Redefining "Switch": Orientation-Fluidity

One of the first things you’re asked to identify is whether you’re a domme, sub or switch, in BDSM

I decided upon entering BDSM professionally that I was a domme. I wanted to let go of disempowering scripts and conditioning that tells women they need to be submissive and docile, and that dominance is a turn-off. I wanted to grow in my dominance and learn to call the shots. Some women who are dommes are purely dommes, meaning, in no circumstances do they switch or sub. I however, wanted to be more flexible and sometimes switched, subbed at the beginning of my career. After being in this profession for many years, it starts to leak into your identity in all other spaces. It becomes either an outlet, or a lived truth that coaxes out who you really are.

Still, for years, I had no idea what my “orientation” was outside of BDSM professionally. There was a period in which I identified with my “domme-only” peers and would never, ever put myself in any situation that required me being less than a domme. Because for some reason, there was a negative slant they ascribed to the sub position- of inferiority. I started to grow out of that as I began paving my own way in BDSM. They’re both just orientations that need each other to make a scene. I saw them as neutral. I also began craving a safe space to be submissive in my personal life, and began experimenting in that regard here and there. I knew that to be an even better domme, it was important to understand the headspace of the submissive too.

What I then came to discover was how complex, yet simple, this all is. I’m never strictly one or the other- there are times in life when my energy and body language may be communicating dominance, yet my speech and conscious behavior may be dictating submission. There are times when the opposite is true. Still, I was happy and relieved to have found clear outputs of behavior- when I was domming, I was in control. I had the power. I feel that when we don’t grant ourselves outlets to express all sides of our personality, we can oftentimes hinder our development and these traits leak out in strange, shadow-like ways. For instance, if you continually play the submissive role in life, then you may become controlling, manipulative, codependent, aggressive in covert ways.

The healthiest approach is embodying duality and understanding that not all circumstances are the same. I could respond to someone’s energy and demeanor in a certain way, but I won’t know what (dominance, submission) they bring out in me unless I’m present with them and engage with what they’re communicating on all levels. Sometimes gender roles can come into play here, but what I used to think were power dynamics that were strictly associated with gendered roles in vanilla contexts and BDSM role reversals, aren’t that related afterall. Especially after you play for a while, or you begin to strip away a lot of the gender expectations from your own life and allow yourself the room to breathe. I identify as a woman, but that doesn’t mean I have to act like how women are conditioned to be, to be one.

So that’s why I think it’s a good idea to reconsider the idea of switch. Switch to me lays out a binary- Submissive and dominant, and I switch from one to the other. Yes it grants more fluidity than the other roles that are locked in one way of associating with power and control, but I don’t believe that it needs to be a one or the other, an established binary. I prefer to look at it as a whole- a totality of traits that can be expressed simultaneously or one at a time. I’m not a switch. But I’m not just a domme either. I’m a dominant in work, in some ways dominant in life but, I can be many things at once and so can everyone.

Who Is REALLY In Control?

Were you aware how intricate power dynamics TRULY are within BDSM? It's easy to see what it is on the surface- the dom/me is dominant, therefore she's more powerful and in control. The sub is giving away his/her power to the dominant. But with anything surface, it is merely a representation. We must bypass this representation for deeper meaning and truth with all things.

Surely if you've been somewhat aware of BDSM paradoxes, you've heard the phrase "the submissive is always in control"- why is this a basic "truth"? The illusion is that the dominant is telling the submissive what to do, but behind the scenes, s/he/they is/are tailoring the scene to meet the needs and interests of the submissive. Because the submissive can always stop the scene (well, if negotiated right and if it's within safe confines of BDSM play) they do seemingly wield the control. A good example of this in film is "The Duke of Burgundy" which at first depicts a sub/domme dynamic one way, then reveals the underlying dynamics are not what they first seemed.

Now if you add money into the mix, it becomes even more complicated. By existing in our world, even if we reject money and what it represents, we recognize it is a signifier of power and status. Therefore, if the sub is paying for the session, he/she/they is/are enforcing their control- if we reduce it to a transaction, well, someone is providing a service and someone is paying for a service- therefore the service needs to meet the approval of the buyer. The dom/me has little truth agency within this payment because even unconsciously, she recognizes that she must in fact, account for the sub's satisfaction otherwise it's not good business.

If you are TRULY, truly submissive, how do you negotiate your submissive needs in a world where your submissive needs are actually being diverted in these power exchanges? It's important to recognize that even though you may be meeting some level of your submissive needs, there most likely is a part of you that feels truly deeply unsatisfied because of these power obstructions where you can't fully, ever, let go. Where you're always somehow in resistance and know that you're in control even in a space of submission. On the other side of the coin, have you also ever considered that even though you're sessioning, that you're not truly submissive? That it's the illusion of giving away your power and being submissive that's a turn on, but that secretly you relish being the one dictating the turn of events?

For the sub it's good to distill to the truth of what you're seeking. What are your needs? Are they being met? Do you actually want to be submissive or is it too scary to fully let go? Are you okay with illusory power exchange and domination?

For the dom/me- the way to renegotiate this is to rework your own understanding of power dynamics, business dynamics as well as the meaning of money. If money doesn't hold any power over you, then a sub can not hold power over you. That's easier said than done- on some level anyone who lives and breathes is upheld to some understanding of money as power/status. We must evaluate WHY- and remove the layers of unnecessary conditioning surrounding this. You also must review your own needs. Are you truly truly dominant in that being dominant gives you pleasure, are you providing a service or are you people pleasing? There are three main layers here: interpersonal, personal and business. 

Once both parties figure the above out, the distillation itself will generate clarity that attracts the right partners for the given time. 


Feminine Dominance

I'm inspired to write about how femininity relates to my style of dominance. If you've been following along with me over the last year you might've read some bits and pieces of this, but today is when I put it all down on one page.

When I tell people I'm a domme, most will remark how masculine they would think dommes are. They're surprised because I'm so feminine, so soft. The truth of the matter is there is a great misconception here: that POWER is associated purely with masculine traits and that to be DOMINANT you must be more MASCULINE.

There is great, great power in properly wielding femininity. Masculine dominance is about power over others- it's a struggle, because one person must assert him/herself as ALPHA. Whereas, with feminine power, no one needs to struggle. The feminine power is and he, even alpha, submits to her willingly. Her dominance can be subtle, it can be sweet, it can be flowing and not forcing, and that's what makes her strong

As I've mentioned before, we have such weak associations with femininity in our society that by identifying as feminine, we often misidentify what it truly means. There are strong versions of femininity too- and no woman must give away that side of her to be perceivably strong and powerful. There isn't just one meaning to strength, nor is there just one side to femininity, nor to masculinity. 

By being a soft, feminine mistress, I can in fact, heal not only the repressed feminine aspect of you, but also give the masculine aspect a needed respite and direction- just because the masculine can be harsh does not mean that it does not need nurture- in fact, it NEEDS and CRAVES it because it is its opposite, and it is its complement.