Facts & Info

Domination Styles

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Not all sub/dom couples employ all forms of domination and it may take time to explore which style(s) work for them. Here are four basic techniques that are used separately or together in BDSM play.

Physical
This style is most often portrayed in the mainstream. Think spanking, whips, floggers, electrical stimulation, and clamps. This often goes hand-in-hand with other styles. Physical techniques are perhaps the most overt method a dom will use to exercise control over a sub. It might involve physically moving a sub with a leash or dragging them into a desired space or position. It isn’t necessarily a form of punishment and need not involve severe pain. A dom may use subtle yet firm and effective contact in public to exert his disapproval.

Verbal
Not as direct as physical control, this style has many levels and is used both in private and public. At home, a dom may use lengthy speeches on his sub, but around others may need only to whisper a word in a sub’s ear to exact change in a sub’s behaviour.
Some sub/dom relationships are long-distance and require a style that is primarily verbal. The sub must respond to orders given over the phone or computer. This can be challenging without a pre-existing relationship where expectations have been discussed and practised.

Humiliation
This style of domination isn’t for every couple. Either the sub is made to perform a specific act or, the dom will do something to the sub that makes them feel less than. For example, a sub may be asked to scrub the floors with a toothbrush or told to do an embarrassing act in public. Using urine or feces in play can fall under this style – definitely not my cup of tea. Reasons for humiliation may be a sub’s decision to ignore their dom’s wishes or authority, thus it is used as a form of discipline.

Restriction
This is used to physically restrain movement. A dom may need only to use words to tell a sub how and when she is able to move. Devices such as ropes, cuffs, and straps are used in heavier types of restriction. To almost or completely reduce movement, a dom may use larger restraints such as racks, suspension devices, and crosses. This may sound a little intimidating or scary for BDSM newbies, but this sort of thing is discussed and negotiated between partners well before putting into practice.

What other styles of domination have you tried? Do you have a preference?

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