Of all the subjects to write about on submission, this seems the most vanilla to me, probably because it didn't use to be unusual for one partner in a partnership to maintain the bank accounts all that long ago. For some vanilla couples, it still isn't. Personally, I am not a very organized person and on top of that I'm lousy with numbers, always was, even in elementary school. If my check book was ever going to be balanced accordingly, someone else was just going to have to do it!
Fortunately for my check book and I, my Dominant is better organized and more patient with a calculator, and even more fortunate for us he's very good at it.
Regardless of those things, I was reluctant to close my bank account and just hand my life savings over to my Master. Despite my difficulties with maintaining my checkbook, I was very fiscally responsible. I had no debt, and only rarely did I spend money on things I didn't actually need. And besides, I worked hard and put in a lot of overtime to build my savings. I thought I was doing fairly well for myself, all things considered. Then along comes to this man who demands everything from me, including my money, to be put into an account that I will not have access to, but that from which he will provide me with an allowance.
Okay, I understood that he is a Dominant, and that He needs emotional, mental and physical submission from me. But honestly, my bank account too? Sure, bondage and impact play is fun, a lot of fun, truth be told. And I love Him, and I do trust Him implicitly, with my life and all of that stuff that lovers feel when considering their significant others. But money is just different, isn't it?
My Master very patiently explained it all to me again: Control and Power. That is the essence of Dominance as He defined it to me. Control over another human being allows the Dominant to have power over them. My Master wanted absolute control over my life. He wanted me to trust Him enough so as to give Him that control over me. Worrying over my financial situation is not in the job description for my Master's submissive. My job is to do as I am told and nothing else. He wants the responsibility of my upkeep, and up until that point, He had done a remarkable job with that responsibility. Add to that he managed His own finances very well, so looking back I really didn't need to worry so much. So why did I?
Well, in our society, Cash is King. For the most basic needs our bodies and psyches demand to maintain a healthy lifestyle; food, clothing, shelter, fresh water, not to mention all of this and hopefully a little more when we retire. We cannot obtain these basic necessities without paying for it in cash, check or credit card. Back to paper and coin currency, people traded goods for what they needed. Its a system long established for our species.
And when it comes to the things we don't need but would really like to have - the luxuries - we need money for that too. One needn't go much farther than turning on the television to be bombarded with the evidence of the importance our society places on those who have money in spades: Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Paris Hilton, ad nuseum.
Because of all of this, we put a lot of priority on being financially well-off. Women especially, have come to appreciate financial freedom in the last 50 years, or so. So we understand on a deep instinctual level how important it is to be able to maintain ourselves financially. Considering all the importance we place on money, it really is understandable why someone might be reluctant to just up and give that control over to another person.
There are many different aspects to financial domination, maybe as many as there are D/s relationships. There are even professional Dommes that specialize in Financial Domination, for which their clients pay for Their living expenses, shopping sprees and also buy Them gifts. In some cases, the submissive may even grant the Fin Domme access to his bank account to withdraw funds as may be agreed upon beforehand. This certainly seems extreme: a submissive friend of mine who has researched Fin Dommes states, as seductive as all types of control are to him, “Whip me, beat me, but don't take my retirement!”
But seeing as the vast majority of us here, are not Fin Dommes (although re-thinking my D/s role suddenly seems very tempting), and probably find ourselves in a more domestically inclined situation (as I do), there is a chance that at some point the issue of financial domination will come up between you and your Dominant, as it did with my Master and I. If and when this happens, here is some practical advice based on how I handled my situation (this worked for Master and I, but may not work for you or anyone else. I offer this as a model only):
- Ask for some time to discuss this subject with your Dom/me, when neither of you are busy, over worked, stressed, etc. After dinner may be a great time, or maybe a Sunday morning after breakfast. Turn off the television, the Xbox, your cell phones and anything else that may be a distraction. Most people make an appointment to see someone at their bank to discuss their accounts, during which they do not usually let anything else distract them. Its not a bad idea to treat this the same way. As well as this being a time where you're not distracted, it's probably a good idea to also make this a time where the two of you can approach each other as equals.
- Ask your Dom/me to bring their bank statements and checkbook, or their computer if they maintain their accounts online. This is for your own edification, yes, but it is also a demonstration of just how seriously you are considering their proposal. Take your time perusing the paperwork.
- If you have a question, just ask it! If you need clarification about anything, ask for it! Its impossible to stress how important it is to ask after something that you are unclear on, however stupid it may sound to you, or how embarrassed you may feel about asking. Chances are that you would probably feel even more stupid if your Dominant takes off with your retirement fund!
- Approach this discussion with the attitude that you are meeting with a financial advisor, or a with a banker/investor. After all, this particular aspect of your relationship is not all that different: Your opening an account at the “Bank of Master” and will likely be making deposits and maybe even some withdrawals for a long time to come.
- It may be a good idea to ask about a trial period, during which you may change your mind if you wish, and withdraw your money at any time without your Dom/me exerting their influence to change your mind. Don't hesitate to ask questions of your Dominant at any time.
If at any time, you feel that your Dominant is becoming coercive or aggressive during this time, or that you are slipping back into submissive mode, stop and ground yourself in the moment. Ideally, your Dom/me should be doing their part in providing an environment in which your mutual trust can flourish, but it is not their job, alone. Trust is a two-way street. The trust a submissive must have for their dominant is obvious to everyone, but I feel that what seems frequently overlooked is that a submissive must also be trustworthy. One of the best ways to foster trust for the submissive is to openly discuss issues with their Dom/me.
Probably the most difficult aspect of this for most people is the unconscious tendency to let their emotions get in the way: Emotions regarding their Dominants, which may include love and desire, but are always complex as well as emotions regarding money, which may include love and desire, but are always complex!
Do your utmost to clear your mind before hand. Meditation is a good way to do this, but some may not have the patience for this, and some may have other ways of grounding themselves. There are a plethora of articles out there to help you ground yourself and maintain balance. But please trust me when I tell you that keeping yourself level-headed while discussing financial matters, especially those involving financial domination will only serve you positively in the end.
Would you like to read more on Financial Domination? Check out these resources.