Trust and control

I have been having some discussions recently about specific things that could be interpreted either as testing trust or exercising control. The act is the same, the intent is not.

If you are exerting control because you don’t trust your partner, you have a problem.

Let me say it again…

If you are exerting control because you don’t trust your partner, you have a problem.

Not a little one either, a big huge gigantic problem.

  • Are you putting him in a chastity device to stop him cheating on you?
  • Are you asking for his email or kink site passwords because you want to check up on him?
  • Are you having him tell you where he is at different times of the day because you aren’t sure he is telling you the truth about his whereabouts?
  • Are you not allowing him out on his own because ‘who knows what he will get up to’?
  • Do you monitor his phone calls because you want to know what he is saying to whom?
  • Do you check his online logs because you want to know who he has been talking to, about what, and how?

If so… that is not about control, it is about trust and you have a BIG issue.

Intent is important… really important. The question is not really ‘what are you doing?’, but ‘why?’. Why are you doing this thing?

The act may be the same (‘give me your email password’), but as a dominant, if you are trying to secure trust with control, you will fail. Every. Time.

From the submissive side, if he doesn’t trust you enough to give you access to certain aspects of his life, he is setting the boundaries of his submission.

Trust comes first, and if you don’t have that, the rest is going to fall apart.

If I have my submissive’s passwords for email or online sites (and I have and do), it is not because I want to ‘check up on him’. I don’t need to. I trust him. I have these things because it heightens the sense of control, because as the relationship grows, more of ‘his stuff’ becomes an extension of my dominance, and he *wants* me to have it, it is a sweetness and a hotness for me to have it, and I have a right to it. He offers it as a natural extension of his submission and I accept it in that spirit.

So my thoughts:

  • As a submissive, if you do not trust your dominant enough to give her access to certain parts of your life (say, your email account), then that defines the boundaries of the relationship and/or the edges of trust. There is no problem with that, just recognise it and set limits accordingly.
  • As a dominant, if you are asserting control in a particular area, be sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. If you are doing it it to keep tabs on him, then you need to assess the nature of the relationship and address the trust issues *first* before trying to assert control in that area.

For me, if either of us have doubts about trust, we need to sort them out before we play with control in those areas. There *are* limits for most relationships, even in long term ones (for example, one might not give their credit card pin number to their partner even after 10-15 years). That’s perfectly fine.

I am not making a statement about what anyone *should* share in their relationship. My statement is that you cannot use control as a substitute for trust, that’s it.

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Yes, to me too.

* Caveat caveat… the examples are only applicable *if* you are attempting to go into these areas. Every relationship is different, not everyone wants to share these things etc etc… for those who don’t want to, the premise is still valid even if the examples are not… So if you comment and say ‘it’s not about trust, we just don’t want to do those particular things’, I will sigh and go ‘yeah, whatever!’.

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23 Comments

  1. Secretive Slave: “Insecurity pulls me right out of my sub head.”

    I wasn't quite clear what you meant here. Did you mean insecurity (jealousy/mistrust?) on the part of your dominant?

    “Great post Ferns!”

    Thanks!

    Ferns

  2. Dear Ferns,

    100% spot on. Control is hot, lack of trust is not.

    My Goddess asking me for a status/location report whenever we're not together is an extension of our play. The control keeps a certain level of D/s energy flowing even when we're not together. The required reporting is an expression of her dominance and my submissiveness. The moment that resentment would set-in is the moment that the flow of D/s is interrupted and the relationship falls apart.

    There is no substitute for surrendering control in an environment of trust.

    And yes my Goddess also has access to all my emails and online accounts. But even better, we share in all our activities, including a weekly femdom porn fest. She loves to see what I think is hot, and I love seeing her get hot over what makes me hot (apart from her).

    Great insights, Ferns! Read and learn, people… read and learn…

    All the Best,

    Dymion
    Owned & collared by Goddess Selena

  3. Miss Ferns, very well put. Unfortunately, I am not sure many people think about the distinction.

    Interestingly, I have a greater need for privacy than my Mistress. She's perfectly happy for me to have access to her accounts, so that I can get work done for her, but I really don't like her having access to mine. It's not that I'm hiding anything (it's hard to imagine what I would *need* to hide, given the openness of our relationship), it's just that it makes me feel better.

    Respectfully, Étienne

  4. Dymion: “Control is hot, lack of trust is not.”

    *sigh* I could have just said that and been done with it… heh.

    “My Goddess asking me for a status/location report whenever we're not together is an extension of our play”

    This. Control and/or play… sweet and hot.

    “…including a weekly femdom porn fest…”

    Well you have seen what I like… if you find anything along those lines, you must share!

    “Great insights, Ferns!”

    Thank you, Dymion.

    Ferns

  5. Dymion: “Control is hot, lack of trust is not.”

    Ferns: *sigh* I could have just said that and been done with it… heh.

    LOLOL

    I find it interesting that vanilla women interested in chastity devices (I can direct you to some of their websites if you like) invariably promote the device along the lines of “now you don't have to worry when he goes on business trips”. It always makes me sad, that their relationships are so lacking in trust.

    Have you read Peter Master's “The Control Book”? He lives in Sydney, he attended a couple of the workshops / panels I was on at The Gathering and it was funny to be referring people to a book who's author was in the room *grin*. But he's got interesting things to say re gaining / maintaining D/s control. I felt like sending a link to the vanilla ladies I just mentioned.

  6. Étienne: “Miss Ferns, very well put. Unfortunately, I am not sure many people think about the distinction.”

    Thank you, and I believe you are right. Discussions about it always tend to lead to the trust question one way or another.

    “Interestingly, I have a greater need for privacy than my Mistress.”

    Yes, I think this varies widely and there a a lot of factors in it.

    I can't imagine a situation where I would give my password/s to my submissive… the feeling of 'giving of stuff' that I think works from my side in a D/s sense makes me twitchy when reversed, and plus, I do like the sense of 'unfairness'. Funny that.

    Ferns

  7. That was So well put.
    Bravo!

    Interestingly enough, I have had all my slave/husbands passwords, but have lost most of them…and dont care. He has all mine and looks in on my accounts often. I encourage that because of the unfairness of our situation. I am free to do as I please in all ways (he is cuckolded also), but I dont always remember to share. I choose to share all with him for the sake of openess and the heat it generates between us. If I forget to tell him of some hot flirting, he gets to read it later and that thrills us both.

    Trust is hard to come by for some. We had our issues in the begining as well. With growth and patience, it can all be put in it's proper place. It is a wonderful place we are now. The trust is complete and life is fabulous. I own him so deeply and completely, that there are no issues at all in my mind in regards to this subject.

    Life is good.

    MistressKimm

  8. If your asking for pin numbers etc chances are you're a Nigerian Dom/me haha. Otherwise Ferns is bang on the money it's not control it's control freakery if you don't trust them

    Coug

  9. Hmmm. The two contrasting motives for control suggest two entirely different sets of feelings that I'd have about the woman in question.

    To be blunt, I think I'd have trouble seeing the sort of woman who controls because she lacks trust as 'being dominant'. I agree: not hot. 'Petulant', especially, looks un-Dommely to me.

    As an aside, I do find certain things that Dommes like to do quite interesting. Funny, and cute too, sometimes. I often think “Oh! So, controlling *that* particular part of a sub's life would be enjoyable for you, would it?” For instance: email passwords . . . I hadn't actually thought of that one!

    By the way, Miss Ferns, I've grown to enjoy these discussion posts of yours, and would wish for you to continue with them for a while. Please do another discussion blog next time rather than an erotic one.

    Sir Puppington Lothian.

  10. Mistress160: “I find it interesting that vanilla women interested in chastity devices… invariably promote the device along the lines of “now you don't have to worry when he goes on business trips”.”

    Interestingly, I find this in D/s relationships also, but you are right, chastity devices are *marketed* at vanilla women on that basis.

    “Have you read Peter Master's “The Control Book”?”

    No, I haven't… I do have one of his, but not that one. I had a look at the synopsis… it does look interesting. Worth adding to my reading list, thank you!

    Ferns

  11. MistressKimm: “That was So well put. Bravo!”

    Thank you!

    “He has all mine and looks in on my accounts often. I encourage that because of the unfairness of our situation.”

    Ooh… interesting take…

    “The trust is complete and life is fabulous. I own him so deeply and completely, that there are no issues at all in my mind in regards to this subject.”

    *smile* That's so lovely, I'm always delighted to hear about happiness *wistful sigh*

    Ferns

  12. Coug: “If your asking for pin numbers etc chances are you're a Nigerian Dom/me haha.”

    Ssshhh… no telling!! I'm not Nigerian, really… heereee little piggy piggy piggy…

    “…it's not control it's control freakery if you don't trust them”

    “Control freakery” – I like that!

    Ferns

  13. puppy: “For instance: email passwords . . . I hadn't actually thought of that one!”

    No? How about facebook, FL, CM, SL, discussion forums, your computer as a whole… If they are an integral part of your life, the passwords hold power.

    “By the way, Miss Ferns, I've grown to enjoy these discussion posts of yours, and would wish for you to continue with them for a while. Please do another discussion blog next time rather than an erotic one.”

    Ha! You think your transparent reverse psychology will work on me?!!

    You want erotica, frigging well come here and give me something to write about!!

    Ferns

  14. Miss Ferns,

    “No? How about facebook, FL, CM, SL, discussion forums, SL, your computer as a whole… If they are an integral part of your life, the passwords hold power.”

    I'm sure they do hold power – but they're not the kinds of power over a sub that I've imagined Dommes actually enjoying. It's interesting. Well, I don't mind: were 'she' to enjoy it, whatever kind of control she's exerting, I'd enjoy it as well. Fun! (I have my limits, of course – as far as I'm concerned, a gentleman's meerschaum pipe and choice of fine Virginia tobacco are his own affair.)

    “Ha! You think your transparent reverse psychology will work on me?!!”

    Bah! You've rumbled me!

    “You want erotica, frigging well come here and give me something to write about!!”

    Hmmm. I know what would happen if I were to come to Australia. I'd alight at the wrong airport and have to travel overland by car to your home city. But my car would break down in some hot, arid, desert area. I would have to hitch-hike. A smart, new, executive car would pull up, and the tall, blonde, svelte lady driver of it would beckon me over. By happy coincidence she's en route to my very destination!

    We begin to chat. But her response to my attempt at introductions is decidedly odd. She only smiles and says, 'Our names don't matter. You will call me 'Ma'am', and I will call you 'boy'.”

    There's something about my driver that makes me want to please her . . . .

    Gracious me – I'm drinking my morning coffee, and I've just created my *own* woodsomeness. Splendid!

  15. puppy: “…they're not the kinds of power over a sub that I've imagined Dommes actually enjoying.”

    Heh… you would be surprised… whatever you value highly as 'yours'… any of that… that's what I want…*that*

    “Gracious me… I've just created my *own* woodsomeness. Splendid!”

    *laugh* Self service… nice…!

    Ferns

  16. “Heh… you would be surprised… whatever you value highly as 'yours'… any of that… that's what I want…*that*”

    Ah! Surprises. Yes! I want a lady who makes me blink and think, 'What? Really? You want that?!'

  17. I bet I can make you blink AND wince at the same time Anon and yes I do want THAT! And Ferns please feel free to use control freakery at your discretion lovely

    Coug

  18. Sorry, Coug, that 'Anon' was me – Sir Puppington.

    I'm still a *little* worried by Miss Ferns's “… whatever you value highly as 'yours'… any of that… that's what I want…*that*”. I think she's after my new Swiss Army Knife. Well, she's not having it. It's *mine*.

  19. puppy: “I think she's after my new Swiss Army Knife. Well, she's not having it. It's *mine*.”

    *smile* Well, puppy, if you were mine, you would hand it over happily and then you would thank me for taking it… just sayin'.

    Carry on.

    Ferns

  20. “Sooooo Pup Ferns gets a Miss and I don't ? I forsee more winces than blinks in your future my lad!”

    My apologies, Miss Coug. My manners have become terrible of late!

    Miss Ferns,

    “*smile* Well, puppy, if you were mine, you would hand it over happily and then you would thank me for taking it… just sayin'.

    *Best Croc Dundee mimic*:

    'You call that a response? *This* is a response'

    Heh.

    But yes, I'd hand over my new Swiss Army knife happily were you to demand it.

    And then I'd just as happily watch you trying to use it. “What does this tool do, puppy? And what about this one? Has it got a thingy for putting on eyelashes? Ouch! I've broken a nail!”

    Sir Puppington Lothian.

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