The most common search queries on this blog have to do with finding a Dominant partner so I have to assume that a lot of you who read here are single and searching for your Dominant. It's never easy being single and knowing you want to find a Dominant partner adds to the mix of things to look for in a partner that often narrows the pool. But with these 5 tips on selecting Dominants, you'll have a better understanding and hopefully renewed inspiration for your own dating endeavors.

Knowing if you've found your perfect partner isn't as simple as these 5 tips though and you should do more than answering an ad online. In fact, knowing if someone will be compatible with you in enough ways that you want to spend your life with them and trust them with the BDSM and D/s dynamics you are looking for will require more than a precursory look. And they aren't your Dom until you can trust them and want to have a relationship with them. Don't let anyone rush you into it.

I'd like to add a little caveat here; these 5 tips are for finding a relationship partner, not a casual play partner. If you do not want to forge a long-term relationship yet, you might want to check out Submissive Guide's post on finding a play partner instead.

Without further ado, here are my 5 tips for learning if a person could be a great partner.

1 Get to know the person behind the Dom title

I know that you are looking for a Dominant, but most of us are also looking for lovers, partners, companions and maybe even future spouses in our Dominant partners. So, instead of focusing in the D/s and play, get to know all about them away from that. What were they like as children? Do they have hobbies? What are their beliefs? What do they see their future looking like?

2 Go out on dates, not just to the playroom

Dating is something that a lot of people looking for D/s relationships often overlook, especially since so many relationships these days start out online, but it's so very important for getting to know the person behind the role. Often, we can forget that we aren't just looking for a machine to churn out hot sex and scenes, but a person and a relationship that extends behind the bedroom. Do you enjoy hanging around them when not playing?

I'm personally terrible at dating but I know that when I first starting meeting people interested in the same things I was, it became very easy to cloud my vision and only see the excitement of play, the desire to explore new things and completely ignore that I didn't like hanging out with the person past the bedroom, that we had nothing in common and couldn't wait to be out of his sight at the soonest opportunity. These things were definitely not what I wanted in a long term relationship. So I had to learn to date, and date I did.

3 Have him pass the friend test (go out with friends)

I know this sounds like High School, but your friends know who you are and can see pretty quickly if someone you are seeing is compatible with you or if you are seeing things through the energy of a new relationship. Set up a few dates that are group dates where you'll be hanging out with your friends. Then you can ask your friends what they think of your new man. It doesn't have to be kinky friends at all, you won't be doing kinky things at a group date I hope. They are there just to see how you two interact and to get to know him.

Try to set up a time to hang out with his friends too. You might learn about him through his friends, how he interacts with them, what he likes to do and just all around how he likes to relax. You obviously won't be able to ask them compatibility questions like you can your friends, but I bet you could get some great stories anyway about him and his history with school, family, ex's even. A little alcohol might help lubricate his friends to be more relaxed about you being there too. Oh, and you'd better be sure he's gonna ask his friends what they think about you when you aren't there too!

With either of these types of dates, make sure you have fun and don't make it about an interview. If you get along with him they will be a part of your life in some measure so putting a good face forward can work in your favor.

4 Don't rush things

I know you are aching to have a partner and some of you might feel a bit desperate but if you are looking for a long term relationship partner, making mistakes in whom you choose will mean heartache and then frustration and then starting all over again. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be more careful at the start so that hopefully I won't have to deal with heartache from a bad match that could have been avoided with a bit more time dating and getting to know each other in all facets of life.

Think about how serious a relationship needs to be before you'll become exclusive, or call each other boyfriend and girlfriend (Dom and sub), or when do you feel comfortable moving in with each other. And, at least for me, accepting a collar is like "saying yes" to marriage. Make sure you both know when those milestones would come about so that you can be on the same page. Make sure you both agree to those milestones so that you aren't asking yourself or others how do you know when your _____ is ready for this, that or something else. Lay it out on the table during dating so that you can be sure you know where you are  throughout all stages of your relationship exploration.

5 Listen to your gut instinct

Often the first things we ignore when we are in a new relationship is a nagging feeling that something isn't quite right. I know I had a few moments where I thought that things didn't feel right but I didn't want to believe it since I was almost desperate for any kind of attention from the opposite sex. Take those odd twinges as a caution sign. You want to re-evaluate the relationship, perhaps get some things cleared up with a conversation with them or maybe you need to do some more serious thought about the way you feel with this person.  Not every gut feeling is a death sentence for a new relationship, but they shouldn't be ignored.

I once met a man a few times, for play only. It was just to serve a need, but I ignored some of the warnings and the ache in my gut that told me he didn't feel safe and that the things I had read and talked about online about safety and negotiation and whatnot were not being done. The third time we played he stuck my tailbone with a paddle. Bruised the hell out of it. And all he did was apologize. His smooth words and my horniness ignored the warning signs when he contacted me again and I played with him again. This time I ended up in the ER with a worse bruise on my tailbone, they had to drain it to relieve the pressure. Don't be like me. Listen to your gut. If it feels wrong, it's likely that it is. When you are looking for a relationship, you can't forget your common sense.  Use these tips as a jumping off point and learn to listen to yourself as you date and explore D/s with new partners.  Get to know them, get out of the playroom and show em off to your friends. After that, take the time to listen to your gut. You can find a great partner, but it takes time.

Thoughts to Ponder

  • What advice have you taken from others about dating in the Lifestyle? Has any of it helped you?
  • Write about your worst date partner. Why were they the worst? How many dates did you go on before you decided they weren't the one?

Interesting Links

  1. How to Find a Dominant
  2. Finding a Dominant/submissive Play Partner
  3. Why Some of Us Seek Dominant Partners