What is Consensual Dominance?
The most concise definition of consensual dominance I’ve ever been able to come up with is that it is the exercise of interpersonal power by the mutual agreement of and for the mutual fulfillment of all involved. Consensual interpersonal power is expressed in the hot, complicated space between what someone wants to do on their own and what they want to do for you. That space can extend in a wonderful variety of directions. It can mean taking someone down to where they beg permission to perform degrading acts they would normally find repugnant, but it also encompasses building them up to achieve heights of discipline and accomplishment that they would not have reached without firm encouragement.
Some people are very specific in which directions they prefer to take their dominance: interested only in degradation, or only in receiving service, or only in nurturing and guiding, or some other particular flavor of dominance. Others are more flexible, exploring different sorts of dominance at different times or with different partners. Regardless of the style, the essence of dominance is in the “because I said so” or the “do it for me.” It’s in the influence one person wields over the thoughts and actions of another.
It is a misconception to say that dominance is about making a person do things, though. It’s impossible to really make another person feel, think or do anything, and competent dominants tend to understand that fact better than most. Dominance works by inspiring, seducing and enabling submission, not by forcing it–it’s dominance driven by an engine of consent. Continue reading “Consensual Dominance”