'Some of You Guys Suck at Being Dominant' - Quinn Gray

Domination in bed is something frequently done with poor technique. Spanking, choking, and spitting seem like standard aspects of sex nowadays; I can't remember the last time I had sex and it wasn't automatically assumed that being dominated is something I'd be into. I should probably consider this to be concerning, and part of me does, but most of me just finds it eye-rollingly dull.

I'm a bisexual woman that's had sex with a lot more men than I have women (much to my chagrin). The experiences I'm drawing from here will be referencing the men I've had sex with as I've never been dominated by a woman before. I also want to clarify that I don't intend to kink-shame here - if you're a man that likes being dominant in bed, then have fun, but don't be a moron about it. I'm not intending you to embarrass you with this article. I'm advising you here, pal.

Dominance and submission are power dynamics. People don't always perform them for sexual purposes; that's going to sound alien to a lot of people, but some people who practice them are asexual. It's going to do you a lot of favours if you acknowledge and respect that it is a far more psychological phenomenon than it is sexual. I'm no expert about it, so please do take what I say and research it in more detail, but from my perspective I see it as a mental game that can greatly enhance a sexual experience. If played wrong, you can really damage the person you're playing with, regardless of your position as a dominant or submissive. I've read that professional dominants don't have sex with their clients; whilst their clients may receive sexual gratification from their services, meaning that domination falls under the umbrella of sex work, they themselves are there to dominate and dominate only, which does not have to include the act of sex. This is useful information to keep in mind when going forth in your own endeavours.

Generally, those who practice dominance and submission are aware that it falls within the acronym of BDSM: bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism. Practising dominance and submission doesn't necessarily mean you have to practice the other aspects of the acronym: you don't have to do bondage, being dominant doesn't mean you have to be sadistic, and being submissive doesn't necessarily mean you're masochistic. It can merely mean you enjoy having or giving away power over or to someone else. With this in mind, remember that because someone is consenting to a certain aspect of submission or domination, it doesn't necessarily mean they're consenting to more. Check before you do something kinky. Read your partner's body language.

I find that when I have sex with men, they always spank me. This is annoying to me because I don't necessarily want them to. Is there a fly on my bum? No? Then just a gentle grab will suffice. Also, it really fucking hurts. Some people enjoy being spanked so hard it leaves a mark, but I don't. And I wish people would check with me before they do that, because it throws me off. I don't enjoy the sex as much when I'm in pain I didn't want to be in. This is something often forgotten - because acts like spanking can often be seen in pornography, or someone may have been advised by their friends that this is something women are really into, doesn't mean you have to do it every time you have sex. Being kinky doesn't make you good at sex; being considerate makes you good at sex. When you're in the heat of the moment and you really want to spank someone, you can just say, "fuck, I really want to spank you right now." They might then say "oh fuck yes! Oh, spank me you sexy bastard!" and then, voila, you're spanking away. They might respond with "oh, just keep touching me like that," in which case you must refrain from the spanking and carry on as is. Sorry pal.

A particular dominant act is seen a lot in porn and practiced a lot in sex now days: choking. Choking can very, very easily go wrong. Erotic asphyxiation can be fun, but you need to practice it with the knowledge that you are holding someone's life in your hands; hold them too hard in the wrong place for too long and yes, you could put them in the hospital, or potentially kill them. I think asphyxiation can easily be practiced in a safer way through simulation: where you hold their throat, but you don't actually press down on any vital airways. You just place you hand there, which can be enough for some people to go "wow! It's almost like I'm being choked! That's so fun and sexy! Heeheehee!" But, again, you need to check that your partner is comfortable with that. You can try placing your hand and then ask them "is this okay?" before continuing. Choking is something that could trigger someone's past trauma if they've experienced assault in the past, and having flashbacks midway through a sexual experience can really dampen the mood.

People tend to go into a power play dynamic during sex without setting up a safe word beforehand. I cannot stress enough how reckless this is. See my earlier point about really damaging someone if play goes wrong. I'm not trying to scaremonger, with that statement - you can traumatise people if you don't create an environment where boundaries can be set and adjusted with ease. A safe word helps to establish a sense of security between partners, so they feel able to withdraw consent during play if a scene gets too intense. Playing without a safe word doesn't mean you can't do this, but it can make it feel more awkward; the safe word just lets a partner know prior to the experience that there is no pressure to continue if they change their mind, but this should be a given regardless of if the sex is kinky or not. Likewise, if your sexual partner uses their safe word during play, that does mean you have to stop immediately. Not "can we keep going until I come?" or "I'll just do it a bit gentler," you stop the act entirely, make sure your partner is okay, and check if they want to continue doing something else or just call the scene quits. When that happens, as with when any scene ends, you provide aftercare. This might be having a cuddle, talking through everything that just happened, getting in the shower or bath, having something to eat - basically, just another way of saying that you take care of each other and treat one another with respect after all the dirty dirty things you've done.

The main point I'm trying to convey here is that you need to be aware of your own strength. Be aware of the harm you can cause to other people if you're not sensitive to their limits. Know that what might've really made sex great with your ex might not work for the next person you have sex with. Communication is such a buzz word now, but with good reason; you need to communicate with your sexual partners, even if you're just doing them for the night. And don't just assume what your partner wants. It can be overwhelming to have someone do something to you that's on the edgier side that you're not entirely comfortable with. It's hard to speak up in those moments because you can feel like you're ruining the experience for the other person if you do. So, build up that communication with someone from the moment you make a sexual connection with them. Listening to them will make you good at sex - not slapping them and calling them a slut.

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