So you think you're a Dom
I realise this might seem like a cheap shot, but this is my response to all of those entitled white dudes who wake up one day and decide they’re a Dom. If you’re in a tl;dr mood, then let me summarise this for you real quick: off you fuck.
As you may have noticed, this is ranty, opinionated article. Indulge me this once, please.
Socioeconomic or racial privilege ≠ Dominant
Generally, I keep these musings as positive, educational, and uplifting as possible.
However, I’m absofuckinglutely done with this shit. A woman client mentioned this again yesterday and it was enough to make me sit down and write this article.
Since meeting my first Dom around twenty years ago, I have repeatedly encountered the assumption that being white, male, cisgender, heterosexual, and at least moderately well-off, is enough to make you a Dom.
No, it doesn’t. Your intersecting privileges may give you access to many things, but they do not translate to kink entitlement.
Everybody has to learn at least one aspect of how to be a good Dom, no exceptions. It’s a relationship not an atribute.
Wanting to do kinky things to others ≠ Dominant
It’s brilliant that you want to tie someone up or have a kitten curled up on your knees. It’s wonderful that you have this clarity and I’m not knocking it.
However, wanting to do something kinky to someone else makes you a Top, not necessarily a Dom. They are qualitatively very different relationships, although there are areas of overlap.
Generally, topping takes less planning, and the majority of lazy Doms I’ve met have actually been Tops. There’s nothing wrong with it, just don’t pretend you’re interested in curating a D/S dynamic if you’re not.
Not sure if you/he is a Top or Dom? How much time does he want to invest in training a sub? How ready is he to nurture an intimate dynamic of trust, tenderness, and tension? What if no sex is involved, is he still interested?
Being abusive ≠ Dominant
Although there are many styles of being dominant, they all require consent. Without consent, BDSM is abuse. Even non-consensual play needs to be agreed upon beforehand.
There is no negotiation on this point.
And don’t you dare cite 50 Shades of Grey as your source of a healthy D/S relationship.
You can absolutely hurt, humiliate, degrade, and abuse your partner as a Dom as much as you want, within the agreed risk profiles or agreements of your scene. You can test limits, push boundaries, experiment in emotionally and psychologically liminal spaces, and discover headspaces you hadn’t even dreamed of before. You can play, punish, and use the most Sadistic operant conditioning your twisted little heart desires, and still not be abusive because you are respecting the discussed boundaries and pre-agreed consent, and providing aftercare.
Not discussing boundaries or consent, or demanding “not limits” play is at best disrespectful and at worse abusive behaviour. Dominance is not abuse.
Why does this matter?
Ok, rant over. Part of the motivation for writing this article comes from an increasing number of clients telling me they’re feeling pressured or coerced into doing kinky sexual things they don’t want to do, under the guise of a D/S relationship.
I’m absolutely delighted that kink is increasingly spoken about and, apparently, more widely practised these days. While there are tons of fabulous videos and courses on the “how-to” of BDSM, there’s less info on the planning, boundaries, and psychological and emotional preparation aspects.
For me, the “soft skills” of kink are at least as important and will often make or break a possibly beautifully connection. Also, for us sensitive and emotional people, being able to communicate clearly, authentically, and openly is a prerequisite for any enjoyable intimate play.
If you’re eager to learn important new skills, gain confidence, and have support negotiating an enjoyable and healthy kinky relationship, I’m here for you.