10 Ways to Be a Better Dom
A brief note:
Defining the One True way is an exercise in futility. Domination and submission come in as many flavors as there as there are people who enjoy them. My thoughts and ideas have been cultivated from my life, a life largely been driven by those things *I* find enjoyable. And while I can say with a great deal of certainty that these words hold true for me, they may differ greatly from the experience of others.
10) Know yourself.
You can’t expect someone to try and please you when you don’t know what you want. Yes, exploring what feels good with someone is an important part of building any physically intimate relationship – but laying in bed and hoping she figures out what makes you feel good is not the best tactic in establishing dominance. It makes you look indecisive and uncertain. How can she trust you with her body when you don’t even know your own?
Give her guidance. Direct her. Don’t be afraid to grip her hair to hold her still or to move her where you want her to go. Trust me, she won’t mind. Understanding your own desires also provides a powerful advantage in another respect – the better you understand what makes you feel good, the more information you have to apply towards making her feel good. Yes, everyone is different, but all humans share some basic physiological pleasures.
9) Grooming is Important.
If you want someone to believe you have what it takes to make them want to submit to you, you have to look the part. Actually, that’s not quite true – on the list of necessary requirements for being dominant, this is not that high; personality is much more important. But how you dress does matter. Looking the part doesn’t require a specific mode of dress, which is a matter of taste, but that you find a style that works for you.
Style can cover a wide range: leather chaps and nose studs, jeans and a polo shirt, or a three-piece suit. They all work. My personal style owes quite a bit to NE (my long hair, the silver ring on my right hand, and the newly acquired steel chain around my left wrist)
Personal grooming counts. Details such as keeping yourself clean and smelling nice are important. Trust me, there is a time to be dirty and a time to show you understand personal hygiene. And if you’re not going to trim your nails, be cognizant of their length when you’re going to be knuckle deep in someone. They can hurt someone in a way that is more irritating than pleasurable – and you’ll have no lovely bruises or pretty marks to show for it.
8) Pay Attention.
There is a difference between humoring someone and listening to them – and there is a difference between listening to someone and paying attention to them. Next time you are in a conversation with a friend, notice the way they listen. Are they even looking at you while you speak? Are their eyes on yours the entire time? Is their body posture open and relaxed, or positioned with intent? Subconsciously we can always tell the difference, and most of the time people don’t want another person’s entire regard upon them. It can be uncomfortable, unsettling.
But there are times when it is essential. Moments when it is important that the person you are with understand that they are the full focus of your attention. Because when they can feel your attention on them, they feel exposed, valued, and connected.
Learn the art of really seeing someone. Of watching someone with intent. Notice the details, like the way her eyes crinkle when she laughs or the way her head tilts to the side when she doesn’t quite follow something you’ve said. Listen to not only hear her words, but how she phrases the she words she uses. Listen to the tone of her voice and how it changes depending on the topic of discussion. Ask questions that mean something, questions that tell her you’re not only listening, but learning about her. Everything, and I mean everything, she tells you will help you later when you have her laid open before you.
7) Make Decisions.
You know the couple who spends an hour trying to decide where to eat every night? Don’t be that couple. Know what you want and be willing to take the initiative to make it a reality. Step up and make a decision.
This doesn’t mean you need to be an uncompromising ass. Don’t ignore her or render her opinions irrelevant. Listen to what she wants and make a decision that takes her desires into account. This means some nights you forgo the steak house and you go seafood. Indulge her now, and indulge yourself later.
The most important thing to remember is this – having a difference of opinion can be solved. Not having an opinion at all is a much larger problem.
6) Have Confidence.
The true key to confidence is simple: Be detached. This is hard, especially when you are really attracted to a person – but if you want her to return that attraction, you can’t show your interest by fawning all over her.
Women want to be desired. They want you to want them. And the less impressed you are, the harder they will work to prove they are desirable. At the very least, you have to avoid being needy. Nothing is less attractive than puppy-affection from a man. Oh, they may pet you, cuddle, and even keep you around as a ‘good’ friend (who fetches drinks), but you’re not mating material. This idea of disinterest is why attached men are often more attractive to women. Truly attached men may be interested in women other than their wife, but they are less likely to do something about it. This makes them both safe and challenging – a tempting combination.
Confidence is important. But something almost as good is appearing to be confident. Even if you’re shaking inside, even if your nervous as hell – if you can hold it together, stay cool and collected, you can get by. Just don’t take it too far or you’ll just come across as arrogant (and not the good kind of arrogance). Real confidence will come with experience, being comfortable in your own skin, and success.
Bonus Section: Compliments are important, but they must be real, honest, and insightful. If you constantly flatter her, it will become all but white noise; don’t compliment her enough and she may feel unappreciated. The best time to compliment her is when she looks particularly beautiful to you (or does something particularly amazing). This may be after she’s dressed up for a night on the town or the way she looks as she wakes up in the morning, curled up against you.
Compliment her at those moments you feel lucky just to be with her and she’ll know you mean it.
Be specific. Don’t just tell her she is pretty. Tell her that her smile makes you melt. Tell her that the skirt she is wearing reminds you why you enjoy wrapping your hands around her hips or running your fingers up the inside of her thigh.
5) Create Expectation.
Create an expectation. This is particularly important at the beginning and serves several purposes. If the person you are with views you in a specific light, they are more likely to forgive smaller transgressions. They will also follow your lead more readily, be more willing to take chances, and will strive to internally reinforce this expectation in their own mind (once we decide on a particular view, our consciousness does not like to be proven wrong).
Expectations are created in several ways. Following several of the earlier steps (grooming, confidence, practice) cultivates a defined expectation because you are looking and behaving in a way consistent with someone who is competent and in control. There are other ways to create expectation. Assign a task. Give them something that forces them to focus some part of their attention on you even when you’re not around. Find ways to remind them why they want to submit to you.
4) Plan Ahead.
When the occasion calls for it, plan ahead. I’m a big fan of spontaneity, but there are times where it pays to think ahead.
Example: Before NE’s most recent scene, I bought her a gift certificate for a local wine store and told her to select a nice bottle and bring it with her. The day before the scene I spent several hours reviewing bondage knots (the French bowline knot served nicely) and the day of the scene I spent a few minutes preparing the bedroom: removed all but the base sheet from the bed and then cleaned the room of any items that might be distracting.
I’m not suggesting you be constrained by a detailed plan. But be prepared. My scene with NE evolved organically, but when the moment came for me to tie her spreadeagled to the bed I had the rope on hand and knew how to use it. And the wine served as a nice aperitif along the back of her thighs and the tender place behind her knees.
Planning is part of control. Control the circumstances and setting and you’re now that much closer to controlling the actual scene. Exerting your will is often as simple as taking the time to think ahead and having the drive to execute your ideas. Details matter. They tell the person you are with that you are paying attention (see number 8), that you value your time with them, and that you know what you are doing. This invites trust.
3) Create a Sandbox.
Create a mental sandbox for her to play in. You start with structure.
Structure evolves from rules. Rules are the boundaries that define the sandbox, giving it shape and depth. They make it real. And rules always serve a purpose (no matter how arbitrary they may appear to be): they are the silken rope of your resolve wrapped so closely around her they become a second skin. Each time you enforce a rule, bring her to task for disobeying, you are tightening the ties that bind her to you.
She must feel safe. This place you create for her must make her feel protected from everyone and everything.
She must feel that when she in this space, you will take care of her. That she will endure no unintentional harm.
The key is found in the dichotomy of creating a safe place to cut her apart, of placing boundaries so that she can find the freedom to let go.
I’ve never had a knack for pure book learning. I need real-life experience to understand new material and put all the pieces together.
To be the person you want to be – which, for the sake of this list, means being a better Dom – you have to train your subconscious mind. Our lives are filled with patterns, habits of interaction that are ingrained over time. You come to expect certain responses in your day-to-day routines. There are a common set of reactions to normal (and semi-normal) behavior. You greet someone with a handshake, hug, or hello. When you smile, you get one in return. Holding open a door for the person behind you may get you a ‘thank you’ or a nod.
And when you tell someone that what they really want is for you to make them crawl over to you and beg for punishment, more often then not their skin will flush, their pulse will quicken, and their body temperature rise. After an intense scene, running your fingertips of their lips will find them parted, seeking to bite and taste.
You need to learn this new set of responses. You need to know what will happen when you have someone bound and exposed. You need to know what words will leave them trembling and vulnerable. You need to understand what they are thinking while they wait for your next touch.
And this takes practice. Don’t be afraid to try things. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make her tell you what is going through her mind. Make her explain exactly what it is she wants. Have her show you how she likes to be touched.
1) Be Unafraid.
Once you’ve done everything else: you know what you want and how to get it, you understand both your limitations and hers, you’ve set the scene and are ready to take her apart. Once you are really ready to play -
Don’t hold back.
Use her weaknesses against her. Exploit her vulnerability. Take what you want from her and leave her craving more.
Holding back is the cruelest thing you can do. She wants you to take her apart and sample each piece. Depriving her of this pleasure is a punishment in itself. She wants you to have control and to use it for your own pleasure. Her pleasure feeds on your own, just as your needs are driven by hers.
Feast on her and understand the true pleasures of dominance.