What Makes A Good Dominant

Author: Lord Saber © 2001

Lord Saber's Web Site

More of Lord Saber's articles can be found on the D/s World E-zine.

This article is copyrighted to the stated author(s) and can not be reproduced, copied, reprinted, or posted without the consent of the author. It is used here with permission of the author.


Recently, I was riding home late one weekday afternoon on BART (our "semi-reliable" rapid transit system in the SF Bay Area) from San Francisco. As I sat there half-asleep, I mused on what I thought were the qualities that made a good or great Dominant. I know that over the years most of the women I've been lucky enough to play with have complimented me on my abilities. Although I'm not sure if they were saying this to stay on my good side or if they really meant it. *s*

As with anything else regarding SM, you ask ten different people this question and you'll get twelve different answers! I asked a handful of my online friends what they felt were the qualities that made an excellent dominant. Qualities like creativity, sensitivity, empathy, obviously their technical skills were among the ones that came up. Also, while you can learn much from reading numerous related books or attending "seminars", it is my feeling that there are those who are naturally Dominant. Just like there are those rare individuals, like a Michael Jordan in basketball, a Barry Bonds in baseball, or a Tiger Woods in golf, who are naturally gifted individuals.

There have been times over the last few years that I watch a scene in progress or an interaction between a slave and their Master/Mistress and just instinctively know what's going on without even asking. Of course, too, seeing a sub pose in a specific slave position or a sub addressing me as Sir in just the right tone seems to speak to something very deep inside me. So while you can become an excellent Top by reading, watching and doing, not everyone, it would seem to me, can be a Dominant. Nor would everyone want to, and that's certainly fine. I know of a prominent member of the Northwestern US scene who is strictly a Top and makes no bones about this fact.

One of my local Male Dom friends, Sir Tom of Mt. View Ca, asked his slave "tied" to make a list of qualities she expected in a Dominant. They are:

  1. To be a powerful presence that commands my devotion
  2. To respect my needs and limitations - emotionally and physically
  3. To have joy in controlling and disciplining me
  4. To have the imagination to keep me thrilled with his being
  5. To understand that I am human and may stumble in my efforts to be a good slave.
  6. To have consideration of my ideas
  7. To keep my physical needs met
  8. To be honest and trustworthy
  9. To educate and guide me in the ways of BDSM
  10. To protect me, even from myself at times

Not a complete list perhaps, but definitely an excellent start. I'm sure each of you reading this have your own ideas about what makes a good Dominant and I encourage you to think about them and possibly even add to my list.

Until Next Time,



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