Tips for the inexperienced submissive or prospective submissive

This is based on an original written in 2010 by a great lady who is sadly no longer with us:  It's a bit random but I hope you find it useful if you are not familiar with the BDSM world.

What are you looking for?

  • At first, look for experience. Short term play partners or short relationships. You want someone experienced, someone whose interests match yours, someone who is going to be patient and helpful.
  • It doesn’t much matter if they suit you as a longer term partner; chances of finding “the one” if you have never dabbled before are low, because you’re the equivalent of a 16 year old discovering vanilla sex for the first time.  Whilst not impossible, you'd be lucky to click with the first Dom you played with so don't be put off - just move on and try out someone else. You will usually need to explore what's what before settling in to a longer term relationship.

Intense frenzy

  • When you’re new, you can feel incredibly intense and it can screw up your normally good judgement. Everything deserts you when you’re finally on your knees saying “yes Sir”, or in subspace so sublime you can't even remember what day it is!

First meeting rules

  • You’re full of need, you’re desperate to submit, your fantasies are going wild. Don’t be in a hurry. If you need to, take the edge off your need by playing with some more experienced people, and that will also help you to explore your needs and preferences, ready for The One when he appears.
  • Get it out of your system with someone who knows how to play, and who isn’t looking for a relationship. You may still find yourself falling in lerv!  The intense emotions and sensations you feel during play can fool you into that, even when the Dom is completely unsuitable for you. Guard against that. A good tactic is to play with two or three different doms.
  • It will take time for you to find the right Dom/Daddy/Master. Generally it takes at least a month if not more, because you need to work out what you want, and that’s not easy.  As you get older, say over 30, the chances increase that you do better know what you want and you may not need to experiment so much.  Perhaps you'll recognise who is going to meet your needs after only a week or so together.


Use this period to discover what you want out of BDSM. Questions you need to answer.

  1. do you want to submit to someone, or just play with intense sensations?
  2. do you want to serve someone, submit to their control, or play with sensations? Don’t get too caught up in labels, but use them to help you explore the territory.
  3. do you want to have a dominant and a vanilla lover, or are you looking for both in one person?
  4. are you poly? and if you are, or you’d consider it, are you ready for that?
  5. what kind of play are you going to like?
  6. how much of your life do you want to devote to this?
  7. are you someone who wants to be made to do things, or do you want to obey from your own volition?  (This is a really important one and you need to think carefully about it).
  8. are you focused on your partners’ needs, or on your own? Both are OK but look for a match.  Mutually fulfilling arrangements are much more enduring.

“True submission”

There’s no single way to be “a true submissive” or “a true slave”. There’s only the right way for you and your partner.  But, having said that, be guided by an experienced Dom.


Oddly enough a Dom and a Sub are equals - they are both generally strong willed and determined individuals, but the sub uses her determination to let go completely, liberating her basal taboos and inhibitions.  That takes great courage and great trust.  Likewise a good Dom uses his strength to exercise the power he has been given in a responsible and controlled way.  Despite being given all the power, it is how and where and why the Dom exercises that power that will determine if his sub allows it to continue.  Of course she ultimately has the power to walk away from the relationship, which means she is ultimately in control.  So despite the very one-sided role play that the use of Dom and Sub connote, the Dom dare not abuse the power he has been given for fear that his Sub will pull the plug, leaving him devoid of gratification in all respects.

Good dominants

A good dominant will want the best for you and, ideally, will be protective of you. He won’t stop you from learning, or asking questions, or exploring;  in fact a good Dom will encourage that, if not even be your teacher. He won’t stop you from attending social events (but don't demand that he accompany you).  He won’t stop you from seeing your friends, or asking advice, or posting on Fetlife or Alt or Locanto etc. He will allow all these things because experience will make you a better sub and a more fulfilled person.  (But monitoring who you engage with for your own protection may be something you'd be happy with).  If he thinks otherwise, he’s being an arsehole, not a dominant.

Creeps and wannabes

Watch for the warning signs:

  • refuses to use safewords - these are essential to ensure the legality of what he does with you and to you.  Using your safe word is revoking consent to whatever is happening.  (See below about being trustworthy!)
  • use phrases like “on your knees bitch” in chat, or on the phone
  • expects you to submit to him before you’ve met, or to call him Sir or so forth – experienced doms will want that, but only after you have agreed to play together
  • asks you to send him pictures of you nude before you've even met, or wants you to webcam for him (pics of your face are fine.. he’ll want to see your character and to see if he fancies you, that’s okay). He may be an online player or just a wanker.

Being someone worth meeting

Don’t expect a Dom to spend hours chatting with you online. A good Dom has a line of people to play with and won’t want to waste his time. Yes, waste, because most of the girls who chat online end up getting cold feet and disappearing. It’s such a colossal time sink. A real life, experienced Dom tends to want to move out of chat as soon as possible.

Newbies who expect lots of chat, lots of meetings etc before playing with anyone tend to end up playing with inexperienced doms. That is not a good way to start your play life. (Sometimes, you see newbies saying they want a few months of talking/dating before play. Sheesh.)

Be brave. Work out what you want, and then jump in. A coffee chat is not an engagement, although that would be fine for a very first meeting!

Be worth playing with

Most dominants (though not all) prefer a submissive who’s responsive. Who tells him what’s on her mind, and who responds physically and with moans, sighs and cries during play. “She’s really responsive” is a compliment to a sub.

Be open about your feelings, fantasies and experiences.  In fact being open and honest with your Dom/Master/Daddy is not only essential to the relationship, it is the quickest way to ensure your desires are going to be met!

Playing hard to get is a game for vanillas.

Keeping your feelings inside is actually dangerous in BDSM.  Even the best Dom/Daddy/Master is not a mind reader!

Be trustworthy to play with

You always have the RIGHT to say "no" by using your safeword.

You have the RESPONSIBILITY to say "no" by using your safeword.

When? Any time you want (except perhaps when you are receiving a "real" punishment!).

That’s what safewords are for.

If you don’t use your safeword to stop play that’s distressing you, you’re actually not just letting yourself down, you’re letting down your Dom by being an untrustworthy submissive. How can he play with you if you don’t let him know when you’re in trouble?

If the Dom says he doesn’t use safewords, be careful.  Sometimes, they mean that they don’t need them, because they watch your body language carefully so that you won’t need to call it. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one. If he doesn’t ask you what yours is, tell him “By the way, my safeword is Mercy”. Mercy and Red are the two most common ones, and any dominant will recognise them as a safeword during play.

If he doesn’t ask your safeword or give you one, that’s an amber light. If you tell him your safeword and he reacts badly or angrily, do not play with him.

If you don’t use your safeword, or don't put something on your hard limits list, and then he does it? You are to blame, not him. You have played unsafely, not him. And you don’t get the right to complain about it later, or cry rape.

“No” is not a safeword. You must say your agreed safeword clearly and loudly, and you must say it at the time. If you are going to be gagged then agree on a viable gesture substitute – this is essential – your life may depend on it!


Ensure that you explain what your limits are.  These can be hard limits (I will never do that) or soft limits (I may do that once I get to know you better).  It’s normal for a newbie to have a big list of limits, since many of the things we do seem scary and are often beyond your initial capacities. Your Dom may say that nothing is off limits in terms of you ceding total power, but you must nevertheless make known in advance what you honestly don't want.  A Dom that ignores your wishes too often (as distinct from occasionally pushing your boundaries) risks having you walk away, which of course would destroy the relationship.  A smart Dom is not going to kill the proverbial Golden Goose.  It's hard enough to find a submissive playmate without abusing her to the point she does not enjoy the relationship, so smart Doms are not going to abuse the power you cede, even if you've technically agreed that they can legally do whatever they want.  It is the fact that you've agreed that matters to them - not that they are intent on abusing the power.

Never ever say “I have no limits”!  That’s silly - do you want your arm cut off or broken?

“I want my limits pushed”. (Sure you do, but maybe not in the first hour you’ve met!).

Even once you've agreed to hand over all of your power to your Dom, he will need to explore your limits with you and that can be a good way to get to know each other and build up trust.  Limits could be physical (eg how easily do you mark, and are you even willing to be marked or bruised?).  Do you understand different severity levels of spanking, caning, strapping, belting, whipping, and how they feel on different parts of your body?  Again, a good Dom/Master will take you through many experiences and give you a good opportunity to see what you like and what you don’t, and of course you should also make suggestions – it’s not all one way!  If you’d like your Dom to try something with you or on you, just ask!  In the early stages don't be put off if your Dom exceeds your limits whilst assessing where they are.  It will take a bit of calibration to work out when you're genuinely in distress as distinct from crying out "in-role".

Explore all the different types of play, even if they look weird or uninteresting or scary. You will be amazed what you end up liking.  Many subs are scared of violet wands for example, but used properly they are just like having fizzy champagne bubbles poured onto you.

Dominants are not superior to submissives as people. Their role as a Dom is just a part of who they are – it’s a role. They are not infallible.  Like actors in a play – try to develop a rapport with a good Dom so that you each fit comfortably into your roles and provide mutual enjoyment to each other.  Being a sub does not mean surrendering your self-esteem, or being treated as an inanimate object.  The best Doms will seek to engage with you at multiple levels: mental, physical, intellectual, erotic and so forth.  Tuning in to each other means allowing at the early stages some fine tuning to get the best reception.  So allow your Dom some latitude in those early stages.  Good feedback is important during those stages especially.

Don’t totally abandon your regular life for BDSM. It’s tempting, but you’ll be sorry.  If a Dom demands that you neglect your work, family, friends, health or finances: beware!  He may or may not want to be involved with them (and if he does you may need to be creative in agreeing a pretext for that!).  But don't become so enslaved that you never leave home and certainly don't agree to being imprisoned for more than the most fleeting of periods.

BDSM isn’t that serious all the time; it’s okay to laugh.  In fact a Dom with a sense of humour is to be cherished!  No Dom is going to be on your case 24 x 7 - often an intense session, especially if you have been punished, will be followed by genuine warmth and affection.  Most Doms don't punish for no reason - being firm but fair is ideal.  Don't mistake strictness for unfairness.  If you ever think you are being punished unfairly, explain why.  A good Dom will listen and respond thoughtfully.  If he does, be prepared to accept his ruling, though.

If you’re a submissive, that doesn’t mean you submit to anyone but the people you choose to submit to.  Consent still matters!  No one can order you about or treat you as “less than” unless you want them to.

You don’t have to have sex with people just because you’re a sub. You can put sex on your hard limits list (as in you will not do it) and this should be respected no matter what.  You can play without having sex. Some dominants are very focused on sex and will not want to play with you if you won't have sex with them.  If they prefer to combine BDSM with sexual intercourse and that is not your thing, don’t feel pressured to agree.  Just accept that you’re not a match and you don’t do it.  Many doms are not interested in sexual intercourse as such and some never want it. Pick one of those, if you prefer not to have sex with your BDSM play.  Of course many Doms/Masters will enjoy intimately fondling you and maybe even fingering you to an orgasm as part of orgasm control training.  Or they may like to give or receive oral.  Again – these are all aspects that you need to discuss and agree on.

One final tip: NEVER let a prospective Dom/Master tie you up on the first or second play. It is way too early to place that much trust in someone and, not only that, unless you are an experienced sub/slave you may not realise how dangerous being trussed in one position can be without an opportunity to move your limbs to maintain blood flow.  By all means try different things as you build up trust and confidence and don’t be afraid to ask your Dom to demonstrate how quickly he can release you in an emergency.  Take extra care with things around your neck that could choke you if you slipped or fell, for example. BDSM/Fetish