Awhile ago, I was talking to a friend of mine and asked her if she had any good topic ideas because it’s good to have outside influences and she suggested micromanaging vs proactivity. I got super excited because it’s an awesome topic. I figured it would be a rather easy topic to write about, but before I started writing, I posted a question in a group on Fetlife asking both masters and slaves(as this is a Masters and slaves group)whether they preferred to be micromanaged or proactive and asked the masters what they prefer from their slaves. Let me just say, but the various answers I received, I realized this wasn’t going to be as easy of a topic as I had thought.

Ever since I have started out in the lifestyle, I always heard of micromanaging and being proactive. With that, I always considered proactiveness being the opposite of micromanaging and in a way it is, but I found a better match, for both words. Micromanaging vs macromanaging and reactive service vs proactive service. With the reading I have done, I have also learned that micro/macromanaging is more of how the master leads while re/proactive service is more what the slave does. I found a lot and read a lot and realized that I couldn’t fit everything into just one article without having an article that would be about the size of War and Peace. So, I’m breaking this down into something more manageable. Today will be the differences between micromanaging and macromanaging and later will come the article about reactive vs proactive service.

Before I go any further, I want to define what micromanagement and macromanagement is.


: Management or control with excessive attention to minor details; where a manager closely observes or controls the work of subordinates.


: anything very large scale, scope or capability, large controlling strategy.

Okay, I know that definition makes no sense, so let me hopefully make it a little clearer-macromanaging means the support staff are competent in their job duties and require little to no supervision to complete their assigned tasks.

Yes, these are business terms. With only having an idea as to the definitions of these words, I had to turn somewhere to find something a little more concrete. Even though these terms do appear quite a bit in the business world, they do still apply to the BDSM lifestyle. All you need to do is substitute dominant for “manager or management” and sub/slave for “subordinate and support staff” and the definition then fits a lot better. I realized that micromanaging and macromanaging are more leading styles versus being types of service, like proactive, which is why macromagement is a better fit as the opposite of micromanaging. Like everything else in life, both have their pros and cons and not only that but depending on how your dynamic is, one is not better than the other.

Usually, when someone in the lifestyle hears about a slave or submissive being micromanaged, the s-type being discussed is usually talked about in a not so nice and rather judgemental manner. People will say the s-type is unable to function on their own and can’t be a very good s-type if their dominant is always having to tell them what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. I’m not going to lie, I was one of those people, but with reading, and probably because I’m maybe just a tad bit more mature now, I don’t see it like that. If a slave is micromanaged, it’s because that’s what the owner wants, and again, being submissive is all about doing what your owner wants. I was reading a forum post on Literotica about this topic and one of the posters said something that really blew me away:

“ To me, it is about the ultimate level of control and also power over which is what most doms in a D/s says gets them off and what most submissives want to experience in varying degrees. ...but I am missing why those who get off on it are being interpreted or thought of as obviously incompetent or lacking in some way on both the D/s side of it. ...he often gets off on directing me in minute detail how and when to do a particular task, not because he doubts I am capable of doing it correctly without direction, but simply because he likes to remind me he has that control over me.”

When I read that, that quite blew me out of the water and I realized that I hadn’t been as open-minded as I thought I am.

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons to both types of management styles and I want to share some of those with you now.



  • The master is always completely in control
  • Always aware of what is going on with their s-type
  • The s-type will always be dependent upon the D-type


  • S-type doesn’t have the ability to grow as a person
  • Once the micromanaging has started, it’s hard to break the s-type of this kind of management
  • The s-type has no successes of their own from a completed task



  • The D-type is able to maintain an appropriate level of control
  • Teaches the s-type to prioritize and handle having responsibilities
  • Helps to reduce the s-type’s risk of burnout


  • The D-type not having enough control over s-type
  • The s-type feeling confused due to too much freedom
  • The s-type feeling inadequate due to not enough structure.

Like me, I’m sure you’ve realized the vast difference between micromanaging and macromanaging and how neither type of management style is wrong and how there usually tends to be a mixture of both with most D-types out there and many s-types who prefer a mixture of the two types versus one or the other. Part two will be coming soon!

I want to give a special thanks to Yggdron who was willing to help a stranger who didn’t realize how much she bit off, to Rev Calleghn who dealt with my endless questions and to those members of the Lifestlye Mentoring Group on Yahoo, once again all of you are a vast and great collective of information!

Links Used:

Micromanagement: Is it Really Good for the Submissive or Slave?

Micromanagement Versus Anticipatory Service

Literotica Forum on Micromanagement