June 23, 2010

Proactive versus Reactive

There are many ways to lead a M/s or D/s relationship. I am certain you will find every way imaginable if you were to look at 100 different relationships. Just like managers in business lead in a way that reflects their personality, so, too, do those responsible for directing a BDSM relationship. We each have different characteristics that are important. That is why I feel there is no "one-size fits all" manuals available. Each person needs to find his/her own way.

Fitting in with a Master

Many will take the initiative and contour the behavior to match the specific Master. However, there are probably a larger number who will not. This could be one of the main reasons why so many BDSM relationships do not succeed. A submissive opts to remain glued to his/her way of doing things. Lack of change will doom any BDSM relationship.

I am not one who prefers to micromanage a submissive. This is something that I find totally revolting. The idea of overseeing the most minor of details makes me want to vomit. I neither have the time nor the discipline to do it. Of course, what I am saying is purely subjective and not proclaiming anyone who operates this way as being wrong. It is just my preference.

A case in point, I heard a slave mention that she had to learn a 500 page manual containing all the house rules. This is a system that is in place in this particular situation. In my house, there arent enough rules to fill 500 pages. The main reason for that is because I am not going to write a 500 page manual of rules. If I was going to do that, I would instead write a 500 page book about this life that I love. Dictating every aspect of a sub/slave's life is unappealing.

Leaving my opinion aside, what is exemplified by the abovementioned slave is that she is contouring her actions to the prescribed methods of her Dom/Master. Perhaps she is one who lacked the discipline to behave in a proper manner. The rules that she is learning might be well suited to change and mold her into something better. She is seeking to fit in with this particular Master's way of doing things. It is her responsibility to adapt, not his.

Proactive Versus Reactive

In life, there are two ways to approach any situation: people can either be proactive or reactive. Typically, individuals take on a particular tendency which permeates throughout their entire life. Many will point to the "Type A" personality when referring to someone who is proactive. This is a person who doesn't wait around for things to happen. He or she is one who takes initiative. Errors are usually made on the side of overacting.

Contrast this with someone who is a reactive personality. These types tend to await instruction. They are the ones who have wonderful ideas once something catastrophic happened. They are never early in their estimation. Instead, they allow fear (usually) to operate as their guide. At times they are extremely methodical and analytical. However, these qualities are offset by the fact that they rarely strive to greater levels.

Tying It Together

What does proactive versus reactive personalities have to do with a BDSM relationship? I will answer that by using myself as an example. Basing your conclusion upon the information I mentioned about not being a micromanager, which personality type do you think works best for me? Do you think that one who is proactive will serve me better or one who is reactive? Does the one with the ability to take initiative aid me through service or one who is continually waiting around for my guidance?

Naturally, the particular individual will make the difference but, overall, I fare better with those who are proactive. My life is one which can be in chaos at times. Therefore, one who constantly seeks approval before taking any action is a detriment to me. I operate under the expectation that things get completed. Waiting for me to say "yes" to a particular directive is not a reasonable excuse. My methodology is to provide broad guidelines and have anyone under my control operate within them.

For example, I delegate all the yardwork. This is a chore that is understood to be outside of my responsibility. I expect the yard cut and the trimmings placed at the curb on the proper day for pickup. Now, do you think I really care which day the lawn (although some call it weeds) gets done? I do not. It is beyond my ability to share with you what day the grass is usually mowed. I simply know it is done on a weekly basis. A slave is adult enough to operate within these parameters in my world. Time management is something I expect one to be able to handle. She needs to create and maintain her own schedule.

This is what I mean about being proactive. A reactive slave would often await approval to mow the yard on a particular day. Mine simply gets it done. In addition, if there is something that needs attention, it gets handled often without my knowing about it. There are boundaries which are respected especially where money is concerned. However, anything within that area is up to her to decide for herself.

I again want to make it clear that my way is not the only way nor the preferred method. It is what works best for me. However, proactive versus reactive is something to pay attention to when you are looking at how you interact with another. If you are a Dominant, figure out what works best for you. On the other side, as a submissive, determine what your dominant one prefers and contour your actions to meet that. It will help a great deal.

One final thought: honest appraisal of oneself is crucial. Resist the temptation to delude yourself into thinking you are something that you are not.

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Vesta on June 24, 2010 at 5:38 PM said...

I think that is a very useful and helpful way of looking at the situation and clarified an issue for me.

Certainly, my owner is not at all unlike this: wanting a submissive who can manage most tasks on her own and take initiative, advising and consulting as necessary.

At times, I've wondered if we measure up, since we go about our lives in this fairly independent way, but your comments helped me to realize that this is simply our style.

Alujna on June 27, 2010 at 2:36 AM said...

i think i'm more reactive, i don't take the initiative but i tend to work well within certain parameters( not too many, i can adapt but i prefer clear instructions, so that i don't screw up). although even i don't like micromanaging.. i do operate a bit better with a little fear.

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