A lot of novice doms make the very basic mistake of confusing being demanding for being dominant. I see this all the time. Subs complain about doms sending them messages out of the blue saying things like “Hey, fucker, you have to obey me now.” Online, a lot of findoms operate on the ‘Fuck you, pay me” model.
These approaches work for some subs, but most subs quickly get bored with them. What a majority of submissives want is not someone who’s demanding but someone who’s commanding. While the difference sounds small, in fact it’s massive.
Being commanding involves giving orders you know are going to be obeyed. You know that the sub wants to obey and simply needs the nudge of being given an order. So the essence of commanding is confidence, which is a tremendously appealing quality. In contrast, being demanding involves giving orders you only hope will be obeyed. So the essence of demanding is uncertainty, which is a pretty unappealing quality.
Commanders seem strong and self-assured, aware of what they want and knowing how to get it. Demanders seem brittle and weak, hoping to cover their insecurities with a lot of noise.
Commanders can seem cocky. Demanders seem jerky.
Commanders don’t have to raise their voice. They understand that shouting tends to produce diminishing returns because once you shout, you have nowhere else to go. Demanders raise their voice because they’re trying to demonstrate a strength they don’t actually feel inside. And once they do that, all they can do is keep shouting.
Commanders inspire confidence and a desire to follow. Demanders often inspire amusement, like a kid who is stomping around in his father’s boots.
Commanders have experience doing the things they want to do. Demanders are often trying to get experience.
Commanders are confident enough to admit what they don’t know or which skills they are still practicing. Demanders are usually afraid to admit what they don’t know because they think they’re supposed to know everything.
Commanders gladly take feedback from their subs because they understand that they may not know everything and they know that subs are often willing to be complicit in their own subordination. Demanders usually see feedback as destructive criticism and so tend to resist it.
Commanders respect the people who follow them, even when they are humiliating them. They value their subs and see submission as a gift to be earned. Demanders often have contempt for the people who follow him. They don’t value their subs because they see submission as something they are owed.
Commanders know that respect is earned, and so they prioritize being someone who earns respect by their words and deeds. Demanders think that respect is imposed by force, and so they prioritize shows of force.
Commanders seem like men. Demanders seem like children.
When a commander runs into an obstacle, like a sub who doesn’t obey as expected, the commander will try to understand what the issue is. He may change tactics to get to his desired result, or have a conversation with the sub about what went wrong. When a demander runs into obstacles, he’s likely to try brute force, such as yelling louder or getting angry.
Commanders are more likely to get angry on someone else’s behalf than on their own. Demanders are more likely to get angry on their own behalf rather than on someone else’s.
Commanders are often willing to experiment because they understand the principles of dominance and so can try new things easily. Demanders are often following a script they don’t fully understand and so are more likely to imitate than innovate.
Commanders are often modest because they see little reason to exaggerate their gifts and accomplishments, and know that others will recognize their worth. Demanders tend to brag about their accomplishments because they’re worried otherwise no one will recognize them.
Be a commander, not a demander.