The Difference Between Being Dominant vs. Domineering

Dominant holding a flogger

“An arrogant man is domineering, while a confident man is dominant.” This is something that I was told a long time ago, by an elder member of my house. And I’ve never forgotten it.

For a long time now, I’ve noticed that more and more people that have found their way into this lifestyle are confused as to the differences between one being dominant versus domineering. This is usually because of some sort of mis-education. While I’ve met more than a few people that were nothing more than blatant domineering wankers who shouldn’t be in charge of a fucking lamppost, there’s enough of a grey area between the two for the distinction to be pretty confusing.

So I’ve decided that it’s about time that I shed some light on the matter. Let’s get started, yes?

What does it mean to be Domineering?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of domineering is one “inclined to exercise arbitrary and overbearing control over others.”

Those who are domineering use force to gain control over a submissive, rather than gaining submission by earning it. A domineering person will often use some kind of threat to assert their will, as they typically have no other way to enforce it. Therefore, people do what they want to avoid some kind of adverse outcome.

Domineering is usually based on severe insecurities and/or a total lack of trust. Because of these insecurities, domineering people can’t even trust those who love them to love them. They don’t love themselves, and are incapable of accepting the love of others.

What does it mean to be Dominant?

The word dominant is defined as “commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others,” again according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. In contrast to the domineering person above, a dominant person most often inspires others to do what they ask — and these people want to do these things asked to please them.

The role of a Dominant is as much mentor and guide as anything else. A true Dominant is one who takes charge — they lead. Their submissive is their responsibility and they understand this. They take into consideration what is best for their submissive. It’s what drives them, and in turn becomes one of the many things that makes their submissive want to please them.

For example, I can go to my submissive and simply look in her eyes and calmly speak a command, and she knows exactly what is expected of her because I have already trained her to know (to be honest, I’ve always had really brilliant submissives for the most part). She knows exactly what would happen if she decided against it, and can make that decision in an educated way.

But more than anything, she will kneel to me because she respects me, because she enjoys doing things that she knows will please me. And while I may intimidate her, she knows she has absolutely no reason to fear me. I control her because I am person deserving her servitude.

To sum up…

Dominance isn’t about size, or force, or how loud you become when angry. It is about being in control of yourself, and the ability to control another in a way that makes them happy to serve you. A good Dominant never leaves their submissive feeling badly about themselves. Even if they’re into humiliation, they’ve a responsibility to pay attention to, and take care of their submissive’s mental and emotional states, because constant humiliation is nothing more than abuse.

If you’re feeling out of sorts with your Dominant or submissive (it can happen, trust me), and you’re not quite certain whether or not what you’re going through is abuse, I wrote an article awhile back about being in an emotionally abusive relationship that you might want to have a look at.

With all this said, if your Dominant makes you feel this way, you might want to rethink your relationship with them — because they’re quite honestly, anything but a Dominant.

The Difference Between Being Dominant vs. Domineering

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  • Reply
    October 29, 2017 at 11:38 am

    One of the first, classily done nooks of the net with which I feel comfort and confidence I’ll find answers to my questions and feel at ease to ask. I’ve added this to my homepage and feel I’ve found a resourceful and knowledgeable source of information and support.

    • Reply
      Rajan Dominari
      October 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you for your compliment Niki! I’m glad to hear that you’re finding answers to your questions here.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    This is such an important distinction. Thank you for writing this. The only thing I will say is that, as a submissive myself, when I receive a command from Sir, I’m not so much thinking about the consequences of disobeying as I am thinking about making Sir happy. When Sir gives me a command, he is telling me what he wants in a particular moment to be happy, to feel in control (and by extension, appreciated). He is also telling me that he wants to be appreciated by me, that he values my opinion of him, which I can reflect through my decision to obey. But perhaps that’s just my particular way of interpreting my submission in relation to his dominance, lol

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