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How to Dom, Part I

Sasha Sobolevsky

An existential and practical pondering by Sir Rucifer

I often have people come to me and ask for advice, mentoring and lessons in how to be a Dom. I always start with the same joke.

Step 1. Wear a lot of black.

Step 2. Never admit that you are wrong.

Step 3. Add “Sir/Lord/Master/Mistress/Goddess” in front of your name.

The first thing you have to do when you decide you want to Dom/top someone is to check your intention. Ask yourself “why do I want to do this?” The intention of both parties is the most important part of a scene, or BDSM relationship. If the intention is self-serving with disregard to both parties’ expectations, you will have a bad time. Make sure that you Dom from a loving place, because you want to have a mutually beneficial fun time with your partner, whom you respect. Both the Dom and the sub need to respect each other on a basic human-to-human level. It may seem like an obvious first step, but the intent of the Dom and the sub makes a world of difference.

Once you have determined the intent of both parties, then you start the fun conversations. Lots and lots of communication! The scene negotiations are vital to a healthy BDSM interaction. This is where both parties discuss what they would like to do, and not do, during the scene. It’s called a negotiation, not because you can haggle over what someone’s limits are, but because both parties have to agree to adding it to the list of things both are comfortable with. If the bottom/sub says something is a limit, then it is written in stone and the Dom can NEVER violate that limit.

Now something that is not often talked about, is that a Dom can also have limits. It is often assumed that Doms are all knowing, all powerful machines that crank out sadism in their sleep. The truth is that Doms are people too and it’s not just the submissive’s limits that set the framework for the scene; Doms can and should also have limits. The Dom’s limits can either be things that they just don’t want to do, or things that they don’t feel confident doing safely. For example, I’ve had people ask me to put a cigarette out on them to permanently scar them. That’s one of my limits.

After both parties have talked about their hopes, dreams, fantasies and limits, then the fun starts. BDSM is an artform and your canvas is the human body and mind. For me one of the best parts of being a Dom is the creativity that I can express. The limits of both parties give me a pallet of colors that I get to use, and then figuring out what picture I want to paint with them. Limitations breed creativity. When you are starting your journey as a Dom, what I recommend is plan your scene before you do it. Get yourself a BDSM journal, and write down the limits of your partner and the things you both want to try or experience. Plot out your scene, using those colors, and keep in mind that you want to build an experience for the body and mind. Keep in mind how each part of the scene will affect your partner, both physically and emotionally. Have some fun with it. This is where the “art” of BDSM comes in, you get to flex your creative muscle.