This article is intended for those of you who have been a Dom/me for a while. (If you are a newbie, I have written an article for new Doms: https://www.kinkweekly.com/article-baadmaster/tips-new-dommes/ If you are interested in advanced D/s theory check out: https://www.kinkweekly.com/article-baadmaster/advanced-ds-theory/ ) Many of you have gotten to the “first plateau” in your BDSM journey. And it is at precisely this stage, when you know a lot but still have some questions, that you might need some pointers. These tips are culled from a group of questions that are the most frequently asked of me — both in person and on this site — by experienced Dominants. These are issues that you might not want to talk to fellow Doms about; or there might not be articles about them on the Internet. But many of you have experienced – or will experience – these types of dilemmas.
Here is a troublesome predicament that greets many a BDSM play-based Dominant who collars – or otherwise commits to a LTR – a submissive after having been together for a while. The Dominant, in scenes, finds that he/she does not play “as hard” after becoming a “serious” couple. Oft times the way it is phrased is, “I cannot bring myself to mark my submissive during play anymore.” This is especially true when the Dom is not a sadist, in the strict sense of the word.
This is what I refer to as “Prized Possession Syndrome.” Before claiming the sub, you flogged, caned or paddled the submissive for as long and as hard as you desired (unless the sub safed, of course) with few other considerations. You were both trying to please yourself and simultaneously impress the sub. And the submissive was impressed – because he/she accepted your collar.
There were few other factors at this point other than the play itself. But once you became committed to the sub, other considerations became part of your play. You now might not want to mark or otherwise harm – no matter how lightly – your “prized possession.” You might be more self-conscious of what you perceive your sub’s opinion of you will be. Yet your submissive just might really want you to “do it the way you used to do it.”
The best way to deal with this is to understand that this is a very common problem. Just be aware of it and negotiate your scenes a little more carefully. State that, “I am going to go harder on you this time, like when we met” and, once you submissive consents, be as aggressive as you were when you first were scening. If the submissive knows you are aware that you have been hitting less forcefully or tied the rope looser, you eliminate the risk of the submissive “topping from the bottom” in mid-scene to prod you to return to the ways the submissive liked. (You never want to hear “You hit like a girl/boy.”) Stay in control of the scene. And the best way to stay in control is for the submissive to know you are aware of what you are doing – both when you go light and when you decide to go heavy.
Another thing I hear from Doms in 24/7 D/s relationships is what I call, “Dom/me Fatigue.” To paraphrase an expression, “Dommin’ ain’t easy.” Taking responsibility – “owning a slave” in D/s parlance – is quite a task. But is it any more work than having a vanilla partner? And the vanilla partner offers far less in terms of what you need than a submissive one does. The trick here lies in what your definition of 24/7 is. If 24/7 means – and it does to some – micromanaging every moment of the slave’s time, then you will probably be exhausted. It comes with the territory. There is nothing I can offer to change that. But most Doms do not want to micromanage – yet they do want to be in charge overall. All D/s relationships are different, of course, but the principles remain the same. And to be able to maintain a 24/7 Master/slave relationship over a long period of time, one must have “breathing room.” The tendency is for Doms who reach the “first plateau” with respect to experience is to want to do too much. Much like the quarterback who wants to call every play, this Dom will soon find himself exhausted. And the whole thing will cease to be fun.
The best way to deal with “Dom fatigue” is to realize that once you have collared your slave, you have done most of the hard work. (This might not be true in high-protocol relationships.) Let the power exchange work for you. Have fun with it. If you need a day off, simply take it. You are the Dom/me – and that allows you to pace your relationship as you see fit. 24/7 does not have to literally mean twenty-four hours seven days a week. It can mean that you own your slave full time; but you do not have to be Domming him/her every second of every day. If you have a particularly needy slave and you find it draining, train him/her to be more self-sufficient. To repeat, and this is VERY important, “You are the Dom/me.” And although it comes with responsibilities, it also enables you to structure the relationship as you wish. Once you get the rhythm down, you will find that being a Dominant is not, and should not be, that draining. It should actually be an awful lot of fun. And fun is still the aim of BDSM!
About the Author
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.
Mimsy Borogoves says
Regarding prized possession syndrome, I actually see this as something more troubling in many cases, particularly those in which the Dom is a man and the sub is a woman. Namely, I think it can be a manifestation of Madonna/whore complex, meaning as the Dom develops deeper feelings for the sub, he becomes less able to engage in the level of BDSM he could at the beginning. Undoing this involves recognizing that women can be both “whores” (in the sex positive sense) and respectable, lovable people at the same time.
Mimsy…good analysis. And this is more widesspread, as you stated, amongst male Doms and female subs. One solution I have noticed (and one which I tried) is for the Dom to have two subs — one for sex/light play and the other for harder BDSM floggings/markings and such. In my case it was trading one problem — “Prized Possession Syndrome” — for another — having now the problem of keeping two subs happy. As I said in the article, “Domming Ain’t Easy!””
Agreed…great advice. It’s speaking to me personally. Cheers
Thanks for the kind words!
Great advice Baadmaster!
Glad I could help!