Doms – Why We Do The Things We Do

There is a romantic image of the Domly Dom, on his throne, with his scantily dressed and collared slave at his feet. At the snap of a finger, food and wine are brought forth, and if he grows bored the slave performs a slow and sensual disrobe and perhaps begins worshiping his Master’s feet with his tongue.

That, of course, is why we do what we do.
Well, at least in the story books.

I’ve had people ask me why I do what I do, and what the Dom gets out of a scene, and it’s a hard one to explain. I can only speak for myself, because the “universal Dom” doesn’t exist, but I’ll try to shed light on a couple of aspects.


When we talk about total power exchange (TPE) we’re usually talking about a 24/7 lifestyle, so it exists inside the bedroom (or dungeon if you’re lucky enough), but also outside of it.

The sub gives over some or all authority for his life to the Dom, and along with that usually comes some degree of servitude. The sub agrees to serve the Dom. In exchange, the Dom takes on responsibility for the sub. To care for him, control him responsibly and focus energy on his mental and physical well-being.

Of course, pleasure plays a part in that exchange too. It’s ultimately why we do the things we do. So, the sub is usually agreeing to serve the Dom sexually and in a day-to-day sensual sense (by being pleasing and sexy for his Master). And, the Dom is agreeing to feed the sub’s sexual/fetish needs through control, rewards and punishments, and fetish play.

It’s fairly easy to see the exchange in TPE, and there’s usually a fair balance. A vanilla outsider may think of an M/s relationship as being the s doing all the work to serve the M, but that’s not the case at all. Taking on responsibility for someone else is no easy task.


Weirdly, if that same vanilla outsider watched the M/s couple in the throws of a BDSM scene (and I’m using the term “scene” here loosely, for want of a better word, but you could call it playtime, sex, torture or whatever word works for you) it often looks like the Dom is working hard, but it’s harder to see why.

It’s easy to find a lot of references to sub-space on the internet, but there’s not much writing on Dom-space.

Most BDSM sessions appear like a Dom orchestrating an experience for his sub. Even when the Dom is kicking back and being serviced, there can be a deliberate element of the Dom feeding the sub’s desire to service. On apps/sites like Recon and FetLife it’s not uncommon to see subs with long lists of what they like done to them. “Into edging, role playing, milking, cum control, bondage, SM, rape scenes. Let’s explore!” I wouldn’t be the first Dom to roll his eyes and reply to something like that with “yes, but what’s in it for me?”

Appearances can be deceiving though. Obviously there is something in it that we love. Again that disclaimer – YMMV (your mileage may vary). I’ll tell you what’s in it for me, but others may get off on the pure sadistic pleasure of inflicting pain, or the voyeuristic pleasure of watching, or power/control trips, or any number of other pleasures. Not saying that those things aren’t part of my mix too, but every individual has their own pleasure buttons and every Dom is different.


For me there is. I suspect it’s a different thing to sub-space, because power exchange dynamics allow a sub to give up control and I think that very act of totally surrendering it is important, maybe essential, in reaching sub-space. If you sub then please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

As a Dom I can relax into a space, but I am always completely in control during a scene. That means I don’t drink or take drugs before hand, I don’t experiment with complex tools like suspension that I’m not confident with, and I don’t have anything or anyone around that I think will break my focus. Because I believe it’s the focus that brings me to Dom-space.

As my boy gives up more and more control on his journey to sub-space, I take that control on. On the surface, his body and what’s happening to it become my responsibility. Beneath the surface, his mind also becomes mine to care for.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been with someone who feels anxious and got contact-anxiety yourself from that. Or been with someone going through a heart-wrenching sadness and found yourself crying with them. That empathy is where I go during a scene.

As my boy releases himself into sub-space, I experience the dark mirror of that. It becomes like two dance partners who no longer need to think consciously about what the other one is doing. I understand what each lash of the whip, stroke of the cane, push of the needle, jolt of electricity or touch of my fingers is doing and I have incredibly fine control over those feelings. I can adjust in infinitely small increments or abruptly. I can dial the experience up or down. I can pace the journey, controlling how fast or slow we reach the destination. And, I can find locked doors and open them with magical keys. At that moment I’m existing inside my sub and I think it’s the most intimate and bonding experience possible. It’s the ultimate high.


That’s my experience, what’s yours? As a Dom, what gives you a Dom-high? Or as a sub, what is it that your Dom does that brings you into the zone?


• Dominant Guide – Dom Space: Is That A Thing?
• A Submissive’s Initiative – To Domspace, Dom-drop and Beyond!
• Leather N Roses – Dom-Space
• The Tantric Lounge – The Sensual Dom(me)
• BDSM: Things You Need to Know – Two Kinds of Subspace
• The BDSM Training Academy – Subspace Is Not A Dream, It’s An Experience
• Leather N Roses – Sub-space: Others Do It, Why Can’t I?
• FetLife – Sub Space – What it is – how to get there – How it feels
• FetLife – Subspace and endorphins
• kimdebron – Total Power Exchange
• FetLife – Total Power Exchange

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Kristen says:

    Very informative

    1. MasterMarc says:

      Hi Kristen – I’m glad you got something out of it. I have elements of a Responsive Top ( ) rattling around with all the other things inside me, so that plays into what I get out of things.We’re all a complex mix of traits, but I guess we all have some empath in us.

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