Doms In Control

8 Dec

Before i say anything else, i want to thank Jz for starting the Great Cookie Exchange.  This year was even better than last year.  i had a blast last night running around looking at everyone’s recipes.


i had time to do that last night, instead of being tied, spanked, and well-used, because Sir X was sick.  As in “running a slight fever and feeling grumpy and miserable” sick.

So like any good Dom, He postponed our time together so He didn’t get me sick too.  


However, it gave me time to look at cookies, and to read Sir J’s post on Dom’s being in control.  He talks eloquently about this, and i’ll let you read that for yourself.

It has probably  been the most important first quality i’ve looked for in a Dom.  First quality because without that, we have no ground to build on.  

Doms like Sir J have been important to me in my search for “my Dom” because they’ve helped me hold on to that ideal.  To not settle for less.

But i got to thinking last night, what about subs?  Is self-control an important quality for us too?  Or not so much?

i can’t speak for anyone else.  My sense is that in some dynamics, the Dom or Master seems to do some of that controlling for the sub.  That the sub looks to her Dom to help her keep her emotions in check.

i have a lot of self-control.  i don’t typically need anyone to help me be in control of myself.  But TTWD, by their nature, are designed to shake that control, to strip me open and expose the vulnerability beneath the control.  

Marcia Linehan, who is my therapeutic guru, talks about states of mind ~ there are three states of mind. Emotional mind, Rational mind, and ~ when those two states of mind talk to each other ~ you get “Wise mind.”

i won’t do the lecture that goes with the topic, but ~

It’s important to recognize that all three states of mind are valuable and necessary.  My tendency would be to live in rational mind, so i need to work at staying more connected with emotional mind, not confusing rational mind with wise mind.

Case in point ~ in the last vanilla relationship  i had, we went an entire year without sex.  Of any kind.  We didn’t even cuddle.  We hugged sometimes.  Chastely.  That was it.

Emotionally, that was super painful for me.  But i managed to put that on hold and decide ~ quite rationally, with long lists of good reasons ~ to keep working on the relationship.  Without even fully expressing my hurt and anger to him.

Um, until i found out he was having sex with a little 30 year old tootsie, which unleashed my emotional mind, allowed me to get in touch with wise mind, and kick him to the curb.

{My apologies to the 30 year old, she was probably a lovely person, ok?  She just seemed like a tootsie to me, since she was 15 years younger than me, and 30 years younger than him.}

In contrast, here’s how it worked for Sir X and me recently.

i woke up one morning with this idea ~ this mental image, even ~ of inviting him to come do something with me.

i might have known that i was walking into some emotional territory because i was nervous about it, excited and unsure at the same time.  i spent some time convincing myself that it didn’t matter whether he said yes or not.  

And it was not a big deal thing.  It was a spur of the moment invitation.  Not a lot of notice.  And it wasn’t a big deal.

Ok, i invited him over for cookies the night i was supposed to be baking them.  And invited him to bring his buddy, who i haven’t met yet.

And i “put my hands in front of my face to catch myself when i fell” by saying ~ “i know you’re going to say ‘no.'”

Which he did, in a very nice way.

And i was ~~~

     ~~~ DEVASTATED.  

Crushed way beyond any reasonable response.

Totally lost in emotional mind.   Crushed.

Beyond disappointed.  Ashamed.  i felt ashamed for asking, and ashamed for being rejected.

Believe me, i was drowning in an ocean of feeling.  Huge waves.

My first instinct was to shut down, back away, drag myself to shore, and convince myself that it really didn’t matter.   Then i could start backing away from Him, so it didn’t happen again.

My second instinct was to lash out at Him.  To be angry with Him and blame Him.  That would have been easier, and hurt less, than what i was feeling.

i managed to do neither.  

i sent Him a message that expressed my hurt and shame.  

i acknowledged that it was an irrational, unreasonable reaction.  

i commented on my need to say what i was feeling, and noted that i felt better for having done it.

Then i tried to let go of it.  i did feel better for saying it.  i tried not to anticipate His response.

Pretty quickly, there was the “ding” of new messages, and there He was, which was nice.

His response was, really, just about perfect.  i felt understood.  i felt like He’d been able to handle my feelings without being overwhelmed by them, without getting defensive, without apologizing or taking responsibility for how i felt.  

And i felt reassured that there was nothing to feel bad about.  That it was not some lack in me at fault here.  

He ended on a slightly humorous note, but one that left no doubt i could bring this kind of thing to Him and He could handle it.

It was an ideal response, and just what i needed.  

i know that when i’m drowning in an ocean of intense feeling about not-much, we’ve tapped into a childhood pool of hurt.  i know this.

Being able to work it through, as Sir and i did, is healing.  This is, for me, one way the therapeutic aspect of BDSM surfaces.

And it seems like i’ve strayed from my initial point about subs and self-control, but maybe not.   My self-control allows me to send him a thought-out response, rather than a rant.  A response that owns my own part in the emotional river.

Either way ~ if i had unleashed my initial rage, or when i expressed my profound hurt more calmly ~ either way, He has to be in control of His own internal response.  Sometimes, that may be easy for Him.

And sometimes, it will tap into His own emotional waters.  

When we’re both half-drowning ~ that’s when we’ll need all of the self-control we each have to navigate through the rapids without too much injury.

16 Responses to “Doms In Control”

  1. Striving for Peace December 8, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    That is the risk of what we do — it makes us so vulnerable — which is the point right — they want that vulnerability

    but the flip side of that — is it MAKES US SO VULNERABLE

    good for you for reaching out to him.


    BTW — this made me write about codependence — which since I’m writing ahead will come out Sundayish.


    • aisha December 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm #


      Yes, exactly!! Our vulnerability is at the heart of it ~ so is theirs too?

      I don’t know. Hmmm, more stuff to ponder.

      i’ll look forward to your post Sundayish…



  2. vanillamom December 8, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Wow…this is deep, and i’m not sure my head is in a good place to respond other than sending a hug.

    and hell, it’s hard for me to know exactly where you’re coming from coz i’m not a therapist…i can see how you would be crushed when he says ‘no’..because .i’ve been there, in those shoes.

    …but i know it was my response to it that i had control over, as Sir J spoke to in the link…

    about a year ago, when i’d not yet been collared, not yet had the transformation in my relationship with Master…….i had hoped to have a meet with Him. It would have been brief, yet still, i made myself available, all the while knowing that it was possible.. that He couldn’t make it….it was very last minute…but i was so needy for Him…

    hell in total honesty? it was supremely unlikely that he *would* be available…..and when He called and confirmed that he wouldn’t be able to meet me; when he didn’t “seize the opportunity” i went away depressed and devastated.

    i was sure i was unimportant to him. i created “tapes” in my head of Him not wanting me, not needing me…before i realized that i was creating negative fantasy out of… nothing.

    and i got over it. . . i made myself “snap out of it” so to speak.

    i didn’t tell him about it, ever, because i figured it was my issue…so we-you and i- are approaching this from very different places, i think.

    and maybe it is just part of the growing process, how ever it evolves for you both, to learn each other and your responses to things….as you work towards a deeper understanding, growing ever more entwined with each other.

    kinda like grafted trees….putting two disparate beings in the same place, with almost the same needs…but not quite…yet learning to make it work so you grow and flourish.

    okay, done with metaphors, stories, and blog-post comments….*laughing*



    • aisha December 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

      Dear ‘Nilla,

      good grief, woman, you’ve got a lot of thoughts here!! Thank you for this comment!

      i can’t respond here and now – there’s too damn much to think about. Whether or not the situations were actually similar, the differences in our responses, why that was…

      nope too much.

      Thanks for giving me more to think about!



  3. Mick December 8, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    No need to apologize to a tootsie.


    • aisha December 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm #


      LoL – you may be right…


  4. greengirl December 8, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Brilliant – and – helpful. I’m leaving the emotional me ideas aside for now – i have a lot of trouble operating outside of the intellectual at all.

    But – the ideas about self control – absolutely (yea – i realize it fits nicely on the intellectual side – i’m being lazy today). I do think that self control is important for both people D and s. To get close, to be vulnerable, to commit, to listen, to respond in a good way – all require self control – actually – thoughtful self control. The more both people can master that – the more they can connect with each other.

    • aisha December 8, 2011 at 8:05 pm #


      Yeah, i think you’re right about the self-control. i’m not sure everyone would agree with that, but that’s how I see it.

      For me, it’s about connection anyhow… even if it’s temporary, it’s about the connectedness.


  5. Sir J December 8, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Thank you for your kind comments, I am pleased the drivel I put out into the cosmos finds a home with someone at least sometimes.

    I believe the trait of self control is important for all, M and s as well as vanilla and everyone in between or beyond those labels. I also think it plays out differently depending on your role and who you are.

    • aisha December 8, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

      Thank you, Sir J,

      I suspect that lots and lots of what you say resonates with many.

      Yes ~ i agree. i’m curious about how it plays out differently ~ i’m not sure what i think, and wonder how you see it.

      Thanks for commenting!


  6. K December 8, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Thanks for sharing aisha..this is something I’m also working on. For me it helps to keep in mind that I need to show respect to the person I’m expressing myself to as well as to myself, (also borrowed from DBT;) helps me to get into wise mind.

    So glad you and Sir X are a good fit. I do think it takes both Dom and sub to have self-control.



    • aisha December 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm #


      Thank you – I’m glad you liked it and found it helpful. Yes, being careful how it’s expressed makes a huge difference – laughing… and i try to keep my Dear Man Give Fast skills in mind! {We’re really “speaking DBT” now…}

      Thank you. It does seem like we’re a good fit,doesn’t it? {Grinning..}


  7. viemoria December 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    This is very interesting use of DBT related info. I definitely live in an emotional mindset and find it very exhaisting at times. Luckily my Master is a rational rock that keeps me stable. 🙂

    • aisha December 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm #


      Then I will have to go read your blog every day. I want to understand how that works for you.

      In my imagination, it’s like ~ you take the emotional mind side of the equation, and he takes the rational mind, and then it would take both of you together to get to wise mind. But it can’t really be like that, can it???

      Ok, that’s a rude question, probably, and i take it back. i’ll go read your blog and try to figure it out myself. 🙂

      Thank you for commenting!


  8. smilingsoul December 8, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    A good post, aisha. Thank you for lots to think about. I have never heard of the emotional mind, rational mind and the wise mind until I started reading your blog. The way my mind “works” requires me to think about this a little and see how that plays out in my life. It is necessary to have concepts ferment in my mind a short time before I get a full understanding of them. Then I get it out of the nowhere and everything makes sense. This might take a while, but I love a challenge.

    As for self control, I can’t imagine a good relationship of any kind without both parties having a strong healthy dose of self control. We all lose it at times, and it is beneficial for the other partner to have self control during such time. I think it is necessary for growth to occur between two people.

    nilla, I love the graphed trees metaphor. Master has often described our lives together as two trees planted side by side.. Only now, after 22 years together, He says we have become a single root ball within the soil we share, and it would be impossible to separate the roots from each tree. We are intertwined forever. No wonder i want to fold into Him every chance I get.

    • aisha December 9, 2011 at 6:02 am #


      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      For sure i agree about self-control. And yet i think TTWD tap into areas that severely test that control…

      And i agree – ‘Nilla’s graphed tree metaphor is beautiful. How wonderful that you can experience that with your Master…


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