"Accepting exchanged power, without ever feeling in control, is not dominating."Is that true? To some extent, I believe it is. If you don't feel in control, and yet you are attempting to control another person, you are not dominating. You are acting. The other person might not know that you are, if you are good, but that doesn't make it dominance. It's just make-belief.
Yet I believe that you CAN feel in control, and be dominating, without feeling confident about everything. For example, I'm generally quite confident in my skills as a dominant. I believe I'm fairly good at reading the people I play with, I'm fairly confident with light bondage etc. But that doesn't mean I'm confident in every respect, all the time. To say that doms might never feel uncertain, would be to claim that we aren't human.
You could admit to being afraid or worried or nervous, but if you want your sub to let go and go into "sub mode", I don't think you could make such admittances during play. Beforehand or after, sure, but not during. And so we act as though we are in supreme control, super-confident about everything. But sometimes, we might think "shit! what just happened?!?" (like when Tight seemed to have fainted on me while we were playing), or "omg, I really hope this works!" (like when Mondage had a big, vibrating egg up his ass and we had real trouble getting it back out). But we try our best not to show it to the sub, because indicating that we are uncertain or not as in control as they think we are, means they can't let themselves go as much. After all, the joy of being a sub is the joy of knowing that someone else is taking responsibility for some parts of you for a while. It means the sub can let go, and just enjoy the ride. And if he feels that he can't trust you to manage the situation you're putting him in, he can't let go as much or as easily.
That's what position of authority, no matter if it's in BDSM or in the work place, is based on: You act supremely confident and never let your subordinates think otherwise. It's about trust. If you aren't confident, your subordinates won't trust you to do the job. Ofcourse, the difference between a work place and a BDSM relationship, is that in BDSM that position of authority disappears/is lessened when you aren't playing. This means that doms should be able to talk things through with their subs afterwards, to exchange experiences and show their more fragile and uncertain sides.
Does anyone else have any thoughts on this subject? Can uncertain, nervous, worried people still be doms? Can you feel less than 100% in control and still dominate? I'd appreciate other people's input. :)