Experienced s-type & New D-type

Welcoming partner

For those who don’t know, this past weekend was DomCon. I was teaching a 101 class the last day and was taking a few questions near the end. One question was about where best to start exploring as a couple. I was glad I asked a couple of questions of my own first. I said that it may depend on level of experience of both partners. I asked if the question was for two people who were both new to the scene. The man who had asked the original question answered that he and his female partner had different levels of experience. He had been in the scene for a while and she was brand new. I then asked what their dynamic was. He is the s-type, she the D-type.

SO glad I asked those questions. Here you have a fairly new relationship where the s-type has experience in the scene and is introducing their D-type to the dynamic and to the community. This situation can effect the dynamic if you aren’t aware or mindful.

I relate to this situation personally. First of all, if you look at my relationship history there are several times I have been in this situation. I call myself a recruiter. Lol It’s not on purpose – I just seem to meet/attract the newbies. (Even before I started teaching 101) My current relationship is no exception. We met at the munch that I host, however, he wasn’t a part of the munch – he just happened to be at the bar that I host the munch at. He had no idea who I was or what our group was about. Fortunately for me he was quite Dominant by nature as well as kinky (perhaps without realizing it). He had simply never been exposed to the scene or the concept of power exchange relationship dynamic.

In the beginning I was there to answer his questions, explain terms and concepts, take him to events, and introduce him to lots of other people in the community. What I realized after a bit, however, was that I didn’t want to be in the “teacher role” with him. In the personal dynamic we were supposed to be formulating he was supposed to be the leader, the teacher, the guide. By me taking that role due to our difference in experience, it began to feel like our D/s roles were somewhat reversed.

I got smart this time. I suggested he find someone (or more than one someone) to talk to and ask questions of. Specifically other D-types in the scene. Fortunately I call many of them friends and they have been very willing to support his journey through teaching and unofficial mentorship. Beyond developing these personal one-on-one relationships with other D-types, he has continued to go to classes and conferences. We talk about each class whether I attended along with him or not. It’s not that I don’t contribute my knowledge or continue to expose him to classes and other opportunities to learn and grow. However, if he needs assistance when it comes to the dynamic he has people to talk to besides me.

Quick example. I asked him if we could have a ritual to begin play because it helps transition my head space. His first instinct was to ask me what I wanted the ritual to be or ideas for him to create something. This was one of those things where I said I’d rather he talk to someone else for ideas, plan what he wants to do and then just TELL ME what the ritual WILL BE. This doesn’t mean I won’t provide feedback after my experience of said ritual or that it won’t necessarily get changed or tweaked. However, I don’t want to have input about everything. With this example I believe it became more clear to him about which things to discuss with me and which to discuss elsewhere.

So, ultimately, my answer for that couple was for them to discuss things they liked (he knew already) or things they (or she) were interested in exploring. And for her to focus on making other D-type friends, specifically female D-types, so that she wasn’t relying on him for all the answers.

Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening. Read more about Jennifer on her blog, A Kink Shrink.


  1. Bulinda says:

    I wish i had this info months ago! it would have saved the learning curve for both of us! we made it through oddly enough following a similar pattern but was super tough.

  2. Dominay (on Fetlife) says:

    I love to “recruit” from the vanilla world. I can teach Dominance but I prefer to start everyone out as a s-role. Where people fall on the spectrum isn’t as important as having the experience and wisdom to Top or bottom in a scene.


    Lady Jennifer
    I love the use of a ritual to begin my play., I am 6 foot 4 and use an armoir that places my Slavegirl up on a pedestal as I groove underneath her as this places her slightly above me. I want to see her smile, look into her eyes some then move her back to me as I make love to kissing no mans land whispering in her ear reminding her how lucky I am to have her. Her collar covers her neckline which is my favorite area to kiss. I want to place her personal cuffs on her and hear her sweet voice everytime one of her locks closes. I want to go back to kissing no mans land before placing her collar on her and bringing her down off the pedestal into my loving arms for a hug. She follows my protocol of not let her heels touch the floor and I don’t even have to remind her of that. Her slavery session begins right as she dismounts the pedestal. Do You have any advice for how I can improve this ritual I use?

  4. Read several of the articles, and found them to be very informative and thought provoking. For about 25 years, i was strictly Dominant. Have been in my current relationship for more than 20 years, and for the past year i have chosen to be submissive to my partner. Have always been close and played hard. This must be a culture shock for Her. She has not had the chance to cultivate any D-type friendships, and now we are stuck in a small rural town without transportation. There are few opportunities for meeting others of like-mind except online. W/we are fortunate to be very close as this major a change would severely strain O/our lifestyle relationship. Thanks for the articles, please keep them coming.

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