In wandering around WordPress, I stumbled onto a blog post titled “Total Power Exchange” by shysubmissive. It was a nice read of someone considering their submission and the areas they feel called to explore, but one part caught my eye:
I told Sir yesterday that I want to be micromanaged. … I feel a need for a full power exchange.
My first thought was: “It doesn’t work that way. The more slave angie surrenders to me, the less I need to micromanage.”
And then my second thought was: “Why is that?”
Now before I consider that second question, let me back the truck up here. First, what do we mean by micromanage? Your micromanagement might not be my micromanagement, so there’s a big possibility we’re not saying the same thing.
You know… “inconceivable!” I’m going to take it on faith that the phrase is used to mean that the Master-type is taking an active, detail-0riented, really-hands-on, almost puppeteer-like role in exercising his Authority.
And my inner-Aspie just applauded. He’s that guy that really wants to be a control freak because control == safety and having things done exactly as I want them. That sounds all hot and wonderful, but in real life and real practice, it quickly breaks down for me. So it sounds good in theory, but especially with slave angie, this is anxiety-inducing. It has the opposite effect of what I had hoped. That’s not to say that I don’t go into micromanagement mode when needed (or when I feel like it), but I’ve found that as a concept, for us, it’s not needed to deepen the dynamic.
What is needed for us is to understand and explore what it means to take Authority from someone who surrenders to it. And that has been a whole different journey and it’s resulted in much less of a need for me to micromanage.
Let me tell you how that looks in real life… so with this whole Master/slave contest and titleholding thing, one of the requirements of the contests is to give a two minute speech. So, back in 2011, when we first ran for Illinois Master/slave, I set out to do my speech in the way I know how – outline, flesh it out, come up with your ideas, flesh it out, memorize, memorize, memorize. And, like any good Masterfully Mastering Master, when slave angie asked for help and advice, I set out to have her do it the exact same way I do. So every few days “Are you finished with the speech? How’s it coming? What are your thoughts?” Hours spent in the car and upstairs in the bedroom wrestling with her and her speech. By about 4 weeks prior to the contest, she was in knots – WE were knots because I was sure this wasn’t going to end well. Our coach took over helping angie and figured out that my way of doing it was nowhere near what angie needed. Angie takes 3 words or sentences and nails a speech. And, that year, she did.
So in 2013, we progress to the next level of M/s contests, the regional contest at Great Lakes Leather Alliance (GLLA). Same deal, we’re prepping for our speeches. So, instead of micromanaging her every word, I went into micromanagement mode of her getting her “bones” done (that’s what we call the 3 words or sentences… the bones.) “Are you done? Do you have them?” I would remember, she can do this… and back off, but the control freak would come back and I would get back to asking. We had a couple of folks helping us out – Leslie Anderson being one of them and she does speeches much like slave angie does – so I wasn’t quite as bad. And, come GLLA, she goes up with her three sentences and nails it. Really nails it.
So in March 2014, we head to Dallas to compete for the International Master/slave title, and I just looked at her and said “You got this, I’m not even worried.” and I didn’t feel the need to control freak at all. And, she nailed it. Completely. See for yourself…
So what does that have to with surrender and authority? Trust. Having complete confidence in my slave and knowing that her surrender is genuine, is what is motivating her and will lead her to do the best she can. “It’s not the perfection of the task, but the heart and intent that I do it.” is a phrase she uses and knows that I support it. The thing is that she knows I have the highest expectation of her, I challenge her to rise to the occasion and she does. She surrenders herself in tune to the expectations and opportunities I give her, and to the depths that she allows herself to take those steps. And as she surrenders that authority, I accept it and I take an active interest and activity in it. Not to micromanage, because I find that the more I trust her, and the more she trusts in me, herself and her surrender, the less she needs of micromanagement and the more she needs of just leadership.
It’s not an easy thing for me, with the Aspergers, to do this, but I’ve found that focusing on that concept of leadership, of authority/surrender, allows me to show my Mastery of her in ways that speak to her surrender and her soul.
That – to me – is what people think of when they say “Total Power Exchange” – that it is that moment a slave rises to the challenge of surrender, when a Master provides the challenge and expectation of authority, and then exercises it in ethical, positive ways. That’s the magic.