The D in BDSM

Communicating regularly, mutual respect and mindful practice are the essence of a successful dom and sub relationship.


A dominant in BDSM terms is a person who tends to possess authority or have the upper hand during sexual interaction. While dominance does not necessarily have to be physical, the goal of the dominant is to ensure that the submissive partner is pleased. Many people assume that the dominant is the person getting catered to at all times, but this is in fact the opposite. A good dominant is always more invested in their submissive partner's pleasure even more than theirs. On the other hand, a submissive partner is a person who willingly gives up some or all of their control to the other during sexual interaction.


Since dominants tend to be more physically superior, more often than not, people assume that it is a position automatically reserved for men or masculine figures (in relationships that are not heterosexual). This belief is slightly harmful because many people then practice dominance wrongly, only focusing on their masculinity or physical strength. Being a dominant partner in a relationship requires more than that: it requires a lot of accountability, time, practice and care. A good tip for being a dominant partner is to be sensitive and aware of your submissives' needs. If you are not prepared to do any of these, there is no use in even cos-playing and potentially harming another person.


It is essential to highlight the needs of each partner while also making yourself a safe space for them. A submissive will look to their dominant for many things, so the role should ideally be taken as seriously as possible. Each submissive has different needs or kinks, not every submissive is interested in the same things so it’s very important to know and verify what your submissive sexual partner might be interested in or not interested in. Not one shoe fits all. The same goes for dominants. Some dominants might be into pain, while others have no taste for it. It is also important for any dominant who metes out pain on their submissive to try things out for themselves first, before asking the submissive to follow suit.


There is a key thing to note when it comes to dominants: they will or, better put, should not ask their submissive to do something they’re not comfortable doing themselves. This will help in not going overboard during play. Also, dominants should be sure to assess their partner’s pain levels, body cues and establish a concrete safe word. Make sure you test your submissive's ability to remember and use the safe word as some might feel the need to forego it in order to please their dominant.


There should be no pleasure for a dominant in the sub putting themselves in harm’s way just to please or appeal to their dominant. If a submissive shows signs of tiredness, dehydration or pain, the dominant should stop whatever is going on whether or not the safe word has been mentioned. For best practice, you might use red, yellow, and green with a sub to determine their comfort level. Red stands for stop, yellow for needs time or go slower and green for ready to go. This will help subs who would not like to use their safeword but just need a bit of a breather or stop time before carrying on.


Aftercare is perhaps the most important part of a dom and sub sexual relationship. A dominant can give their sub a massage after a spanking, or some water and bites of food after a very intense session. Communicating regularly, mutual respect and mindful practice are the essence of a successful dom and sub relationship. Nothing should be too frivolous to speak about and all play should be discussed prior to its beginning.




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