have spent alot of time discussing with others in the lifestyle what makes
a good dominant. What marks a true dominant from a player or wannabe.
I have read every bit of material I could get my hands on. Through these
discussions and research I have been able to compile the following list
of traits. I list the ones that were repeatedly told to me, many of them
appeared in just about every conversation I have been involved in and
most of the pieces of writing I have read. My heartfelt thanks to the
wonderful insight of MistressIce, EZRiser, and Magistar in particular.
Their words, insight, and honesty helped me to create this list as concisely
as I could.
Acceptance of self, what is within
yourself, what your wants needs and desires are.. Acceptance of your
limitations and those of your submissive. The ability to accept another
human being for the person they are, including their shortcomings and
especially to accept your own. Accepting what being a dominant is to
the individual and not being ashamed or intimidated by the needs within,
but happy in ones mind set.
This is the ability to talk
and discuss things. It is an integral part of any relationship, but
an absolute neccisty within a D/s one. A dominant should have the skills
to communicate thier needs, wants, desires, fears, thoughts, limits
or whatever else comes along. The ability to talk also calls into play
the honesty and truthfulness of the dominant. Once communication is
open it should remain that way, and will do so provided the dominant
does not stop communicating honestly. To not communicate is to endanger
yourself physically (by not telling the submissive your experience and
other necessities) and emotionally.
The ability to see and at
least attempt to understand the emotional aspects of your submissive's
psyche. To understand and be aware of the multitude of things within
reality that can affect a submissive physically, emotionally and mentally.
To be able to apply that understanding to the many situations that arise
within daily life that may prevent your submissive from serving to the
best of their abilities. Using compassion wisely to allow you to aide
your submissive, support him/her during times of stress shows that you
are truly a well rounded dominant. One who realizes that a dominant
and a submissive are people too. Without compassion you are not a dominant
only a sadist.
This one is fairly self explanatory
but many people have asked me for specifics on courtesy. It is the ability
to show proper manners, pleases and thank yous. To address someone with
a respectful tone of voice. A dominant should show courtesy to his/her
submissive and other submissives around them. Just because you are a
dominant does not give you the right to be rude or cruel. This includes
courtesy to your peers.
Elegance in the manner a dominant
presents themselves is an important and desirable personality trait
that many submissives say they prefer. The way a dominant carries themselves,
their style of play, no matter how graphic should still flow with style
and grace. Their actions should not be overly hesitant, stilted or confused.
If this is lacking as an inherent ability, the dominant should be willing
to learn and grow in this area.
This is the most important
trait in a dominant. It is the inherent natural ability to lead. To
exert control in a respectful, intelligent and humble manner. The strength
of character which allows you to exert the control necessary in a power
exchange relationship. The ability to care for another person's entire
Personally I feel this shouldn't
need to be said, but there are far too many people who lack honesty
so it has to be said. Honesty is the ability to speak up, be open and
truthful about what you say. Don't hide your emotions, fears, limits,
fantasies, ideas and thoughts. Don't tell the submissive what you think
he/she wants to hear. Honesty is the basis of trust, without it there
is no trust. And without the trust, there is no true relationship. A
successful dominant is an honest one, one who does not lie or attempt
to deceive. One who is truthful when he/she speaks. Most important is
to be honest about your level of experience, to lie is to endanger the
very life of a submissive.
This is basically the ability
to see yourself as fallible. To see yourself as a person, not just a
dominant. To see that sometimes in reality your needs must be set aside
for the better of the relationship. (possibly to settle a disagreement,
set limits or things of that nature) A successful dominant knows they
will make mistakes, that they are no perfect. Sure they have pride in
their abilities but they also know that everyone grows constantly and
they are secure enough within themselves not to need to be the center
of attention at all times. This allows the dominant to be open to learning
new things and not have a know it all attitude. This brings into play
bullying. Bullying is using your status as a dominant to push around
submissives without any thought for their well being at all. Bullying
is a completely selfish action. A dominant who consistently bullies
will turn submissives away from them and lose the respect of their peers.
It shows a lack of humility and can also mask a poor sense of self esteem
or a possible abusive person using the lifestyle to hide their abusive
By intelligence I don't mean
book smart, the ability to do long involved mathematical equations or
pull apart and rebuild a computer. As it applies to a successful dominant
intelligence is the ability to learn the proper way of playing with
the toys inherent in the lifestyle before using them on a person. The
willingness and ability to research and learn about the lifestyle itself.
The ability to make informed decisions about what their needs are and
how to attain them and just how far their domination goes. The ability
to take the time to learn their partner outside the roles of dominant
and submissive, to learn him/her as the person they are, their likes
and dislikes. The ability to learn what pleases their submissive and
remember those things. The dominant should not only take the time and
intelligence to know the physical tools, but also the psychological
tools of dominance. Along with some basic psychological aspects of their
submissive. (Knowledge should grow as people change constantly) There
is nothing uglier than seeing an ignorant dominant trying to use humiliation
as a tool of dominance. Humiliation is a difficult tool that requires
maturity, intelligence, and skill
This is a very important trait
in a dominant. It is the ability to uphold your personal honor and remain
true to the agreement between you and your submissive should the agreement
be one of monogamy or whatever. Fickleness is very unattractive in a
dominant and dangerous to the emotional well being of the submissives
who serve you.
A good dominant has patience.
The ability to wait for things. Being pushy is aggravating and not being
dominant. This does not mean you have to be lax or soft, but to learn
the proper time to push and the proper time not to. It is also the ability
to wait for those things which take time to develop and to learn, especially
within yourself. To realize that it takes time for a submissive to learn
all the intricacies of serving you and have the patience to teach the
submissive what you prefer.
This is the ability to know
your capacities and realize you are not only a good person but a good
dominant. The ability to recognize your own strengths. This does not
mean you should be closed minded to new ideas. Nor does it mean you
should be unaware of your faults or keep an inflated ego. Pride in your
dominance is a beautiful thing, arrogance or false pride are deadly.
False pride usually masks insecurities which can be life threatening
to the submissive.
A successful dominant will
show respect at all times, until such time as the submissive proves
he/she is unworthy of such respect. A disrespectful dominant does not
earn the respect of his/her peers or the submissives around them. By
giving respect to others, you earn it for yourself.
A good dominant should have a sense
of responsibility and be aware that they are the ones who are in control
of a scene. They should take this responsibility seriously and act in
such a manner that will keep themselves and their submissive as safe
as possible. A good dominant should take responsibility for his/her
own actions, even so far as admitting a mistake when one is made and
not push the blame onto someone else. A good dominant should use this
sense of responsibility to learn before acting.
A good dominant must be in control of themselves first
before they can even hope to control another safely. A good dominant
is not one who is prone to fits of out of control behavior, raging fits
and other actions which show a lack of self control. A dominant should
be able to keep his physical needs in check in order to maintain a scene
safely for the submissive. A good dom should also have the self control
needed to stick to his/her guns when they are faced with a begging sub
for something new that they know is dangerous and that they know they
have no experience in.
A good dominant values themselves,
and respects their own limits. A bully does not thrill a submissive.
A solid sense of self worth is a necessity for a dominant or they can
cause serious damage to the submissive's psyche. This does not mean
act like you are the universe's gift to domination.
This is applicable to dominants
but not in the same way as a submissive. A dominant serves their submissive
by and through their dominance. By intelligently applying their dominant
nature, and meeting the physical and emotional needs of the submissive,
the dominant mutually serves the submissive. A successful dominant remembers
that without a submissive, there is no such thing as a dominant. And
that to receive the submission of a person is a gift. The dominant will
therefor cherish that gift, and do their best to uphold it and not abuse
it. This is the key to an exchange of power relationship.
Those are the traits which I have
repeatedly heard make a successful dominant. Many of them overlap and
refer to other traits within them. And most of them are applicable to
every relationship not just those within D/s. These are the traits I
have heard many submissives speak of as what they are looking for in
a dominant. Not everyone will have all of those traits bred into them,
and some of them can be learned. But those traits do reflect what is
within a true dominant. This list is meant as an informational aide
only and not as a hard core end all and be all ruling of what makes