Be patient! Until you enter into a contract with a submissive, you have no more right to order him/her around than does anyone else. Give your bottom time to get to know you and what you are like. Finesse and subtlety are major elements of dominance. Similarly, strength and gentleness go hand in hand. The sensitivity and awareness (or lack thereof) that you show in the real world is likely to be repeated in the playroom.
Be humble. You may be God’s/Goddess’ gift to the world, but no one needs to hear it or wants to hear it. You will have ample opportunities to show how good you are – and plenty of opportunities to make a fool of yourself. No matter what you claim, the “real you” will show through in a scene. Don’t set yourself up for a failure by developing expectations that you know you can never reach.
Be open. Although the top is classically considered to be the teacher in SM, you can always learn from your bottom, no matter how inexperienced. Be willing to learn from other dominants who may have a totally different perspective from yours. Try to approach by-now-familiar trips with an attitude of wonderment and discovery. Be aware that everyone has her or his own personal style.
Communicate! You are responsible for finding out basic, essential information about the people you play with, such as experience, limits, likes and dislikes, and health information. Playing SM without this knowledge is like Russian roulette. Talk about your head-space and your view of SM with your bottom, so that any uncertainties can be dealt with before you start playing. Clearly spell out roles, rules, limits, and contracts. Do not take for granted that your bottom instinctively knows the ground rules.
Be honest. If you lack experience in an area that your bottom would like to experiment with, be honest about it. Your partner has a right to know that. Be honest with yourself and take your submissive only to those levels at which you are completely in control of the situation. Safety should always be the first concern, taking priority over how hot a particular scene is.
Be sensitive. There’s a very fine line between a sensitive, caring dominant and a self-righteous, insensitive overbearing clod. Your scene should be a creative synthesis of your needs and fantasies and your bottom’s needs and fantasies. Although, on the surface, your submissive is serving you, what actually is happening is that dominant and submissive are serving each other. Earn the complete trust of your submissive and never violate or even threaten to violate that trust. His or her submission is a gift to you. Use it appropriately.
Be realistic. End the scene with the bottom wanting more, not wishing there had been less. Remember that power, control, and sensitivity are the keys, not just the intensity of the stimulation. Be clear about what is fantasy, and has little to do with what works in practice. Your favorite porno picture books may be stimulating in themselves, but don’t try to imitate them to the last detail.
Be really dominant! Submissives are looking for someone who will take over their body and mind, not just for brute strength. Real people are wanted, not just cardboard images from cigarette ads or macho stereotypes. Your dominance enhances your whole existence. It does not cover up or substitute for other areas of your life – it is you. Make your submissive fall in love with you, and expect him or her to give him/herself up to you totally. Follow up on rules, expect obedience, and punish appropriately when it is called for. Don’t shirk your responsibility to your bottom or to your sister/fellow tops. Be dependable and expect dependability. You have agreed to take the dominant role – now take it!
Be healthy! Like any strenuous activity, SM requires that its participants be in top physical and emotional health. Many factors, including the amount you sleep, your eating habits, and your alcohol and drug intake affect your performance and endurance during a scene. Don’t attempt to do SM when your physical or emotional energy is low. As a dominant you have a special responsibility to be in control of yourself and on top of the scene. An attitude of “drugs and alcohol don’t affect me that much… I can do it anyway” violates your Submissives trust in you and can be dangerous. If you don’t want to accept the responsibilities, you shouldn’t be playing the game!
Have fun! After all, You have earned, and you are entitled to the unique, intense pleasures which come from responsible, creative SM play.