How to Be a Dominatrix: The Ultimate Bedroom Guide

By Rachel Worthington / July 21, 2022

Learning how to be a dominatrix is just as much about learning about yourself as it is about sexually controlling a submissive partner.

Though taking control doesn’t come naturally to everybody (especially many women), adopting a dominant role in a BDSM scene can be incredibly empowering! After all, your sub is giving themselves up to you entirely — how totally erotic is that?

Whether you decide to wield the most intimidating BDSM toys, learn the fine art of sensory torture, or become the ultimate mistress of the household, here’s how to start your journey. We’ll take you through how to discuss the ins and outs of BDSM play, as well as how to get into character, and what kinds of torment you can put your sub through.

Dominatrix sitting on a man

What is a Dominatrix?

A dominatrix is a word we use quite a lot to refer to a woman (or female-aligned person) who takes on a dominant role with their partner, or another person, in a BDSM context.. This could be physically, psychologically, or both.

Being a dominatrix can be a professional role, where people come to you and pay to be dominated, or just a role you take on recreationally. There are also ‘lifestyle dominatrices’ who take on the role as a part of their everyday life, not just in a BDSM scene.

Though the term ‘dominatrix’ is used a lot in popular culture, many people within the BDSM community actually prefer the term ‘Dom’ or ‘Domme’. If the dominatrix is a professional, we use the terms ‘ProDom/Domme’.

ProDommes usually don’t have sex with their clients, or perform sexual favors of any kind. This is due to the rules and laws about sex work in different areas. However, some ProDommes do admit that the lines can feel a bit gray sometimes. They do strive to keep things non-sexual, even when doing something like torturing a client’s genitals. If you’re playing a dominant role at home, though, you’re free to get as sexy as you like!

In this article, we’re going to focus more on the recreational side of being a dominatrix. We’ll share how you can navigate and become more comfortable being in a dominant role in the bedroom, and suggest all kinds of things you might want to try out!

Unlike what you might have learned from Fifty Shades of Grey, consent is the non-negotiable foundation of BDSM. It can be very intense, both physically and mentally, and you need to agree to what you’re getting into! That’s why, before you even start finding out how to be a dominatrix, you need to both consent yourself and get consent from your partner.

Furthermore, consent is not a simple yes or no. To help with understanding what true consent is, you can use the FRIES model. This states that consent must be:

  • Freely given — no one should be pressured or coerced into being submissive or dominant, or into doing anything they don’t want to do.
  • Reversible — both parties should be free to do withdraw their consent to do anything at any time.
  • Informed — you should both know everything possible about what is going to happen and how.
  • Enthusiastic — both of you should be ready and raring to try out the activity! If it’s not an enthusiastic yes, it’s a no.
  • Specific — giving consent to one activity only applies to that specific activity, and doesn’t mean that you have consent to do other things not agreed upon beforehand.

Boundaries

Part of being in a dominant role is respecting the boundaries of your sub. While it might seem like being a dominatrix means you can do whatever you want to your partner, in reality it’s actually the sub who is in control of what you do.

You should both take time, before you do anything else, to discuss what you both consider your boundaries to be. If you’re not sure, then don’t worry! We have a concept that takes uncertainty into account, called ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ boundaries.

Hard boundaries are lines that you don’t want to ever cross, and things you know you won’t ever be comfortable doing. Soft boundaries, on the other hand, are more context-dependent. They might be things you don’t feel comfortable doing now but might in the future, or things that you might only want to try in the right circumstances.

I suggest setting these boundaries outside of any BDSM scene. That way, neither of you will feel pressured to agree to anything due to role playing or intensity. However, you can continue to ask for consent and reassert boundaries throughout the scene — even better if it’s in a sexy way!

Safewords and Cues

As you learn how to be an effective dominatrix, you’ll also need to learn how to read and communicate with your sub.

It helps to try and read the body language and expressions of your partner. However, sometimes, when you’re playing roles, it can be hard to know which signs are an act and which ones are real.

That’s why you need to establish a safeword together. This is something your sub can say that will instantly stop the scene, no questions asked. It’s better if it’s word that you wouldn’t usually encounter in that kind of environment, like “Broccoli!”.

If your sub can’t speak, if they’re wearing a ball gag for example, then you’ll also want to pick a non-verbal cue or signal. This could be tapping twice, a specific sequence of moans, or something similar.

You could also use the traffic light system, where “Red” means stop immediately, “Orange” means proceed with caution or go back to something less intense, and “Green” means everything’s okay. This allows you to try out new things and go slowly and cautiously without stopping the scene completely.

Step 2: Getting Into the Role

Okay, now we’ve gone over the basics of BDSM safety, it’s time to start inhabiting your role as a dominatrix!

If you’re not one to take on this role naturally in the bedroom, then becoming a dominatrix might feel weird or artificial at first. However, it’s all about getting into character and finding what works for you.

I suggest picking a theme that taps into yours and your partner’s fantasies. Then, find an outfit that makes you feel confident, sexy and in-charge. It could be classic leather, a latex catsuit, formal businesswear, a sexy teacher, a steampunk queen — whatever you feel like!

Don’t be afraid to practice a bit by yourself first. Don your outfit of choice and stand in front of a mirror. Try out different things to say and do until you find what feels most like you. You could also try taking some sexy photos of yourself — it’s a surefire way to hype yourself up!

Once you’re ready, it’s time to set the scene. Acting the dominatrix can come more naturally when you feel more immersed in the experience, so take some time to really create a mood. You could decorate your space to fit your theme — check out our guide to designing a BDSM dungeon for inspiration! Or, you could just create a sensual atmosphere by turning down the lights, then adding some music and arousing scents.

Step 3: The Basics

What you do as a dominatrix will, of course, depend a lot on how your sub wants to be dominated, as well as what you’re comfortable with. That being said, there are quite a few basic things that you can do that will immediately give off seductive dominatrix vibes!

First off, tell your sub when they can and cannot speak. This keeps you in control, and is a first step in them submitting to you. If you want to make them feel really subservient, you could make them ask permission to speak. Tell them to call you ‘Mistress’, ‘Queen’, or any other title you deserve.

Then, start issuing commands. You could start out by telling them which position you want them in, or how to address you. Whatever you choose, remember to keep it within the boundaries of what you’ve agreed on. If you find it a bit weird to order your partner around, you could agree beforehand that they’ll ask you what they should do and what you want.

You can also introduce punishments if they don’t do or say what you want. Again, these should be within your agreed boundaries, and ideally should be in some way pleasing to your sub. It could be a chastisement from you, especially if they want to be humiliated, a slap with a spanking paddle, or a task they have to perform for you to reestablish their submission. However, you should never punish your sub for using a safeword or signal.

Ball gag, handcuffs, leather whip

Step 4: Expanding Your Repertoire

You’ve got the basics down, but now it’s time to build out your routine. After all, what’s a dominatrix without her tools?

There are so many types of BDSM accessories out there these days that you’re really spoiled for choice! If you’re not sure which you might enjoy most, we’ve divided them up into the different types of play and sensations they offer. Plus, we’ve included a Bedbible expert pick for each!

Sensation Play

So much of arousal and excitement is sensory! Our bodies are full of nerve endings and receptors that are constantly craving stimulation. So, sensation play can be an incredible tool as a dominatrix. Send your sub into a total frenzy with these tools…

Blindfold

A blindfold is a super simple, yet effective way to have control over your sub. By depriving them of their sight, they’ll become beholden to you, and all their other senses will heighten. Sometimes, just the anticipation of your touch can be incredibly erotic!

Our Pick: Bondage Boutique Black Rose Blindfold

Feather Tickler

If you want to be the ultimate tease, then grab yourself a feather tickler. Blindfold your sub and trail soft feathers across their skin until they just can’t take it anymore!

Our Pick: Fifty Shades of Grey Tease Feather Tickler

Pain Play

Looking for a little more bite? There are a variety of toys that can offer different levels of pain, depending on how rough you want to be. A pinwheel can offer a gentle, prickling sensation that leaves the skin tingling. Or, let out your inner feline with these cat claws that can tease and scratch.

Our Pick: Master Series Mini Pinwheel

Temperature Play

One of the most steamy forms of sensation play is temperature play. Our bodies and brains are super sensitive to changes in temperature, and both hot and cool sensations can drive your sub wild. If you have a glass dildo or steel butt plug, you can warm or cool it, or try out some wax play if you’re feeling a little dangerous. Just keep the hot wax away from the face, genitals and inside of the body.

Our Pick: Kama Sutra Ignite Massage Candle

Bondage

Cuffs

A simple way to control a naughty sub is to restrain them with some bondage cuffs. These can go around the wrists, ankles, thighs and more, and can be used alone or attached to other restraints. Why not try out tying your sub down to the bed with these under bed restraints, or connecting their wrists and ankles together with a hogtie?

Our Pick: Bondage Couture Wrist Cuffs

Bondage Rope

The more flexible option when it comes to restraints is bondage rope. It can be used just like cuffs, or used to tie more intricate Shibari knots and patterns, if you know your stuff. Just be sure not to tie anything too tightly, and always have some bondage shears on hand to quickly release any ropes. Alternatively, you could try a bondage rope alternative, like bondage tape.

Our Pick: Doc Johnson Japanese-Style Bondage Rope

Ball Gag

Ball gags are a hot and effective way to shut your sub up, as well as making them drool over your dominatrix prowess. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, including beginner-friendly breathable ball gags, bit gags for pony play, and even dildo gags that you can ride!

Our Pick: Sportsheets Saffron Ball Gag

Impact Play

Things are about to get a whole lot more intense! Impact play is an activity that truly cements the dom/sub relationship, and it involves both physiological and psychological elements. A slap or a flick brings blood rushing the area being hit and increases sensitivity massively, but it’s also a big show of trust that you’ll know exactly how hard to hit.

Flogger

We recommend that, if you’re a beginner to impact play, you start off with a flogger. They don’t require a lot of power, and can be used for gentler teasing as well as more intense strikes. Before you try it out, read our guide on how to use floggers and whips, and practice alone before flogging your partner.

Our Pick: Bondage Boutique Extra Long Suede Flogger

Spanking Paddle

A spanking paddle is capable of producing harder, thuddier slaps that can leave a serious impact. If you really want to punish your sub, striking them with a paddle could even leave a mark (to remind them who’s boss, of course). Plus, they’re easy to make at home! Again, be sure to read up on how to use a paddle safely and effectively first.

Our Pick: Sportsheets Slut Slapper Spanking Paddle

Whip or Crop

An advanced dominatrix wouldn’t be caught dead without her intimidating BDSM whip or riding crop! As well as delivering fierce, stingy impacts, a whip is the ultimate symbol of power and domination for a Domme!

Our Pick: Fifty Shades of Grey Bound to You Riding Crop

Cock and Ball Torture

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that genitals are probably the most sensitive and precious part of the body. However, that’s exactly what makes some people so attracted to having them played with and tortured!

You could keep your sub in a chastity cage, subject them to a pain-inducing BDSM cock ring, or simply give them some good old orgasm torture. Just be sure to discuss everything thoroughly first, so you both are aware of your limits.

Chastity Cage

Chastity cages imprison your sub’s penis, stopping them from becoming erect and depriving them from a sexual release. They can be a powerful tool for a dominatrix, as you literally hold the key to their pleasure. Try toying around with them and playing some chastity games to keep them at your heel.

Our Pick: CB-6000 Chastity Cage Kit

Ball Stretcher

Ball stretchers are a tool of both pleasure and pain. They pull down the testicles and scrotum, adding extra pressure to that extremely sensitive area. Some look like cock rings, but there are all kinds of testicle weights available. They can also be used as a punishment in a similar way to a cock cage.

Our Pick: Ze Nut Magnetic Ball Stretcher

Ball Crusher

Finally, we have one of the most intense tools to totally dominate your sub. Crushers do exactly what they say on the tin! This kind of pressure can be incredibly arousing to some, and crushers often made of a clear material like acrylic, so you can sit back and watch the show. It’s so important, however, that you be cautious and educate yourself on how to properly use a ball crusher first!

Our Pick: The Acrylic Cock and Ball Crusher