Over the 20 years in the lifestyle, I have been asked “how do I find a good Dominant?” A good dominant does not have to blow His/Her own trumpet. He/She doesn’t have to demand respect, He gets that anyway. He doesn’t have to announce to the world who He/She is, because His/Her reputation and the respect of His/Her peers precede Him.
Of course the qualities in a good Dominant are many and varied and in reality the qualities are really attributed to the PERSON – by that i mean that a particular man or woman is a good Dominant because He/She possesses qualities that are the essence of a good person.
A good person has qualities such as kindness and consideration, empathy and sympathy, politeness and respect of others, integrity, honesty and ethics, and probably many more that could be added to this list. It is those qualities which give a person the character, personality and skills to be good at anything he/she does, whether it be a career, family, or dominance or submission for that matter.
I think it is important to have communication in a relationship from the very start in both being able to feel as though you can express yourself to the other person but in listening too. I think for a Dominant to be a good listener is just as important in a casual relationship such as for play at a fetish event as it is in a permanent relationship, in fact possibly more so because they aren't used to how you might react to things. I think it's all very well having safe words but if a Dominant can't listen to a concern or a worry then having a safe word is a waste of time if they just muddle on without listening to what the submissive is saying either before, during or after play.
A good Dominant will not read a few pages on the internet, have a look through a book and then declare himself an experienced master with many years’ experience and several “trained submissives” under his belt. Most good Dominants have taken the time and trouble of being trained by a mentor, attended workshops and seminars and have perhaps had lessons from or sought advice from other Dominants more experienced than themselves.
Can a Dom be built? Well yes someone can learn how to be dominant, for it is a learned trait. But the dominant that is naturally dominant comes by it easily. And a good one, has a process of continuous process of learning to be a better Dominant. If I am a blacksmith, don’t I have a process of growing to be the best blacksmith? As a Dom we need to keep improving. Not for the sake of the submissive, even though my sub would benefit, but for myself to be a honorable and a man of integrity.
There are many so called Dominants who do not know the difference between being dominant and being domineering. A domineering person thinks that it is all about “being in charge” no matter what. Domineering people are often overbearing, loud and tyrannical – yes they exercise control, but it is done in an oppressive way, they are unjust and severe in their treatment of the people around them and their control is often enforced with threats of physical punishment and with no thought for anyone but themselves.
On the other hand, a Dominant person also exercises complete control but it is done in a more subtle way, with influences and thoughts rather than threats and physical punishments. Control should start with one’s self, before they THINK they can control a submissive. Control is sudo-control at best, for the gift of the sub is really his/her choice to follow us as a Dominant. And if you get a gift, do you spit in its face or break it? No you cherish it, protect it and build it up to grow.
Dominants care about the people around them, and though they can be authoritarian and powerful, they have the utmost respect for others and a high level of care and consideration. So a good Dominant, takes responsibility for the submissive or submissives in His/Her life, he/she controls them and dominates them, but He/She is empathetic to them and sympathetic to their needs, understanding that for any submissive to give their best, they must be secure and confident in their submission.
A good Dominant is respectful of others, both submissive and dominant, and is not too proud to ask for advice or help if it is needed. A good Dominant is the one whose name comes up in conversation time and time again, he is the one who is sought out for advice or help. He/She is the one who other Dominants aspire to be like, he/she is a role model to up and coming Dominants, and he/she is the one that many submissives would like to belong to.
A good Dominant is popular within the scene and makes time for everyone, and more importantly, does not belittle others, no matter what he/she may think. He/She treats everyone with respect and kindness, but does not suffer fools and is not afraid to speak his/her mind and tell someone off should it be necessary. He/She also tries to be non-political, as far as is possible, not entering into arguments or disagreements, but instead is more likely to act as a pacifier and an arbitrator in an effort to diffuse the situation rather than inflame it. When he/she sees an issue, he is not afraid to work on fixing it.
There are jealous people in every group or society, people who are consumed with it and who will try to discredit someone at every opportunity. There are people who are argumentative, and will want to control their way is the ONLY way, but the lifestyle is not only one way, it is open-minded, and just because I as a Dominant do not like something, it does not mean you can’t.
Most good Dominants simply ignore the criticisms and barbs aimed at them, as they are secure in themselves and know that fires without fuel will eventually die. From a personal point of view, belonging to a Master whom many consider to be a “good dominant” and being well respected and high profile also affects the sub and his/her life with Him. He/She also has to be very careful of any comments or actions of his/her own behavior, because it is a direct reflection on Him. You see He has to be in control of himself!
So in conclusion, I can say that in my opinion, a good Dominant is the one who is looked up to by his/her peers and sought out by Dominants and submissives alike, for friendship, and advice. He/She is patient, realistic, consistent, has discretion, promotes open communication, takes the time to understand and is safe, sane and consensual. He/She is well respected and well liked due to his/her nature and personality, and gives much of himself to others. And he/she doesn’t have to blow his own trumpet!