BDSM Guide on Being a Good Dom

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In BDSM play, there is usually always a dom and a sub. As their names suggest, the dom is the more dominant partner and the sub is the submissive partner.

Doms can get a bad reputation for being selfish, too harsh and sometimes just being a mean person. If you want to avoid this bad stereotype, keep on reading to find out how you can be a kind, considerate dom without giving up control.

In a BDSM scene, the Dom is not always in control because there's mutual consent. However, the Dom is in a position to display control and dominance without hurting the Sub. To be a good Dom, there are some qualities you have to display. Read in to discover them.

How to be a Good Dom

Despite the dom having control over a sub, this control is gained through trust and mutual consent. Being a good dom means taking your responsibilities seriously like being firm, taking control without abusing your power and looking after your sub when the session is over.

Let’s go into detail about things you will need to be aware of if you want to be a good dom:

Be Respectful and Considerate

Unless your sub explicitly states that they would like to be treated otherwise, you should be kind to them and treat them with respect. Doms and subs enter a mutual relationship built on trust, and it can be hard for a sub to trust a dom that is indifferent, rude or mean.

Being respectful also includes listening to what your sub has to say. If they give you feedback after a session, try and work on what they have said and if they tell you they have limits, don’t try and push their boundaries. If they trust you enough because you’ve treated them with respect, they may open up to you more and be willing to try things that they didn’t want to in the past to please you.

Be Firm, Not Mean

After your sub relinquishes control to you, it is vital that you do not abuse your power over them. If they misbehave or break rules that you have set, then they deserve to be punished appropriately. However, you must be reasonable with your actions as you may turn off your sub from future BDSM play if your punishments are too harsh.

On the opposite end of things, a dom that cannot adequately control a situation can be a turn off for your sub too. If you constantly let them misbehave and break rules, they won’t take you seriously and may end up looking for a new dom that can control them properly.

A good dom will know how to walk the fine line of firmly and fairly exercising their power over their sub, not going too far and being abusive or being lax with their punishments.

Communicate Clearly With Your Sub

Communication is one of the most important aspects of a healthy BDSM relationship. Proper communication will allow you to be on the same page as your sub, learn more about what they like and dislike and  adjust what you do in your sessions to keep both of you happy.

It is absolutely essential that you establish a safe word that your sub can use to let you know that they want you to stop what you’re doing immediately. Depending on the kind of kinks you are exploring, you may be in a scenario where you won’t listen to your sub if they say things like “no” or “stop”, so you need to use a random word that won’t be randomly said during your session.

Having some form of a signal that your sub can use to get your attention is necessary for BDSM play that limits your sub’s ability to communicate, like using bondage toys and gags. An example of a signal to use would be for your sub to open and close their palms.

Communicating during your session is also a good idea especially if your sub is new to BDSM. This will reassure them that you are looking out for them, and gives them an opportunity to give you feedback in the moment.

Pay Attention to Your Sub

Sometimes you can find answers for questions before you’ve even asked them by paying attention to your sub’s body language. They may react in a way that shows they are uncomfortable or in pain, which gives you the opportunity to ask if they would like to continue or if something is wrong.

Correctly Practice Aftercare

Aftercare is an important, sometimes overlooked, aspect of BDSM that all good doms should be familiar with. As the name suggests, aftercare happens at the end of your session and is a time for the dom to tend to their sub. Aftercare comes in many different forms, depending on the needs of your sub. 

Physical aftercare includes removing any sex toys or clothing used in the session (restraints, gags, hoods, penetrative toys), providing food and water, providing painkillers, preparing a warm bath or shower, giving them a massage or anything else that would physically soothe your sub.

Emotional aftercare includes talking to your sub about your session and going over things that they liked or disliked, discussing any emotions they have and helping them express how they’re feeling or suggesting physical aftercare that will make them feel better.

Aftercare is a great bonding experience, as you get to spend time with your sub in a more intimate setting. You will both be able to learn about each other, and your sub will be reassured that you are a good, reliable dom that can be trusted to take care of them.


Being a dom does not mean that you have total power over your sub. In exchange for their submission, a good dom will be firm and fair with their sub. Clear communication and thoughtful aftercare will ensure that you have a long and healthy relationship with your sub.

This guide was written by Peachy BDSM, Australia's largest store for all things BDSM.