Questions and Cautions Around Dominance & submission
With the film Fifty Shades Darker slated to hit theatres this Valentine’s Day, I’m sure many women will be gung-ho to explore Dominance and submission (D/s). And this quite concerns me: for I know — as a memoirist whose D/s story was adapted into a film — that Hollywood takes poetic licence when telling a dramatic story. And when it comes to D/s, there are some very important safeguards that should NEVER be glossed over.
Thus, speaking as a woman who has three D/s relationships behind her — and who is capable, intelligent and without psychological issues — here is a glimpse of the REAL world of D/s: answers – and cautions – to some popular questions I’ve been asked.
Is D/s all about whips, chains, blood and pain?
No. Please do not confuse D/s with S & M which is sadomasochism. S&M is the dynamic where one person (the sadist) enjoys inflicting pain, often sexually, on someone who enjoys receiving it (the masochist). That being said, some people may incorporate some level of S&M into their D/s dynamic – but more often than not, it’s mild to moderate and takes the form of spanking, which, let’s be honest, many “vanilla” couples have tried in the throes of passion.
Please note that BDSM is divided into three areas: BD, bondage and disciple; DS, Dominance and submission; and SM, for sadomasochism. Not everyone combines all areas, nor do they do so in the same ways; it’s up to the couple to decide upon and consent to together. Also, many couples don’t even categorize themselves under these labels and simply call acts like blindfolding or handcuffing “kink”.
Is D/s largely about kinky sex then?
D/s is first and foremost an energy dynamic that flows between two people. One person, the Dom, takes on more the role of leader, guide, enforcer, protector and/or daddy, while the other person, the sub, assumes more the role of pleaser, brat, tester, baby girl, and/or servant. Many couples limit the D/s dynamic to sexual role play in the bedroom. But D/s can be expanded and applied in exciting and creative ways beyond it:
For example, a Dom may create simple rules for his sub to follow, such as requiring she ask his permission to masturbate when he’s absent. Or, the dynamic may involve much stricter rules and numerous tasks that entrust him with more control of her mind, body and behaviours. This is where the line between D/s crosses into that of Master/slave, which is much more in-depth and more of a lifestyle.
Does the Dom have all the power while the sub is his doormat?
No. This is one of the biggest myths about D/s. A true D/s relationship is based upon the needs, wants, desires and curiosities of the sub; she defines the flow and boundaries of the relationship. The Dom’s job is to listen closely to her, ask questions, intuit what she says and sometimes can’t, and help her creatively and safely explore her innermost self, mentally, emotionally and yes, sexually , too.
Where did you meet your Doms and what top advice would you offer those seeking one?
I met all three Doms on conventional or alternative lifestyle dating websites. And the most critical piece of advice I can offer is to take your time, really get to know him, and if you choose to meet in person, only do so in a public place. This is NOT a domain to blindly rush into or to go looking for a hook-up – cause if he ties you up and Dr. Jekyll becomes Mr. Hyde, you could well end up in hospital or dead.
Secondly, if any Dom immediately starts giving you directives (i.e., call me “sir”) and listing his expectations, dump him. An authentic Dominant knows he must earn his position; that D/s is based on trust, communication, respect, honesty, and mutual consent; and that the sub REALLY has all the power.
Why are you attracted to it?
I don’t have an exact for you. I will say, however, that all of my relationships built upon each other and taught me profound things about my body, my self and even life.
One of the things I love most about D/s is the cerebral connection – the mind play and the feelings it conjures in me, sometimes all day long. The words, the orders, the reprimands, the tone, and the downright audacity for him to say it all: Never would I allow anyone else to speak to me in this way, or to know such things about how I think, feel, fear and secretly desire and crave.
And I hear myself responding in ways that similarly shock me – from mouthy and totally improper to meek and pleasing or with no air in my lungs at all. All the while I feel – I feel with my mind, and heart and full body: the anticipation, the fear, his control and protection, and love.
But not just any many can call himself a Dom and own me; there is a ferocious tiger that guards the gates to that sacred part of me.
I heed other women to do the same.
- Dating Games Women Play That Don’t Work
- Qualities to Look For in a REAL Dominant
- Are You Dating Another Version of Your Ex?