Original post by Master James on Fetlife.
You may have only just found Fetlife (or not), you may have only just found your local Kink community, you may have only just had the epiphany that you are a Dom.
Suddenly, your life all makes sense. The penny has dropped and all the cogs in your head are turning, in what feels like the first time. Now you know you are dominant, you want to get on with the business actually being a Dominant. But where to start?
The following is nothing more than the opinion of one man. It is not designed to put anyone down, be condescending or negative. It is designed to empower, guide, and give a start point for men new to the concept of Dominance as a life choice and relationship role.
Step 1: Understand what a Dom is
A Dom is someone who wishes to express dominance over someone’s life. A Top is someone who wishes to play a dominant role during a scene. People can be either or both. But understand that being a Dom is a huge responsibility, and your priorities need to be more noble than getting sexual gratification. It needs to be about helping, bettering, and protecting your Sub. It involves an enduring power exchange dynamic that brings fulfilment to all parties involved.
Step 2: Don’t believe the hype
Being a Dom is long, monotonous, frustrating, and fucking hard work. It isn’t being Christian Grey, it isn’t being a performer on Kink.com, it isn’t some teenage boy fantasy. Doms don’t have super powers over subs. Subs have brains and free will, and will tell you to fuck off and eat a dick regularly. No D/s relationship is as perfect and glossy as their Fetlife profile would lead you to believe.
Step 3: Don’t try and Dom the world
Identifying as a Dom doesn’t mean that every Sub will suddenly submit to you. In fact, most will only submit to their own D type. If a sub is generous and polite enough to call you Sir, don’t let it fool you into thinking you’re special. Don’t try to Dom the Dommes. At best they will kick you in the balls, at worst they will tell people what a dick you are, and it will ruin your reputation. In small kink communities, reputation and word of mouth rule supreme. Don’t assume that all women are subs at heart, and they just need to meet the right uber man to teach them their place.
Step 4: Don’t lie or exaggerate
Don’t claim to have 15 years experience when you’re 25. People can do maths. And the first time you had a naughty dream or touched a booby doesn’t count as the start of your training. If you’re 50, don’t try and bullshit us into believing that you have unlocked the secrets to the universe. Lying about your experience just undermines credibility and trust.
Step 5: Choose your heroes wisely
Just like I warned you against bullshitting; others will bullshit too. Don’t believe every claim you hear or read. If you do, you could be learning from some total douche, who has less real world experience than you. The kink work has no shortage of self-proclaimed prophets of uber domly dominance who are extremely proficient at talking the talk, but are utterly useless at walking the walk. Before you put someone on a pedestal, and treat every word they say as gospel, make sure your brain is still engaged. Use your common sense and display some discretion. On the flip side. There are some amazing teachers. I have a few amazing people I look to for guidance in roping. I have some incredibly experienced people I get advice from in regards to running BDSM scenes. And I get to be mentored by a man with the deepest understanding of D/s and M/s I have ever met.
Step 6: Be eager to learn
Leading a functional D/s relationship is hard and full of pitfalls. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes, rather than making them yourself. Likewise, being a safe and competent Top requires a lot of skill and knowledge. Being a Domly Dom doesn’t instantly make you awesome at everything. If you want to do rope, go and learn from those that can. If you want to do medical play, go and learn from those that can. There are countless experienced and knowledgable people who run workshops or regular courses in just about any kink related activity you can think of. Don’t be too proud to go and learn.
Step 7: Understand the limitations of your new skill or knowledge
Ever heard the saying that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing? Well it’s true. Too many new Doms either think that they know everything already, or they think that one class makes them an expert. Likewise, the word “Dom” and the word “Egomaniac” are virtually synonyms. And too many Doms don’t want to admit to a sub that they don’t know something, aren’t an expert at something, and probably shouldn’t Top a particular type of play. They are worried the cute little sub girl will run off with a more proficient Top or Dom, and they’ll be left sitting there all alone, with nothing but their dick in their hand. If there is a type of play that I’m not good at, or not that into, and one of my subs wants to have a scene involving it; I’ll actively go and ask another Top or Dom who is great at it, if they are willing to run a scene with her. The end result is: The other Top or Dom gets to play with someone new, while doing what they love. My sub gets a safe, fulfilling experience. I get to watch and learn. And at the end, everyone thanks me, even though I did jack shit!
Step 8: Don’t try and be something you’re not
“Know thy self”…. “To thy own self be true”….. Familiar and wise sayings that the best of us struggle to follow. But the more honest you are with yourself, the more honest you will be with others, and the more honest they will be in return. I’m not a Sadist. It took me a while to realise and accept that. I once thought that as a Dom, I was expected be one. I’m not monogamous. I thought that there was something wrong with me. I was always conflicted and felt overwhelmed with shame and guilt. But if you’re trying to be something you’re not, then you’re lying to yourself. And you’re certainly not ready to take responsibility for someone’s submission.
Step 9: Examine yourself regularly
Time never stops, and people change. This includes Doms. We aren’t some a universal constant like one of Newtons Laws. You will change. This may include likes, dislikes, kinks, hard limits, methods of play, relationship needs, or orientation. Constant self analysis will keep you up to date with who you are, and give you the best data, with which to lead your D/s relationship. Likewise, the better you are at analysing yourself, the better you will be at analysing your Sub.
Step 10: Take your time
D/s relationships are a marathon, not a sprint. All the rope, and wax, and flogging aside, there is a very real relationship that requires constant work. This might seem obvious, but it’s foundation is in one person dominating, and the other submitting to that dominance. This is expressed through control, and control is exhibited and reinforced by the introduction of rules and structure. This isn’t a quick and easy thing to introduce for either person. It starts off small and simple, and becomes more intricate and strict as new rules or protocols are introduced over time. Please take your time with this. If you try too much too soon, the D/s dynamic will implode. All your eagerness will be doing will be setting yourself for failure…. So take a deep breath; think and plan long term. And remember; patience is a virtue.
Step 11: Be forgiving of submissives
Subs are people; people fuck up. If you expect perfection, then you’re a fucking idiot. If you are going to dump people and throw them out like trash when they make mistakes, then you are not worthy of the title or role of a Dom. If you can’t accept and love all of a person, then you are a shallow twat, who needs to stop living in fantasy-land and grow up. I know of far too many amazing Subs, who have been cast aside like garbage for minor indiscretions, that the D type wouldn’t think twice of making himself. Sure, we want to correct mistakes and slowly iron them out of the lives of our subs. But please have realistic expectations.
Step 12: Be forgiving of yourself
Many Doms believe all the crap about always being right, that when they do fuck up, they don’t even know how to process that information. Not only that, but they have led their sub into a belief that their Dom can’t be wrong either. So suddenly it shatters their belief in their D type. Don’t fall into this trap. Try your best to be perfect, but expect to fall short on occasions. And when you do; forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on. The path you are on, is as much about bettering yourself, as it is about bettering your sub. Just do your best everyday to be the Dom that she deserves, and she will never have a reason to look anywhere else or ask for anything more in life.
Bonus Level= Don’t believe your ego
At some point, if you’re lucky, you’ll actually start to get ok with a lot of this stuff. You may start helping others, mentoring someone, teaching classes or workshops, or even writing “How to” guides on Fetlife…… You may experience success, fulfilment, and gain standing within the community as a good Dom and a community leader. People may write to you asking your advice. You may become a regular on K&P. Little sub girls might throw themselves at you, begging to suckle on your penis, so that they might feed on your domly dominance….. But whatever happens, don’t believe that any of it matters. Don’t believe that it makes you infallible, above reproach, or the new messiah of the Dom-domain. You are just a bloke, on a journey of discovery and fulfilment, that happens to have gotten lucky a few times along the way. So no matter what you do: Don’t start listening to your ego. It will be the end of it all if you let it take over. Because ego makes you focus on yourself, and your focus needs to be on those you love, cherish, care for, and protect.
I hope this has been of help to some, and hasn’t pissed off the rest too much.
Peace, love, and Respect – Master James