Fake Dom vs Real Dom Fake Dom signs Dom red flags Dom sub warning signs Dominant red flags How to spot a fake Dom Bad dominant traits

Fake Dom vs Real Dom: 9 Warning Signs

This is the article I never wanted to write. In creating Dom Sub Living I’ve met so many great Dominants, but I’ve also come across a lot of fakes.  I have also heard from far too many submissives about their scary experiences with bad doms.  I try to keep this blog positive, but I eventually realized that a “Fake dom vs Real Dom” article was necessary.  A fake dom can range from a sleazy person or oblivious newbie, to a severely abusive individual.  If you’re a sub and want to know the warning signs, red flags, and how to spot a fake Dom, then keep reading.  This article will also help Doms who want to avoid bad dominant traits, and gain the trust of their submissive.

Fake Dom vs Real Dom Fake Dom signs Dom red flags Dom sub warning signs Dominant red flags How to spot a fake Dom Bad dominant traits

DISCLAIMER: This article is just a guideline. It can help confirm your suspicions if your instincts are telling you something’s a red flag. However, just because a Dom has one of these characteristics doesn’t mean they are “bad” or a “fake”.  I am also fully aware that there are a lot of bad subs out there too, and many of these points can correspond to them as well.  As always, all of my articles apply to both female Dommes and male submissives.

9 Warning Signs of a Fake Dom

1. They’re not dominant in their own life

To me, this is the biggest indicator if a Dom is ready to have a sub.  After all, if they can’t control their own life, they’re not going to be able to control someone else’s.  They don’t need to be a CEO of their own company or be a Christian Grey, but they should be a successful Alpha in their own realm.   A Dominant needs to have their life together and be responsible. Then they can be responsible for someone else.

2. They’re new

I’m not saying that a good Dom can’t be new, but definitely exercise caution if someone has little or no experience in the lifestyle.  It’s been my experience that a lot of fake Doms are newbies.  They just assume they’re Dom, because they like to control people and want a girl to have sex with whenever they want. A lot of times they’re also just basing their knowledge on what they’ve seen in porn, vs actual reality.  A real Dom though, even a new Dom, will see this lifestyle as a whole lot of work on their part.

3.  Uses pet names

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been called “Princess” by guys I don’t know.  Using pet names like Princess, Sweetie, or Kitten before they know the person isn’t just a red flag, it’s hugely disrespectful.  So is a Dominant referring to themselves as Daddy or Master and expecting the other person to use those terms too. Pet names should only be used when you’re in a relationship or both parties are comfortable with using them.  When in doubt, ask permission first.

4.  They’re polyamorous

Polyamorous relationships are a lot of work and should not be taking lightly. Unfortunately, many “Doms” put out there from the very beginning that they want more than one sub. They may use the lifestyle as an excuse to sleep around.  They say things like, “I’m not like other Doms, my needs are very high and I need more than one sub to fulfill them.”  A sub should never feel pressured to go along with a polyamorous relationship. A Dom needs to prove they can take care of one sub before they expect to take another.

5.  They need money or gifts

These are usually scammers or “cat fish” types.  For example, they may really want to come visit, but need money for the plane ticket first.  Or they outright ask for money or expensive gifts for the sub to continue their “training” or prove their submission. I’m not talking about ethical financial domination, which usually comes after a long history of trust. But just remember that it is the Dom’s job to support the sub, not the other way around.

6.  Lies, cheats, or has other bad dominant traits

Lying or cheating are childish traits and not signs of someone with maturity and self-control.  If the dom is in a relationship already, and their partner doesn’t know they’re seeing someone else, this is a huge red flag. It’s selfish, and many will justify it because they’re not getting their needs met. A real Dom is more concerned about giving than receiving though. They may say they have tried telling their partner they are unhappy, but have they told their partner they are so unhappy that they have started cheating? A fake Dom avoids facing responsibility for their actions, and it will be very hard for a sub to trust a dom who lies or cheats.

7.  Doesn’t know or address BDSM basics

Many fake doms will say they’re experienced but don’t take the time with a sub to go over limits, safewords, contracts, or training.  They may not even know what any of these terms involve.  They might even make the excuse that since they are “experienced” they know what they’re doing and don’t need to go over limits, etc.  This is disregarding the foundation of BDSM, that everything be safe, sane, and consensual.  Every new relationship should at least have a discussion of the basics, and every sub has the right to speak up.

8. Focuses only on sex

This is probably the most common red flag.  A fake dom may seem only interested in sex, or focus mostly on sexual training. They may ask for nudes or sexual tasks right from the beginning for the sub to prove their worthiness.  This isn’t to say that it’s wrong if a BDSM relationship is only sexual, or if a couple is only Dom/sub in the bedroom.  But if a submissive is constantly wanting more than just a sexual relationship, it’s time to reevaluate things.  Other warning signs that the dom is only interested in getting their sexual needs fulfilled are if they give little or no aftercare.

9.  Uses intimidation with the sub

This can happen even in vanilla relationships and is a sign of abuse.  If a dominant keeps the sub from their family and friends, or tells them they aren’t a “real” sub if they don’t do something, this is dangerous manipulation.  A sub should also never be made to be fearful to use their safewords, and discipline and punishments should never be given out of uncontrolled anger.

Other Dominant Red Flags

There are other warning signs that someone is a fake or bad dom, such as:

  • Stops communication or pulls away without giving an explanation
  • Uses the sub as a maid so they don’t have to pick up after themselves (a sub is not their mother)
  • Always mentions they are an “experienced” Dom (they are probably trying to make themselves seem better than they actually are)
  • Extremely sadistic and takes scenes too far
  • Sends d*ck pics

How to Spot a Fake Dom

The easiest way to spot a fake dom is to get them to talk and see what they’re thinking.  A good idea is to ask them, “What does being a Dom mean to you?” Or “What does your training involve?”  Another thing a sub can do is ask for references from other subs or members in the BDSM community.  If a Dom refuses to give references or just says their past sub is “psycho”, that’s a red flag that they may be hiding something.

Fake Dom vs Real Dom Graphic

To make it easier for you to know how to spot a fake Dom, I created this graphic.  Feel free to share it to encourage others to know the signs of a fake dom vs real Dom.

Fake Dom vs Real Dom Fake Dom signs Dom red flags Dom sub warning signs Dominant red flags How to spot a fake Dom Bad dominant traits

Unfortunately there are a lot of fake or bad doms out there, but the good news is that there a lot of real Doms too.  I hope the biggest take away you get from this article is to use your instincts and trust your intuition.   Submissives, please remember the warning signs to look for and don’t be afraid to speak up.  You don’t have to settle, and you don’t deserve to.  And Dominants, know that being in this role is a big responsibility, and commit to being a good example for others in the community.

Please click the social icons below to share this article, and together we can start a healthy discussion and promote awareness.🖤

What are some red flags you’ve seen with fake doms? Chat with me in the comments.

Keep reading: Rules, rituals and protocols »

20 thoughts on “Fake Dom vs Real Dom: 9 Warning Signs”

  1. I have experience already and was scammed out by few girls while saying they are mistresses and they own me but when I started refusing to send them money then they broke up. Each one I was contacted they asked first for training payment and after I sent the first payment they ordered me to get naked on my knees and send them the picture and of course after that came orders and tasks to send them money and gift cards.

  2. Great topic! My two cents — If you are a newbie sub, it can be hard to see the difference between someone who is DOMINEERING and someone who is a DOMINANT. Here are some differences as I see it:

    Domineering: Arrogant, defensive, childish, threatens, loud, angry, arbitrary, overbearing, subjugate others.
    A good Dom is confident, has nothing to prove, comforts, is subtle, controlled, thoughtful, inspirational, and elevate others. They demonstrate empathy, maturity, self-assurance, assertiveness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and consistency.
    They are BOLD but not a BULLY.
    And just as there is more than one way to submit, there is more than one way to be a Dom. The key is for both people to form their own dynamic that works to fulfill the submissive mindset of the sub and the dominant mindset of the Dom.

    1. I think that is an excellent supplemental comparison, Jenny! I am new to this, and am thankful my DOM is very kind to me. He is all the things you mention a good DOM is to be.

  3. I wish I’d read this article a month ago. I’m extremely new in many respects and I wound up involved in a few conversations with fake doms (I wouldn’t give them the respect of a capital “D”). The last one was extremely manipulative, used interrogation techniques and shaming to get what he wanted, and ultimately went too far. I found both my situation and myself unrecognizable. Fortunately I shut it down after a few interactions, but my newbie eagerness and yearn to obey got the better of me. It was a learning experience that I’ll never forget and with your help in this article, I will do everything I can to never go through anything like that again. Thank you, Alessandra, for writing this in such a clear and succinct manner. I’ve bookmarked it for reference when meeting future Doms. All my love to you, your resilience, and your understanding.

    1. Wow, Jess, you are a strong individual.❤️

      I’m so glad you were able to get out of that situation, and I love your resolve and determination.

      I’m sure you will attract an amazing REAL Dom that deserves you.

  4. I would like for you to clarify your statement “But just remember that it is the Dom’s job to support the sub, not the other way around”. Are you saying that because the Dom in your scenario, i. e., your relationship, is male and the sub is female? What if the “Dom” is female, a Mistress and the sub is male, or if the Dominant and submissive are the same gender ? Are you saying that financial status is a prerequisite to be a Dominant, male or female? So if a sub makes more money than their Dominant, they can’t have a relationship?

    1. Hi Kay, I’d be happy to clarify! 🙂

      I think you may be talking about ethical financial domination, which the article mentioned but wasn’t about.

      But in point #5: Gender, the sub’s employment status, and salary sizes, are all irrelevant variables. That’s why I mentioned it in the disclaimer in the beginning, that the principles can apply to Doms and subs of all genders.

      The point of a Dom supporting a sub is that, even if they make less than their sub, they are still in their dominant role. They can allow their sub to work, to handle the bills, etc., but it’s the Dom who’s the Supporter, through their approval, encouragement, assistance, and backing of their sub.

      Those are qualities of a good, supportive Dom, whether they are the bread winner or not. But the article was talking about a fake dom, who uses their sub for money.

  5. I have been in the lifestyle a long time. What I read/hear about so many of the so-called Doms is infuriating as it paints the lifestyle in a REALLY bad picture.

    When first chatting with a potential, I am always polite and open. I’m forward in stating my experience; that I will never push/demand for anything, each step is always at their pace and request; that I am not in this to get laid, there are a lot easier ways for that to happen; that I adore women, and thus My subs, and they are very close and dear to Me, and I am not here on an ego trip nor use/abuse them to prove anything; and I ask how much experience they have (or don’t), and engage a discussion about the lifestyle in general. The most common comment I receive is, “You aren’t like all/most of the other Doms I’ve talked to.” I take that as huge complement.

    All of the points above are true and great. Thank you for the article.

  6. Hi Alesandra!

    I love this article, thanks so much.

    I have been in 2 long term relationships in my life. The first one was an abusive one with a clinical narcissist. He personified the domineering fake “dom.” The lifestyle he expected of me could have been considered a classic BDSM relationship. Except that I did not agree to it and even though I’m a naturally submissive woman, I refused to be so for him. And even though I am a masochist, I did not in any way enjoy the pain he inflicted. All because I didn’t trust him, I didn’t agree to it, didn’t ask for it, and didn’t get the emotional support I needed. As a result my needs were not met and I finally got up the strength to leave.

    Fast forward three years and I am now with a true Dom. We thoroughly discuss what our relationship entails and what is expected of each of us. What is interesting is that a lot of what I enjoy with my Dom is what my former abuser tried to force me to do.

    It really is all about the experience and intentions of the Dom and consent of the sub.

  7. Thanks for this very important information. I shall continue to read more. This has prepared me for the difference between the two and now I know what to avoid. Though I think with the way I am I would have been pretty hard to attract.

  8. Had a hook up over the summer with a girl I met while working in a shop, we got chatting, we had both been in relationships before, my previous relationship had been romantic, but anything sexual, I was definitely a sub, which was what I wanted, but the other person had been in a relationship with someone they felt was a narcissist, who had never allowed them to be a Dom, we then met up the next day and eventually decided to have sex so they could see what it was like to be a Dom properly. We agreed to use traffic lights, but they ended up ignoring this, something I only realised retrospectively, and the beatings were pretty hard, which in the moment felt fine, but yeah, they didn’t slow down when requested, oh well.

  9. As someone who was in a long term “vanilla” relationship of which was very abusive while in my 20’s, I feel that this lifestyle can truly be healing as well as lovingly fulfilling for those of us who have survived domestic abuse. I say this because you are respected, cared for, cherished, and loved by a Dom who does everything he can to show it. However, I would advise domestic abuse survivors to stay single for an appropriate amount of time in order to heal from their experience and to get to know themselves again, so that when they are ready they have a better idea of what they need from their partner, rather than what they want.

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