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Control and Domination

The words control and domination are similar, in the definitions I looked at often each word is used to clarify the other. Control is similar to domination, domination is similar to control, yet they have vastly different connotations for me. Originally this piece was going to be about control, I started it and very quickly realised that I was thinking about two different things but calling them by the same name. The two are inextricably linked but they are also separate. I have included domination because it’s important for me to recognise what my interpretations of both words and their associated concepts really mean in terms of my sexual exploration.

Control for me means being the one making the decisions and taking the lead in a sexual sense. My control is most evident as an undercurrent during sex which could be classified as vanilla. In these circumstances I guide the sexual acts, direct them but do not have absolute power over the situation. Control is softer, gentler and less frightening, it is subtle, refined and can be almost invisible. There is nothing wrong with being in control, it is something I welcome and embrace as part of my sexual pleasure but I also need to acknowledge it’s shadier cousin.

I use the word control a fair amount in a BDSM sense. I say I want control in the bedroom, I use the word when writing erotic fiction or about BDSM. Generally control is the word I favour over domination but actually my use of it is frequently a cop out. I’m saying or writing ‘control’ when I actually mean ‘domination’. Therefore I’m being inaccurate when stating the extent of my desires because while there are times when I want to be in control, there are also times when I want to dominate.

Domination is harsher, more forceful, with no room for negotiation, it is also is darker, coming from a deeper and more primal place. I demand and require, there’s no guiding but instead there are instructions or orders or commands. Domination means I have all the power, I’m in charge of everything that happens; positions, restraints, pain, orgasms, toys, time, etc. Everything is my choice, comes from my sordid imagination and warped brain. By necessity and to enable the scene to be consensual negotiation has taken place but outside the confines of the bedroom. Broad boundaries have been put in place but within those boundaries I am free to be as dominant as I want.

I don’t often use the word domination as a descriptor, particularly in reference to myself and especially in reference to myself in my own head but I should. It is a great word, it is a marvellous concept because it is dark and forceful, because it is harsh and primal. It’s beauty lies in those things. The act of domination, in the right context, can be amazing for all parties involved. It is, for me, a release, a high and an intrinsic but long buried part of my make up.

Control and domination, the two go hand in hand, their roots are the same but how they manifest themselves is different. I do recognise these aspects of myself yet I still struggle with completely embracing the parts of me that want to control and dominate. I realise now that I have been sub-consciously naming domination as control when plainly it isn’t. I have been choosing to use the word which holds less ‘negative’ connotations instead of acknowledging and embracing both in their own right.

Saying I want control is fine, saying I want to dominate feels more dangerous and much less acceptable. But the reality is there are many, many times when I want to dominate, I want to have absolute power over a scene, make every decision and direct every action. There is no point denying it, I cannot dominate without accepting my wish to dominate and giving those wishes the correct name. Even if it feels wrong or weird because of ridiculous hang-ups that still linger despite my efforts to embrace every aspect of my passions. If I own both concepts and move forward with them, I will inevitably grow as a person and as a dominant.

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