How to Be a Dom: A Beginner’s Guide

How to be a dom. The ultimate guide

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If you have recently discovered the world of BDSM and kink, and want to know how to be a dom then this guide is for you.

And not just any dom, but I’m going to teach you how to be a good dom.

In this guide, I’m going to walk you through all the things you need to know if you are serious about being a dom and want to improve your dom sub relationship with your submissive.

Many guys want to be a dominant so they can completely own a woman, making her do whatever they want.

I’m sure you’ve seen those porn videos where the woman is tied up and the guy is teasing her, spanking her, forcing himself on her. And she seems to be loving it.

But is that what being a good dom all about?

Can you call yourself a dom if all you do is tie someone to your bed and have sex with them?

Personally, I don’t think so. There are many more nuances and intricacies you should be aware of, and I’m going to explore them in this guide.

So strap in, and read on, for the ultimate guide on how to be a good dom.

What is a dom?

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A dom (or dominant) is a man or woman who enjoys engaging in play with another person (or multiple others) who is submissive. The dominant is in charge, leading, and dictating what happens, whilst the submissive follows, serves and enjoys being lower status.

And by play, I mean sex, but also in everyday life, if that’s what the participants wish for their dom sub relationship.

This power dynamic is largely a roleplay. Both parties are agreeing to a consensual power differential in the relationship, one which either person can end at any time with the use of a safe word.

If you are forcing your submissive to do something against their will, then that isn’t being dominant, that’s abuse.

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In articles you’ll see a dominant referred to as a Dom (or Domme if female) or the capital letter ‘D’. A submissive is referred to as a sub, a little, or the lowercase letter ‘s’ (e.g. D/s means Dom/sub or Dominant/submissive). The capitalisation is used to indicate the dominant is the top (higher status), and the submissive is the bottom (lower status).

Dominants commonly require their submissives to refer to them by honorifics such as Sir, Master or Daddy.

What types of dom exist?

There are many types of dominant. Here are a few terms you might hear:

  • Daddy dom. Daddy’s exhibit caregiving tendencies and enjoy the softer, more tender qualities of caring for someone else. They are paired with Littles and provide a fatherly type figure or role model to guide their submissive. Daddy doms and little girl dynamics are often referred to as DDLG (Daddy Dom Little Girl) or CLG (Caregiver Little Girl). Rules might be enforced bedtime or limited screen time.
  • Sadist dom. A sadist dom enjoys inflicting pain on his submissive, who is referred to as a masochist (and pain even be referred to as a pain slut if she is not offended by that language). The sadist dom will be interested in bondage, spanking, flogging and perhaps even inflicting pain during sexual activity. A sadist dom may also enjoy humiliating or degrading his submissive through words, during sex, or when punishing her.
  • Master dom. A Master dom is paired with a slave or service-orientated submissive. In this style of dom and sub dynamic the master treats his submissive as property, and they engage in sexual and non-sexual play. For example, the submissive might be responsible for maintaining the household, cooking dinner, or being a sexual plaything for the Master to enjoy. They might engage in slave training where the submissive learns what the Master enjoys and how to perform her duties.
  • Owner dom. An owner dom may refer to ownership fo a submissive slave, but may also refer to owning a submissive who enjoys acting like a pet. During pet play the dom would serve the submissive food from a bowl on the floor, wear a collar, and sleep in a cage.
  • Caregiver/romantic dom. Much like the Daddy dom, a caregiver or romantic dom enjoys nurturing his submissive. He helps her achieve her goals, and may be involved in making choices in her life such as what clothes she wears and what she eats.
  • Financial dom. A financial dom controls the money of his submissive.
  • Rigger dom. A rigger enjoys rope either for the appeal of seeing his submissive tied up and restrained or simply for the beautiful ropework.

Most dom sub relationships involved a sexual component, as most relationships do, but they don’t have to. Also, the categories listed above are not mutually exclusive.

When you are deciding how to be a dom you can mix different styles to create your own unique dom personality and dynamic. That’s the fun of this!

Why be a dom?

The best dominants already exhibit dominant behaviour in their every day life. It’s simply a part of their personality to want to have their own way, lead from the front, retain control, and do things on their terms.

For someone like that, it just doesn’t feel right when you are in a relationship with someone who wants to boss you around. It kills the sexual attraction because the polarity of the power dynamic is inversed.

Being a dominant in a dom sub relationship feels good and natural to these types, and amps up the sexual attraction.

Not only do they get to exude their natural, confident personality, but they are able to share it with a submissive type who loves the displays of dominance, and has a natural desire to serve and please. The two personality types bind together as strongly as the opposite poles of magnets.

Being a dominant is NOT about aggression, manipulation or abuse.

You won’t always get your own way. In fact, being the Dom in the relationship often equals MORE work, because you now have to look after two people (yourself and your sub). As much as she is there to serve and attend to your needs, you must attend to hers, not taking advantage of her eagerness to please without giving her back anything in return.

If you are reading this guide because you want to lie back and have someone obey you 24/7 without having to put in any effort, you’re going to be incredibly disappointed.

How to be a good dom

How to be a dominant. A young couple in a dom sub relationship

So what does being a good dom look like? What do you need to know? Where do you start?

Below I’ve compiled 11 tips to get you started on your journey.

1. Learn the lingo

Do you know:

  • what D/s stands for?
  • the different types of dom sub relationship that exist?
  • what Safe, Sane and Consensual means?
  • what RACK stands for?
  • what BDSM stands for?
  • what GGG stands for?
  • what being ‘switch’ means?
  • what a munch is?
  • how to set boundaries?
  • when to use a safe word?
  • the difference between a hard and soft limit?

Were you able to answer them all without looking up the answers? If not, then you might want to get an overview of BDSM in its various forms before diving headfirst into trying to be a Dominant.

Sure, you can learn on the job, but some additional reading never hurts. Absorb as much information as you can from websites such as this.

Lingo and acronyms are a huge part of the BDSM community. The more you know, the less likely you are able to misinterpret what someone else is saying, and the easier you will find it to communicate with others in the scene.

Here are the answers:

  • D/s = Dominant/submissive
  • Safe, Sane and Consensual is a principle governing how to engage in BDSM activities ethically. And RACK stands for Risk Aware Consensual Kink. More on both of these in the next section.
  • BDSM stands for Bondage & Discipline, Dominance and Submissive, Sadism and Masochism.
  • GGG stands for ‘Good, Giving and Game’, a term coined by Dan Savage. BDSM practitioners should be good in bed, giving of equal time and pleasure and game for anything (open-minded). Read more here.
  • A switch is someone who can be dominant with one situation and submissive in another. For example, women I’ve dated have enjoyed being submissive with me but dominant when playing with other submissive women.
  • A munch is a local meeting of people involved in the BDSM scene. They typically happen in vanilla settings such as bars. Everyone is fully clothed and no sexual play takes place. It is like any other friendly gathering, except people are open to talking about kink.
  • A boundary is a limit you or your sub are unwilling to cross. For example, choking may be a hard limit for your sub, meaning she will not under any circumstance want to be choked by you. You must be clear with your boundaries and accept the boundaries of others at all times.
  • A safeword is used during a BDSM scene to halt play if a hard limit is crossed and all play should stop immediately. You should set a safe limit with your sub before you engage in any rough play, including sex, bondage or sadism. Many use the traffic light system. Green means everything is fine. Amber (orange) means a limit is being approached or something isn’t quite right, so check-in, but play doesn’t need to stop. Red means EVERYTHING STOP RIGHT NOW. If your sub is gagged you should use hand signals as substitute safewords, such as three taps means stop. Safewords are important because some people enjoy resistance play, where the sub may be saying ‘no’ or fending the dominant off as part of the scene.
  • A soft limit is something which a person is hesitant about, but may change their mind or give consent under certain circumstances. As an example, a partner may not want to perform analingus on you unless you are fresh from the shower. A hard limit is something which the person never wants to do. Examples of my hard limits are scat, blood and needle play. They don’t turn me on and even if my partner wanted to do them, I couldn’t.

2. Stick to the core principles

A couple of BDSM philosophies have popped up over the years. These are useful mental frameworks to know and use.

RACK BDSM philosophy

RACK stands for Risk Aware Consensual Kink. Some BDSM practises are inherently risking. Masochists enjoy the sting of pain and may become blooodied or bruised from flogging or beatings. There’s a danger if practising choking during rough sex, or restricting blood flow using rope.

R.A.C.K acknowledges this and says go ahead anyway, just be fully aware of the dangers, and make sure you have consent.

SSC BDSM philisophy

SSC stands for Safe, Sane and Consensual. It encourages BDSM activities to err towards the safer side of things, and only be done when all participants are in their right mind.

Some of the activities which the RACK philosophy allow would probably not be considered SSC.

If you’re a beginner Dom, then opt to use the SSC philosophy. Only when you are experienced should you consider attempting the riskier and potentially harmful BDSM activities.

3. Figure out what you want as a dom

Domination and submission come in all sorts of flavours. Once you’ve done your background reading, you’ll start to get a sense of the type of dominant you want to be.

Accept that you may not know this upfront, and be okay with trying different styles. Keep what works for you and abandon what doesn’t.

Not everything you read online will suit you. Don’t think you have to do something just because another Dom is doing it.

For example, if you don’t like spanking, don’t do it. It doesn’t make you less of a Dom.

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I highly recommend taking a BDSM test (it’s more fun than scientific) and filling out a sex menu to help you figure out your dominant style.

4. Understand the psychology of submission

Being a good Dom starts in the mind.

I am a true believer that you cannot be a good Dom unless you understand the psychology of submission.

The more time you spend understanding this, the better a Dom you will be.

Spend time understanding why a woman would want to be a submissive.

5. Help her overcome insecurities

how to be a dominant. An angelic woman.

Society regularly shames women about their sexual desires, making them feel guilty for wanting any sex, let alone kinky BDSM sex.

(If you don’t, believe me, please go read some books on the subject, and speak to women about their experiences).

Being a good Dom is about cultivating an environment which allows her to trust you won’t do the same, giving her permission to expose this hidden part of herself.

Everything your sub needs to become a highly sexual woman who loves sex is there, bursting to break free. Your job is to water that seed, providing her with the right mental nutrition, and a kind hand, to help her blossom.

Part of my role as a dominant is to nurture my sub into a being who is comfortable with her sexuality, able to enjoy everything that she wants to without feeling guilty about it.

When a sub comes to you, you have to be able to quickly gauge where she lies on the spectrum.

Some submissive are completely at ease with sex, their bodies, and their fantasies. Others will have issues with all of those topics.

As a good Dom you must understand this.

Remember my Dom code – leave her better than you found her. No, you’re not her therapist, but you can do your part to make her feel great about sex and BDSM.

Lead by example.

The more you are able to talk about YOUR desires, wants and needs in an open, honest, and direct manner, the more she will see that there is nothing to be ashamed of.

I appreciate this is all theoretical at this point, so let me give you an example.

I’ve met two women who did not want to give blowjobs. Previous partners had become angry, rude, or aggressive when they had asked for one and been refused.

How do you think this made the woman feel? Is being confrontational more or less likely to help you get your blowjob and her to love them?

My approach is radically different. It starts with curiosity. What is it about them she doesn’t enjoy? Sit and have an honest conversation, treating it as just another chat.

Turns out both of these women were simply worried they wouldn’t be very good at it! That was the only reason for their hesitance. After spending time with them both sexually and non-sexually, they trusted I wasn’t going to judge them, and with some gentle encouragement, taking it step by step, they both began to love them.

I met another women I dated casually who didn’t like being seen naked. She wasn’t satisfied with how her body looked (even though it was beautiful in my eyes) and this was preventing her from having the sex she wanted. Again, we talking about it calmly, because I wanted to see the issue through her eyes. And once again, with the trust there, we began taking baby steps towards making her feel more comfortable being naked.

Now I’m not saying your job as a dominant is to cure your sub of all her insecurities. I’ve got more than enough of those of my own to deal with!

And I’m not saying that only women have insecurities about sex. Men of course do as well. But from my experience society and upbringing tend to be harsher on women. Also note that I write mainly about man dominants and female submissives in heterosexual relationships. A female Domme would be able to help a male sub overcome his hangups too. Basically, whoever is in charge, regardless of gender, is able to have a big impact because of their position of power.

The point I want to make is you can do your bit by talking about the topic of sex with your partner in a direct and open way. This alone is often a catalyst for positive change and removal of shame and guilt in your submissive.

Which brings me on to the next important point – being comfortable with your own desires.

6. Own your power

Oh boy, this is a biggie. And not something you hear Doms talking about often.

Being a Dom is a headfuck. As a good person (you are a good person, right?) one of the biggest difficulties I had to overcome was reconciling my head telling me that everything should be equal in a relationship, and accept that what my heart wanted was a power imbalance, where I’m the one in charge in the relationship.

This feels as though it goes against everything society and women have been fighting for in the past hundreds of years.

When I started my journey towards being a good Dom, I felt uncomfortable bossing a woman around in the bedroom, let alone asking her to do things for me around the house.

In fact, growing up, for various reasons I had to learn to be self-sufficient. I really dislike having to ask people for help. A part of me believes it is a display of weakness if I can’t do everything for myself.

Rationally I know this isn’t the case. We all need other people to help us in life. But this programming is so instilled that it took several years to become more comfortable with it, and I’m still working on it.

So if asking people for help is tough for me, imagine how difficult it is to ask someone to do something for me even if I can do it myself.

Asking someone to go to the shops and buy some biscuits as an example. I am more than capable of doing this. Who am I to ask my sub to complete this chore for me?

Those are the types of thoughts which go through my head each time I set my sub a task or new rule.

I have to remind myself that this is for both of us.

She gets pleasure from being the submissive in the relationship, and therefore I am denying her pleasure if I complete the task myself.

Even though it is something I could do for myself, I am denying her the satisfaction of having served her Dom and done a good job.

The other questions I ask myself are “Is this abusive? Am I taking advantage of her?”

My fear is slipping unknowingly into an unhealthy dynamic which borders on emotional abuse. As the dominant, I could become more and more demanding, persuading her to do things which she doesn’t really want to but feels she has to in order to keep us together, and we’d both fail to spot the dynamic had become toxic.

I don’t know where this line lies. When does a dom sub relationship cross over into an abusive one? And how do I stop myself crossing that line?

I don’t have the answer, but I take comfort from the belief that an abusive person wouldn’t even consider these questions.

My other strategy is continual communication. Keep checking in to make sure your partner is happy with how the dom sub dynamic is progressing. Level out the power dynamic during these conversations or you may not get an honest answer from her, because she’s still attempting to please you.

Finally, trust your submissive. She is a grown woman and more than capable of telling you if she believes you are taking advantage of her.

In summary, to be a good dominant you must: buck the societal pressure to have equal power share in a relationship; overcome your drive to be independent in order to allow someone else the pleasure of serving you; and act with mindfulness to prevent emotional abusive in your position of power.

And there you were thinking being a great Dom was just about smacking her ass a few times!

7. Develop the mental traits of a good dom

Being a good dominant requires you to be:

  • Curious. A good dominant is curious about what makes other people tick. They are curious about sex and sexuality. They want to explore that with others, in a non-judgemental and open-minded way.
  • Kind. A good Dom isn’t nasty, vindictive or manipulative. He is kind, caring, respectful, and wants to bring out the best in others. He accepts his sub will make mistakes and punishes only when necessary. The welfare of his submissive is front of mind.
  • Consistent. A good Dom’s behaviour is uniform. The submissive must be able to trust his rules, decision making, and logic. A highly-strung, inconsistent and reckless Dom isn’t fun to be around. You can’t expect your sub to know how to act if you react differently in a set scenario. Of course you may change your mind, but make sure you’ve communicated what you are thinking.
  • Decisive. A good Dom is able to make rational decisions based on the information given to them. When she asks where are we going for dinner tonight, he doesn’t respond “I don’t know”. A good Dom is a great planner and strategist.
  • Others focused. I’ve said this so many times, but being a good Dom is not simply about ordering your submissive to do whatever you want. You must be empathetic, able to read others well, and get a sense of what they need from the relationship, then incorporate that into your lifestyle and playtime. Sure, you can boss your sub around and get her running errands for you, but only if that’s what she enjoys doing and has given her consent.

8. Improve your communication skills

Communication is the cornerstone of a dom sub dynamic. Good communication is difficult and requires much practise. It’s something you have to work to improve continuously.

Here are a few tips to improve your communication skills.

  • Be honest. Honesty is not always easy. But if you want your partner to completely trust you, you have to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. Be prepared for your partner to say things which make you uncomfortable, and learn not to let your emotions take over. Take a deep breathe and allow the feelings to wash over you.
  • Have regular check-ins. Set aside a time in the week when you can sit down to discuss your dom sub relationship with your partner. What’s working and what’s not. Drop the power play during this conversation. You must both come at it as equals, or your sub is simply going to go along with what you say.
  • Listen more. Really hear what the other person is trying to tell you. Sometimes it isn’t the words they are using but the underlying message which needs to be heard. Don’t react angrily if they say something which stings. Acknowledge their feelings, even if you don’t agree logically with what they are saying. If you help someone feel heard, they are more likely to listen to your point of view, and together you can reach a compromise.
  • Avoid judgement. Avoid judging what someone says, especially when talking about topics of a sexual nature. Doing so will shut down the conversation, and you’ll end up in a worse off position.

Recommended books to improve your communication skills are:

9. Level up your body language

Body language is a fascinating and extensive topic. People size you up before you even open your mouth.

If you are meeting a woman for the first time, those first few seconds are critical. Are you the kind of person who puts her at ease, makes her relax and smile, but also commands respect, gives her funny feelings in her tummy, and want to rip your clothes off?

This can all happen within a few seconds of her interacting with you, and your body language makes the difference.

Here are a few tips on assertive and confident body language.

  • Walk the walk. Start notice how you walk down the street. Do you leave forwards or backwards? How do your hips swing? How much do your shoulders roll? Is your back curved or straight? How far forward and backwards do your arms swing? Now study a film where the lead actor exhibits dominant body language. Compare how he walks to how you’ve been walking. Notice any differences? Take one aspect of your walk and modify it to be better. Repeat for all aspects.
  • Eye contact. When talking to someone, are you able to hold their gaze for long periods of time? Well you need to. Being able to confidently look someone in the eye as they talk to you, or you talk to them shows you are not indicated or nervous. Learn to soften your eyes and smile slightly, so you don’t come across as creepy.
  • Minimise movements. If you’re sitting or standing, keep movements to a minimum. Watch for unconscious movements such as jogging your knee up and down, tapping your foot, or drumming your fingers. Don’t do this. They signal a nervous energy and are distracting. Reduce your fidgeting as much as possible. Then when you DO finally move, make your movements slow and deliberate. People will give them more weight because they rarely happen.
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If this type of stuff interests you, the best book I’ve read on the subject of body language is The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures by Allan & Barbara Pease. It contains everything you need to know, and goes into great detail.

Also, watch the scene from Casino Royale where James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) is having dinner with Vesper Lynd (played by Eva Green) on the train heading to Montenegro. It’s a great example of all these techniques in action.

How to be a dominant. James Bond body language
Cool, calm and collected. The eye contact is softened by the slight smile.

10. Work on your voice

How you say something is often more important than what you say.

Did you know we change our voice pitch depending upon our perceived social status of the person we are talking to? (read this Social status of listener alters our voice article for more).

If you are talking to someone you believe is high status, you raise your voice pitch. The theory is it informs the listener that you are submitting, and you are not a threat to them, in order avoid confrontation.

Dr Viktoria Mileva, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Stirling, said: “A deep, masculine voice sounds dominant, especially in men, while the opposite is true of a higher pitched voice.

Social status of listener alters our voice,, 29 June 2017

So, if you want to be seen as more dominant, you should use a deeper tone of voice. Don’t try and fake a deep voice, but do practise some vocal exercises or hire a vocal coach to help you achieve this naturally. Speaking slower and breathing deeper helps.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • Voice volume. Don’t believe you have to shout to make your sub do something for you. I rarely, if ever, raise my voice. A raised voice indicates annoyance, aggression, and loss of control – everything that is the opposite of being a calm and in control Dom. Often, a quieter voice is far more effective. As an example, suppose your sub answers back. An eyebrow raise and an “Excuse me?” said quietly whilst maintaining eye contact with her works wonders.
  • Rate of speech. Decrease the speed at which you talk. Rushing makes you more difficult to understand and signals nervousness (even if you aren’t). So practise speaking deliberately, slowly, and directly.
  • Pausing and use of silence. Only someone who is extremely confident can pause between sentences (we dislike using silence becasue we fear being interrupted. A high status person won’t be interrupted due to social conditioning). Don’t be afraid of the silence. Embrace it. Don’t fill silence with words for the sake of it. Yes it can feel uncomfortable, but learn to let the silence be.
  • Variance. Avoid speaking in a monotone voice. Emphasis particular words with an increase or decrease in pitch, speed or volume of speech.

Here’s a little vocal exercise you can try. Take a nursery time such as Mary Had a Little Lamb. Say it out loud, working on lowering your voice tone, decreasing the speed at which you talk by a factor of two, pausing between lines, and playing with the intonation and emphasis you place on each word.

11. Become a sex god

The majority of BDSM relationships have a sexual component. The bedroom is the best place to really unleash your dominance and have her submit to you.

The bedroom was where my journey to being a Dom started, and I guess it’s the same for most couples.

I’ve written a complete guide to being dominant in the bedroom. I suggest you read that article.

In summary, the key thing to remember about having dominant sex is developing both the mental and physical components.

You can read the best sex techniques in the world, or be the best at hair pulling, spanking, or throwing her around the room, but if she doesn’t trust you, feel comfortable in your presence, relaxed, or turned on by you mentally, none of that matters.

Think of sexual techniques as the part of the iceberg visible above the water. The mental components are the 70% of the iceberg below the water, contributing to its buoyancy.

What do doms actually do?

You’ve read all the dominant tips above. You get that being a good Dom starts with knowing yourself and your submissive, good communication and trust. You understand you need to master both the physical and mental components.

But what the hell do you actually DO with your sub now?

Well, that’s completely up to you and your submissive enjoy.

Ultimately, you can explore any aspect of BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism).

Here are a few suggestions to get started.

  • Complete a sex menu. You and your submissive should complete a sex menu so you know what each other are in to. A sex menu fosters good communication and helps overcome the stigma of talking about sex.
  • Set some rules. Rules help maintain the Dom sub power dynamic, but need to be clearly defined. What are your expectations or your sub? What should she do and when? Take a look at my article on 69 rules for submissives to get some ideas.
  • Spank her. Spankings are a go-to power play move. It puts her squarely in her place as the submissive, reminds her who’s boss, and can also be a foreplay technique to turn her on. Make sure you learn how to spank properly. Spankings can be light and playful as a bedroom activity, or hard and painful as a form of punishment.
  • Restrain her. Experiment with bondage. Not all submissives enjoy being restrained, but in my experience, most do (consult her sex menu). Purchase a set of under bed restraints and tie her up during a sex session.
  • Have her perform chores. Have her run simple errands for you such as going to the shops, researching fun things to do on the weekend, or doing the washing up. These fall more into more of a Master/slave dynamic, and won’t be applicable to all Dom/sub relationships.
  • Train her. All submissives need some element of training to ensure they know what is expected of them and are serving their dominant correctly. Read this slave training guide for ideas.
  • Tell her what to wear. Like seeing your submissive in a particular outfit? Then set up a date night and tell her to meet you at a restaurant wearing it. This is just one of several dominant commands you can give via text message.

Common mistakes Doms make

As you begin your journey to being a Dom, avoid making these common mistakes.

  • Raising your voice. You should never have to shout at your sub. Being dominant is about remaining in control at all times. Becoming angry and bad tempered is the opposite of being in control.
  • Trying to be perfect. Whether you are a beginner or professional Dom, you are never going to get it right all the time. Make light of your mistakes and your sub will too.
  • Being too serious. There’s no need to be heavy and intense all the time. You don’t have to approach this with the solemnity of a politician delivering bad news. If your personality is naturally jovial and light-hearted then incorporate that into your play. Laugh and have fun with your sub.
  • Doing everything. Being a good Dom does not mean you have to enjoy all aspects of BDSM. I don’t like inflicting pain, for example, and I’m not that into leather. Does that make me a bad Dom? No. Don’t try and do everything. Learn what you and your partner enjoy and stick to that.
  • Forcing someone to do something they don’t want. EVERYTHING you do should be consensual. Never force someone to do something they do not want to do or is going to cause long term physical or emotional harm. Remember the principle of Safe, Sane and Consensual (SSC) at all times.
  • Not owning up to mistakes. If you make a mistake, admit it and apologise if necessary. There’s a real strength in being able to admit your flaws. It’s sexy and dominant.
  • Demanding submission too soon. Some dominants expect their partner or date to be submissive right from the off. This isn’t how it works. You must earn her submission. A sub must respect and trust you before she is willing to submit to you. Don’t be the idiot who starts ordering someone around on a first date, or who suddenly reads about BDSM and then forces his wife to do all the housework. Communicate and explore as equals, then slowly incorporate more and more extreme power dynamics.
  • Expecting submission outside the bedroom. Not all submissives (or dominants) enjoys submitting in everyday life, and you shouldn’t expect them to. Some subs want to be treated roughly during sex, but return to an equal power status afterwards. Some want an unequal power dynamic 24 hours a day.
  • Poor communication/Not being clear in what you want. If you aren’t clear in communicating your desires, or make your rules too complicated, or haven’t written them down, you can’t expect your sub to follow them. Consider writing a BDSM contract for clarity.
  • Domineering rather than dominant. Know the difference and don’t be domineering.

Take stock. Are you actually a good Dom?

It’s not always easy to tell if you’re a good Dom.

You might want to review your history of interactions with submissive women and be brutally honest with yourself.

  • Did they sleep with you once and never return?
  • Do they often stop responding to your messages?
  • Do chats on dating apps go dead as soon as you tell them you’re a Dom?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you may not be a great dominant.

However, also bear in mind that people may not be into BDSM and that’s okay. I’ve had women who were enthusiastically chatting to me one minute, but as soon as the topic of domination and submission came up I might as well have said I was a serial killer. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad Dom, it just means they aren’t into the dynamic.

Review the tips on how to be a good Dom above. Do an honest audit of yourself. Where can you improve? What things are you missing and need to work on?

Write them down and pick one to focus on improving this month. Make that your priority for the next 30 days. Consciously be aware of whatever it is daily. That alone will help you improve. Re-assess after the 30 days is up, and decide what to work on next.

Concluding how to be a good dom

Woah! It’s turned into another monster BDSM guide. Far longer than I intended it to be.

As you can see, being a good dominant encompasses many, many different topics. You have to have good knowledge of psychology, your own mental state and your subs, be a master of body languages, great in bed, command respect, and essentially have your shit together in all aspects of your life.

I hope it hasn’t put you off though.

All the hard work is worth the effort. Being a Dom and being involved in a D/s relationship is incredibly rewarding, and you’ll get the opportunity to meet plenty of likeminded and interesting people along the way.

If you want some further reading which will aid your learning, I recommend the following:

Do all these things, keep learning, practising, and soon you will be the very best dom you can be.

The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives
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Daniel Equihua

Tbh this is highly recommended for everyone for having a good idea how to treat each other w love and respect so we can finally have golden hearts instead of frozen broken ones. Thank you so much for blessing us w this enlightening info have a gorgeous day, kings n queens.


This guide was very helpful but I felt left out. I mean there are many dominant ladies and submissive men out there . I had problem with it but other than that it article was an awesome.


Wow. Man this is exactly what I needed to read. My girlfriend has expressed doing this and of course. If I want to be the kind of boyfriend she wants as her forever, then I need to do my research and reading. This was amazing. Any question I had was answered. Amazing job


I’m kinda new to this. The thing you said about if you’re serious questioning whether you are doing this well and concerned about whether you’re being a**hat, it’s a good sign that you’re doing ok and are on the right path. This is something I have worried about from the start.

Thank you

Last edited 3 years ago by Darren

Everyone is learning, but there isn’t much that cannot resolved through open communication and trust between partners. Enjoy the journey!


Is it your belief then that a person that doesn’t have a naturally dominant personality makes for a terrible Dom/Master?


This is the part that rang very untrue about your article. I was going to write a top level comment, but decided to respond here instead. Being a Dom just means being in control of a “scene” during “play”. Being confident, assertive, and having a desire to lead has nothing to do with this. A manly man’s man leader can want to be a sub during play. A weak cowardly follower can want to be in control during play. These traits, often caught up in outdated gender roles, are not good indicators of either a person’s desire or their ability for domination. The so called “naturally dominant” personality, which in psycholgy is pseudoscientific to begin with, is actually at a disadvantage when it comes to ability. Those who think they are “naturally dominant” are less likely to learn and listen. Someone who is more tentative and shy, naturally or otherwise, is more likely to seek learning and listen to their partners. Not that an assertive person can’t be a great Dom as well. My point though is that you are way off the mark here! Why would someone who’s not confident, assertive, or a leader want to be in control during play? Too many reasons to count! Here’s a few off the top of my head though: It can be a way to escape their subsurvient role in their everyday life. It can be a way to deal with past sexual trauma. It can be something they learn to do to please a partner.


“Makes them feel good” is pretty broad and generalized. Don’t we do everything because we think it will make us feel good (sometimes in the long run) or at least not feel bad?

A personal assistant who feels walked on all day, but then goes home to dominate their lover has different motivations than the bartender that was sexually assaulted in college and can only feel comfortable during sexwhen they feel in control.

Ultimately control has a lot to do with sexual motivation, but it’s not the whole picture. (The old adage goes “everything is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.”)

I agree that confidence is valued highly in our society, and thus any potential partner, inside or outside of kink, is going to be attracted to confidence. Even for subs. Who are you more attracted to: the sub that whispers in your ear exactly what they want, or the one that won’t make eye contact? Most people in western society find confidence attractive, but this wasn’t an article about how to be more attractive in general. There weren’t any diet or exercise tips to look more fit, even though most people find physical fitness attractive too. A great Dom can be a chubby, homely, and unconfident elsewhere. What’s important is that they have control during the play and that their sub enjoys that play as well as their sub. A good Dom practices play like it’s a craft, and in doing so builds familiarity, which can come with confidence. But, a great Dom can be a great Dom with butterflies
in their stomach every time they play too.

I think you’re advice in the article is solid all around, but there is no need to gate keep in this way. You’re quick to point out that women, transfolk and queer folk more generally can dominate just as well as men. That’s great! But, don’t let some shy awkward person read your article and think their not cut out to be a Dom. They totally can be! It won’t even be harder for them to be a good one. If they find a partner that likes them and wants to sub in a compatible way to their Dom fantasy, all they have to do is learn.


As a shy, awkward person I can safely say I read this article without feeling that I wasn’t cut out for being a dom. It actually made me feel better about the fact that I hadn’t found things so natural from the start!

You refer to shy, awkward people as ‘them’ which leads me to infer you’re not included. Maybe going forward just worry about your experience when reading the article and don’t try to act like some omnipotent being whose looking out for the little guy 😉



Just as you cautioned Chief on gate-keepin, you turn around and write the phrase “even subs” when touching on the point of confidence being attractive.
Y’all have some preconceived notions about submissives.
Nobody is BORN submissive nobody is BORN dominant, yes I know some say they have been dominant since before they could walk, subs will use phrases like, submissive heart, naturally, I just like to please, etc.
I’m sure that neither one of y’all would seee as submissive. You would be correct for the simple fact. that neither one of y’all are my domainant. I do not walk around referring to anybody.

And if I suspected that a dominant was putting a Dom face on, I would consider that lying.

Lying is still lying whether by OMISSION OR COMMISSION. Honesty, Trust, Communication, Respect are the tenants of BDSM.
Matt, you relagated a PE to just a bedroom. Well it can be anything those involved want it to be..


Love this post. Like you pointed out in the post, I’ve played around with elements of BDSM in my relationship but this is the first time I’m truly studying the art of BDSM and it starts with my development as a Dom.

So many questions, so much to learn just need to remind myself thT it is one step forward everyday or as others put 1% better everyday 🙂


I am a women, future dom and I don’t feel represented in the pictures or the comments… “help her overcome insecurities”?!? made me stop the reading..


My question is in regards to how Doms behave towards other Doms. I have been with my Daddy Dom now for almost 2 years. We are doing amazing and things are great. Recently at some of our meets with other Doms and subs in our area (some in a dynamic and some not), I have been approached by other Doms about leaving my Dom and starting a dynamic with them. I have declined all offers and they have all been made when my Dom was not within hearing distance. To me this is extremely disrespectful and feel like it should go against some unspoken code or something. Am I wrong or should Doms not be “recruiting” collared subs? I have ready spoke to my Daddy about this and he has addressed it with the parties involved. He considered it disrespectful. I just assumed there was a Dom code of conduct type understanding. I would claw another subs eyes out for doing this type of thing lol. Thanks so much for help.


Ok, I see what you are saying, this is more poor behavior overall, not just a poor Dom. That I can agree with! I have had a previous Dom, where we had a more free arrangement and this type of thing would not be that much of an issue. I feel it may have been this particular meeting that we went to, this was our 2nd time, and both times I have not felt comfortable there so my Dom has vetoed this entire group. We will be hunting for a new little group in our area. Thanks for your reply. 🙂


Thank you for the incredible information I feel like everything you have said is on point and I look forward to the lifestyle my partner is excited as I am.. this is the best information I have read on this lifestyle…


Chief, thanks so much for this balanced piece of writing. I am exploring my curiosity and perhaps natural inclination towards power play in the bedroom and this really helps me consider what it takes to be a Domme and whether that would be a good (occasional) fir for me. I’ll be exploring your site further.

Domdaddy Steve

Great discussion about the topics. I am entering a new relationship with a Sub and it’s been some time since I have practiced this dynamic. It’s really been missed actually. I thought your commentary was well written and considered. Some of it is just common sense personal relations, but its important to know the rules of engagement so to speak. You articulated the sensible thinking quite well. Really appreciated!!


The list feels incomplete not seeing pleasure Dom there nor a mention of a hard Dom and soft Dom.

Last edited 1 year ago by Candy

a great read thanks for sharing your thoughts


Not loving how this article uses pronouns. There are all genders doms and subs, this perpetuates the narrative that all women want to sub.


If you read the entire thing, he states that anybody (gives a list) can be a in either role. I’m not sure why people don’t understand that people write from their perspective, nobody has to throw out the grammatical rules that accompany pronouns. And if one is speaking directly to ao.eone, well they can give their name. Their person pronouns are not generally used when people are speaking to each other.


I’ve only recently discovered that I’m a sub and I’ve been with my bf for 4yrs so this is new territory for both of us. As a couple we’re exploring D/s now but I worry that I’m more invested than he is or I may be adding pressure to him by needing a dom. I know these things take time. We’ve discussed it and he’s read your amazing articles but I honestly feel like this is all on me. Any advice on a how I can make this easier for both of us?


Good morning Chief,

My wife and I are new to the world of Kink. She’s a sub and I’m definitely a Dom in the bedroom, but our lives are quite different. Our sex life is complicated, for lack of a better term, and we’re hoping that BDSM might be the key to fixing this part of our marriage.

My wife’s entire sex life has been attached with emotional (and sometimes physical/abusive) pain and trauma. Admittedly, I am at fault for some of that hurt, as I spent the majority of our marriage secretly watching porn. I also held onto friendships with previous sexual partners during the early stages of our relationship. I‘ve been through counseling for my porn addiction, and I’m working on the shame I carry with all of my mistakes. I’ve never been with another woman since my wife and became “official.” Unfortunately, she sees my porn addiction as infidelity. So, with all of that hurt, sex with me is usually emotionally painful for her.

In our few discussions about the possibility of engaging in BDSM, she has mentioned that she’s interested in possibly being pleasured by another person as part of her healing. She’s not fully certain that she will be able to disassociate herself from the hurt I caused if I’m the one giving her pleasure. I know that I will never consent to her even being touched by another person, much less pleasured by one. On top of that, as she is most definitely a sub, she would be dominated by that other person. I become physically I’ll at even the thought of her being with another person (man or woman). She thinks it may help us in the long run. If she does, I’ll never be able to forgive her and it will end our marriage.

How do I help her realize that two wrongs won’t make a right for us?


immediately stopped reading the article after hearing top/bottom and dom/sub explained like they equal each other. they intensely do not and it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the subject matter as well as queer sexual dynamics. 🙁

Annonomus dominus

I think what the commenter is really getting at is that depending on the type of play or other dymamic being “on top” doesnt make someone the dom. I am straight, male, monogomus and as dom i can order my sub (my wife) to be top, even be rough and exibit what might be consitered “domanate” behavior. Its all about the mind game.

A dom could be face down in the sheets with a collar on getting their brains fucked out and STILL be the dom in that session or even 24/7, its about who has given and who has taken control. The mental game is strong when you both take it seriously. But again all dynamics are different and we are monogomus so ownership is a two way street, TPE 24/7 (but very laid back just dom is really truly the boss in all life senarios) and 20% switch (she gets a few days a month of me being her sub and i fucking love it makes me so proud of her) so we have a varity and some power exchange. I will say, at least if you are monogomus, even if its out of your confort zone to be a better dom offer to be sub for a day or two as a reward to both of you. Your sub will learn to be a better sub from it too and apprecate your skill and care as their dom.

That being said like i did with reading this and other articals from you is that not all points apply to all (like your non monogomus bits do not apply for me) but as a whole the artical is very interesting and sparks good conversation.

Last edited 8 months ago by Annonomus dominus

Hi Chief!

It think that was sad was expressing is very important in bdsm context, but is not generally discussed in hetero relationships where the cis-man assumes the role of dominant, because there is some unspoken convention that the man who has a dominant role will be a top as well.
But there is truly a difference between the two terms.

Dominant and submissive describe the dynamic in which the dom/domme has a form of control/authority on the other partner, who submits to his/her will with consent.
Top and bottom express the physical aspect of the action. The top performs the action and the bottom receives it.

As a pansexual woman who has had experience being a dom and a sub, as well as a top or a bottom, with people of different gender expression, I can say that I have observed with great regularity that hetero men who are more on the dominant side usually are tops too, and don’t see a difference between the two words, because their expression of dominance is generally active and physical.

But there is a lot more nuance possible, and overlaping between the roles in a relationship. I found that a lot of doms like to have control from the bottom, but sometimes refrain from it because of the misunderstanding between the two concepts.

I’ve also observed that queer people are generally WAY MORE fluid in their exploration of bdsm roles, since they’ve already detached from the default heteronormative definition of their sexuality.

Anyways, I have spent the evening on your site and I have found that it is very comprehensive and interesting. I don’t know if you have made a distinction between the definitions of theses terms somewhere, but if not, I think it would be a good idea and would surely be of interest to your readers.


This is SO informative- I’m new and all of this has been so helpful, thank you.