A few basics

There is a physical side and a psychological side to dominance. Physically, sensual dominance means dominating with activities that revolve around sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is a broad term for all erotic physical sensations and not just oral sex or intercourse. It may include kissing, dry humping, spooning, massaging, etc. Rewards consist of sexual pleasure given by the Domme and received by the sub. Punishment means sexual pleasure is denied or taken away from the sub. Light pain is often part of the fun, but the more substantial pain is more commonly used with other types of dominance. Psychologically, sensual dominance may make a Domme feel worshipped, sexually satisfied, powerful, controlling, and loving. Subs may also feel sexually satisfied as well as vulnerable, cherished, controlled, and loved. The brain plays a vital role in domination, and the physical and psychological elements are incredibly interconnected. Ideally, your D/s interactions fulfill both the physical and psychological needs of you and your sub. Many people enjoy mixing sensual dominance with other types of dominance, while others prefer to stick to one kind. There’s no right or wrong way to dominate as long as all parties involved are consenting and enjoying themselves.

Some people wonder if sensual dominance has much of a power exchange when it’s all about pleasure. Absolutely! The extent of the power exchange depends on what level you and your sub desire. For example, you could climb on top of your sub to make him feel like he doesn’t have a choice, and then fuck him senseless until you cum. There isn’t a ton of power exchange in that scenario, but there’s no rule that says you need to incorporate more. If you wanted more, you could tie him down and straddle his face while making it very clear that his pleasure has to wait until you’re satisfied. Then you climb on top and ride him really slow until he’s going crazy and begging for release, but he’s not allowed to cum until you let him. When you make a sub get permission before he can cum, there’s a lot of power exchange there even though you’re focusing on pleasure. You can make your playtime more severe because you and your sub find a hard, unforgiving Domme sexier. Or you could play in a lighthearted, whimsical way by being a fairy who casts a spell to control him. Sensual domination can be intense, light, or anywhere in the middle.

When it comes to dominance in general, Dommes typically enjoy being in control because the sense of power is heady. It can also help a woman feel confident, sexy, desired, brave, and like an erotic badass. In addition to these reasons, I love the trust, honesty, and connection that come with dominating a sub. People often think that Dommes are controlling in all aspects of their lives. However, I have known very good Dommes who had a more passive personality outside of playtime. Additionally, not all bossy women make good Dommes.

On the other hand, many people believe subs want to submit because they have strong personalities but need a break from being in control. That can certainly be the case, as was true for one of my subs who was a cop. However, I also have met men who have a more laid back or mild personality but still love submitting to a woman. Subs can enjoy being controlled for several reasons. The most popular reason I hear is they love the feeling of submission and helplessness and find it extremely erotic. Another very common explanation subs give me is that they love pleasing a woman and making her happy.

Why Dommes and subs want dominance without pain can vary widely. I prefer sensual dominance because I like being in control of pleasure and orgasms. I love to tease and ramp up the anticipation to make both our orgasms better. I’m also a nurturing and giving Mistress and want to take care of my sub and his pleasure. I love making him happy because a happy sub is a devoted sub. I’ve heard from subs about why they want to be dominated sensually, and many explain that they get off by being at the mercy of a woman yet still want intimacy and pleasure. Additionally, many subs don’t have an interest in pain, but they do have a strong desire to serve a woman sexually. They are hesitant to explore their submissive side because they don’t find the pain aspect sexy. However, there’s a world of sensual dominance waiting for them if they find the right Domme to match their desires.

The Domme’s responsibilities

During playtime, you’re in charge of a lot as the Domme. However, your most important responsibility is looking out for your sub. You need to make sure he’s comfortable, happy, and safe throughout the entire experience, from discussions to playtime to aftercare. It’s a lot of responsibility to be open and honest, understand his needs, plan activities, choose his rewards and punishments, take care of him, know when to push or back off, adjust things on the fly, and provide aftercare. Whew! It takes a lot of mental energy but is extremely rewarding. Be sure you recognize the effort it takes, and please don’t half-ass it. It’s impossible to be a perfect Domme all the time, and that’s okay. But a desire to be an excellent one goes a long way toward great sensual playtime. It takes a lot of trust to submit to someone, so make sure you appreciate your sub’s trust by doing your best. I always say my number one job as a Mistress is to take care of my sub. How I take care of him varies depending on who he is, what he needs, and what we’re doing. No matter what, I always want him to feel safe, secure, and cherished.


I cannot stress enough how important communication is to help everyone be safe and have fun. This is the main reason why I need a connection with my sub; we have to be very open and honest with each other. Even with sensual dominance, you must have a safeword. You and your sub can use the same word, or each of you can have a different one. A safeword is a way to stop all play immediately, and both you and your sub must always have the ability to do that. Pick something that would never come up naturally in playtime. “Stop” and “wait” are terrible safewords because your sub might want to use them to increase his submissive feelings. Instead, choose something like the make of your car or your favorite musician. No matter what, always stop playing immediately when someone says the safeword. Trust plays a crucial role in dominance because whoever says the safeword trusts that their partner will stop. Once play stops, talk about why the safeword was used. It might be due to feeling unfun physical discomfort, being too overwhelmed, needing water, or having a muscle cramp. Don’t automatically assume you’re a terrible Domme if your sub uses the safeword. It just means that you need to have a talk as non-D/s people to figure out how to make things better. You may even continue playing if you both want to after your break, or you might choose to stop for the night and play another time. Remember, Dommes have every right to use a safeword as well. Anytime you need to stop and talk to your sub in a non-D/s space, use the word. Maybe you’re not feeling well, you’re not enjoying an activity, the condom broke, etc. Don’t hesitate to use the word, and then explain why you used it.

The other major element of communication with your sub is determining how you want to play. You must have detailed conversations about what you each like and want to try. Both of you need to be honest about what you like and don’t like, and you both need to be kind about what the other person says. If he asks about something that you’re not into, like pegging him, don’t make a face and don’t belittle his interest because there’s nothing wrong with his desire. Just be honest and say you don’t want to put that on the list of things to try. You both probably have a desire that the other doesn’t want to try because two people’s kinks won’t align perfectly on every item. There’s also give and take, and one of you may bring up something the other hasn’t thought about. If one of your sub’s ideas doesn’t really do it for you, but you aren’t against it, be open to trying it. As a Mistress, I’ve done things for my sub that didn’t sound erotic but became really hot and sexy once I did it and saw his reaction and arousal.

Both of you need to be clear about your limits and interests. Through talking, you’ll find where your interests overlap and decide what to try. If you find it hard to get those conversations started, try finding a good story on Lit to read together and then discuss what you like and don’t like about it. It’s like sexy homework! Perhaps he loved the Domme’s tenderness, the restraints, the anal play, or other specific things that start a great conversation. You could also have a discussion jar, and each of you writes ideas on slips of paper and puts them in the jar. Then when you go for a walk or have some cuddle time, take two ideas with you and talk about them. There’s no rule about how the conversations must go, but just remember to be honest and kind.

Throughout the rest of this how-to, you’ll notice multiple references to communicating with your sub and learning what he desires. However, some subs are Domme pleasers and really only want to serve you and your desires. If you have this type of sub, he may not voice his preferences because he wants to do what you want. It’s possible when you ask him questions, his responses are, “It’s up to you,” or “You decide.” Be aware those answers could honestly reflect his desires because he wants you to lead, and he does not want much of a role in planning your playtime. However, continue to communicate and ask questions because it is essential to know when he does have limits and preferences.


There are no rules about what you must wear during playtime. Clothing should be based on what you like and what’s going to enhance the play and make it sexier for both of you. You might want to be in leather and metal if that helps you embrace your Domme persona, or you might want to wear romantic lingerie to highlight the loving bond you have with your sub. You may also have a variety of outfits that make you feel great as a Domme, and you pick one based on your mood or the playtime activities. You can choose your sub’s clothing based on the planned activities too. If his collar makes him feel very secure, you’d be a thoughtful Domme to have him wear it when you’re trying something new or pushing his boundaries. Perhaps you want to put him in a pair of your panties to make him feel more shy and vulnerable. Usually, I plan the night’s activities and then select the clothes that match the mood I want to create. I find it much easier to be domineering in knee-high boots and a corset than in a schoolgirl outfit. It’s also possible to pick the clothes first and then plan the activities. For example, if I found a sexy jockstrap for my sub to wear, I’d plan activities that put his gorgeous cheeks on display for me.

To help you select clothing, you should know your sub’s preferences. He might struggle to answer a broad question like, “What would you like me to wear?” If so, try asking more specific questions like, “Would you feel more dominated if I wore dark colors?” His answers also reveal what psychologically affects him, which can help you be a better Domme. It helps to look online for lingerie and fetish clothing, and searching together can be very sexy. I specifically want to mention CFNM (Clothed Female Nude Male) because many men love feeling submissive this way. Not only does a sub usually feel more vulnerable when he’s naked, but you can feel more powerful and in control by being fully dressed. Then you dictate precisely how your sub can earn the privilege of seeing more of your sexy body. The clothes you’d wear in this scenario are often your work attire, but it could be anything. In any case, CFNM can be another layer to make him feel more submissive. Don’t worry, you can still get naked when you want! I personally love a naked sub and prefer him that way the majority of the time. I love being able to see how hard he is, how much he’s leaking, and what makes his cock twitch with lust.


Building anticipation can drive your sub crazy and intensify his orgasm. It’s also dominating because you’re guiding his thoughts and arousal. The key to anticipation is letting him know what will happen in the future and then making him wait for it. A way to build anticipation without being specific would be leaving him a note in the morning that says, “7 pm tonight, be naked and face-down on the bed.” He won’t know what you’re doing to do, but he’ll enjoy wondering about it, especially if he has a great imagination. You could also be much more specific and tell him, “You’ll be using a toy on me tonight to make me cum before I tie you down and finger you.” Specifics can really make your sub crazy, especially if you describe them in the car on the way to dinner with friends. Do your best to follow through on your sexy promises unless there must be a necessary change in plans. Otherwise, your attempt at building anticipation becomes confusing and frustrating.

Sexy talk

Most men, subs included, love a woman who talks sexy. Sexy talk also includes dirty talk, but maybe you and your sub don’t always want to use more explicit words. Imagine you have your sub restrained while you’re riding him, which is his favorite position. Sexy talk that is less explicit might include, “I love having you under me where you belong. Remember, I have to orgasm first, so get ready for a nice, long ride.” The words are less naughty, but it’s still sexy, and you’re asserting control by reminding him of a rule. Dirty talk could look more like, “I love fucking you like this, with you under me where you belong. Don’t forget you can’t fill me with cum until you please me first. And with such a delicious cock for me to ride, I might want to make this last a very long time.” It’s the same general message, but you’re using words like fucking and cock and specifically mention him cumming inside you. Most subs will enjoy both versions, but you should know which type arouses him more so you can use that to your advantage. Combine sexy talk with other elements like anticipation or rewards to help push all your sub’s buttons. You can always get sexy talk ideas from Lit stories. I wouldn’t recommend getting ideas from porn videos because, well, they aren’t known for their stellar dialogue. Sexy talk takes a little practice, and it might feel awkward at first. However, you’ll learn where your comfort zone is and what words drive your sub crazy.

Teasing and edging

Teasing plays a considerable role in my sensual domination. It really ramps up the sexual tension and anticipation, which makes the release more powerful. The goal of sensual dominance is pleasure, which includes everyone’s pleasure. You can only tease your sub so much before it becomes mean and tiresome. Where exactly that line lies depends on your sub because some enjoy more teasing than others. How you tease is based on what your sub likes and how much you want to torment him. If he’s very visual, tease him by starting fully-dressed and revealing your body to him slowly. If he loves sexy talk, talk about what you’re doing, what’s coming next, how things feel, etc. Don’t forget physical teasing as well, like barely touching his cock when you know he wants firm strokes. If you’re on top, slide him inside you and then just be still and wait, especially if you know he’s dying to thrust. You can even lightly scratch his balls with your fingernails while you’re waiting to add even more teasing. Also, use his body’s sensitive areas to your advantage to drive him absolutely wild. Teasing can be easily combined with other playtime fun.

Edging is a form of teasing that gets your sub right to the edge of climax then backs off just before he cums. You do this again and again, which keeps him at a very high level of sexual tension for an extended period of time. It can be difficult to edge your sub because it’s impossible for you to know precisely how close he is to the edge of orgasm. Inevitably, you will make him cum accidentally because you didn’t stop in time. To avoid this, you can make him tell you when to stop, or you can order him to edge himself while you watch.

Orgasm control

Controlling orgasms is one of my favorite ways to dominate because it has a clear sense of authority and is very sensual. This control often translates to rules about when, where, and how he’s allowed to cum. Your rule about when he can cum might be that you have to cum first. Maybe twice. If you like your sub to refrain from orgasms for multiple days, you could have an orgasm scoreboard where he gets one for every five of yours. You can also make your sub ask permission to cum so he can’t have an orgasm unless you allow it. You could even do this in your relationship outside of playtime if your sub really loves you controlling his orgasms. If you prefer control without him asking permission every time, you could allow him only two orgasms for the week, including masturbation, and he chooses when he wants to have them. Or perhaps you give him a weekend to cum as much as he wants as long as you get to help or watch every single one.

Controlling where he cums usually relates to on or in your body. Many Dommes won’t let a sub cum on them because they feel it diminishes their status in the D/s relationship. Personally, I love to dictate where a sub cums on me because he is so grateful, especially if the location is related to one of his fetishes. Letting a sub with a foot fetish cum on your feet will make him so happy and very devoted to you, especially if you let him wash your feet afterward.

Controlling how he cums is another way to assert your dominance over his orgasm. You can dictate whether he cums from his own hand or from your body when you’re together. You can also be specific about his position for masturbating. Many subs find masturbating for their Dommes even hotter if they’re given specific instructions like being on all fours while they do it. The more ways you control his orgasm, the more powerful you feel, and the more submissive he feels.

Putting him on display

Putting your sub on display for your viewing pleasure can be a great way to feed his submissive desires. Additionally, he may love being your sole focus because it makes him feel very special. Make sure your sub is okay with being on display for you. If he has scars or body issues, he may not appreciate being the center of such visual attention. Watching your sub while he undresses, masturbates, or holds specific positions are sexy ways to put him on display. While you’re watching him, you can compliment him, tell him how he’s pleasing you, or play with yourself so he can see your pleasure. You want to help your sub feel comfortable and proud to be on display for you. You might also want to direct some of his actions to add more dominance, like giving him explicit instructions on how to undress for you. I also love asking my sub to describe his feelings while I watch him because it’s amusing to watch him struggle to put together coherent sentences.