Here is a list of 10 BDSM mistakes that Dominants and MASTERS should be constantly aware of, from my 15+ years of experience, at the time this article has been written.

These are the real pitfalls of any Power Exchange dynamic, and they get even more critical and dangerous in TPE (Total Power Exchange) Relationships and generally in any LTR (Long Term Relationship).

10 BDSM Mistakes to avoid for Dominants 

Giving submission for granted

The first and foremost point that I’d like to make, is that this is a widely distributed problem, but I might not be meaning what the reader thinks I mean.

Nowadays in the woky-woke “scene” that Leather has become, most of the people sport out proudly that “a Dom has to earn respect before respect is given”; while that’s actually wrong, because these people apply this good-sensed rule that should apply to trust, also to form and PROTOCOL; we have already addressed this issue in this article about “should you address any Dom as SIR?”.

So, what I’m actually talking about is true submission, not formal respect of hierarchy, titles and positions (as we said, it’s also about self respect to address a Dominant “SIR” at all times). True, actual submission is something that comes over time, and that generally is evoked by a combination of deep trust, deep gratitude and deep respect.

When as a sub you accept a SIR as your leader, and gradually you escalate HIM to be your GOD, as a MASTER should be to HIS sub, you are actually assigning HIM that power. Exactly like Christian Catholics assign power to a crucifix, which per se is, just two pieces of wood nailed together.

That is the basic concept of Power Exchange: through submission, the sub strips itself naked of all layers of protection, and leaves ego to the side, acquiring therefor self actualization and gaining power in submission, but it also becomes extremely fragile emotionally and psychologically, not having any defense system in place.

The Dominant acquires this power given by the sub, where the Dominants words and actions or even just mood shifts are now so charged with power over the sub’s life, that a single lift of an eyebrow can catalyze total joy, or total doom in the sub.

So, this is what I’m talking about, and this is actually the only definition of submission (where instead mere servitude may even not require any submission at all). Giving submission for granted means forgetting that the way YOUR sub reacts to YOU depends entirely on YOUR actions. If YOUR sub stops being open, submissive and in tune, most likely it means YOU have done something that has hurt it or scared it on some deep level.

It means that the trust, respect and gratitude alchemy has been altered by YOUR actions, and only YOUR actions can fix this: after all, YOU are the MASTER.

So, instead of stomping YOUR feet to the ground and complaining about it, remember that YOU are in charge in this relationship, and only YOU have the power to understand what’s going on, and the power to fix this.

Calling communication “drama”

Of course, in order to have control over YOUR sub’s emotional and psychological space, YOU need it to be completely open to YOU. YOU need to have endless access to every thought, every fear, every pain; after all, in BDSM, we deal with the mind, we face the fear and we deal with the pain; both the physical pain, which is vessel and language form for Power Exchange, and both with emotional and psychic pain, which are present in Power Exchange relationships, and it is to be expected and addressed.

Wanting to pierce into a sub’s soul and having access to it, only to selectively decide YOU want to deal only with it when it is horny and happy, and not when it needs YOUR help the most, is not a sign of integrity; if YOU can’t do this, YOU are not a MASTER. End of story.

It is normal that a sub goes through deep and painful stages of fear and insecurity; in true submission, YOU step out of the comfort zone, and it’s normal to deal with the fear zone.

Different subs, which are different people, might expose these fears and insecurities in different ways. Some may whine and complain, some others might rebel and try to push YOU away, others may just be vocal about their fears, and inform YOU politely about their emotional state. When a sub does this, it is being a good sub.

“Bad subs” will hide their feelings, and they will hide them because they are unable to trust, and therefor, they are not really being submissive. Assuming YOU have done what YOU can to deserve that submission, if they still won’t trust YOU, then its them making a mistake, and this mistake happens so often, that I’ve personally seen this being the main reason for the End of most BDSM relationships.

Something else that I’ve seen far too often, are Dominants incapable or unwilling to carry the load of a sub’s frustration, fear and discomfort, and writing off their openness as “drama”; drama is a very woke term, and a very abused one in the gay community. Basically anything that requires effort, commitment and empathy in a relationship, and isn’t easy, fun and fast, is written off as drama.

Writing off your sub’s openness and complete trust to YOU as “drama” will surely destroy that sub’s self esteem, self respect and sense of care from YOU, creating a deep crack in YOUR D/s dynamic, that will be very difficult to fix.

Being volatile and emotional with drastic decisions

Another consequence of being given the enormous power that a MASTER has over HIS property, is that you lose the right to be free yourself. Nobody is “free” in a TPE D/s relationship. As much as the sub is bound to YOU, YOU are bound to who YOU chose to be as well.

Many people in the “scene” today repeat without thinking a slogan (because after all everything is more of a slogan to stay in the scene, than a honest individual opinion today) that power exchange is about the sub being owned by the Dom and the Dom being also owned by the sub. This is not the case. That would flip the flow of power and on the long run it would become damaging both for the sub and the Dom.

The point is that although the Dom isn’t owned by the sub, HE must be owned to the role HE chose for HIMself. Therefor, YOU cannot decide to be a MASTER only when it’s fun and easy; YOU’ve got to put YOUR raw emotions to the side and deal with them with a friend, with your spouse, with a therapist even, but you can’t afford drastic emotional decisions with YOUR sub, because every single decision will have permanent consequences, when true submission is in place.

So, if YOU are having a disagreement with YOUR sub, or YOU feel disappointed, or YOU are just too much under pressure, YOU can’t just say “I’m done with this”, just to come back 12 hours later changing YOUR mind as if nothing ever happened. YOU are not in a vanilla relationship of equal. Sticks and stones are ok in those dynamics, and are actually a healthy way of processing compromise and frustration. In a Power Exchange relationship, YOU can’t just shout and vent and break things, because YOU’re not an equal; YOU are supposed to be the MASTER, and in control.

So, consider that any abrupt change and choice will have a direct effect on the success or failure of YOUR future projects with this person.

Being inconsistent

Dominant men are very often greedy bastards; and that’s ok. Just because as a SIR YOU have many appetites for many different things, it doesn’t mean YOU have to have them all with the same sub, though.

If YOU start a very serious training with a serious sub, say about Dog Training, that sub must be a dog 24/7; of course many other things might be included in the activities and PROTOCOLS and turn ons in that dynamic, but the ground base must be something a sub can identify with. Let’s stick to this Dog Training example for now.

YOU can’t train a sub to identify as an animal, and then decide YOU want it as a waiter, as a chaffeur, and/or to suspend its training and all of a sudden having him eat at the table, talk with you, and be “friends”. This inconsistency will take a huge amount of power and depth away from the Dog Training and from all other activities, because they will become less real, and eventually, just a temporary role play.

Why not having instead YOUR beloved dog-animal-thing, and also nurture a D/s dynamic with a house boy or servant? Why limit YOURself to one relationship, and taking away from YOUR sub what it identifies in and believes in so much?

Shaming your sub’s nature

This is one of the most damaging behaviors I’ve witnessed online, offline and just everywhere in the MASTER and slaves communities (also straight and bi ones); when YOU start talking with a sub and YOU end up starstruck by some of its qualities that YOU are picking up, YOU must not forget that YOU are seeing just a small part of what that sub is; specifically, YOUR brain is handpicking things that YOU are looking for, without looking at the whole picture.

By the way, we all do this: Doms do this, subs to this, we all do. That’s when, after the interested is engaged and maybe YOU are chatting since a few weeks, YOU start exploring deeper that sub’s identity (unfortunately some Doms don’t even do that, they go straight to “I want to OWN you”), and that’s where YOU are going to find that the sub might have a different sexual identity than what YOU expected.

As an example, one could be complete Men Pleaser and feel the urge to please any man requiring any kind of service; this will not compromise its loyalty to YOU, and shaming it telling it things like “oh why are you this way?” or in any way de-powering that identity, is just wrong. As a MASTER, YOU achieve true submission by empowering that sub’s identity and potential, and leveraging everything that specific kind of sub can do. That doesn’t mean indulging in all its needs, but not even shaming them.

If YOU realize that that sub’s identity is a turn off for YOU, YOU should not try and change it, not immediately at least; a change in the sub’s interests will happen spontaneously when the results of TPE and self actualization are established, that is, after the sub has gained enough trust that YOU won’t turn YOUR head on it, and that YOU actually want it for what it is.

The same goes on the contrary in this example: YOU might be a very “shary” MASTER, and it might be a very “tunneled vision” sub that only cares about serving YOU. A change can happen, but only if YOU accept and desire the sub for what its identity and nature is.

Shaming that nature, in one way ore the other, is only going to damage the sub, remove its libido, and therefor the joy in service.

Fearing that kindness equal weakness

I wrote a long thread on Twitter about this, so here’s the link. The point here is that most Doms are (rightfully) worried, especially caring ones, that being too kind might lead to that taking control of the sub over the relationship, to that shift in power-exchange that is very silent, and very deadly for these relationships.

So while it’s right to maintain the steering wheel firmly in YOUR hands, that doesn’t mean that YOU can’t or shouldn’t be human, kind and emphatic. Being afraid of showing empathy and kindness is a very loud flashing sign of weakness, and every sub will notice this, guaranteed.

So, even when YOU’re not going to agree with YOUR sub, or even when YOU will decide to administer correction and punishment, YOU don’t need to scream, YOU don’t need to shout, YOU don’t need to behave like a dick and YOU don’t need to be cruel. These 4 things are not the qualities any sub seeks in a MASTER.

Not using your sub

This sounds easy and simply, and at the same time an oxymoron. Of course in theory, as a MASTER, service should happen only when YOU want it, and at YOUR liking. That is true, and should stay so. At the same time, a sub is not a pieve of wood, or a plastic object in a corner that doesn’t need anything but a hard life without any privilege, and just idling forever.

A sub is made to be used; how YOU will want to use the sub is bound to its nature and how can it be of YOUR use, as stated in the chapter above; yet, YOU can’t just expect it to stick with YOU and stay submissive if it never gets to express its nature.

Do use YOUR subs, use them a lot, make them feel alive and wanted, make them feel useful to YOU, because their entire life and desires revolve around this; their only way of feeling pleasure is YOUR satisfaction as a result of something they can actually contribute to; also, we are Leathermen, not nuns. Use YOUR subs sexually too, bring them to new depths of sleaze and passion.

Be alive with YOUR subs, because if they are good subs, they’ll be waiting to receive energy from YOU, rather than showing YOU actively and constantly that they need.

Abusing your sub’s loyalty

if a sub has really submitted to YOU, it has ties that bind it to YOU in ways it can’t control. It’s unfair and naive to think that after true submission and pledge of OWNERSHIP, it would ever truly be able to say no to YOU. So, if YOU decide that this sub drives YOU crazy, and that for whichever reason YOU don’t feel happy in this relationship anymore and YOU want out, then end this relationship, but don’t keep coming back afterwards trying to reinstablish things YOU don’t actually intend to maintain.

Something I see very often are people that for whichever reason end up in a contrast, and they start a yo-yo effect where the MASTER and sub relationship isn’t on… but isn’t finished either. That’s because the “MASTER” wants to keep occasionally using the sub, but doesn’t want to deal with the relationship, or because the two men are in love, but also can’t have what they want from each other. Whichever is the reason, this is really damaging, cause it prevents the sub to move on, heal and have another chance with another man.

Abusing a sub’s loyalty is a very negative behavior, as the sub can’t have the strength nor the will to put the word “END”, and regain full control from YOU; some might have this strength, some might not, depending also on many dynamics in the relationship, but if YOU end up in this situation, be firm with YOUR decisions, and set the sub free for good if YOU don’t want it.

Not giving aftercare

Just like during a Session, also when and if YOU decide to end a BDSM relationship, giving after care is fundamental. As we said, a sub strips away of all armors, defense mechanisms, and is completely raw.

If YOU decide to punish, after the punishment, talk. Solve the issues. Make sure it understood you are not permanently disappointed, make sure it learnet the lesson, but that it feels that it is forgiven too.

If YOU decide to end the relationship, be a man about it. YOU are the whole world to this person, like YOU are the whole world as an Owner to a dog. YOU can’t just leave it on the side of the road (actually, YOU must not abandon or end anything with any animal, this is just a metaphor). Be there for the sub, don’t disappear on it, sustain and fulfill any explanation it needs to be able to process this pain.

If YOU fail to do this, YOU certainly don’t deserve any sub’s trust, as clearly they won’t come alive out of a deep experience with YOU, if anything doesn’t go as YOU have planned.

Expecting equal relationships dynamic

This last point wraps all of this article up, in the sense that all of these mistakes come from expecting the same dynamics in a TPE relationship that YOU would expect in a vanilla relationship.

That’s why, once YOU have chosen to have this Title and its honors (being a MASTER), YOU have to deal also with the duties of this lifestyle.

Being a MASTER means being such also when the shit hits the fan, and also when YOU are wrong.

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