Commissioner/performer is a pair of sexual roles I noticed and gave name to. They are supposed to be an addition to other, already described sexual dynamics, such as dom/sub and top/bottom.
A commissioner is the person who expresses a request for certain sexual things to be done, “commissions” them. A performer is the person who fulfills this request, adding any amount of details from their own imagination.
Explained in a simplified way, this may resemble the dom/sub duality a lot, but commissioning is not synonymous with ordering – “give me a task” or “punish me” are valid examples of commissioning. I myself have to fight a temptation to attach it to the top/bottom dynamic, as my personal vision of it includes bottoming as a requesting and receiving position, which may overlap with commissioning, but I am aware that there are a lot of bottoms who don’t like to take the initiative and tell the top what to do.
For many people the role exchange may happen constantly and subtly, several times during one sex scene, others have a strong preference for a particular role. Both these roles have an equal creative potential. In some cases a commissioner may lay out a whole ready plot they want the performer to play out, and they would actively guide and give feedback throughout the whole scene, and in other cases they might simply set the theme with a brief and unspecified request, and the performer would create most of what needs to happen on their own. I personally observed and took part in many acts where the co-authorship was rather balanced.
Figuring out my own role – I am predominantly a commissioner – took away a lot of pressure from my sex life, because I stopped feeling guilt about not being as active and capable of improvisation as some other people and focused on my strengths – generating interesting ideas and articulating what I want. I suppose, another person may end up in the opposite situation – not seeing clearly what to start with, but eager to participate nevertheless and to respond to the partner’s prompts. I feel like making these roles known would allow people to identify what they actually like more easily and also to realize that not liking something else as much is not a flaw they need to push themselves through.
I am interested in input from people who have a bigger experience than mine when it comes to sexual relationships, specifically queer BDSM, in case something similar was already proposed and discussed before.