Domming 101 – How to be a Dom (BDSM Domme)

Everything you need to know about Domming from Lola Jean – Dom and Sex Educator. 

The BDSM universe is becoming more and more popular in our modern world. Searches for all things dominance has seen a soar, so let’s take a look at the literal meaning of dom and domming, how to be a dom, how to be a better dom if you’re actively involved already, and what it means to be a dom. 

Domme meaning (BDSM Dom)

A domme is a female dominant in a BDSM role. Being a domme is a big responsibility, so it’s important you understand the rules.  

What is a dom? What is domming? Why do Doms like being Doms? 

Dom (the masculine), and Domme (the feminine), are all about dominance

In the BDSM kink, Dom/me’s make up the ‘D,’ while the Submissives make up the ‘S.’ 

Dominance and Submission is an exciting, oh-so-steamy dynamic.

And if you’ve got all your Dom/Sub info from ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ you’ll have a very foggy (and inaccurate at times) idea of what being a Dom is. 

What a BDSM Dom/me is not

Let’s bust some Dominant myths.

Dom/mes do not force 

A dom/me does not make or force someone to do something if the other person doesn’t want to do that thing. 

This is a massively misconstrued interpretation of the meaning of dom/domming. 

Dom/mes do not act without emotional responsibility. 

As a Dom/me, you’re creating a safe, non-physical space where someone can feel their most vulnerable. They are putting a tremendous amount of trust in you and your behaviour. So, real Dom/mes act with a total understanding of the emotional responsibility they carry. 

Dom/mes don’t ignore the safe words.

What’s vulnerable for me may not be to you.

Whether they’re submissive or not, every person has their limits and will show nearing the edge differently. 

This is why it’s your job as a Dom/me to find a route to creatively navigate someone’s boundaries and deterrence to get to the desired result or feeling. 

Just like any type of sexual play, Dom/mes use safe words. 

Yes, they’re playing the role of power, but everything is rooted in consent and trust

Dom/mes do not underestimate the importance of trust. 

The more trust you have built, the further over the edge you can—in theory—take someone. 

In building trust, you’re creating a magnetizing experience in your attempt to be a good Dom. The better you know them, the more confidence you’re able to build as a dom, the more tailored an experience you can provide. 

Being a good dom requires heaps of trust and commitment. 

Dom/mes do not all dominate the same way.

Being a Dom/me is more than an identity badge. 

It’s a way of behaving. That behaviour will adjust and evolve over time. 

Not only from your own experience as a Dom/me, but in the way you interact with your Submissive(s). 

Don’t forget that the openness to expand your knowledge of how to be a better dom/me will shape who you are as a Dominant.


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 will depend on the needs and desires of the submissive and how the Dom/me can accommodate it.

It’s all about knowing your submissive and being totally open when communicating with each other. 

There’s not a ‘Become a Dom/me in 5 Steps or Less!’ textbook. 

It’s about trusting your body, your submissive, and your intuition. 

BDSM Dom vs sub

A dom plays the dominant sexual role.

A sub plays the submissive sexual role.

How to be a Dom

Effective Domming requires intuition, reading nonverbal communication, and empathy—lots of empathy. 

Empathising means you’re able to put yourself in another person’s shoes. 

This is not sympathy. You act upon empathy because you can envision how someone is feeling. It’s the key to making someone who is vulnerable feel safe. 

You need to be able to understand how your submissive may be feeling.

It’s a good idea to experience the submissive role in some capacity to relate to their experience for when you Dom/me. Like everything, knowledge is power. 

Plus, you might like it. 

Think about any Domination scene* you’ve seen in a movie – or even in a real-life sex party. 

There’s a whole load of 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 are occurring between two people.

When Domming someone, especially for the first time, you shouldn’t try to imitate your idea of a Dom/me.  Just because you’ve seen it in a movie, it doesn’t mean it’s an accurate representation.

(I mean, look at Thor. I’ve looked for years and can’t find him.)

When you do this, you’re losing sight of the person in front of you. 

You can get lost in the moment and carried away. 

And this is when someone can get hurt if you’re hellbent on making a particular experience happen or are tied to a picture in your mind. 

The best Dom/mes can maintain control and composure. 

They have an innate confidence that they don’t need to know everything

It’s essential to recognize the areas you’re unsure about.

You don’t need to ‘fake it ‘til you make it.’ This is an individual role that works when you’re authentically yourself. 

Dominance Motivations

We can either rule with the promise of reward or the threat of punishment. 

(Don’t forget that denial plays a role in punishment, too.) 

This will be determined by what your submissive reacts most to and not what you prefer as a Dom/me. 

Rewarding your sub doesn’t mean it has to be in a sexual way. 

They could just have their fundamental human rights returned – sight, touch. 

Maybe you’re the reward. Perhaps it’s a physical item that’s the reward.

Either way, the motivation needs to come from your Submissive.

[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 it’s a tiny subgroup of BDSM, but 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 essential parts of our submissive’s experience.

The typical motivators and fantasies of submission can be divided into 4 main categories:

  1. Shame-Based –  sexualizing shame or taboo mentally or physically
  2. Objectification – image-based sexualization or physical acts
  3. Service-Oriented –  someone who thrives off of validation, following rules, knowing what is expected of them, and/or making others happy
  4. 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 space. Just like a lion or lioness. 

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 a playspace for adults. 

It’s a game with a defined set of rules, objectives, and players with 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 as to feel out of control—due to demanding jobs, etc.—many thrive off this element of control, instructions, and boundaries that submission allows. 

It’s 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.

Whatever the reason, you, as the Dom/me, need to know it. 

*an individual who acts out or purposefully disobeys their Dom/me.

How to implement sexual dominance in public 

The critical question here is: how ‘out’ does your submissive want to be in public? 

And you must also consider whether behaving as a Dom/Sub in public is on their ‘yes’ list. 

If not, don’t force it. 

It means that your Sub wants to keep your relationship dynamic private and secluded. 

Wherever your sub is on the ‘out’ scale, there’s still so much fun you can have regardless of your public-facing desires.

Small gestures between the two of you can be an excellent 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

Just like Submissives, Dominants can have boundaries as well as individual styles. Though you alter your style slightly based on your submissive, you’ll still have a style authentic 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 is 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 and practice what you’re going to do by telling them in detail or providing an overview before 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.

How to be a good Dom – Avoid the common mistakes doms make 

Being a good Dom starts with learning the pitfalls. 

If you’re new to the Dom/Sub relationship, you’ll have preconceived ideas about how to portray your role. 

But the movies are full of errors. 

Mistake 1: Shouting

Raising your voice or yelling 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. 

Mistake 2: Being angry for the sake of it

Often, we see the Dominant as a “mean.” In extremes, they may even humiliate an individual. Even though what they may be doing might 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. 

Mistake 3: Being serious 24/7

Your D/S relationship doesn’t have to be severe and stringent. It can be playful, loving, and fun. At the end of the day, the whole point in the D/S dynamic is to escape from reality and fulfill desires. 

Being playful only heightens the experience. 

Mistake 4: Expecting a perfect outcome from the first experience

Pretending that mistakes will not happen is damaging. 

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 don’t realize something was a boundary until after the scene, or they may dissociate, though they appear lucid.

It’s crucial to communicate and understand afterward (or potentially during) what went wrong and where, how you can alleviate this, and what you both can do differently the next time to rectify or prevent this from happening again. 

Mistake 5: Blaming the other person

This is a learning experience for both of you, and mishaps aren’t necessarily someone’s “fault.” This is why aftercare is so important, regardless of whether a boo-boo is happening or not, as it can help alleviate some of the discomforts that may have been caused.

Mistake 6: Demanding trust without earning it

Demanding submission or trust immediately upon knowing someone does not result in trust.

You have to earn the trust you’re craving.  

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 essential in letting our submissive put their trust in our hands. 

Submission isn’t a free pass to take. It’s given willingly. 

If you find your approach is ineffective, you may need to find a new route. 

If they’re not 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.

Mistake 7: Punishing or rewarding for no reason

Confusing your submissive by using punishment or rewards without reason is a one-way street to overwhelm. 

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. 

And just when you’re training a puppy, you need to be super clear about why you’re punishing or rewarding. 

You can’t just expect your submissive to know all of this intuitively. 

If they aren’t responding to this, see above regarding motivations.

Intrigued to find out more? Keep an eye on our upcoming events for our Dom 101 Workshops – How to be a Dom 101.

Loved our post? 

Lola Jean’s wisdom about all things Domming can be explored on her Instagram and her website. 

Check her out and expand your understanding of the meaning and lifestyle of a Dom/me. 


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