Every Dom/sub dynamic is unique, which is why every submissive learns different lessons and tips that work best for them. So for this special blog post, I’m bringing in 15 of my favorite submissives in the BDSM community to answer the question, What’s one thing you wish you knew before becoming a sub?
Now, all of these submissives are actively living the lifestyle. And in this post they’re sharing some of their best advice and lessons that they’ve learned along the way.
You’ll get a taste of a multitude of different perspectives that have allowed them to become their own version of a good sub. From fake doms to kinky empowerment, you’ll get insight into it all.
I cannot wait for you to read their brilliance and reflections!
By the way, if you want to learn even MORE about how to become the best submissive you can be, I’m giving away a free cheat sheet where I break down how to be a good sub. Just click here to grab it. I can’t wait to see what you think.
Now, let’s dive in!
Beware of the fakes
“I wish I knew that males like the idea of being a Dom, but few actually want to do the work. Take the sex out and a lot just flounder and don’t know what to do.” – Sully, Beautifully Bound
“It’s not a utopia. Kinksters talk big about important things like consent and negotiation, but there are good and bad people just like there are in any other walk of life. Some people have bad intentions, and sometimes people with good intentions f*ck up. So we have to keep our eyes open and use our judgement, not just blindly trust everyone who labels themselves ‘kinky’.” – Amy, Coffee and Kink
Learn how to spot a fake dom here »
The importance of consent
“I wish I knew more about how deep consent goes. And I wish more people got educated about how deep and how far that word goes. As it has allowed me to explore more, be more confident and comfortable with ‘new to me’ kinks in a D/s relationship.” – Slur7777, on Instagram
“Informed consent. We’ve all heard of consent but informed consent is critical, especially for beginners. As a newbie submissive, one might give consent in the excitement of the moment (e.g. in sub frenzy) and not really know towards what it is that they are consenting. This can be easily avoided by not falling prey to the ridiculous notion that a “good submissive is seen, not heard” and instead ask a LOT of questions.” – Daphne, Master Arcane
Learn the 5 things you need to know about consensual non-consent here »
Navigating different dynamics
“It is alright to know what you need from a Dominant. I wish that I had taken the time to figure out what kind of Dominance would feed my submission. Knowing that in advance would have allowed me to better understand what kind of Dominant was a good fit for my submission. Once I have entered a dynamic I want to submit fully and to do that I need to be able to express my needs before the dynamic has begun.” – Claire, Wicked Grounds
“How polyamory is supposed to work, and how deeply painful it can be when it doesn’t. I fell hard for the Dominant who became my Master, and polyamory was required. My personality and that of his primary never meshed, and I don’t think either of us was/is truly poly “at heart.” I don’t think it can work if everyone isn’t wholeheartedly working for the same things. You can be deeply, madly in thrall to someone — but that doesn’t mean he’s worth the sacrifices of polyamory.” – Kate Kinsey, author and educator
“I thought I had to blindly follow the Dom and never show any sign of initiative or personal preference. That resulted in less than optimal sessions because I was afraid it was ‘topping from the bottom.’ Constant requests actually do end up topping from the bottom because the sub in essence is trying to lead the relationship. However, an occasional request when needed is allowed and can be necessary for a better experience for both parties.” – Emily, The BDSM Coaches
Discover 3 topping from the bottom mistakes here »
Every submissive is unique
“I really wish I had known that kink comes in so many shapes and sizes. When I first started exploring, I was under the impression that all kink looked the same, that if you wanted to do X, you had to do Y. I spent a lot of time trying to force myself into molds and boxes because that is ‘what subs do’. Now I know that BDSM is so much more bespoke than I thought, and it’s given me freedom and more fulfilling relationships since I had that realization.” – Evie Lupine, BDSM peer educator
“I think one thing I wish I knew was that it’s all perfectly normal to want to become a sub and have different fetishes than other people. You don’t have to be the same as others that you watch and read about, as everyone has different fetishes and it’s normal.” – Rich, Submissive Blog
See the ultimate guide to being a submissive here »
Learning what submission really involves
“I wish I had known just how much work it would be. All the fiction I devoured about the kinky sex and dungeon play never prepared me for being in a D/s relationship. Being a submissive is not about the time spent in bed or tied to a piece of BDSM furniture. Being a submissive is about working in concert with your partner to build a D/s relationship that is future proof. And that is rewarding and challenging work, indeed.” – Luna, Submissive Reflection
“Something I wish I knew before becoming a sub is how nurturing submission can feel. Before going there, I thought submission looked like abuse, but there’s a lot of empowerment and safety that can come from it.” –Anne, Medium
“What I wish I knew before choosing to embrace my submissive side, is that submission begins in the mind, and is not something to be applied from the outside.” – Lola, Kink Lovers
Get a free submissive journal here »
Finally discovering the lifestyle
“I wish I’d known being submissive was possible. Recognizing my need for submission was a light bulb moment. All the things I thought were “wrong” with me actually had a name and there were others just like me. I wish I’d known in those early days that submission can be whatever works for you and a partner. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else, even other submissives.” –Kayla Lords, Loving BDSM
“Transitioning from a vanilla marriage is tough!! Letting go of old habits and practicing mindfulness 24/7 was the toughest part. Dom Sub Training helped me focus on the importance of showing Sir each and every day how much this life means to me.” – Tina, Dom Sub Training member
Learn how to go from vanilla to BDSM and kink here »
And the one thing I wish I knew before becoming a submissive
“I wish I knew how powerful being a submissive is. In the beginning I thought subs were weak, broken creatures that needed a Dom to ‘fix’ them. That couldn’t be farther than the truth. Submission allows a person to gain control and stability over their lives. While a good Dom can help guide them to become the best version of themselves, submitting is still a choice. Knowing that I chose to be a submissive is extremely empowering.” –Alesandra (learn more about me here)
**Special thanks to everyone who shared their words of wisdom with me for this article!**
What about you?
I’d love to read your response to the all-important question: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a sub? Please share in the comments. And don’t forget to grab your free cheat sheet below!
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During a BDSM scene or other kink activities, the Dominant and submissive can experience a huge endorphin rush. It can be a shock when it is all over, for Doms and for subs. A proper checklist helps prevent this. It’s a way for those in a D/s (Dom/sub) relationship to calm back down. If your aftercare kit has room for improvement, or worse, is nonexistent, then these ideas can help. But first, let’s cover the definition of aftercare and the meaning of subdrop.
Want a free checklist to help you get the most out of aftercare? Click the button below and send it to your partner too!
Definition of aftercare and meaning of subdrop
What exactly is aftercare? Here is the actual definition:
“Aftercare refers to the attention given to a sub at the end of a scene. It often includes the Dom utilizing various pampering techniques on the sub in an effort to provide comfort after having an intense experience that can leave them in a vulnerable state.”
Intense pleasure or pain can cause a strong “high”, and when emotions and endorphins come crashing down subdrop can occur. Here is the meaning of subdrop:
“Subdrop is an experience with similar characteristics of depression that occurs after an intense BDSM scene. It is caused by adrenaline and endorphin crashes.”
So as you can see from these definitions, proper aftercare helps prevent subdrop, so the Dom and sub can slowly get back in touch with reality. Keep reading for my top 10 ideas for aftercare.
1. Cover up the sub
This is probably one of the most simplest things a Dominant forgets to do. During a scene a submissive’s body temperature usually increases and afterwards it drops, making the sub cold and uncomfortable. Before a Dom relaxes they should cover up the sub with a blanket.
If the sub was completely naked they are also probably feeling exposed and vulnerable and this simple act can help them feel at ease. Plus, after a very intense session a sub is usually too exhausted to cover themselves up.
2. Verbal reassurance from the Dominant
A sub craves to be told that they are good and that they did a good job. When their Dom says those words to them, it helps them to emotionally relax. It’s not uncommon for a sub to have doubts and insecurities after a session. Knowing they have their Dom’s approval gives them immense satisfaction.
If there was rape play or consensual non-consent during a scene, then it is extremely important for the Dom to be caring and calm, even saying, “I love you,” if it’s appropriate for the relationship.
Just like how a sub can be verbally reassured, they can also be physically reassured. When a Dom holds and cuddles a sub it helps them to feel safe and protected.
Other small ways to make physical contact include snuggling, petting, pats on the head, and forehead kisses. Feeling their Dom’s strong arms around them can go a long way in helping establish a sense of security in a D/s relationship.
After an intense kink scene, it is a good idea for both parties to rehydrate. However, it is the Dom’s responsibility to get their sub a glass of water to drink. Moreover, drinking water can help prevent headaches, muscles aches, and urinary tract infections.
Therefore, having two glasses of water nearby before a BDSM scene starts is a good habit to get into.
5. Proper clean up
BDSM scenes can be quite dirty. Sweat, lubes, bodily fluids, wax – they all need to be cleaned up. The Dom can get a towel and wipe up their sub and themselves. They can also help straighten things back up and put away any toys and other implements.
Sometimes a shower may be needed and the Dom can help wash the sub. This can be another opportunity to reconnect.
6. First-aid kit ideas
A sub may have marks and bruises from a hard and intense kink session. The Dom can massage limbs that were tied up, and apply lotion to any other sore spots. Some people swear by arnica cream but any lotion without menthol or alcohol is good. My favorite to use is one with shea butter.
Having Advil in your kit (brought with the water from tip #4) can help prevent swelling and bruising.
Stuffies, or stuffed toys, are another tool in providing proper aftercare. Littles especially love stuffies, and having one to cuddle and recuperate with helps them cope and deal with loneliness. Therefore, a Dom should bring the stuffie to their little after a play session.
On the other hand, if the little doesn’t own a stuffie, this is a good opportunity for the Dom to buy them one.
This one is probably my favorite for obvious reasons. It may be the farthest thing from their mind after a hard scene but an orgasm can help the sub calm down, and to refocus.
Being beaten and used is a very stressful thing to experience and an orgasm can help a sub release that. Also the Dom may have already orgasmed and taking care of the sub can help them not feel neglected.
For a simple (and free!) aftercare kit checklist, just CLICK HERE and it will be emailed to you instantly.
9. Discuss and recap post kink
After all the previous steps have been taken, it’s good for a D/s relationship if both individuals discuss a scene after it’s over. Doing all the relevant previous steps ensures that they are both calm and relaxed and can talk freely and openly.
This is a good time to figure out what went great, and what you’d like to try next time.
10. Check-in the next day
Even if you’re married or in a long-term D/s relationship, next day communication is really important. Subdrop can occur even days after a play session, so even a simple text or phone call can mean a lot.
Journaling can also help a sub to express their emotions productively, and the Dom can even assign a specific writing assignment based on the play session.
Proper aftercare for Doms in a D/s relationship
Aftercare for Doms is something that rarely gets talked about in the BDSM community. Domdrop is a real occurrence though, and can be prevented with some of the ideas and activities above.
Some of the feelings that a Dom can have include depression, guilt, exhaustion, vulnerability, insecurity, and anxiety. In addition to the above ideas, here is a checklist for Doms:
- Ask for reassurance from your sub
- Talk to other Doms in the BDSM community
- Go to the gym or go for a run
- Do activities related to a hobby
- Practice these other self-care tips
A successful D/s relationship depends not just on hardcore scenes, but also on well planned, proper aftercare. As you can see, there are so many different ways and activities to ensure that this happens, even for Doms. Communicate what you need and want afterwards, and the play sessions are sure to keep getting better and better. 🖤
What’s your favorite aftercare activity? Let me know your checklist in the comments.
In beginning my BDSM journey as a sub, I thought keeping a journal was very vanilla. “Shouldn’t I just tell my Dom my feelings and ideas?” I didn’t think a submissive journal would be useful, but my Dominant wanted me to so I obeyed. Here’s what I’ve learned, plus some writing prompts and examples to help you start. Be sure to download your free template here.
Why is a journal so important?
A journal is a submissive’s safe place to write down whatever they want. In a life full of control and submission, it can be their only outlet to vent their feelings freely. Journaling can be very therapeutic.
It also gives the Dom a glimpse into their sub’s mind so he can better understand her. In order for this all to happen though, a sub should always feel safe to write anything in their journal without fear of being punished.
If a sub is constantly asked, “Why did you write that?”, they’ll slowly stop writing for themselves and more for pleasing their Master. My journal has a list of rules at the beginning of it. Here is a sample of it you can use as a template:
“Only the submissive can write here, unless she gives approval for the Dominant to respond in it. All other responses of the Dom will be by email, text, or handwritten notes only. The sub will not have to answer for anything she writes here, or be held accountable. The Dom can indirectly discuss any concerns he has but without referencing her journal.”
Submissive journal rules and expectations can also be explained in a BDSM contract as well. For examples of contracts click here.
Ideas to get you started
The most traditional type of journal is a notebook, maybe kept in a sub’s nightstand where the Dom has access to it. With technology now though there are a lot better alternatives. I feel the best journal is a digital document that both parties can share.
I keep a note on my iPhone entitled “Submissive’s Journal” that I have shared with my Dom. The advantage to this is that he gets a notification on his phone as soon as I write a new entry. That way I don’t have to wonder if he’s seen that I wrote something, and he doesn’t have to keep checking it. Examples also include a Word or Pages template too.
If you are afraid someone else will accidentally read it you could also protect it with a password. Journals can also be done online, or even as part of a blog.
Examples of writing prompts to use as a template
Now that you know why to write and how to write, it’s time to figure out what to write. Basically a submissive can write anything they want as a reflection of what’s going on in their mind. If nothing is coming to them or they just need some fresh inspiration, here’s some ideas and examples of prompts to get you started:
- What you like most about being a sub/slave/little
- The biggest challenges to being a sub/slave/little
- Positive things that happened during the day
- Your favorite sexual things, or new things you want to try
- If you could change one thing about your current relationship what would it be?
- Read a post on Domsubliving.com and journal your thoughts about it
- Your goals as a sub/slave/little
- What you would tell your past-BDSM self
Of course one of the best ways to get ideas for journaling prompts is for a sub to ask their Dom. I’m sure they would love to know their sub’s thoughts on many different subjects.
How often should a submissive journal?
A submissive doesn’t have to journal every day (unless their Dom tells them to), but they should at the very least journal once a week. Journaling often can allow a sub to release their frustrations through writing, and it can keep them from acting out or behaving bratty. It can catch and fix problems early.
A sub shouldn’t only journal when they are upset and need to vent though. It’s also good for them to record positive things, so both the sub and the Dom can look back on their relationship with confidence.
A word for the Dom:
It is extremely important that your sub should always feel comfortable writing in their journal. It may be their only safe place they are allowed to vent, “cry”, or “scream”. If your sub senses that you are judging them because of what they write, they may begin to censor their entries. Even if your sub writes, “I hate my Dom,” resist the urge to ask why they wrote it.
Remember, children and teenagers will often journal rebelliously, so your little is just expressing normal behaviors. Instead of confronting your sub, ask them later how they are feeling and if there is anything they think needs improvement.
A well-used journal is a sign of a sub who feels comfortable and safe. Be sure to download your free template below. Writing often is not only good for the sub, but will help the Dom better understand the needs of the BDSM relationship.
How do you journal? What are your ideas for prompts? Share in the the comments.
Every Dominant/submissive relationship should have punishments. After all, the “D” in BDSM stands for discipline, and no sub is perfect. Correction (even over text) is needed from time to time when they break the rules. But many Doms struggle with ideas for knowing how to punish. And a sub can feel neglected when it isn’t done in the proper way.
Here are some things to keep in mind for a punishment to be successful, and don’t forget to download your free master list of ideas here.
Punishments need to have a reason
The main goal of any punishment is so the sub will learn from it. The Dom disciplines to discourage unacceptable conduct, and to ensure that the sub fully appreciates their role. A sub should always know why they are being punished.
In fact, it is good etiquette to say beforehand, “You are being punished because…” or to ask, “Why are you being punished?” This keeps the focus on the behavior that needs to change. That way the sub doesn’t feel like it’s themselves that the Dom doesn’t like.
Punishments for littles can be for things a real Daddy would punish for: not cleaning their room, spending too much time on their phone, etc.
The punishment should fit the crime
Failure to comply with any rules should always result in some sort of punsishment. The harshness should be determined by the severity of the misdeed. For example, if a sub waits 15 minutes to respond to a Dom’s texts, an intense paddling would probably be too much.
For softer punishments my Dom likes to make me remove my panties for the day, or have me wear Ben Wa Balls. (These punishments also work for long distance D/s relationships.)
On the other hand, if a sub has committed a major offense, corporal punishment will probably be required. Quite a few times I’ve made my Dom mad enough to make him spank me so long and hard that I’ve bawled into my pillow.
Don’t go too soft when you punish
There is nothing worse than expecting a hard punishment and getting off with “a slap on the wrist”, or worse: no punishment at all. Some subs perform best when they are disciplined at least daily, others every other day, or even once a week.
Look for patterns. If a sub seems to stop trying so hard to please their Dom then a good punishment is probably in order. Again, we are all imperfect human beings and there is always some correction in behavior that can be found.
Many Doms who are new to BDSM may hold back, fearing they are going too far, especially if a sub starts crying. But that is where trust in their safewords comes in. If it gets too painful, physically, emotionally, or mentally, a sub has the right to safeword.
One way to gauge how painful a punishmetnt is can be to make the sub count each time they are hit. My Dom usually will spank me five times, making me count after each one so he can tell in my voice if he is going too hard or soft. Another idea is to have the sub recite a phrase after each hit, like, “I am Daddy’s little girl.”
Timing is crucial (even over text message)
Usually a sub knows when they mess up, and they dread the after-effects of displeasing their Dom. If the Dom completely forgets to punish or even puts it off it is less affective.
Sometimes a little bit of time can grow the anticipation and force the sub to meditate on what they did, but generally punishments should happen by the end of the day. If it’s a long distance D/s relationship, and you want to know how to punish a sub over text, still keep in mind the timing when administering discipline.
Anything later than a day misses the goal of teaching the sub so they will learn to never do it again. It is like waiting too long after your dog has an accident to rub their nose in it. Subs need to see that their Doms care enough about the relationship to take the time to discipline them.
BDSM punishment ideas
It needs to be emphasized that the subject of discipline should always be discussed beforehand to keep things consensual and safe. A written contract can list the types of punishments that are acceptable, and the severity that is agreed on.
- Spanking- My favorite I love to hate. Usually done on the bed without clothes on. Using the Dom’s bare hand has the advantage of keeping the physical connection between both parties. It also prevents him from doing serious damage because he will have the pain in his hand as a gauge.
- Paddling- Administered like a spanking but uses an object like an actual paddle, ruler, hair brush, etc.
- Whipping- Belts can do serious damage so this is better when done lightly.
- Biting- Usually done during a sexual encounter when a sub displeases the Dom.
- Delayed orgasm- Either for a minute or a day, to remind a sub that their Dom has the power over their sexual fullillment.
- Brazilian wax- Making a sub get this done will only work if they don’t currently enjoy doing this.
- Get your free master list with 30+ more ways
So there you have it: the basics of BDSM punishments. Keep these suggestions and ideas in mind and your D/s relationship will continue to fulfillment and bring greater fulfillment. 🖤
What are your thoughts on discipline? Share your ideas for punishment in the comments.
Many in the BDSM community are responding to the current crisis in one of two ways. They either push themselves to try to keep things under control, or they retreat into worry. In either case, self-care gets neglected, and Dom and sub drop can occur. Yet this is exactly when you need self-care activities the most. To combat the strain of this global event, here’s 10 stress relief tips you can do at home.
1. Exercise for self-care
Exercise, especially when it’s outdoors, refreshes the mind. It also boosts endorphins and enhances your mood. Some ideas for activities include:
- Going for a walk or run
- Doing bodyweight exercises at home
Try to get at least 30 minutes a day of physical movement, which will also help boost your stamina during BDSM scenes.
2. Listen to music
Listening to soothing music is one of my favorite self-care actives because it’s so quick and simple. Here are three of my favorite songs for not only stress relief, but to also help keep me in the submissive mindset:
- “Love the Way You Lie” by Rihanna
- “My Immortal” by Evanescence
- “Earned It” by The Weeknd
3. Write in a Journal
If you’ve been following me for a while now, then you know I’m a huge proponent of journaling. For both Doms and subs, journaling is a way to release negative thoughts and emotions so they deminish. Be sure to also write down what you’re grateful for too.
I journal twice a day: morning and evening. A journal is perfect for an aftercare kit too, so sub drop can be lessened or prevented. Click here for free journal prompts.
4. Take a relaxing bath or shower
A lot of times as Doms or subs, we take this daily task for granted. It’s really a perfect opportunity for self-care though. The warm water has been proven to elevate your mood, and the time to yourself can allow you to focus your attention inward.
Baths and showers are also great for aftercare when you’re done enjoying a scene, and works as a great prevention for sub drop. Add your favorite sexy toy for even more fun!
5. Keep your daily BDSM rituals and activities
During times of stress, rely on your daily rituals. Don’t neglect your routines and rules. You need these activitie in order to lead if you’re the Dominant, or to help you obey if you’re the submissive.
It’s good to have different rituals throughout your whole day, so it will help you stick to a schedule. Here are some ideas:
- Meditate/kneel in the morning
- Make/serve coffee or tea
- Journal and read
- Text your partner at set times
- Exercise in the afternoon
- Meditate/kneel in the evening
Doms can find more ideas and tips for tasks and rituals here.
Meditation has so many benefits for both Doms and subs. Doms benefit by becoming more calm, focused, and less stressed. And by meditating, subs can become less anxious, more relaxed, and handle sub drop more easily. For these reasons my Dom has me meditate twice a day.
An easy meditation for stress relief: Sit in a quiet place, set a timer for 10 minutes, close your eyes, calm your mind, and focus on each breath.
7. Practice or learn bondage
You don’t need a partner to enjoy bondage! You can practice on yourself or on an object like a pillow or chair. The best rope is smooth, usually nylon so it doesn’t chafe the skin. If you like it to feel rough then I recommend a natural fiber like manila hemp.
Rope work is great for self-care because you’re working with your hands and you have to be meticulous and focused. And it can release endorphins for those that have a rope kink.
8. Take a screen break
We all know that excessive time on our screens causes stress. The news especially can be very toxic. My Dom actually has the rule that I’m not allowed to read the news. So make sure to take time to unplug every day. It’s also a good idea to take a break from your devices an hour before bed.
9. Talk to a friend or partner
Communication and human connection is so vital during times of stress. Taking the time to talk to a friend or partner, even virtually, can ease anxiety, especially sub drop. Share your thoughts and what you’re going through, and take the time to listen too.
Even if you’re in a long-distance relationship there are so many ways to keep your bond strong. Steal my favorite tips here.
10. Read material for Doms and subs
Reading is great way to unwind. Reading fictional BDSM stories can also spark your kinky imagination. And reading non-fiction articles is an easy way to learn more about the lifestyle.
I have dozens of articles on my blog that you can enjoy. You can also use the search field at the top of this site to find something specific.
Remember this: Self-care promotes a sense of control when things seem out of control. These 10 activities and tips can help you to be the best Dom or sub you can be right now. Take care of yourself. 🖤
What are your favorite tips for self-care? Share yours in the comments below.
What does “Topping from the Bottom” really mean? Ever since the book 50 Shades Freed made the phrase popular, the meaning has become somewhat cloudy. In BDSM, the definition of “Topping from the Bottom” (or “Below”) is when a submissive starts to become more of the dominant in the relationship. I’m going to show you three examples of topping from the bottom, and what both the Dom and sub can do to fix it.
But first, you may be wondering: Why does it even happen?
What does Topping from the Bottom mean for the relationship?
Topping from below sometimes happens subconsciously but it can also be done on purpose. It’s a lot like using reverse psychology, and can turn the tables of control without the Dominant realizing it.
Usually the submissive is the most to blame for this manipulation, but the Dom is equally at fault when they allow it to happen. I admit that I have topped from below before, and it can be a hard habit to break in a relationship.
Examples of Topping From the Bottom in real life (not the book 50 Shades Freed):
While 50 Shades Freed may have made the phrase a flirtatious cliche, TFTB can actually cause serious problems in a relationship. Here are three to watch out for:
1. Being a constant brat on purpose
Some Doms like their sub a little bratty every once in a while. There’s nothing wrong with that. It can keep things interesting. Where it becomes a problem is when a sub is routinely a brat, using the behavior to lash out.
Instead of a way to be more playful, it becomes the main way to receive attention and to get what they need. Needless to say, it can irritate the Dom and make them want to give up.
What the submissive can do:
If you genuinely want more attention or feel that your needs aren’t getting met, speak up! As long as it’s done respectfully there is nothing wrong with communicating what you want.
For example, I’ve acted out before after a hard day just to get in trouble. I know this will get me that stress-relieving spanking I so desperately need. I’ve learned though that it’s so much better to say, “Daddy, I’ve had a hard day. Can you please spank me?”
It makes him happy and so much more aware of my feelings. And the next time he sees me stressed he knows exactly what I need.
If you’re not comfortable speaking up, you can also write your feelings in a journal (either online or in a book) that your Dom can read.
What the Dom can do:
When you catch your sub being bratty, try to figure out if they’re just acting out for attention. Remember: this isn’t 50 Shades Freed, so instead of just immediately turning to discipline, ask your sub what’s really going on. If you sense they’re upset, give them permission to talk.
Encourage them to maybe use an “I statement”, a phrase where they say, “I feel X when you do Y, and I’d rather you do Z.” Also, having your sub kneel while you talk to them about their unacceptable bratty behavior can put them back in their place.
2. Safewording… without really meaning it
Let me start off by saying that there is nothing wrong with using safewords. They are a sacred part of BDSM, and are there to make sure everything stays safe, sane, and consensual. A sub should never feel guilty when they use them legitimately.
The problem arises when it becomes a way to get out of something they just don’t want to do. It can become the vanilla equivalent of saying they have a headache.
Besides sexual requests, they may use a safeword when a situation becomes emotionally difficult and they just want a break. The sub becomes the one in control when they safeword because they just don’t feel like doing something.
What the sub can do:
Before you safeword, ask yourself if you’re just trying to avoid doing something. If you were to meet your Dom’s demands would it really incur physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or other harm? If not, safewording in that instance would be dishonest and could lead to a break in trust.
Remember that topping from the bottom in this way isn’t playing fair. If there are things that you absolutely will not do, make sure to include them in a contract. Click here for some examples.
What the Dom can do:
If your sub safewords, remember that it means they are close to their limit of endurance, or they cannot tolerate any further demands. Always respect their safeword even if you believe it isn’t genuine. Your actions should cease completely with immediate effect.
Afterwards, if you do believe the safeword was used casually, tell your sub. Remind them of the real purpose of BDSM safewords and that misusing them will break your trust. This firm lecture will probably be enough to put them back in their place.
3. Saying, “Well, actually I think…” or a similar phrase
When a Dom makes a decision it should stand. A sub from time to time can voice their opinion respectfully when necessary, but routinely getting a Dom to change their mind will only hurt the relationship. This can happen in many different areas.
Some examples include the Dom wanting to have sex in a certain position, but the sub suggests another one instead. Or he wants to book reservations at a particular restaurant, but she says she’d rather go to a different one. When this happens and the Dom gives in, it shifts the control in the relationship.
What the sub can do:
When your Dom makes a decision, don’t undermine it. Even if it’s not what you were wanting that doesn’t matter. Your role is to please your Dom. If it’s something you really disagree with you can let them know respectfully.
Another option is to ask them afterwards if next time you can do your choice, or voice your feelings in a journal book. Remember: this isn’t 50 Shades Freed. You are in a real BDSM relationship, and they are your Dominant. Topping from below will only erode that.
What the Dom can do:
When your sub says, “Well, actually I think…”, or a similar phrase, listen to their suggestion, but then let them know that you are the Dom and you make the decisions. Of course they are not always going to act perfectly or by the book, but tell them that this behavior is below your standards.
When they do go along with what you want make sure to give them praise. It is OK to give your sub choices every once in a while, but do not make it a habit of yielding to them.
*If you want to motivate your partner to be more dominant, submissive, or kinky without nagging or topping from the bottom, be sure to check out my new workshop.*
Remember that regularly topping from the bottom brings manipulation into BDSM, and can mean there are underlying issues in the relationship. Life isn’t 50 Shades Freed. So review these examples, stay focused in your role as a Dom or sub, and the power and control will remain healthy. 🖤
What’s your definition of the phrase Topping from the Bottom? Chat with me in the comments below.
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.
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.
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.
Rituals are an important part of any healthy BDSM relationship. They help the Dominant and submissive remember their roles, and can be a way to stay centered and focused. But creating powerful and easy Dom/sub rituals (that don’t fizzle out) can be challenging. Read on to discover proven examples of D/s rules and protocols, and maybe pick up some new ideas to transform your connection.
What are BDSM rituals?
Sometimes people will use the words rituals, rules, and protocols interchangeably but they are slightly different. A BDSM protocol is a hard and fast rule usually listed in a D/s contract. A ritual is more of a way of carrying out something. It almost always involves an action where the Dom prescribes a series of behaviors for their pleasure and benefit.
Why have Dom/sub rituals?
Rituals are a way to discipline a sub. They teach them obedience and submission and keep them in the right frame of mind. This is true for the Dom as well. Sometimes if a sub has been allowed to act too bratty or is topping from the bottom, a ritual can snap both parties back into their role.
I really enjoy my rituals and view them as almost solemn and spiritual. When I perform a ritual it feels somewhat ceremonial even. I take pleasure in knowing I’m doing something my Daddy wants and that makes him happy.
Examples of D/s rituals, rules, and protocols
Rituals are automatic and a good sub shouldn’t have to be asked to do it every time. If a sub does forget (they’re not perfect) they should be disciplined to the proper degree. A good Dom doesn’t make up rituals just for the sake of having one. There should be a reason for them and should be for their pleasure. To give you some ideas, here are a few examples of the rules and protocols my Daddy has for me:
My Daddy usually goes to bed before me since he wakes up early, so once I’m all ready for the night, I sit in the bed next to him and kneel. If he doesn’t wake up by then I will lightly rub him and say, “I’m ready for bed now, Daddy.” If he hasn’t gone to bed yet I’ll kneel on the floor instead and wait for permission to get in bed. He also has me kneel before a scene as well.
2. Arrival greeting
This is another popular ritual and one I can safely perform in front of others. When he comes home, wherever I am in the house and no matter what I’m doing, I go and greet him with a kiss and tell him, “Hi Daddy”.
3. A morning text
My Daddy decided on the joint ritual of every morning texting each other. He usually texts me first to tell me good morning and that he loves me. I reply with how I’m feeling, a detailed plan for my day, and that I love him. I love waking up and seeing a text from him, and this also allows him to make sure I’m getting up when I’m supposed to.
There are so many ways to incorporate collars with rituals. Currently we have two. The first one is I have to wear my Day Collar whenever I leave the house or around company. If he’s home he will put it on for me. Second, when I kneel before a scene he puts my Play Collar on me. See ideas for different collars here.
Sometimes in vanilla relationships, shaving becomes a chore that’s done begrudgingly even though the other partner prefers it. Making it a D/s ritual can make it more enjoyable. I always make sure I’m freshly shaven for my Daddy, and I also get a Brazilian wax about every 3 weeks. (As a masochist, I actually love getting it done.)
You probably don’t think of punishments when you’re discussing rituals, but they can actually go together quite nicely. When the sub misbehaves, the Dom can tell them to get whatever implement they choose (belt, flogger, crop, etc.). The sub has to go get it, kneel, and present it in their hands, with their palms facing up. This can make the discipline more degrading, and as a result, more effective.
Can Doms have BDSM rituals too?
Yes and no. Doms will do certain actions as a routine but they are never expected to do it, as they are allowed to do whatever they want. An example is how my Daddy opens doors for me. Before I get in the car or enter a building he will almost always open the door for me, and it makes me love and respect him as my Dom even more each time. Other ideas are combing or braiding the sub’s hair at night, ordering for them at restaurants, and staying on the outside of their sub when they’re walking on the street.
When a D/s ritual isn’t working
It may be that after performing certain rituals they will have to be modified or eliminated. Here’s an example that happened to us one time:
Every morning when Daddy was at work I had to let him decide my panties for the day. I’d pick out three, lay them in a row, take a picture, and text it to him. This was fun at first and I did it for almost a month. It ended up causing me a lot of stress though. There were many mornings I would have to rush because it was taking up too much time. I told my Dom, knowing full well he could say, “You’re doing it anyway.” But instead, he said he would think about it and let me know the next day. Thankfully he told me I could stop. He still makes choices on my panties from time to time, and will often tell me to wear none when I’m in a dress or skirt.
So if a ritual isn’t working in a D/s dynamic, a sub can always talk to their Dom about it respectively, or through a journal.
One of the best ways to make sure a ritual is remembered and carried out is to write it down. Hopefully these examples have given you some ideas for creating your own BDSM rules and protocols. Keep finding peace in your rituals. They benefit both the Dom and the sub and are essential for transformation, training, and discipline. 🖤
Now, let’s talk in the comments: What ideas do you have for BDSM rituals? What works and what doesn’t?
Many people who are curious about BDSM want to know the quickest way to get started. When you’re just a beginner, it can be really frustrating to try and figure out what a Dominant or submissive is all about. If you don’t get started the right way, you’re going to waste a lot of time and effort as you try to create a Dom/sub lifestyle. But dominance and submission is just one aspect of BDSM. What’s the best way to quickly start putting it all into practice? This guide covers everything you need to know. Enjoy!
*If you want to help your partner be more dominant, submissive, or kinky, be sure to check out my new workshop.*
BDSM is an acronym for bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism and masochism (S&M)
Bondage is one of the fundamental aspects of a Dominant/submissive relationship. It may seem like just a kinky fetish, but real sexual gratification comes from bondage. The pleasure is derived from rendering the restrained person vulnerable to a variety of sex acts.
Read more: 8 Ways to Enjoy Bondage (Click here)
Every Dominant/submissive relationship has to have discipline and punishments. After all, no sub is perfect. Correction is needed from time to time when they break the rules. Doms need to know how to punish effectively though, because subs can feel neglected when it isn’t done in the proper way.
Read more: How to Punish a Sub Effectively (Click here)
D- Dominance (Dom)
In the BDSM world, “Dominant” is a word that’s thrown around a lot. Being a Dom can seem very appealing. Most are men who want to be more dominant in bed, but also in their relationships, and even in life in general. But unfortunately, there are a lot of fake doms out there who are not worthy of submission. Therefore, make sure you know what it truly means to be a real Dom.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Being a Dominant (Click here)
S- Submission (Sub)
Serving a Dominant is a very fulfilling lifestyle. However, many submissive beginners are lost. They don’t know what the role entails. Many times they are just looking for someone to fix them, to make them feel more complete. In all honesty though, being a sub is a lot of work, mentally, emotionally, and sexually. Make sure you know what it truly means to be a good sub.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Being a Submissive (Click here)
Sadism involves getting pleasure form inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on someone else. When practicing sadism, always keep and respect the three principles of SSC (Safe, Sane, Consensual). This is what separates BDSM from criminal abuse or neurotic, psychopathic behavior. Have fun, but make sure to always play responsibly.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to a Safe BDSM Lifestyle (Click here)
Even if you enjoy receiving pain or being humiliated, it has to be done with a sound mind. One of the best ways to make sure you’re not just engaging in self-destructive behavior is to set limits. Even if you don’t have a BDSM partner yet, it’s good to have your boundaries clear in mind so you’ll be prepared when you’re ready to start playing.
Read more: Limits: Learn What’s Hard and Soft (Click here)
Now that we’ve gone over everything the BDSM acronym stands for, you may now be wondering, How do I get started in the lifestyle?
Check out: How to Go from Vanilla to BDSM and kink (Click here)
If you’re totally ready to start playing now, but you don’t have a partner yet, no problem!
Check out: Exactly What to Do When You Don’t Have a Partner (Click here)
Lastly, if you’re a beginner and want to really become a satisfied full-time Dom or sub, make sure you subscribe to my FREE newsletter to get access to exclusive content I don’t share here on the blog. Click here to sign up for the free newsletter
Being a beginner is an exciting time on your BDSM journey. Remember, you shouldn’t compare where you are and where someone else is in practicing the lifestyle. Be proud of yourself for being a beginner and continue to use this guide and educate yourself as much as you can. In time, you’ll be an experienced Dom or sub, and will be able to help other beginners on their journey as well. 🖤