Sub in the City

The other D in BDSM

The other ‘D’ in BDSM: Introducing Discipline and Rules to your D/s dynamic

Discipline and rules are a common practice for those in a Dominant/submissive dynamic, but not everyone enjoys the discipline aspect of BDSM. If you’re looking to take your BDSM practices to the next level, for example from spontaneous kinky sex to a more committed power exchange dynamic, then introducing some rules can help both you and your partner feel more connected and committed to your new roles as Dominant and submissive.

Having to follow rules has a psychological effect on both the Dominant and the submissive, creating a new layer to your experiences. Rules can be followed both in and outside the bedroom and they are great for getting you into your ‘kink space’. Anticipation is 80% of the fun within BDSM and so rules can create that flow of tension between you that can be a turn on in the lead up to a scene or play.

How to set discipline and rules for your D/s dynamic

Setting rules for your BDSM practice is a good way to explore power play within limits and boundaries. It is good to have a few set rules that can help the submissive begin to learn the best ways to serve their Dominant, and these are also helpful for the Dominant when getting used to giving commands, tasks, punishments and more.

When your first developing your dynamic, 3-5 core rules is enough to get you started when playing around with power exchange dynamics.

Top tips for creating rules for the submissive:

  • Rules should be within the limits and boundaries of both parties
  • Rules should be simple and easy to remember
  • Rules should be fun and enjoyable (most of the time)
  • Some rules are meant to be broken

Discipline and rules don’t have to be sexually oriented either. Talk about the style of dynamic you both want to experience and whether you’d like to incorporate the use of rules in and outside of the bedroom, and what activities rules may include. For some wanting to experience a committed service relationship (where the submissive serves their Dominant as a slave), then domestic rules may be appealing. However, if your kink space is solely in the bedroom, then your rules may lean more towards sexual or romantic actions.

Whatever rules you come up with, they need to be achievable and realistic. If the submissive is forced to break a rule, say for example if a rule is not able to be completed due to vanilla people being around such as friends and family, then the rule is obsolete and the Dominant undermines themselves.

Below are some simple examples of rules you can implement to help you lean into the flow of your Dominant/submissive relationship.

Titles and addressing the Dominant

The Dominant in the dynamic should consider how they’d like to be addressed by the submissive. This will allow you both to consider the style of dynamic and the type of roles you’d both like to explore further. Do you want to be addressed as Sir, Master, Mistress, Daddy, Mommy, Goddess, etc?

Getting the submissive to always address the Dominant when they speak is good training for getting them into the submissive mindset. It is important to remember here that this is a power exchange, which requires mutual trust and respect, therefore the title given to the Dominant should only be expected if the power exchange has respected.

Etiquette and permission

This one may seem pretty ordinary on the surface, but stating rules around etiquette in the dynamic is an important part of establishing the power play. It is entirely down to you what things you feel are appropriate for the submissive to ask permission for, and again this will depend on if your dynamic exists in or outside of the bedroom, or both.

Saying thank you (usually followed by the title you have agreed upon) for their orgasms, punishments, and any other treatment given to the submissive by the Dominant is common place in most BDSM dynamics. In addition, asking permission to orgasm, or to engage in any type of play is also common place. You may also wish to add additional permission rules for anything else you see fit, as long as it is within both of your limits and boundaries. This could include asking permission to wear, buy, do a particular thing. The point of rules outside of the bedroom is to serve as a reminder of your roles in a subtle way that only you both know about, it’s like foreplay for the mind, constantly keeping a part of you in your kink space.

Domestic discipline and rules

Domestic rules don’t have to be as laborious as they sound. If you’re in a service relationship, then adding chores to the submissive’s list of rules is expected, but for some, the idea of always having to do the washing up doesn’t correlate to sexy time, and that’s okay!

Instead, make domestic rules light hearted, quick, easy and simple to complete. Things like making the Dominant a coffee every morning, or preparing their favourite drink in the evening when they finish work. These are little thoughtful gestures that one might do for their partner anyway, so making it an official rule turns it from a nice-to-do, to a task that is not only a nice-to-do but also something that turns you on.

Lifestyle rules

Implementing real life rules that affect the submissive’s daily life outside of play can be tricky, and this really all comes down to careful negotiation and communication. Having too many life rules can make the submissive become dependent on the Dominant, which is not healthy for anyone, so be sure any lifestyle rules are clearly kept within the premise of power play and that these are regularly reviewed.

Real life rules should always only ever have a benefit to the submissive’s life, and should not detract from their quality of life or feel like a burden. For example, encouraging good mental health and wellbeing is one of the positive ways you can use lifestyle rules in a Dominant/submissive dynamic.

Perhaps the Dominant may ask their submissive to journal each week on their feelings in regards to their dynamic. This also serves as a good foundation for solid communication and aftercare when the submissive is able to write down their thoughts and feelings in relation to their submission.

Another simple lifestyle rule made sexy is the Dominant choosing the Submissive’s underwear, either every day, or perhaps on set days such as scene days or date nights. Often the thought of allowing someone to choose what you wear might sound a bit too controlling, but choosing underwear that no one can see again makes it a subtle thing that stays between the two of you, that will remind you of your place in the dynamic throughout the day.

Ultimately, the discipline and rules you put in place only need to reflect how far your desire to submit truly goes. If it’s purely out of sexual excitement and arousal, then those rules and rituals can remain limited to the play space. However if you have a deeper urge to lean into your desires to serve, then integrating rules and rituals into your day-to-day life can satisfy that craving, and bring you and your partner closer together by embracing these desires. Rules within a Dominant/submissive dynamic can be literally anything you want them to be, as long as they are discussed, negotiated and consented to, then go WILD and enjoy.

Are you ready to explore your kinky desires on a deeper level? Perhaps you’d like some guidance in a particular area or to learn more about your kinky identity? Then why not book in for a 1-1 or couples BDSM Exploratory Session with me today!? Or, follow me on Instagram and check out my upcoming workshops and courses.