Dominance and submission: a information to Dom/sub dynamics

When you’ve been desirous to strive kink however aren’t positive the place to begin, you’ve come to the precise place. 

There are a whole lot (in all probability hundreds) of guides on the market to kink, however they usually don’t deal with the constructing blocks of wholesome kink relationships. 

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Enter the foundational layer of kink: The Dom/sub dynamic, or D/s. “Dominance and submission is the final container for nearly all kinks,” explains Julieta Chiaramonte(Opens in a brand new window), a kink teacher, author, and intercourse professional.

Understanding what the Dom/sub dynamic is, the way it capabilities, and the best way to negotiate round it in your personal relationship(s) is essential to creating the kinky intercourse lifetime of your desires. It’s the base layer. It’s the elementary configuration of function play.

Upon getting a strong grasp on D/s, the remaining — the whips, chains, blindfolds, sitting in Jell-O, utilizing pretend blood, and so forth. — could be constructed on high. We’re not right here to yuck anybody else’s yum relating to your kinks, however we do need you to be assured in the best way to act on them.

Right here’s every little thing that you must know.

What the Dom/sub dynamic truly is.

Whereas Dom/sub dynamics are primarily present in kink, they really play out in most types of intercourse. One individual is normally the extra submissive accomplice, whereas the opposite is extra dominant. However throughout the context of BDSM, these dynamics develop into much more specific. BDSM stands for bondage, Dominance/Dominant, submissive/submission, and sadomasochism. That is when two or extra individuals interact in consensual energy change. The sub willingly arms over the facility throughout the scene to the Dominant.

The important thing phrase right here is “consent.”

“BDSM supplies a framework for people to interact in [this] consensual energy change,” says Dr. Nazanin Moali(Opens in a brand new window), a intercourse therapist and the host of the Sexology podcast. 


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The important thing phrase right here is “consent.” Kink is all about giving and taking energy in an empowered means. “Since consent is the cornerstone of those practices, it supplies a chance to make sure [that] the individual surrendering management and the individual in cost keep throughout the sexual boundaries they’ve set,” Moali provides.

How D/s can play out in BDSM scenes.

D/s dynamics will play out in each kinky state of affairs, as a result of it’s the core of the follow. However the way it reveals up is one other story. This is likely one of the issues that makes kink so interesting. You may utterly customise an expertise to cater to your particular pursuits. 

Some examples of Dom/sub relationships:

  • A basic D/s bondage scene: The Dom acts as a grasp over the submissive. This normally entails punishment, sensory play, and so forth. Suppose: 50 Shades of Grey, however not shit.

  • A caretaking scene: The Dom “takes care” of the sub. The sub is known as a Little on this dynamic. 

  • A Dom/brat scene: The sub is a “brat” and purposely “disobeys” the Dom so as to obtain punishments.

  • A Grasp/pet: The Dom is a pet-owner and the sub is the pet.

There’s a frequent false impression that Dom/sub dynamics are inherently pain-focused or violent. This simply isn’t true. 

Chiaramonte explains that the paddles, crops, and ropes are about deepening the bond between the Dom and their sub. “A Dom might consensually follow bondage with their submissive to deepen their energy follow,” she explains. “Bondage on this state of affairs can be utilized as a punishment, a reward, or a sensory expertise to indicate who’s boss in a secure means.”

There’s a frequent false impression that Dom/sub dynamics are inherently pain-focused or violent. This simply isn’t true. 

However nurturing a Dom/sub dynamics isn’t fully relegated to the sphere of ache play. Kink can contain sensory play, elaborate pain-free function play, and far more. These scenes are made by the 2 or extra individuals taking part in them out. It’s a distinctive and totally bespoke expertise.

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Negotiating boundaries inside a Dom/sub dynamic. 

The sub isn’t below the Dominant’s coercive management. They’re an equal member within the energy change. That implies that BDSM and kink and are all about negotiation. “The dialogue you’ve gotten earlier than play is the place to specific boundaries you each have, your expectations, and to set the stage for consent,” Chiaramonte says. “This helps create wholesome boundaries earlier than getting into a dynamic.”

Moali says that whereas you have to be “positive you’ve gotten a ‘secure phrase’ that you could be use through the scene to right away halt any actions, it’s [also] essential to have periodic conversations about your boundaries.” Once you’re new to BDSM, you is probably not fully positive of each boundary you’ve gotten. Feeling such as you’re secure to discover edges with the power to say “no” when one thing isn’t proper is essential.

Don’t go ahead in a state of affairs with out having a dialog first.

Whereas all boundaries and scenes are negotiated, the Dom takes on a whole lot of accountability inside this dynamic. They’re liable for the sub’s security — each mentally and bodily. When you’re taking up a Dom function, that you must be extra-aware of the care that you must take to make sure the sub’s boundaries are revered. As a Dom, you’ve gotten been given the reins to manage the scene. And this shouldn’t be taken evenly.

Don’t go ahead in a state of affairs with out having a dialog first, Chiaramonte says. “If somebody asks to play earlier than setting any type of negotiation and bounds, [that’s a] purple flag,” she explains.


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This doesn’t imply that the sub doesn’t have energy. Every thing is extremely negotiated and supplemented by means of a secure phrase. A secure phrase is a non-sexual agreed upon phrase or phrase that signifies the sub has reached their restrict. As soon as a secure phrase is invoked, the play stops – both fully or for a break.

The significance of aftercare post-kink play.

BDSM and kink scenes include the necessity for quite a lot of focus, a whole lot of emotional depth, and bodily necessities (similar to coping with ache, tying knots, and so forth.). “After we get deep into sub-space or dom-space, we expertise a excessive practically similar to that of medication: We’re stimulated, [have] heightened feelings, and might really feel in one other dimension,” Chiaramonte tells us.

Subspace has been described as just like a deep meditative state — which analysis reveals(Opens in a brand new window) can really feel extremely therapeutic and has a lot of psychological advantages. However as a result of this meditative state in kink could be extremely emotive, we have to take post-play into consideration. You must take a while to “come down” from the scene. 

That is the place aftercare is available in. 


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Aftercare is when the Dom and sub have some connection time. This may appear like cuddling, bringing the sub a glass of water, speaking by the scene, and far more. As with boundary negotiation, you’ll have to take time to determine what sort of aftercare you and your accomplice(s) want.

Aftercare is essential when doing BDSM as a result of it permits us to return to a state of equilibrium and calm after significantly intense scenes. “Partaking in aftercare fosters a way of belief in addition to offering a way of connection,” Moali says. 

Aftercare isn’t at all times simply the Dom caring for the sub. Generally the Dom has massive post-scene feelings as properly. All of us want care after emotionally complicated experiences; having empathy for that may make your kink experiences so significantly better.

Studying new dynamics is rewarding.

The D/s dynamics in kink (and all intercourse) could be extremely rewarding and supply an enriching technique to view your sexuality and sexual experiences. Taking time to completely grasp the complexity and nuance related to the roles we play in intercourse presents us higher perception into who we’re as people.

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