For many years I would say “it’s my job/role/function as a Dominant to do X,” until a dear friend set me straight recently: “The word you’re looking for is Responsibility.” It was one of those moments where so many things fell neatly into place by simply finding the right word. And what a powerful word it is, a word with iron in it, but sadly a word that does not receive nearly the attention it deserves in the D/s world. There is an entire generation of Dominants (and their Submissives) who do not understand the deep and serious implications of that simple word, “Responsibility.”

i think a lot of this can be attributed (not just on Tumblr, but in the D/s world at large) to the strong focus on the Submissive. In many respects, the D/s world shares the mindset so common in porn films: “It’s all about the girl.” The strong focus on the Submissive — her needs, her heart, her act of submission itself — is a good and right thing; new Submissives of all ages need the context and the information in order to make intelligent, informed decisions about their nature and activities. But the implicit (and all too often, explicit) assumption is that the Dominant somehow magically “just knows” what’s expected of him. The Dominant is self-sufficient, wise, Olympian, and unerring in his understanding of who and what he is, and how to treat his Submissive. Dominants are the archetypal lone wolf; indeed, “Wolf” as a synonym for “Dominant” was a word already sanctified by long use back when I first entered the life decades ago. Dominants do not need advice, they do not need guidance, they do not need to even think very much about how D/s works. A Dominant simply accepts the submission of his Submissive and that’s the end of it.

It’s all a lie.

Because the one thing that never gets talked about — Responsibility — is a deep, unconditional, and abiding thing, the thing that, more than anything else, is at the very heart of what it means to be a Dominant. A Dominant who doesn’t feel the truth of this deep in his bones is a very dangerous man who can do so much damage (emotional, psychological, and physical) to someone who offers him the gift of unconditional submission. Responsibility is the thing that is owed to the Submissive, the moderating and protective influence in the D/s power exchange. When a Submissive offers the gift of her submission to a Dominant, she is saying in effect: “I am putting myself, my body, my soul, and the burden of my freedom, into your hands. In return, I expect you to protect me, guide me, direct me, comfort me, protect me, and above all respect and cherish me.” This is the heart of Responsibility, and the “burden” the Dominant shoulders and carries; sometimes with enormous effort and strength of will, but always with a proper mindfulness that Responsibility is, in effect, his reason for existence.

Dominants can act irresponsibly in so many ways, most often without even being aware of it. This makes them dangerous ….

If you are only present for your Submissive when times are good, then you do not understand your Responsibility and you are a danger to your lady.

If you are expecting a quid pro quo — if you expect anything from your Submissive except for her submission for all the work you put in stepping up to your Responsibility — then you do not understand your Responsibility and you are a danger to your lady.

If you think it’s only about your sexual responsibilities — maintenance discipline and the like — then you do not understand  your Responsibility and you are a danger to your lady.

If you think that your responsibility only extends to the big, dramatic things — if you do not understand that being present for your Submissive after a rough day at the office is every bit as important as providing her with discipline and orgasms — then you do not understand your Responsibility and you are a danger to your lady.

If Responsibility feels like a burden rather than the ultimate expression of your bone-deep need to protect and guide and cherish your Submissive, then you do do not understand your Responsibility and you are a danger to your lady.

Above all, if you think that being a Dominant is something you DO rather than something you ARE, then you do not understand your Responsibility and you are a danger to your lady.

But if you understand that Responsibility is at the core of your love for your Submissive, and that Responsibility permeates every aspect of your being together, then I can promise you this: you will feel a quiet joy and sense of loving satisfaction in being the “responsible adult” that is a feeling like no other.

This is a great post ????

Really been enjoying submissivelittlylady’s blog.  She’s a cool, strong submissive with a lot on her mind.  Really good reference material, the occasional very nice self-photography, an excellent resource for boundary setting, and the occasional bits of fictional or recalled smut.

She didn’t write the post, above.  But you know what?  She’s the kind of blogger who’d repost it.  All the more reason to follow her.