A while ago I saw a discussion on Fetlife about whether introversion and domination can go together, which I thought was interesting because it would never have occurred to me to question whether introverts can be both dominant at all and good at it. It’s obvious to me that introverts can be great doms, but apparently it’s not to everyone, so let’s talk about it.
First of all, people are often totally fucking wrong about what introversion actually is. Introversion is not shyness! I’m both shy and introverted myself, they’re different things. Shyness is being afraid to talk to people you don’t know well. Introversion is being worn out by spending too much time around people. Introversion can sometimes look like shyness if the introvert in question decides to spend their limited social energy on people they already know and like instead of gambling it meeting new people they might not like at all, but saving your energy for people who are important to you is not the same thing as being scared of talking with strangers.
Introversion is also not just disliking people. Being picky about who I spend my limited social energy on is not the same as disliking people in general. To be fair, introverts can burn out on people to the point where we temporarily hate everyone if we’re pressured to spend more time with people than is healthy for us, but again, that’s not the same thing as generally disliking people. It’s more like hating a song because the radio plays it fifty times a day. There’s nothing wrong with the song itself, we just can’t fucking stand hearing it over and over and over.
So given that those definitions have nothing to do with either liking being in charge or being good at it, why would anyone even think to question whether introverts can be good doms? My best guess is that it’s another profoundly irritating side effect of the stupid fucking stereotype that “real” doms are loud shouty assholes who browbeat everyone around them into doing what they want to do.
Not only do you not need to be loud and obnoxious to be a good dom, but introverts can be exceptional doms.
One of the most important parts of being a good dom is listening to your submissive and really understanding who they are, what they want, what they need, what they’re afraid of, what’s important to them. If you want to have a particular affect on your submissive, especially if you’re trying to modify their behaviour, you need to understand them. You know who is great at listening and paying attention and thinking about what they’ve learned? Introverts!
Another important part of being a good dom is knowing what you yourself want, what you need, what you’re afraid of, what’s important to you. If you don’t know what you really want, it’s kind of tough to tell other people what you want and to find people who are compatible with you. You know who is great at quietly thinking about stuff and is generally as good at observing themselves as they are at observing other people? Introverts!
On the subject of quietly thinking about stuff, that also lends itself to coming up with interesting things to do with and/or to people 🙂 It’s also good for figuring out why things went wrong and how to fix or avoid it next time.
Also, and this really should be obvious, introverted submissives exist! Some people are (bafflingly) happy with extroverted partners, but other people need partners who understand that a certain amount of peace and quiet is an absolute requirement, not a nice-to-have. If I’m totally uninterested in having a partner who doesn’t understand why I need to hide in my house for a weekend after going to multiple events during the week, doesn’t it make sense that some submissive people would feel the same way?
It is true that an especially introverted dom could be a bad match for a submissive who needs a lot of attention and social interaction, but it’s just as likely that an especially extroverted dom could be a bad match for a submissive who likes being given a task and left alone to actually do it without constant checkins.
The idea that an introverted dom couldn’t give any submissive enough attention is incredibly insulting to submissive people. Being submissive does not mean you’re a pathetic shell of a human being who can’t function without continuous hand-holding from your dom and it’s insulting as fuck to imply that it does. Some submissives would definitely be unhappy with a dom like me who does not want to hear from anyone except my husband every damn day, but others would (I’m assuming) love having a dom who gives them a little space.
Fellow introverts, you can definitely be great doms. Anyone who says you can’t needs to pretend to be an introvert for a minute and try thinking about stuff 🙂