You, by design, are the driving force behind the health of your relationship’s sex life. So if you realise you’re doing the same thing over and over and it’s beginning to stale, take the wheel! Suggest events you can attend together. Or scenes you’d like to set up. Buy a new toy. Share a fantasy you haven’t explored together yet.
This isn’t to say that the dominant partner should do all the legwork if you find that your submissive never initiates scenes or makes suggestions, think about why that might be. Ask them how they’d feel about doing so a little more often.
You’re probably getting most of the things you want out of a BDSM relationship because it’s easy for you to ask for them. You may very well have interests that don’t suit your dynamic or fit into your submissive’s limits and boundaries. But, other than that, chances are you’re the one who decides when, where, how often and how hard. This means there’s always a risk that there’s something your partner is daydreaming about, and assuming you’re not into that, you would do it for or to them if only you knew they wanted it.
Become a better dominant by asking your submissive what they’d like from a BDSM relationship that the two of you don’t already do together. You might be surprised by the response. They may very well say they’d like more rules, or stricter punishments, or a higher level of D/s protocol. They might say they’d like to switch sometimes.
A submissive can be demanding, and for a dominant, that’s part of what there is to love about them. Depending on your particular partners and dynamics you may very well find yourself giving a lot of aftercare. Like offering general guidance and taking some measure of control over the ordinary day-to-day life of another person to a far greater extent than either submissives or people in vanilla relationships. There’s a lot of responsibility involved in being someone’s dominant. When you ask a person to put that much trust in you, it’s important to understand the extent to which that means they’re looking at you to make sure they’re okay.
Will you hit the mark as the dom?
Creating a set of rules for the submissive partner to live by is a huge part of many kinky dynamics. What these rules are, varies hugely. They can cover everything from the clothes they wear to the way they live their daily lives to the manner in which they greet you when you walk through the door.
These rules feel very real to us - but they aren’t, in any abstract sense. Slave contracts aren’t legally binding documents (thank God) and in a civilised society, nobody can actually “own” anybody else. You’ve built up these narratives around your relationship because you both want them there. So, if you brush your decisions under the carpet and forget to enforce your rules time and time again, you’ll end up with no appreciable dynamic at all before you realise what’s happening.
Maintaining all the rules you’ve set isn’t the only way to keep a Dominant/submissive dynamic healthy, of course. There are hundreds of little ways you can remind both yourself and your submissive of how things are. Like using your pet names for them in casual conversation. Asking them to do things for you and making it clear you’re getting a bit of a kick out of watching them follow your orders. Or treating them with a sort of old-fashioned chivalry when you’re out and about together (regardless, of course, of your respective genders). You might want to have them wear a collar or some other symbol at all times. You can order their food for them in restaurants, or have them use whatever title you’ve chosen whenever they speak to you when you’re alone.
It’s important to be careful not to overstep your mark here, of course. Kink protocol is far from appropriate in all situations. Most people have headspaces in which they have no desire to act in a submissive way. Talk these things over with your partners before you try them, just as you would anything else.
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.
Have we missed any other ways you can become a better dominant? Let us know by commenting below or in the Fetish.com forum.
Or are you a submissive looking for tips? Check out our article here.
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