So I’ve had a whirlwind couple of days. I’m still trying to write out that post on conscientious entitlement, but I figured I’d talk today about that concept of “Fake it ’til you make it”.
What do you do when you feel massively inadequate and you have no idea why your Person wanted to submit to your will in the first place? What do you do to get past those feelings of Not Good Enough in order to give your Person what they actually need from you? And how do you do it without feeling like an Administrator instead of a Princess?
Inconveniently, there’s no easy 3-step process for this (or, well, I suppose there might be, but my psych scholarship is rather limited, so I doubt I’ll be able to come up with one just now). Instead, there’s this:
You prove yourself worthy of holding power (to yourself, as well as to the person who judged you as being capable of this in the first place) by picking it up and holding it.
Yeah. Great. Not an easy fix by any stretch of the imagination.
The trick, I’m gathering, is that you have to move slowly, and you have to be consistent.
Moving slowly means picking up bits of power – assume authority over small bits of your Person’s life – that are manageable for you to hold and not let go of.
Like maybe you start with “I want you to make dinner every night this week“, or “It’s okay for me to play Tetris while she does the dishes this evening“, or “I’m okay with you surfing the internet twenty minutes from now but, right now, I want you to rub my feet”.
Maybe, if having your Person make dinner every night this week works out and is comfortable and makes both of you happy, you can extend that to “next week, too,” and from there move on to just having this become part of The Routine BUT, if it doesn’t work out, you’ve only made that The Rule for one week. After-which-point you can sit down with your person and go:
“Okay, so having tried that experiment, I see that it was actually really awkward/inconvenient/frustrating/uncomfortable/whatever for you/me/everyone because of [reasons X, Y, and Z]. I think making This Adjustment will give me/you/us the same feeling of well-being that a well-made meal does, but without tripping me/you/us up on [Thingy] in the process, so let’s try that instead”.
(Yeah, I know. You have to be as on-the-ball as possible about where the problems are really coming from. Which isn’t easy, and we’re all pretty much bound to screw it up some of the time. Which is terrifying (yes, really, I am so there right now). Try it anyway. You’ll get better at it with practice, or so I understand).
Being consistent is pretty interlinked with moving slowly just because, if you are new to holding power – or even just new to holding power with Person X – it’s going to be very difficult to accept (or demand) the entire huge vat of Person X’s agency all at once.
It would be like getting dropped into the temp job from hell, basically: Suddenly you’ve got a billion more Things to juggle, all while you’re learning the job as you do it. You’re bound to drop something.
And, in this case, Something is another person.
If you try to take on more authority in Person X’s life than you can presently (presently, not ever – give yourself some time) handle, if you accept/demand more responsibilities in/over their life than you can currently fulfill, then you’re going to drop the ball on some of it.
This will suck for Person X because, at best, it’ll feel like being stuck in a game of push-pull that they didn’t want to play. It could also leave them feeling wide-open, unprotected, and unsupported in a situation where they thought they could trust you.
It’ll also suck for you because – if you’re paying attention – every time you drop a/the ball, it’s going to undermine your confidence and your faith in your own ability to hold power. Which will make it that much harder to keep holding power in someone’s life.
If you pick up Power a little bit at a time, though, you can learn how to balance what you’ve just picked up with everything you’ve already been holding while consistently not dropping the ball.
It totally IS okay to refrain from leaping into a Total Power Exchange situation right off the bat. Your dynamic will almost certainly be much happier and healthier for everyone involved if you proceed with caution and an eye to what you know you can handle and what you’re willing to try adding by degrees.
That said, the flip side of “proceed with caution” is “not moving at all”. Which doesn’t do anyone any good either.
I spent a big chunk of my first year of Dynamic doing exactly that. Some of my immobility had to do with extenuating circumstances, sure. But a heap of it really did boil down to “I’m afraid I’ll fuck up and ruin this”.
And, yeah. If I didn’t feel antsy while writing this post before? I sure do now! Because, see, you have to take the risks. You have to (see above, re: Fake it ’til you make it). Otherwise nothing will happen and your sub will be all “Why is she not doing anything???” and you’ll be all “Aren’t I supposed to feel more secure and in charge than this?” and it just won’t work.
And it is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much easier to say “you have to take those risks” than it is to actually take them. Seriously. Every time I take a step forward in terms of the amount of power I’m collecting from my Ghost, or the amount of entitlement I’m showing/indulging with regards to her services/presence/availability/etc? Part of me just ducks and covers and waits for the world to end.
So I’m not at all saying this is easy, or that I’ve got it all figured out, or even that you can’t change things up when you want to. I’m just saying that you need to pace yourself as you move forward, or your dominance is going to wind up being inconsistent and, as such, unreliable, and both you and your Person will end up feeling overwhelmed and freaked out and probably really unhappy.
Okay. so having yammered at you for who-knows-how-long about How To Do This in a way that will… if not (remotely) guarantee that you (I) won’t fuck up, will at least reduce (marginally?) the chances of you (me) fucking up so badly that the entire relationship goes to hell irredeemably and all at once… Having done that, I will now link you to ANOTHER article (which I’ve totally linked to before), that talks about the various building blocks of a D/s dynamic from a different perspective.
Thanks a tonne for listening.
 And “little bit” will vary with your experience and instincts and what-not, but err on the side of caution (caution, not inaction) if you’re feeling uncertain and want your dynamic to work well in the long run.
 Just be sure to have a reason for it — and, yeah, as The Boss, your reason can be “this was boring me” or “I felt like cooking tonight” or “you were so tired, I just decided you needed a break”, but knowing the Why of your decision means that you’re actually thinking about, and engaged in, you dynamic rather than just being the passive recipient of whatever your Person is offering you. You need to be aware and engaged, just as your Person does, otherwise there won’t be any balance and the dynamic will (almost certainly) fall apart.