A recent post by MisterMan sparked a lot of interest. He asked what might appear to be one of the most obvious questions anyone involved in D/s might get asked: When did you know you were a Dominant or submissive?
Yes, I’ve seen the question presented many times before, usually in 30-day type lists for evaluating yourself. And I always had a standard answer ready: I’ve known I was an Alpha from an early age (though I didn’t know the terminology back then). And I left it at that. But the way MisterMan tried to pinpoint the moment and still came away unsure made me question whether I could recall the exact moment, or at least the progression from unaware to fully aware of my natural need to dominate in relationships.
So I dusted off my thinking cap—no, actually I gulped down a couple night caps—and began to ponder the possibilities of a predominant path to my present Dominant position. Whew! That’s a tongue twister after two Southern Comfort & cokes.
I’ve had four really good male role-models in my life: my grandfathers, my father, and a platoon sergeant. My paternal grandfather, after being orphaned, protected and provided for his siblings in England during WW1, then made his way to America and eventually built a successful business. My maternal grandfather had a hard life on the reservation, then was kicked off the rez’ during the so-called “New Deal,” but he worked hard and became a successful rancher. My father, a by-product of his father, taught me the same traditions of working hard and protecting and providing for your family. And somehow, in spite of my youth and rebelliousness, enough of their actions and words got through to me. And even though I fought a lot, I was the kid that protected the underdog and beat up the bullies (because if I ever became a bully my dad would kick my ass).
When I joined the military at 17, I ended up in an elite platoon that had a platoon sergeant that even the generals had to salute (because he’d been awarded the Medal of Honor). And he took me under his wing and worked my angry rebellious ass into shape, and pushed me into leadership positions. And I’ll thank all four of them till my dying day for the mentoring they provided.
But how does all that fit into a D/s relationship? Well, I was destined to be a rugged individualist from the day of my birth, when my mom shunned me and wouldn’t touch me: they didn’t talk about stuff like post-partum depression back then. And I became the kid that other kids followed; I resented authority and the screwed up system I saw in a bad section of L.A. In fact, I was the kid girls wanted to date to piss-off their parents. And yet, in spite of my “juvenile delinquent” reputation I started working at age 12 to pay my way, and had four part-time jobs simultaneously at age 16 before going into the military a year later. Unfortunately, because of my youth, immaturity, and anger issues, when it came to relationships, it was often my way or the highway (as the saying goes); which, if you think about it, is a lot like immature or wannabe Doms in the D/s world.
But after getting a handle on my anger during my early twenties (and subsequent years of psychology education and experience), I realized I still felt the need to be in control in relationships but the emphasis was now more traditional. There was a stronger urge to place my mate’s wants and needs above my own. And while fulfilling their wants and needs, to still provide for and protect them.
As for the original question: I cannot recall the exact moment I consciously knew I was a Dom. But it appears that from the moment of my birth I was destined to be a rugged individualist. And my subsequent life experiences have only solidified my Alpha or Dominant personality. All that remained was to find the right mate…and include the kink. But that’s a whole different story.