What it means to dominate

The Club, Prague, Czech Republic

We have been taught that the idea of dominating others is bad. The very word “dominate” is perceived as an ugly word in modern society. The reality, of course, is quite different. In both the natural world and in society, hierarchy defines the nature of being itself. In every relationship, from small to large, there exists an imbalance of power.

Even in the smallest human relationship, that between two people, this is true. In a romantic relationship, there is a constant vying for dominance and submission. There is no equality. In a friendship between two people, the inequality may not be as obvious but it is there, no matter how subtle. In fact, one of the keys to maintaining a friendship over the long term is in making this imbalance feel and seem as insignificant as possible. But it is there. Always.

Why does this matter? It only matters to you if you want to dominate yourself and others.

It is a fact of life that there will always be people and systems above you. There may also be people and systems below you. It is possible, most times, to learn how to climb higher so that there are fewer people above you and more people below you.

None of us have infinite time and energy. At the same time, there are many arenas in which we can be dominant or submissive. You will necessarily be dominant in some arenas and submissive in others. You want to optimize your dominance in those arenas that you care about the most.

The arenas we most often encounter are those of social status, finance, security, strategy, business, physical performance, sex, and time. I will dedicate time in another post to discussing each of these.

The is also the individual arena: the arena of self. We often hear the phrase “self-domination.” It is a platitude but true indeed that all domination begins with dominating yourself. This necessarily means that there is also an internal hierarchy. There is a part of you that desires comfort, security, and reward without work. Call this the feminine side. There is another part of you that desires adventure, achievement, and power. Call this the masculine side.

The paradox is that the degree to which you subjugate your feminine side and feed your masculine side, your feminine side will get what it wants as well. Subjugate your masculine side to your feminine side and you will have neither comfort nor achievement. You will be a slave to yourself and a slave to others. This is the beginning and the key to both self-domination and the domination of others in the arenas you choose.

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