Dominance is not about control over a submissive. Dominance is about leading and the submissive following. These words have been said thousands of times by thousands of people. I suspect it will continue to be said for many years to come.
Submissives do not seek people to control them. They seek a leader that proves time and time again that they are qualified to follow.
Mistakes happen. Wrong decisions are made. It’s how you handle those decisions that make you reliable and trustworthy.
Ok. So most vanilla people understand roleplaying games. Not everyone understands D/S or D/Lg. They’re really not the same things but you can actually get a lot of mileage out of comparing D/S and D/Lg to roleplaying games that you just happen to play most of the time.
If I really controlled you then you wouldn’t be able to say things like “I don’t like this game, I want to stop.” If I really controlled you then you couldn’t say “you’re being a chad, I’m outta here.” Same if I was literally your custodial adult (though eww!) – I couldn’t say “this isn’t working for me” because I’d have a moral and social as well as legal responsibility for you.
D/S and D/Lg are like roleplaying games – either one of us can call a timeout or walk off the field entirely if one of us isn’t playing fair, isn’t playing well, or is just phoning it in.
Like any game, D/S, D/Lg, and all other power-exchange relationships are 100% consensual and therefore “control” is always, always negotiable, re-negotiable, and revokable.