page on my site over here.
Q: How far is too far in letting your Dom have control?
A: Well, first things first, let me give a little framework to this discussion so you know what inspired this Ask Me Anything. I’m not breaking any confidences, but the basic conversation came up because we both have Doms that like to push our limits, and in a similar fashion most of that power-exchange is reserved for in the home/bedroom. Her Dom suggested that she allow him to take over her diet and exercise habits because she’d been struggling to hold herself to it, and she had asked in the past if they’d like to take some of that power-exchange out of the house/bedroom and into more daily life type things (but had not discussed diet or exercise at that time).
Many of you might be having a similar reaction to what I did imagining your Dom checking in on your daily food and exercise regimen. Kind of a queasy stomach, nervousness. Am I right? (Maybe, maybe not, that’s kind of the point of this AMA!)
Either way, that’s what spawned today’s Ask Me Anything, because whenever you get into a real-life BDSM situation, and it actually means YOU are going to be doing these things (i.e. not just a character in a book who we can make think or feel whatever we want them to) there’s a whole new level of adjustment that has to happen. With every new step in a BDSM/power-exchange relationship, there’s an internal evaluation that has to happen.
It’s that moment where you take a deep breath after the subject is brought up, imagine it in your head, and think to yourself: Am I okay with that?
I know I’ve felt that moment in a lot of situations. The first time I tried to deep throat, the first time I tried anal sex, the first time I tried a-bunch-of-different-things-we-dont-need-to-discuss-in-this-post. And while it feels wonderful and freeing to give up control to your Dom a lot of the time, there are others that it can do the opposite.
So, how much control do you give up?
The short answer? Exactly as much as you are comfortable with.
The long answer? Well, I think the magical and wonderful thing about BDSM relationships is that it’s all about communication and consent. Both of you may have things you would like to do, or are interested in doing, that your partner just isn’t. (Read about limits lists over here) When it comes to power-exchange those lines get drawn, and redrawn, and redrawn again throughout your relationship, and the level of control you give to your Dom over your relationship changes with it. I still remember when I first started seeing my current Dom, I quailed at the idea of making his coffee, and handing it to him across the table, when we were eating in public. It felt like I was putting on a giant neon electric sign that said “HEY! EVERYONE! LOOK AT THE WEIRD FREAKS DOING KINKY SHIT AT TABLE FIVE!”.
The good news? Nobody ever fucking noticed, and if they did, they had no idea what they were really seeing.
The better news? He understood. At first it started with me making his coffee with a crimson blush, unable to even lift my head for fear of the rabble staring, and then carefully and oh-so-casually inching his coffee back across the table towards him. The Dom never commented, never corrected, he always just said, “Good girl” because I was giving up as much control as I could in that moment. I got a ‘good girl’ when I did it that way, and I get a ‘good girl’ now as I take his coffee directly from the waitress, start making it for him while she’s still right there, and then offer it to him above the table with one hand under it, and one hand on the cup to hold it handle first to him.
What we can handle changes… but sometimes it doesn’t.
As submissives (and Doms for that matter) we have to trust our instincts on what we can handle. The coffee thing was awkward, but not horrible. It was the normal anxiousness of trying something new in BDSM. The longer you play in the community, the better you get at judging when that feeling is just nerves, and when it’s “oh fuck no, never, nuh-uh, no way”.
Personally? I’d never give up control over my food or exercise to my Dom. I have too much going on in my life (like camping at the Ren Faire this past weekend, studying for this SPHR certification, deadlines for books, and general family chaos) to guarantee someone that I’ll never make a mistake.
Now, could this help someone else? Someone who absolutely has the time and capability to do it, and they just aren’t? Maybe. If they are into a discipline oriented relationship, or looking for a disciplinarian to help them. But the main thing to remember is that there is NO answer to this question that works for everyone. Everyone has to draw their own lines, and judge if they want to redraw them at a later date.
Wait, how does the redrawing happen?
Oh, come on, you already know the answer to this question. It’s like the second tagline for BDSM below ‘Safe, Sane, Consensual’ … Communicate! Nothing is going to happen in the first place if you don’t talk about it, and nothing changes, nothing new is tried or adjusted, unless you talk about it. Will my friend ultimately decide to let him control her diet/exercise? I don’t know, but I do know that the crucial thing we focused on in our discussion was that she is the only one who knows if it will work for her and her Dom.
And that’s what I want you to remember too, lovelies. Whether you’re the submissive or the Dom, you get to decide on what you want to give up control on or take control of – and you are the only one who knows that list.
PS – I loved this topic, but I am hungry for more! If you have any questions, or ideas, or general things you want me to chat about on Sundays, please submit an Ask Me Anything feedback at the top of the website. I’ll do my best to be interesting!