Over the years my experiences and desires have grown stronger and one of the important aspects of D/s that spins around my head on a consistent basis is the concept of control dynamics.
In the most general sense, control dynamics are rules and ideas that govern a D/s relationship that emphasize the power and control that the Domme holds over her sub. You will find some degree of control dynamics involved in pretty much every D/s relationship. Some dynamics are far more common than others, e.g. orgasm control is one of the basic topics covered in a good number of "how to" guides and frequently exists in some form from the beginning of the relationship or at the start of D/s within an existing relationship. I have found that the strictness of the dynamics frequently reflects the sadistic desires of the Domme.
In most cases, the rules involved are somewhat optional and do not have a tremendous impact upon the success and failure of the relationship. They aren't of the same kind of importance as trust, honesty, and loyalty where a slip up will have devastating effects on the relationship. Control dynamics are put in place... to increase control. This is often unnecessary, but it can have a significant impact upon the sub's mental state.
An individual has free will and may choose their own behavior. There are some ideals for submissive behavior: Be respectful. Be polite. Be courteous. Be attentive. Etc. In the absence of rules the sub has the freedom to choose to behave this way or not (although most subs that are worth a damn would choose to). To exert control a dominant may choose to create rules that remove this freedom. Always address her by her proper title. Kneel and bow when greeting her. Do not turn your back to her. As each rule falls into place, the sub's free will is replaced by a set of necessary actions with consequences. These may be completely unnecessary to a well-mannered sub, but it does a lot to shape the sub's mental state.
The greater the number of rules, the less freedom the sub has to act with, the greater the chance of punishable failure, and an increased level of mental duress experienced by the sub. This may be appealing to some and unappealing to others. I am of the sort where I feel that control dynamics bring out my best self. The greater the challenge, the more I rise to overcome it. The greater the challenge, the more I am able to prove my worth and devotion.
That being said, I can understand where one or more of the involved parties prefer to avoid extensive use of control dynamics. Rules are a lot of work. While the sub may find themselves being pulled from their comfort zone, there is a greater burden that falls upon the Domme. Not only are they responsible for forming the rules (and revising them over time), it is also their responsibility to monitor the sub’s behavior for compliance and punish infractions. Another potential hangup is the idea that subs should want to do it on their own without the need to have rules pertaining to it.
I know in my own world, I do want to make the Domme I serve happy. I want to do the things that please her. I want to be everything she wants me to be. I want to be perfect for her. At the same time, my submissive side craves to feel utterly controlled. I want there to be no illusion of freedom. If I choose “no,” I want this to lead to pain and the eventual “yes.” My first two D/s relationships were of this sort. As time passed, the control dynamics continued to build until it felt like my entire existence was focused upon obedience for her benefit. It felt rather nice, indeed. Their creativity would run wild, coming up with new and intricate ways to enhance their control and enslave me even more deeply. This made me feel deeply loved, especially when I had no say in the matter and I could see how they were further twisting me to their will.
Overall, I just felt like writing about this since it is so easy to get hung up on specific acts, rules, or the like. I find the concept of control in general to be so fascinating and arousing. I probably could have listed examples, but maybe sometime in the future.