On this page is my most current article - it will stay here until I write the next one and then it will be moved to the appropriate group.

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Control, Obedience and Fear

The subject for this discussion is Obedience, Apprehension and Control, but I’m going to change it around to Control, Obedience and Fear  - which is another word for apprehension.

In order to discuss how these elements fit into a Power Exchange relationship, it’s necessary to know what they actually mean.

The dictionary’s basic definitions are as follows:

Control: To exercise an authoritative or dominating influence over someone or something.

Obedience: The act or practice of obeying – dutiful or submissive compliance

Fear: A feeling of unease or apprehension, agitation or anxiety.

It’s pretty easy to see how control and obedience fit together in a relationship – one person is the leader and one is the follower – one is in control, one is not, so the dominant person exercises authority over the submissive person, who obeys or complies with the dominant person’s wishes.

In a 24/7 power exchange relationship, the levels of control and obedience can be pretty high. The dominant person, is the one who makes the decisions, and the submissive person is the one who abides by those decisions. When you choose to become a slave, you are making a choice to let someone else control your life – decisions are not yours anymore unless your Master gives you permission to make them.

Successful Power exchange or M/s relationships are built on trust, honesty and good communication, and therefore there would have to be a lot of discussion around how much control is exercised by the one in charge. Some have complete control over every aspect of the relationship, and some don’t. For example, there are a lot of things in our relationship that I make decisions on, but that’s because Master Joe gave me that responsibility – therefore he is still in control and I am still obeying/complying with his wishes. The exception is anything to do with my son – he does not interfere or try to control any decisions I make in regards to him.

So, control and obedience are linked – we need one to have the other – it isn't really possible to have control without obedience, at least not in my opinion.

 

And that brings me to Fear or apprehension, which is the third element for discussion .

I think fear is something that we all deal with at different times in our lives. There’s bad fear and good fear – bad fear being something that scares the hell out of you, good fear being something that scares you but excites you too.

Is there an accepted level of fear in a power exchange relationship?

I think there’s probably a fair amount of good fear, especially when a relationship is just beginning – speaking from personal experience I can remember being terrified of playing with Master Joe for the first time, but so very excited that I almost had a car accident on the way there!

Everything in a newly established relationship is new – you may have been spanked or flogged before, but not with this new person, so I believe there would always be a level of fear or apprehension – but it’s good fear.

If there are moments of bad fear present then the level will be high at that particular moment. For example if you know you are going to be punished for something, you may be completely terrified not knowing what the punishment may be. This is not good fear, this is bad fear.

Trust must be a defining factor when dealing with fear, especially bad fear. If you have a high level of trust, then even if you are scared, you know you are safe.

Can fear impact the level of control and obedience in a power exchange relationship?

I don’t think it should but I can see how it could. Even if you are scared, as long as you trust each other, then the fear should not impact on the relationship, however if there is a high level of fear all the time, then in my opinion there’s something unbalanced within the dynamic.

Perhaps the Master has unrealistic expectations and therefore the slave cannot meet them, and fails all the time. The slave then becomes frightened or apprehensive about any task or order, knowing that to fail will most likely mean punishment.

This could also cause the slave to question the relationship, or to misbehave knowing that punishment is imminent anyway. This kind of situation can lead to anxiety, depression and a constantly unhappy emotional state and in most cases, the relationship cannot survive.

But, if there is a healthy level of good fear, and the occasional moment of bad fear, these elements can be kept under control. When that happens, the relationship is balanced - there is control, obedience, fear, trust, honesty and good communication and the rewards are fulfilling.

The Master knows that they are in control, that the slave is obedient, and the slave knows that they are pleasing the Master and that leads to harmony between the two.

©Kim Debron 2021