BDSM Info Submissive

Top 10 Signs He’s an Asshole, Not a Dominant

Top 10 Signs He's an Asshole, Not a Dominant

For all the single submissives out there looking for love, I get it. No really, I do. You yearn to submit to a Dominant, and it seems like finding the right one is nearly impossible. Many of you will take what you can get because you don’t think you deserve better. Others don’t seem to know the difference between genuine affection or interest and the assholes who are waiting in wings for you.

I often go on lengthy diatribes about what’s okay and what isn’t between a Dominant and a submissive. I also frequently go on rants because people are made to feel that normal, healthy desires or sexual activities can’t have a place in BDSM. For anyone who doesn’t have the time for all that, here’s a handy-dandy list of what separates the Dominants from the assholes so you’ll know one when you find them.

Note: This is directed at male Dominants for two reasons. One, that’s my main experience, and two, I’ve never heard of FemDoms pulling this kind of crap. If they do, share with me in the comments below so everyone can be aware.

  1. He demands you call him Sir or Master from the moment you meet. You’re a submissive, not his submissive. I advocate being respectful until he gives you a reason not to be, but anyone who demands a title before it’s earned needs to be ignored.
  2. He starts out an introduction with a dick pic. No Dominant is going to send you this without some sort of agreement between the two of you. It’s just not going to happen.
  3. He sends you unsolicited instructions of how to please him or orders to obey. Did you talk about this list? Was there communication and consent? If not, this is just another poser.
  4. He ignores your hard limits. Don’t just walk away from this loser, fucking run. Ignoring your clearly identified and communicated limits is the sign of an asshole and an abuser. A Dominant will push your limits, sure, but not without first talking to you – a lot.
  5. He disregards your safe word. Yes, some Dominants out there claim not to play with a safe word. I find that dicey but won’t pass too much judgment. If you use a safe word, though, it should be respected. Ignoring this is just more abuse.
  6. He lies. I know some people will say that everyone lies. White lies to save face or feelings. Most Dominants I know are honest to a fault. Think about it. How can you communicate openly and honestly if you’ll lie about things – big or small? John Brownstone doesn’t lie; he simply refrains from speaking until the time is right to tell the truth. I can respect that.
  7. He thinks more about his pleasure than your own. Caveat: if you’ve negotiated a relationship where this is acceptable to both of you (yes, that’s possible), that’s okay. Not my kink, but okay. I’m referring to the jerk who gets off and then ignores you or doesn’t listen when you tell him your preferences.
  8. He makes you feel bad about yourself. I’m not talking about a humiliation fetish in the middle of a scene or even as part of an on-going relationship. I’m talking about the soul-sucking, self-esteem shattering bullshit that makes you feel less than human and unworthy of love and affection. D/s should build you both up, not tear you down.
  9. He separates you from family and friends. Okay, let’s be honest here. Some people are just bad for us. They make us feel bad and doubt our self worth. I don’t mean those people. I’m talking about loving relationships with friends and family. A good Dominant wants a happy, healthy submissive – and isolating you from people who care about you won’t achieve that. Frankly, it will simply show that he’s selfish and, most likely, insecure.
  10. He tells you that you’re not a “real” submissive because you have your own opinions. In a D/s relationship, how you express those opinions will vary based on your consensual, negotiated agreement but you should always have your own opinions. The other flavor that goes with this one is that you’re not a real submissive because you’re too independent, aggressive, or (best of all) not willing to do what you’re told by someone you just met who claims to be a Dominant. (Insert big, fat eyeroll.)

Assuming you’re online when these things occur (and it usually does), I also think you can be proactive in dealing with these men. First of all, you are under no obligation to reply to a message that includes anything you find offensive. If you tell them to stop or to leave you alone, you can and should ignore them. You don’t have to continue following or being “friends” with these people online. The unfollow, unfriend, and block features are all there for a reason. Use them. If it crosses over to harassment, you should report them to whichever site you’re on.

Once you’re in a relationship, you must remember that you’re free to end it. You are allowed to withdraw your consent. If he doesn’t listen, he’s no longer acting as a Dominant. Now he’s an abuser. And he should be treated as such – even if that means getting the law involved. Your physical, emotional, and mental well-being truly are that important.

If someone does a couple of the things on this list, they might (but I doubt it) simply be too new to understand how D/s really works. I’d give them the benefit of the doubt, but I’d also move on and not engage with them. Let them learn the hard way – or end up alone, either way works for me. When you come across the guy who does most of these things, he’s not a Dominant. He’s an asshole. Don’t waste your time or breath on him.

You are worth more than that, and you need to remember it and believe it.

Was this post meaningful and helpful? You might enjoy my website dedicated to BDSM and helping people have better D/s relationships – Loving BDSM – a blog and weekly podcast devoted to helping people find and enjoy healthier D/s relationships and kinky lives. Check it out at



About the author

Kayla Lords

I am an erotic author, sex blogger, podcaster, freelance writer, an opinionated marketer, and speaker. You can find me online sharing my innermost sexual thoughts and experiences, teaching other bloggers how to make money writing about sex, and helping kinksters have healthy BDSM relationships. I'm also a masochistic babygirl submissive with an amazing and sadistic Daddy Dom and business partner, John Brownstone. Welcome to my kinky corner of the internet!


  • Kayla love this. Believe me I have had those who demand I call them Sir/Master on line – no sorry don’t know you well enough yet.

    Telling me what to wear or not to wear when I am talking to them online – no sorry – although in my naivity have done this in the past but only when I have been “chatting” to them for a while – yes I know daft. (you can tell I’m English lol)

    Anyway thanks for the 10 simple rules.

    Sue xx

    • I think it’s easy to get drawn in to some of this, especially when you feel like you may have a rapport with someone, but many people forget that being submissive doesn’t mean being a doormat and someone doesn’t automatically gain control because they give themselves the title “Dom.” Glad you’ve learned from past mistakes – that’s really what matters. ((HUGS))

  • Wise, wise words! There’s so much bullshit out there. I really think subs need to use vanilla “boyfriend material” rules when seeking a Dom. Yes, you want the dynamic and kink, but yiu cqn’t just be in tgat 24/7. There really is so much more to life than forced orgasms and shibari. Is this someone you can introduce to your friends and family and then later they give you the thumbs up? Is this the guy that will allow you shine at your high school reunion? Is this someone you would simply just be friends with if you met him under different circumstances? Would he care for you if you had the flu? Would he read your all-time favorite book so he could relate to you better? I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Does he want the real you or just any submissive he can jerk off to on Skype while his wife is at the school bake sale?

  • Excellent. I think people believe many of these things are okay because the nature of D/s is transgressive. You still need stable people and stability and sanity even in the midst of transgressive play or lifestyle. I’m not using transgressive in a way to imply abnormal but in a way to say not mainstream (for the record).

    • I think so, too. Some people think anything is allowed in BDSM and D/s, even if they hate it or would never allow it in their vanilla life. Anything goes – if there’s consent, and only if there’s consent.

  • As a former submissive and current switch/Domme, I could write volumes on this. I’m glad you did. You could write the exact same things about potential male “submissives” or switches who mostly just want to top from the bottom. Their dominance dies hard, I guess. Just yesterday, I had a play partner “tell” me what to do to him, when and how to do it, and then refuse to reciprocate after I’d given him permission to cum. Even Dommes have to learn as we go. That sh** will NOT happen again.

    I’ll be honest with your readers. I let something happen called “D/s gravity”. I let so much setting and anticipatory play go on before setting rules and limits, that my libido was on overdrive when we finally met. All I wanted was to strip him naked and have my way with him – gravity in action. Then when he started pulling my hair, and biting me, my submissive side rolled out and begged for more. Since I hadn’t had sex in a while, it was a recipe for D/s fail.

    Live and learn 🙂

    • Live and learn, indeed.

      Clearly Dominants can be passionate and enjoy their own pleasure, but they also seem to have this ability to appear that they’re holding themselves apart from the situation. Not a Dom so I don’t know how they do it, or if it’s simply perception.

      On that other note, I think I could easily write a list of what not to do as a submissive. Male subs may do that (wow, to say the least) but many female subs I’ve seen will be the first to cry and shout if their Doms aren’t giving them every single thing they want – as if they’ve somehow forgotten this is a power exchange. Le sigh.

      Oh, and in other news, I was in a workshop the other night, and heard something interesting. In D/s (after consent/negotiation/etc.) the Dominant controls the scene, play, whatever and any attempt to guide or direct by the submissive is topping from the bottom. However (and here’s where my ears perked up), when it’s a top and bottom thing, it’s perfectly okay for a bottom to guide and direct based on what they like or prefer. Food for thought when you’re playing.

  • Kayla, This is Such a great post.

    There are too many women and men looking for the so called perfect Fifty shades experience/relationship.

    The problem is they are playing with fire.

    It’s a perfect disaster waiting to happen. These people are only finding perfect ASSHOLE’s. And the abuse we are hearing about is rising.
    I’m Re-posting now… 🙂

    • Thanks, Annie.

      Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that needs to be said…a lot, by multiple people. And even then, people will still find themselves the victims.

  • These guys mess it up for us real Dom’s. My current baby girl had a “Dom” like this, and a “daddy” that really messed her up. Most submissives, and especially littles are very sensitive and impressionable. Please don’t think these prices are what real Dom’s are all about!

  • A Very Good list, Congrats!

    I Would add this D/s relationship or in between, has to be based on Mutual Respect like any other relationship.

    There are a Lot of Jerks or plain Immature Douches who dont Respect Women and would gladly take advantage.

    When a relationship, even This type (even at times we are turned on by Humiliation and other stuff combined, Pleasure and Pain) Its Beautiful to me. If You have Respect for it and are Mature enough to handle” It

    It Can be mutual Beautiful experience.

    p.s You are lucky. If U have found Someone compatible. Whom you can Play with 🙂

  • In my time, I’ve found a few women that claimed to be Dommes that did fit a fair number of the criteria. The WORST offender had the habit of tricking people, especially other Doms and Dommes, into a blackmail situation and then forcing slavery on them. I helped her Domme slave out of her situation but was unable to help the Dom she had snared in that he was too wrapped up and too afraid of what she had on him. Honestly, with the exception of a couple that are specifically about D/s, I’ve met quite a few vanilla man and women that fit a lot of these and always thought that they were the bad half of an abusive relationship.

  • It can never be stressed enough: Talk, talk, talk…and more talk!!! All BEFORE meeting or having a session!!! Always do your due diligence to protect yourself.


  • Oh, Kayla, I am so thankful I ran across this piece and your amazing insight. I am really struggling, as both a novice sub and someone I met recently who is sending major mixed signals as a prospective dom. At the end of our first phone conversation, he told me what color panties to wear the next day. At the end of our second phone conversation, he asked me to take photos of my breasts and to call him “sir,” and said now I was “his.” He asked me to fill out a BDSM “negotiation” questionnaire but said I could bring no terms to the negotiating table. Then he texted me and asked “how’s my pussy doing tonight.” For the last several days, his texts are few and far between, other than to say “wear red tomorrow” followed by “good girl” if I text him a photo of my panty color choice. He gave me writing assignments but no feedback (or acknowledgment that I even did them), suggested I could only wear dresses around him, and that when I was in town I had better be ready to f!@#$k. This feels like every garden-variety man who ever blew me off after seeing my full-body photo. Is this what he’s talking about when he says he enjoys the mind f#$%^k of BDSM? Honestly, I do not know what to think. He says he is an old-school dom, looking for someone to join his house. But everything I read suggests he is not quite on point as a master. I mean, how can he say I’m his when he doesn’t actually know me and frankly doesn’t seem interested at all in getting to know me? Am I just a hole? In the end, I’ve always observed a man’s actions, not his words, and when a man is interested, he’s calling, texting, et cetera. This dom isn’t. The idea of seeing him, having a sexual “scene” and then him vanishing seems a likely outcome, not at all what I’m interested in as a novice. Please help me understand what I need to do, or think, I feel so confused.

    • Your instincts are dead on. That behavior is filled with red flags. I know old school doms and they do NOT behave that way until it’s been negotiated and agreed to.

      You are right in paying attention to what he does instead of what he says.

      Demands without communication? Bad.
      No follow up on what you’ve done? Bad.
      Deciding you belong to him with no negotiation? Bad.

      None of this is good. I can’t tell you what to do but I will tell you if you’re asking the question, I think you already know what to do.

      • I so appreciate your response. After thinking long and hard, I wrote him an email and essentially told him how I felt. He had a nuclear response, telling me that what I said was BS, didn’t I know that doms can get “attached” to their subs, and that he was so busy with work that he would concentrate on putting his efforts where he would be “appreciated.” I asked him why it was unreasonable for me to ask questions, to be afraid of taking the risk of a sexual “scene” then him vanishing, and if I could not communicate my fears to him honestly and openly, what else was there to say? He has not responded, so perhaps it is all for the best as I try and learn what I am looking for in a dom.

  • I was in a master/slave role gone bad.
    He said he had experience but apparently i found bdsm and master/slave literature underneath his bed one day.. He wanted 100% trust upfront.. It would be all safe words would save me..he said All these things to me while he was on top of me by holding me down. At first i agreed to please him But re thought things and freaked out..Told him to get off of me since i was hyperventilating and he wanted to hug me..i said no and ran into bathroom.

    A week prior..we had a consensual bdsm session..then all of a sudden i questioned him on a professional matter and thats where he grabbed my hair..slapped my face..choked me hard to point i could not breathe and use my safe word.. Then had me kneel down..shoved his cock forcefully in my mouth..threw me back on bed..spread my thighs open while he used a riding crop on my inner thighs..then shoved his cock deep inside me…no condom…while choking me…
    All of this was never discussed.

    So after reading your article..he truly is an asshole Not a true Dom!

    • I am SO sorry this happened to you! There are scary abusers out in this world and they hide behind BDSM. I’m glad you’re out of that situation and I hope you’re safe now. ((HUGS))

  • I am so grateful that I found this! I’ve still got my submissive training wheels on and have a dominant “technically”.

    But what concerns me is that I’m not the only sub he has and that he isn’t honest with me when he’s with her. He makes up some lame excuse about work.

    I know this may sound like a childish comment but as new as I am to this whole dom/sub world, I thought honesty would always be prevalent regardless if it’s a vanilla relationship or dom/sub relationship.

    Does this mean that as a sub, I am not entitled to know when he’s playing or should I just shut up and wait for the next time he has an itch he can’t scratch?
    To me I sound more like a “booty call” as the millennials call it and not a submissive.

    In every other aspect, he’s honest and we talk and he explains things to me. But when it comes to having more than one sub without mentioning it to me in the first place, is kind of strange.

    • Expecting someone to be honest with you isn’t childish. It’s the absolute bare minimum you should expect from any relationship (vanilla or D/s). Any form of lying is a red flag. Once someone lies about one thing how can you ever be completely sure they aren’t lying about others?

      Whatever your D/s relationship looks like or your submission looks like it’s SUPPOSED to be based on a mutual agreement between you and your Dominant – not your Dom doing what he wants and you accepting it even if you hate it or it makes you uncomfortable.

      Once you make it clear to your Dom that certain things aren’t okay with you (and YES, you are allowed to do that as a submissive), only you can decide what to do next. But I’m always leery of staying in a relationship where dishonesty is “allowed.”

  • This article was very informative. I stumbled upon it looking for answers. I met my first dom two months ago and from the moment we met he requested I call him Sir or master. He will correct me anytime he is not addressed as such. He claims he has been a dom for over 10 yrs. He has experienced things I’ve only inmagined and I wanted to take it slow. The first time we met after dinner on the way home in the car he started inspecting me, hands around me neck, down my pants, he took my breast out my shirt and kissed me. The second time we met at his house he sent me home because I was on my period but not before damanding head and spanking me (not hard) because I didnt buy the collar he told me to buy. I wanted to tell him to stop but he intimidated me. Its something about him that made me feel uncomfortable to say no and his daughter left the house so we were alone. He wants to put a tracker on my phone so he knows where I am and he feels like I should ask him for permission to go out. He recently told me I wasnt a real sub because I refused to come to his house when he invited me a third time and let him have his way with me. When I asked can we slow down and get to know each other he said he wanted me now I need to submit and obey and since then he only text me, he says I don’t deserve a phone call. When he was talking to me on the phone he asked me if I ever think about holding someone againt their will and even if they cried and beg, he wanted to know if I would let them go… That kinda scared me. When I tried to text him he ignored me until he feels like talking and he dismissed any concerns I bring up. In fact he told me the next time he sees me I will be punished. He feels as if I challanged him but all I did was tell him what I wasnt comfortable doing. He says my punishment will hurt. None of the limits I discuss mean anything to him. As far as he is concerned its his way so we dont need to agree or discuss anything so since there was no conversation a safe word has not been created. He says I will be his slave and learn to please him and I have two choices the easy way or the hard way. There is no way I would ever be alone with him again!!!

  • hopefully this will be safe. my name is X. the Dom I met had me call him Master right away. He degrades me of my IQ and calls me dummy and other crap. i tried to leave and he said i cannot leave and if i ever try to leave again he will show me what a living nightmare is. i’m freaking scared. yes he has my house key. the only thing i’m thinking of is freaking suicide.

    • Please, please don’t take your own life. You are more valuable and loved than you realize. You haven’t just found an asshole, you’ve found an abuser – and someone who should be locked up.

      If you can (and I know resources can be tight) change your locks immediately. If he comes to your home, call the police. If you need other assistance, or you’ve done these things and they haven’t helped, please use the National Domestic Violence website for help:

      They offer online chat, a phone number, and other resources. You deserve better than this awful human being who is NO WAY a genuine Dominant. I am so sorry he’s in your life, but please know suicide is not the answer. He’s the problem – NOT you. ((((HUGS))))

  • Wish this list came about befor my vanilla marriage 15 years ago. Thank you for this information. Now is as good of time to learn than never.

    My new journey begins. Abuse is not always obvious. In my case some of it is not explainable. I live with that. Write about it, heal from it and attempt moving on.

    Moving on seems like it can happen, the issue is to not be a burden on my first D/s relationship.

    That is where I begin to get anxiety. “What if’s” are the worst they have ever been I’m my life.

    Just taking a moment to share, I hope to be able to have someone that truly wants to get to know me. Happy journey. Thank you again @kaylalords

    • Thank you so much for sharing, and I am so sorry you went through that. Anxiety is understandable, but with time and help, hopefully it becomes more manageable. I learned to trust again with the right partner who was willing to put in the time and be there for me, through all of my questions and fears. I hope the same for you in the futre. ((HUGS))

  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I met a Dom one week ago, after searching for the “right” one for many months. It was such a rush that we were so compatible sexually that I never stopped to talk about my needs.

    He had me calling him Master day 2 of messaging, he gave me multiple assignments everyday, including some he demanded I complete at my office. He started calling me late at night and keeping me up until early in the morning, and then would complain about how tired I looked in pictures the next day. I would tell him my schedule for the day and times I could not “play” and those were the times he would call or demand I complete an order. I started to get a cold, told him I needed rest and he blew up my phone. He was furious and tapped into all my insecurities and fears.

    I’ve been confused because it has been exciting, but nervous about things moving too fast, and I was afraid he would think I’m not “submissive enough.”

    Finally, I was planning a trip for our first meeting. First it was 2 days, then he demanded a 3rd, then a 4th. Then he said he was planning to invite other Doms, and I said I’m really not ready for that yet, and he said I wasn’t serious.

    I was desperately searching for advice, and thank goodness for your article. I’m submissive but I still have rights and I shouldn’t be afraid to explain my needs, limits, desires. No good Dom would ask that, especially after a week! It hit me hard that I was submitting out of desperation, not pleasure.

    I told him this is too fast, I’m not ready, we’re not on the same page. He didn’t push just said fine, call him when my life is fixed.

    I clearly need to take time to understand what I’m doing, what I want, how to be safe, and to not rush.

    Thank you again. I cannot express how much this article has just changed my entire perspective for the better.

    • You are so welcome, and I’m glad you found this before things went down a worse path. Good Doms don’t behave this way and they think of *your* safety and want you to be ready for things. My philosophy is “friends first” and I’m leery of anyone who isn’t willing to take the time to get to know someone. I’m so glad this helped!

  • I absolutely hate when fake doms stereotype submissive people to be stupid or helpless without a dom. I also have a sarcastic sense of humor, and since I’m not daisy and pixies all the time some fake doms tell me I’m not a submissive Little. Subs don’t fit into one neat box.

  • Thank you for this. I recently met someone online and did not know much about BDSM at all, but have an unhealthy pattern of chasing men who treat me with no respect.

    I thought I’d moved past that phase in life and met a man online who I felt a strong connection with. He slowly hinted he was in to D/s and teased me I was vanilla and he would get me to wear I could be sexually. I actually was attracted to the idea the more I got to know him, but the asshole red flag 🚩 kept creeping up.

    Now, I recognize he is the narcissist personality I suspected who likely gets off on being dominamt in all phases of the relationship, not just in the bedroom.

    • Seeing the patterns and signs is important. It can take time to learn them, but once you do, you find that you can avoid those people or extricate yourself a bit easier.

Leave a Comment

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

%d bloggers like this: