This week's topic is about role-playing Domination and submission. This will deal with only the domination and submission side of BDSM. I will touch on the rough side of sex incorporated and usually associated with Dom/sub play, but rough sex as a whole is discussed in another blog. Also, there will be a blog about fulltime Dom/sub relationships and other parts of BDSM later...
Domination and submission when role-playing, as I will discuss it here, simply means that during a set time (also known as a scene) each partner will take on a specific role. One being the Dominant (Dom) and the other being the submissive (sub). They continue to play these roles until one person calls an end to the scene. A scene can be as short as an hour romp in the hay or as long as entire day of sexual debauchery.
I can't stress enough the importance of safety when it comes to role-playing, bondage, or any part of sex that involves one person giving any control over to another. Set up a safe word, memorize it, and use it. A safe word is the word used by either party when things have gone too far. It can be that a boundary has been crossed or that the person is feeling uncomfortable about the situation. This safe word should a word that would never ever come up in your sexual play. Red, aardvark, pad, etc are just some examples of safe words. Some couples use something similar to a stop light code. Example, Red, yellow, green. Red meaning stop right now. Yellow meaning your getting a bit too aggressive I like what you are doing. Just not so hard etc… Green meaning I really like that but want it harder or more of it.
In most cases this will be used by the sub to tell the Dom to stop. If you're thinking, "well I'm the Dominate, the sub does not get to control things I do, that's being a dominate" then I can tell you that you have no respect for your partner and should never be given any kind of control. Control is power and some people just can't be trusted with power. Ultimately the submissive should have control with the safe words.
Now I'm not going to try and explain the inner workings of the mind when it comes to why some people like to be controlled and why others like to control. People do, and that's that. What I will tell you is how to explore these sides of yourself. Some people have always wanted to explore what it would be like to be dominant, others to be submissive. Whether it was the first time you got wet or hard watching princess Leia chained to Jaba the Hut, or you would get into trouble just to get spanked at school by the hot teacher (well, back in the day when they could do that)
Let's begin with some quick definitions, just so we're all on the same page. A dominant is someone that takes charge of the scene, directs the scene, and takes control over the submissive during the scene. A submissive is under the control of the dominant, shows submissiveness to the dominant, and in most cases only does what the dominant wants.
As with all things not considered "main stream" with sex, you should talk about what you want with your partner. Talking things out will let you both know what you each wish from your sex life together. It also is a good time to set what are called hard limits or boundaries. A hard limit is something you will not allow to happen to you. Examples would be. You will not allow any electric play, needle play, spanking of the nipples, biting etc... Whatever your hard limit (don't go there) is. And these may change as time goes by and you learn new things. Now I know that not everyone is open or willing to talk directly about their desires for fear of rejection. This is a sad state, but a true one. If you're unsure of how your partner will react to these desires here are a few things that you can do to test the waters of domination and submission.
How you test the waters depends on what role you wish to play. If you wish to play the part of the Dom then you will need to see if your partner is receptive to being the sub. Since most of what we are talking about is in the mood of the sex, talking during sex or scene plays a big role in this role playing. Start with giving them some simple commands during sex and see how they react. Start small, during foreplay, look them in the eye and tell them in an authoritative tone to suck or lick you. Another is during sex to tell them, again in an authoritative tone to change positions. IE, guys tell her to get on her hands and knees. Girls, tell him to lie on his back.
Another way is to try and take control of the sex very softly. While you're on top try grabbing your partner's wrists and slowly slide them above your head. Hold their wrists there firmly but without causing them any pain. Don't use your hands to support your weight, as this can cause painful force on the wrists. If they struggle a little that's fine, that's taking control of them, but if they look truly scared, are struggling greatly, telling you to stop, or are not paying any attention to the sex anymore stop immediately!
For those that wish to explore the sub role you can try a direct approach and during foreplay whisper in your partner's ear that you want them to tell you what they want you to do. You can also think ahead of what your partner usually likes and so do it before they make any move to. When your partner is on top, you can also take their hands and place them on your wrists above your head.
While during any of the above, watch for your partner's reactions. This is going to tell you how they are responding to your actions. If she grinds into you harder, he thrusts harder, or they get that turned on glint in their eye then you know that it's time to talk about it.
This seems to be the hardest part for anyone. Telling your partner what you want. But if you are the Dom you can make that part of the roll play by telling that person they have to tell you. It is an unfortunate byproduct of our society that certain fetishes and desires are labeled taboo or disgusting by the masses of uneducated leaders. So, unfortunately, you must first understand and overcome your own inhibitions and accept your own desires. Once you have done that, then you are confronted by having to go through it all over again with another person hoping they will feel the same or at least be willing to experiment.
Testing the waters will give you an idea if they might be interested or not. If you feel they are, then you must talk about it further and see where it goes. I suggest doing it as soon after you have tested the waters and feel they might be ready. Having the thoughts and feelings of great sex involving a taste of what you want to do will go a long way in getting them interested. Also note that there are some things people really want to do. But feel they can't. If a Dom/me tell them they have to do it. Knowing that inside they would like to but feel it’s dirty etc… They might be more willing to explore that. Example, The person really wants to do ass play, but is too shy to say so. So the Dom says. I am tying you down and we are doing Ass play. If the Sub really doesn't like it, that's what the safe word is for. Always remind that often to use the safe words at anytime if they are not comfortable. Also remind them that you are in control now they can just let control go and let you be responsible. Then again remind them of safe words. Make them from time to time tell you safe words. Example, what are your safe words. Sub should answer you with the safe words than Master/Mistress or whatever works for the two of you.
The best advice I can give you is to ask your partner if they liked what you did to test the waters. If they say yes, then you should be home free. If no, then ask; why? Don't be judgmental and make sure you let them know that you want to know because you care about them and their feelings. Once you have established that this is something that you both wish to explore more then you should take turns telling each other what you want to try. Now as much fun as finally talking about what you want can be, you should also both discuss anything that might be off limits. Set up boundaries (also known as a Hard limit), so that you both are happy. If you feel that your partner has a boundary that is unrealistic, talk about it, but do not under any circumstances tell them to change it. Talk about it, ask them why, but do not make your partner feel pressured to change it.
Boundaries could be as simple as; don't make me face a wall on my knees, as they will not handle kneeling for long periods of time. Make sure you go over them, and that you remember them. It may sound corny, but writing them down isn't such a bad idea. In fact, I encourage it.
I can't tell you how you should be a dominant, for that's something you need to decide for yourself. I can tell you what others have done and how others feel what a dominant is. The easiest place to start is to figure out what you want to happen in the scene. Basically come up with a script for what you wish to happen and how it will unfold. Don't be unrealistic; start small and work your way up. Take time setting up the scene. Setting up the scene is part of the fun. The anticipation is part of the fun. Sometimes you can set up the scene early in the day and let the submissive see it and know they only get it as a reward later. But that might be more for 24/7. Be willing to go with the flow too, you may have a great idea of what you want to happen, but as thing unfold the scene may take on its own feel and mood. Go with it, there will be time and chances to try for what you had originally wanted later.
Being dominate means simply taking charge of the scene and making the decisions of what's going to happen and what's not. You can be as demanding and forceful as you want and your sub will allow or you can control by simple soft commands as well. It's up to you and your partner to decide as to how far you will take this. Some Doms are loud and demanding in a "Suck me NOW" demeanor. Others are less demanding and ask "I want you to suck me now". This is really up to you and your partner as to how you both will take this step.
Being dominant is being in control and exerting that control on your sub, it does not mean being a cold heartless asshole. If you disregard your sub's feelings it should and will probably be the last time that you are put into control. As the Dom it is your responsibility to care about your partner as they play your sub. Unless previously agreed to, this means that you should make sure that they are enjoying what's going on as much as you do, or at least that if you are the only one receiving pleasure at that point then they will have their turn later. You could ask them. Do you like this? And have them answer yes Mistress/Master. If they are into humiliation that would be a good spot to say bitch, little girl, slut, or something along those lines.
Being submissive in this context is simply giving control over to another. You're doing what they want to do and usually doing so to please them. In a role-play scene you are being told how or what the Dom wants you to do and you do it. The amount of resistance the sub puts up will depend of both of you. If you have decided together that the sub will completely comply with the Dom or if they will try and fight a bit depends on what the two of you want. The subs part in this may seem easier, but requires a lot of trust between the partners. If, as the sub, you do not trust your partner you should not be exploring this until such time as you do.
I will touch on rough sex briefly here but I have another blog all about rough sex where I discuss it in greater detail. If you are going to incorporate rough sex in with your domination and submission play then please read it for further details. By rough sex I mean sex involving spanking, flogging, being more aggressive with your partner, and using physical force to make them do what you want. This can be part of your domination play or it may not, again this is up to both partners.
Incorporating rougher elements can complement a Dom/sub scene very well, as long as both parties are in agreement about them. If the Dom just start spanking the sub, well that can lead to some unfortunate consequences, like never being his/her Dom ever again! So make sure that both of you have agreed on what acceptable and what is not.
The same goes for bondage. Bondage can be using scarves to tie the sub to the bed or just the use of handcuffs. Again, this should be talked about before you try it.
I know that I have stressed a lot about talking to your partner and cannot stress this enough. Communication is the key to all relationships. Dom/sub, husband/wife etc… and even more important when you add role play. Now I know that this can't always be done, or that one of you may wish to surprise the other and that is all well and good. This is one of the reasons for the safe word. If you have the safe word in place, you can be sure that if you do try something new, no matter how sure you are they will like it, that your partner has a way to stop things if they feel uncomfortable.
But I will leave you with this. No matter how much you talk with your partner, there will be times when the unexpected happens. Something that neither one of you thought about nor even thought would be a problem. Be prepared to talk about it. Why it happened, if it will be a constant problem, and what can be done to keep it from happening again in the future. You may not think that kneeling will be a problem until the sub has been on their knees for an hour and they start to lock up. Just be prepared.
I hope that if nothing else I have made you think. Feel free to comment or to ask me any questions you may have, here, or privately.
-Haven De Lancret
Authors Notes: Thanks to Dinaya for her help with this topic. Also, thanks to all those helping me edit these blogs.