January/February 2003
Sadie's Prime Directives for Snagging
The Domme (Or Dom) of Your Dreams

by Sensuous Sadie

Every few days I get an e-mail from some submissive guy asking me to be his Dominant. More times than not, I know little or nothing about him, and he knows nothing about me. Maybe it's because my signature says "Mistress when it's convenient," but maybe not. I never know quite how to respond to requests like this, they seem so off the wall that there isn't really any reasonable response. Then again, maybe there is. Here are some tips to help you identify if the Dominant you are talking to would be a good match for you. I wrote this from a Dominant perspective, but these things are just as relevant if you are a gal looking for a male Dominant, or some other permutation. Of course, disclaimer here, these things are not carved in stone. These comments come from my experiences, and those of the female Dominants I know.

Is She Available?

Find out if the Dominant of your dreams is looking for a submissive. You'd be surprised at the number of people who proposition me without even checking if I'm otherwise involved. Some people have open relationships with their partners. Some don't. Some have totally committed 24/7 relationships. Some only do casual play, or public play. Some are looking for love and "dating." There are so many more flavors of relationships in the BDSM scene, so it's twice as important to find out this person's availability status.

If she is involved with someone, approach her as the Dominant partner first, while keeping the submissive partner in the loop. If they both switch, approach them together. The key thing is to keep all communication honest and above board. Ask if the couple plays with other people. Many of the D/s couples I know do. However, couples who have only been together a short time often haven't yet negotiated whether and how they will play with other people. Be careful in approaching couples. Jealousy and other issues come up just as often with D/s couples as they do with vanilla couples, maybe more often because of the "ownership" issues common in D/s relationships. If things look like they aren't completely above board, or are getting messy, get out of the situation. Getting involved with one person who is part of a couple having problems is an invitation for drama.

No Laundry Lists

Don't give her a big long list of what you want her to do for you. Just as in life, she may be thinking "What's in it for me?" Your real question should be "What do you have to offer her?" If you don't have anything to offer, it's unlikely she'll accept your proposition. Because women are in a minority in the BDSM community, we usually have many more choices than the typical guy. So if you are male, you will want to make a special effort to impress the lady of your desires. This being said, if you have good social skills, and an engaging personality you will not have trouble finding friends in the community. Some Dominants I know are not particularly good looking or successful in traditional terms, but have had great success because of their willingness to get to know a variety of women, not just a narrow subsection of one race, size, or other specialty.

Act With Respect

If you aren't respectful now, she knows darn well you won't be later. For example, a submissive I was seeing stood me up on our first date. If he had called, apologized profusely, and made a big effort to make it up to me, I would have forgiven him. Unfortunately (for him), his apology was half-assed, and I didn't bother with him again.

Know Thyself

There are a hundred styles of Dominants and submissives. If you don't know what flavor you are and what you want, you'll end up with something that's not a good fit, also known as: "if you don't know where you are going, you won't know when you get there.") Before you approach this person, you will want to have a good idea of who you are and what you want. This doesn't mean you have to have it all figured out, only that you have spent some time in reflection about yourself. Once you know what you want, speak freely with the person you are interested in.

One good way to learn about what makes you tick is to write down your fantasies. Choose ones which express your interests and approach your limits. My friend Brandon, a Dominant, said "Many novices have thanked me for asking them to write, even if they don't actually click with me. It's all about communication, self knowledge, and growth."

Another good thing to do is to complete a BDSM interests questionnaire. You can find a variety of these in various scene books as well as on the Internet. They include just about every BDSM topic on the planet, and will help you identify your "No" list as well as what you are looking for.

Another good point a friend made to me was that even though there were less women in the scene, there are loosely equal numbers of heterosexual men and women who are looking for a committed relationship. There are more men around, but many of those men are only looking to play. If it is only experience you are looking for, then I'd encourage you to try a "professional" Dominant in the meantime. For those of you unfamiliar with professional Dominants, they usually offer a variety of BDSM activities but no sex or exchange of fluids (which would be prostitution, and illegal of course).

How To Choose A Dominant

Many male submissives tell me they are so desperate that they will take any Dominant who will have them. This attitude, while understandable, is not attractive to a Dominant, not to mention it can be foolish in terms of getting involved with people who are not a good match for you. Most people want to be wanted for their special gifts, not just because they are female, are a Dominant, and have a heartbeat. Just like relationships in the vanilla world, D/s relationships are complex, and require interaction on both superficial and deep levels. You will want to find out about her interests and orientation, and make sure her goals are in alignment with yours. What is her basic philosophy and attitudes about D/s? You will have a more fulfilling relationship with someone who is stable, centered, and developed in their styles. This doesn't mean Dominants don't also grow and develop, but a firm foundation of core philosophies is an indication of a Dominant who has experienced enough to have a handle on who they are. Any Dominant who can't say, "I believe D/s is.... (fill in the blank)" is a Dominant who doesn't know much about themselves.

One of the big issues is whether or not your Dominant likes to teach; some do and some don't. (I'm of the latter type). If you are a novice submissive and you don't know what you like, finding one who enjoys teaching is a good way to discover yourself. Many Dominants are not concerned about the experience level of their submissives, and in fact enjoy opening them up to new experiences. So your ability and openness to trying new things is paramount.

What kind of submission is she interested in? Some Dominants want to be serviced, including sexual fulfillment; some get their pleasure from reducing a submissive to a quivering state of erotic sensation, and some do both or something else entirely. How does she see the D/s relationship developing? What are her expectations for the submissive? This last question is particularly helpful, and will reveal a lot about what kind of Dominant she is.

And Lastly, Be Yourself

Be honest about what you want and what you are looking for. If all communications are up front and in the open, you will have a better chance of succeeding in your next relationship. Good luck.


Sensuous Sadie is a BDSM columnist and edits SCENEsubmissions, a free e-newsletter for the New England area and beyond. She is the founder and leader (1999 - 2001) of Rose & Thorn, Vermont's first BDSM group. Comments, compliments and complaints, as well as requests for reprinting can be addressed to her at SensuousSadie@aol.com or visit her website at www.sensuoussadie.com. Sadie believes the universe is abundant, and that sharing information freely is part of this abundance, so she allows reprints of her writing in most venues.
Copyright 2002.