Domming 101 – How to be a Dom

Everything you need to know about Domming.

With the help of Dom and sex Educator, Lola Jean

A Dom’s role.

A Dom/me is the person facilitating a certain experience for someone else within the context of Kink, BDSM etc. D/s (Dominance/submission) makes up the DS within BDSM. Typically ‘Dom’ is used for someone male-identified and ‘Domme’ for female-identified. What a Dom/me is not, is someone who makes or forces someone to do something. As a Dom/me, you’re creating a safe non-physical space where someone can be at their most vulnerable. As you can imagine, each persons vulnerable state will be different from the other. This is why it’s your job as a Dom/me to find a route to creatively navigate ones boundaries and deterrence to get to the desired result or feeling. The more trust you have built, the further over the edge you can—in theory—take someone. You’re creating an experience surrounding them. The better you know them, the more tailored an experience you can provide. There are varying degrees of domination from traditional old school rules to a more playful casual domination (my favourite), and 24/7 D/s relationships. What type of relationship you end up building is going to depend on the needs and desires of the submissive and what the Dom/me is able to accommodate based on that.
Effective Domming requires intuition, reading nonverbal communication and empathy—lots of empathy. It is a good idea to experience the submissive role in some capacity to better relate to their experience for when you Dom/me. Often times when you see someone in a movie or even a sex party within a Domination scene,* there’s much back story, conversations and time that went into that relationship. Professional Dom/mes can be expert mind and intuition readers, but even then would only delve so far in a first time session with a new client.
*scene being a finite time wherewith Dominance and submissions is occurring between two people
When Domming someone, especially for the first time, you should not try to emulate your idea of a Dom/me. When you do this, you are losing sight of the person in front of you. This is when someone can get hurt if you’re hellbent on making a certain experience happen or are tied to a picture in your mind. The best Dommes can maintain control and composure and have an innate confidence in that they don’t need to know everything. It is important to recognize the areas in which you are unsure and not pretend to “fake” this.

Dominance Motivations

We can either rule with the promise or denial of reward or the threat of punishment. This will be determined by what your submissive reacts to and not what you prefer as a Dom/me. Reward doesn’t mean it has to be sexual, they could just get their basic human rights back – sight, touch. Maybe you’re the reward. Maybe it’s a physical item that’s the reward. On that note, impact play is a *tool* of domination. For some, the physical sensation can be completely satisfying on its own. I’d venture to say that’s a very small subgroup of BDSM yet we still seem to give it the most attention. What happens in between the hitting and physical? What if someone doesn’t respond to that at all. The soft skills may not be as outwardly sexy but are sometimes the most important parts of our submissive’s experience.
I find that typical motivators and fantasies of a submission can be divided into four main categories:
  • Shame-Based –  sexualizing shame or taboo mentally or physically
  • Objectification – image-based sexualization or physical acts
  • Service-Oriented –  someone who thrives off of validation, following rules, knowing what is expected of them and/or making others happy
  • Brat / Fight for Top – an individual who requires a specific tension and dynamic for varying reasons. They can be looked at as a puzzle or a fun challenge. Not necessarily to be “tamed” but perhaps to be allowed to run wild and free within a contained non-physical spac

Why do people enjoy being dominated 

Domination is a place where we have mental permission to behave in ways in which we’ve never imagined, in ways we’ve dreamed of, or in ways we feared. BDSM is playspace for adults. It’s a game with a defined set of rules, objectives and players that has a beginning and an end (unless we’re talking about 24/7 relationships, but this is a small minority). While many may identify the desire to submit is to feel out of control—due to demanding jobs etc…—many thrive off of this element of control, instructions, and boundaries that submission provides. It is important not to assume motivations about your submissive. Many wrongfully assume that a Brat will act out because they enjoy and seek punishment. However, the Brat* may be motivated by the playfulness disobedience provides or the attention it brings them.
*an individual who acts out or purposefully disobeys their Dom/me

How to implement sexual dominance in public 

A lot of this will depend on your submissive’s desire of how “out” they wish to be in public, as well as if the public aspect turns them on or off. Regardless there is still much fun you can have regardless of your public-facing desires.

Small gestures, between the two of you, can be a way to cultivate intimacy in public. Your submissive can wear a particular outfit or undergarments you picked out for them, perhaps being a little secret that you share.

Dom styles

Same as submissive, Dominants can have boundaries as well as certain styles. Though you alter your style slightly based on your submissive, you will still have a style distinct to you. I embody a playfulness and brattiness that I employ no matter what position I am in. I can keep those elements of what are true to me without compromising the needs of my submissive.

Example:  A gentleman who attended one of my Domming class once asked how to approach a new submissive who identified as a little and wanted him to take the Dom Daddy role. This was hard for him to embody as he feels most at home as a more demanding, stern military type. I asked him if he could adjust the framework. An important piece within Dd/lg is the protection and care which is especially important in the beginning and end. What if he started as the caring Daddy and his personality *switched* at some point, then towards the end he’d “snap out of it” and explain “I’m sorry darling, I don’t know what came over me.” Then proceed to provide ALL the aftercare.

When actors play roles of villains, murderers or something else unreliable, they have to find their truth within that character—something that resonates. If you can’t—see if you can alter the framework or semantics to make that work for you. Workshop what you are going to do by telling them in detail or an overview prior, to gauge their reaction. It won’t “ruin the surprise.” If anything, it will build anticipation while also clueing you into what they respond to.

Common mistakes doms make 

Raising their voice or yelling. This is a sign of weakness as you have to resort to anger to try to control a situation. Firstly, your person may not respond to this type of approach at all, on the other hand, a calm, cool collected Dom/me demands much more respect than an erratic one. Often times we see the Dominant as a “mean” or even humiliating individual and even though what they may be doing may look or classify as “mean” to the outside world, we don’t know the context within the submissive’s desires. Embodying an “angry” approach should be a last resort only after you’ve established consistency and trust with your submissive. If anything, it should be used very very, sparingly and in case of emergency. Your D/s relationship doesn’t have to be serious and stringent. It can be playful, loving and fun.
Pretending that mistakes will not happen. Yes, we try to avoid this with safe words, boundaries, check-ins and such, but it’s foolish to act like this will never happen. Sometimes individuals do not realize something was a boundary until after the scene, or they may dissociate though appear to be lucid. It’s important to communicate and understand afterwards (or potentially during) what went wrong and where, how you can alleviate this and what you both can do differently the next time to either rectify or prevent this from happening again. It may be a learning experience for both and not necessarily someone’s “fault.” This is why aftercare is so important, regardless of a boo boo happening or not, as it can help to alleviate some of the discomforts that may have been caused.
Demanding submission or trust immediately upon knowing someone. Just because you call yourself Master or instruct your submissive to refer to you as such does not mean you have immediate authority. Dominance is a title to be earned. Patience and consistency are important in letting our submissive put their trust in our hands. Submission is not take, it’s given. If you find your approach is ineffective you may need to find a new route. If they’re not being obedient to demands and rules, maybe they require a different approach, language, or autonomy. This is why the ‘getting to know you’ phase is so important. Think of everything you do as an elaborate trust exercise.
Confusing your submissive by using punishment or rewards without reason: A punishment OR reward system has its purpose. Similar to a puppy, use your punishment or reward system as a means to punish or reward specific behaviour. Similar to a puppy, you may have to explain why you are punishing or rewarding etc… instead of expecting your submissive to know all of this intuitively. If they aren’t responding to this, see above regarding motivations.
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