(Note: As always, this column is written from the MaleDom/femsub perspective. Others are perfectly viable, but this is the one with which I’m most familiar., and thus which I write from YMMV)</i>
There are false Doms among us, at our munches, at our parties, our sloshes, on our kinky social media site, on our dating sites, at our favorite coffee shop. Some of them don’t know they’re fake, others do and don’t care, and a few of them are just using your kink as a gateway to get what they want.
They’ll pretend to know what they’re doing, they’ll lie to you about skills they don’t have, they’ll pay lip service to your needs while having no intention of fulfilling them.
They’re abusers and bullies in Dom’s clothing.
Most of them are dangerous, some more than others. A very select few, perhaps less than one percent, are deadly.
Learning to spot them is your best defense. In your arsenal are any number of tools. Your local community can be the best; ask around. If someone has a bad reputation that doesn’t seem based on personal peccadillos or vendattas, perhaps you should give them a pass.
Then there’s always your own intuition, a gut feeling. If it’s telling you to run the other way, do so. You’ll always get a second chance if you’re mistaken, if they’re the real deal. But if they’re not, you could wind up with a lifetime of regrets.
Then there are the red flags. No single red flag is necessarily a signal to stay away. But an aggregate of them could well be. Keep this (inevitably incomplete) list in mind when evaluating a potential Dom.
– Dick pics: This one is pretty basic. One, perhaps two pics of a particularly impressive member are probably okay. But if anything over 5% of their pics are of their massively erect penis, you may want to look elsewhere. An extra red flag if their ego possesses them to use it as their profile pic.
– Vague profile: Not everyone can put together a crackerjack profile, but if theirs is minimally filled out, or leads with the classic, “I’m an open book, ask me anything!” then they’re likely hiding something or have a distinct lack of the sort of self awareness good Doms tend towards.
– An inordinate focus on sex: Certainly, sex can be a part of a scene, but BDSM can also be about a great deal more. Someone who seems almost myopically focused on sex, when you’re rather indifferent, can simply be a horny guy looking to get his dick wet.
– Pet names too soon: If they almost immediately start calling you by affectionate sobriquets such as honey, puppy, darling, or move very quickly towards vulgarities such as bitch, cunt, or slut, then it’s likely they’re more interested in their own gratification at the expense of yours. Speaking of which…
– Places their own gratification over yours: You should always both leave a scene mutually gratified; indeed, many Doms will value the gratification of the sub over their own. If you feel that their needs are always being met while you’re left hanging, It’s likely that they’re all about themselves.
– Poor negotiation skills: While it’s important that a Dom tell you about themselves as well as their skills and experience, the good ones will spend the time to suss out who you are, what your experience level is, and what you’re looking for. Even if you’re the greenest of newbies they’ll take the time to understand just how much you’re looking to get your feet wet, as well as exactly how. If they seem more focused and determined as to what they’ll be doing to you then what you actually want, then they’re likely more interested in self gratification than an actual scene.
– Moves from 0 to 60 way too fast: If someone starts immediately whacking at you with their biggest, baddest toy, and doesn’t take the time to warm you up slowly, determining your limits and doing their best to work within them, then they could simply be a sadist who’s looking for indulge their own jollies.
– Aftercare: The best Doms will do their best to get you what you need after a scene, even perhaps going so far as to check in the next day. If you’re new your specific aftercare needs can be somewhat nebulous, but experienced Doms will still have a checklist of things that are relatively common and will work to ensure that your cool down is as satisfying as your warm up.
This list is simply the tip of the proverbial iceberg; there’re a great many more that you’ll discover as you move into the scene. Always remember to trust your instincts, your peers, and your friends. And keep in mind that it’s about mutual pleasure. If you leave your scene feeling worse than when you arrived, then you could be looking at someone who’s more a selfish abuser, a bully, than an actual Dom.
Stay informed, stay aware, and stay safe.
PirateStan has been involved in his local BDSM community since 2007, after having had a lifelong inclination towards it. He currently lives a contented life in Southeastern Virginia with his girl, zeirah, while working by day for a Major Metropolitan Publication.