By Jake Austin
There are lots of different styles of domination and power exchange. If I had to pin down my personal style, it would probably be a combination of daddy dom and pleasure dom.
Various types of domination (and perhaps those two in particular) raise a question that can be tricky to answer.
What’s in it for me?
The way I have sex and practice BDSM center squarely on my partner. It’s about making sure she’s the one getting most of the physical pleasure - often pushing the limits of how much pleasure she can take. It’s about creating a scenario and an experience that fulfills her submissive fantasies.
On top of that, domination takes a lot of work.
You have to expend quite a bit of mental energy when you’re the one taking the lead. There’s some creativity involved in keeping the dirty talk going and making sure the action stays interesting. Not to mention the time invested in learning how to kink safely, how to weave together complicated rope ties, and the communication needed to sort out exactly what kind of experience will satisfy your submissive partner.
It would be a heck of a lot easier to stick to some more vanilla sex. And a dom or domme would probably receive more sexual stimulation from having sex without any control play or power exchange.
So, why do it? Why go through all the trouble of dominating someone?
I don’t have an exhaustive answer. I’m sure other doms and dommes have lots of reasons for gravitating toward their kinks, and those reasons might not always overlap.
What I do know, however, are the reasons I like to dom. These are the major ones.
Domination Is Arousing
I’m not sure why certain things arouse me.
Maybe there’s some deep psychological reason why I can’t resist ladies in rollerskates, gloomy and kindhearted goth women, or dubious consent roleplay. I have no clue.
All I know is that I can’t really help what turns me on. Some things just do. And submission is one of them.
Having someone submit to me sexually makes every shred of effort it took to get them to that point completely worth it. It’s what excites me the most - sometimes more than sexual stimulation itself.
In fact, I enjoy sexual stimulation a whole lot more when it’s paired with submission. Receiving a blowjob is great no matter how I get it. But a submissive blowjob, a blowjob given with cuffs and a blindfold is so much more satisfying to me.
Submission Can Make You Feel Desired
Having someone submit to you can also make you feel incredibly desirable. And that’s a feeling most people really crave.
When my partner submits to me, I know that I’m the reason she’s intensely aroused. By dominating her, I’m not just giving her pleasure - I’m becoming part of her submissive sexual fantasies.
Having that strong of an effect on someone is a powerful thing. It’s an incredible ego boost that can sometimes last for days.
Dom Space Feels Amazing
A lot of submissives experience subspace when they’re being dominated. It’s sometimes described as euphoric, breathlessly arousing, or like you’re getting a heavy shot of feel-good hormones.
It sounds like a mind-blowing thing to experience. Sadly, I don’t get to experience that. Submission doesn’t really do anything for me. If anything, it brings me to whatever the opposite of subspace is - the more submissive I feel during sex, the less I enjoy it.
I’m just not built for subspace. But I am built for dom space.
It’s not as intense as subspace. It doesn’t feel like I’m getting lost in euphoria. It’s more subtle than that.
It’s more like the kind of deep focus or flow state I fall into when I lose myself in an activity, like writing or telling a story that manages to hold an audience captivated. Except that it comes with a strong dose of arousal and sexual satisfaction, so it’s even better than those things.
It’s a great feeling, and if that’s all I ever got out of dominating my partner, I’d still take out the restraints and paddles as often as I could.
Getting a Sense of Control
I don’t often feel in control of my life. So, taking control during kink gives me something I’m missing elsewhere.
In my case, I think that has a lot to do with ADHD. I have the inattentive type and I have a pretty severe case of it. My brain acts on its whims and I don’t always feel like I’m in the driver’s seat.
Except when I get to be dominant. That’s one of the few times I get to feel capable and like I’ve got a hold on everything.
It might be the dom space. It might be the way that engaging in power exchange gives me a clear role to play.
Whatever it is, it’s stronger stuff than even the highest dose of ADHD meds I’ve tried. It’s a fantastic feeling, and I wouldn’t be able to get it from sex that didn’t have a strong element of domination to it.
It’s More Than Pleasure
What’s in it for the dom? Lots.
But it’s hard to see that if you assume that sex and kink is all about physical stimulation.
That’s certainly part of it. But to understand why doms and dommes do what they do, we need to think beyond genital stimulation and orgasm. It’s about other kinds of pleasure. It’s about arousal. It’s about deep emotional satisfaction and creating an incredibly powerful connection with someone else.
Even when there’s no sexual stimulation, it can still be completely worth it.
Jake Austin is the co-host of the dirty and intimate sex podcast Pillow Talk With Emma Austin and the world's best and only Seinfeld sex podcast, What's The Deal With Fucking? But mostly he's on Twitter: @MisterAustin1