The step-by-step guide to sensual domination.
Photo by Mi Ked?Used with permission from the artist
I?m referencing the televised dance show in the title because it makes a great metaphor for what a D/s relationship really is; a very delicate dance on the edge of power and surrender, and often, pleasure and pain.
It?s a dance that can take you to the highest of highs, and one where a slight misstep can cause you both to trip and fall.
Is kinky the new normal?
While it?s great that we?ve normalized kinky practices to the point where we can be free to live out our desires without feeling like freaks. It?s not ok, on the other hand, to demand kink from anyone, or to use it as a scapegoat for abuse, assault or any kind of inconsiderate behavior in bed.
Copying acts or aesthetics from either porn or BDSM without proper knowledge of what you?re doing is potentially damaging and even dangerous.
With great power comes great responsibility
Attributed to Spiderman, the origin of this quote goes back to the French National Convention in 1793. The British Parliament under Lamb, as well as Sir Churchill, dittoed the sentiment in 1817 and 1906, respectively.
The D/s dance (from the D in BDSM), is not for the faint-hearted, but one that demands a whole lot of responsibility and care for your partner. As the D in duo, you?re given great power, which should never be taken lightly.
Flashing the Dom card is not a free pass to being an asshole
I?ve been lucky to have had some beautiful and even healing experiences while playing with power dynamics. A game of trust, it has allowed me to reach levels of intimacy far beyond what I?d previously imagined possible
But there?s always another side to the coin.
I?ve encountered my share of so-called-dominants waltzing into the BDSM scene, either on or off-line, thinking they?ve found dating Shangri-La; a place where slutty submissives are waiting, wet and willing to kneel at the feet of the first macho to walk in with a whip.
I hate to break it to you, but you?ve not landed in La-La-Land. The place flowing with milk, honey, and free porn-star prostitutes, gapingly awaiting your arrival; it isn?t real (anywhere)!
Let?s put that fantasy back in the spank-bank where it belongs.
But there is good news:
Someone out there might be waiting just for you!
Many are fantasizing about placing themselves in the capable hands of a firm, yet fair, dominant.
But how does one become one of ?them doms?? There?s no surefire recipe, but there are a few things you might want to consider before venturing down the path. I?ve therefore put together some handy hints for any aspiring power-player out there.
Consider it a treat; a slightly self-serving one at that, because the world (of BDSM) could sure use more leaders who know the moves; leaders who get what spiderman was on about.
Kaley Dykstra via Unsplash with pattern via here
How to do the Dom dance: A step-by-step guide.
1. Picking up a submissive
The best way to approach a submissive is (?) exactly the same way that you would any other person you?re interested in; with respect and curiosity.
A submissive is not by default your submissive, so cut the ?Sincerely, YOUR MASTER?-crap until you?ve earned your title? Nope, you?re not Sir yet either.
2. Submission is a gift
This phrase is almost a clich, but like many redundancies, they?re repeated for a reason.
Submitting to a dominant partner means being extremely vulnerable. It?s like getting completely naked ? and then getting even more naked.
Giving someone this level of trust is precious and should be treated as such. If submission was an actual present, it would be a very fragile crystal vase: A crystal vase that wants you to spank it.
I know, it’s confusing, but stay with me.
3. You?re not in charge. Your sub is!
Submissives come in all shapes, sizes and personality types, but more often than not, you?ll find them to be strong, capable people who spend their day-to-day bossing others around. Sexual-submission can be a way to escape the daily decision lag, and, while it might sound paradoxical, letting go of power can be incredibly empowering.
Bear in mind that the submissive is never below you, even if they happen to be kneeling at your feet serving you a Scotch on the rocks. Know?and make sure that your submissive knows?that they can stop the play at any point. Because, bottom line, that?s what this is: play!
4. Stay safe with safewords
The safeword is the key to the sub?s power. Like a magic wand (no, not that kind of magic wand), it can be pulled out and used to pause or stop the action at any time.
You don?t want to venture into serious play without one. Any phrase will do, and supposedly ?pineapple? is one of the most commonly used. ?Justin Bieber? is the second most popular celebrity-name safeword, surpassed only by ?Donald Drumpf?. Talk about a buzz-kill!
?Red? is still the classic choice, and many use ?yellow? to indicate a short pause, as opposed to a full-stop.
5. Welcome feedback
A good dom-friend of mine learned at a consent workshop (!) to always say ?thank you!? to his partner after they used their safeword. Some are embarrassed to use theirs because it feels like giving up.
Dear subs, let?s not be silly, the magic word is there to be used!
As a dominant, make sure your sub is comfortable with voicing their concerns at any time. Never to be taken as criticism, feedback helps you both to grow and learn to further enhance your experiences.
6. Look for non-verbal cues
When things get rough and passionate it can be hard to tell whether someone?s in agony or ecstasy, and sometimes subs will enter a place called sub-space. When floating in this euphoric, out-of-body state, it can be hard to properly vocalize.
The empathetic dom looks out for non-verbal cues, and will routinely check in with their submissive to get confirmation that they?re still enjoying themselves. Grabbing your sub?s face to look them deep in the eyes while asking ?you ok??, can also be super hot!
7. Practice safer sex
While protection is everyone?s responsibility, the dominant has an extra duty in play-scenarios.
If soaring in sub-space, blindfolded or tied up, the submissive must be able to trust that their health is in good hands and that condoms, and other protective barriers, are not overlooked, just because they can?t see.
Note: Stealthing is not an act of dominance, but sexual assault.
The responsible dom also makes sure that any toy or tool they bring to the scene has been properly cleaned and sterilized.
jens holm via Unsplash
8. A true Master knows their tools
If you plan to use anything beyond your own body, you must know what you?re dealing with. Sensible sadists test their own tools?on themselves.
I knew a dom who accidentally hit his own balls with a cane and had to take himself to the ER. That?s what I call a good sport! (He was fine, for those concerned).
While I recommend staying far away from your testis, a bit of self-flagellation is the best way to get an idea of how impactful your new device is.
9. Ask first, do later (never the other way around)
On the topic of tools, these, and any kinky move you want to test out should be agreed upon first. Pre-negotiation is part of the game. Whether you opt for pen and paper or a mental note, make a list that includes your go-tos and no-goes; your soft and hard limits.
Everyone?s different, so while impact play means ?light, bare-handed spanking? to one, it might mean ?paddle and snake-whip? to another. Choking can mean ?a firm but gentle hand around the throat?, or a ?full choke-out?.
10. The pain is not for you
A sexual sadist is a benign sadist: They enjoy giving pain because it feels good to the receiver. You never want to give pain for the sake of pain, or for your own satisfaction.
While BDSM is, to an extent, about pushing boundaries, it?s not a competition. It?s not about how far, deep or painful you go, but about where you go together.
Everyone?s limits are different, so go slow, be safe ? and when in doubt, revisit steps 4?6.
11. Put your submissive?s pleasure first
You know this by now, but a submissive is not a personal sex slave, or a cum-dump?even if they?re into verbal humiliation and want you to call them that. (I know, more confusing). Regardless, they want to cum too!
I?ve encountered the misconception that going down on your sub compromises your dominance. This is a farse! It?s your attitude and not your physical position next to theirs that matters.
Playing with various forms of orgasm control, such as tease and denial, or forced orgasms can further enhance one?s perceived power.
12. Make your sub feel beautiful
You might play that your submissive is ?a dirty slut?, and you might play so hard that their make-up is smeared across their faces and their hair is all over the place. As a sensual dom, you don?t just make your sub feel good physically but also build them up with compliments, to make them feel like the most beautiful ?dirty slut? you?ve ever met.
Karma works in real-time when you play: When they feel amazing, they?ll go out of their way to make you feel amazing too.
13. Master the art of aftercare
Submission is such a vulnerable place that can lead to states of euphoria. Due to the enormous release of endorphins and other hormones through the submissive?s mind and body, they often experience a natural high. Not unlike substance-induced highs, this can also be followed by a hang-over, referred to as a sub-drop.
The responsible dom is there to catch their subs before they fall, by offering aftercare.
Different people require different things, most just want you to be there physically, holding, kissing, caressing, and cuddling them, while some swear by ice cream and cookies. Whatever your sub needs (within reason) to ensure a gentle landing?give it to them.
14. After the aftercare, it?s the after-aftercare
Not ending the moment you part ways, aftercare continues via messages, calls or whatever else necessary. Then, slowly, the care transitions to flirting and teasing that build anticipation and excitement for your next session together.
The cycle completes and begins again.
So, do you still wanna dance?
If you?re left with the feeling that ?damn, that sounds like a ton of work!?, you?re absolutely right?it is! D/s requires tremendous amounts of energy, and this goes both ways: it takes two to tango!
If you?re not ready to put in the effort it won?t be worth your time?but if you are and you do, you might just go on to Dancing with the Stars.