While I was active on the site, one of the most common questions I was asked by fellow kinky OkCupid-dwellers was what kind of dominant I am. The truth is that I’m still figuring that out about myself. Although I’ve always had a mind-wiring that coincides perfectly with kink, I’m still fairly new to the world of BDSM. I’m also distant from much of its practice, though it’s one of my favorite topics to discuss with people — both platonically and sexually.
Do I play rough?
My understanding is that kink includes two kinds of play, which needn’t necessarily be mutually exclusive. The first is physical play, which is about causing your partner to experience physical sensations (whips and chains are optional additions). The second is mental play, like teasing and humiliation, which causes your partner to experience pre-negotiated emotional states.
I’m a mental dominant, not a physical dominant. I want my partners to willfully submit themselves to me, not to “make” me fight for their defeat. If I physically restrain my partners, it’s for our mutual emotional thrill and minor physical titillation, not to keep them from actually escaping. (Don’t break my handcuffs and anklecuffs, boys.)
I like to joke with a dominant-switch friend that her physical kink annihilates men from the outside in, while mine works from the inside out. I say “joke” because neither of us would ever want to actually hurt partners beyond anything to which our partners enthusiastically consented.
So, physically, no, I’m not rough, but mental roughness is subjective and would depend on my partner’s preferences and experiences. That would also depend on whether or not we’re equating mental roughness with cruelty.
Alright, how do I feel about cruel domination?
I am not a mean dominant, nor do I currently have an interest in becoming one. I plan to have an ironclad emotional hold on any of my submissives, but I’m a gentler, loving dominant. In bed, I am calm and methodical. Structured, graduated teasing is my art.
My goal is to have my partner uncomfortably squirming for as long as possible, but I have no interest in being genuinely mean. I want to relish my partner’s emotional discomfort, but once we end our scene, I will soothe and comfort him back to (at least) a neutral emotional state. I would never want to cause any lasting harm, just mutually pleasurable emotional lows for our momentary sexual satisfaction.
Insulting a partner’s personhood, rather than his behavior, would be difficult for me. For example, I would derive no sexual pleasure out of telling my partner he is worthless (common degradation amongst many masochists), and I would not allow him to talk about himself that way, either, because that insults us both. After all, I would never waste my energy on a “worthless” person. I believe that everyone has potential to contribute something to the world, even if they haven’t figured out how to channel it.
For me to get sexually mean, I would have to dislike my partner, and I have no interest in hooking up with someone whose company I don’t enjoy. That would also feel like bullying to me, which would be far more emotionally triggering than I could tolerate while maintaining sexual arousal.
Additionally, I have no desire to experience unpleasant emotions in a sexual setting. I’m sure that I could learn the role of a mean dominant, but it would feel superficial because I wouldn’t inject my true self into the performance.
If I was in a committed romantic relationship with someone who needed meanness in bed, I would consider allowing him to obtain that stimulation from another person because that’s not a role which currently interests me. However, I would also consider requiring that I be present during their sessions so that the experience could feel like something he and I were still sharing, even with a third person.
Am I looking for a 24/7 dynamic?
Based on my minimal experience, I’m not sure yet. I want the relationship to feel equal overall, with part of that equality stemming from my partner’s choice to surrender his power to me. I am also strongly aroused by the potential for secrecy of our expression of kink. I would want for our relationship to appear completely vanilla in non-kinky settings (i.e. everyday public), like a sexy inside joke between the two of us. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to subtly practice our dominance and submission covertly, such that vanilla folks would not recognize our game. However, I am not sure yet if I want the responsibility of micromanaging my partner non-stop for all hours of the say. We shall see!
…and I do want a kinky partner, right?
As a life partner, most likely. I want the extreme emotional bonding that comes with the trust of a kinky relationship, but that’s not to say that I will only date fellow kinksters from here forward. That was my intention after my last romantic relationship, but I’ve been having a great time lately with a fellow who is not kinky at all and would not prefer playing a submissive role. I’m a hypocrite on that front, but I’m having fun, so who cares?
Naturally, I expect my interests to grow as my experience does, so I’m hoping this reflection will serve as a snapshot into my mental state upon which I can further expand in the coming years.
But, enough about me; what kind of partner are you, and what have you learned about your sexual self thus far?