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“Mental Stuff Like Confidence or Self Esteem”: Vital Skills for Dominants

A gentleman on Reddit’s r/BDSMcommunity posted asking for advice, saying he “[feels] overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff I need to learn, want to learn.” He was essentially asking what kinky play and sex skills should a Dominant develop, and specifically mentioned that he wasn’t interested in “mental stuff like confidence or self esteem.” This was my reply:

Yeah, to echo some others, the mental stuff is more important than how you throw a whip or spank. So to directly contradict you, this is what I find admirable and attractive in a Dominant I’m considering for a power exchange relationship:

  • Consistency & Integrity. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you say you’re going to keep doing something, be able to keep it up or re-negotiate.
  • Self-insight. Know thyself. What motivates you? What type of play appeals to you and why? Do you have trauma? If so, how does it affect how you view relationships, kink, and sex? Keep investigating.
  • Self-motivation. Ambitious, motivated people are just sexy. If someone has the self-control to continue to motivate themselves, they can probably help motivate others.
  • Leadership. Have a plan for when shit hits the fan. Be able to command a room if necessary. Keep a cool head when things are challenging. Develop the ability to process several sources of information without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Empathy. Understand where other people are coming from. Listen to someone’s words, as well as their body language and facial expression. Confirm with people if you understand them by reflecting back what they’ve said. Seek connection over anything else.

Even if they never learned how to suspend someone with rope or intimidate them with knives, someone with all of these traits would be a wonderful dominant in my opinion.

I’m wondering how that resonates with readers. Do you have anything to add to the list? Am I totally missing the mark? Please let me know.