Everything You Need to Know About Being a Switch

When most people think of a BDSM relationship, they usually only think of the Dominant and submissive roles (typically a guy and a girl).  The truth is, there are many shades of gray on the kink spectrum. Many people (even vanilla ones) enjoy being what’s called a “switch,” and switching from Dom or sub can be a lot of fun. But what exactly is the definition and meaning of a switch, and how do you do it right? Keep reading to find out.

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The definition and meaning of switch in BDSM

The definition of a switch is someone who enjoys engaging in both Dominant and submissive roles, or both topping and bottoming.  But what does that mean exactly? Well, the answer is: it depends on each individual dynamic. Here are some aspects about switching:

  • Switching doesn’t always involve a sexual relationship
  • You may be a Dom with one partner, but a sub with another
  • You may enjoy switching, but prefer a specific role.
  • Some couples switch as a way of taking turns
  • As your life changes, you may switch to fulfill an emotional need

Some or all of these points may apply to you.  That doesn’t mean you have to label yourself a switch (unless you want to).  Choose the BDSM identity that makes you feel the most comfortable.

Can only a girl switch or can a guy switch too?

The porn industry has perpetuated the idea of one girl topping another girl, while the guy enjoys the show.  Many Doms have this fantasy, but society doesn’t accept it as easily when the roles are reversed.  A guy who is a switch, even if their partner is a girl, may be seen as weak or unmanly.

However, gender doesn’t have to have a deeper meaning, or play a factor at all when someone decides to switch in BDSM or vanilla dynamics. It simply involves domination and submission, and both can be enjoyed whether you’re a girl or a guy.

You can switch even if you’re in a vanilla relationship

Switching isn’t just for those in the kink community.  A lot of vanilla couples switch roles in the bedroom either part-time or full-time.  It’s a great way to keep the relationship new and exciting.  Letting your vanilla partner be the more dominant one can help you see what they like and are into.

Taking turns in a vanilla relationship also lets both of you have all your needs fulfilled.  If you’re nervous about bringing up the idea of switching with your partner, you can say something like, “I think it’d be really hot if you took control tonight (or, if I took control tonight).” Just be sure to start slow, and have fun with it!

Switching can help you test out the Dom/sub roles

You may be in a Dom/sub relationship, but that doesn’t mean it has to be that way all of the time.  Switching can be a way to see what the other side has to offer, and who knows, you may like it more than you think.

I believe switching, even lightly, can help both BDSM partners appreciate each other more.  It’s like when a parent and child switch roles for the day.

I think switching can also be a way to see if there are any aspects of the other side you like, and want to test out and explore in scenes and play sessions.

How to know if you’re a switch

Since most people aren’t perfectly, 100% a Dom or sub, many people wonder if they could be a switch. After all, a switch doesn’t have to be an even 50:50 split between each role. So how do you know if you’re a switch? Here’s 8 clues:

  1. You really enjoy or encourage topping from the bottom
  2. You enjoy both giving and receiving pain
  3. You’re more dominant outside the bedroom, but submissive in the bedroom, or vice versa
  4. Your relationship tends to work better when there’s topping from the bottom
  5. If you’re a sub, you’ve been told by others that you’d make a good Dom
  6. If you’re a Dom, you’ve been told by others that you’d make a good sub
  7. You like or encourage bratty behavior
  8. You’ve been in a different role in the past and enjoyed it

IMPORTANT: Just because one or more of the above applies to you, doesn’t have to mean that you’re a switch. How you choose to identify yourself in the BDSM lifestyle is completely up to you.

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BDSM and kink ideas for the Dominant or submissive switch

There are lots of different ways to enjoy switching and bring more kink to your relationship. To get started, try sharing your fantasies with your partner in a light, and non-judgmental conversation.

When you’re ready to take the next step, either the Dominant or submissive can just say, “I’d like to try something a little different tonight, how about…”. If you need some inspiration, here are some ideas:

  • Trying a different position during sex where the sub is on top and in control
  • If the submissive is a girl, having her use a strap-on
  • The Dom can let the sub try out flogging, paddling, or another punishment tool
  • Instead of giving commands, say please and ask for permission, or vice versa
  • Allow topping from the bottom, with the sub doing it more on purpose
  • The sub can control the Dom’s orgasm by stopping the stimulation and taking a break
  • The Dom can have to “earn” to be with the sub
  • The sub can be more bossy and authoritative when they are receiving oral sex

Overcoming common obstacles with being a switch

Unlike the more traditional Dominant and submissive roles, switches tend to have unique challenges. Here are just a few and what you can do to overcome them:

Does a switch have to be with a switch?

No. What makes a relationship work isn’t each partner’s role or what their preferences are. The real definition of a successful dynamic is one that’s based on communication, negotiation, and balancing each other’s wants and needs.

What do you do when your partner won’t switch for you?

First of all, you should never expect or force a person to switch for you (or be into kink and not be vanilla). There are ways to encourage your partner to be more Dominant, submissive, or kinky, and I cover in detail how to do that here. But if you take the right steps and be patient, it will become easier for them to do so.

How do you decide who’s turn it is?

There are so many ways! I think letting it happen organically is best, as the mood hits you. Usually long-term dynamics will find a good “rhythm”, or at least you can pick up on each other’s desires over time. But you can also alternate days, or have set roles for specific situations (for instance one person is always the rigger in rope play).

Another fun way is to make getting to choose a certain role a reward for good behavior, even creating something like a contest. Experiment, have fun, and find what works for you!

How can you make it work 24/7?

The first step to making it work 24/7 is the same for all dynamics: Don’t rush into it without fully knowing and trusting your partner. Also be cognizant of your partner’s needs and wants, picking up on when you should switch roles for them, not just for you.

One thing that works for a lot of couples is having set areas in your life where you don’t switch, like finances or in parenting. But really, any area that you agree upon in advance can work as long as you communicate openly about what you both need and want.

What is the best way to switch during a scene?

Again, I usually say that the best way is to let it happen naturally. When the desire hits you to be more Dominant, submissive, sadistic, or masochistic, just go with it (as long as it’s been agreed upon in your contract or negations). You can also have set situations where you switch, or alternate whole scenes.

Important safety note:  If you do switch, make sure safewords are revisited.  If you’re not used to saying them or responding to them, then it’s good to practice.  Also make sure to go over limits, which may be different in your new role.

Whether you’re a Dom or sub, guy or girl, vanilla or into kink, switching can be a lot of fun.  And remember, it doesn’t have to always be sexual.  It can bring more fulfillment in your life, and more meaning to a relationship. You may find that in BDSM, “switch” is the best fit for you.  🖤

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Have you tried switching? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?  Let me know in the comments.

Keep reading:  What to do when you don’t have a partner »

7 Rules for a Long-Distance Relationship- FREE WORKSHEET

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Long-Distance relationships are hard, but especially for those that are Dom/sub.  It can be difficult to keep the dynamic going when you’re apart and problems and issues arise. There’s also a lot of bad advice and tips on the internet.  But even if you’re apart for just a day, or if circumstances make it so you’re separated for months, a long-distance D/s relationship can still succeed.  Both the Dominant and submissive have to work at it though. So here are some ideas for rules to keep in mind, and don’t forget to download your free worksheet here.

1.  Avoid long-distance relationship problems when using technology

Technology can be a lifesaver in a long-distance relationship.  Texting especially can be easy and convenient, but after a while you may find it gets boring.  Don’t neglect all the other kinky ways you can enjoy technology.  Get creative and think outside the box, and soon you’ll begin to feel much closer.  Here are some ideas:

  • Use FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom- There’s so many possibilities with this one.  You could have a meal together, have phone sex, play games, or even have a virtual play session.  Just prop up your phone or iPad in the room, and have the Dominant give the submissive instructions.
  • Watch a BDSM movie together (“Secretary” is my favorite)- You can each set it up on your own TV or iPad and press play at the same time.
  • Use an online journal- This is a must whether you’re long-distance or not.  A sub should have a journal they can write freely in, and the Dom should have access to it at all times.

2.  Overcome commitment issues as a Dominant or submissive

Some people get stuck in a long-distance relationship because they feel obligated to stay for one reason or another.  Be honest with your partner about what you want out of the relationship, but more importantly, be honest with yourself.

Do you really want to be in a long-distance relationship when you could be meeting other people?  If the answer is ‘yes’, then stop playing games, and work on building trust together.  Here are some other tips to prevent problems and issues from arising:

  • Be patient- Even if you were physically together before things became long-distance, the new situation will take time for both of you to become comfortable.
  • Have real-life interactions- Show your commitment by making and keeping plans to meet face-to-face.
  • Make a contract together- A contract helps both a Dom and a sub to clearly know what their roles are in the relationship, and what’s expected of them.
  • Complete the free worksheet- It’s an easy way to see where you both stand.  Download the worksheet here. 

3.  Create a detailed Dom/sub schedule

Having set tasks to do everyday is the perfect way to make a submissive not feel so lonely.  An assigned list keeps the Dominant in control of their partner, even when issues come up and they can’t be there physically.

A schedule also keeps the sub focused, because they don’t have to get overwhelmed with making choices or dealing with other problems. Here are some ideas for a schedule:

  • Set wake up and go to bed times
  • Meal times
  • Time blocks for journaling or kneeling
  • “Little Space” activities like coloring or watching cartoons
  • A certain BDSM topic to research each day
  • A set exercise schedule

It’s also important to schedule in aftercare for the submissive to prevent “subdrop”. Many of my aftercare tips here work virtually, or the Dom can instruct the sub to perform each task.

4.  Use gifts and games to keep things new and exciting

Everyone loves receiving gifts. When a Dominant gives their submissive a gift it reassures them of their affection and approval.  Littles especially need to receive gifts regularly, but Doms like getting presents too. Here are some ideas:

  • A collar
  • Stuffie or blanket to comfort the sub when the Dom is away
  • Matching rings or other jewelry
  • Kinky toys to use when you’re together

Games are another fun way to keep a Dom and sub connected.  You can play games over the phone or text, and they are a great way to get to know each other better. Two of my favorite games are “Would You Rather” and “2 Truths and a Lie.”  Keep it kinky and you’re sure to have a lot of fun.

5.  Get creative with rules and punishment ideas

Just because you’re apart doesn’t mean that a disobedient sub can’t be punished or be given rules.  Of course, a traditional spanking by the Dominant may be out of the question, but there are so many different ways to discipline a submissive from a distance.  Here are some ideas for rules and punishments:

Rules:

  • Not being able to eat junk food and having to text all their meals.
  • Letting the Dom choose the sub’s clothes or undergarments for the day.
  • Texting when you go out with friends, and when you come home.

Punishments:

  • Taking a cold shower for 1 or 2 minutes and having to videotape themselves.
  • Snapping a rubber band on their wrist a certain number of times.
  • Wearing nipple clamps and texting a picture as proof.
  • Having to write the same sentence 50 times and mailing it to the Dom.

Want a master list of over 30 punishment ideas? Click here!

6.  Take an online BDSM course together for step-by-step tips

Online courses are great for long-distance couples because they get you communicating and experimenting together, even while you’re apart. An online training program will help you deal with the issues and problems of a long-distance relationship.

You’ll have a detailed, step-by-step plan to have a better, more satisfying connection, and to take your BDSM relationship to the next level.  An eCourse is a great way for both of you to have an online mentor and coach, giving you reliable advice and tips to help you every step of the way. (They also make a great surprise gift!)

7.  Set an end date for your long-distance D/s relationship

Even if you’re having fun and enjoying your long-distance D/s relationship, it needs to end at some point.  Hopefully this means that whatever situation is keeping you apart will be resolved and you can physically be together permanently. 

Setting a date for this to happen will help both of you to endure the hard times, prevent problems and issues, and give you something to look forward to.  So set an end date together, and work hard to make it happen. The free worksheet below can make this easier.

**Need more personalized advice for your specific LDR? Click here!

Remember, a long-distance D/s relationship isn’t easy, but so is anything worth fighting for. Follow the rules and tips here and in the worksheet and you’re sure to have success. If you can trust, respect, and support each other when you’re apart, imagine how powerful your bond will be once you’re together.  🖤

Want a FREE Long-Distance D/s Relationship Worksheet with extra tips? Click here »

What advice would you give someone in a long-distance D/s relationship?  Let me know in the comments.

Keep reading:  How to Master Maintenance »

Exactly How to Master Sub Maintenance

When a Dominant or submissive starts a BDSM relationship, they’re usually very excited and motivated.  But after some time passes the realities of life begin to set in. What can keep a sub eager to serve and also prevent a Dom from neglecting their partner? Sub maintenance!  When you hear that term you may think only of spankings, but so much more is involved.  Keep reading to learn exactly how to master maintenance.

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Yes, maintenance spankings are necessary

Maintenance spankings seem to be debated a lot in the BDSM community.  Some feel that it’s cruel because they think you’re just hitting a sub without a real reason. But maintenance spankings do have a real purpose.  They are to remind the sub who is in control, and the pain can be something for their mind to refocus on.

Maintenance spankings are only OK if the sub has consented to receiving pain, and it’s agreed upon in your contract.

How to make it work:  Maintenance spankings don’t have to be as hard or severe as punishment ones, but they should be intense and long enough to “snap” a sub back into their role.

As for how often they should happen? I think a good rule of thumb is if the sub hasn’t had a spanking in three days then they’re due for one.  You could add a separate section in your journal or task list just to keep track of spankings.

Keep the orgasms coming

Orgasms are wonderful.  They release powerful neurotransmitters and help lower stress.  They also boost your mood and improve the quality of your sleep. These are all things a submissive needs, not just Doms.

Keeping a sub “regulated” can help them have more stable emotions, and in turn, help them to be more obedient as a submissive.  And when a sub is able to help their Dom reach orgasm it makes them feel useful and needed.

How to make it work: Decide together what each partner requires in terms of the frequency of orgasms.  Some people need it only once a week, others need it daily.  Once you’ve figured out each other’s requirement, make sure to put fulfilling that need at the top of your priority list.

Why submissive journaling is essential to maintenance

A journal is a submissive’s safe place to write down whatever they want.  In a life full of control and submission, it can be their only outlet to vent their feelings freely.  Journaling can be very therapeutic, and can help encourage gratitude.

It also gives the Dom a glimpse into their sub’s mind so they can better understand them.  In order for this all to happen though, a sub should always feel safe to write anything in their journal without fear of being punished.

How to make it work:  Just like with spankings and orgasms, journaling needs to be done regularly.  I recommend once a week at the least, but it can be done daily too.  I actually journal every morning and every night.

If the sub doesn’t have time to write a whole page they can be given a simple sentence to finish, like, “Today I feel ___________, because ___________.  If the sub has more time, then the Dom can provide writing prompts.

Want a free Submissive Journal to download? Click the image below!

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The sub’s health should be a priority

If a submissive is in good health they will be able to perform at their best physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually. Also, a  sub is property owned by someone else, and as such they are a direct representation of their Dom.  This will cause a sub to take great pride in the health and presentation of their bodies.

However, it is also the Dom’s responsibility to make sure his property is in the best condition possible. Focus should be on what I like to call the “Holy Trinity”: sleep, diet, and exercise. 

How to make it work:  This will take a lot of self-discipline on both of your parts, but it can be accomplished. Here are some tips that have helped my Dom and me:

  • Set an alarm for when you need to get ready for bed, factoring in time for play sessions.
  • Set another alarm for when you need to be in bed, going to sleep.
  • Don’t use any electronic screens for an hour before bed.
  • Plan your meals the day before and stick to a calorie limit.
  • Focus on eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and nuts
  • Drink lots of water, at least 10 cups a day.
  • Schedule your workouts for the whole week.
  • Try to exercise in the morning rather than the evening so you’re more likely to stick to it.

It will take a lot of trial and error, but just continue to make adjustments.  Don’t give up!

A Dom shouldn’t focus just on punishments

Just as with a child, a sub may get discouraged if they’re only told what they did wrong. While discipline and punishments are huge in a BDSM relationship, rewards are very important too.  Rewards help reinforce good behavior.  They also let the sub know they are pleasing their Dom and that they are a “good girl”, or “good boy”.

Even psychology agrees with this. Humans usually cannot create a new behavior or habit through just punishments. Punishments tend to work better for stopping or preventing certain behaviors. Psychologists agree that forming new behaviors and habits require positive reinforcement and rewards.

How to make it work:  A Dom should commend their sub for at least one thing everyday.  When the sub has been especially good the Dom can give them a reward, big or small, depending on the behavior. Some ideas for rewards include:

  • A massage or pedicure
  • Extra time on the internet
  • A special food treat
  • Extra snuggle time
  • Being allowed to make certain choices, like where to go out for dinner
  • A new stuffie
  • Getting to sleep in an extra hour

Maintaining submission may be difficult as time passes in a relationship, but it’s not impossible.  In fact if you apply the strategies I mentioned in this article it can become quite easy.  So make spankings, orgasms, and journaling a regular part of your lifestyle, and focus more on health and rewarding good behavior, and you will master sub maintenance too. 🖤

Submissive journal prompts ideas examples start template BDSM sub Dom Dominant writing

Keep reading:  Create better play sessions »

What challenges have you faced with sub maintenance or spankings?  Let me know in the comments.

5 Essential Scene Strategies for Your Next Play Session

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If you’re new to the lifestyle, or even if you’ve been playing for a while, you’ve probably wondered during a scene, “Am I doing it right?”  (The definition of a scene is a BDSM activity or encounter that involves a Dominant and submissive. It may also be referred to as “play” or “session.”) Well, I have some fun ideas to help you with etiquette and structure so you can bring more meaning to your next Dom/sub play session.

Don’t forget to download your free PDF, based on some of my scenes with my Dom, here.

Know your BDSM scene etiquette

No matter how many years of experience you do or don’t have, you should always follow proper scene etiquette.  This is especially true if you’re playing with strangers at dungeons or clubs.  Good communication beforehand can help both parties relax so that they can focus on enjoying the session. 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Scene etiquette doesn’t have to be too complicated, and once you’ve been playing with someone for a while it becomes second nature.  But it is good to revisit it from time to time, to make sure you’re playing correctly and safely.

The Dom should have everything ready before a scene

This is huge because it will kill the mood if you have to go fumble looking for rope or lube halfway during a scene.  One thing my Dom likes to do is lay out everything on the bed when we start.

This serves two purposes:  One- it puts everything within reach so it’s easily accessible, and two- it creates anticipation and makes me think about what he’s going to do to me.

Another thing you could do is put everything in a toy box and have it nearby so you can simply grab it.  Just make sure everything is organized and easily accessible.

Ideas for a beginning, middle, and end

Your scene doesn’t have to have an elaborate plot like a BDSM porno movie, but you should have a general plan of how things will progress. 

Having a good sequence also keeps you from just doing things randomly without a purpose or meaning in mind. It also makes the submissive confident that the Dominant knows what they’re doing. Here is the meaning of each part of a scene:

Beginning-  Sets the mood and builds anticipation.  This can be mostly verbal to start out with.  Light teasing is also good.

Middle-  More intense playing can start.  This may be where the sub begins to wonder if they will be able to last.  

End-  The Dom brings the sub back down gradually. Both of them may have already orgasmed. 

Want to see what this looks like in an actually play session?  Download one here »

Build tension in your play session

This is what keeps a scene from becoming routine, even if you’re always playing with the same person.  Just like every story needs a conflict, so should every good BDSM play session.  This doesn’t have to be huge, like rape play, but there should be some element of tension.

Here are some ideas:

  • The sub could act a little bratty, or even just slightly resist.
  • The Dom could push the sub to the point of using a safeword like “yellow”.
  • The sub could be given a task to do, with consequences or rewards.

When thinking about ideas for building tension, try to do it not just physically, but emotionally too.  Which brings us to our next scene strategy:

For the Dominant: Create a sense of fear

When a sub is slightly afraid, their nervous system is more heightened.  This doesn’t mean they have to be genuinely scared, but there should be that fear of the unknown.  Not knowing what the Dom will do next will be a huge turn on for them, and bring a deeper meaning to the relationship.

The easiest way to achieve this is by taking away one or more senses.  The sub could be blindfolded, restrained in some way, given earphones with loud music, or even gagged.  The Dominant can then give pleasure or pain unexpectedly.  

I hope you loved learning about how to set up a scene correctly.  Just remember:  your main goal should be for you and your partner to connect and enjoy each other.  So relax, apply the strategies in this article, and I know your next play session will be so much more intense.  Have fun playing!  🖤

What are some of your scene ideas? Let us know in the comments.

Up next:  Exactly what to do when you’re done playing »

Exactly What to Do When You Don’t Have a Partner

Whether you’re a Dom without a sub, or a sub without a Dom, having no partner can be a hard situation to deal with.  And starting an online BDSM relationship when you’re single can be very scary.  Want to know how to find a Dominant or submissive, or maybe you have a partner already but you wish they were kinkier?  Here’s your surefire plan to start taking action, and soon you’ll begin enjoying the lifestyle you always wanted.

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Know you’re not alone if you don’t have a partner

A recent Dom Sub Living online survey found that 33% of readers are not currently playing but would like to.  That’s a lot.  So don’t feel bad if you’re new and haven’t started enjoying a BDSM lifestyle yet.  There’s actually lots of reasons why someone may be without a BDSM partner or otherwise feel lonely:

  • Just starting out and haven’t met the right person yet
  • Being in-between relationships
  • Choosing to take a break
  • Being in a vanilla relationship where your partner isn’t into BDSM
  • Being in a Dom/sub relationship but feeling like your partner isn’t living up to their role

The solution to all of these situations is the same: Don’t give up!  Don’t think you’ll always be single or never have the lifestyle you want.  Instead of worrying and stressing about how things seem to be, take action and make a plan.

**If you want to help your current partner be more dominant, submissive, or kinky, be sure to check out my online, new workshop.**

Review past relationships

While you’re single, now’s a good time to look back at past relationships and figure out what worked and what didn’t.  Whether they were vanilla, kinky, online, or offline, assessing past relationships can help you to not repeat the same mistakes twice.  A good place to start is by journaling the answers to these questions:

  1. What didn’t I get in those relationships that I needed?
  2. What role did I play in the ending of the relationships?
  3. What did I like about my past partners?
  4. What didn’t I like about my past partners?
  5. What did I do right in those relationships?
  6. What can I do differently in my next relationship?
  7. Would I want myself as a partner, and why?
  8. What do I want for myself that doesn’t involve having a partner?

These questions may be tough but it’s necessary for your growth to take the time to journal and be honest.  So reflect on your answers, make the changes, and give yourself time to heal.

Make a wish list to help you find a BDSM partner

Now that you’ve worked out the issues of your past, it’s time to start looking to the future.  Make a list of all the qualities you want in your prospective partner.  This will act as a type of agreement with yourself, so you can keep your senses and say ‘no’ when your heart and hormones may convince you to settle.  Things to put in your list might be:

  • Age range
  • How long they’ve been in the BDSM Lifestyle
  • View towards a polyamorous relationship
  • Their feelings about pain play, punishments, and training
  • Physical attributes
  • What they’re willing to do sexually
  • Are long-distance or online relationships OK?
  • Personality qualities
  • Any “deal-breakers”

You could even make a list of questions to ask your new perspective Dom or sub partner.  Above all, stand firm for your needs and values, and don’t accept anything less.  Be willing to say no to someone who doesn’t meet your standards.  You deserve it.

Keep yourself prepared while you’re single

This is the perfect time to get yourself ready for your future partner.  What does this mean?  First of all, make sure you already have the basics out of the way.  Write up a contract between you and your perspective partner.  Make sure you know your limits before you enter a relationship, even a short-term one.

I believe a true Dominant or submissive is who they are at all times, even when they have no partner, a vanilla partner, or a BDSM partner who isn’t fulfilling their role.  So work on improving yourself now.  You can read more about the two roles here:

The Ultimate Guide to Being a Dominant »

The Ultimate Guide to Being a Submissive »

Remember, right now you are your future partner’s Dom or sub.

When you’re ready to find a Dominant or submissive

Only after you’ve given yourself time and have considered everything above should you begin to think of getting a new partner.  I know it can be a real struggle to find a legitimate Dom or sub.  That’s why in Lesson 3 of my training course I share the exact process in detail to find a genuine, long-term partner.  It’s worked for hundreds of members.

Being without a partner, or having a partner who’s not giving you what you need out of BDSM, can be a frustrating situation.  So use this as an opportunity for self-reflection and a chance to better yourself.  Focus on doing what you can, and the time will pass much more quickly.  I have confidence that if you do these things, soon you will attract the type of partner that you deserve.  🖤

What are your thoughts on being single without a Dom or sub?  Let me know in the comments.

Keep reading: How to go from vanilla to kink »

5 Things You Need to Know About Consensual Non-Consent

One of the most debated but rarely explained topics in the BDSM community is consensual non-consent, or CNC.  The real definition of this type of D/s relationship is one of deep trust, not abuse.  And even though the sex fantasy of rape play is pretty common, this kink is still a taboo topic.  What is the real meaning of consensual non-consent? And do you still need a contract or agreement?  Let’s look closer at CNC, plus I have some stimulating ideas and examples to get you started.

CNC Consensual non-consent Explained Meaning Definition Ideas Contract Examples Agreement Rape Fantasy Play BDSM Relationship CNC kink Sex D/s

Consensual non-consent vs. rape fantasy explained

Before we begin discussing everything you need to know about CNC, we need to first understand how it differs from rape play.  Even though the two are very similar, rape fantasy or play rape, usually just refers to the sexual act, whereas consensual non-consent can encompass all aspects of a D/s relationship.

Some people use the terms interchangeably, and even rape play is a fantasy for many “vanilla” people. Feel free to use whichever term you’re comfortable with, but always make sure everything is safe, sane, and consensual.

1.  Consensual non-consent meaning in BDSM

The definition for consensual non-consent is a mutual agreement where the Dom is able to act as if the sub has waived all consent. Complete consent is given beforehand, with the understanding of it being a permanent arrangement under most circumstances.

The bottom line is that this is something the sub has willingly said they wanted.  The “non-consensual” part also means that sometimes the Dom may have to make the sub obey if she refuses.

Why would a sub, and especially a slave, say “no” if they already gave their total submission? Simply put, because subs and slaves aren’t robots.  They have feelings, needs, wants, and imperfections too.  They may disagree with the Dom, and voice it, but they still ultimately want to serve and be used.

If you’re still confused as to the meaning of consensual non-consent, here is what it means to me:

“I like it even when I don’t like it.  I want it even when I don’t want it.”

2.  Do you need safewords or a contract in CNC?

Since trust is so important in consensual non-consent I would say that safewords are preferred.  Safewords make everything clear.  Of course it’s a good practice for a Dom to remind a sub that they have safewords during an intense scene.

We usually think trust has to do with the sub trusting the Dom, but the Dom has to equally be able to trust their sub.  “No means no” in a court of law, regardless if it’s a D/s relationship, or even if there’s a BDSM contract or agreement.  A Dom needs to know that the sub is completely willing, even if they’re yelling and crying for something to stop.

If you are in a 24/7 relationship, in your contract or agreement you can discuss removing safewords in certain situations, like during punishments.

For example, some couples don’t allow safewords at all in non-consensual play, as they feel it gives the submissive too much control.  An example of this type of D/s relationship is a total power exchange relationship, or TPE.

Download your FREE BDSM contract by clicking the image below:

Free BDSM contract

3.  Subdrop and aftercare will be different

After a play session, a sub might act completely different if conensual non-consent was involved.  After a scene I usually like to cuddle, but if we did some forceful, hard playing I can’t stand to be held.

My Dom knows that it’s difficult for me to receive affection after consensual non-consent, so he’ll give me my space and just maybe rest a hand on my shoulder.  It’s not uncommon for a sub to get upset and angry, almost as if they were really abused.

This is because the mind and body are so connected.  If a sub’s body is abused in a non-pleasurable way, their mind will begin to associate with that emotionally.

During subdrop they will slowly start to feel safe and in control again.  It’s extremely important for the Dom to respect this and not get offended during this time, but to continue to provide aftercare.

4.  Rape play is more than just a kink fantasy

Many BDSM players may use the terms rape play and consensual non-consent interchangeably, but as we discussed at the beginning, they are not the same thing.  Rape play is just one small aspect of a CNC kink.  Even those in a vanilla relationship may have that fantasy.

For some victims of past abuse though, acting it out can be very therapeutic.  To them CNC can have a bigger meaning.  It can be a way to relive the experience, knowing that they now have the power to make it stop.

If you are going to engage in rape play with someone, make sure limits are clearly discussed/included in your contract or agreement.  For example, vaginal rape may be acceptable, but anal may not be.

5.   Ideas for D/s sex and beyond

There are many ways to engage in consensual non-consent, both sexual and non-sexual. If you are in a BDSM relationship, or even if you just play part-time, here are some ideas and examples:

  • The Dom can dress up like an actual attacker (if they wear a mask, make sure at least part of the face is visible so the sub knows it’s not a real attacker)
  • Use rope to tie up the sub and gag them during sex
  • Enforce punishments that the sub will not like
  • Engage in pain play that tests the sub’s limits

See 30+ punishment ideas here »

Another example of a CNC kink situation is somnophilia.  The definition of somnophila is a kink where the Dominant performs sex acts on the submissive while they are unconscious or asleep.  The sub would have to give their consent to this situation beforehand.  This is actually a sex kink that my Dom and I enjoy on occasion.

Consensual non-consent is probably one of my favorite aspects of a BDSM lifestyle, and brings more meaning to my D/s relationship.  Sex can be so much more thrilling when you didn’t say yes.

Forcing someone to do something, or being forced yourself, can be very alluring.  Hopefully now that we’ve explained this hotly debated topic and you have some fun ideas, you can begin to safely experience it too. 🖤

Free BDSM contract

How do you feel about consensual non-consent?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

Keep reading:   How to enjoy the lifestyle safely »

15 Subs Answer: What’s One Thing You Wish You Knew Before Becoming a Submissive?

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Every Dom/sub dynamic is unique, which is why every submissive learns different lessons and tips that work best for them. So for this special blog post, I’m bringing in 15 of my favorite submissives in the BDSM community to answer the question, What’s one thing you wish you knew before becoming a sub?

Now, all of these submissives are actively living the lifestyle. And in this post they’re sharing some of their best advice and lessons that they’ve learned along the way.

You’ll get a taste of a multitude of different perspectives that have allowed them to become their own version of a good sub. From fake doms to kinky empowerment, you’ll get insight into it all.

I cannot wait for you to read their brilliance and reflections!

By the way, if you want to learn even MORE about how to become the best submissive you can be, I’m giving away a free cheat sheet where I break down how to be a good sub. Just click here to grab it. I can’t wait to see what you think.

Now, let’s dive in!

How to be a good sub

Beware of the fakes

“I wish I knew that males like the idea of being a Dom, but few actually want to do the work. Take the sex out and a lot just flounder and don’t know what to do.” – Sully, Beautifully Bound

“It’s not a utopia. Kinksters talk big about important things like consent and negotiation, but there are good and bad people just like there are in any other walk of life. Some people have bad intentions, and sometimes people with good intentions f*ck up. So we have to keep our eyes open and use our judgement, not just blindly trust everyone who labels themselves ‘kinky’.” – Amy, Coffee and Kink

Learn how to spot a fake dom here »

The importance of consent

“I wish I knew more about how deep consent goes. And I wish more people got educated about how deep and how far that word goes. As it has allowed me to explore more, be more confident and comfortable with ‘new to me’ kinks in a D/s relationship.”Slur7777, on Instagram

“Informed consent. We’ve all heard of consent but informed consent is critical, especially for beginners. As a newbie submissive, one might give consent in the excitement of the moment (e.g. in sub frenzy) and not really know towards what it is that they are consenting. This can be easily avoided by not falling prey to the ridiculous notion that a “good submissive is seen, not heard” and instead ask a LOT of questions.” – Daphne, Master Arcane

Learn the 5 things you need to know about consensual non-consent here »

Navigating different dynamics

“It is alright to know what you need from a Dominant. I wish that I had taken the time to figure out what kind of Dominance would feed my submission. Knowing that in advance would have allowed me to better understand what kind of Dominant was a good fit for my submission. Once I have entered a dynamic I want to submit fully and to do that I need to be able to express my needs before the dynamic has begun.” – Claire, Wicked Grounds

“How polyamory is supposed to work, and how deeply painful it can be when it doesn’t. I fell hard for the Dominant who became my Master, and polyamory was required. My personality and that of his primary never meshed, and I don’t think either of us was/is truly poly “at heart.” I don’t think it can work if everyone isn’t wholeheartedly working for the same things. You can be deeply, madly in thrall to someone — but that doesn’t mean he’s worth the sacrifices of polyamory.” – Kate Kinsey, author and educator

“I thought I had to blindly follow the Dom and never show any sign of initiative or personal preference. That resulted in less than optimal sessions because I was afraid it was ‘topping from the bottom.’ Constant requests actually do end up topping from the bottom because the sub in essence is trying to lead the relationship. However, an occasional request when needed is allowed and can be necessary for a better experience for both parties.” – Emily, The BDSM Coaches

Discover 3 topping from the bottom mistakes here »

Every submissive is unique

“I really wish I had known that kink comes in so many shapes and sizes. When I first started exploring, I was under the impression that all kink looked the same, that if you wanted to do X, you had to do Y. I spent a lot of time trying to force myself into molds and boxes because that is ‘what subs do’. Now I know that BDSM is so much more bespoke than I thought, and it’s given me freedom and more fulfilling relationships since I had that realization.” – Evie Lupine, BDSM peer educator

“I think one thing I wish I knew was that it’s all perfectly normal to want to become a sub and have different fetishes than other people. You don’t have to be the same as others that you watch and read about, as everyone has different fetishes and it’s normal.” – Rich, Submissive Blog

See the ultimate guide to being a submissive here »

Learning what submission really involves

“I wish I had known just how much work it would be. All the fiction I devoured about the kinky sex and dungeon play never prepared me for being in a D/s relationship. Being a submissive is not about the time spent in bed or tied to a piece of BDSM furniture. Being a submissive is about working in concert with your partner to build a D/s relationship that is future proof. And that is rewarding and challenging work, indeed.” – Luna, Submissive Reflection

“Something I wish I knew before becoming a sub is how nurturing submission can feel. Before going there, I thought submission looked like abuse, but there’s a lot of empowerment and safety that can come from it.” –Anne, Medium

“What I wish I knew before choosing to embrace my submissive side, is that submission begins in the mind, and is not something to be applied from the outside.” – Lola, Kink Lovers

Get a free submissive journal here »

Finally discovering the lifestyle

“I wish I’d known being submissive was possible. Recognizing my need for submission was a light bulb moment. All the things I thought were “wrong” with me actually had a name and there were others just like me. I wish I’d known in those early days that submission can be whatever works for you and a partner. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else, even other submissives.” –Kayla Lords, Loving BDSM

“Transitioning from a vanilla marriage is tough!! Letting go of old habits and practicing mindfulness 24/7 was the toughest part. Dom Sub Training helped me focus on the importance of showing Sir each and every day how much this life means to me.” – Tina, Dom Sub Training member

Learn how to go from vanilla to BDSM and kink here »

And the one thing I wish I knew before becoming a submissive

“I wish I knew how powerful being a submissive is. In the beginning I thought subs were weak, broken creatures that needed a Dom to ‘fix’ them. That couldn’t be farther than the truth. Submission allows a person to gain control and stability over their lives. While a good Dom can help guide them to become the best version of themselves, submitting is still a choice. Knowing that I chose to be a submissive is extremely empowering.” –Alesandra (learn more about me here)

**Special thanks to everyone who shared their words of wisdom with me for this article!**

What about you?

I’d love to read your response to the all-important question: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a sub? Please share in the comments.  And don’t forget to grab your free cheat sheet below!

How to be a good sub

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10 Ways to Have Better Aftercare

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During a BDSM scene or other kink activities, the Dominant and submissive can experience a huge endorphin rush.  It can be a shock when it is all over, for Doms and for subs.  A proper checklist helps prevent this.  It’s a way for those in a D/s (Dom/sub) relationship to calm back down. If your aftercare kit has room for improvement, or worse, is nonexistent, then these ideas can help. But first, let’s cover the definition of aftercare and the meaning of subdrop.

Want a free checklist to help you get the most out of aftercare?  Click the button below and send it to your partner too! 

Definition of aftercare and meaning of subdrop

What exactly is aftercare? Here is the actual definition:

“Aftercare refers to the attention given to a sub at the end of a scene. It often includes the Dom utilizing various pampering techniques on the sub in an effort to provide comfort after having an intense experience that can leave them in a vulnerable state.”

Intense pleasure or pain can cause a strong “high”, and when emotions and endorphins come crashing down subdrop can occur. Here is the meaning of subdrop:

“Subdrop is an experience with similar characteristics of depression that occurs after an intense BDSM scene. It is caused by adrenaline and endorphin crashes.”

So as you can see from these definitions, proper aftercare helps prevent subdrop, so the Dom and sub can slowly get back in touch with reality. Keep reading for my top 10 ideas for aftercare.

1.  Cover up the sub

This is probably one of the most simplest things a Dominant forgets to do.  During a scene a submissive’s body temperature usually increases and afterwards it drops, making the sub cold and uncomfortable.  Before a Dom relaxes they should cover up the sub with a blanket.

If the sub was completely naked they are also probably feeling exposed and vulnerable and this simple act can help them feel at ease.  Plus, after a very intense session a sub is usually too exhausted to cover themselves up.

2.  Verbal reassurance from the Dominant

A sub craves to be told that they are good and that they did a good job.  When their Dom says those words to them, it helps them to emotionally relax.  It’s not uncommon for a sub to have doubts and insecurities after a session.  Knowing they have their Dom’s approval gives them immense satisfaction.

If there was rape play or consensual non-consent during a scene, then it is extremely important for the Dom to be caring and calm, even saying, “I love you,” if it’s appropriate for the relationship.

3.  Cuddle

Just like how a sub can be verbally reassured, they can also be physically reassured.  When a Dom holds and cuddles a sub it helps them to feel safe and protected.

Other small ways to make physical contact include snuggling, petting, pats on the head, and forehead kisses.  Feeling their Dom’s strong arms around them can go a long way in helping establish a sense of security in a D/s relationship.

4.  Water

After an intense kink scene, it is a good idea for both parties to rehydrate.  However, it is the Dom’s responsibility to get their sub a glass of water to drink.  Moreover, drinking water can help prevent headaches, muscles aches, and urinary tract infections.

Therefore, having two glasses of water nearby before a BDSM scene starts is a good habit to get into.

5.  Proper clean up

BDSM scenes can be quite dirty.  Sweat, lubes, bodily fluids, wax – they all need to be cleaned up.  The Dom can get a towel and wipe up their sub and themselves.  They can also help straighten things back up and put away any toys and other implements.

Sometimes a shower may be needed and the Dom can help wash the sub.  This can be another opportunity to reconnect.

6.  First-aid kit ideas

A sub may have marks and bruises from a hard and intense kink session.  The Dom can massage limbs that were tied up, and apply lotion to any other sore spots.  Some people swear by arnica cream but any lotion without menthol or alcohol is good.  My favorite to use is one with shea butter.

Having Advil in your kit (brought with the water from tip #4) can help prevent swelling and bruising.

7.  Stuffie

Stuffies, or stuffed toys, are another tool in providing proper aftercare.  Littles especially love stuffies, and having one to cuddle and recuperate with helps them cope and deal with loneliness.  Therefore, a Dom should bring the stuffie to their little after a play session.

On the other hand, if the little doesn’t own a stuffie, this is a good opportunity for the Dom to buy them one.

8.  Orgasm

This one is probably my favorite for obvious reasons.  It may be the farthest thing from their mind after a hard scene but an orgasm can help the sub calm down, and to refocus.

Being beaten and used is a very stressful thing to experience and an orgasm can help a sub release that.  Also the Dom may have already orgasmed and taking care of the sub can help them not feel neglected.

For a simple (and free!) aftercare kit checklist, just CLICK HERE and it will be emailed to you instantly.

9.  Discuss and recap post kink

After all the previous steps have been taken, it’s good for a D/s relationship if both individuals discuss a scene after it’s over.  Doing all the relevant previous steps ensures that they are both calm and relaxed and can talk freely and openly.

This is a good time to figure out what went great, and what you’d like to try next time.

10.  Check-in the next day

Even if you’re married or in a long-term D/s relationship, next day communication is really important.  Subdrop can occur even days after a play session, so even a simple text or phone call can mean a lot.

Journaling can also help a sub to express their emotions productively, and the Dom can even assign a specific writing assignment based on the play session.

Get a FREE printable journal here »

Proper aftercare for Doms in a D/s relationship

Aftercare for Doms is something that rarely gets talked about in the BDSM community. Domdrop is a real occurrence though, and can be prevented with some of the ideas and activities above.

Some of the feelings that a Dom can have include depression, guilt, exhaustion, vulnerability, insecurity, and anxiety. In addition to the above ideas, here is a checklist for Doms:

  • Ask for reassurance from your sub
  • Talk to other Doms in the BDSM community
  • Go to the gym or go for a run
  • Do activities related to a hobby
  • Practice these other self-care tips

A successful D/s relationship depends not just on hardcore scenes, but also on well planned, proper aftercare.  As you can see, there are so many different ways and activities to ensure that this happens, even for Doms.  Communicate what you need and want afterwards, and the play sessions are sure to keep getting better and better.  🖤

What’s your favorite aftercare activity?  Let me know your checklist in the comments.

Keep reading:  10 tips for self-care »

The Ultimate Guide to a Safe BDSM Lifestyle

In the BDSM community there is a saying: Safe, Sane, Consensual, or SSC. Whether you are new to the Dom/sub lifestyle or have been playing for a long time, this is the foundation for any D/s relationship. You should always follow these three principles and so should your partner.  But what does Safe, Sane, Consensual mean in real life? Here’s how to practically implement SSC, so you can enjoy the lifestyle to the full.

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Safe

Before engaging in BDSM, there should alway  be a discussion of limits, both hard and soft.  Respect these at all times.  All effort should be made to make a scene as safe as possible, especially for the Dominant setting it up.  Examples include:

  • Having scissors nearby to quickly cut ropes that are too tight, cable ties, etc.
  • Agreeing beforehand a safe gesture instead of a word if choking is acceptable.  And if the gesture involves the arms/hands, having these free at all times during choking.
  • Taking steps to avoid severe burns and fires during wax play.

Of course there are MANY more safety issues but the point is they need to be communicated, identified, and prevented.  Nobody wants an embarrassing visit to the emergency room or to have to call the fire department.

Sane

Both the Dom and the sub should be adults in a sound state of mind.  Even though BDSM is a form of therapy for some, if there are severe mental health issues present make sure to address them with a professional.

Also under the principle of “Sane”: Don’t do anything stupid! For example, if you want to play rape, don’t kidnap your partner in public and attack them. You will most likely end up in jail.

“Sane” also implies that all parties are honest about their intentions, expectations, abilities, training, and experience levels.

You can learn more about fake and abusive Doms or subs here.

Consensual

This is probably the core of BDSM and what many vanillas  cannot wrap their heads around.  All parties involved need to really WANT this. Hopefully there is a contract or at the very least safewords.

Download your FREE contract here.

Even with consensual non-consent there should be a prior discussion and an extreme amount of trust.  No one should ever reluctantly practice BDSM just to make someone else happy.  From simple kink to Total Power Exchange, from playful spankings to hardcore punishments, EVERYTHING has to be consensual.

You can learn more about consensual non-consent here.

Always keep and respect the three principles of SSC (Safe, Sane, Consensual) .  They are what separates BDSM from criminal abuse or neurotic self-destructive behavior.  Have fun, but make sure to always play responsibly. 🖤

What does safe, sane, consensual mean to you?  Chat with me in the comments.

Keep reading:  How to enjoy bondage safely »

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