Recently I was talking with a friend who's in an open marriage; I'll call her Rook. I explained a lot of how I feel to her, and she reassured me that she would not sleep with me even if I were to weaken and ask, out of respect for my spiritual beliefs, which was nice to hear. She also told me that otherwise she'd very much like to, and that she had several friends who felt the same way, which was even nicer to hear. She got on to the subject of my barn and its interesting bondage opportunities (I live in an old farmhouse and have the barn as well), and later told me about her fascination with electricity and electrically administered pain and lots of fascinated detail about a woman she'd seen at a fetish event who was in a cage where passersby could shock her with various tools. ("Ow. Ow! Ow is not my safeword!")
I've said a couple of times that I had trouble domming my wife because of lack of communication; I just didn't know what she liked. And I've mentioned that in that, I lost contact with my dominant side to a large extent. Hearing Rook's story, which she clearly wanted to be part of, and would clearly enjoy having me be a part of it, let me know that yes the problem was exactly what I thought. I could not stop thinking about having her, or someone who likewise wanted it, in bondage in my barn with an electrical unit I could wire up (not bad with a circuit and I have an old electric fence unit designed for safely corralling animals smaller than human to use as a starting point.) I wanted to stand behind her, one hand on her throat, growling trash talk in her ear and shocking her thighs. Note I'm not relating intentions here, I'm just relating passing fantasies.* (Of a type I try to avoid because it's about a friend.)
Like I've read from several doms & switches, it's about the reactions of the sub. I've never had a desire to tie someone up and shock them, I now have a desire to tie up and shock someone who has arranged a safeword and safety parameters and will have massive orgasms from the process. The idea of domming for the sub never really clicked until I heard her describing it, and the desire in her voice as she did.
It also made me think of what I can and can't do. I can act well enough for RPGs and LARPs; I can look mean and sound mean, I've scared people before doing that. But I don't think I can really be scary to anyone who knows me. I got a compliment on my looks once that I value above all others: one friend, Sparkly Girl, said that no woman who looked into my eyes could be scared of me. But I wonder if that's the opposite of the "magic" of a good dom; an edge of danger and unpredictability that I don't have and don't want. Most people like being scared to one extent or another; you put yourself in my hands as a submissive and I'll die before I let you get really hurt, so there isn't that hint of real fear. I don't know how many people would require such an edge of fear to be happy with submission.
* You don't need to warn me about how dangerous electricity can be; a very small current across the heart or lungs can easily stop them, for example, and it often causes muscle contractions that can lock one's hand onto a contact; this is just fantasy not a plan.