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So You Think You Can Dom? (or sub)



You may have noticed that I like puns and funny titles. I do, I like to laugh and I like to make other people laugh along with me (even if they are sometimes laughing at me) and I like to show that to us D/s as much as anything else is about fun.

But not today. Today I want to talk about what it means (at least to me) to be Dom.

This is stuff I take very seriously. I have agreed to be part of a negotiated power exchange and I have exactly as much responsibility to hold up my end of this agreement as she does.

Welcome New Dom/Domme or sub

We are excited to have you as a new member of the thrilling world of D/s relationships. No matter if you have found us through Fetlife, Twitter, Facebook, other social media, or even “That book” we are glad you have decided to come to the darkside (the cookie thing is a joke, sorry about that) Consider this your orientation guide. While these are not hard and fast rules you should consider that choosing not to follow these guidelines can have a serious impact on not only your ability to be a respected part of the community it will also reduce your desirability in the eyes of the subs you seek and in extreme cases lead to legal issues and even incarceration. These guideline are applicable if you have been a Dom or sub for seven minute or have been doing this since dinosaurs roamed the earth.

The following list has been contributed by members of the very community that you wish to join.

Dom/me Best Practices

It is your responsibility to obtain informed consent from your potential submissive not just once but on a regular basis.

You can give yourself a title but reputation is earned.

It is your responsibility to look after your consenting sub’s well-being in ways that have been negotiated.

If you only make your sub feel bad about themselves this is called emotional abuse and not D/s*

Domineering =/= Dominant

Aftercare is a must. We give you the Gift, Respect it.**

Ask and show don’t tell

You please your sub with domination just as they please you with submission; that’s invaluable.

Work with your sub and push them but DON’T disregard them in favor of YOUR needs, that will destroy EVERYTHING. Patience has many rewards.

Dominant is not a synonym for arsehole.

The sub matters, their wants and needs matter even if they are the subbie.

It is not unDomly™ to ask for advice or help. It is unDomly™ to let down your sub because you didn’t ask.

Be true to yourself, don’t feel pressured to conform with the porn fantasies

Submission is different things to different people. Just because a sub wants you to hurt them doesn’t mean verbal abuse is OK.

Calling yourself a domme doesn’t mean I will submit to you. You have to earn that. It is NOT the same as following your commands!

Being “Dom” doesn’t mean being an asshole. In fact it means quite the opposite.

I would rather have the “normal” guy w/Dom traits & a good heart than the “Dom” without one.

Dom/me and sub Best Practices

Talk! Then talk some more, communication is important!

Every day is a new day to learn something new. Don’t stop growing and learning about yourself.

Trust comes before power exchange. Not the other way around.

If you can, take a 101 class. It’s a great way to try things in a safe environment and to meet like-minded people.

Go to a munch, listen and learn while you are there.

Listen – really listen. With eyes as well as ears.

It is a marathon not a sprint. And you will hit bumps, turns and even new destinations along the journey.

Talk, all the time, when you think you’ve talked enough, talk some more.

Don’t presume you know ANYTHING, ask questions, of your self, your partner and your community.

There are no rules except those created by you and your sub, and those are changeable when necessary. You make your own journey.

Patience, grasshopper.

Communication before and after each activity will give you the confidence to know you’re doing it right and will also help to refine things to make them work better for both of you.

Sub Best Practices

Take your time. Learn what you really like, and what works for you. Don’t try to impress people by jumping into more than you can handle, because you think it’s expected. Submission doesn’t mean giving up consent.

Ask and watch first, keep your head and make friends with more experienced subs.

You’re important in the relationship, too! You shouldn’t feel like you’re just a side story in your dominants life!

Try to understand the mechanics of how your submissive nature works for you because otherwise you are at the mercy of a manipulative person.

Educate yourself and be honest about what you’re really looking for.

Know your limits, they are completely legitimate, expect them to be respected.

Warning Signs

Not allowing contact with friends or family.

Anyone who tells you that you are not allowed limits.

If they want to collar you right away.

Someone who does not listen to what you need or want.

If they always find fault even in successful tasks.

Someone who claims they have nothing to learn about BDSM

Someone who convinces you that you are the one who has failed, every time.

Demands constant and immediate contact no matter the circumstances.

That you should be lucky to be their sub, no one else would have you.

Anyone who says to you, if you are really sub you would (insert demand here)

In Conclusion

Remember the wise words of Benjamin Parker (Peter Parker’s Uncle) “With great power comes great responsibility” When you take on a sub, or even a bottom (or a Dom, or Top) they are putting their trust in you. The things we do come with actual danger, both emotional and physical, be very sure you know what you are letting yourself in for before giving or accepting submission. So in brief:

Be Patient
Be Humble
Be Open
Be Honest
Be Sensitive
Be Vulnerable
Be Healthy
Have Fun

We of the BDSM community would like to thank you for your interest and hope that you find the information provided helpful. Please remember that as big as the world seems, it is smaller than you think and if your behavior wanders into abuse, you will be called on it!


*The only exception is a very carefully negotiated type of humiliation scene that as a new Dom or sub we would not recommend until you are SURE you can handle it.

** Submission as a gift can be a contentious issue, I personally completely get it, YMMV

P.S. I know I said I was going to be serious, seems that is a goal I need to work on 😉

P.P.S. I’d like to thank everyone who so kindly and thoughtfully answered my call for suggestions. You truly amazed me with your helpful and well considered suggestions, if I missed your tweet I am sorry and if I edited your tweet to be less specific and you don’t like it, well I am sorry about that too. I would have credited you all but I am well over a thousand words already and I haven’t even really scratched the surface of this very complex topic. Rest assured we will revisit this subject.


9 responses to “So You Think You Can Dom? (or sub)”

  1. this is so essential, and so necessary because not everyone knows…

  2. Get to know and understand your own instincts and your own risks.

    Share lots of ideas, stories, scenes etc. Talk about what it is that works for you. Talk about what doesn’t too. Debriefing is important and allows understanding.

    I would also recommend, do not hide your feelings or responses because you are afraid of being a disappointment. Don’t fake liking something because you know or think they want it. Finding out someone is fake destroys trust and is the biggest disappointment.

  3. “It is not unDomly™ to ask for advice or help”

    This, so very much this.
    Expecting the D to have all the answers, because D-type, is lazy, and neither does it allow for any degree of humanity to be present in said D. I look up to Sir, not because he has all the answers, but because he doesn’t, and is ok with me knowing that. I look up to him because I respect his humanity, his flaws, that he sometimes fails, and because I sometimes fail too.
    I cherish his vulnerability, because it’s not something he allows anyone to see, because it means I have created a safe space for him to be vulnerable…..I know how difficult it is for him to show someone his whole self, I nurture the trust I know he places in me because to discount the enormity of it would destroy him.
    This assume the D is *always* expected to find a solution is so inherently wrong…it’s an abdication of personal responsibility on the part of the s. Power Exchange does not (to me) mean that the work required to make the relationship work is also unequally divided.
    I once told Sir, when his confidence was a little low….”Lead, and I will follow”. By that I meant that I would support him in whichever way he needed me to, I would abide by his decisions because that’s the dynamic we BOTH agreed to, and if he needed to lean on me for a while, that was ok too.

    The fantasy notion of D/s worries me because it doesn’t allude to anything other than sexual fulfillment. If that’s all D/s was, I’d be very bored, very quickly.


  4. Clearly and well written to the the joys and the very real potential dangers.

    Velvet x

  5. I know of a couple of people that need to read this. I will point them here…

    Rebel xox

  6. Silver Eagle Avatar
    Silver Eagle

    Thank you for this. As a sub with a husband who is new to the lifestyle and willing to try this for me, I think he will find it informative and useful. Where would you take a 101 course?

    1. My very first suggestion would be

      and feel free to use the contact form if you have any questions.. maybe we could have a video call if you’d like

      1. His sub Avatar
        His sub

        Thanks very much.

        1. anytime at all, Molly gave me that book before I knew that I was Dom, even before I knew what it meant to be Dom.


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