Getting into a Dominant Headspace

Starting Out -

Getting into a Dominant Headspace

For the baby doms ...

(Original article from

It’s another way of saying, “getting into the Dominant frame of mind” or “stepping into your Dominant self or role”. Some people are Dominants everywhere or most places in their lives, but in my experience that’s pretty rare. And even then, there are things they’re going to do in a scene, places they’re going to want to go within themselves, with their submissive, in the scene that aren’t a part of their everyday lives.

The person who feels naturally Dominant all the time isn’t most of us and it isn’t who I’m talking to here. Those folks probably need to work more on how to stop being Dominant in situations where it’s not called for or working well- with a boss or a cop that’s pulled them over for speeding maybe, to name a few examples. No one’s going to be in charge all the time, everywhere.

Some people might think they are, but most of us don’t like them very much.

I’m writing this for most of us, who are Dominant in context– we step into a Dominant role either with a particular person, in a certain situation, particular areas of our relationship or when in a certain mood. Whether we’re in a 24/7 relationship or playing with the lovely submissive we’ve met at the dungeon party, the one place we’re going to want to be in our Dominant mode for sure is during a scene with our play partner.

So, when you’ve been the corporate grunt all day, been repairing the office computers, running herd on a gaggle of kids, at school studying- whatever it is you typically spend your time doing in the bulk of your day to day time, how do you make that shift from “Barbara the Barista” or “Daniel the Dad” to the Dominant of your partners hottest dreams and juiciest (but not too scary) nightmares?

Let’s get this out of the way up front: Sometimes you don’t.

That’s the reality. If you’re new to this  you might not have figured that out yet, but just like sex, playing music, making bread and a lot of other creative or intimate things we do, sometimes you’re in the zone and sometimes you’re trying to get there while it dances just out of reach. Mostly, we’re going to experience some combo of both of these states. That’s totally normal, totally okay. Just show up as best you can, given where you’re at and don’t worry about it. No one is perfectly “on” all the time; we’ve all got our off moments.

When I was performing, one of the things we learned was that when we’re having an off night or make a mistake (everyone does it sometimes), we had to accept it, carry on and realize that most of what we notice as being slightly “off” isn’t noticeable to others. I’m not talking about when our submissive calls “red” or whatever your safe word is. If that happens, just stop. But what I’m talking about is when you’re thinking things like, “I’m just not feeling it like I usually do (or think I ought to). I’m sure they can tell. They’re probably thinking I suck at this. That Dominant over there really looks like they know what they’re doing,” yadda yadda. Our brains are sometimes not our friends. And sometimes, they even tell awful lies.

If no fatal errors have occurred, just show up, do your best and carry on. Most likely, your mojo isn’t gone forever; there are just times when it’s stronger and things flow more than others.

Rituals Can Help Make the Shift

Being in Dominant space can be pretty intense. It’s a kind of concentration of this part of us that is very powerful, can be very demanding and can run a lot of energy through our systems in a short period of time- emotional, mental, spiritual and physical. As sexy and beautiful and powerful as it can be, it can also be a lot of responsibility and sometimes draining. It can also be hard to make the shift from one kind of headspace to another.

There are a lot of techniques we use to make transitions throughout our day, our week. We do them so often that the actions themselves can help facilitate the shift in our energy. Loosening a tie, making tea, turning the ringer off, locking the door, going for a walk, bowing to a Sensei when we enter a Dojo, driving a certain route home from work that helps us “shake off the day”, soaking in a hot bath, pouring a drink, kneeling to pray, taking a deep breath… our lives are infused with rituals that signal a shift in attention, energy, role. We’re so saturated with them that we often don’t even think about them.

Not only do rituals help us shift attitude, attention, mode, but the more we perform a certain ritual in a certain, way for a certain purpose, the ritual itself can become more and more powerful over time, more effective in signaling our psyches that it’s time to leave *that* behind and do *this* now.

For these reasons rituals can be very helpful in getting us and our submissives into the kind of headspace we want for our scene time. They can be simple or elaborate. It’s all up to you.

Examples of Ritual

  • Before the submissive enters the room where we’re going to play, they undress, keep their eyes cast down and come to kneel at our feet, awaiting our word.
  • Placing a collar around a submissive’s neck. I have a special pair of cuffs I use. Some people don’t want to be bound, but I will still put the cuffs on them at the beginning of the scene. The longer I’ve been doing this, the sexier and more powerful the ritual becomes. I know something intense is about to go down and (if I’ve been playing with the same person for awhile), so do they.
  • Laying toys out in a row, on a table. Some people have the submissive indicate which ones look interesting to them that night. You can then pick one of the ones they’ve chosen or intentionally not.
  • Lighting candles.
  • Putting on certain music.
  • Wearing specific clothes or items of clothing.
  • Some people have a spoken ritual they perform at the beginning of every scene:

Dominant: Why do you come here?
submissive: To be pleasing to my (Ma’am, Mistress, Sir, Lord and Master, etc.)

Or it can be much more informal:

Dominant: Are you ready?
submissive: Let’s do this.

  • Drawing a bath for one or the other.
  • Preparing the play space.
  • A submissive waiting at the spanking bench with the toy bag.

It doesn’t really matter what the rituals are. If you’re new to BDSM and scene time with your partner, try some things that sound fun, sexy or powerful. You can work them out with your partner or come up with them yourself, keeping in mind what your partners hard limits are. They might be different when you play in public than they are when you play in private. There might be a short version for a D/s “quickie”, say before work; more elaborate for a longer weekend session (or a weekend long session? Hmmm…).

Should My Submissive Have Input?

That depends on your particular situation of course, but it can be a wonderful thing to ask your submissive for feedback after scene time, in their journal, through email, or follow up conversations, and consider the information they give you when establishing your rituals. Knowledge can be power. If something works particularly well for them (or doesn’t work particularly well) it will benefit you to know. If you want to create intimacy and connection, for example, knowing their preferences will make it easier to create rituals that will foster that. If your goal with a scene is to play with making your submissive nervous, maybe slightly off balance or uncomfortable (which can be totally fun!), input can also be helpful. If they really, reeeeaaaally like something, you can use that information to delightfully tease them with it by withholding it (also totally fun!).

Play With It

Try things. Discard things that don’t work. If you hear of something that sounds really interesting or powerful, work it in and see how it fits for you. You might have a few core rituals that you settle on over time that you always do, with perhaps a few additional rituals that change depending on your mood or the type of scene you want to create.

All of us assume roles at different times in our lives for a variety of reasons. Rituals are one tool that can help us shift into our Dominant role and make our scene time more powerful, more of what we want it to be. Play with rituals, simple or complex, and see if they can help deepen the experience of D/s energies for you and your partner.

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