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Friday, April 8, 2011

Dominance v Arrogance

Sin over at Finding my Submission wrote a very thought-provoking piece on the 7 deadly sins.  First she covered sub ones and then covered the Dom ones (the link is just to the Dom ones).  A few subs voiced the opinion about arrogance not really belonging on the list and mouse disagrees with that line of thought.

Dominance in the dictionary means to rule, control, authority.  

Arrogance in the dictionary means an offensive display of superiority or self importance.  

Those are different qualities that can at first blush seem related.  Omega is fond of reminding mouse that if she makes a mistake he has to examine it.  He has to first ask himself, if he was completely clear in his direction.  If the answer is no, then he will say the fault lies with him, because he was unclear.  Now if he examines it and the answer is yes, he was clear, then it becomes a punishable offense.   If his direction are unclear and he punishes mouse anyway that is arrogance.

Arrogance pushes limits before they are ready to be pushed, or in other words not for the betterment of the relationship/dynamic but only because they want to.  Dominance, at least the way Omega is, doesn't push through a limit without discussing it first.  He will note that limit is on shaky ground and react to that, but he won't just barrel through it, instead skimming a toe across the line.  Later on he gives fair warning and moves slowly until he gets where he knows both he and mouse are comfortable.  Before long the limit is no longer an issue between us.  An example might be the violet wand (electric play).  He knew mouse was terrified of it.  Instead of just dragging it out during play and demanding that she submit to it, he moved slowly.  He got mouse used to it, how it sounded, the smells and how it felt.

Dominance told him to get mouse used to it.  Bring her along slowly until she accepted it.  Arrogance would have told him something different.  Arrogance would have told him, "who gives a shit, I want it." Arrogance more often than not, causes injuries and mistakes.  Arrogance prevents any type of full disclosure.

Arrogance often makes Dominants act or pretend to be more dominant than they are and a classic example is when something goes wrong the sub is blamed.  There is no examining the facts, there is no consideration that the command was unclear, it is simply the submissive's fault and they are punished.

A couple years ago, early on in our dynamic we had an incident in a public place.  It was a bad day, we were both off and mouse was feeling rather moody and pushed some limits Omega had set.  It didn't happen just once but several times that day and Omega finally had enough and corrected mouse with a slap to the face in shopping mall.  It was not done in a discrete way but right out there and close to the food court.  Quickly mouse realized that she crossed a line and she was at fault and later on when she blogged about it and a friend called him on it.   Yes, him.

He responded with a comment that read in part:

Without addressing the obvious legal and moral ramifications, I will acknowledge it wasn't an act of dominance but an act of arrogance on my part. Not once that day, but twice I showed great indifference to mouse. Firstly, by slapping her on the face in a public setting. A move I instantly regretted and vowed to never repeat. Secondly, I did not, in what only can be described as my further arrogance, apologize to her for this incident. Regardless of what she had done that day, I too crossed a line. 

Later on we talked about it.  It's true mouse thought nothing of it when she wrote about it and had it not been for that friend, she would have thought he was just being dominant.  Or asserting his dominance over mouse.  

That would have been just plain wrong.  It needs to be added that everyone has moments of arrogance, but it's how those moments stack up against everything else that matter.  


  1. My mouse,

    I remember that moment vividly and you have come so far since those days. Well, perhaps we both have.

    Your previous owner was arrogant and did abdominal things to you out of his arrogance under the guise of Dominance. It is very often difficult for a submissive woman to see the difference. However arrogance, over time begins to feel wrong and leaves the submissive with feeling hopeless. Nothing they can do is right and therefore they are wrong.

    It is a sad time when that occurs.


  2. Arrogance is unacceptable in any relationship. All it does is isolate and puts people at risk physically and emotionally.

    You and Omega have grown so much just since I started reading you. I hope he is on the rapid road to recovery.

  3. Hi mouse,

    Good points. It's important to be careful and not be taken by the fake dominance of arrogance. I agree with Omega too that overtime it will leave a sense of hopelessness. For me it boils down to does he have an arrogant heart or a humble heart. Yeah sometimes even a man with a humble heart can act arrogantly, but he will be willing to admit that. Sometimes it's joking. Dragon has intentionally said something arrogant to get a rise out of me. That's done from fun and love, not an arrogant spirit.

    you and Omega are a treat to follow.


  4. Thank you for sharing this. It draws a pretty clear picture of the difference between dominance and arrogance. As someone new to this, I think it would be really easy to be taken in by someone whose behavior exemplified arrogance instead of dominance. I appreciate the insight. I really appreciate your willingness to share so much of your life on your blog. It's been a valuable resource to me.

    Funny, that this topic Dominance/Arrogance/Humbleness seems to be a theme in several blogs I have read today.

  5. What a beautiful analysis of the difference, Mouse. I so admire your relationship with Omega.

    Thank you.


  6. Perfectly described. It is important to know the difference between Dominance and arrogance, and to recognize that arrogance is wrong in any person.

  7. would it arrogant of me to say "duh" just kidding mouse, very well written. Sadly far to many so called Doms do not understand this basic difference.

  8. Turi remembers having a conversation with a friend years back. He was in the last semester of school, getting a degree in psychology, and working on his dissertation (in other words very stressed out)... and the topic of arrogance came up. We were talking about how so many doctors tend to be arrogant and he was beginning to see why.

    So ended up telling him that being arrogant really wouldn't help as a doctor... what the patient needs is someone who is sure of themselves. And at first he was thinking of them as one and the same, but after our chat he realized there was a huge difference. Even in a doctor/patient relationship, arrogance can leave a person feeling helpless and confused. But having a doctor who is sure of himself and knows what he is talking about... that helps bring comfort.

    It's basically the same in this lifestyle. Great post!



  9. Such a very important distinction. Thank you!


  10. This is one of the most interesting threads i have read for a long time. It has definitely struck a chord with me. Well posted and well commented back everyone.

  11. Daddy,

    Your mouse loves you so very much and we've both grown so much.


  12. mindset - indeed we have and yes, he's doing much better.

    k - sometimes we don't see the arrogance and sometimes that's because we don't want to see it.

    poured out - it's because of new people mouse does this.

    aisha - thanks.

    Alice - thanks. Arrogance is wrong...and we all do it at times.

    Sir J - thank you Sir!

    turiya - thanks

    Findingsara - so glad

    Dad man - thank you so much!

    Thanks for all the comments everyone.


  13. Very well put mouse! I think this is the exact point where "newbie" Doms go wrong -maybe most out of not yet knowing the difference and are trying to assert them self and overcompensate. The one's that are just pure and simply arrogant I think only uses D/s as a guise, they don't have a Dominant bone in them -they are just weak persons that are only out to satisfy themselves and their own needs.

    I too hope this post will open people's eyes to the difference -it is so very important!

    Thank you mouse for this post =)


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