Every time I write about the qualities of a compelling dominant, I receive a rash of messages from tops telling me I’ve described them to a T. Nope. No, you don’t have those traits, and I can tell you why.
My first dominant told me he wasn’t a dominant. This, from a puppet master who could make me ache for something I’d vehemently refused only a day before. He was a rarity: an intensely ethical man who “bought” submission with my own lust. I know a few men like that. Not one of them has ever bragged to me about his skill—not his rigging talent or his power over his submissive or his decades of experience. They never had to. The signs are easy to see if you know what to look for. A note for the 20-year-old masters with 50 years of experience: Your profiles’ domineering bragathons have nothing in common with those signs.
I’ve always been obsessed with Pink Floyd’s The Wall, but until yesterday, I imagined Roger Waters’ vocals had been scrubbed clean during production. It’s easy to sing perfectly if you have the talent. It takes spectacular skill to sing imperfectly without making mistakes, and Roger Waters was just too perfectly imperfect to achieve all that on his own.
Yesterday, I watched him perform The Wall live only to find that none of his genius was the result of production. He didn’t hit a dead note. The man’s gift had me in tears.
At one point during the concert, Roger Waters says, “I’m now going to try to sing a double track.”
That much talent, and the man says “try”. Humility like that almost always coexists with genius.
The nature of Dunning-Kruger effect tells me all I need to know about those over-confident “masters”. Their bragging proves that they don’t respect their craft or role yet—they don’t even know they need to. If they did, they’d understand the magnitude of the task they’ve set before themselves. Their self-importance says, “I’ve not learned enough to know how little I know.”
When I started writing, I knew beyond doubt that I had mastered my craft. It took five years to be taught how little skill I had and another 15 to learn how fleeting my abilities were. Dominants, it’s the very fact that you’ve realised your shortcomings that tells me you’ve evolved.
Roger Waters has another rare quality: he’s exceptionally good at choosing his musicians and backing vocalists. He has to be: he’s one of four artists I know who gives them real stage time. He’s happy to lose all that ego fodder because he’s trying to make music, not masturbate all over his own self-importance, and so are great dominants. Waters understands that he can’t achieve brilliance alone, and this is why our best dominants don’t strut: they know exquisite D/s cannot be a solo act.
Some people only achieve brilliance a few times in their lives. Roger Waters has done it for decades, and yet he gives me a religious experience every single time. A great dominant can do the same, and neither of these two people tells the world that’s what they can achieve. They tell us what they want to try.