In my experience, one of the most challenging aspects of being a top is feeling successful. As the bottom/caged male, I get immediate feedback from Mrs. Lion if I am not doing the right thing. A paddle is firmly applied to my bottom if I don’t please. But how does Mrs. Lion know she is doing a good job? Currently, she measures her success based on my reactions to her dominance. I have to admit that when I was a top I did the same thing. But what reactions should she be using for measuring her success? That’s the real challenge.

Consensual power exchange puts setting limits in the hands of the bottom. The top can negotiate, but ultimately has to respect the limits set by the bottom. To fail to do so would make it non-consensual. That takes care the “must not do’s”. How about quality control on the other stuff? In enforced chastity the keyholder has her caged male’s fantasies for starters. A sensible keyholder knows she shouldn’t use the fantasies as a literal blueprint for his chastity. There are quite a few pages and posts here with ideas on how to get started and continue running the chastity experience.

Mrs. Lion has frequently written (for example, here is yesterday’s post) that she judges her domination by my feedback. However, even when I give her positive feedback, she still says that she isn’t meeting my expectations. Usually she compares her performance with fantasies I write here or even with posts I write that talk about keyholder techniques. There’s a fundamental problem with using my feedback as her quality control: I am controlling things by virtue of my reactions.

It’s true that Mrs. Lion is a pleaser. She loves to make people happy. As her lion, she works very hard thinking of me. A good example came up last weekend. One of the reasons she suggested (note suggested, not decided) we go where we went was that it was 60 miles from a place she really wanted to go. But when we got there, she didn’t even suggest driving those 60 miles. Instead, almost by accident, when I noted we had driven halfway there looking at other things, she said, “Well, if you want to go we can.”

I’m not saying that she has to change her metaphorical stripes (everyone knows lionesses don’t have stripes) and become a decisive and demanding keyholder. But it seems to me that I end up running the show. The same is true with enforced chastity. She judges herself by how much she pleases me. I think this desire can get in the way of  her following her own instincts. What’s a lioness to do? She wants to make me happy and when she does I wonder why she is judging herself based on my reactions.

I could stop giving her feedback. But I think that’s not fair at all. She deserves to know how what she does affects me. But what should she do with that information? Recently, I’ve had a problem staying interested in sex. This is due to the situational stress of being out of work and money. It’s understandable. It’s also no secret that I hate being that way. Last week she got my motor running and apparently decided that it isn’t worth the risk to keep me waiting more than a few days lest my libido disappear again. I am delighted that she didn’t ask for my feedback about this strategy, though she regularly asks me if I want to come. If I do, more often than not, she obliges. I’m not complaining. Oh no, I’m not complaining at all.

One of the toughest lessons a top or keyholder has to learn is to trust her instincts and decisions. There comes a point when caged male feedback shouldn’t be very important. Information is generally useful, but after 18 months of being caged, I expect that Mrs. Lion knows me well enough to manage my chastity without my help. By nature, I like to be in control. So, being my keyholder is more challenging than it might be with another male. I respond to the firm application of a paddle. Maybe I need more of that to remind me when my input isn’t welcome. Of course that is completely up to Mrs. Lion. That’s the point of all this, isn’t it?