Anyone who knows Spider-Man knows the essential tragedy of his origins. Given remarkable abilities, he initially failed to use them to stop a robber who then later murdered Spider-Man’s beloved Uncle Ben. At that point, our hero came to the realization that “with great power comes great responsibility”, and he dedicated himself to using his gifts for good.
This principle is a good one for doms to remember, because like Spider-Man, we are given the gift of great power over our subs. They entrust us with remarkable power to call the shots in some (or even all) areas of their lives, and they do this because they tend to see us as super-human, larger than life people who deserve that power. Even when they crave cruel treatment, they often also see us as their protectors, the person who is strong enough to keep them safe, both during play and with life decisions that they feel unqualified to make for themselves.
And that behooves us to be constantly mindful of how we use the power they give us. When we get the gift of power, we get the burden of responsibility, as I’ve said before. This is most obvious when the power exchange involves physical play–if I tie up a boy so that he can’t protect himself physically, I’m responsible for any injuries he might suffer. If I’m beating a boy, I have to make sure I know where I can and can’t hit him safely.
But it also very much applies when the power exchange is mental. Subs don’t want to be in control; that’s literally the definition of a sub. So when they surrender control over decisions, they often do it on a very deep level. When a sub is feeling deeply submissive, it is often nearly impossible for them to reclaim control in order to keep themselves safe from harm. So a sub who’s really in a subby place will often prioritize pleasing his dom over watching out for his best interests, because he trusts his dom to be thinking about safety issues. A finsub in the middle of a good cashfuck will often send money he doesn’t have or which is bookmarked for necessities simply because he’s loving the feeling of doing what he’s told. A slave deep in subspace may not realize that they’re beginning to suffer physical harm rather than simple hurt. In a way, subs can be like small children; they love the feeling of being tossed in the air because they trust their dom to catch them on the way down. And just the way that parent and child build a trust bond through the experience of being tossed and caught, dom and sub build a trust bond through the experience of being taken down into their submissive place, used, and then being coming safely out the other side.
When a sub gives us this kind of power–power over their bodies, over their bank accounts, over their life decisions, or whatever–they are trusting us to use this power wisely. When they allow us to be their personal superhero, it is our responsibility to use that great power with great responsibility.