What happens when a Dominant submits? What are the different dynamics in play, and what is the value of said submission?

If you are a Dominant who has subbed to another Master, you know what we’re talking about both in the positive and negative aspect, like when a BDSM relationship comes to an end, and not necessarily in a happy and peaceful way.

Of course, relationships can fail, people can disappoint us, and life goes on; it’s all normal. But I wanted to take the time to think and share why to me, during my training years, it has been such a painful experience, and why I believe, there needs to be more awareness and knowledge of the different aspects coming into play when a Dominant man submits to another.

Why should a Dominant submit?

Most Dominant men, or actually dominant people I would say, in the BDSM scene, tend to hide the natural balance and continuum there is inside of each one of us; 20 years ago it was much worse, with a lot of role-shaming going on in the scene, and that would make it even harder for Dominants to explore submission openly, or to explore it at all.

The truth is that human beings are very complex and multifaceted creatures; everything in nature is bipolar, and nature itself is a continuous pendulum swing of elements that contradict each other. Light and darkness, heat and cold, strenght and weakness, and so on. Truly, there is no such thing, or never have I ever encountered such a thing in my experience, where one man is only one thing. Potentially, we all contain infinite possibilities; the way we live and what position do we occupy in the polarities of Domination and submission, is often contextual to life experiences and tendencies.

Yet, that doesn’t mean that a real Dominant shouldn’t have desires of submission, nor that a true submissive can’t be dominant in determined situations.

Moreover, for a Dominant to truly experience submission, is a healthy path for many reason.

  • it creates balance within the energies in a person
  • it teaches empathy
  • it generally makes for a better Dom to know how it feels to be “on the other side”
  • it creates more responsible Dominants
  • it gives the person the possibility to express his full potential and grow a lot faster
  • last but not least, true submission leads to complete freedom and peace of mind.

Sometimes, the drive behind the need for submission in a Dominant comes from some specific emotional and mental dynamics:

Sometimes a Dominant submits to deal with the Impostor Syndrome

The Impostor Syndrome is a phenomena most leading figures (both in business, in family life, in BDSM..) experience. It’s the deep belief not to be qualified or worthy of a title, a responsibilty or the admiration of people around us, for the task that we are carrying on. You can read more about Impostor Syndrome here.

Impostor Syndrome can feel so crushing over time, that even the most Dominant man could find it much more pleasurable not to stay in the Domspace and instead switch to subspace, giving up responsibility, leadership, and finding freedom in said submission. Freedom from judgment, and from anxiety.

While it’s a great thing to submit for a Dominant, I suggest to accompany this choice with also analyzing this emotional and mental condition with a professional or a true friend, or a coach, who can help you realizing that you’ve got nothing to prove to anyone, if not to yourself. That’s because submission used as a coping mechanisms is surely ok for you, but might lead you to be using your Dominant partner without realizing that you risk to seriously harm his own self esteem and sense of dominance.

Some Dominants have a healthy Sexual Bipolarism

Sometimes instead a Dominant submits simply because they are very well aligned with their desires and what they like to experience, and they don’t feel the need to be only one thing at at time. These BDSM players often don’t belong to Old Guard, where structures are much more static (because in Old Guard you get to submit completely as the very first step, and often if you decide to become a MASTER and be trained as such, your submission and need for submission tends to feel completely satisfied during training years).

There’s nothing wrong or less valuable in being a BDSM switch; especially in the modern scene where BDSM and Kink seem to be accessories to wear to define some sort of online uniqueness, rather than something linked to spirituality, belief and true dedication to lifestyle, it is extremely common for “kinksters” to be 100% switch.

Therefor, this category of people don’t actually belong the topic of this blogpost, as they don’t identify as Dominants, but rather as fluid BDSM practicioners.

A Dominant submits when Old Guard Protocols

As explained in the who is a MASTER in Old Guard Leather post, in Old Guard you don’t get to become a MASTER and being validated as such by the community because you so wish; if that’s your wish, your are going to learn fro a Mentor, and you’re going to most likely have to experience full submission with said man, that you have given this delicate role to.

In the path to becoming a real MASTER, you get to experience everything that your subs will experience, both physically, and psychologically and emotionally.

So that’s another reason why extremely Dominant men might seek submission; they might seek validation on one hand, and to feel worthy of their doing as MASTERS, or they might want to embody from a Mentor the full meaning of Leather Mastery.

So there are plenty of reasons why a Dominant should experience true submission at least once in their life, and there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed about; it doesn’t make you any less of a Dominant, and it’s actually a mark of a real man.

Yet, it does come with some dangers that you should be aware of.

picture showing a young MASTER LUPUS with his Mentors for the article when a Dominant submits

The difference between the service of a Dominant and of a submissive

The main difference is that while a submissive serves out of satisfying his own nature’s need, a Dominant is by default going way out of his comfort zone. What does it mean to sub not as a sexual experience, but as a fundamental and constitutive part of your growth as a Man and MASTER? What does it mean when you generally don’t have submissive feelings at all, and you choose one or two people in the world to be vulnerable to, and trust blindly in, and let them take the title of Mentor?

Let me clarify this part: we are all vulnerable in BDSM, always. Both Doms and subs can get hurt, yet for a submissive seeking vulnerability is part of the drive. For a Dominant, exposing vulnerabilities and being at service, is anything but standard, and leads to a much more sensitive emotional and psychological balance.

Moreover, there is great importance to this other difference: while a submissive is going to learn about itself during his journey, a Dominant is going to be directly affected in the way he will treat other subs in the future. A good Mentor will inspire the Dominant to be responsible, caring, hard and strict but fair, and integrity driven. But when a Dominant lives an abuse, it is very likely that he is going to reproduce that same abuse onto others, just like it often happens in other areas of hurt and abuse in life.

It’s not at any point about Class A and B submissions, feelings or commitment. There is not a better or worse one, there is not a higher and lower level. Yet there is deep difference.

What can go wrong when a Dominant submits and the possible consequences

As we said, while for a sub submission, servitude and worship are a natural calling, a private pleasure satisfaction and feeling at ease and finally relaxing, to be able to serve is for a Dominant a completely different matter. It is actually, at least in my experience, all about the need to know there is someone in the world you can trust blindly in, let go control to, look up to. The more a man is Dominant and in need to be in charge, the more he carries a crushing heavy weight. The weight of responsibility, always knowing what to do, what to say, what to think, how to act. So for a Dominant having the possibility to switch and serve, wether just as “fun” or instead into a serious relationship, is something that involves a lot of feelings and tensions. It’s not our natural role, we feel make ourselves extremely vulnerable and exposed in a raw, intimate side of ourself which links to the soft, tender and fragile part of our soul, which is what is left in you of when you were a boy.

My bad experience when trusting another Dominant

I have been on recon as a premium member for over 10 years.  Since I was 19 years old I was looking with admiration at Boos of Berlin; he looked in all like an Old Guard real Leather Master, he was almost 3 times my age, pictures in his profile going back to the 80’s and 70’s, him together with slaves in situations that led me to think that they had a life together, that there was a relationship going on, and so on. To my surprise, he engaged with me and wanted to use me for some play Sessions. I had no sub experience at all back then, and I was in a monogamous relationship with my husband, so that could not happen, and I have never thought it would have happened anyway.

Then, the rest of the story you all know from the “Of Wolves, Dragons and men” series, which I invite you to read, as they are real pieces of extreme and emotional BDSM experiences, with pictures and much more.

Fast forward, if you have read those articles, you know that we have actually met. Me and Mick started seeing each other every time I went to Berlin, and he started to be the only reason why I wanted to move my life to Berlin or to actually travel to Berlin more than 4 times per year. Every time we met there was not just the “playtime”. There were dinners, breakfasts, ice creams in the park, talks and laughs, there was sleeping together after a Session, there was me letting him putting a metal rod through my penis and cut through in a prince albert piercing, in which he professed being an expert, and more. And I was so happy, so proud, so very ok with all this, because I thought I was going to learn what I didn’t know from one of the best, and I thought I was gifting the submission I don’t feel for anyone, to him.

I was led to believe that I was something special to him, I though we were building not just a play friendship, but “the relationship”. The man new exactly that a person like me would never let them whip me to the blood or mutilate my body, just “for fun”. For me, it takes something extremely serious, a life or death deal. I was giving him all that I had, the most precious thing I had. And I was willingly led to believe we were on the same page. I didn’t imagine this all on my own; it wasn’t because I was too much carried away or stupidly fell in love. He confirmed his intentions about Ownership all the time. When I wanted to make sure there were no misunderstandings, I told him about my feelings very openly, and he stated during an official interview for the movie Black Collar by SauKerl Productions Berlin, that he “had a leatherfamily like Lupus’c once, and that he would really love to build one again or to be part of one again”.

Still, I was keeping the needed safety distance, just to be sure he was not playing or fucking around with me.

I found myself in an unforseen situational depth, where I felt like giving myself completely to this man, and becoming his Property. I stated very clearly what it meant to me, and the effect it would have had on my life and people under me.

His answer, the next day, was to go read the Bible, Jesaia 43.1

Und nun spricht der HERR, der dich geschaffen hat, Jakob, und dich gemacht hat, Israel: Fürchte dich nicht, denn ich habe dich erlöst; ich habe dich bei deinem Namen gerufen; du bist mein!”


"And now speaks the LORD who created you, Jacob, and HE who made you, says, O Israel. fear not, for I have claimed you; I have given you your name; You are mine!"

When I read those words on recon, I was sitting on a balcony in Moabit, smoking a cigarette and having my first coffee of the morning. It was a nuclear blast inside of me. Mick, HIM, he told me that I was his property, that he accepted Ownership, and was doing it in such a solemn way! I was shocked and deeply happy.

What happened next? He disappeared. He started ghosting me everywhere, while I rolled around in my guts trying to understand what did I do wrong. Without going too much in the details of this story, which involved pretty ridiculous gay drama dynamics, the point is that for this guy, it was all a game. More than a game, I was nothing more than the sexy Italian hunk that a lot of people talk about in the scene, that he could use and display to his local community, as a fucking trophy.

He was perfectly aware of my pain, of my feeling like a dog left on the side of the road, which haunted me for years. He decided never to confront me, and never to give me any closure. To me, taking seriously his words, it was like having an invisible Collar I couldn’t remove (more on the meaning of a Collar for Old Guard Leather people like me, here).

It took me a few years to realize that, and it was extremely humiliating for me. The important part that is related to the article, is the effect it had on me for several years as a Dominant and a MASTER.

A picture where a Dominant submits to another Dominant being hanged spread eagle over a wooden beam

The consequences of humiliation and betrayal

When a Dominant man submits to you, he is not having a playtime for the sake of a hard-on. He is offering a unique connection, where the Trust Bond is even more fundamental than in any other BDSM Relationship, and you might not notice it, because you’re unaware of how a true Dominant’s heart work.

When a Dom subs out of his will to live this lifestyle to the highest standards of Old Guard Protocol and is being very clear about the reasons why he is offering you his submission, you have a big responsibility on your shoulders. When carelessly playing with the heart of a man who you are aware is a Master and is going to handle many men in the future, you have the huge responsibility to affect:

  • How will this Master treat his subs in future, as in good and worse, he has absorbed your teachings;
  • How will this Master feel about himself, as in good and worse, he has absorbed your image;
  • How will this Master perform BDSM safely or not, as in good and worse, he has learnt your skills;
  • How will this Master handle tricky situations and difficult subs, as because of the devastation you have left on him, his patience and tolerance thresholds are now thinned to a minimum;
  • How will this Master be seen and considered publicly, as a Dom who is subbing for you exposes his reputation to the cruelty of the scene, which is often anything but supportive and brotherly;
  • How will this Master be able to believe in an LTR; after all, you were his most high example of how a Man can be.
  • How will this Master be able to teach and live Old Guard, as in his eyes, your example was the highest one.


When a Dominant man submits, he absorbs a lot during the experience reflecting what he has learned about himself and how to treat a sub, and is generally much more fragile emotionally than somebody who submits out of natural need and tendency. Provided that we do all understand the difference between true submission and pleasing or play servitude.

So, in my case I have shared one of my experiences. How did I avoid to subconsciously cast what I have gone through on my next partners? Unfortunately, I didn’t manage.

This experience affected me deeply, and not in a temporary way. Of course today that I’m rewriting this article to make it less personal and more useful to the public, I have matured a lot (7 years have passed) and most of the wounds have scarred now. But this is the things, the scars are there, and they have changed me. Not always for the better.

I believe in all fairness that the Old Guard lifestyle aims to some absolutes which are so high, and so valuable, that it is very rare to find men actually able to understand them or live them to the bone. Therefore, these kinds of mishaps happen very often. I believe it all stays in how much I love Old Guard versus how much I loved Mick (and other more valuable Mentors I had before him) as a MASTER. For it doesn’t matter how much these Mentors might have failed me or not (some with the best of intentions, some being cruel and thick); what matters is that I am still living this lifestyle, and I must let go of the past and keep bringing on, on my own, what I always had inside of me and was looking in somebody else to confirm myself. Integrity and absolute seriousness about this lifestyle.

This is the kind of life I want, this is the only one possible for me; and if I happened to be the last Leatherman believing in these values, believe that BDSM is not a game, believing that men are meant to be a Pack fueled by Brotherhood and Codes of Discipline, where the word of a man is as worth as his on life, then so be it.

I will always be happy to look myself in the mirror, and to know who I am, and that I live my life with integrity, honesty, and pride.

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