The Beginners Guide to Dominance and Submission
Although it may seem through outward appearances that all the power in the relationship flows from the Dom or Master to the sub or slave, this is somewhat misleading. The players in a D/s relationship, no matter which side they are on, are equals to a certain degree. Both sides have power, but in different ways. The Dom may have ultimate authority, but the sub is the one who initiates most actions.
To prevent any misunderstanding
between players, they should understand the difference between a Dom and
a Master, and a submissive and a slave.
Doms believe that all that is required is simply ordering your sub around
as you choose. It's not. There's much more to be said about what being
a good Dom requires" (Rex99, 07-21-95, AOL)
Domination is not just giving random orders. A good Dom will find a way to cause the sub to desire pleasing the Dom. A Dom, or Dominant, is the protector, teacher, and lover to the sub.
As the protector, the Dom must be (a) stronger than the sub, and (b) stronger than other people in the life of the sub. This does not mean that he has to be physically bigger or stronger. I am talking about character and personality.
As the teacher, the Dom must be wise and, above all, right. The Dom should not arbitrarily punish the sub on a whim. There must be a reason. To do otherwise will break down the trust and security of the sub. The Dom has to be respected by the sub. Respect is a quality that is earned by the Dom being right, and issuing swift, correct justice and reward to the sub. The Dom is not there to inflict pain and degradation on the sub, but to give the sub a goal and a direction on how to love and please him.
As the lover, the
Dom is loving and, when appropriate, stern. He must recognize that he
is the only source of pleasure for the sub. He must see to it that this
area is not neglected. The Dom should, when appropriate, be gentle, supportive,
and tender to the sub. A Dom/sub relationship is not just about overpowering.
It is about the Dom caring for the well-being of the sub. If punishment
is required to stop a destructive action by the sub, then it comes from
the Dom. On the other hand, when correct action has been noted by the
Dom, love and caring should come from him to the sub.
The Master is a higher
gradient of control in D/s. The Master follows the same rules as a Dom,
but in a stricter sense. The Master can have a slave, but may also call
their slave a sub. The slave is owned or "collared" by the Master.
The Master considers the slave a possession, but a highly valuable and
loved one, the most valuable thing he owns. Offenses against the rules
laid out by the Master are dealt with more severely, in most circumstances.
Still, the Master, when pleased, flows great love and caring to his slave.
The Master is also more protective of his slave because the slave is totally
dependent on the Master.
"To be sure,
the slave serves; the Master receives. But that does not mean that the
slave has no sense of self, or self-worth. Her needs are real, and she
should leave a relationship where her needs are not met." (Rex99,
The role of the submissive appears to be somewhat simpler, but in actuality, the sub plays a large role in shaping the D/s relationship. The sub's primary role is to follow her Dom's directions and to please the Dom. Being submissive does not mean that the sub is a doormat for the Dom. The sub is the Dom's companion, his student, and his lover.
As a companion, the sub is treated with respect and dignity, is allowed to voice opinions, and allowed to share in the Dom's activities. This is the area where the sub is the most equal with the Dom.
As a student, the sub learns how to please the Dom, and when done, expects to be rewarded by the Dom. Likewise, when not done or done incorrectly, the sub expects to be corrected and shown the right way to act.
As a lover, the sub
goes out of their way to please the Dom because they genuinely care for
the well being of the Dom. The sub does this, not out of fear of pain
or retribution, but because they wants to give the Dom pleasure. The sub
does not want the Dom to be disappointed with them. The sub takes pleasure
from the fact that the Dom is pleased.
The slave is a higher
gradient of submissiveness in D/s. A slave's primary purpose in life is
to serve the needs and desires of the Master. The slave relinquishes all
control to the Master, because the slave knows the Master has her well-being
totally at heart. The slave is marked by her Master in some fashion to
show ownership. This can be done with a tattoo, a piercing, or even a
physical collar. The Master/slave relationship tends to be more of a lifetime
commitment to each other than a typical Dom/sub relationship. The slave
is held to a higher standard of conduct and compliance than a typical
sub, due to the fact that the slave has given control of their life to