Thursday, November 8, 2007

Control Through Loss - Loss Through Control

I've been considering control. It seems that so much of what makes intimacy satisfying is when we lose ourselves in it; when we are out of control.

Many people fantasize and desire both being controlled and losing control. Reading women's profiles on dating sites you see this all the time. I haven't read nearly as many men's profiles, but being a man, knowing men and how we are, and validating this from the men's profiles I have read, my guess is that we don't express this desire very often. Women do. Many are much more intrepid and willing to say what want in relationships including what they want intimately. In their profiles you find statements like:

"I want passion."
"Can you handle me?"
"I want a man who will take control."
"Are you man enough to take charge?"
"I want to find what I've been missing."
"I want to have fun in bed."
"I need excitement."

These kinds of statements are common in women's profiles on virtually any dating web site where members share about their sexual and intimate needs and desires. Look at,, or the Intimate section of and you will see what I mean. For the most part these statements equate to the same thing. They want to experience the emotional rush of passion that comes from losing themselves in sex with a partner who can help them achieve this. They want to be out of control. They want the kind of over the top release that is in fact possible and often falsely portrayed in pornography, media and popular culture.

It isn't that simple. For women the key components of passion include the physical acts, but also a strong attraction and emotional connection to their lover, sexual capability and compatibility, and enough safety to allow the emotions and actions to run wild. Sex is a mind game.

Others, often men will say the reverse; they want control. This is interesting to the extent that men have the image that sex is much more about the physical aspects and release and less about love, romance and emotional attachment. Where this might be an over-extended belief, like most generalizations and stereotypes, there is some basis in reality. But, when a guy expresses the desire for control or the desire to submit, there is a good probability that they have evolved, at least in part, to a place where they understand that sex and intimacy is a mind game and not just about getting your rocks off.

So, we want to experience unbridled passion. To do this we need to be with a person in a physical, emotional and psychological place where we feel safe enough to let go of all our inhibitions. Many may never get to this level of transparency, but I think in the S-D/s relationship there is an opportunity to achieve this. Of course it can be achieved outside of those kinds of relationships as well. But the common objective is there - the desire to experience ecstatic intimate passion. I would suggest that the common component in achieving this is that one way or another all roads lead to the same place - we have to lose control.

It's a zen-like paradox: You will never lose control until you take control and you will never take control until you lose control. How can this be since S-D/s and D/s relationships require one person to be in control and the other to submit? I'm concluding that in the S-D/s relationship that both people have control which will allow each to ultimately lose control. The loss of control for each is very different and to understand this, let's look at the kinds of control that exist.

First, there is a mutual control to negotiate and set limits for the relationship. These can be anything from lots of rules and limits to very few, possibly none at all, and they may govern the entire relationship, just scening or the sexual interactions, or anything in between. But the important factor is that both had control and the opportunity to say what they wanted and needed. Even if the sub said he wanted and needed to give over complete control and power or the domme said she needed that, they both made a conscious decision. Once this is established the stage becomes set for both people to lose control and potentially experience the kind of passion that each desires.

The sub can disrobe physically, psychologically and emotionally with his domme and have a pretty good idea of what can happen, might happen and most importantly won't or shouldn't happen. Based on the agreement between them he is free to experience and express himself sexually without self consciousness, worry or fear (beyond the presumably invited worry and fear should that be a part of their play and dynamic). He's created a situation where he has controlled being out of control. He is free. This would be very liberating, especially for someone whose life outside of the relationship involves lots of responsibility and control. Indeed, the commanding, successful 'captain of industry' who calls the shots in the real world, yet submits in private, thus getting his needs met, is a cliched image and also something that to many dominant women is desirable; its often part of the description in their profiles of the kind of man they seek.

Next, the domme loses control in the exact reverse way. By taking it and doing what she wants. I realize that many dommes say they have been dominant all of their lives and are dominant in their world outside of the relationship, but even those few who are most in control of their world and destiny still have to make concessions, still have to answer to someone, still have to be in control of the one person who needs to lose control...themselves. No doubt the vast majority of dommes don't have this kind of dominance and control over their worlds and the one they spend most of the time controlling is themselves. From the urge to tell the boss to shove it to wishing they could just tell their nagging teenager to shut up, they know that there is a right and wrong way to handle things and it is the constant supervision of their power of response that becomes the greatest challenge of mastery in their lives, as it does for most of us. For the domme to know that there is a place with a person, her sub, where she can go and truly call the shots without worrying (for most part) about what she says and does, and how she comes across, is how she loses control. By being in control she has the permission and the opportunity to lose herself intimately and experience passion through her power over her sub. Knowing that there are limits is as important for her as for him. She has the power to do anything she wants based on their agreement and she can be totally lost in her enjoyment of this, even if the actions and words appear to be very controlled. This is her loss of control.

Also, by having control she has the option to turn it over when it doesn't serve her and she can do so knowing that based on the power unbalance between them, the sub is serving her needs and desires by doing as she instructs. This is part of the non sexual aspects of the relationship as well. For example in the vanilla world women often complain that their men don't or won't make decisions or express a preference when options are offered. In the S-D/s relationship it could be a simple matter of the domme telling the sub to make a decision without having to go through the same kinds of struggle that happens in vanilla situations since the sub would understand that he is being told to do this within the context of their dynamic.

Loss of control, a place they both need to reach in order to be free, in order for him to submit and for her to dominate. Their loss of control is arrived at from opposite places and displayed in opposite ways. It's ironic; it's counter intuitive but I sense that this is part of the dynamic. I would think that the more I am aware of my control and hers, and she of her own and mine, the better we can help each other within our roles to lose control and dive into the passion that makes for the most satisfying intimacy, which hopefully is a strong part of an equally satisfying relationship.


SplasherGirl said...

Wow! That's some dry and abstract writing! I had to think about it for several days before I figured out that you're right about me. And it ties in with what you wrote to me in an email about my radar for guys who can be turned on to my kind of domination. What I look for is a guy who's going to be happy watching me and listening to me be myself. What myself is, when I'm sexually engaged, is a little girl toying with a penis - and with the heart of the guy attached to it. The guys who are the most fun, and with whom I have the most intense relationships, are the ones who love me for being that little girl, so I'm able to be my natural self (without controlling my natural self)and I know I'll be accepted that way.

Verity said...

Trust. Incredible sexy trust. That's the beginning and the end.


Kyrna said...

I haven't come across another person who gets this in more than 15 years. Frankly, I'm astounded. I'd love to know who you learned about the lifestyle from - or is this just how you see it from inside yourself? Perhaps there's still some hope for our community yet. :)