You know – or maybe you don’t (aren’t you lucky) – how it goes. You’re exhausted and preoccupied and find yourself negotiating for things that belong to you by agreement; or your Person is up to her neck in work, so you take over doing some aspect of the housework Just For Now, and then you catch yourself doing it out of habit weeks later; or it’s the middle of the night and you’re both ¾ asleep, and she says (rather than asks) Roll Over, and you do it without thinking… and then it hits you: Why did that just happen?

Power Slippage.

I know, I know. I sound like a bleach commercial talking about Mildew like it was the latest, greatest threat to all we love and hold dear. But bear with me.

Sometimes what we’ve been taught, over our lifetimes, to do – or what we spend the majority of our waking hours doing, for that matter – will have some inconvenient effects on how we act within our dynamics. There’s a classic example of the CEO who wears a collar under his suit, but have you ever wondered if that CEO goes home after a day of Being the Boss, tries to switch from being Mister Chairman to occupying the home territory of being Slave Sydney again and… doesn’t quite make it? Or, for that matter, if the domme who spends her days saying “Of course I can try and find that sale item for you in a different size. How else can I help you today?” goes home and has a hell of a time transitioning from a fairly powerless and subservient day-job into Being The Boss at home? It’s not an uncommon situation, but the result – a submissive accidentally giving orders to hir dominant – can leave everyone involved feeling uncertain, guilty, and out of place.

I know that I have a hard time NOT obeying when someone gives me an order and that – particularly when I find myself obeying my submissive, or else when I see/feel my submissive fighting against obeying me – it makes me doubt my ability to be an effective dome and, additionally, it makes me doubt the power that I have in our relationship. It’s something I really struggle with. What I’m afraid of – the above-mentioned “power slippage” – is that I’ll accidentally give up / lose power in negligible-seeming dribs and drabs until, one day, I wake up and find myself wondering how the hell I wound up cleaning the toilet.

Do any of you reading this ever experience something like this? Or feared something like this, for that matter? On either side of a given dynamic?

It’s something that my Ghost and I ended up talking about this morning (thence my blogging about it now): Neither of us is happy when we slip like that. She ends up feeling dropped when I slip into egalitarian-style decision making processes, and I feel incompetent when she inadvertently orders me around. So I asked her what I, as her dominant, could do to help keep her from slipping into Authoritative Mode with me that would simultaneously help her feel Held within our dynamic.

Perhaps foolishly, I was actually expecting an answer that involved more symbolic actions – putting her on her knees more often, for example – that would preemptively put her further into head-space. Instead, the answer I got was this:

Call me on it.

That’s it. It’s simple and honest and – unexpectedly – a reactive, rather than active, way of dealing with the situation. (I was kind of relieved, actually, since the answer suggests that her slipping isn’t happening because I’m not being Dommely enough – something I’ve often worried about). And so I pass it on to you:

Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation, let your person know that you noticed what just happened.
Depending on the nature of your dynamic, this may take different forms. Baby Girl might get a stern talking-to, or might get sent to bed without dinner. Puppy might get whacked with a rolled up newspaper, or zi might get a sharp “No!” form hir owner. Your grown-up servant-oriented-submissive might get something as subtle/”subtle” as a “Could you run that by me again?” or even just a noticeable pause and a quirked eyebrow.
It doesn’t have to be punishment-based, and it doesn’t have to take very long or be a Huge Big Thing. The point is that, when you do this, you remind both of you that YOU are In Charge.
Your submissive will feel your metaphorical (or literal) hand on the back of hir neck, and – when zi restates the “order” in a more appropriate fashion – you’ll feel hir metaphorical neck under your hand.

Think of it sort of like doing regular tune-ups on your car so that nothing gets left long enough to go badly out of whack.
It’s a way of re-setting the balance between the two of you so that you both feel re-rooted in the place where you most want to be.

Anyway. That’s my thoughts on D/s for the day.

Ms Syren.