YOU Be the Boss: Taking Charge in BDSM & Role Play

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In honor of Boss’ Day, observed this coming Friday, Oct. 15th, falling on a Lover’s Lane favorite occasion of Fetish Friday, we’re here to talk about how to be more dominant in the bedroom. Whether part of a kinky scene or just to spice up your everyday sex, try these tricks to feel more confident when taking the lead.

If you only have a basic understanding of the world of BDSM & role play, you may assume that people are either always the dominant partner or always the submissive partner, and that’s it. The thing is, whether you are dom, sub, or switch isn’t something that’s ingrained in your personality and you’re stuck with forever. In fact, changing your role from time to time can be part of the fun!

If you are normally the more sexually submissive player in a relationship, it’s time for YOU to learn to be the boss! Even if you start by simply asking for the sex you want, beginning to take the lead sexually can be an exciting change in your relationship. If you already engage in any type of BDSM, you’re used to the power dynamic of one person usually being dominant and one submissive. You may find that switching roles like this can be a fun way to break up the monotony. Some of these surprising dominant moves can work for the most vanilla of lovers, too.

As you begin to take charge more often and become more assertive in bed, you’ll start feeling sexually confident enough to start dominating your partner on the regular, even if they are usually the dominant one. I guarantee they’ll take notice of your new powerful prowess…and will probably really enjoy it. Time to make them beg for more?

It’s All About Attitude

A straightforward, assertive approach will go a long way in helping you take charge…even if your partner isn’t used to that! Use your body language, facial expressions, and words to tell your partner that YOU, without a doubt, are the one in control here. If domination is not a usual part of your repertoire, you may be tempted to giggle, make goofy faces, or apologize as you order your sexy servant around. Don’t. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to pull it off in real life the first time you try, practice in front of a mirror. Even if you have to dress up and/or pretend you’re a dominatrix for the evening, carry yourself like you are an unstoppable sexual being, and that’s how you’ll be perceived.

Make them Do as You Say

If you’re not going to (or can’t) be physically dominant over your partner, your words have to convey your intent. Use authoritative language and a clear, firm voice. Tell your partner exactly what you want, how you’re going to get it, and what you need them to do so you can have it. No apologies or explanations. Quick, assertive phrases like, “hold still!”, “take off your clothes”, “go down on me!” or, “I’m in charge tonight” let your eager-to-please partner know their place and what they have to do.

Another crafty way to gain your lover’s compliance is to make them earn it. This can be a good way to let your partner know something special is coming. Say something like, “you know, I think I’m too easy on you most of the time…tomorrow night I’m going to make you work for it!”. You can do this in the moment, too, when initiating a sex session. Put on your sexiest crotchless bodystocking, show off and tease your lover briefly, then say something like, “before you get any of this, I have a few things I need you to do”.

Play for Position

Experimenting with different sexual positions is another fun way to dominate your partner. Even if you can’t physically overpower them, choose positions that put you on top and/or in control. Cowgirl or reverse cowgirl are both dominant positions. Interactive positions like 69 or a sitting lotus can be very intimate but also still leave you in command. Face sitting definitely says “I’m in charge, pleasure me”. And you can get away with anything you want to do to them if you have your lover (consensually) restrained. If they try to help and you don’t want them to, just say something like, “no, I’m in control tonight” and keep going. Controlling when they orgasm via edging is also an excellent power move that will have them longing for more.

Try Spanking

Spanking is a sexy and fun activity that many couples use as their first foray into light BDSM play. It is a common fetish, and often a huge turn-on, both for the dominant spanker and the submissive spankee. A firm, open-handed slap on the butt is a good place to start; don’t go too hard until you understand your partner’s comfort levels. Communication is key! If spanking is more of a regular thing for both of you, begin to involve impact play toys like paddles or crops when you make it part of your scenes. You can also use spankings as “punishments”, which we talk more about below…but this approach can backfire if your partner loves it!

Be Open-minded

If you’re used to always being the dominant or submissive partner, the first few times you change roles may feel odd to you. Try to keep an open mind to the new experience. Manage to stay in character and stay in the moment, and you may experience topspace instead of subspace for the first time, or vice-versa. Try using toys if that’s what you want to do. Make your partner do what you want them to do, and relish in it. Relax and enjoy that different kind of endorphin rush that comes with being in command!

Pull their Hair

Yes, you read that correctly. Hair pulling, when done correctly and in the context of sexual dominance, can be fun, safe, and VERY sexy. The important thing to remember when pulling your submissive’s hair is that it’s not about causing pain – it’s about exerting control over them. Don’t just grab and yank, though. Grip the hair close to the root, either on top of the head or behind it. This will allow you to move their head where you want it, without hurting them or pulling hairs out of their scalp (ouch!). Even short hair can be pulled: begin like you are running your fingers through their hair, then clench all your fingers firmly together and pull up. Start gently and make sure you have your partner’s enthusiastic consent before you go further. Pulling hair isn’t just a prank of the schoolyard brat anymore!

Play Dress-Up

If you find it hard to stay in character as the dominant player in a scene, dressing the part can help. You can engage in role play anytime, anywhere, but planning ahead so you have the right costume and props can help make it more realistic. Most role play scenarios are the perfect excuse to take on a new persona, or act as someone other than yourself. Get your partner to play as someone other than themselves, too, who is only out to please you, and you’ll have a match made in heaven. Knowing you’re both “acting” and behaving as someone other than yourself can make it easier for you to be more assertive and dominant over your partner, even if you’re usually America’s sweetheart.

Make them watch…or not

One super-hot way to dominate your lover is to make them keep their focus on you and what you are doing to them the whole time. This can be accomplished with the help of a posture collar, which keeps your sub’s head upright so they have to make eye contact with you; they won’t be able to turn their head much, either! A collar and leash works well, too, so you can pull their gaze back to you if it starts to wander. Alternatively, you (and they) may find it sexier if they can’t see what you’re doing to them at all! Put a blindfold on your submissive partner and torture & tease them with the added elements of sensory deprivation and surprise.

Dole out punishments

If your partner does not obey, you may wish to do something to “punish” them. Many people think of whips & chains when they hear the phrase “punishment” in a sexual context, but it can be a lot tamer than that. If your partner needs to be punished, try simply moving your body away from them, stop touching them immediately, or start to put some of your clothes back on. Keep withholding play or sensation until your lover can agree to cooperate. These simple and safe punishments are often far more sinister than any physical pain would be!

Begging for more?

If you’re interested in more instruction or inspiration for taking the lead in the bedroom and in BDSM and role play, check out some great books on the topic, such as The Sexually Dominant Woman (in the case of a typically submissive woman) or The Big Book of Domination: Erotic Fantasies. Taking charge, even if you only get A Little Bit Kinky, is a sexy and sexually empowering activity that will only get better with practice.

NOTE: As exciting as it may be to completely surprise your partner by coming out of nowhere with your newfound dominant role, consent is still absolutely necessary. If you plan on doing anything out of the ordinary, like bondage play when that is not usually part of your bedroom routine, make sure you have pre-discussed things like boundaries, consent, and safe words. Once that stuff is out of the way, if you play safely and just have fun with it, your partner is likely to consent enthusiastically…this time and every time in the future when you want to be the boss!

the author

Kristin T.

A former teacher & trusted relationship expert, Kristin writes science & health-conscious advice that she hopes can help everyone enjoy sex & intimacy more.
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