Guest blog: How I learned to love being dominant

Image by the excellent Stuart F Taylor

I love being a submissive. Although I play in a dominant mode sometimes, I tend to be most comfortable at the absolute rock-bottom of the power hierarchy. And as a sub who desperately wants people to use and degrade me, I’m always fascinated by how those fantasies look from those who perform the degradation. What is it that appeals about being dominant? How does it feel to perform the kind of acts that I love, when you have to be the one wielding cruelty? This week’s fabulous guest blog is written by a dominant guy – who has guest blogged beautifully here before – in response to a question I asked about this. I love being submissive, but what does it mean to love being dominant? I’m so grateful to him for his thoughtful (and extremely hot) response, and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did.

How I learned to love being dominant

I’ve always been experimental. I slept around at uni enough to consider myself a bit of a slut at the time, and went from having slept with one person before uni to being in threesomes and foursomes by my second year. But I didn’t really get BDSM, and certainly not being dominant.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked a bit of kink – a girlfriend had some handcuffs and it turned out I really enjoyed being able to bring someone right to the teasing brink of orgasm and then stopping. Repeatedly. To the point of frustration and then relief when I finally followed through. The whole holding down, spanking, beating, choking while whispering sordid, degrading filth in their ear, though? That seemed a couple of steps too far. I didn’t want to hurt someone or control them.

But I was experimental and open to things. Strangely, I’d ended up going to a BDSM club without any inkling that this was something I was into. I worked in a venue which turned out to quietly be rented out to a (fairly expensive) BDSM group once a month. This had broken in the local news and the people who ran the group decided one way to run some damage limitation with the venue was to invite the staff – so they could see what it actually was rather than what they were imagining.

We could bring our partners, and were asked to dress appropriately (which mainly meant wearing black) and that we could ask questions as long as we didn’t get in the way of what anyone was doing. In the changing room beforehand, a dominatrix laid out half a dozen enormous floggers along with other toys. They looked absolutely brutal, and I couldn’t help but ask “but… doesn’t that really hurt?”

In response, she told me to put my hand out and trust her. I looked around at my colleagues, and nervously did so – at which point she brought the enormous leather straps down on my hand, which made a hell of a smacking sound but I barely felt it. She pointed out that sometimes it was as much about the trust and illusion of pain as it was about actually causing damage.

Later on, as a woman had her arse soundly thrashed by two men, someone else explained the concept of agreements and limits. “They’re doing exactly what she’s asked for, to exactly the level she wants.”

We had fun with it, and it was an education. We did try some stuff – I ended up tied to a crucifix while my girlfriend flogged my back (leaving a painful set of welts down my side, as the flogger curled round and licked my side each time – turned out it wasn’t that much of an illusion).

It didn’t work for me, as game as I was. And while I liked the aesthetics and the exhibitionist nature of it, I spent the entire time trying to identify with the people on the receiving end. And trying to understand why they got off on it. The thought of being dominant didn’t cross my mind.

That came a little later.

“Get rough with me”

I was introduced to being dominant by an ex of mine when I was 21. We saw each other for a few months and while we were fond of each other, we didn’t have much in common. The sex was really good though, and that kept us both interested in seeing each other for a while longer than I think we would have done otherwise.

Except one time, when something just seemed to frustrate her and I couldn’t quite figure out what. We were sat in a bath in a small, claustrophobic bathroom filled with steam, and she told me that she was frustrated because she felt teased.

“I thought you were going to get rough with me.”

I misunderstood at first, and thought she was saying that she was worried I was going to get rough with her, but she explained properly.

“I want you to be rough with me. I want you to pull my hair and slap me and make me take it while I struggled. I thought you were going to do it this time and you didn’t.”

This didn’t necessarily freak me out, but I wasn’t comfortable with it either. I said I’d try, but I wasn’t sure if I was comfortable treating her like that. Hell, I wasn’t comfortable treating anyone like that.

She agreed that we’d communicate throughout, and if either of us got uncomfortable, we’d stop. That made me comfortable enough to try it.

The first time I slapped her, I asked how that was, terrified that I’d done it too hard. She smiled and told me I could go harder than that.

Turned out I could go a lot harder than that.

I pinned her down with her wrists crossed behind her back, and alternated between pulling her hair and slapping her arse hard while I fucked her. At one point, when she struggled, I stopped and checked she was okay. She was, and told me she’d be really clear if she needed me to stop. So the more she struggled, the more I kept her in place.

It was a long, hot fuck, and ended with us both dripping sweat, exhausted and grinning. It was intense, and it was that intensity that made everything click into place.

BDSM is a shared thing

When I’d tried to understand the attraction of BDSM before that, I’d centred myself too much. It wasn’t about what I got out of it. It was about what the other person got out of it, and that felt freeing. This meant I was more comfortable exploring it in future, and it definitely helped me to become more open-minded. Over the years, I’ve figured out why it appeals to me so much and why it’s been important to me.

It’s about intensity, communication and contact. It’s about the times when someone has been able to describe exactly what they want to be done to them, and seen the cogs turn in my head. It’s been about discussing the fantasies in detail, and finding new, fucked-up ways of twisting them to make them even more intense – wrong in all the right ways. About organically exploring them together and having the trust in each other to do so safely.
One of the most amazing things about it is when one of you explains something you want to do, and managing to get across why it’s hot – which then makes it hot for the other person. It’s understanding, accepting and encouraging that desire.

It’s also a responsibility. The way I think of myself as dominant is as a facilitator. The other person’s safety is your responsibility, as is their pleasure. Making sure you’re keeping up with their (dis)comfort and that communication and monitoring is consistent – both in terms of knowing when to stop, and when to ramp it up to the next level at the right unanticipated moment.

A friend of mine described me once as a Service Top, which I found interesting. Finding a perfect description is always difficult though – I definitely enjoy elements of sadism and cruelty, but I did identify with the specific focus on the other person’s needs and pleasure. My focus has always been on what the other person wants and the other person’s pleasure – it’s just an extra turn-on for me if that involves rough, degrading play. The other person’s desires are a focus, but also permission for me to enjoy these things and find them cathartic.

I want to be in control, but within agreed parameters, and ideally following long conversations and fantasy-swapping, so I can deliver an experience that’s really focused on them. Work on their fantasies and encourage new ones.

But BDSM is a bonus, not a fundamental. I’ve been in relationships where it hasn’t been a factor because the person I’m seeing isn’t into it. The idea of someone doing something they don’t want to just because I do, horrifies me – the intensity of this kind of play means it has to be genuine, otherwise I’m just getting rough with someone and degrading them. And that’s not what it’s about. I don’t really fantasise about being dominant with people unless I know it’s welcome. I don’t have any interest in projecting it onto someone.

Overall, I’m all about the shared experience. That doesn’t have to involve rough kinky sex, but it’s a particular turn-on for me when it does. What I really get off on is the intensity and the connection. And being able to provide something unique to the person I’m playing with. Built on their fantasies and turn-ons, and my own, and how they interact.

It’s a shared thing, not my thing.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.