Kayla Lords hosts the third episode of Loving BDSM. This week's topic: what does a good Dominant look like? And no, we're not talking physical features.
Instead of focusing on the bad Doms, this episode celebrates the good ones out there. They don't have all the same traits and everyone wants and needs something a little different, but if your Dominant possesses even a few of these traits, you've probably got yourself a good one.
From this episode:
- Stalk John Brownstone online at southernsirsplace.com
- The warnings about the bad Dominants are important but we should also celebrate the good Dominants
- Kayla doesn't like the term "true" Dominant
- "Good" has nothing to do with looks, gender, sexuality, race, or any other physical characteristic.
- Some traits include patience, thoughtfulness, stability, and focus - among others.
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As always, if you have a question you want answered on the podcast or a topic suggestion, you can always contact me or John Brownstone. We'll answer you directly but we'll also maintain your anonymity when we discuss it on the show.
You're listening to the Loving BDSM podcast: episode 3. Today we’re talking about what a good Dominant looks like. Hey, everybody. Kayla Lords here. (John Brownstone has promised to make an appearance soon, and I'm holding him to it! Just not today.) Welcome to the Loving BDSM podcast. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming. The Loving BDSM podcast is produced every Friday for your kinky pleasure and education and show notes are found at kaylalords.com. Come back often and feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed or iTunes (once we're approved). You can also follow me on Twitter @KaylaLords or stalk John Brownstone at southernsirsplace.com. All links are in the show notes. Now, let’s get into the show.
So today we're talking about what makes a good Dominant.
Anyone who talks about BDSM and D/s spends a lot of time talking about the posers, wannabes, and fake Dominants. John Brownstone and myself included. Part of it is out of necessity. Every single day I come across someone who dropped every bit of common sense in the name of submission – these people need to hear and read the warnings about shitty wannabes who think that throwing out an order and smacking an ass equal Dominance.
Part of it, though, is because it's just easier to talk about. The bad ones do very common things – lie, cheat, become violent, ignore consent. You name it. They were assholes before they discovered BDSM. Now they're just assholes with a title and too many eager and willing victims.
What we don't talk a lot about is what makes a good Dominant. What does one look like? It's a harder picture to paint simply because we all want and need something a little different.
But I like a challenge. And sometimes I get tired of scaring people (no matter how needed it may be). Instead, I'd rather celebrate the good Dominants of the world. Everyone is a work in progress and your results might vary, but I believe regardless of gender, sexuality, race, looks, height, weight, whatever a good Dominant will have some if not all of these characteristics.
Oh, and for the record, I don't like the term “true” Dominant unless I'm comparing the real thing to the abusive asshole who uses Fetlife as a hunting ground. Good Dominants, though, are very real. Bad Dominants either have their own issues to work on or just need more education. The mark of a bad Dominant who can become a good Dominant is their willingness to listen, learn, and make changes. Oh, and really bad Dominants, the kind you warn strangers about? They're abusers, plain and simple. I don't even consider them Dominants, no matter what they call themselves.
Okay, so what does a good Dominant look like?
They're patient. There's a reason many of us compare our Dominants to wild animals. Ever see an animal in the wild on the hunt? They're patient as hell and wait for just the right moment to attack. A patient Dominant takes the time to get to know you as a person first. They might not even discuss kink until well into the relationship. They give you the time you need to become comfortable with them. But don't be fooled. If they're interested, they're definitely on the hunt.
They work for your trust. How does someone build trust? By being honest and consistent. A good Dominant is both. They understand it's not just the things they say but also how they behave. They do what they say they're going to do. They share the details of their life – good or bad. And, because they're patient, they know it takes time. In case you wondered, John Brownstone waited more than six months for me to fully trust him. It came in bits and pieces over time but it took that long.
They're stable. That means mentally and emotionally. Everyone gets mad, not everyone has to have a temper tantrum when they do it. Anyone can have an illness like depression or anxiety, not everyone uses unhealthy means to medicate or deal with the problem. See where I'm going with this? Anger management issues, addiction issues (that they aren't addressing and working on), mental illness they won't acknowledge – these aren't signs of stability. But the good Dominant will either already be stable or actively work to become that way. They understand that they can't be in control of another human being if they aren't in control of themselves first.
They aren't selfish. Okay, so on some level all Dominants are a bit selfish. Think about it – they prefer having all the control and getting exactly what they want. As long as they're only doing it with a willing partner, it's probably a healthy kind of selfish – if there is such a thing. But at the same time, they also understand that it's not all about them. The needs of you as their submissive are equally as important and in some cases, more important than their own. Outside of the kinky, rough play, I haven't met a Dominant yet who doesn't think of their submissive first in all things. All bets are off once you're hog-tied on the floor with the Hitachi strapped to you, of course. Now, they're selfishly basking in your pain and pleasure – and all that control. It gives me the shivers just thinkin about it...the good shivers, y'all.
They will focus on one person at a time, you. Okay, this has nothing to do with being poly. That's something completely different and I'm in NO way qualified to discuss it. I'm talking about in that beginning stage where it's time to get to know a person. The Dominant who's interested in you as a human being and a submissive will focus only on you. You won't find them talking to multiple submissives all at once. First of all, they probably have a job and a life so they don't have time for it. And second, they know that with their attention divided like that, they're not giving you everything you deserve.
They won't keep you on the side. Okay, I'm probably going to piss some people off, but I'm going to say it. If you're looking for a long-term, meaningful relationship that has some kind of future, a good Dominant won't keep you on the side while they maintain their vanilla married life. You will become part of their life and their universe. Before anyone gets up in arms, I know there are exceptions to that rule – marriages that are over minus the divorce paperwork, marriages that are loveless and you're both still there for the kids. But by and large if a Dominant is willing to keep a submissive on the side while refusing to leave a vanilla spouse, it's not a good sign.
Good Dominants have integrity. This goes back to that whole on-the-side thing. Good Dominants do what they say they're going to do. They keep their word to you and to other people. They do what's right even when it's difficult. Like ending a relationship that's not working – whether that's with you or someone else. Or like telling hard truths that no one wants to hear but they manage to do it with kindness.
Good Dominants take care of their submissives. Their reasons are as varied as they are. Maybe they consider you a possession – and if that's your kink and you agree, cool. You know, making sure they take care of their “toys.” Maybe it's a love match (like me and Daddy). Maybe it's just that they care about you as a human being and they see your care as part of their responsibilities as a Dominant. Whatever the reasons are, your health, well-being, and happiness are important to them.
Good Dominants communicate. It might not always be right when you want to talk about something, but they will talk. They understand that good communication is the bedrock of a D/s relationship. Without it, bad things happen. They'll tell you what they like, what they don't like, what they want, what they need. On the flipside, they expect you to talk to them. They need to know intimate details about your health, about your past, and about who you are as a person. They know that without that information from you, something could go horribly wrong when you play or scene. But they also know that open communication builds trust and relationships.
The last and maybe the most important sign of a good Dominant – and this becomes more important as you take things from talking to playing – is their understanding of consent. They know they can't do a thing without it, and they will work hard to gain it. They also check in before, during, and after any kinky play. If you throw out a safe word, they know to stop immediately and make sure you're okay. They will also respect your decision if you change your mind about a scene, an activity, or whatever else. Be prepared for a whole bunch of communication about it, though.
There are probably even more things I could say about good Dominants, based on my own amazing Daddy. He's quiet and unassuming and doesn't need to “act” Dominant in order to get attention. He's a leader when he needs to be but he's also comfortable following others, including me, when someone knows more than him. He wants to see me reach my goals, become a better person, and do the things that make me happy. He builds me up and doesn't tear me down – unless it's a kinky thing, which is something totally separate.
So my parting words this week are two-fold: If you know good Dominants, celebrate them. Thank them. Listen to them. Watch them. Use them as an example when you meet other Dominants. And secondly, if you haven't found a good one yet, don't give up. They're out there. You won't always recognize them because instead of ordering you to call them “Sir” from the first conversation, they're probably just asking how your day was. Don't mistake politeness for a lack of dominance. In fact, good Dominants are more polite and courteous than most other people you'll ever meet.
Okay, y'all, that's it for me this week. I have been told John Brownstone will be making an appearance next week. Let's keep our fingers crossed! Until then keep it kinky, y'all, and we'll be back next week!