What Kind of Dominant Do You Want to Be?

alternative dominant styles in D/s relationships

Like every other part of BDSM and D/s, what and who you choose to be as a Dominant is completely up to you. It’s dependent upon a lot of factors but primarily your own personality, desires, wants, and needs…and that of your submissive. You won’t necessarily be the exact same kind of Dominant with one submissive that you are with another. It’s okay, and it’s perfectly normal.

We receive a lot of questions from people who aren’t sure they’re “really” Dominant because they don’t fit what they perceive a Dominant to be. Most of the time that perception is a stereotype that includes a lot of brooding stares, barked orders, and strict discipline, among other things. Ruling with an iron fist doesn’t work for everyone…

You can be that kind of Dominant if it works for you, but there are other ways too. And it goes way beyond the title you use.

Nurturing

A nurturing person wants to take care of their partner. They want to help build them up, help them better themselves, and generally support their partner in whatever way they need. As a Dominant this can look a lot like setting rules that enforce bedtimes or schedules. It may include tasks like working out or making to-do lists. Nurturers use their Dominance to help take care of their submissive but often in a kind and (sometimes) gentle way.

Disciplinarian

The disciplinarian may be the type you think of first, but it’s not as harsh as the stereotype of this style. Most Dominants who want a disciplined sub don’t raise their voice or get angry. They don’t have to. But they want what they want the way they want it. Disciplinarians teach their submissives what they want and then set high expectations. Yes, there are consequences for screw-ups but they’re fair and meant to help their partner do better in the future.

 

Silly and Goofy

Hang out in the BDSM community long enough and you’ll come across someone who thinks it’s Very Wrong for a Dominant to show a silly side. Any humor should but cutting, sharp, and sarcastic. These Super Serious Doms might really have that personality or they might have bought into a stereotype. Yes, a Dominant can be silly, laugh a lot, and – as John Brownstone proves – be the purveyor of bad puns and horrible jokes. These Doms are no less in charge or control just because they tease their submissive and goof around.

Gentle

If you ask your submissive to do something nicely, you’re no less a Dominant than if you demand it. Why? Because ultimately your partner has to decide to do what you want. When you earn that kind of consent, trust, and control, the tone or the method you use is irrelevant. Plenty of people who want to dominate their partner worry they shouldn’t or can’t because they don’t want to give orders. They’d rather ask. Consensually coercing someone to do what you want by being gentle, quiet, or softspoken counts as having power and control.

Doing for Others

Personally I see this more in the Caregiver/little dynamic than anywhere else but I have no doubt it can work in any type of D/s dynamic. Doing things for your partner can be a very dominant act if you’re getting exactly what you want. Plenty of Doms pick out a submissive’s clothes, make their meals, or perform what may look like acts of service. Look for the power exchange before you scoff. Who makes the decisions and has the control, and who doesn’t? How something gets done matters less than how those actions make you feel.

Be Yourself

Y’all, there is no set definition or picture of a Dominant, just like there isn’t one for submissives. Your D/s relationship and your style of dominance is what you make it. You might be a little of everything or very clearly one style over another. It’s possible to not identify with anything we’ve listed here and still be very dominant. There is no single right way to dominate a partner or control a submissive. It’s about what you decide suits your personality…and your relationship.

What kind of Dominant are you? Well, what kind do you want to be? You have so much to choose from. Stop worrying about the stereotypes and find out what works best for your D/s relationship and your own personality.

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