Beyond Fifty Shades: 6 Tips for the Beginning Dominant Exploring BD/SM

You’ve just read Fifty Shades of Grey, or maybe your partner has, and now your curiosity about BD/SM play has seriously piqued.  Taking the fantasy inspired by books, and bringing it into fruition in the bedroom may seem a little daunting at first, especially to a beginning Dom/me.  Here are five key ingredients that every Dom/me should remember when beginning their new adventure into the world of BD/SM play.

1) Communication

Communication is lubrication, I always say!  What better way to get the erotic juices flowing than to talk about your fantasies with each other!  Communication is an extremely important part of any relationship, but even more important in the realm of BD/SM play.  Whether you and your partner have been together for awhile, or are new to one another, ask your partner what their fantasies are, what new experiences they would like to try and explore, as well as what things they are not into, and do not wish to do.  This will give an erotic map of sorts, and makes a fantastic starting point for exploring this new journey into kink together.

You can also fill out what is known in the community as the “Play Partner Checklist“.  If you’re just starting out this list can seem a bit overwhelming and scary, but it too will provide both you and your partner with a starting point for more advanced exploration, as well as a list of negotiable and hard limits.  Knowledge is power!

2) Mutual Satisfaction

Domination is not simply about ordering your submissive around, and having your own desires met.  It’s about mutual satisfaction and fulfillment.  A lot of people new to D/s exploration assume that, as the Dominant in the relationship, it’s all about meeting their own fantasies and desires, when that is simply not the case.

Your submissive has fantasies and desires too, as well as needs to be met just as you have.  Finding out what those are, and blending them with your own in a harmonious way, will bring a symphony of erotic pleasure and fulfillment for the both of you.  D/s is a dynamic in which we exchange power, and that power flows from the bottom, up to the Top.  Remember, your submissive is giving you a gift in their submission to you.  Respect it, and use it wisely.

3) It’s All In Your Head – Imagination Is Key

Leather pants and a flogger does not, a Dominant, make!  It’s very easy as a new Dom/me to get caught in the trappings of toys like floggers and riding crops, and forget about the mental and emotional aspects of Dominance and submission.  Flex your mental muscles and use your imagination.  Create an aura of Dominance using just the way you move, speak (or don’t speak), and act.

Look to characters in books and movies to inspire you.  What is it about them that makes them a good example of Dominance in your eyes?  For me, it was always a cross between Linda Carter as Wonder Woman and Diana, the leader of the alien invasion in the mini-series “V”.  Find what inspires those feelings in you,  and make it your own.

4) Ingenuity

Again, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the new gear that the world of BD/SM play has to offer.  While nothing beats the smell of a new suede flogger, having one from the start is not a necessity.  You don’t need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on toys to start having a good time playing!  A little ingenuity goes a long way!

That handy silicone spatula from your kitchen makes a great spanking tool, as does the flat back of a hairbrush!  The aisles at your local pet store will be most useful as you choose which pretty colored nylon collar and leash to use with your new submissive. Or have fun repurposing that cat toy, the plastic wand with a feather on the end, as a caning/sensation toy on your new submissive!  One of my favorite toys is a battery operated electric fly swatter; a paddle with the added bonus of an electric “zap”!

You would be surprised just what kind of toys you can come up with with just a little stretch of the imagination, and little stretch on the budget.  Have fun with it!

5) Safety – Physical and Emotional

Safety is an important part of good play.  Remember, one of your most important roles as a Dominant is caretaker of your submissive.  Make sure you know what you’re doing, and be prepared in case of an emergency.  A pair of EMT sheers is great, and I think a must, to have in your play bag.  They will cut through rope, leather, or clothing in a hurry, without risking cutting your submissive in the process.  It’s better to lose that expensive leather than it is to lose, or endanger, the life of your submissive.  If you get a new toy and are unsure how it may feel, the best way to find out is to test it on yourself first.  This way you not only know how it feels, but what the effect would be with varied application, or on various areas of the body.

Also, remember that beyond the physical aspect, you are also in care of your submissive’s emotional well-being, too.  Designate a safe word; a word that when spoken, will mean that all play must cease immediately.  A safe word should not be words like “No” or “Stop”, as these are sometimes fun to say in scene play.  Instead, it should be something that is totally unrelated and wouldn’t be something that you would unconsciously utter in the course of play, like “Banana” or “Trumpet”.

6) Aftercare

Lastly remember that it takes a lot of vulnerability, emotionally as well as physically,  to submit to another, so respect that your submissive will need some “after care” beyond the scene itself.  The adrenaline and endorphins heightened during a scene often cause drastic changes in mood afterwards.  This is sometimes refereed to as  “Sub Drop”.  Be aware of this, and make sure to check in with your parter even a day or so after the scene has ended to make sure they are feeling emotionally secure.

With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to some exciting and delicious D/s play.   Remember, in this age of readily available instant information research is your friend.  Learn as much as you can, to be the best that you can.  Have fun, and play safe!  Want more advice on how to be a better Dominant? Contact Portia!

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Fifty Shades of Tickled Pink

Finally, that fluffy excuse for a BD/SM novel has met it’s maker!  Hallelujah!

As seen on the shelves at Target

I suppose, while I can knock it’s poorly written pages all I want, kudos to Fifty Shades of Grey and the likes of E L  James for bringing Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty series, and with it, the boundlessly erotic BD/SM world, into the hands of sex-starved wives (and husbands) everywhere!  As I wrote in my recent post, “Coffee, Sleeping Beauty, and BD/SM”, it was the book, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, that charged and changed my erotic life forever, and I am so much richer for it!  I am thrilled that now, having been thrust into market again, this series will enjoy a whole new generation of fans.

It was only by chance that I even knew what it was, but back in April I was in my dermatologists office waiting for my appointment to begin, when I had the pleasure of reading Katie Rolphe’s article in Newsweek  on how spanking, and the notions of Dominance and submission as erotic paradigms, were trending their way into the bedrooms of women across America via the book Fifty Shades of Grey.  I thought to myself that this was nothing new (at least to me), having seen the intensely erotic movies Secretary, and 9 1/2 Weeks, several years before, but I suppose with the recent cultural fascination with vampires and all things dark and seductive, it was only a matter of time before the BD/SM world got it’s turn in the limelight.

I had one of the best laughs of the year when an acquaintance of mine, a soccer mom of three in her early 40’s, had asked me if I’d read it.  What a marvelous coincidence that I had just read the article mentioning that book the very day before this query came.  When I told her that I had yet to read it, but have heard of it, she proceeded to sing the praises of it’s bodaciously, tawdry, D/s theme.  I got such a kick out of sitting back and listening to her swoon romantically about this apparently new erotic landscape for her (and her husband), all the while having had such a rich and vibrant sexual history of play in the realms of BD/SM and D/s, myself.  It wasn’t until she said something about how she had told her husband, upon having reading the book, that she thought they might need a “playroom” of their own, and how I would “understand just what that meant after you read the book”, that I just couldn’t contain myself any longer, and let out a hearty giggle, as a Cheshire Cat smile made its way playfully across my face.  It should come as no surprise to you that this same woman is also a rabid fangirl of the Twilight series.

So while I can joke about it all I want, I have to sincerely and graciously extend a hearty “Thank You” to that sappy cheese-bomb of paperback erotic fiction, for having brought this once dark and forbidden world of kink, unabashedly into the mainstream erosphere!  E L  James, I salute you!