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Dominants in BDSM are entirely in charge of their submissives, with the ability to command them to do nearly whatever they want them to do. However, with this power comes specific responsibilities that dominants must uphold to maintain positive relationships with their subs. 

In BDSM, the responsibilities of a dominant include making rules for their subs and providing punishment if they don’t follow these rules. They are also responsible for providing their subs with rewards if they do well and keeping them safe during playtime. 

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Next, I’ll go over the primary responsibilities of a dominant. Then, I’ll briefly discuss the different types of dom-sub relationships one may encounter in BDSM which will influence how much responsibility doms have for their subs. 

Everyday Responsibilities of a Dominant

In BDSM, dominant partners (AKA doms) control submissive partners (AKA subs). While the degree of control the dominant partner has varies depending on the relationship, they are generally responsible for their subs physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

Since doms have so much power over their submissives, they must be responsible and uphold specific standards to keep their relationships with their subs as happy, healthy, and safe as possible. 

Dominants must always remain in charge, both inside and outside of the bedroom. Therefore, they need to establish rules, punishments, and rewards for their subs to maintain their dominant status. 

Give Subs Specific Rules To Follow

One of the primary roles of dominants in BDSM is to give their submissives rules to follow. Typically, doms will create anywhere from two to five rules that subs must obey, no matter what. These rules tend to be relatively simple so that the subs have no excuse not to follow them. 

Some examples of everyday rules include subs sending dirty texts to their doms during work, waiting for permission before they get into bed, never removing their collars without being authorized to do so, and more. 

Punish Subs if Rules Are Broken

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The second most important responsibility of doms is punishing their subs if they don’t follow the rules. Doms and subs typically agree on the punishments beforehand so that the subs are aware of what will happen if they don’t obey their doms commands. 

Some common punishments include subs having to wear chastity cages or belts, not being allowed to orgasm, doing specific exercises, giving them an early bedtime, and more. 

The punishment should fit the crime, so if subs break a minor rule, they should receive a mild punishment. However, if they break a more serious rule, a more intense punishment is warranted. 

Don’t Create Everyday Rules That are Impossible to Follow

Sometimes, dominants create rules that are impossible for their subs to follow. For example, some doms may tell their subs that they must completely undress every time they come home. 

However, the subs would have to break this rule if they had friends over or their parents visited. Therefore, dominants should only create everyday rules that the subs can follow, such as kneeling before bedtime, talking to them with respect, wearing specific clothing items to bed, etc. 

If doms want to create additional rules, they should put time constraints on them. For example, doms may ask their subs to undress when they arrive home every day for a week when they know they won’t have any house guests. 

Reward Subs for Good Behavior 

Submissives receive punishment when they are bad. However, they also receive rewards when they are good! Dominants should come up with specific rewards their submissives will receive if they do exceptionally well. 

Some common rewards include taking their subs out on a date, permitting them to neglect their household duties, giving them a present, and more. Rewards should only be given when submissives truly earn them to make them special. 

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Some dominants create a reward system in which their subs receive points if they do well. Once they receive a certain number of points, they get a reward. This system ensures that doms don’t reward their subs too frequently or infrequently. 

It also gives the subs something to look forward to since they know precisely how many points they must obtain to receive their reward.

Be Open to Subs Concerns

Submissives should feel comfortable sharing their worries with their dom without fear of being punished. Therefore, doms should make it clear that subs can come to them with any concerns they have regarding both sexual and non-sexual aspects of their relationship. 

Dominants should regularly check in with their subs to make sure they are ok. If the dominant notices that their submissive is acting differently or seems stressed out about something, it’s perfectly acceptable for them to bring it up in order to work it out. 

While dominants are supposed to be commanding and in control, they should also be empathetic and understanding. This will allow them to have better relationships with their subs. 

Playtime Responsibilities of a Dominant

During playtime, dominants are responsible for running the show and controlling the scenes they try with their subs. However, they are also accountable for their subs’ well-being and making sure that they feel comfortable during sexual exploration. 

In this next section, let’s take a closer look at doms primary responsibilities in the bedroom. 

Help Subs Improve Sexually

Dominants are the leaders of their submissives, especially in the sexual realm. Therefore, it is the doms’ responsibility to teach their subs how to perform sexually in a way that is pleasing to them. 

For example, if doms like to be touched in a specific way, it is their duty to train their subs to caress them properly. This will make it so the doms get exactly what they want, and the subs know precisely how to please their masters. 

Be Honest About Sexual Experiences

While it is the dominant’s responsibility to be the leader during playtime, this doesn’t mean that they are expected to know everything there is to know about sex and BDSM. 

Therefore, dominants are expected to be honest with their subs about their sexual expertise. If they aren’t sure about how to do something or are trying something for the first time, such as BDSM restraints, they should inform their subs and take things slow. 

Doms should never lie about their experience. This can ruin the fun during playtime and may even be dangerous depending on the type of play they are participating in. 

Understand Your Subs’ Limitations

While a big part of a dom-sub relationship is pushing sexual boundaries and trying new things, this doesn’t mean that nothing is off-limits. Subs are allowed to have limitations that their doms should respect. 

Dominants should be explicitly aware of what their subs are and are not ok with trying. This will enable both partners to explore without feeling unsafe. 

Subs may also have physical limitations that restrict what they can do, such as knee or hip problems. Doms should work around these limitations to find positions and activities that won’t physically harm their subs. 

Never Ignore Safe Words

No matter how much fun doms are having, it is never ok for them to ignore their subs’ safe words. This is a massive violation of the subs’ trust, which may prompt them to end the relationship.

Whenever doms hear their subs say their agreed-upon safety words or see them doing a safety signal, they must immediately stop what they are doing. Remember, the subs’ mental and physical safety is more important than the doms’ gratification. 

Read the Subs Body Language

Subs live to please their dominants, so they may not always be willing to tell their doms when they are hurting them. Therefore, dominants need to pay close attention to their subs body language during play, especially when using sexual toys like spanking paddles that can potentially cause harm. 

If subs look like they are in a lot of pain or they receive any out-of-the-ordinary wounds or bruises during play, doms should back off and only proceed with caution.

Different Types of Dom-Sub Relationship in BDSM

How much responsibility doms have over their subs depends on the type of dom-sub relationship they participate in. Whereas some partners choose to only participate in their dom-sub power dynamic in specific circumstances, others allow their relationship to influence many aspects of their lives. 

We’ll discuss the three main types of dom-sub relationships in detail below: 

  • A playtime-only BDSM relationship. In this kind of dom-sub partnership, the dominant and submissive only adhere to their roles while they are in the bedroom or when they are performing sexual activities. 
  • A part-time BDSM relationship. Part-time partners will only participate in their dom-sub relationship during certain times of the week or month, such as Mondays and Wednesdays, every other day, etc. 
  • A full-time BDSM relationship. In this kind of relationship, the dominant is in control all of the time. Full-time relationships may include micromanagement, in which the dom controls even small things about their subs, such as when they can brush their teeth or go to the bathroom. It may also include total power exchange, in which the subs’ only freedom is their ability to leave the relationship. 

Conclusion 

In BDSM, dominants are responsible for the well-being of their submissive, including making sure they’re safe and cared for in the bedroom. Additionally, doms are required to take charge of their subs and create rules they must abide by. 

Dominants should also create rewards and punishments their subs will receive when they are good or bad to encourage proper behavior. The amount of responsibility doms have over their subs depends on whether they have a playtime-only, part-time, or full-time BDSM relationship.

However, regardless of their relationship status, doms should always protect their subs physical and emotional health. 

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