Some people have said I was remiss for talking about subbing/domming without providing adequate warnings. I agree.
I will consider this the most important post of this website.
This post is for you, the guy/girl who has fantasied about bdsm and being a submissive and are taking steps to turn these fantasies into reality – when you start seek a dom.
Websites like Fetlife is a godsend for the community – especially for those taking them tentative steps. Unfortunately, the bdsm community also attract many people for the wrong reason.
Male subs too are vulnerable due to their obscurity; I have seen many ‘mistresses’ out there with very questionable ideas.
Some people see a submissive who is aroused by control, orders and helplessness as the perfect partner. Become a dom, coerce a guy/girl who apparently wants to be coerced, without the understanding what the lifestyle and community is about.
I don’t blame them. I myself have been down this path too, when I was first discovered bdsm and domming. I was young and horny. There were literally people begging to be treated as slaves and used only for sex!
I saw it as the perfect avenue to get some.
Thankfully, I didn’t know about Fetlife then. Over my 10 odd years of learning since, I hope these guidelines will be handy for anyone wanting to take the next step.
These are only guidelines of course and the best way is to trust your own instinct and have a network you can trust.
Guidelines for Subs Wanting a Dom
1. Skipping straight to sex
Like on Tinder with the imaginative “Hi, wanna fuck?”, anyone who puts so little effort into their posting can be safely ignored. And should be ignored to be safe.
It is fascinating is how common these are. There are many people with tonnes more patience than I. To me, the effort of logging in and search for profiles already outweighs the effort to think of a better line, yet they are willing to be subjected to such monotonous torture. Who is the masochist here, I wonder.
Yet, like Nigerian prince scam, apparently enough people are falling for it to justify its continued usage.
2. They aren’t switches. Or submissives. At all. Absolutely not.
I am a firm believer that to be a dom, you must first be a sub. You first have to learn as a student before becoming the master. Or at minimum, to be willing to look from the perspective of the student.
This doesn’t refer to people are are firmly doms due to their experience. It refers instead to those who have a visceral reaction to the faintest notion that anyone may think of them as submissive.
These are the people who see being a sub as a threat to their autonomy, even though it is the sub who holds unconditional power in any healthy bdsm relationship. The people who see it as emasculating or restricted to the feminine. The ones who see it as abnormal and deviant.
3. Abusive behaviour
When their words and actions veer towards abusiveness. You have to be clear what are abusive behaviours and never accept it ‘just this once’ or ‘for the moment’. There are clear lines to be drawn which can never be crossed even once.
Many smarter people have written about abusive relationships. For instance, the Centre for Relationship Abuse Awareness posts warning signs including “does your partner’s jealousy stop you from seeing friends or family?” and “Does your partner criticize you, or humiliate you in front of other people?”
But how do we know whether humiliation is a part of bdsm play or abusive? I often call Jane a slut after all. To me, there are 2 criteria:
- Is it done in a fun/arousing or hurtful/harmful manner?
- Do they stop when you use safewords?
4. And related behaviours
Narcissism is a lesser known well of abusive behaviour. As this website shows, narcissism refer to those who “create a child that only exists to be an extension of her/him self.” In this case, replace child with a compliant sub or naturally obedient SO.
A good resource for narcissism is on reddit.
While not a formal medical or psychological condition, there are some common traits of narcissists that blend the line between healthy and unhealthy bdsm. One example is to see if someone is a narcissist is if they constantly violate your boundaries. Clearly, your limits are set in stone, not guidelines that may be negotiated.
Another is if they undermine, or your “accomplishments are acknowledged only to the extent that she can take credit for them.” It is difficult to consider a relationship healthy if a dom is trying to hurt you outside of sex.
5. Signs of an asshole
Unfortunately, a person doesn’t need to be classified as abusive or narcissistic for you to be wary. In other words, even if they are not abusive, you should still watch out for these actions or characteristics.
Notably and simply, if a person is an asshole who is not interested in your well-being outside of sex, then please reconsider.
Sex is emotional. Kinks are even more so. Even if it is a fling or one-off play session, I would argue that trying bdsm or other kinks with a person who isn’t considering your well-being first should be avoided.
We are all familiar with these examples:
- Unwilling to learn. More so for bondage, which involves knowledge of safety, knots, blood circulation, choking hazards etc
- Kindness with obligations. That is, outside of sex. Eg. If they contact you only when they are horny.
- Isolation. If they start to control your life outside of what is agreed upon.
This is a vast topic and I’m sure there are aspects I’ve missed. Here are some more places to learn more. Let me know if I missed any good resources!
Kink Weekly – This guide gives you a good introduction to safe bdsm.
Submissive Guide – Always a wealth of knowledge
BDSM Talk – Topics from aftercare to a sub’s worth
Well, this has been a long and boring, but essential article. The world of kink is dark and murky, and I hope that this article makes clear the line between bdsm and abuse, good pain and bad pain, healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Share if you agree, comment if I’ve missed anything!