“How can I find a real dominant?” is one of the most common and most urgent questions asked in kink communities all over the world.
We’ve wrestled with our submissive yearnings. Maybe we wasted years denying them. Now that we’re finally ready give ourselves permission to make them real, the need to find someone to whom to submit can feel overwhelming.
But we’ve also heard the warnings: there are lots of fakes, predators and scammers out there. Maybe we’ve tried submitting to a few and have had bad experiences.
Where do we look for the real thing? And how do we know it when we find it?
Nobody Here But Us Humans
The very first thing we need to understand to improve our chances of finding a real dominant, is there is no such animal as a Real Dominant. There are only people who want to dominate. And they are people. They are regular human beings with moods, failings, insecurities, and finite amounts of time and energy and attention. These regular human beings can’t read our mind to know our needs without being told. They make mistakes. They have problems. Just like everybody else.
When we mythologize people who dominate as superhuman sexy monsters, it both encourages us to set our standards unrealistically high and also leads us to put too much faith in someone way too fast simply because they’ve advertised themselves as being “a Dominant.”
Take a moment to examine your expectations for the Real Dominant you’re seeking. Is your image of them wearing thigh-high latex boots and a corset? What about when they take those off and want to relax in their most comfortable stained t-shirt? Does your fantasy Real Dominant have exactly the same kinks that you do, and know exactly how to push all of your deepest, most secret submissive buttons… without you having to come out and tell them what those buttons are?
People who dominate need space to be full human beings with a full range of needs and emotions, not just two-dimensional characters from our fantasies. And they have a wide range of desires, abilities and styles that all fit under the broad category of “dominance.” One person likes to dominate and what they do is rigid structure and elaborate rules. Another person likes to dominate and what they do is unpredictable, brutal humiliation. One wants to be a benevolent leader and one wants to be a savage tyrant.
When you say you want to know how to recognize a real dominant, are you hoping to be able to meet a stranger off of the Internet, check their Real Dominant label, and immediately know that they are skilled, wise, respectful of consent and safe to play with? It doesn’t work that way.
Wanting to dominate doesn’t make anyone automatically competent or trustworthy, and it doesn’t change the way that we should interact with them. No one should get to treat us any differently than other stranger simply because they are a dominant, and we need to apply the same kind of healthy skepticism and good judgment to getting to know them as we do with everybody else.
In some situations we should apply extra skepticism. There are people who have figured out how desperate and confused we can be when we’re seeking dominance, especially for the first time. They’ll look for new and eager submissives to misuse and to trample our boundaries. Or they’ll respond to desperate personal ads saying that they’ll be the dominant of our dreams… just as soon as we enter our credit card number.
Please remember three things:
- No one gets to dominate us, push us around, touch us, or have any other extra authority over us until we decide we want them to. If someone behaves in a way that you’d find creepy, predatory or rude in anyone else, they don’t get a free pass for being a dominant.
- Someone who wants to dominate us before they’ve gotten to know us is probably not going to be a good dominant for us.
- Power exchange should feel good for us. We’re there to serve, obey and/or please our partner, but at the end of the day it should always be in a way that fulfills our submissive needs and leaves us feeling better than we did before.
Get to Know Yourself
Since people who like to dominate are all human and all different, our real challenge isn’t to separate the real ones from the fake ones; it’s to find the ones whose individuality is a good fit for our own. To do that, we first have to have a clear idea of what it is we’re looking for in submission, and what we have to offer to a dominant partner.
What do you want when you submit? The more clear and detailed of an answer we can give to that question, the better we’ll be able to recognize the right dominant for us when they appear. People who are ready to dominate us without first understanding how our submission works will tend not to be the most competent at dominance. People who are generally better at dominance will ask us to describe what submission means for us and what we want to get out of it, and will want us to be able to give a better answer than “I want to submit,” or “I just want whatever you want.”
One powerful way to help clarify what we want and what we have to offer is to write a letter to our hypothetical future dominant. Pretend you’re already in submission to a wonderful dominant partner, and write to them about all the things you most appreciate about them. Write about the things you’re most excited to be able to offer them.
Putting our thoughts into writing forces us to put them in order, and to fill in all the gaps that are so easy to gloss over when we’re just daydreaming. Writing as though we were writing to our dominant partner will help us visualize what kind of person we’re looking for, and what kind of relationship would work for us.
When we’re thinking about what we have to offer a partner, we should think bigger than just sex and kink. A competent dominant partner probably has no lack of willing genitals to play with, or asses to spank. What’s going to set us apart and catch their interest are ways in which we are a good partner, or an interesting person. Can you offer patience, good communication skills, or emotional maturity? Do you have useful skills to offer? Are you creative, organized or fun at parties?
None of us is good at everything, and we don’t have to try to be all things to all people. By recognizing where our strengths and our value lie, we’ll be able to keep our eye out for potential partners who value those things.
Get to Know People
Armed with knowledge of ourselves and what kind of power exchange we’re seeking, we’re ready to productively search for the right dominant for us. To find and connect with a person who will be a perfect fit for dominating us, our best approach is to slow down and get to know some kinky people as people. This takes time and patience, but it gives us the best odds in the long run.
When we try to find a dominant solely by posting personal ads, or by going to meat-market dating events and trying to pick up a partner right away, we tend run into one of two problems. Some of us get swamped by too many offers from people who are not the right dominant for us. The rest of us get no offers at all. While the two problems look opposite, they have a common cause: lack of personal connection.
When all that people know about us is that we are looking for “a dominant” then all the responses we get will be from people who just want “a submissive,” and who don’t particularly care who that submissive is. If we’re in the kind of demographic that gets desired for our outward appearance alone, we’ll get swamped with shallow offers. If we aren’t, then no one will see any reason to respond at all.
So look for opportunities to connect with other kinky people more deeply. If we’re looking in the flesh, we can seek out munches, happy hours and discussion groups—places where people talk more than play. If we’re looking online, we can look for discussion groups where people have real conversations, ideally about things other than kink. If we can find a group to join, or a way to volunteer or help organize kinky community all the better. Having a role gives us a reason to talk to others, and them a reason to talk to us.
Then we stick around a while. Our goal isn’t to immediately find a dominant, and we need to not get disappointed if that doesn’t happen right away. Our goal is to make friends and build community—to become more than just a list of kinks. So talk to everybody who seems friendly, not just the people you think are hot. Look to connect with people who you think are interesting, fun to hang out with, or with whom you have things in common.
Once we’ve made a few human connections, more tend to follow. Friends introduce us to other friends. New folks who wander into the community are attracted to the camaraderie of our circle and will want to join in.
If we were previously in the position of having no one pay any attention to us, having connections with kinky friends humanizes us to potential dominant partners. We’re not just another random person begging for their attention, we’re a member of the community. They can casually interact with us in the context of the group and get a sense of us as a person. They can hear our friends tell funny stories about us, and talk about how great we are.
If we were previously in the position of being besieged by the wrong kinds of attention, our community can serve as a filter, and can also reveal higher-quality opportunities. It’s harder for eager suitors to swarm us (either figuratively or literally) if we are already surrounded by our friends, and the people who are willing to take to time to become part of our community are more likely to be the kinds of people who know how to dominate well. As we become accepted in community ourselves, we also get the chance to catch the attention of dominant types who were there already but who do not throw themselves at every pretty piece of fresh meat that walks in the door. Among those more discerning types we may find the kind of dominance we were looking for.
So that’s the recipe for finding the dominant of our dreams. It isn’t complicated. It really boils down to “Aim to connect as human beings first, and let power exchange follow after.”
It also isn’t instant or guaranteed, but in the long run it will give us much better odds than continuing to look for a cardboard-cutout of our fantasy dominant, hurling personal ads into the void, or kneeling to any stranger with a sufficiently impressive collection of whips.
If we let go of stereotypes about what a Real Dominant should be like, get a clear understanding of our own individual submissive needs, and make genuine connections with others who love power exchange, we have our best shot at meeting and connecting with another unique, flawed, intriguing human being whose individual personality and desires for dominance are a good complement for our own.