Qualities of a Good Dominant
I have spent some time discussing with others that explore the lifestyle of BDSM and asked them what they thought 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 qualities. I list the ones that were frequently brought to my attention. Many of them appeared in just about every conversation. Those are the traits, which I have regularly heard make a successful dominant. And most of them are relevant in every healthy relationship, not just those within D/s.
The traits I have provided below I heard many submissives speak to me in what they are looking for in a Dom. Not everyone will have all of these; some of them can be learned. But these traits do reflect what is within a true dominant. This list is meant as an informational aide only.
Acceptance of self, what is within themselves. what are their wants, needs, and desires are. Acceptance of their 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 dominant is to the individual and not being ashamed or intimidated by the needs within, but happy in one's mindset.
This is the ability to talk and discuss things. It is an integral part of any relationship but an absolute necessity within a D/s bond. A dominant should have the skills to communicate their needs, wants, desires, fears, thoughts, limits, or whatever else comes along. The ability to talk also comes into play with 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 attempt to understand the emotional aspects of their submissive's individuality. To understand and be aware of the abundance of information within the 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 intelligently 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 kindness. It is the ability to show proper manners, i.e., "pleases" and "thank you,"; To address someone with a respectful tone of voice. A dominant should show kindness to his/ her submissive and other submissives around them. Just because they are dominant does not give them the right to be rude or cruel. This includes kindness to your peers and family as well.
Grace 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, pompous, or unclear. If this is lacking as an innate ability, the dominant should be willing to learn and grow in this area.
This is the most important trait in a dominant for obvious reasons. It is the inherent natural ability to lead. To use control in a respectful, intelligent, and humble manner. The strength of character, which allows them to exercise the control necessary in power, exchange relationships. The ability to care for another person's entire well-being.
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 trust, there is no true relationship. A successful dominant is an honest one, one that 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 themselves as imperfect and as a person, not just a dominant. Also, to acknowledge that sometimes, in reality, their needs must be set aside for the better of the relationship. A successful dominant knows they will make mistakes. They know that they are not 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 focus of attention at all times. This allows the dominant to be open to learning new things. This brings into play bullying. Bullying is using your status as a dominant to push submissives around 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 nature.
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 a submissive's needs are and how to attain them. The ability to take the time to learn about their partner outside the roles of dominant and submissive, to find out who 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 them and their submissive. Inconstancy is very unattractive in a dominant and dangerous to the emotional well-being of the submissives who serve them.
A good dominant has the patience—the ability to wait for things. Being pushy is aggravating and not being dominant. This does not mean you have to be soft or easy 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 themselves. To realize that it takes time for a submissive to learn all the intricacies of serving you and having the patience to teach the submissive what you prefer.
This is the ability to know your limits and realize you are not only a good person but also a good dominant. Pride is the ability to recognize their own strengths. This does not mean they should be closed-minded to new ideas. Nor does it mean a Dom should be unaware of their mistakes or have an inflated ego. Having pride in their dominance is a beautiful thing. Arrogance or false pride is deadly. False pride usually masks insecurities that 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 dependability 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/ her 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 pushy asshole does not excite a submissive. A solid sense of self-worth is a necessity for a dominant, or it will cause serious damage to the submissive's psyche.
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 demands of the submissive, the dominant mutually serve 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 therefore cherish that gift and do their best to uphold it and not abuse it. This is the key to an exchange of power relationship.