There are many roles a dominant man may fill in a hierarchical relationship. Some common examples are: Daddy, Caregiver, Dom and Master. Sometimes, however, the differences in the roles of Dom and Master are not well understood.
A Dom directs one or more subs. This is a limited power exchange where the sub obeys her Dom, but has defined limits and the ability to use a safe word at any time as a way to stop any action by her Dom. This is typically only done if the Dom is pushing her past her pain threshold or if she feels unsafe or that her limits are not being respected.
A Master owns one or more slaves. This is a total power exchange where the slave has no safe word, no limits. She places complete trust in her Master and obeys him without hesitation.
Both a Master and a Dom have a considerable amount of control over their women. The relationships will in fact look very similar in most situations. However the mental state of a sub and a slave is quite different. The sub still maintains a sense of self. She expresses her own thoughts and needs. The slave’s identity revolves around being the property of her Master. Her only need is to please him.
The level of responsibility for a Master is much greater than that of a Dom. He has absolute control over his slave. He makes every decision. This is not about being abusive however. It’s about His satisfaction in having that level of control, and her satisfaction for relinquishing all responsibility except for obedience.
A Dom is not less than a Master. It’s simply a different role. For example, in a poly relationship, a man can have both a sub and a slave, so he can simultaneously be in the role of Master and Dom.
The sociopolitical atmosphere today is complex: the promotion of new gender identities is trendy, while “cis” is a term often used disparagingly toward those whose gender identity matches their biological sex. Even though the Dom/sub lifestyle roles are not necessarily exclusive to cis-genders, they are still closely associated with them by many.
The dominant lifestyle is further marked by the abundance of people who openly identify as “dominant” but are really nothing more than assholes. Dominance isn’t about ordering a woman around or making sexual demands. A slave may be considered property, but she is also more valuable than any inanimate object. She is worth more than your car, your home, your entire material wealth. Any man who feels otherwise is not ready to own her.
Being Dominant or submissive is an expression of who we are. It’s not a role we play on weekends for a little variety. It is our sexual nature. Being a Dominant permeates your entire life. At work, I deal with computers and those that have to use them. I approach every situation with confidence. When a person is stressed or feels overwhelmed with a technology issue, I bring them assurance, stability and comfort in knowing that I have the problem under control and will resolve it. Being Dominant isn’t a sexual only disposition. It is how I interact with the world.
The submissive desires to please. She typically seeks out employment where she is able to heal and nurture or provide valued service. Making others happy by doing for them is her sole focus. The submissive’s identity is her ability to satisfy and provide comfort. I know that many women also choose a submissive home life do so because they are dominant in their career, have many responsibilities, or just have to make important decisions all day. Some enjoy the balance they find. This by far, in my experience, accounts for the majority of women seeking a Dom. Both the part-time submissive and the full-time by nature submissive share the desire to be controlled.
In the political culture of the U.S. today, many people promote their sexual identity in public and at their work. If you are biologically a male, but identify as a woman, you can wear makeup, dress in whatever clothing you feel comfortable with and demand to use the bathroom of your choosing. People participate in marches for the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) community, being passionately proud of their sexual identity.
And they should. Humans are sexual beings. Our American society is literally based on the freedom of expression. In fact, our country is one of the few places on the planet where your sexual expression is a legally protected right.
However, if you identify as a white, CIS-Male who is dominant, that is frowned upon. Many members of the community that has demanded their identities be finally accepted by society also look at the Dom CIS-male as unacceptable. On more than one occasion I have been told, “check your privilege.” It was amusing. I would smile, nod and tell them I’d get right on it. Seeing their aggression was met so nonchalantly would even further trigger some. If appeared as if those who felt that I was not sufficiently intimidated or even, at the least, offended by their statement wanted to escalate the encounter. But I’m very much a “to each their own” type of person when it comes to the beliefs of others. Think and believe however you want. If you can’t offer me the same tolerance, that’s still on you and has nothing to do with me.
Consent. This is not as simple as her saying, “yes.” True consent means she has both a clear knowledge of what she is agreeing to as well as a desire for you to give her that experience. Before you scene with anyone, you must know what methods you intend to employ and what her comfort level is with them. For example, just because a woman enjoys bare handed spanking, it doesn’t automatically mean she is comfortable with a flogger or a crop. Some women enjoy knife play, many do not. Also, just because you are aware that she has been bound and flogged before, doesn’t mean she is comfortable receiving this from you. If you going to scene with a person for the first time, it is your absolute responsibility to discover all of these things and make sure she knows and consents to all possible tools you will employ.