Total obedience?

Total obedience?

I was asked: “Do you think that the woman should be obedient at all times, in the sense that, aside from playful disobedience, she obeys without question come what may?” If we assume that in the relationship the man is in charge, is dominant etc. and the woman is submissive etc. then this would only make sense if the man always knew better than the woman, and if there was never a good reason for the woman to act independently or in ways which were contrary to what her man wanted at the time.

Since men are never this all-knowing, and women are never this clueless and useless on their own, this is a simplistic situation—a cartoon cardboard cut-out of how a relationship should be. It is clear that this holds many attractions for some people—the drama and simplicity of complete domination etc. I have just been reading the profiles of a bunch of kinky Melbourne women—and some of them are very explicit and demanding in wanting a man to take complete and detailed charge of them.

I think that for all but the most extreme individuals, this is not what they actually want, day-to-day, in their best, sanest, mind. Nonetheless there's a great thrill in thinking about something like this—being totally dominated, totally protected, totally controlled, totally used etc. Likewise there's a thrill for some man in thinking about this.

I think most people want more in their life than domination and submission. But there are some people, women and men, who seem to seriously seek out lives of complete submission and servitude. I think they are very lucky to find someone who is wise and strong enough to provide them with everything they need, financially and emotionally. A person who can do this must be fully functioning in many ways—and I think only a subset of such healthy people would want to live a life as the sole keeper, supporter and dominant of a dependent person. Either the dependent person has nothing else going for them—so why would the dominant bother, except for selfish or pet-keeping-like reasons—or the submissive has all sorts of strengths and qualities—in which case why would a healthy, wise, dominant go along with them not engaging properly with the world?

It simply feels good for many people who are females or thinking and feeling in a feminine way to be protected, led, disciplined etc. Likewise it feels good for the man—or a person who is thinking and feeling in ways which are typically masculine—to protect, lead and perhaps punish his woman.

I think the wisest position—one which is adopted by couples who I think have really made the most of DD and many other aspects of their lives—is that each partner defers to the other depending on who is likely to be wisest and most stable in all the circumstances. For instance, if the man is tired or ill, then he defers to the judgement of the woman. Also, in fields where the woman has greater knowledge and skills, the man defers to her. This is all perfectly natural, but it is more complex and less satisfyingly dramatic than “100% domination”, total submission etc.

A “total obedience” situation puts all the responsibility on the man—he has to make all the decisions and get them all right, because there is no other pathway for making decisions. While women and some men may get hot and horny thinking about such arrangements, I don't imagine that many actually live this way 24 hours a day.

Not only is the 100% obedience arrangement a terrible responsibility for the man, it is also a really unhealthy arrangement for him as well. It seems that humanity generally turns ugly or at least unfocused and inefficient when there are no guides or boundaries—when there is no clear positive or negative feedback. In a small business, there are short feedback paths, involving time delays of seconds to hours or days. In large businesses, or in governments, there are many barriers to feedback, and multiple levels which involve distortions, barriers and time delays lasting days to years. Feedback, especially negative feedback so you can correct mistakes and stay on track, is essential for virtually all human activities. Yet it seems that the 100% obedience arrangement could lead some men and women into a situation where there is little feedback, so things could go way wrong before someone really notices.

It is also possible that with some individuals the 100% power does things to their thoughts and emotions which are unhealthy and lead them to be mistaken, or develop selfish thoughts, feelings and actions.

Mr Fondman
Fondly and Firmly, the Gentlemanly Art of Spanking the Woman you Love
Copyright Mr Fondman 2003

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Comments

Re: Total obedience?

Mr Fondman writes:

Either the dependent person has nothing else going for them—so why would the dominant bother, except for selfish or pet-keeping-like reasons—or the submissive has all sorts of strengths and qualities—in which case why would a healthy, wise, dominant go along with them not engaging properly with the world?

Apart from the rest of the generally good treatment of this subject, I think Robin has pointed to the most glaring apparent inconsistency in this idea of total domination or total submission. I fully agree with what he says.

Yes, he is right in that often times it seems to be the lure of submission that attracts women (and men) intially. More often than not, this seems to be a simple mistake in an original understanding of the need for submission and will self correct over time with genuine experience. People generally fit into what is most comfortable and enhancing for them as a couple. Sometimes, of course, a person is really screwed up and this lifestyle is simply ot for them but they enter it anyway. Submission and dominance takes great strength, great self awareness and high self esteem. If these traits are not present in both partners, it is most likely our kind of dynamic, like any kind of relationship for that matter, will simply fail. Because of the nature of what we do, it is likely more important that the positive traits of Self are already enhanced. It is a fallacy to think that what we do will ever heal the wounds or weakness of our partner. We cannot.

In some cases, as Mr Fondman says, perfectly healthy people go in for total dominance and submission, but I think this usually takes on the form of express sexuality and outside of this they live pretty much the way most of us live. Still, for them at least, total dominance and submission is a way of relating in the same way those of us in head of the household/HOR Intimate Domestic Discipline will relate. The difference is in the elements or relationship selections, not so much that the dominant will not want the submissive to engage properly with the world. Personally, I'd be frightened with a woman who did not want to engage in her best way because, I believe anyway, a relationship is intimate when it enhances both our ability to relate to each other and to the rest of the world.

This article is clear and accurate and worth recommending.

100% obedience

You said:

Yet it seems that the 100% obedience arrangement could lead some men and women into a situation where there is little feedback, so things could go way wrong before someone really notices.
It is also possible that with some individuals the 100% power does things to their thoughts and emotions which are unhealthy and lead them to be mistaken, or develop selfish thoughts, feelings and actions.

I have to agree with you about the 100% obedience being dangerous. I once went with a guy who wanted that and while it started out ok, he became more and more demanding and unreasonable and less and less respectful of me. I'd advise any woman considering this to think long and hard about whether 100% power could corrupt the guy before agreeing to obey 100%.

I think the wisest position—one which is adopted by couples who I think have really made the most of DD and many other aspects of their lives—is that each partner defers to the other depending on who is likely to be wisest and most stable in all the circumstances. For instance, if the man is tired or ill, then he defers to the judgement of the woman. Also, in fields where the woman has greater knowledge and skills, the man defers to her.

How do you know who is likely to be wisest/most stable in the circumstances? That's quite a judgement call, sometimes. And what if the guy thinks he is wisest in everything and won't ever defer to the woman? How do you agree who's the wisest on a particular issue?

Judgement Call

Jenny asked:

How do you know who is likely to be wisest/most stable in the circumstances? That's quite a judgement call, sometimes. And what if the guy thinks he is wisest in everything and won't ever defer to the woman? How do you agree who's the wisest on a particular issue?

You don't know, so the first & most obvious thing to pay attention to is whether you have a good guy or a bad guy. If you're with a jerk, first thing you need to do is LEAVE him and find a good guy. If you're with a good guy, it won't matter who's the wisest, because neither of you is going to do anything too regrettable. Just be sure and get a good guy not an abuser, that's my advice.

My two cents.

I don't think total obedience automatically means micro-planning of the submissive's day. What I want from my relationship is for my girl to be as strong as she can. Both when she's with other people, and home with me.

I want her to be able to go head to head with me in a discussion, and argue her point of view as best she can, without ever being worried that I will get get angry, or punish for it.

When I see the discussion turning into an argument or a fight however, and I decide it's time to make a decition and move on, I want her to obey my decision.

Obedience isn't about being a dumb mindless slave. It's about respecting the choices of the person you've chosen to obey.

Autonomy

The training of my wife has been to promote, rather than to eliminate autonomy. I have no fear in giving her responsibility in an area when she has proven to act in all ways to my liking. She knows I'll always provide correction when she slips up, but she has gone from a trembling little wallflower into a stronger, more assertive and confident woman. Simply because she knows my will is to always trump her own has not weakened her resolve, rather it has strengthened it. Obedience does not mean a lack of will, simply the will to follow as opposed to the will to lead. both take strength of character.