In his post entitled “Following the Path”, The Eroticist details the steps along the way to becoming a person whom others will call “master”, to earning that title. To self control.
It’s a wonderful outline of how so often newbie dominants get drunk on power, or at least what they perceive to be the power offered to them by their submissives, and how the good ones eventually figure out how much they really do not know, and the ludicrousness of calling their own selves “master”, at any point in time.
Or “Sir” this-or-that. Or any of the other kinds of honorific the puffed-up self-important, unknowing or uncaring dominant demands that others address him as, just because he woke up one day and decided he’d like to hit others and tie them up.
If you read through the whole post, you’ll see a pretty common pathway towards abuse within kinky circles – done by adhering too much to one’s self-important self-definition as dominant and therefore deserving whatever he want, and less to learning his or her own craft, including the art of reading people – even in a non-kinky situation. That’s if a person gets stuck at some of the early stages he describes.
It is precisely the fact that so few dominants ever really fully get that “…eventually you learn that you do not in actuality, have much power at all. You may be given authority over another by that other, but that authority can be taken with a moment’s notice” that is part and parcel of why we have so much abuse in the community.
A lot of dominants don’t even seem to want to get it – at least not enough to give up the power trip in their heads that endanger their partners.
This is, however, the root of why a friend/former “mentor” of mine refers to herself as just being “in charge” in her relationship with her partner. Precisely because we cannot ever force anyone else to do anything they don’t want to do.