The love story between Sylvia James and Andrés de Leon, the central characters in my upcoming novel Bedtime Stories, began like any other. However, as they got to know each other, and she was able to put him to the test to see if he could handle what she was looking for, he was able to establish a deeper connection and trust with her, proving himself worthy of a relationship within a Dom/Sub dynamic.
What if, in your life’s story, you’re a Sub looking for a Dom with whom you can truly connect, like the characters in my story, but you’re constantly meeting with those who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk?
How did my character, Andrés, show he did walk that walk and create that connection, that trust?
It appears to be more difficult now than in previous years to find someone you can connect with and trust, because most initial social interactions now begin online before moving off line. New Subs do not know whether the person they’re dealing with is real or not. Then they turn to places like Reddit’s r/BDSM Community to ask how to tell the difference between fake Doms and real Doms, both online and offline.
This is the most frequently asked question.
So, aside from the obvious red flag of insisting on immediate compliance after meeting for the first time, how can a Sub tell the difference between a fake Dom and a real Dom?
What I’m about to share is based on what I’ve shared with other Subs over the years I’ve participated in the power exchange, in the role that all of my Subs had consented to me playing.
The Difference Between Fake Doms and Real Doms
Fake Doms think BDSM is only about sex.
Real Doms engage in the dynamic because they understand the kink is the exploration of boundaries, which may or may not involve sex. Many of us have reasons for wanting to take part in this way, and for me, it’s a therapeutic way of dealing with trauma. The dynamic’s goal is to take power and control over actions that may be at the root of whatever fuels the trauma in a Dom’s or Sub’s life. The kink is reclaiming your mind and body, reclaiming your life, through the safe and consensual practice of exchanging power and fetishizing permission.
Fake Doms are selfish and more often than not, do not believe in providing aftercare.
Real Doms are not selfish and they believe that providing aftercare is the icing on the cake.
Fake Doms get angry easily and for the most dumb reasons. Stay away from anyone with anger issues.
Real Doms have emotional control, which is crucial if, in the heat of the moment, you decide you need to say your safe word or make your safe gesture, anything showing the Dom needs to stop. I know many Subs who have felt shame from not wanting to displease their Dom by evoking what they need to evoke in order to have everything stop, out of fear that their Dom will be angry at them once outside of the dynamic.
Fake Doms will act as if their abuse is love, making you doubt yourself whenever you ask, “Is this correct? Being treated in this manner without my consent.”
Consent is the Kink
Real Doms will show love by asking for permission before engaging in any exchange, respecting boundaries, and not making you feel guilty for having them. They will realize that respect is more important than love and that affection can only be expressed by respecting their partner and their boundaries. Most importantly, real Doms will regard the submission of the strong and powerful women in their lives as a triumph.
Fake Doms will speak to and treat others in demeaning ways, especially those in the service industry. Their behavior suggests how they will treat others who the fake Dom believes to have no power and are vulnerable.
Real Doms recognize that, outside of a mutually agreed-upon power dynamic, they must be mindful of the power exchange that exists between those who are economically vulnerable and themselves, and thus treat those vulnerable people with respect.
Fake Doms will speak to you in a condescending, smug tone and, when challenged, will insist that this is part of their Dom personality.
Real Doms understand everything must be discussed in advance, and they will need your permission to proceed in this manner if that is what you, the sub, want out of a power exchange, then talk to you how you want to be talked to, once inside the dynamic.
Fake Doms make assumptions about consent.
Real Doms have long conversations and ask for consent.
Fake Doms feel the need to always be right.
Real Doms understand they know nothing and will listen to their Sub about what they could do better, when given the feedback.
Most of all, fake Doms would have done nothing to arouse your raw desire. A fake Dom’s aura and body language will give off creepy vibes. A fake Dom will go out of their way to claim to be a Dom.
Real Doms elicit raw desire through their actions and body language. A real Dom’s aura will project their open-minded attitude and non-judgmental sensibilities, subtly communicating to the Sub that they will be safe to be their true selves because their body language will communicate who they truly are—a Dom.
I believe in the power of nonverbal communication, as well as the idea that we are constantly communicating with others through the aura we project.
When you come across a fake Dom, you wonder if that person can be trusted.
When you come across a real Dom, you know they can be trusted—but still make that Dom jump through hoops, testing them to see how they react before you bless them with your submission.
When you’re a Sub, in a euphoria of Subspace, but you still want to stop, you feel the need to stop and be brought back to Earth, the Dom must be able to pick up that your body is saying no, because you may have forgotten your safe words, or you’re unable to communicate any agreed upon gestures, because you’re lost in the ecstasy.
Fake Doms will keep going.
Real Doms will listen to what your body is saying, stop, and will come over to check on you.
A BDSM power exchange is essentially a glorified trust fall.
You, as the sub, must be certain that your Dom will catch you.
Fake Doms will let you crash to the floor.
Real Doms will express their gratitude for your trust in them by acting as the conductor of your pleasure, knowing your tempo and knowing when to start and when to stop.
Fake Doms will think it’s all about their pleasure and will forget their Sub is there.
If you’re a Sub and have been wondering how to tell the difference between a fake Dom and a real Dom, I hope what I’ve shared based on my experience, as well as knowing and interacting with Subs for nearly 30 years, has been of great help to you. Finally, I want you to be careful out there and question everyone who enters your life, wishing to be a part of this dynamic with you.
Please put them to the test—look at it as an opportunity to cultivate a bit of a brat that may be in you (if you aren’t already).
Fake Doms will fail the challenge of proving they are worthy of your trust.
Real Doms will welcome it and say, “Give me some more,” through their body language and aura.