Part 1 of 2. A few things to think about, answer, and consider before you take on the great responsibility of playing with a submissive.

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What brought you here?

Is it that you enjoy control during sex? Or taking your partner on a rollercoaster of pleasure and pain and into the misty peaks of orgasm? Is it the debasement of your submissive? Their devotion and trust? Or the high you get from simply being the boss? Try to ascertain your reasons for wanting to be a Dominant. If you know why you want to explore sexual dominance, you will be much more likely to become good at it.

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Domming vs. Topping

There is an essential psychological component to Domming, wherein you adopt a psychological power position greater than your partner for the purposes of the scene and/or relationship. A top, on the other hand, does not want that responsibility, but wishes mostly to frolic in the fields of physical BDSM activities, minus the D/s role of psychological caretaker. One is not better, or even necessarily more intense than the other, but they are different and need to be understood as separate phenomena.

You should know whether your partner identifies as sub or bottom (or slave), and which experience they are looking for with you at any given time. Don’t give them an experience they don’t want or need if you are capable of giving them what they do want or need – that is bad form. And if you yourself identify as one thing (for instance a sub), but are interested in being another thing for a scene (for instance a bottom), you should declare that upfront so that your Dom/me has all the relevant information and can plan accordingly.

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Safety

Keeping you and your sub safe is at the bedrock of any BDSM scene. You should know in advance what the logistics and basic safety techniques are for any physical BDSM activities you try, whether it’s in a private class or lesson, on YouTube, in a book, or from a friend. If you were to fire a weapon, you would take it upon yourself to learn how to use it, and in BDSM everything can be used as a weapon. Research anything and everything you can before trying something new, and if possible test the activity on yourself first. Self-testing is the best way to assess the damage it could potentially do, or the pleasure it can potentially bring.

As Jay Wiseman put it in SM 101, it’s much better to walk away from a scene wishing you had gone further and feeling excited for the next time, than to have gone too far and damaged yourself or your partner.

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I also highly recommend having a “safety” in place for submissives the first couple of times you play with someone, whether you feel totally comfortable or not. This just means a friend who knows the exact address of where you’ll be who is required to check in with you on the phone a few minutes after you arrive, and again a few minutes before you leave. If they don’t hear from you and can’t get ahold of you, they should be instructed to call the police. Period. It is a helpful courtesy for you to alert your partner of this safety mechanism, to avoid unnecessary law enforcement involvement. You can also use “code words” on the phone if you feel you might be unable to answer normally on the call. If you’re that concerned, though, perhaps reconsider meeting with the person.

I won’t get into the intricacies of everything that can go wrong in a scene, because A) that’s a book in and of itself and B) it would probably depress you and you would be too scared to do anything in the scene for a few months. EMT and/or counselor training comes in handy though, if nothing else for peace of mind.

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Part 2 coming soon…