Rules for Doms and subs
by The Society of Janus

Ten Rules for Dominants Ten Rules for Submissives
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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 submissive's trust in you and can be dangerous. If you don't want to accept the responsibilities, you shouldn't be playing the game!

  10. Have fun! After all, sex is all about having a good time. You have earned, and you are entitled to the unique, intense pleasures which come from responsible, creative SM play.

  1. Be patient! A potential top will let you know if she or he is interested in you or not. Keep in mind that your purpose as a submissive is to serve and to satisfy someone who will take into consideration the realization of your fantasies. Don't expect your top to be able to turn on like a light switch. The timing must be right for both of you.

  2. Be humble. You may be God's or Goddess' gift to the world and the most sought after prize in town, but no one needs to hear it or wants to hear it. You will have ample opportunity to show how good you are. No matter what you claim, the "real you" will show through in a scene. Don't set yourself up for failure by developing expectations that you know you and your top can never reach.

  3. Be open. You can learn something about SM and about yourself from everyone into the scene, no matter how experienced or inexperienced they are, or how dominant or submissive they are. SM is a very personal art, and an "I already know it all" attitude will make you miss valuable SM lessons and experiences, and ignore potentially valuable SM friends.

  4. Communicate! Verbalization is necessary, but at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way. Your top needs to know basic information about you, such as experiences, fantasies, health concerns, and turn-offs. But - unless it's an emergency - wait until your top asks. Don't expect your dominant to be a mind-reader who instinctively knows your needs, wants, and limits. Your cooperation will enhance the scene for both of you.

  5. Be honest. Don't be afraid to share your needs and fantasies. Your dominant expects it. Honesty about your wants, health concerns, and turn-offs is essential to a good scene. Lying or being less than candid can only lead to problems, as the top will base the scene on inaccurate information. Besides causing problems, it can be dangerous.

  6. Be vulnerable. Your scene is a two-way street. It is not just the physical realization of your prior fantasies. If you want to limit your experience to certain physical and psychological stimulation, then contract with your top ahead of time. But don't always expect your top to be a puppet in a fantasy play you've written in your head. It's far better to let your top surprise you, to extend your limits, to take you to places you're never been before. When you trust your top completely, let her or him know it, and let him or her guide you into new fantasies.

  7. Be realistic. Your dominant is human, and even the most experienced tops have moments of awkwardness and indecision. Don't call attention to what you perceive as a lapse. Know the difference between reality and the fantasy world you see in books and magazines. Few tops are rich enough to afford a large dungeon with a lavish layout of equipment. Your top's equipment is expensive - respect it and don't abuse it.

  8. Be really submissive! This is the whole point. Let your dominant take you over completely. Don't coach or second guess or be critical of your top. Exchange information on your special needs before the scene starts, but once it starts be quiet! If you insist on running a scene to your own specifications, then you should try being a top. You have agreed to limitations of your own power. Stay within those limitations. Respect and obey your top and expect punishment if you don't. Accept it gracefully and cheerfully. Your top has many things to be concerned with, including your safety and what turns you on. Be loyal and dependable and enjoy your role.

  9. Be healthy! SM, like any strenuous activity, requires that its participants - both active and passive - be in top physical and emotional health. The amount you sleep, your eating habits, your alcohol and drug intake, and everyday stress affect your response and endurance during a scene. Your dominant needs to know when your physical or emotional energy is low. No matter how tempting a scene sounds, an "I want it all now" attitude when you aren't able to give your all will leave both of you feeling let down. You serve your dominant and yourself best by staying healthy.

  10. Have fun! After all, sex is all about having a good time. You have earned and you are entitled to the unique, intense pleasure which comes from responsible, creative SM play.




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