A beginner's guide to understanding Dom/sub dynamics

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A acceptable of BDSM toys including a whip, gag and leather blindfold.

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If you’ve been wanting to effort kink but aren’t definite wherever to start, you’ve travel to the close place. 

There are hundreds (probably thousands) of guides retired determination to kink, but they often don’t absorption connected the gathering blocks of steadfast kink relationships

We request to locomotion earlier we tin run, you know?

Enter the foundational furniture of kink: The Dom/sub dynamic, oregon D/s. "Dominance and submission is the wide instrumentality for astir each kinks," explains Julieta Chiaramonte(Opens successful a caller window), a kink instructor, writer, and sex expert.

Understanding what the Dom/sub dynamic is, however it functions, and however to negociate astir it successful your ain relationship(s) is cardinal to creating the kinky enactment beingness of your dreams. It is the basal layer. It is the cardinal configuration of relation play.

Once you person a coagulated grasp connected D/s, the remainder — the whips, chains, blindfolds, sitting successful Jell-O, utilizing fake blood, etc. — can beryllium built connected top. We’re not present to yuck anyone else’s yum erstwhile it comes to your kinks, but we bash privation you to beryllium assured successful however to enactment connected them.

Here’s everything you request to know.

What the Dom/sub dynamic really is.

While Dom/sub dynamics are chiefly recovered successful kink, they really play retired successful astir forms of sex. One idiosyncratic is usually the much submissive partner, portion the different is much dominant. But wrong the discourse of BDSM, these dynamics go adjacent much explicit. BDSM stands for bondage, Dominance/Dominant, submissive/submission, and sadomasochism. This is erstwhile 2 oregon much radical prosecute successful consensual powerfulness exchange. The sub willingly hands implicit the powerfulness wrong the country to the Dominant.

The cardinal connection present is "consent."

"BDSM provides a model for individuals to prosecute successful [this] consensual powerfulness exchange," says Dr. Nazanin Moali(Opens successful a caller window), a enactment therapist and the big of the Sexology podcast. 

The cardinal connection present is "consent." Kink is each astir giving and taking powerfulness successful an empowered way. "Since consent is the cornerstone of these practices, it provides an accidental to guarantee [that] the idiosyncratic surrendering power and the idiosyncratic successful complaint enactment wrong the intersexual boundaries they’ve set," Moali adds.

How D/s tin play retired successful BDSM scenes.

D/s dynamics volition play retired successful each kinky scenario, due to the fact that it is the halfway of the practice. But however it shows up is different story. This is 1 of the things that makes kink truthful appealing. You tin wholly customize an acquisition to cater to your circumstantial interests. 

Some examples of Dom/sub relationships:

  • A classical D/s bondage scene: The Dom acts arsenic a maestro implicit the submissive. This usually entails punishment, sensory play, etc. Think: 50 Shades of Gray, but not shit.

  • A caretaking scene: The Dom "takes care" of the sub. The sub is called a Little successful this dynamic. 

  • A Dom/brat scene: The sub is simply a "brat" and purposely "disobeys" the Dom successful bid to person punishments.

  • A Master/pet: The Dom is simply a pet-owner and the sub is the pet.

There is simply a communal misconception that Dom/sub dynamics are inherently pain-focused oregon violent. This conscionable isn’t true. 

Chiaramonte explains that the paddles, crops, and ropes are astir deepening the enslaved betwixt the Dom and their sub. "A Dom whitethorn consensually signifier bondage with their submissive to deepen their powerfulness practice," she explains. "Bondage successful this script tin beryllium utilized arsenic a punishment, a reward, oregon a sensory acquisition to amusement who's brag successful a harmless way."

There is simply a communal misconception that Dom/sub dynamics are inherently pain-focused oregon violent. This conscionable isn’t true. 

But nurturing a Dom/sub dynamics is not wholly relegated to the sphere of symptom play. Kink tin impact sensory play, elaborate pain-free relation play, and overmuch more. These scenes are made by the 2 oregon much radical playing them out. It is simply a unsocial and afloat bespoke experience.

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Negotiating boundaries wrong a Dom/sub dynamic. 

The sub is not nether the Dominant’s coercive control. They are an adjacent subordinate successful the powerfulness exchange. That means that BDSM and kink and are each astir negotiation. "The treatment you person earlier play is the spot to explicit boundaries you some have, your expectations, and to acceptable the signifier for consent," Chiaramonte says. "This helps make steadfast boundaries earlier entering a dynamic."

Moali says that portion you should beryllium "sure you person a ‘safe word’ that you whitethorn usage during the country to instantly halt immoderate actions, it is [also] important to person periodic conversations astir your boundaries." When you’re caller to BDSM, you whitethorn not beryllium wholly definite of each bound you have. Feeling similar you’re harmless to research edges with the quality to accidental "no" erstwhile thing isn’t close is key.

Do not spell guardant successful a concern without having a speech first.

While each boundaries and scenes are negotiated, the Dom takes connected a batch of work wrong this dynamic. They are liable for the sub’s information — some mentally and physically. If you’re taking connected a Dom role, you request to beryllium extra-aware of the attraction you request to instrumentality to guarantee the sub’s boundaries are respected. As a Dom, you person been fixed the reins to power the scene. And this shouldn’t beryllium taken lightly.

Do not spell guardant successful a concern without having a speech first, Chiaramonte says. "If idiosyncratic asks to play earlier mounting immoderate benignant of dialog and boundaries, [that’s a] reddish flag," she explains.

This does not mean that the sub does not person power. Everything is highly negotiated and supplemented by the usage of a harmless word. A harmless connection is simply a non-sexual agreed upon connection oregon operation that indicates the sub has reached their limit. Once a harmless connection is invoked, the play stops - either wholly oregon for a break.

The value of aftercare post-kink play.

BDSM and kink scenes travel with the request for a large woody of concentration, a batch of affectional intensity, and carnal requirements (such arsenic dealing with pain, tying knots, etc.). "When we get heavy into sub-space oregon dom-space, we acquisition a precocious astir identical to that of drugs: We're stimulated, [have] heightened emotions, and tin consciousness successful different dimension," Chiaramonte tells us.

Subspace has been described arsenic akin to a heavy meditative authorities — which research shows(Opens successful a caller window) tin consciousness incredibly therapeutic and has tons of intelligence benefits. But due to the fact that this meditative authorities successful kink tin beryllium highly emotive, we request to instrumentality post-play into consideration. You request to instrumentality immoderate clip to "come down" from the scene. 

This is wherever aftercare comes in. 

Aftercare is erstwhile the Dom and sub person immoderate transportation time. This tin look similar cuddling, bringing the sub a solid of water, talking done the scene, and overmuch more. As with bound negotiation, you’ll request to instrumentality clip to fig retired what benignant of aftercare you and your partner(s) need.

Aftercare is important erstwhile doing BDSM due to the fact that it allows america to instrumentality to a authorities of equilibrium and calm aft peculiarly aggravated scenes. "Engaging successful aftercare fosters a consciousness of spot arsenic good arsenic providing a consciousness of connection," Moali says. 

Aftercare isn’t ever conscionable the Dom taking attraction of the sub. Sometimes the Dom has large post-scene emotions arsenic well. We each request attraction aft emotionally analyzable experiences; having empathy for that tin marque your kink experiences truthful overmuch better.

Learning caller dynamics is rewarding.

The D/s dynamics successful kink (and each sex) tin beryllium incredibly rewarding and connection an enriching mode to presumption your sexuality and intersexual experiences. Taking clip to afloat grasp the complexity and nuance associated with the roles we play successful enactment offers america greater penetration into who we are arsenic humans.

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