The following does not contain any mention of how to spank or how to tie a rope. While these are a staple of BDSM, and doing them well is a worthy pursuit, they are not what defines someone as a Dominate. If you are truly looking to pursue BDSM as a lifestyle there are some very important things that any burgeoning Dom should understand about having and caring for a submissive before you cinch your first knot or swing a paddle.
Control is the foundation of BDSM—both given and practiced. So first and foremost you must be able to show your submissive you are capable of being in control. This is primarily expressed through ritual, which is why formal titles for both the Dom and sub are used in lieu of given names. Also why subs have enforced behaviors around their Doms. But serious control goes beyond kneeling and collars. You should make and enforce rules for your sub, but also make a schedule for them. Set goals for them and give them tasks. Provide them structure. Eliminating decisions and worries for your sub(s) shows them you can make good choices for them and gives them the confidence in you to fully submit.
Equally as important as showing your submissive you are capable of taking control is letting them know they are wanted. To the outside observer this might seem to run counter to many BDSM practices, and is indeed one of the many misconceptions of what people think BDSM is and the reality. Outside of any consensual abuse during play it is your responsibility as Dominate to show your submissive that you want them and will care for them. This can be expressed in how you touch them and look at them. You can also make space for them in your living area. My Kitten has a box and a place in my closet for when she visits. When your sub knows you want them it supports the confidence and the security in the relationship they need to fully submit to you.
Circling back to control and structure we need to address rules and punishments.
How strict you are with your submissive is really a personal preference and the type of sub you're handling. Some Doms demand absolute adherence to the rules and others allow some wiggle room. Personally, I have some rules I am more strict about than others. Whatever your style, the enforcement of, and punishments for breaking, the rules should always be done fairly and consistently. This means if you're having a bad day you don't take it out on your sub over a minor infraction. Conversely it also means on occasion you may have to sacrifice your good mood to correct a bigger violation. Consistency equals dependability and your sub needs to know they can depend on you, even if it is to punish them.
Another aspect of your dependability as Dominate, and perhaps the most unseen aspect of BDSM to the vanilla populous, is simply caring for your submissive. Perhaps "simply" is a poor word choice since caring for your sub includes everything from making sure they're both physically and mentally healthy to keeping them safe and protecting from danger and exploitation of their submissive nature. And very often includes protecting them from themselves. And since typically BDSM relationships entail some form of actual B and M, it also includes after-care and dealing with sub-drop. Your ability to carry the responsibility of having a sub is what separates the weekend Dom from the Lifestyle Dom.
The final aspect of being a good Dominant is your role as a mentor.
My submissive and I sometimes play a synonym game. I asked her for a synonym for 'Instructor' and her response was 'Master'. This response earned her a treat, not just because it stroked my ego, but because it could not have been more apt. I believe that a major part of caring for your submissive is guiding them, educating them, and encouraging them. The submissive is a reflection of the Dominate—a point of pride. I expect my Kitten to obedient and submissive to me, but I want others to see her as a confident and independent person. This is not only a reflection of my success as a dominate. The more confident and independent she is in her life the more I know she submits to me out of her desire to do so and not out of dependence on me.
If you take anything from this it should be that your submissive should be able to look to you for many things. You must always work to instill confidence. Confidence in your ability and wisdom. Confidence in your acceptance of them. And confidence that they can depend on you to care for them and guide them. In exchange you should/can expect their obedience, devotion, and of course their submission.
Sylk Magazine is a guide to, and a deeper exploration of, the BDSM lifestyle. Like a silk neck tie it is a representation of both sophistication and fundamentals. From technique to philosophy we aim to bring to light a deeply misunderstood and extremely diverse community. Perhaps in the process even come to a deeper understanding of society and human nature.
The mark of a good submissive is not a willingness to submit to a Dominate, but to what Dom they choose to submit.
BDSM an often extremely misunderstood practice. Beyond the title Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, Masochism—modern BDSM is a wide and varied field of interest. It spans the gamut from traditional S&M to the more brightly toned practices such as DDLG and Kitten Play. And while the B and M aspect is as varied as the participants, the one element common across the entire spectrum is the Dominant/submissive relationship.
His hand smacks her bare bottom again and she lets out a tiny scream that is a mix of pain and pleasure. He rubs her red raw cheeks and looks at her laying across his lap, her pink panties pulled down to her knees. He lets her down and stands and looks down at her kneeling in front of him, her head bowed.
I will lay her bare and explore the whole of her landscape. With biting kisses tenderly mark every inch of my territory. Discover and conquer every hidden place blushed red with lust and make her lands my empire. In passion enslave them, and in love set them free.
Stereotypically men are perceived as sexual predators with the ability and desire to have sex indiscriminately. However this convention of emotional detachment towards sex is more and more applicable to women, and this trend isn't the boon to freestyle poon that most men might think. While it may at first appear the 'All You Can Hump Buffet' sign has been turned on, a shift in social conforms of this kind is bound to dramatically change sexual dynamics.
Historically women have been notorious for placing high emotional value on sex and as such the fastest way into a woman's panties was through her heart. This sex-is-love perception has always been a source of control over women by men. If you remove the emotional element unscrupulous men lose a great deal of leverage in the sex game.Without sway over the her heart your average 'player' is left to stand only on the quality of their sexual performance. This leaves a lot of guys holding a roll of nickels in a room full of dollar slot machines.
This also means that, where before women tended stray when her emotional needs couldn't be met, now she's just as likely to step out based on her sexual urges alone. Guys have always fantasized about a non-committal woman that can enjoy sex and move on. I don't think however most men are ready for the reality. Being so easily replaced on a physical urge, waking up finding that she snuck out in the middle of the night, having their calls avoided. This is going to take some getting used to. Especially for a gender whose pride is so easily bruised.
But the loss of emotional advantage isn't the only shift in the game. No longer are women content to sit at the bar waiting to be approached. They're going hunting for a man that meets their sexual criteria. Essentially you could see it as the line between predator and prey blurring with men dropping a notch on the food chain. The worse part of it is that this shift has gone nearly unnoticed. Most men still think they're the ones doing the hunting because women are THAT good at it.
It however won't be a secret forever. Eventually guys are gonna get bored with easy game and women are going to tire of playing down their power. With too many predators in the woods territorial conflict is inevitable.
So now the questions. Is this a social evolution the result of women trying to conform to what men have said they wanted—in essence a careful what you wish for scenario? Or has the tendency always been there hiding and only now is it socially acceptable to act on? Is this perhaps a precursory shift back to a matriarchal society where women hold the reins and men are subservient? If so, what kind of social issues will come out of it? Will men aggressively reinforce their dominance over women, or roll over for a belly rub? Is it possible to reach a balance of sexual power?
For now, Happy Hunting.