Q&A: Reconciling dominance and love

This from r/FemdomCommunity (edited).

Fellow dommes, how do you reconcile the need for dominance and power with the need for support and love in a relationship?

I’m fairly new to BDSM and have never experienced it in a relationship of any kind. I’ve had relationships, and I’ve played plenty, but never with the same people. I know others do it all the time, but in my mind I can’t envison how it’s possible…

Also, I as a domme, feel incredibly aroused by a man believing that I am the most badass, sucessful, beautiful, independent, confident woman around. Submissive men like this as well, and would probably prefer women who fulfill these categories. In a play relationship I speak confidently and assertively to showcase that side of myself. In real life, I can get insecure, I have sad moments and lots of times when I’m not actually that cool. In a relationship, I need someone who can talk me down from an anxiety attack, or make me feel better when I’m down, or just make me feel like I’m not alone. I don’t know if a submissive man would be glad to do any of those things if it meant the image of the goddess he was worshiping was shattered.

I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong, or have the wrong mindset, but I don’t know how I can reconcile my intense fetish for femdom with a genuine desire for companionship with someone who loves me for being a flawed person. I know polyamory is a thing, but that’s a whole other can of worms and I don’t want to get into that unless absolutely necessary…

Any dommes out there who have figured this out? How did you go about it?

When someone genuinely likes you and loves you and thinks you’re all that, you don’t have to pretend to be “the most badass, sucessful, beautiful, independent, confident woman around”.

In his eyes, you WILL be. He will believe it and you will believe it and every loving fabulous wonderful sweet interaction you have will reinforce that feeling.

And he will believe it even if you have anxiety, pimples, if you cry because someone hurt you, if you act like an idiot, if you do something dumb, ALL THE HUMAN THINGS that people do.

When I say he will believe it, I don’t mean that he will believe it like some fantasy boy believes that of you now. I mean that when he looks at you he will feel love and that’s what love brings with it. He will love your flaws and humanity and sweetness and cuteness and wrongness in all the ways.

In the same way, you will look at him and think he’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever been lucky enough to have in your life.

And when you play, it’s ratcheting up the D/s stuff to 11 and it will have all the more power because he knows you and loves you and there is incredible freedom in that.

And if you don’t feel any of that yet (or maybe, don’t think you can or will), that’s okay. You’re young, you will grow into yourself (as a person, as a Domme, as a lover, as the awesome that you are) with experience and with these play relationships: no hurry.


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  1. A very interesting question, and an awesome answer. There’s really nothing that I could add to it… Great post! Well done!

    1. *smile* Thanks.

      I think the idea that ‘dominant = not allowed to be human’ is (still) pervasive and so very destructive.


  2. Wow, what a positive reply. I think being “the most badass, sucessful, beautiful, independent, confident woman around” (or man) is very, very rare, really difficult to find. We people often come with a genuine and complex mixture of different traits, which becomes more and more clear as we dig a little bit into our superficial layers, once we leave the make up behind…

    1. I think we see people through our own subjective filters and while I admit to some hyperbole in my reply, I know that for myself, while I’m not blind to my partner’s flaws, when I’m in love, the man I love is 100% the best, most beautiful person I know. Hands down. No equivocation.


  3. A few thoughts. First, I can’t imagine a D/s relationship WITHOUT love. I can’t be intimate enough with a man to hurt him and dominate him and own him WITHOUT loving him. In my early days I tried casual play and found it like casual sex, hollow and empty.

    Second, BDSM is not therapy. I don’t look to a partner to MAKE me feel better or cure me. Of course my partner and I are supportive and patient and understanding of one another. But my feelings are my responsibility.

    Third, to Ferns’s point, the idea that a woman is “badass, sucessful, beautiful, independent, confident” all the time is the stuff of fantasy. I want it all — a D/s relationship that encompasses the companionship, fun, work, connection and love of a vanilla relationship, too.

    All that said, you’re not looking at it “wrong”. Plenty of women would never DREAM of loving or having sex with their submissives. They see D/s and S/m as wholly separate from their love lives. If it works for them and for you, super. But, as I mentioned, I want it all. I’m in a new relationship that’s MOST promising and this is an exciting time in my life.

    1. I agree with you, but the woman who asked the question was very young and STILL of the idea that to be dominant, she had to be ‘the flawless perfection’ and if she wasn’t that, then she has to *pretend* to be that or she wouldn’t be able to get what she wanted in a D/s relationship, and that’s simply not true.

      I’m so glad that your new relationship is going so well *smile*.


  4. I can role play with my wife, because I can act like it’s not her hurting me. If it were her doing it, and especially if it were for “real” reasons (transgressions), I could never feel like she loved me.

    1. I assume you are pointing out that you love your wife with all her flaws and humanity, and that the role play separates ‘the Domme’ from ‘your loving wife’ when you play. That’s absolutely another approach and I think it’s really common.

      I think that new dominant women fear that IF they show their humanity at all, their subs will no longer see them as dominant. And I actually think that’s a valid fear because a lot of newbie subs want all the fantasy Domme all the time and that gets ruined if their Domme isn’t ‘all that all the time’.

      However someone resolves it, they DO need to resolve it because you can’t build a relationship on that kind of pretence.

      I’m glad that you and your wife know what works for you and your relationship: it’s always lovely to hear.


      1. Absolutely, I love my wife with all her flaws and humanity. Yes, the role play separates the domme from my loving wife. They cannot be the same for me. Not so much because I need to see her as perfect or always confident, but because I put people who inflict pain on me and people who love me in two distinct, and non-overlapping groups.

  5. Depending how sadistic you are towards me, I would probably enjoy watching you experience anxiety, fear, insecurity, and everything else you inflict on me.

    1. I have no idea who you are talking to here? The young woman who asked the question?

      ‘Payback’ in terms of watching someone struggle with their relationship because they were consensually sadistic is a truly terrible mindset, so I hope you were kidding. Or trolling. Or something of that ilk.


      1. Yes, it is a troll, and it is the “James” you were engaging in conversation with in this chain. He has a blog at disciplinedhusbands.blogspot.com that is one long rant and personal attack against female disciplinarians who he judges as “sadistic.” That is a big word for him – “sadism.” He can’t understand the point you make about “consensual sadism,” so you shouldn’t bother trying to explain it to him. You would be like the fourth or fifth to have tried and failed.

  6. The “you” was not directed at anyone in particular. If everything is truly consensual, then no. I wouldn’t relish in watching a domme suffer those things.!However, if a domme is cruel or punishes “just because” or violates limits, then I would. Sometikes i read descriptions of sadism which make me question whether it is truly consensual.

    1. Riiiight. Given sadism wasn’t even part of the post here, nor was there any suggestion of it, the only one leaping straight from a discussion about ‘D/s relationships and love’ to ‘non-consensual sadistic behaviour!’ is you.

      Perhaps you have some issues you need to work on instead of projecting assumptions into random situations and then responding negatively to your own assumptions as if they’re somehow relevant.


      1. I thought the “S” in BDSM (which did appear in the post) was from “sado” as in “sado-masochism.” My mistake.

        I guess no one else feels conflicted about submitting to someone who enjoys inflicting pain on me, someone who actually delights in my pleas and begging and therefore may at least entertain the thought of enjoying “payback” at least in the form of the same anxieties and human experiences everyone else suffers.

        Then it should never be a problem for any of you.

  7. Great question.. Great reply…

    We are human… It’s always a balance …
    Here’s to supporting g each other !

  8. Speaking as a Sadist dear boy, I’d be interested in why you troll on a Fem Dom site, an inner masochist perhaps ?
    *sniggers evilly*
    I too think a lot of the Dommes can’t be human needs to got rid of, we are. . . well mostly anyway

    1. Yes, actually. That was the exact reason I “trolled” here. I have engaged in consensual S/M for over 25 years. I do have an issue when someone takes the role of a real disciplinarian, punishing real transgressions in a purportedly non sexual way and derives sadistic sexual gratification while the one being punished does not. That is my philosophical disagreement with Dan. I view DD very differently from truly, consensual BDSM.

      As for why I thought sadism was involved in the original post, it did use the term BDSM, which I understood included “sado” in it.

  9. Can anyone tell for sure what his love will bring?

    Suppose that his love brings this…

    You said that: “…Also, I as a domme, feel incredibly aroused by a man believing that I am the most badass, sucessful, beautiful, independent, confident woman around…”

    And he will feel incredibly aroused that you feel incredibly aroused by that.

    You said: that: “…Submissive men like this as well, and would probably prefer women who fulfill these categories….”

    But suppose that he does not like that side of you only?

    Suppose he guesses that you are insecure?

    Suppose he guesses that your domme fantasy play even stems in part at least from insecurity?

    Suppose he guesses that for a time in your past insecure feelings stopped you from feeling aroused or got in the way.

    Please feel free to pause here for a good laugh at that wild notion… But when you’ve done laughing please read on…

    Suppose he guesses that’s how come domme fantasy play (freed you from insecure feelings) got you incredibly aroused from that time?

    Suppose these guesses were all just rubbish. But still the main point is that it’s you who attracts him rather than just a play side. He feels that that if he knows you then he can make you happy. Is that so odd? No of course not. Not if he’s a real man. It’s no odder than you wondering how to make him happy.

    1. “But still the main point is that it’s you who attracts him rather than just a play side.”

      And if it IS just the play side that attracts him (and of course it’s possible), then it’s better to know that as early on as possible and deal accordingly.

      Play-only interactions can be fun and awesome, but if someone is looking for more, it will start to lose its lustre pretty quickly.


  10. I don’t know about all this stuff. Next, people will be saying that it’s OK for femdoms to take off their heels when in the shower. I don’t hold with it.

    Sir Puppington Lothian.

      1. She (the question-asker) has to take off her heels when in the shower. She’s has to go into the shower without heels, without make-up, without any domme stage props at all. Those props are just part of a role that she plays. That role is just one fun part of her. Everyone gets that which is why we can make a joke of it. Just as everyone also gets how in life she wants to and has to switch from one role to other roles that are also part of her. Everyone gets that she wants to share not one fun part of her only but who she really is which is human and not perfect. None of that so far is difficult.

        Here’s the difficult part. If she shares with her man a lot of other things about herself then will she still feel as incredibly aroused when she steps back into her domme roll once more? Or might she break the spell and ruin the chemistry? It’s a question mostly to dommes who have the experience of that. The difficult part to Satan is that women in showers would seem incredibly arousing to devils either way…


  11. “…femdoms to take off their heels when in the shower…”

    Even Satan is laughing at that wild notion.

  12. Interesting question, I’ve never thougt about it that way. To me there is no point in dominance without love. I don’t want power for the sake of it, I want to dominate my man because I love him, because I want every inch of him to belong to me. He’s all mine to play with, and mine to take care of. And he wants to submit to me because he loves me and wants to belong to me mind, body and soul. Without the love, those desires don’t matter to either of us.

    1. I can relate to that *smile*.

      I think that some people simply have an idea that ‘being dominant’ = ‘being mean’ (both emotionally and physically), so D/s with people they don’t really care about is easy. But once emotions come into play, they FEEL that ‘meanness’ and it makes them feel bad (because what kind of person can be mean to someone they actually love?).

      I think most have just framed D/s in an odd way, and some of that is inexperience, but I also think that some can’t step out of that mindset and will always have to have D/s as ‘a thing they do outside of love’.

      So interesting.


      1. Ferns, perhaps people get the idea that D/s is all about ‘being mean’, because all they have to go on are the old Ice Queen/Domatrix and Worm stereotypes?

  13. If the relationship is one of mutual affection, an implication is that the Domme’s rule is benign. Which makes the male’s surrender a beautiful thing.

    (And one should note that D/s play is play).

  14. Oddly enough, there may be something to be learned from traditional M/f married couples. Even though husbands have traditionally been dominant, such a status isn’t deemed inconsistent with a loving relationship…or with human imperfections

    Perhaps what is needed is compartmentalization-carefully distinguishing D/s play from the rest of the F/m couples relationship..

  15. Yes, Ferns. :)

    I have a thought for Dommes who are struggling to reconcile love with dominance:

    1. What if your submissive loves you back and….

    2. Chooses to express that love by submitting to you?

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