One of the topics that’s been discussed some lately is the fact that sometimes dominants give commands that don’t quite seem like commands.

aisha talked about commands that were almost couched as suggestions, as did faithful in her blog.

I suppose that must seem very odd to submissives, that we do that.  We can, so easily it seems, just give that command.

We can TELL you what to do.

So why don’t we just TELL you sometimes?

There’s often a reason, you know.

You could do your child’s math homework.  You know, at least one hopes you know, how to do fractions.  If you were looking to solve the problem of the answer to the equation of 2 2/3 times 3 and 3/8ths, you understand the process.

You find the common denominator and translate the equations into those common denominators, you multiply the numerators, then you simplify the result again.

It would probably take you less time than it takes your child as he struggles with the concepts and the math.

It would certainly be easier.  You could do that and then both of you could move on and do something else.

But, you’re saying, then he’d never learn how to do it himself.


He’d never learn how to do it himself.

Sometimes giving an order is sort of like giving someone the answer.  I want  you to start doing X or stop doing Y or change the way you do Z.

It’s simple, it’s direct, it gets to the answer quickly, and the answer is “right.”  You don’t have to make so much space in your brain for it, do you?

And it’s so much EASIER, isn’t it?

And, when it’s done, and you have the answer, what did you learn?

Sometimes that’s ok.  Sometimes you don’t NEED to learn anything.  Just fold my towels long ways first because that’s how I want them folded.  No need to justify it or explain it or learn anything other than, that’s how I want it done.

But sometimes, it’s not.

If you’re trying to teach something, it’s always more work.

But it’s kind of like that giving a man a fish versus teaching him how to fish thing.

If I always give you the answer, then it never takes up the space in your head.

And it’s one thing when it’s towels, because it’s pretty finite and concrete.  Even if you fold one of my towels wrong, nothing bad happens.  I might make you refold it, but the quality of our lives is not lessened.

If I give you nudge in the direction in which I want you to go, though, if I give you an idea of what I think the destination should be, but don’t lay out the specific path, it’s more likely you’ll learn something from it.

When the similar situation confronts you again, you know how to handle it, or at least have a better sense of how to handle it, because you have experience with it.

Sometimes, too, we don’t give orders because a smart dominant doesn’t give an order that a submissive can’t obey.

It’s both pointless and ineffective to tell someone they shouldn’t feel guilty, for instance.

I can command you not to, but what that is actually going to do, most likely, is double your guilt.  You’re still going to feel guilty about the initial thing, but you’re also going to feel guilty about feeling guilty because now you’re also disobeying.

Sometimes those suggested commands are like holding out your hand, offering a steadying presence, suggesting a path rather than directing one.

Sometimes it’s because we believe that you need to work through the problem yourself, not just be given the answer.

About MsConstanceExplains

Ms Constance has been actively involved in the BDSM/Leather community since the mid-1990’s. She is the Founder of the Louisville Munch as well as its hostess for ten years, from 1997 to 2007, and was christened as “Louisville’s First Lady” by her community. As a member of various BDSM/Leather organizations, she has been nominated for Pantheon Woman of the Year as well as regional awards, and has been nominated with her slave, drew, for Pantheon Couple of the Year. She serves as Special Events Director for the Great Lakes Leather Alliance. She produces the Bluegrass Leather Pride Contest, sending contestants to Great Lakes Leather Weekend, and was Presenters Committee Chair for Leather Leadership Conference 2010 Great Lakes/Ontario. She has produced and judged Leather events and contests, been instrumental in the organization and creation of various groups and clubs, advised and encouraged other communities and endeavors, and produced a performance by a BDSM comedian. Groups around the country use her writings in information and introductory packets, and she is an occasional columnist as well. She and slave drew hold the titles of Great Lakes Master and slave 2003.

Posted on January 5, 2013, in Dominance, Kink and BDSM, Relationships and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. O, nice post!! Yes. i like the way you explain it. And thanks for the shout out.


  2. Well, when you put it that way, it doesn’t seem quite so mean.

  3. OK, so I would make them both improper fractions, multiply (cross-canceling where I could) to give the answer =)

    I really like how you explain the process that’s going through your mind sometimes . It makes perfect sense. Sometimes I think that if I loose faith that he has a plan or a reason, that if he could just remind me that he’s in charge and that he IS doing things according to HIS plan, it reassures me when I’m struggling.

    Thanks for the post.

    • I do think that it’s often easier to follow when you believe that the leader knows where they are going and has a plan and a vision. And sometimes it’s hard for us to remember to let yo in on the map we have.

  4. Mean- jabbing needles into one’s hand for fun.
    Meanness with a purpose- jabbing needles into one’s hand in order to remove a splinter.

    It’s totally different, although not fun either way for the one getting jabbed.

  5. I meant to say what sirqsmlb said, just it didn’t really come out that way.

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