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HOT TOPIC for Oct 21 2002: DO DOMS NEED GOOD MANAGEMENT SKILLS?

1 GloriaBrame     2020-10-21 12:38

One of the things I've come to realize over the years is that no matter how skilled a dom may be with his toys, and even if the dom is an amazingly intuitive person who can tune into all of a sub's deepest needs and most clandestine desires, there really is no substitute for good old-fashioned vanilla management skills when it comes to sustaining a long-term BDSM relationship.

Or is there? :-)

I'd like to hear what you think on this subject!

As I see it, management skills are critical to ethical doms, who are usually called on to set the tone for the relationship and then maintain a vision of what the relationship should be consistently throughout time. Management goes from the minor (deciding on how to decide about meals--the "who serves" "who cooks" "who cleans up" "who picks the menu" "who calls for delivery" and all the other little details that can make eating a complicated enterprise for pervs *g*); to the VERY major (deciding on where you'll live or whether you'll be monogamous).

The ability to manage may model after a good work boss (knowing how and when to delegate, when to solicit and accept advice, being unafraid to make the tough decisions, providing leadership by example, and so on); it could model after a good parent/caregiver (knowing how to organize a complex household, being able to make fair decisions based on thoughtful consideration of all the factors, being able to assign tasks and enforce carry-through, knowing when and how to discipline both firmly and lovingly); or management style could follow a more militaristic model (instituting strict rules with clear penalties, setting the pace and course of training, enforcing order and discipline, ensuring morale and establishing routines).

What do you folks think? Can a dom still be a total hottie without good management skills? Is it, in fact, better not to be a manager as much as a caring and intuitive person--does too much attention to management details take something away from the thrill? Conversely, should subs be the managers--taking over all the little nit-picky details of life so the master or mistress can focus on their mutual pleasures?

How do your relationships work? If you're not in a relationship, then how do you think they should work? :)

Glory

2 memneth     2020-10-21 16:36

no
no (you need both)
no
yes and no

I get final decision making power, sometimes I take into consideration her wants and desires and how sore her ass is inside and out, other times I don't. Being able to seperate wants and desires from needs requires good management skills. Being able to lead requires good management skills. Being able to get what you want when you want it and in the fashion that you want it requires good management skills. Being able to do that AND look after and to another persons needs as a whole require excellent management skills.

Justin Medlin
YDWPF!

3 Kinky Lawyer     2020-10-21 16:37

Wow - what a loaded question. First, I don't think there is a single answer for the reason that relationships vary so much along a spectrum from being a dom at a play party to be the dom in a totally committed, 24/7-365 many year life arrangement in which a submissive has relinquished not some, but all control and responsibility, both personal as well as fiscal. Clearly there are infinite permutations between these two extremes. I think also that the first thing that a dom must do, before exercising or being concerned about management skills is to take inventory of the of the extent to which power has been actually delegated by his/her sub. I don't mean assume that because you receive your sub's paycheck it means that there has been total delegation of authority - I mean really sit down and do an in depth assessment of what the sub is willing to confer on the dom. For example, giving someone a paycheck may seem like very extensive power exchange, but in reality, it is not. There is knowledge that it will be used, at least in part, to pay joint bills, or will be spent for the benefit of both partners. Then too, it is just money on a short term basis. On the other hand what about where they will live - decisions that make determine an entire career may have to be made in the face of relocation issues. There is no basis for a dom to assume that he/she has been given power to that extent, without a frank and candid discussion, negotiation and finalization of specific terms and conditions. Once the issue of extent of power exchange has been formally defined, the issue of management skills can finally come into play - and once assumed, I think that they do set the pace for whether or not the dom can still be a hottie. Be careful doms, on just how much responsibility in a relationship you assume, because I think failure to do well at something you've undertaken can be very damaging to your role and image as a dominant. I think for example the Sir Stephen (my hero) emulator - suave, well groomed, in complete control of his sub and the situation is going to have a crumbled image when subbie is reminded that this moron can't balance a check book or has an arrest warrant floating around for unpaid parking tickets. My my how the real world has a nasty habit of crashing in!! The point is, taking complete control and managing may be a good thing - especially in a committed, extended relationship, but just make sure that you can pull it off. From my own perspective the single biggest thing that I hate in a dom is incompetence. A dom is in control. A dom is in charge. A dom makes things happen or not happen. This image is destroyed by incompetence of any kind - be it the dom that fumbles with the toys in a scene because they haven't bothered to take the time to learn to use them, or the dom who can't make it across the street and into work without fucking something up.
  So yes, in that context, management skills are critical. If you can't pull off the management of yourself, don't try it in a relationship. Be sure when you ask for that kind of conveyance of power that you are able to handle it.

4 Trinity     2020-10-21 23:14

<< Sir Stephen (my hero) >>

Yecch!

To each his/her own I suppose, tho'. :)

5 knyghtflyher     2020-10-22 01:03

Gloria,

Being in a 24/7, 365, M/s relationship, I feel I have some "quality" experience to share. How could I ever, with any conscience at all, ask my slave to accept my control and "management" over her life, if I, on the other hand, was unable to exert the same control over my own life? Personally, financially, and professionally, I must exhibit the qualities that "show" my slave that I have the ability to make "wise" decisions regarding all those matters for myself and am "worthy" and able to do the same for her.

One "caveat", should be mentioned...no one is perfect! Just because I am "Master", I am human and have my feet firmly implanted in the "clay" from which we all arose. Sometimes, a "good" day at work is when I make more "good" decisions than "bad" decisions. Most days are "good" days, but sometimes...... I am fortunate in having a slave with realistic expectations, one who understands the "foibles" of human kind and is willing to "forgive" should I ever make a "critical" error in planning for us.

There are sooo many things that require attention, and I have made decisions than range from "putting my foot down" to "laissez faire". The trick is knowing when and where to apply those ideas. Do I have any "wisdom" to pass along as to when to do what? Not hardly! Each situation is different for each individual involved. Blanket "bits of wisdom" just won't work in "dynamic" situations such as M/s relationships. I look at each situation individually, thinking about the "importance" of the situation and the "consequences" of whatever action I might take and then do what "feels right".

On the fiscal side, I simply decide what we can and cannot do, making sure there is "enough" to take care of the "gotta gotta's", i.e. car payment, rent, food, etc., and enough to take care of some of the "wanna wanna's", as well. I made a budget and I work it. There is always "wiggle" room in that budget, but that is rarely used because I prefer to "err" on the conservative side of "fiscal" matters.

Just this evening, I was "asked" by several of the "management" personnel at my work to "apply" for an advanced position. dragon and I will talk about this because there are bound to be "ramifications" here at home as a result of a decision to "apply", should I be selected. Maybe a little more money but definitely more stress. Can our relationship handle that? All these things must be factored into the decision. Right now I have the "coping" skills to leave "work" behind...will this "new" job allow me that "luxury"? Will I bring my "work" home...something I have tried to eliminate, somewhat successfully, in the past? These questions will affect us...and right now, "us" is more important than anything else.

In short...I accepted the "job" of "CEO" and "COO" of our union. I had better have good management skills if dragon and I are to have the kind of life I feel we both want and, even more important, deserve.

Knyghtflyher

P.S. I was taught one "truth" in the military and it has served me well so far in my life: The Captain of a ship "never" gives an order he knows will NOT be obeyed.

6 -Craig-     2020-10-22 20:24

To me, effective management skills are a tool like any other ... a vehicle for getting the job done. No, I don't think that these types of skills are absolutely essential for someone to be a good dom. However, I don't think I've ever met a good dom who didn't have at least some savvy in this area.

So Gloria ... should we look for your next book in the business section of the store? Will it be ... "Strategic Approaches To Pony Training" ... or perhaps something on *cough* ... branding?

*ducks the onslaught of rotten fruit*

7 Thorn4MyRose     2020-10-22 20:37

(General posting)

Wellll, while the answer to this one might seem pretty obvious on the surface, how about a case where the 'intuitive, caring type' with otherwise mediocre managing skills recognizes, accepts, and admits that weakness -- and balances it by intelligently bringing in the service of someone devoted to managing certain areas for him/her?

I personally don't automatically equate 'controlling' with 'managing' though sure, the two can certainly go hand in hand (just as they can be opposite sides of balanced scale).

Be safe,
Thorn

8 ultraviolet     2020-10-23 10:12

Good management skills are definitely usefull for a dom to have - particularly in relationships with more than one sub. I don't think doms have to be good at managing *every single thing*. If, for example, the sub is better at balancing the checkbook, then that job can be delegated to the sub. But even if the dom does not micromanage everything, a good manager knows how to delegate work anyway.
It might just be a matter of definition, but generally I do associate "controlling" with "managing". But then, I am only speaking from what I know, and have experienced.

9 Chrysalis     2020-10-23 18:50

Speaking from my LACK of experience, I find it difficult to be a good domme because I lack those management skills. I also think some people have these abilities naturally. I don't. Perhaps it comes with time and experience, but I feel if I had better knowledge of these things I'd be much more organized and confident in my ability to be a good domme.

10 memneth     2020-10-23 19:08

Your going to get the knowledge and information that you need, then it becomes up to you to find the ways to utilize it to the best of your ability. It'll come :)

Justin Medlin
YDWPF!

11 Trinity     2020-10-27 10:27

I'm going to play devil's advocate here, or at least appear that I am.

I think the answer to this question depends entirely on how the words "dominance" and "dominant" are defined. In this particular community, a dominant's role is seen as quite managerial: ze dictates how the relationship will be structured, ze dictates what can and cannot be done by the submissive partner, etc. And if a relationship like *that* is seen as awhat D/s fundamentally is, it needs the person heading it to be clear, consistent, and very much like a boss.

But, to me, that isn't what D/s at root means. It is the kind of D/s that scads of people want and even more say they want (I think many try the highly structured approach and realize it's not for them), but I don't think it's necessary to define it that way.

What I take the term 'D/s' to mean, at root, is simply a situation where one partner, in some way, has power delegated to zir by the other partner. (I consider the idea of a D/s 'scene' to fall within these bounds; I realize there is some dispute whether an isolated scene can qualify.) I don't see any reason to assume this power manifests in any particular kind of way.

Consider the following. A and B are in a relationship. A and B seem, on a regular, ho-hum, daily basis, to look pretty much like your standard vanilla couple in terms of taking care of themselves, doing their own things, etc. In most situations, A doesn't interfere much with what B does.

However, in many situations (I'm not positing *all* because I don't think that would be healthy, but if you think the point disintegrates if I don't posit all, go ahead and assume I did), A can override B, tell B that B must do (whatever it is) in a different way, etc, and B will obey A. The D/s is thus in a way somewhat situational. It only comes to bear directly on what's happening when A chooses to exercise zir power.

Not that I see this as that the partners are only D/s in those situations. That scenario does assume that there is a loose framework between the two people that is always there: A can always intervene and stop B, or at least force a discussion that will only allow B to do what B wants when A has agreed it's all right.

(I haven't tackled here what A can positively tell B to do, which may seem to drain the "fun" out of the relationship. I suppose we could assume here that A can tell B to do things, but that A doesn't have the kind of relationship with B where ze can order B to do things that B really doesn't want to do and have B obey automatically (I'm intending to leave out here scenarios where A makes a "rule" and enforces it whether B thinks it's a good idea or not). A could try to, and succeed in, changing B's mind, though (and A's position in the relationship might be a part of how A does this.))

This doesn't fit the model many folks in here describe, but I do think it could qualify as a D/s relationship, and I don't think it necessarily would be a bad one. There are a few questions that would need answering, such as how to make sure that B hasn't made a big decision without A's knowing -- but I think those can be answered in the following way.

I'm thinking here about many people who have told me that the rules of their D/s relationship include some clause like "If I wish to make some major purchase, I must get my Master/Mistress' OK."

Let's fly with this situation. I'm going to use C and D here. Say I'm C: the one with more power in the relationship. Let's assume I'm also married to D, or that in some way I have access to D's money -- a joint account or something like. (We can even assume here that I control D's money if we like; it doesn't really matter.) I have always dreamed, let's say, or owning a speedboat. I look over our financial situation, and I decide that buying said speedboat is within the realm of possibility.

Now, there is nothing in the rules D must obey about my having to get D's approval for anything. (And I'm assuming that, as the dom, there isn't an equivalent set of rules that *I* must obey.) However, even if I have full control of the finances. I believe that the right thing to do here is to tell D that I ish to make such an important purchase, and in a relevant way to ensure that D is OK with my doing so.

Few people would dispute this claim, I know. But I'm not making it to say that anyone would. I'm making it to point out that, even if one person is "the boss", that person often has reciprocal duties to the other member of the relationship. Even though ze technically has "control", often real life infringes on that "control".

And just as I have that responsibility to D, ze has the same responsibility to me. It's not that there needs to be a rule to ensure that big purchases are never made without the other's OK -- it's that telling your partner about *any* big decision you have a yen to make, and discussing how it might affect both, and deciding together, seems to me to be the right thing to do. Even those in a TPE, who might suppose that no matter how D protests, if I want that speedboat ze can't stop me, would also say that if I simply blow D off I am being a highly irresponsible dominant.

And this is why I think my A and B scenario is realistic. I don't doubt that some folks can and do pattern their personal relationships after hierarchies like the army or the office. However, as I've said, I don't think that's how things always work -- nor do I think that has to be the way they work for the relationship to involve D/s.

For that reason I'm not sure how managerial a good dominant needs to be. Zie does need to know, even in my A and B case, when the wisest times to intervene might be -- and one could certainly say that's a managerial skill. But I think there's often a sort of fetishistic (yes folks it is a pun) attention paid to a dom's ability to be the perfect manager, who has (analytically) prepared zirself for any contingency and who insists on no less than perfect consistency.

I find it hard to believe that anyone who tries to fit this model (which looks to me untenably perfectionistic) could find any time to have fun with zir partner. It works for some types of scenes, certainly, and might even work for the type of relationship where you have someone who is "not my friend, but rather my slave and servant". It might work for someone who wants to truly be as detached and unruffleable, regardless of the other partner's need for emotional intimacy, as the character of Sir Stephen (who, I note, repeatedly spoke of such things as obedience and dominance without love.)

I don't, however, think it could work if friendship, love, and other emotions (that tend to be, IMO, less suited to rigidity and more suited to "just hanging out") factor in to the relationship.

It just seems to me that, in many people's discussions of dominant as manager, the mantra "Consistency! Consistency!" takes over the discussion so much that there's not much time left for lazing around and being friends, which to me is an important part of any intimate relationship that involves love and real fondness.

*donning bulletproof vest and stepping into the fray*

12 Thorn4MyRose     2020-10-27 21:45

To: Trinity

Ok, Trin, I'll volley one back. <eg>

Solution: X steps in and MANAGES to collar A, B, C & D, thereby forming the Secret Algebraic Society of Slaves.

(Which fits nicely into several threads all at one time, therefore making this an exceptionally efficient post.)

;-)

13 Trinity     2020-10-27 22:00

Thorn,

I hereby nominate your post for Laugh of the Week. :)

14 ultraviolet     2020-10-28 10:15

Trinity: When I use the word manager, I'm not necessarily talking about somebody who organizes time very well, such as when to eat, sleep, etc. That's fine as well, but I'm just talking about what I would consider good skills in a manager. That would be, somebody who can make sure things are running smoothly, make sure everyone's doing their job, and, if applicable, make sure coworkers are able to work together. I guess I'm also refering to a manager's interpersonal skills.
I'm not saying the dom has all the responsibilities. I think subs have responsibilities too, but this thread was about dom skills.

 

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