BDSM: Dominance – Do I Have to Be Strict and in Leather?

A big man, clad in leather, slashing out with his long whip. His vibe is mean and intimidating. Everyone around him cowers in fear.

Liz BlackX 
BDSM 101" Dominance - Do I have to be strict and in leather?

male hand holding black leather whip
The stock image everyone knows of BDSM: a firm man, clad in leather, holding a whip

Is this what being a Dominant in BDSM is like? Do you really need to wear leather or use painful implements? What if I don’t like that?
The truth is, as always, more complicated. There are really more than fifty shades of grey, especially within BDSM. Some like it rough, some don’t. And as long as you keep it safe and consensual, anything is possible.

Soft and Sweet

A Dominant can be a sweet guy or girl too. Some are not interested in acting all tough and prefer to go a softer route. When they find a service-oriented submissive, it’s a perfect match. Service-oriented submissives may like to do domestic tasks for the dominant. This includes preparing dinner, bringing them drinks, and cleaning the house. Other personal duties can consist of massages, sometimes full-body, sometimes only the feet. And speaking of the feet, subs can be required to do entire pedicure sessions.
Other than doing menial tasks like these, service can also constitute ‘worshipping’ sessions. Subs can be asked to worship their Master of Mistress. Often this includes worship of parts of the body, for instance, the cock or the feet. It must be a magical feeling to have a submissive sit at your feet and watching them adore that part of your body with full conviction.

Strict and Painful

All this lovey-dovey stuff sounds fine and all, but what if I want to inflict pain? Is that wrong?
Nope, not at all. Another form of dominance is built around sadism. A sadist enjoys seeing other people in pain. And, luckily for them, there are masochists too, people who enjoy having pain, usually in a specific setting. Masochists can enjoy sexual gratification from receiving pain administered in a sexual context. The sadist can whip them or use clamps on their bodies or use whatever inventive method they can come up with.
Dominants of this type often combine the pain infliction with bondage. This can be either bondage with cuffs and chains or with rope. Having the submissive immobilized can make it easier to inflict pain, and sometimes, the positions in which they are bound are painful. The Dominant can force them to stand on their toes, or can pull their head back in an uncomfortable angle. Plenty of options around.

Consent is Essential

So this sounds great and easy. As a Dominant, I can just tell other people what to do and boss them around regardless of the consequences, right?
Nope, alas. The real world doesn’t work that way. You will always need consent from your submissive, else it would be just abuse. You can only go as far as the submissive is willing to go. If the submissive likes bondage, but doesn’t want pain play, then that’s it. You cannot inflict pain.
If the submissive would love to serve you, but cannot sit on her knees because of a medical condition, then you’ll have to think of another position.
To prevent surprises during play, talk with your submissive. Open communication can prevent a lot of problems. Do not judge them for their limits. They may change overtimes, or they may not. It’s your job to stick with them, maybe search the edges if that’s what you agree upon but always stay within the boundaries you two have set together.

Let Your Imagination Run

Apart from these two kinds of dominants that I described here, there are a gazillion other forms too. Namely, riggers who focus on the art of rope bondage, or daddies who love taking care of a little in DDLG play. Any fetish you can think of can be transformed into a Dominant’s role. And that’s okay. As long as you find a submissive that matches your specific kink and who’s willing to do a play with you consensually, then please, don’t feel constricted by what you think a Dominant should look or behave like.

Hard Work

Being a dominant can be rewarding, but it’s also a lot of work. Since you’re the one who’s in charge of the scene, you need to always keep a look out for the submissive’s well-being. The bondage shouldn’t be too strict, the whipping shouldn’t be too harsh, and the clamps shouldn’t be on the body for too long. But, while all this is heeded, the rewards can be significant. The look on your submissive’s face while she casts an adoring look on you. Seeing them following your orders while they bask in their servitude. The road is definitely worth it, but it’s a long road.

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