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How to be an ethical Dom?

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I've had quite a few Vanilla encounters so far in my life, but when it comes to BDSM, I am fairly inexperienced.

As I believe that it is important to build a connection based on trust when you are engaging in a D/s relationship, I tried to be straightforward in my discussions with subs about my lack of experience when it comes to being a Dom.

However, the slightest hint of self-doubt was immediately sanctioned with the abrupt end of the discussion, time after time. It appears that when you are a Dom, the subs expect you to be unquestioning and always 100% sure about yourself, even outside the actual play sessions. To achieve this, I will need to put on a mask and pretend that I know exactly what I want and basically tell the other person a bunch of bullshit, which seems deeply unethical.

How to be an ethical and truthful Dom without scaring away the subs?
Are the subs you're talking to perhaps looking for a fantasy and not an actual person? It sounds to me like you are trying to do things the right way, please keep doing that. An experienced sub would see straight through a pretense of knowing what you're about but more importantly, I don't think that's the Ds experience that you want? It may take time to find the right sub who accepts and understands that you're trying to learn and grow, but the journey will be much more rewarding.
Dead simple, don't lie, be honest, eventually you'll find someone. If you enter a dynamic based on lies White or not you haven't got their consent. It's tough starting out but you'll get there.
There are also skills you can self teach and practice like shibari self ties, flogger control, etc.
Also there's plenty of educational videos knocking around for you to up your knowledge on different aspects of bdsm. And plenty of dom types (me included) who don't mind answering questions you may have to help build confidence. Hope this helps

I’d just like to offer you’re not alone in this feeling. I remember having this same discussion on here a little while ago with some people about the implied message that Dom/mes are supposed to be invulnerable. Obviously, that’s not true. From my perspective, it’s better to wait for the people who know that’s not true, than to try to contort yourself for people who’d hold that expectation to begin with.

I would also echo @Lady_Char... there seems to be a subset of people who are drawn to kink for the fantasy it gives rather than interest in actual dynamics. Which is perfectly fine, it just means their expectations and needs will be different than someone who is interested in a dynamic.  

Good luck!


There was another post about experienced & new Dom’s a few days ago, written by an S type that might be worth you reading. I’m sorry you’re struggling, I’m also new to the app and I’d like to offer my personal perspective as an S type (I’m presuming the other commenters so far are more D types, apologies if not)

So for me, the experience isn’t essential. A lot of subs, especially new ones, might feel like more experience automatically makes a better dominant. I don’t believe that. There’s some elements of kink that can be dangerous, so education there is a necessity, but you don’t need 5/6 ex subs under your belt to be educated in safety and even if you had them, sub number 7’s needs might be completely different and something you’d still have to learn, experienced or not. Every single S type I’ve met and spoken to is completely different, wants different things, has different kinks & fantasies and often very different after care needs. I think in every new dynamic you’re learning about eachother and experience isn’t needed for that. I sometimes think a less experienced Dom might be better as they don’t already have an idea in their head of how their sub should behave, many experienced ones do, and that puts me off a little tbh. As long as you’re honest, open to learning both about yourself and any potential play partner, you’ll definitely find someone and if you do risk lying, it breaks the whole basis of trust… I wouldn’t advise it.
Keep doing what you are doing, there is nothing wrong with self doubt, everyone has it, ecen the most uber of domly.soms.will suffer from it at some point in their lives.

Contry to popular myth dominants dont jump into relationships and immediately sieze control of an s-type they build a connection and undersrand what their partner wants and needs. Theres no shame in saying i dont have experiemce of that.

My advice is relax, take the time to build a relationship like you would a vanilla one, its the same process just that you take the lead.
As the sub type its better to be honest and say you havnt done x,y,z. Its mostly obvious when soneone lies about experience. Dont be afraid to let the sub guide you on something if they have done it and you havnt, its communication.
I do personally prefer someone with experience but even then there will still be things they have not done., or both not done.
My most recent new thing was a colon snake, both of us had not used one before, i was bricking it 😂 but his calm and slow approach made it all go smoothly. So take new things slowly and if it doesnt work, try again another day. 😊
It does sound like who you have been talking to are looking for insta fun rather than building anything, which is fine if thats what they want but even D/s friendships need trust and connection, if not its just kinky sex/hook up.

The friend I mentioned in my post about experienced Doms v newbies is having the most fabulous time with her newbie. He is doing masses of research, listening to her advice (which is needed less and less) and proving extremely capable!

The most offputting thing for me, personally, would not be your lack of experience but that you describe part of your kink as using and dumping people to provide a bittersweet experience for them.

There’s been enough of that in my life without going looking for it, but that’s just me. They say there’s a kink for everything, so good luck finding someone to fit yours. 

As a switch, my dominant side isn't getting the chance to grow. I expect I to would struggle to feel confident.

Knowing your kinks is certainly a good way to build confidence.

For me language can also be a powerful tool.

As a sub I like to know a domme is in control, they are confident. There are ways of asking a sub questions and still maintaining authority.

Let's assume you're both trying a new activity like spanking. Asking how many they think they can take doesn't seem like a bad question and gives you both a guide. You can still be cheeky with it by suggesting we'll see or you expected more. I expect some awkward subs could say however many you want. It won't matter what they say as you still need to be careful not to over do it and still give them the feeling you are pushing there boundaries. Ordering them to count for each one can give you a guide of how they are coping and if they are ready for another. If they slow down they could be approaching the vulnerable head space they are looking for. It's little tricks like this which are useful to learn as they will help you both feel safer. Safe words are also there to protect you both. Just be aware some subs like to be near that edge where they may need it and others may not use it when they should. Learning to read non verbal queues can be a great skill here. You control speed and intensity, but if you're not sure there is nothing wrong with slowing down to read the situation. You can even get them to feed your ego by getting them to tell you how much they enjoy being at the mercy of your control. If all is well then you can possibly shock and suprise them when you continue. Or you can explore more probing questions if you need convincing they are ok. You just need to phrase them so you get the information you need and yet you still maintain that control if you decide everything is ok to continue.
As someone who struggles for confidences I find after the session during after care it's important to exchange some good honest feedback on how things went. A session may not be perfect but using that knowledge you can build towards a better one. Knowing if you were too rough/soft will give you a better insight on what your partner wants/expects in future.


This lifestyle requires communication.  You also have to have confidence in yourself. What are your kinks? What are you into? You need to know all these things before you talk to a sub. There's a submissive's post I read where she meets a dom, and he asks what she is into. He gave the lead of the conversation to her. She might be uncomfortable talking about it at first. You as a dom are the leader. The sub wants to be lead.  You start the conversation. Tell her what you are into. Then she might add something. The flow was started by you. she will be more comfortable talking to you. She might not be into your kinks. You might not be into hers. It is ok. Move on. Just like dating. Every one of my sexual partners, vanilla or otherwise, have to be submissive. If my partner wants to take control, I go soft. Complete turn off. I have to be in control,. I let them know even before we enter the bedroom, or go into a session. Maybe she likes to be in control sexually. That is fine. Just won't work out for me. Believe me she will find someone else. No hard feelings. BUT if she likes to take orders, she is turned on by a man in control,  and our kinks line up, it is amazing, for both of us, It is a turn on for me seeing how turned on she is under my control, but that's just me. You need to know what you want, then communicate that  with your prospect sub. and she is looking at you as a prospect dom.  If you go in not knowing what you want, or if you think she should tell you how to dominate her, then it might not end well. Of course safety is key too.  The extreme stuff (for example rope, or whipping) done the wrong way, can cause serious damage to someone.  You need to know what you are doing. There is training for that.  Have a conversation. Talk about it. I usually have this conversation over some good food at a restaurant.

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