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Domination: Can it be taught or learned?

Is being dominant or submissive a part of our psychological make-up or is it something that can be taught or learned? can a domme be made or is it something she either has within her or she hasn’t?

Answer:

  • I think dominance _can_ be taught, having trained several Dommes and Doms myself. What can’t be taught is the _desire_ to dominate.
  • I’ve always been curious about switches. Is it that they like to have a moment when they feel powerful but are not fully committed to it. I would assume that if you are a true Domme that you would find it impossible to reverse and submit to somebody. I know I’m submissive because I like making women happy. The thought of hurting a woman, even in play is completely alien to me.
  • One is either-or.
    There is no grey area.

One is born submissive or Dominant. It is their natural way of things.

Now, when it comes to being a Domme/Mistress and a slave.
You can’t just say you are. There has to be a very large learning curve.
For both.

Too many times we have those that will call themselves Mistress or slave and know very little about what they are talking about.

So, yes the Domme and the slave can be made.

  • You are what & who you are, when you try to pretend to be something else you will fail. Be yourself & the dominant, switch, or submissive side will show

This goes back to a similar conversation we had in our group re is BDSM a natural thing for you or is it nurtured within you

Some people believe you are born submissive or Dominant, but I don’t believe this as I am very happy to be total submissive with my Mistress in & away from the dungeon so to speak, but I have to be in control & dominant in my business life, so the balance works well for me.

When I was a Manager I could have been wearing a chastity device to please my Mistress under my clothing while at work, yet discipline a staff member if so required to do so or to be ruthless to win a major tender or quote for a particular job.

Some may say that’s hypocritical but I do not think so at all. My BDSM interest has been nurtured within me & continues to grow as I explore this lovely lifestyle over the previous 20 plus years & continuing.

  • I am a Dominant Woman who occasionally likes to submit to another Dominant person in a sexual manner.. grin.

I think both things are naturally occurring in me.

However, once I realized I was actually dominant,(which came as quite a shock having been TOLD all my life that I must always be submissive to my father/husband/authority/etc…) I still needed to learn HOW to express that Dominance that I naturally felt but had never been able to express. I’m still figuring it out day by day, and having a blast learning, btw!

So I believe yes.. you can be taught how to express and use the dominance that already exists within you. But I’m not sure you could force a submissive person to become dominant if it wasn’t already in them. You might be able to teach them to top, but the heart wouldn’t be in it.

My submissive is an example, no matter how much I would love to have him Top me occasionally, it puts too much of a mental and emotional strain on him to ask him to, so I do not ask him to do so.

  • I have a friend who got into domination in her early sixties. I gave her the idea, some encouragement, some coaching and some reading material. She’d been vanilla all her adult life, but she really enjoys dominating her husband now. On that basis, I’d say that domination can be taught. On the other hand, my friend remembers that as a little girl she used to fantasize having a boy as a friend, where one of the rules of their friendship would be that she got to toy with his penis as much as she wanted. That kind of makes it hard to say whether she really got the idea from me.
  • Saying someone is either submissive or dominant is a false dichotomy, much like saying there can only be black or white and not allowing for the many shades of grey in between. Where a person is at any given point in time or in any given relationship is situational. While it may be true that my Master Maddmonk would not enter into a relationship as a slave, it would not be true to say he is dominant in every situation or with everyone he interacts with. A wise person knows that it would be foolish to try to dominate a police officer who has pulled you over, knows when to be a student and not a teacher, when to respect an elder or a mentor, when to submit to the orders of an employer, etc.

I personally use the designation of switch when describing my BDSM role to others. I live much of my life in dominant roles. In my work as I manage projects, in my service to the community organizing events, in many of my relationships with others, I take a dominant role. I am a natural leader, willing to make tough decisions, I usually know what I want and how to get it, and I definitely know how to say no when I need to. I believe that I am a powerful human being. So why do I use switch, because I have also willingly given Maddmonk the authority to use my power. I follow him and abide by his decisions and the direction he chooses. I offer the sadist in him my suffering. I do not give this to anyone else. I live as his slave. There may be other masters and/or dominants who I would defer to out of respect and admiration, but only Maddmonk can exercise control of my personal power.

Have I learned to be a dominant woman? Perhaps at the basest sense no, it was not learned. What I would say is more true for me is that I have been “unlearning” the negative messages and social roles that were a part of my childhood. I have been unlearning the thoughts that resulted from early judgments of others in my life. This unlearning is allowing me to grow as human being and reach for what fulfills me.

At this moment in time, when it comes to the lifestyle, if I could convert the shorthand of the term “switch” to all the roles I follow and am capable of following in this lifestyle it would include; dominant, submissive, mistress, slave, and sadist. The only one not on my list being a masochist, I do not suffer pain for the sake of pain; I only suffer for the sake of my submission and surrender.

  • I think there are grey areas all over the place.

The acts of dominance can be learned whether or not one has a desire to dominate.

Whether one has an interest in BDSM or not falls along a spectrum. Some people must have it. Some people won’t touch it. And there are spots in between where people can take it or leave it based on who their partner is. It is for this reason some people in BDSM did not seek it out on their own and latched on to it when introduced to it by a lover.

Similarly, I see an interest in dominance or submission to fall along a spectrum. Some fall near the dominant end, some near the submissive end, and some in between the two. I credit Jack Rinella for adding to my perspective that where one falls on this spectrum is a function of who the other person is. One might feel submissive towards person A and dominant towards person B. Of course, some switches can go back and forth between the roles with the same partner.

  • Well, let’s see. There is Dominance in a vanilla life and there are always submissive personalities whereever we go. So this discussion revolves around BDSM so I will stick to that thread. I am one of those blessed people who grew up in the lifestyle as a submissive woman to a very powerful Dominant male. My personal life, was one of a Dominant nature. I was outspoken, a leader, in my work life as many of you are/were. But coming from a point of no knowledge 13 years ago to a point of great knowledge today, I have transitioned to my natural role of Dominant. The difference? I believe is knowledge and application of the knowledge with a skillful and acute interest in doing it right. My drive is natural, my education in the lifestyle is for me a pathway to being able to utilize my gifts.
  • I Was the good little girl, not saying that I didn’t get my share of
    punishment though. I lived the ages of twenty til fifty-one as a Mormon. I Was a quiet and shy little thing. I am now an outgoing,fun loving, bratty,switch and loving it. I enjoy being in control in scene and in the bedroom because I feel that I have little or no control over other areas of My life.I learned to be alittle kick ass and to stand up for Myself at age thirty-three. However I started out as a Bottom.I still like to get my ass paddled, enjoyed being flogged, and I LOVE knife play. That’s why I say that I am a switch. Nature, maybe it’s in the genes. My Dom hubby and I have two sons who are kinky, the youngest is curious.My Mom, who is eighty-two, could probably still kick ass if she wanted to.If she were kinky she would be a Domme.Society too much wants to put labels on us, why do we feel the need to do it to each other?
  • Yes, dominance is definitely something that can be learned, and taught. I think in particular of a woman I got to be friends with when she was just beginning her apprenticeship with a very prominent San Francisco femdomme. She told me that she had always realized that she had power over men who were sexually attracted to her, but had never realized that she could have power which would be manifested so overtly. One of her main tools, in fact, had always been acting very submissively, which made her extremely attractive to most men, and therefore gave her power over them. After finishing her apprenticeship, she went on to become an extremely successful prodomme who specialized in having clients who were very successful financially, and eventually she was able to move to Beverley Hills and work out of a mansion in an expensive part of the city.

A lot of femdommes begin their training by being submissive. Often this is a deliberate strategy, since they have accepted the conventional wisdom that the only way to become a good dominant is to by being submissive first. But in other cases, submission is genuinely what initially attracts them. But then after a few years, they decide that it would make more sense for them to learn to be dominant.

  • Yes, dominance is definitely something that can be learned, and taught. I think in particular of a woman I got to be friends with when she was just beginning her apprenticeship with a very prominent San Francisco femdomme. She told me that she had always realized that she had power over men who were sexually attracted to her, but had never realized that she could have a form of power which would be manifested so overtly. One of her main tools with men, in fact, had always been acting very submissively, which made her extremely attractive to most men, and therefore gave her power over them.

After finishing her apprenticeship, she went on to become an extremely successful prodomme who specialized in having clients who were very well off financially, and eventually she was able to move to Beverley Hills and work out of a mansion in an expensive part of the city.

On one occasion she told me that I was the one who had taught her to be dominant, during our play together and by the feedback I gave her afterward. But like a lot of things she said, this was clearly a large exaggeration, since she was already quite good when we played for the first time. But I do believe that dominants learn useful things from their submissives, at least on the psychological level.

A lot of femdommes begin their training by being submissive. Often this is a deliberate strategy, since they have accepted the conventional wisdom that the only way to become a good dominant is to by being submissive first. But in other cases, submission is genuinely what initially attracts them. But then after a few years, they decide that it would make more sense for them to learn to be dominant.

  • For myself, I deeply feel that we are all born to be who we are, regardless if we are slave, submissive, Dominant, gay, straight, bi.. some of us take a little longer to realize what our true calling is, but some of us know it at a very young age. I knew my sexual preference was much more different then anyone else in my peer group, I went out of my way to research why I liked certain thing and why I felt submissive to some. I grew up in Germany during my teen years, when I returned to the states I did more research. I lived in a 24/7 relationship with my first Owner/Trainer and remained with him for almost 4yrs. I have been in the lifestyle for over 20yrs now lol wow how the time flies. My journey now has taken me onto a new path and I am now learning about my Dominant side, and I feel that this is my true calling. Would I still submit to someone, yes there is someone that I truely respect and adore and with her help she is teaching me to be a better Dom.
  • Hmmm, I never labeled myself dominant in regards to bdsm or intimate relationships. I have two very dear and old friends in the lifestyle that told me I am. I’ve had others meet me and ‘guess’ that I am the D of D/s. I did the submissive thing with a very experienced Master who I didn’t know was bdsm adventurer when I first met him. I also tried the online submissive thing. Those episodes didn’t last long as I was topping from the bottom – and the Master started doing what pleased me. I realized afterward that I was intimately mentally and emotionally dominating online. For the most part, male dominants don’t like me much at all in person. But I do have a good male-dominant friend. However, it seems that

I also attribute preference for intimate adventures to many factors from childhood (adolescence), as that is where sexual development occurs. Sexual prowess and preference also prove a very real reference point for me. Now, I say sexual, but really, I don’t think bdsm has a heck of a lot to do with the act of sex, so much as it is the art of romance and the dance of ‘fetishes’ as it were that bring us out as givers/receivers/controllers or controllers.

  • I think dominance can be taught, having trained several Dommes and Doms myself. What can’t be taught is the desire to dominate.

I wholeheartedly agree. I also believe in growth. People change after time. I labeled Myself as a Switch at one time. I served under a Master for 20 some years. The later of that I trained under a Female Dominate for 4 years. I was always independent in life and grew to like who I was when I had to step up and do so. It became Me. So in that time frame, I labeled Myself as a Switch because I was still serving a Master as his slave, and searching for one to Own. My Master chose other roads to follow in his life, so we parted ways. I have Owned pj for 6 years now, she is My first. I don’t claim to be perfect nor do I try to come off as such. I have My morals and I stick by them. I know I cannot serve another Master or Mistress, its just not who I have grown to be. I bow to noone, I respect many.

  • I agree with most that it could be inbred, but I also believe that someone who can start as submissive, say, CAN grow into Domination and the reverse is true as well. So many people change “sides” as they get older so it has to be possible. Isn’t Old Guard about training submissives to eventually become Dominants?
  • How many people do we know who marry vanilla thinking they can get their husbands or wives to Dominate or submit, only to realize that isn’t going to happen? I have heard the male side where they tried to “teach” their spouses how to top-bought toys especialy anal ones, but the spouse wasn’t interested or more to the point-disgusted. Enter the ProDomme or lifestyle person, one who knows. Most subs don’t have the patience to teach their spouses the art of Domination, as I believe that does take time to learn especially when it comes to the tools of the trade. And many women don’t want to “submit” to males because they believe it demeans them.
  • So if the question is “can it be learned?” the short answer is, “Only of the student is willing and has an interest”. The spark has to be there: desire, curiousity, willingness to learn, the open mindedness: Lead a horse to water and all that. It’s nice when its in the DNA already, but for most its something that is picked up later in life than sooner.
  • I’m going to finish that answer now… apologize for lack of navigation skills… 🙂

I do not believe that dominance can be ‘learned’. I believe, just like sexual orientation, it is what you are. Taking the phrase ‘the desire to dominate’ as meaning ‘dominance’- not ‘domination’: I don’t believe dominance is taught.

Domination, I believe, CAN be learned. It can be taught, conditioned, perfected and doled out with or without desire. I can dominate by whatever power I choose (sex, money, drugs, emotional blackmail, etc), but that doesn’t mean I’m dominant by nature, that just means I’m manipulative. (I don’t do that, btw.)

There was another comment on another thread that ‘dominants are dominants all the time, in and out of the bedroom.’ I took this to mean in every facet of daily life. I don’t agree with this statement. One can be (and often is) a less than dominant person in their various roles and relationships outside of BDSM.

To me, there is no doubt about it: power exchange in BDSM is different than power exchange on a daily living level with all around us.

  • To me, there is no doubt about it: power exchange in BDSM
    is different than power exchange on a daily living level with
    all around us.

I agree that there is no doubt about it. I think that confusing erotic dominance and submission with dominance or submission in everyday life is one of the biggest errors in DS discussions.

Over and over again, the same things happen to me. I meet a woman at a munch or whatever and am blown away by her enormous dominant energy. So I talk to her or ask a friend about her and am told that she only plays on the submissive side.

Or on the masculine side, there is the cliche of the powerful lawyer or business executive who goes to see prodommes in order to experience submission. Although this is a cliched pop psychology explanation of DS, it is something that does occur a lot.

In ordinary life, what we find takes the form of power struggles. The dominant is the one who has the skills to prevail in these power struggles.

But erotic DS is the opposite. In erotic DS, there is no struggle. A person is submissive because that’s what they want, and usually because they find submission sexually exciting. In many cases, the submissive will help the dominant be more effective, saying things like, for example, “You should punish me more often. You let me get away with too much.”

For me, there are two qualities in a woman that give her “dominant energy.” The first is a capability for natural authority, and the second is a seductiveness. Plus an affectionate (or playful) cruelty. Without seductiveness and affection, the dominance starts to seem like ordinary life domineering and the result is that my own natural dominant side comes out and I refuse to submit. I will say, “I’m sorry, but we have to stop this. It’s just not working for me at all.”

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