Trust dynamics in BDSM domination can be a confusing discussion topic, especially for those not in the community. What does each partner involved expect and how that can work for everyone's benefit? Fetish.com writer Abi Brown breaks it down for you.
 

It’s vital for submissives to trust their dominants...
 

To respect safewords

The absolute crux of trust in BDSM domination is, of course, the safeword. To a certain extent, this is where that trust begins and ends. A dominant who ignores a safeword is at best a shitty dominant, and at worst a rapist. If there is any doubt in your mind that your safeword will be respected, you need to deal with it immediately.
 

To recognise the importance of aftercare in BDSM domination

Most people need a little bit of aftercare following an intense BDSM domination scene. For some people, this is a pretty involved process requiring snacks and blankets and cuddles. I generally speaking just want the other person to not completely disappear for ten minutes or so till my headspace has realigned itself. I might occasionally ask them to fetch me a glass of water, but that’s about it. There are other people still who actively want to be left at this point and are better off alone for a while. Whatever your thing is, it’s important that you know you can trust the people you play with to do it for you.
 

To respect limits in BDSM domination and look out for them

Chances are you have an idea of what your own hard and soft limits are. So it’s crucial that you communicate those clearly in advance of playing with someone new in BDSM domination. Once you’ve done that, the onus is on them to respect those limits. It's okay to push them and testing them can be a lot of fun. It’s only cool if you’ve agreed that you’re interested in playing that way. However, it’s never okay to pester you about something you’ve said a hard no to.
 

Be receptive and communicative in BDSM domination

Sometimes, issues come up in kinky relationships that don’t quite fit into safewords or limits. My pain threshold is a lot higher if I’ve been properly warmed up. Meaning start light and gradually ramp up the intensity and I’ll keep going like the proverbial frog in a saucepan. I had one partner who didn’t seem to understand this at all. He got bored doing the warm-up and enjoyed my reaction when he went straight in at the top. I had this conversation with him again and again, but I never really felt like he understood what I was saying. In the end, it was one of the major things that led to the end of our relationship.


     

A woman bound with rope around her back in a BDSM domination scene

bound and braced...


But it’s just as important for a dominant to trust their submissive...
 

To safeword when they need to

Your dom needs to be able to trust you to understand your own needs. Know your thresholds and desires well enough to use your safeword if you need them to stop. Ignoring an agreed-upon safeword makes a dominant an abuser, but there’s a flip side to that. If you have a safeword and you don’t use it, you have not withdrawn your consent. A dom who knows that they can trust you to safeword if you need to can relax in your BDSM domination scene. They can go to deeper and more intense places you wouldn’t get to explore with them otherwise.
 

To communicate and fulfil aftercare needs

Despite their best efforts to convince us otherwise, doms are not psychic. If you need a particular thing doing after an intense BDSM domination session: tell them that - preferably in advance. Remember also that dominants get a come down too. Aftercare can be just as important for them. Simply cuddling up to someone while they reset their headspace into something less intense can make a huge difference to them.
 

To keep figuring out and sharing their limits

Limits change over time in BDSM domination, and many people find that their boundaries are always in flux. It’s okay to have limits and comfort levels that aren’t always the same. What isn't okay is to get cross about having those changing limits approached if you haven’t explained what they are.
 

To not  get weird when something goes wrong

Things don’t always work out perfectly in BDSM domination. Doms are taking just as much of a risk as subs are - more, if you’re worried about the potential to make a fool of yourself! Submissives need to be understanding and generous to their dominants when a comment hits the wrong note. We need to keep communicating honestly and openly without assuming our dominants are somehow psychic.


Abi Brown is a freelance writer and general pen-for-hire devoted to sexual deviancy, far-left politics and wearing too much jewellery. Find her at her website or @see_abi_write.

 

How have you established better trust dynamics in BDSM domination? Share your stories in the comments below or on the Fetish.com forum.
 

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