10 Warning Signs You’re Dealing With a Bad Dominant: A Submissive’s Guide to Avoiding Insecure Men Masquerading as Doms

Two people dressed as angels to represent good and bad dominants

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You know how your body reacts to just the thought of being dominated by a strong, powerful man?

It begins as an internal contraction and spirals outward, encompassing your entire being. It creates a visceral ache and need that demands expression through active surrender.

It’s a common reaction from a submissive whether you practice total submission, as a 24/7 slave, partial submission, where you engage only in scenes, or any permutation thereof. 

What is a submissive to do though if she doesn’t have a Dom?

How can you navigate the dark, mysterious world of D/s alone and find a true Dom that will provide the experiences you desire while also keeping you safe? 

There are several options such as getting a membership with a well established dungeon, searching online for a reputable group that can guide you, or you can join any of the infinite FetLife/BDSM/Meetups/kink clubs out there to find your Dom.

If you choose the latter then you’ll need to know how to discern between a true Dom and those men out there who call themselves Doms but are in reality, insecure men who use submissives such as yourself for their own pleasure, ego-building and self-centered needs.

These are the bad dominants you need to avoid!

good vs bad dominant
Who’s the good dominant and who’s the bad dominant? Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but there are signs to look for.

What makes a good Dominant?

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Let’s start with what makes a genuine Dom. 

  • A true Dom begins with respect. He will always respect you and every action he takes will stem from this regard.
  • His first action will be to build a solid foundation of trust by initiating open, honest communication on everything from informed consent to hard and soft limits.
  • After clarifying the exact nature of your power exchange he will then instruct you, guide you and support you to reach your full potential as a submissive.
  • He will have a strong set of ethics and his word is his bond. Without it, he is nothing.
  • His focus is on what his sub needs to feel safe enough to truly surrender all that she is into his keeping.
  • He will always be completely and utterly present when they are together.
  • He is a master of authentic, open communication and will check in with his sub to maintain clear boundaries.
  • Consent is of critical importance to a true Dom and he will take no action without it.
  • His guiding principles are those of integrity, honor, and internal discipline. When a true Dom demonstrates internal discipline he is able to mete out discipline to his sub with exquisite control.
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“Getting laid” is not the ultimate goal of any good Dom though of course it could be part of any agreement.

The difference between a good and a bad Dom

The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives

So what is the difference between an authentic Dom and a guy who says he’s a Dom but is in fact an insecure man posing as a Dom (known as a bad dominant or Fake Dom)?

Let’s break it down. 

There are men out there who watch a lot of porn and think that the scenes are accurate portrayals of the relationship between a Dom and his sub.

They begin with the incorrect mindset that being a Dom means being aggressive.

They think the goal is to get themselves off.

These men are typically insecure, have subconscious shame stories around their questionable masculinity and use submissives to prove that they are dominant and in control.

The reality is they lack discipline and cannot be trusted to show up with integrity or honor.

A submissive will never find safety with a man who thinks he’s a Dom but is in fact, a man who lacks internal discipline.

10 signs to identify a bad Dominant

Some of the signs to watch out for as you navigate the D/s world seeking your Dom:

  1. Check to see if his actions match what he is saying. Typically, he’s a master wordsmith who knows how to manipulate women with his words. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
  2. Ask him to describe what he thinks being a Dom entails. It should match the description above to a greater than lesser extent. Pay attention if it sounds like a fantasy where he is the recipient of the action and pleasure. 
  3. Ask him to describe his past experience as a Dom. If he talks about tying up his last girlfriend and spanking the hell out of her without sharing how they got to that scene, beware! He probably thinks that being aggressive is the same thing as being Dominant.
  4. If he shares his fantasies and they all sound like they’re centered around his pleasure it’s because they are. If he says it’s to see you “in bliss” and it’s his fantasy instead of yours, chances are it’s all about his pleasure and not about yours. Does he know what your bliss really is?
  5. If he does ANYTHING without your prior consent and an intimate conversation it’s a huge red flag! He doesn’t care about your safety or pleasure, only his own.
  6. If he tries to guilt you into doing something you’re not ready to try, run the other way! He’s only interested in how you will contribute to bringing his fantasies to life. 
  7. Do his scenes sound like something you’d find on Pornhub? Most likely he found them there and you should definitely leave them there!
  8. Pay attention to his body language. Does he laugh or giggle inappropriately? Does he seem uncomfortable giving you instruction or direction? It’s likely that he doesn’t actually know what to do or how to take control.
  9. If your new Dom wants to see you get fucked by other men without first establishing a secure foundation of trust, think twice before you agree. Many cuckold fantasies can have underlying issues of insecurity and submissiveness that the men having them are unaware of. This sign in combination with any of the others might be a red flag. (Not that there’s anything wrong with cuckold fantasies! It’s just that’s more a submissive trait than a dominant one).
  10. Does he forget to give you aftercare? It’s a very important part of the D/s dynamic.
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There are many other red flags to identify a Fake Dom one can run afoul of and this list is by no means exhaustive. The most important thing a submissive can do is trust her inner knowing. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck. 

A good Dom doesn’t fear having open conversations about the ins and outs of a D/s relationship. He will understand that it is constantly evolving and care deeply about how his sub is feeling and what her needs are. He knows that building trust is critical to the foundation and longevity of a true D/s union. He is a master of himself first and foremost and holds sacred the vulnerability, trust, and surrender that his sub gifts him. 

Go forth sweet submissive and find a Dominant worthy of your surrender!

(For purposes of brevity I have used male/female D/s genders. No exclusion of any gender combinations is intended.)

The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives
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I’m surprised by your comments about a male Dom sharing a sub with other men. That’s not “cuckolding”, nor is it submissive. Sharing subs very common in D/s dynamics, both straight and gay. The terms are always negotiated and the Dom is in control. There’s no humiliation involved. What you are describing is not a D/s dynamic?


I don’t think insecurity and being Dom are mutually exclusive. Dominant people or people who assume a dominant role are still people and have their own psyche.
I would be more wary of someone pretending to be 100% confident and secure than a person confident enough to share their vulnerabilities regardless of role.
But I am in total agreement that a Dom’s focus should be self-control, safety of their submissive and fulfillment of their needs. For me a good Dom initiates relationships with subs where their needs and desires match up. Doesn’t force unwanted kinks or agree to things they are not interested in themselves.


I agree, Karl. Everyone has their issues and lack of confidence from time to time :). It shouldn’t stop someone from becoming a Dom. The challenge is when they are unaware of those issues which then manifest in bad behaviour or mistreatment of partners.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chief

I’ve had at least two bad “dominants” in the past (ignored my safewording). I’m lucky that I got out of those rsituationships (were LDR)

Last edited 10 months ago by ash2001