In a previous, contentious article, “Predator Pro-Dommes,” I warned against a new breed of faux Pro-Dommes invading the BDSM world post “Fifty Shades.” Although the response was largely positive (and most who excoriated me did not carefully read what I wrote), I admitted one major error, and I quote: “If there is one large error that I made, it was to not add that there are predatory male Doms out there too. And I will likely write about that.” Well, here it is! This article is addressed SPECIFICALLY to subs (male or female) who are looking for a male Dominant.
When any person interested in being a sub enters the BDSM lifestyle, they invariably hear the word “trust” mentioned a lot. Obviously, once you consent to being tied up, you must trust your Dominant. In a D/s relationship, you trust that his decisions will be, on balance, good ones. Thus, the statement that “D/s is based on trust” has a lot of truth within it.
In our lifestyle, and in interpersonal relationships in general, trust is one of the hardest things to judge. “Can I trust him?” is a tough question to answer. In a society where people meet total strangers online, it is hard to know whom to have confidence in. Can examining different aspects of “trust” shed light on how to spot an incompetent or – worse still – a Predator Dom? Let’s give it a try.
As I see it, there are two kinds of trust. The first type is what I term “scening trust.” The beauty of BDSM play is that it sets up an objective way to evaluate this area of trust. After a few scenes, you can assess the “trust level” of just about any dominant by answering the following questions.
1.Is the Dom as skillful as he first claimed to be? Did the dominant exaggerate his skill level? Did he answer your pre-scening questions truthfully? Were there any “truth” red flags? This is not only a question to determine how well suited a dominant is to you, but it also answers questions about his basic integrity.
2.Did the Dom allow a safe word? I personally believe that a couple can eventually dispense with a safe word – but only after they know how they play. But, if a dominant categorically refuses to allow the use of a safe word in your initial scenes, trust is an issue.
3.Did the Dom stop immediately upon hearing your safe word? If the answer is “no,” trust can be totally killed.
4.Was the Dom interested in your well-being? Or was he totally self-indulgent even at the peril of safety?
5.Did the Dom exude an aura of competence that made you feel safe? When the play gets more edgy – such as needle play — the level of requisite trust escalates. Do you trust him to keep you safe in all play situations?
If your answers to the five questions are all positive ones, you are off to a good start. And, if your situation is a play-only deal, you can just evaluate trust from strictly scening point of view.
It is in the area of emotional trust that the lines often become blurred. It is in this area where “Predator Doms” lurk. What makes an “unsafe emotional player” is a totally subjective call. Yet, this is at least as important a criterion as “scene trust.” In the emotional trust area, I propose five more questions that must be answered before you can begin to trust a potential Dom.
1.Did the Dom lie to you at any time? This is pretty basic stuff. But, one must be super-vigilant at the beginning. I am not saying, “One strike and you’re out!” There can be extenuating circumstances or the lie might be a forgivable one (at the option of the lie-ee.) But, honesty is the foundation of trust.
2.Did the Dom bum-rush you with an “insta-collar?” This can be fun; I am open-minded. But, it not the most effective way to establish trust which, like it or not, is built up over time.
3.Does the Dom make any demands that seem unreasonable? Although this is #3, this might be the key to spotting a “Predator Dom.” If a potential dominant says, “Give me your paycheck,” “Slaves have no property” or something similar right off the bat, you can bet establishing trust is not his first priority. Hold on to your wallet. Unless you REALLY want to give him your wallet! (This is all consensual, you know.) But don’t complain to me if you wind up penniless.
4.Is the Dom totally open with you? Does the Dom avoid certain questions or shade the truth? Does he address your concerns in a straightforward manner?
5.Does the Dom have other Dom friends who can vouch for him? If you are trusting someone with your life, you might as well find out if this person has peers who can vouch for him. When I met my current slave, I had her meet Sire Kane, of Lair deSade and other Doms. This is not a requirement, but it is part of a profile that you should put together when you want to submit on a high level.
If you break down trust in this two-part way – play trust and emotional trust – you can evaluate your potential dominant’s “trust factor” in a more objective way. In this way, you can protect your body, your psyche and even your property!
In this post “Fifty Shades” era, with many new players entering the scene who have movie-level concepts of what BDSM is, one cannot be too careful. I am not an alarmist. On the other hand, being too careful is never a bad thing. “Better safe than sorry” is an old aphorism that still has value.
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.
Being in this “biz” (scene) since 1980, I’ve seen a lot of things being done and being called this and/or that. One thing that all that experience has taught me is …there are no generalizations in the BDSM Communities.
I know the goal here is for submissives (new and experienced) not get hurt by any Dom, let alone Predator Doms. Yes Predator Doms do exist. I’ve seen horrible examples of them — with really bad results left in their wake. Predator Dom density in any given Community might make for an interesting sociological study (and there are some groups starting to do serious, bona fide, rigorous, peer reviewed studies in this, but they’re few and far between now), but it don’t mean squat if you’re a submissive that have been hurt (hopefully only in feelings and trust – not physically and/or emotionally scared). And because I’m neither a submissive or a female, I don’t have the personal experience of being such a victim to make generalizations, but I have had to watch bad processes exhibit, or also offer comfort friends who have been such victims. I’ve even acted as a bodyguard while a friend moved her stuff out of an abusive situation. It’s been my fortunate experience, however, that most people in the Communities act like responsible, respectful adults, and there are few who either don’t even come into a Community or they don’t stay long because the “pick’ns” aren’t that good.
Certainly the above list is an important start, but it’s neither foolproof nor totally devoid of false positives. One of the better ways of protection would be to join a Community (the entry into which is usually through munches). In Communities people know each other and watch out for each other. Once you get to know the others in the Community — and they get to know you — referrals, recommendations, and evaluations not only can be shared but also to which you can contribute to. Foolproof? Not always, but you vastly improve your chances for successfully meeting a Dom(s) that you can enjoy and trust.
The “scene” is an exciting and rewarding place to be and enjoy your kink. It’s worth your effort to explore it and grow from it. Often you get more out of it that you put into it, and what you put into it is appreciated and helps others grow and experience.
Ol’ Fart signing off…
M Forrest says
our lifestyle is not very conducive to calling out actual predators. then it turns into a witch hunt. i wish there was a better way
Since none of us want a “witch hunt,” and we all support freedom of lifestyle choice, the only way is through education. Of course, heavy handed “preaching-style”education is not the answer either. What I personally opt for is exactly what I am attempting here — some easy-to-digest, fun to read list-style articles that make us better prepared to evaluate situations and thus make better decisions.