Lord Saber's Views On Being A Novice Dom

Author: Lord Saber © 2002

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.


This column is one I originally wrote for a friend's web site three or four years ago. I reread it recently and discovered that for the most part the advice I have listed in here still holds true.

So you're a novice Dom? Congratulations and welcome aboard! It is always nice to greet a fellow Dom. But before you get out them whips and start addressing every sub by "On your knees slut!" there are a few things I'd like to say. You may be nervous or scared. I know it took me a lot of years before I gathered up my courage and joined Society of Janus some eleven plus years ago now. I'd had fantasies of tying up and erotically tormenting women for years; those images scared the hell out of me at times. Just remember it's perfectly ok to be scared.

When you first start out, take 'baby steps,' just go a little at a time. With that in mind, I have below a list of thoughts:

Learn! Learn all that you can! When I first got into SM, I decided I'd learn all I could about BDSM. There's a number of ways to do this:

* Talk to different Male Dominants you know. Find people whose opinions you trust and respect. Every Dom has a different perspective on doing SM. In the so-called "olden" days, everyone (Dominant or submissive) started out as a sub, so they would see what it was like to sub! Even now, I believe every Dom should try bottoming or submitting at least once to see what it's like. You don't have to "enjoy" it per se; it's just a good experience. Along that same line, talk to female Dominants too! And novice Fem Dommes, talk to your male counterparts. It's amazing sometimes what you can learn from talking with them! Especially if they, like you, enjoy play with women. It's always such a joy to trade ideas back and forth! {E.G.}

* Join your local SM group. If you live in an area that has a SM group, JOIN. This is one of the best places to meet like-minded folk and also learn more by attending programs. Even if your city doesn't have a SM group, more and more places are having munches. While they may not have quite the 'information exchange' a regular group does, it's a start and opens up the door for you to learn more. Check out my groups web site (http://www.tdl.com/~thawley/smgroups.html) for a good list of SM groups in North America (if you're elsewhere, sorry!). Munches are also advertised on the Internet newsgroup, soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm.

* Go to play parties. If there's a play party in your area and you get invited, go. Remember to be on your best behavior if you do attend it. Nobody likes a Dom who doesn't respect other people's boundaries. The parties will have a list of rules; read them and follow them. If you see a sub you'd like to play with, it's ok to politely approach her. However, if she says no to your offer to play, respect that and walk away. One thing I like about play parties is the opportunity to watch scenes going on. Again this can be done discreetly; don't stand two feet away and stare. People doing the scene will call you "energy vampires," people who just watch but never play. However, if you maintain a safe distance and watch, it's amazing the things you can pick up watching others play. If you watch a Top and like the ways (s) he plays, emulate what they do that you like. Remember, emulate but don't copy what they do. Strive to develop your own style.

* Read about SM. Another way to learn is by reading instructional SM books. There's of course "old standards" like SM 101 and Screw the Roses. Another good book is the Lesbian SM Safety Manual. It contains great safety information about playing with women. It was the first SM book I ever bought. Of course, now it's out of print (grumble). Look for it at used bookstores or on used bookstore web sites. There are lots of other good SM books out there, and it seems there are new ones coming out all the time. There are also tons of BDSM web sites that have good information. A couple other pieces of advice:

* Don't judge others' scenes as being too heavy or too 'yucky.' You never know when you decide something that months ago caused you to say "Yuck!" turns into something you'd like to try now! It's happened to me a few times! {g}

* Find an experienced sub as your first play partner. This isn't absolutely necessary, but if you can find such a treasured creature, great! She can 'teach' you a little bit about playing. And don't be afraid to let her teach you. I was lucky; my first play partner was like this. I just appreciated being able to explore my fantasies with this sub and know if I went farther than she was ready, she would call a safe word on me. :)) It's ok to let her teach you while you are learning. However, if your sub is a novice like yourself, don't worry. Even novice subs can teach you something. One of the joys of this scene is that novices can learn from veterans and vice versa. Sometimes it can be fun to learn together. A major problem of course with the online world are those pesky HNG's (Horny Net Geeks) who seem to masquerade as Doms. Don't be one of them! When online, don't ever message a submissive without asking permission on channel. I can't stress enough how far politeness goes. After all, you want a sub to respect you right? Why should they if you refuse to show them any?

OK, let's say that you've spent time learning, reading and going to programs, and now you've met some really hot-looking sub and decided you're interested in playing with that person. So now what? Well, first off you of course need to arrange to meet at some neutral location to talk further. Depending on where you meet, it's also considered a good idea to let a friend know you're meeting somebody and set up what's known as a "safe call." A safe call is a friend who knows about your meeting and what to do if you don't "check in." Suffice to say it's not a bad idea for both people involved to do this when meeting someone new. If your new friend needs to make a safe call when you meet then let her! If you don't, she'll interpret this as a red flag and will want to leave.

During that initial meeting you should find out what they like and what you like and see if you can find SM-related activities you both enjoy. This of course is what's known as negotiation and countless others have discussed this much better than I can.

When you do play, set up safe words. Go slowly. To paraphrase my friend Jay Wiseman in SM 101, "It's better to end a scene with the sub wanting more than to have the scene end badly.' Respect a sub's safe word. If you do that, the sub will be much more willing to play with you again. A real Dom respects safe words. And equally important, a real Dom respects limits. When a sub tells you her limits, respect them! A real Dom also practices safe sex with their partners. Guys, I realize condoms and gloves can be a pain in the ass, but consider the alternatives! And I'm sorry but STD's are NOT my idea of a good time! In closing, I wish you the best. Go at the pace at which you're comfortable and you'll do fine.

Until Next Time,






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