Many people believe that being dominant or submissive or switch is something that is ingrained from birth. They believe that they can’t learn how to be dominant in the bedroom or become more submissive,  but even if you’re a born dominant, you still need to gain the knowledge and experience to be a good domme. And you can learn to dominate your man skillfully even if it’s not a driving force of your personality.

With the right attitude, an open mind and the right tools at your disposal, you will quickly find that becoming dominant in the bedroom is doable, empowering and a lot of fun! Follow these easy rules and you will be well on your way to being more dominant and adventurous in the bedroom.



If you jump in too soon, you could have a negative experience that could be avoided or, even worse; someone could get hurt.

Even if you eventually wind up dominating your man hardcore with whips and blades, don’t expect to do that from the beginning. Learning how to be dominant and, perhaps more important, be a good domme to a partner takes time. Being a good dominant requires experience.

You should start with activities that are less intense or extreme (remember: just playing with power exchange can make things feel more intense!). This way, if something goes wrong, it’s much easier to handle because it’s your responsibility as the dominant to take charge if things go wrong. Knowing you can handle any little — or big — bumps in the road will give you the confidence to tackle more intense types of play and to react calmly when something goes awry.

On the other hand, dominating your man doesn’t need to be super extreme. If you only ever feel like commanding him to do a few mostly-vanilla acts (vanilla, in this context, refers to non-kinky sexual activities), that’s okay, too! Just wielding that power can be highly erotic, and the two of you can experience the flow of power between you. Initiating sex and instructing your partner what to do might not be super kinky (what is kinky, anyway?), but it’s a great start and can help you to have better sex!

So, start with that.

The mistake that so many women make when exploring how to become dominant is that they think they need to make drastic, massive changes in their attitude and actions. Thankfully this isn’t the case at all. In fact, if you suddenly change your attitude, you may even freak your man out, which is obviously not the goal at all.

So what kinds of steps can you take to slowly become more dominant?

  • Try initiating: Kiss your man when he’s not expecting it. Run your hand up and down his thigh to let him know what you’re thinking about. Take him by the hand and lead him somewhere private, then start unbuckling his belt. Push him down onto your bed. Try some ‘women on top’ sex positions. Gently bite his lip. Start with the easier things and you’ll quickly notice how easy & fun it is!
  • Tell him that you want to try something new: You could pin his arms and tie him to the bed. You could handcuff his hands behind his back and then ‘have your way with him’ by giving him a blow job. You could ask him to go down on you and then use your hands on his head to guide it to exactly where you want him to focus on.


keep calm and dominate

Once you are comfortable with that, then it’s time to take things a step further. Some people find that, when learning how to be dominant, the best way to ramp things up is with what you say. This can make it easier for you to get into that right head space.

Start with giving him simple orders or commands:

Can you do me a favor and rub my feet?

Get me a glass of wine, would you?

Go and warm the bed for me.

Once he is happily complying with these commands, then you can get a little kinkier, especially when you are actually getting sexual with your man. Here are a few example commands to give him.

You’re going to taste me (then physically push his head down so that he starts eating you out).

You don’t get to cum until I say so, ok?

You’re not allowed to orgasm until I cum at least twice.

Quick Tip: You can learn a lot more on talking dirty to your man to build sexual tension and turn him on in this tutorial video.

These are just some example commands that you can give your man. You don’t necessarily need to use them, but they will give you a good idea of what kinds of things you can say to your man to be dominant and for both of you to get comfortable with your roles.


Once you have tried out some of these suggestions and ‘dipped your toe’ in the realm of dominating your man, then it’s time to start figuring out what type of domination you prefer.

For most, they want to explore domination only to a small degree and keep it confined to the bedroom. Others want to live the lifestyle 24/7 and completely ‘own’ or control their man. Until you start exploring domination, you won’t know exactly what you want.

One thing people often misunderstand about being dominant in bed is that you don’t have to be extreme or cruel. It’s perfectly valid to be a more loving dominant, or to stick to activities that are a bit “less kinky.” In fact, it may be preferable.

You’ll feel more comfortable dominating your man when you’re a dominant version of yourself and not just imitating what you think dominance should be.

So if your stomach turns when you think about stomping on your man’s genitals, you don’t have to do that. Of course, being sadistic and cruel can be fun, and rewarding. But you don’t have to focus on correcting and punishing behavior.

What’s the alternative?

You can be a loving dominant. Instead of punishment, you focus on rewarding good behavior. Instead of telling your partner that he’s bad or humiliating him, you let him know how much he’s pleased you by doing what you requested the way you wanted.

Read more: The Complete, Step-By-Step Guide to Sensual Domination

Now, there’s nothing wrong with being cruel or sadistic. Some submissives relinquish control because this is precisely what gets them off. And if that works for you and your partner, great! But feel free to be more romantic and rewarding if that’s a better fit or even to pick and choose depending on your scene.

This brings us to the next thing you might ask if you want to know how to be more dominant in bed.


When reading articles about domination, BDSM, and other kinky activities, you’ll come across this term a lot, scene. In this case of scene, we’re talking about playtime.


During a scene, you might use specific nicknames, which help to enforce your roles and get you into the right headspace. For example, your partner might call your Mistress [Name] or a variation of your actual name during a scene. You may require him to call you “Ma’am” or use certain sentence structures when addressing you. Some female dominants go by “Mommy.”

These things are all personal preference.

Sometimes scenes are planned out quite well, and there’s little room for deviation. This might be a great way to play when you’re first trying out dominating your partner, playing with a new partner, or trying something new and more intense.

On the other hand, sometimes people play it more by ear with familiar partners or activities or when they’re not doing anything super intense.


Remember, however, that just because you’ve played this like before doesn’t mean it’s not risky.

Even “vanilla” sex comes with risks of pregnancy, STI transmission or injury. Something you’ve done a thousand times before can still go awry.

In kink scenes, there’s an acronym that represents this, RACK. RACK stands for risk aware consensual kink. Basically, it says that everything you’re doing is consensual but that you also recognize the inherent risk.

You can learn more about RACK in this article about essential BDSM rules. Following those rules is essential when you dominate your man and can help to mitigate some of the risks of kinky activities. The article contains general advice and advice that works for submissives, too, but you should keep reading below if you want domination tips specifically.


You might be eager to jump into your first scene with your partner. Perhaps you’ve already played together and realized that you love being dominant in bed. Congratulations! But you might want to back up a bit, especially if you intend to try more intense activities.

Even if you never try anything super extreme, it’s important to realize that as a dominant, you have unique responsibilities in your scene. You’re not just the person who gets to tie up and spank your partner; you also have to account for safety.

So you’ve got to follow a couple of rules during your scene and even before your scene to make sure you’re fully prepared.

  1. Know your tools. This may mean practicing on a pillow before a person, treating rope before you use it the first time, doing research before you even buy a new toy or tool, or watching someone else use it (Youtube is incredibly useful here). Some dominants won’t use items without testing them on themselves to understand the full impact. You’ll also want to learn how to clean and store any items you use.
  2. Negotiate safety and limits before your scene. Knowing safe words, health concerns, and hard and soft limits is essential before you play with someone. You may utilize a BDSM contract to make sure you cover everything. Check out these example BDSM contracts.
  3. Prepare for the worst. We recommend having everything you might need in place for a scene gone awry. Something strong enough to cut through bondage (a safety scissors or bolt cutter), keys for any locks, First Aid kit, and a charged cell phone are all advisable. It may even be handy to have a fire extinguisher nearby. Knowing these items are on hand if something goes wrong can help you keep your head clear.
  4. Start lighter than light, build slower than slow. This quote, adapted from the aptly-named Jay Wiseman [1 p 172], is great for making sure a scene goes as you want.  You can always go harder or faster, but you can’t take back something that has caused harm.
  5. Respect all safe words. Your submissive needs to know that you’ll respect safe words. Some people even argue that you can’t trust their consent if you’re not sure they feel safe revoking it. You can try a scene where you demand that your partner uses a safe word to practice. Whenever your submissive uses a safe word (or action), respect it. Stop and check in. If you’re using the traffic light system, a yellow may mean pause or stop.
  6. Check in with your partner. Even if your partner doesn’t use their safe word, checking in is advisable. Done right, you don’t have to break character or interrupt the flow of a scene as you sexily growl, “You like that, don’t you?” But it’s absolutely acceptable to be more direct and cautious, especially as you’re learning how to be more dominant or playing with new partners who may react in unexpected ways when something happens either good or bad.
  7. Pay attention to their behavior. Sometimes a submissive may not feel comfortable using a safe word or may not be able to because they could be gagged or otherwise unable to speak. If they slip into subspace (learn what ‘subspace’ is), they may not be aware of their current state. You’ll need to monitor your partner and pay attention to bodily cues and nonverbal signs of distress. You may sometimes need to stop the scene if you notice it.
  8. Never leave your partner alone. Some people may joke about trying a person up and leaving the room or even running to the store, but leaving a bound person alone can be quite dangerous. If they’re suspended, the system could crash down. They could experience a natural health concern such as a stroke, seizure, or even a nosebleed with no one to tend to them.
  9. Stay calm if something goes wrong. “Wrong” is subjective. It could mean that your partner uses his safe word, so you should stop/pause and check it. This may mean the premature end of the scene. On the other hand, injury, fainting, a seizure, fire, or some other unexpected problem requires you, the dominant, to take charge. If you’re prepared, you should be able to deal with most issues easily and can remain calm when doing so.
  10. Provide aftercare for your submissive — and yourself. Aftercare is the name given to treatment after a scene that helps a person return to physical and mental equilibrium. This might mean food and drink, a warm blanket, or cuddles. Some people prefer silence and solitude. Aftercare is quite varied, and you should be prepared not only to provide it to your partner but to look for ways you can achieve it as a dominant (yep, they often need it, too!).  Learn more about BDSM aftercare.
  11. Seek help when necessary. Although many people participate in some aspect of BDSM outside of any community, connecting with other kinksters can provide you with knowledge, experience, support, and guidance. For example, you might not be able to provide aftercare in some situations. This might be after a particularly intense scene or for yourself. You can enlist the help of another person to provide aftercare. Just do so before a scene so they can agree to be available. Seeking help also means calling 911/999/122 when you need to.

All of these rules help you to orchestrate a scene that’s safe and should be enjoyable to everyone involved. It might sound like a lot, but being prepared helps to minimize negative consequences. You can breathe a little easier knowing you have the knowledge and items necessary to protect yourself and your partner.

It goes without saying that you need to respect your partner. If you don’t respect him, you’ll likely disregard the rules and responsibilities that a dominant has, and someone could be hurt. Submissives are often warned about dominants who are disrespectful, which also makes them dangerous. You don’t want to be that person!


It’s generally unwise to simply begin your scene. You need to prepare. Preparations such as getting to know your tools, preparing for your scene are discussed above.

Gather what you need before a scene. This includes paddles, bondage gear, lube, and other necessities but can also extend to safety gear such as safety shears (used by paramedics to cut clothing off of patients), a First Aid Kit or other safety gear.

But that’s not the only thing you need to do.


One of the responsibilities of you as a dominant is to discuss a few things before a scene. This is known as negotiation. We discussed it above, but it’s important enough to warrant a bit more discussion.

Negotiation is important to ensure that everyone has a good time.

Negotiation is how you learn what your partner is up for, what they won’t do (known in the scene as a “limit”), any health concerns (think diabetes, low blood pressure, seizures, anxiety, arthritis, or a past injury). This is a good time to discuss any medications such as insulin that might become necessary to use. You might also discuss fears of small spaces or the dark or past traumas.

Safe word – Your partner can let you know his safe word or the two of you can decide on one together.

Limits – Don’t forget that you can list your own limits and concerns.

During the negotiation, you might have to compromise because of some of the issues that arise.

Now, this might all sound formal, and negotiating a scene can be more structured, especially with a new partner, but it can be casual. This is especially true for less intense scenes or if you’re used to your partner.

This can be a fun and sexy activity, too. Negotiation can take place over the phone or text as part of your dirty talk, or you could let your partner know your limits during a coffee date before you even enter the bedroom.

Negotiation is when you can talk about what you want to do and hope to achieve. What will a successful scene look like? How will each of you know it’s going well? Answering these questions means you get to know your partner and they you, and this can really get you in the mood!

As you can see, there’s a lot of communication required when you want to dominate him. In fact, some people think that the BDSM scene has helped people to talk more explicitly and healthily about sex.

If you struggle when it comes to these discussions, don’t worry. Many people have trouble talking about sex. It does get easier with time and experience, however. And talking about sex can majorly improve your sex life.

Get tips from our guide to sexual communication.


If you’re looking for domination ideas for your very first scene, I suggest something pretty tame. Start with the sex you’re used to and add one element such as bondage or a blindfold. It might not seem like a big idea to add both at once, but adding two novel elements can be overwhelming for both of you.

So you might tie up your partner and have your way with him whether this includes riding him, performing oral sex, teasing him with your hands or a sex toy to get him close to orgasm and then backing off, or sitting on his face.

Related: How to Sit on a Guy’s Face

Or you might add a blindfold but have sex as regular. One domination tip to help your partner is to talk them through what you’re doing for the first few times they’re blindfolded similar to how a masseuse might announce what’s coming next. This ensures that are no surprises.

Remember: it’s okay to feel a little nervous. This is why you start small. And it’s normal if things are awkward especially if you’re usually in the submissive role.

When your scene has completed, release your partner and proceed with aftercare.

After the two of you become comfortable with each element separately, you can combine them in future scenes.


Stop. Remain calm. Panic can cause you to react slowly or not at all or to do things in a frenzied manner that makes things unsafe. Figure out what you need to do.

This probably means untying someone, removing blindfolds and gags, and finding a place for their body to rest comfortably and safely. They may be conscious or not. Speak to them calmly if they’re alert to remain connected and let them know what’s happening.

You won’t be scrambling for keys, safety sheers, or a bandage if you’ve gathered these items beforehand.

Tend to wounds and administer appropriate medication. Are you comfortable providing injections if necessary?

You may need to call 911 or the appropriate emergency service and dress enough to meet paramedics at the door. Do not move or dress your partner if it will worsen any condition.

Most scenes won’t end poorly. You may occasionally deal with someone passing out or an errant throw of the whip cutting skin. Most issues that aren’t life-threatening will quickly pass. Sometimes the scene can continue, but you may want to cut it short just to be safe.


When your scene has ended, it’s time to provide aftercare, which we’ve already touched on a bit. We won’t expand much because you can scroll up or read this guide to aftercare, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, aftercare can be extended. You might provide some initial aftercare, but a followup call the next morning or even a quick coffee or ice cream date a few days later helps to ensure your partner is doing okay. Once the hormones settle down, they may find themselves experiencing overwhelming feelings, even if they enjoyed the scene. And it can take a day or more for their body and mind to return to normal.

The depletion of energy and hormones is known as sub drop. More on that here.

Secondly, a scene can drain a dominant just as it does a submissive. This is known as top drop and sometimes dom drop and is one of the reasons why dominants and tops need aftercare, too.

Top drop can involve physical and mental symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Difficulty with decision making
  • Clouded thinking
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or sex
  • Restlessness or anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sadness

There are some particular feelings that you might experience after dominating someone. Feeling guilty over how you treated someone, wondering if you’re a bad person or doubting your worth, and even suicidal thoughts can all occur to a dominant after a scene, even if the scene didn’t seem that intense. This can happen days later [2]. Don’t underestimate how power exchange can enhance the most basic sexual activity.

Your partner may be able to help by thanking you for playing, reassuring you that they desire and care about you, or even providing a glass of water. You may be able to support each other through your drops, but sometimes dropping prevents you from helping your submissive or vice versa. This is where another person might be helpful.

These negative feelings can come as a shock if you’re a new dominant, which is one reason why you might want to speak to an experienced dominant or two or even ask someone to be your kinky mentor!

Once you know what to expect, you can be better prepared. However, not everyone experiences top drop or experiences it with every scene.


Now that you’re ready to safely start your scene or at least to plan it, you might not be sure what to do. There are nearly limitless activities to consider, and things you already do in the bedroom can become kinky simply by telling your partner what to do.

Start by breaking down BDSM, the acronym that serves as an umbrella for most kinky activities.

Bondage – Bondage refers to the acts of physically restraining your man, whether by tying him up or by controlling where he has access to. If could be as simple as just tying his hands together or it can be much more elaborate where you use custom restraints specifically designed for bondage situations. Get started by trying light bondage.

Discipline – Discipline is similar to bondage, but refers more to the aspect of punishment and control based on your man’s behavior. So when he breaks rules that you create you will need to discipline him. There are a huge variety of ways to discipline your man.

You can do it physically by hitting or striking him whether with your hands, a whip, cane, paddle or whatever takes your fancy. You can also discipline him psychologically whether through humiliation or through controlling where he has access to (e.g. only allowing him access to certain rooms in your place).

You’ll find more BDSM punishments here.

Domination (and submission)  If you’re the dominant one, then your partner is submitting to you, following commands, and trying to please you. But they’ve given you the power to do so and can revoke it and may do so if they feel the need to use their safe word. You can engage in elements of bondage and kinky play without necessarily dominating your partner. This is known as topping, and there are tops who don’t identify as dominants.

Note that someone who is comfortable playing both roles is known as a switch. 

Sadism – Sadism is the sexual arousal and gratification that comes with inflicting pain or distress upon someone. So it could come from hitting or flogging your man, but it can also come from something like putting your man in a situation where he is humiliated or upset.

Masochism – Many masochists find pain to be a unique type of stimulation, and our bodies can often handle more when we’re aroused. So you may find yourself walking that fine line of pleasure and pain when you’re dominating your man. Furthermore, something like spanking can be a reward and would make a bad punishment for a masochist. Don’t forget to read this guide about erotic spanking.

Remember that you can pick and choose elements of play. If you only like bondage, there’s nothing wrong with it.

The Bad Girls Bible introduction to BDSM goes even further in-depth.

Of course, not every activity falls cleanly into these categories. That’s why we’ve created the BDSM checklist that lists hundreds of activities. You and your partner can go through the checklist to list activities you might be interested in or even add your own if something is missing!

Check out the BDSM checklist.

You’ll also find more inspiration in the following posts:

There are so many things to try that you may never do the same thing twice. Or you may find yourself so enamored with a specific activity that it becomes a staple in your bedroom. It’s all up to you and your partner to find what works for you.


Although we’re talking about how to be more dominant in bed and domination games involve sex for most people, this isn’t always the case.

Domination and submission don’t have to involve sex at all.

That’s right. You can engage in activities without sexual penetration or oral or manual sexual activities.

Some people experience sexual pleasure or even orgasm through kinky activities even when they’re not overly sexual. But you can choose to dominate someone without sex, and there are those people who choose to leave out the sex when playing with people outside of their romantic relationships to avoid violating their relationship agreements.

Or you may opt to forgo the sex if you’re playing at a party or public space rather than at home. Like all things BDSM, it’s up to you.


Although this article is mostly about being dominant in bed, some people take their dominance games outside of the bedroom. If you and your partner want more than some bedroom play, you might want to evolve your relationship into a D/s relationship (D/s stands for dominance & submission here).

Learn more about D/s relationships.

For those who are the most dedicated to power exchange relationships, a 24/7 relationship might be the best fit. Also known as total power exchange, these relationships grant the most power but also the most responsibility to dominants. This relationship style is definitely not for anyone but is worth checking out if you feel the drive to be dominant in all aspects of your relationship.

Read More: Total Power Exchange – The Ultimate D/s Relationship

This might sound extreme, but according to one study [3]:

 Owners and slaves often use common, daily life experiences or situations, such as the completion of household chores, money management, and morning or evening routines, to distinguish and maintain their respective roles. In addition, contrary to the perception of total submission, results revealed that slaves exercise free will when it is in their best interests to do so. These relationships were long-lasting and satisfying to the respondents.

Of course, you can stick to only being sexually dominant if you’re not interested in changing your entire relationship dynamic. Every couple is different.


Up to this point, we’ve assumed that your partner is into the idea of you dominating him, that scenes generally go well, and that this kinky play adds to your sex life. But what if that’s not the case? There are many times when trying out the role of domme might backfire or not even work in the first place.

  • When your partner doesn’t want to submit
  • When your partner would rather dominate you or when you’d rather be a submissive
  • When your partner tries to control the scene (also known as topping from the bottom)
  • When you struggle with the necessary skills
  • When someone gets hurt or something else goes wrong
  • When you just don’t enjoy dominating your man

This list is just to give you an idea of how reality might differ from your fantasy. It’s something to consider before you even try it out.

It can be heartbreaking to try to dominate your partner if he’s just not into it. It’s hard to be a good dominant when your partner is just phoning it in. And it’s not ethical to force someone into submission. Their submission is a gift that must be freely given.

Although BDSM fantasies are among the most common according to a survey by Justin Lehmiller [4 p 10], so much so that he recommends opening up to your partner because the odds are good that he may also be interested in it, not everyone shares them. Or you might have different interests with no way to compromise. Or you might be interested in something too dangerous or illegal to actually try out.

Not every fantasy needs to become a reality.

If you think this might be the case for you, you may still be able to enjoy a few of the elements of power play via your dirty talk. Or you might enjoy reading – or writing – erotica about it or watching some porn that features the elements you like.

For some people, however, being a dominant (or submissive) is in their blood. They can’t have any sexual or romantic relationship with it. If you find yourself in this position, then it’s time to consider whether your relationship is sustainable. And if it’s not, you may need to end things.

Related: How To Break Up With A Guy – 10 Painless, Drama-Free Tips

On the other hand, sometimes you just need to plan better or try a scene out with a different partner to get the experience that you want.

And as you become more a more experienced domme, you’ll outgrow some of that trepidation, gain confidence, and hopefully leave most of the awkwardness behind you.

However, you might take to dominating him quite easily. You might find that you discover a new part of yourself when you can be sexually dominant.

Some people find that engaging in BDSM allow them to be ” something authentic, unalienated, undisciplined, and noncommodified,” especially when compared to media portrayals of BDSM [5].

One study of BDSM practitioners found that “participants perceived sexual BDSM experiences as facilitating deeper interpersonal connections than those available in sex [6].”

There’s no doubt that discovering how to be a domme can be lifechanging for some people.

Learning how to be more dominant sexually never needs to involve whips & chains or any of that stereotypical stuff that you might see in porn or read about in 50 Shades Of Grey. It occurs on a spectrum. Sure some people want the more extreme stuff or even a small degree of it, but at the end of the day, the key is finding what works FOR YOU. When you do, your connection with your man can deepen, your sexual pleasure can increase, and you might grow as a person.

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