How to Tell Your Partner You’re a Dominant

For people who figure out or know they’re dominant and want to explore BDSM, it can happen in a variety of ways. Maybe your sexual fantasies have always been kinky. You may have read some erotica and felt something click inside you. Maybe you watched porn and wanted some of what you saw.

Either way, you want to dominate your partner, and it’s time to tell them. Here’s how to do that.

Find the Right Time to Talk

No matter how you come to dominance, sexual or otherwise, eventually you’re going to have to tell a partner about it if you ever want to experience it. When you’re already in a relationship, it can feel awkward and even frightening. If you feel like your partner might be receptive to the idea, find a time to talk quietly.

You want them to be able to focus on what you’re saying so choose the moment wisely. Letting them know ahead of time you want to talk is a good idea, too. You can also wait until they’re completely relaxed and receptive – like after some fun, kinky sex, especially if you were able to be dominant with them in a way they enjoyed.

Start Where They Are

Decide What Dominance Means to You

As you explore this kinky side of yourself, your understanding of domination may change and grow over time. You’ll figure out what you like and don’t like, and so will your partner. But for right now, try to figure out what you mean when you imagine dominating your partner. Imagine your turn-ons and what you’ve fantasized most about.

Do you want to take control in the bedroom? Are you interested in punishing (in a fun, consensual way) a “bad girl” or “bad boy?” Do you like giving orders and being obeyed? The more you understand about what you want, the clearer you’ll be in your conversation. Spend a little time deciding what dominance means to you before you talk to your partner.

Start Where They Are

If you know your partner well enough to tell them you want to dominate them, you should already have some idea of their sexual preferences. Start with what you both know you like. Maybe it’s the way you push them down on the bed or the tone you use when you tell them to do something. It could be how you pin them against the wall or the spanking you give during sex.

When you begin at a point of common desire, the conversation is less intimidating for both of you. Say something like, “I’ve noticed you like it when I take control” or “We both have a good time when we get kinky.”  When you mention a specific sexy thing you already enjoy together, you provide a reference point that they’re familiar with. Pointing out ways that you already get kinky together – and both enjoy – is concrete and real.

Give Your Partner Time to Think

Give Your Partner Time to Think

By the time you’ve figured out what you want from your partner and decided to tell them about it, you might be impatient to begin. It’s normal and natural to want to jump in with both feet, especially if your partner seems at least a little willing. Slow down and let them think about it. They may have questions or simply need more time to process what you’ve told them.

If they’re enthusiastic about the idea and want to explore BDSM with you, get naked and have a good time. But if your partner has questions or doesn’t quite know what to think, give them the space to decide what they want to do. You can always help by sharing the things that turn you on or where you learned more about BDSM and dominance and submission — podcasts, websites, books, images, and videos.

Start Slow and Keep Communicating

Start slow as you explore dominance and submission. Share a few ideas that turn you on and try one. Just one. See how it feels for both of you. Adjust if it’s not quite right but you want to do it again. Later, add another sexy, kinky thing to try. Continue to add new kinky things like kneeling, crawling, following rules, using titles, and anything else that excites you in a slow way until you become more comfortable.

Talk about how you feel about the things you’re experiencing – before, during, and after. Check in with each other with things like, “Does this feel good?” and “Do you like it?”. If the answer is no, stop and talk about it or do something else. Try to keep your expectations realistic and the pressure off both you and your partner to do it “right” the first time. Dominance and submission, in whatever form it takes, is supposed to be fun and enjoyable but can take a while to figure out.


It’s natural to want to jump right into the kinky fun of dominance and submission, but it can also be terrifying to tell your partner. Take your time and have a serious conversation about what you both want. Communicate as much as possible and experiment with things that turn you both on. In the end, it may not match the porn you watched or your personal fantasies, but if it feels good, that’s all that matters.

Are you a dominant or top? How do you tell your partners? Comment below to share your experiences!

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