Peter Masters
(petermasters on FetLife)

Peter Masters
(petermasters on FetLife)

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(Ab)using ignorance

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I've seen some dominants who keep their submissive in the dark as a way to stay in control. Keeping a submissive in the dark, keeping secrets or trying to be mysterious are all ways to disempower a submissive. It might mean that the dominant is in a stronger position relatively, but they've only got there by putting their submissive in a weaker one.

It can be very, very tempting for a dominant to behave this way because one of the questions which regularly faces many dominants is how much do they tell their submissive? In the grand scheme of things it can seem that the dominant must be super confident, have all their moves planned in advance, be extremely knowledgeable or even omniscient, be as empathic as Counselor Troi(*) and be as wise as Buddha's personal guru.

Truth be told, there aren't many dominants like this.

There are however, many dominants who think that as far as their submissive is concerned they shouldn't make mistakes, shouldn't second guess themselves and should always have the answer. Any less feels like it is a sign of weakness and if their submissive noticed this then the dominant's authority would crumble, the relationship would suffer, there would be earthquakes and tidal waves and the end of the world would ensue.

These dominants may see only two solutions to this problem:

  1. Become perfect, or
  2. Appear to be perfect by hiding their imperfections.

It's not a bad thing to be imperfect, to make mistakes or have more to learn. Admitting that you have made a mistake or don't know something is the first step to overcoming it.

It is definitely not a first step if you don't admit your mistake or ignorance and instead try to hide it from your submissive or use some sleight of hand so that they don't see it. Your submissive is your partner. There's probably a very good chance that this partner is intelligent, smart and has some experience of their own in dealing with mistakes and imperfections. They may even know the solution to any situation you manage to get yourself into.

If you don't keep them in the loop then instead of this partnership having two people working on making it a success there's only one: you. You have reduced the potential effectiveness of this partnership by 50% by excluding your partner.

Your submissive is not expecting you to be perfect or to know all the answers. They're there to help and support you, even when you mess up.

More than that, they're not dumb. There's a very good chance they're going to realise what's happening even if you don't tell them. Trying to hide it won't make you appear to be Super Dom but instead will make you look a bit of a dick (even if you're a woman).

Ignorance is never a good tool for a dominant to have in his toybag. Sweeping mistakes or lack of knowledge under the rug isn't a good way to take charge and that is, after all, what we dominants do.

While I don't advocate reeling off great lists of your foibles to your submissive every chance you get, I do suggest not going out of your way to hide them. If the context comes up when it's right to mention things, or when you think it's useful to explain to your submissive what you're doing, don't leave out your own shortcomings if they're a valid part of the story.

Remember: Your submissive is going to be most effective for you when you empower them. Ignorance is not empowerment and deliberately using ignorance is not control.

  • A reference to Star Trek: The Next Generation... which is a TV series from the 90's for you who don't know it.