When hammering a nail into the wall, machismo dictates that you hit the nail as hard as possible. Likewise, when wading through a crowded sidewalk, a real man shoves his way past those impeding his path. I have witnessed in many places, whether online through profiles on kinky social networking sites, or in person at SM play parties, this same philosophy throughout some people's approach to domination. I've been surprised by how often i've encountered this modus operandi. Perhaps these tops see the need to constantly roar and bark because they don't understand the craft of subtlety - i'm not really sure.
Dominance isn't always about forcibly wielding power. Sometimes, in very quiet, sublime ways, it can be about yielding power. This can be viewed in customary, everyday transactions. When entering a building, and someone is right behind, i hold the door for them, and, instead, let them pass before me. Immediately, even if they don't say anything to me, after they get over the initial shock of the exchange, they will feel a sense of obligation. In that moment, i am exhibiting dominance but without having to be aggressive about it.
In many ways, this suits my style. As i've mentioned before, i don't fit the standard sterotype for dominants (it may shock some of you that i don't own a single pair of leather pants). Rather, i comport myself with style and elegance, dressing myself with an attention to fine tailoring and natty apparel. When i am walking on the aforementioned congested footpath, i usually strut with swift purpose which, coupled with my appearance, usually gets people to steer away from my direct trajectory. In those offchances that our courses will cross, instead of blowing by them or engaging in that awkward tango of stuttered steps, i will stop in my tracks, guiding them by me with a friendly, leading wave of my arm. In this way, i am taking the upper (forgive the pun) hand.
I have set boundaries and rules with my girl wherein she understands that certain tolerances will be expected of her. I have many implements that incur pain in diverse ways to demonstrate the full extent of these tolerances. However, i do not always push her to her limits. She may have just received thirty one of thirty two assigned swats that make her writhe and shake, standing there in thick anticipation of the final, massive blow. But instead of walloping her behind, i'll pull my hand back with great wind, return it with an equal amount of gust, and ever so lightly tap her little tail.
Force needn't exist to establish dominance, but control is a requisite.