Ask Page: How Did You Find Such a Good Dominant?

it's a 2-panel illustration of a grasshopper and a cat. In the first panel it looks as though the cat might attack the grasshopper, but in the second panel they are shaking hands.
Image by Pedro Ribeiro Simões / CC BY

Hi Page,

I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now. It’s my favorite one. Thank you for writing every day, for being there. I’ve read that you struggle with confidence, but you don’t need to. Never stop writing! 

I discovered you through my friends on the kink scene (who call you “Page the sage” btw). Long story short: I’m pretty vanilla myself, or I thought I was. But I’ve always been pretty open minded, and so my friends felt comfortable enough with me to let me know that they’d been visiting a dungeon for a few years, doing scenes, etc. 

I started asking them more questions. Before I knew it, I was also getting involved. It’s been a really fun and interesting year learning about kink… and about myself. I’ve gone to a few munches and even visited myself their dungeon a few times now, although so far I have just watched. Haven’t played with anyone yet, though I’d like to. 

I guess what I’m really struggling with is partner selection…I’m finding the whole thing really overwhelming. 

So far I know that submission is what calls to me. There’s no shortage of guys kicking around who want to be Dominants — especially online — which would probably work out fine since I’m mostly straight (mostly). But I’m nervous, because it’s hard enough for me to trust people in a vanilla relationship. This form of trust seems to go even further. 

I did read your piece about the differences between a Dominant and a controlling person, and I feel like it’ll be more helpful once I get involved in something, once I have a Dominant I’m seeing

I guess what I want to know is how do you get to that point in the first place?

I love the essays you write about your dynamic with Justin. So I thought I’d ask you: How did you do it? How did you find such a good Dominant? 

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Oh, that’s really exciting! I remember my own introduction to the kink scene… there was so much to see, take in, learn.

You’re smart to take your time to suss out the scene and think about what you want before you play too much with people. (Frankly, smarter than I was.)

The answer to your question might be a little disappointing, but here’s the truth: Justin wasn’t my first Dominant. He was the second one. And I wasn’t looking for a Dominant either time that I found one.

With my first Dominant, we’d met through a shared partner (my girlfriend was his occasional play partner). Dominance and submission came up through the course of chatting about other things. He’d had a submissive girlfriend in the past, and even though it had crashed and burned, he had been intrigued by the little they’d done together. Conversely, I’d mostly been in a toppy role in most of my past relationships, when they’d been kinky (although none of them were officially so, and I didn’t recognize them as such at the time). So to me it actually seemed kind of like a novel idea to explore submission, especially formally as part of a larger kink scene.

And when we eventually went on to date, we explored what was essentially a pet/Owner dynamic. That dynamic was an interesting experience because while I’d really enjoyed certain aspects of it, other aspects of it really left me wanting.

I’m not saying he was a bad Dom (although some of my friends have said so). But he sure wasn’t the right Dom for me. Or really, the right anything for me. We just didn’t want the same things. Our kink connection was off, and our vanilla relationship also had a lot of problems, too, exacerbated by some other unhelpful interpersonal dynamics in our polyamorous web that just… caused everything to fizzle out, and we broke up.

But by this time, I was pretty in love with the larger kink scene. The other people I’d met there. The deep friendships I’d made. And all the incredible scenes I’d witnessed.

At this point, I’d known Justin for quite some time. We’d first gotten to know one another because he was actually close friends with my other partners, and yes, a vital part of that same dungeon I was so in love with.

Justin was the guy who was always volunteering at events, putting away folding chairs, monitoring the space to make sure people were playing safely, and walking people to their cars. He didn’t have a full-time dynamic going on with anyone, but he played a fair amount, and a lot of people trusted him.

When I first met Justin, I thought he was really fucking hot (it’s true that I usually am more attracted to women but have a very specific type when it comes to men, and it’s basically Justin)… but a little boring. But he was really nice and sweet, and as I discovered over time (since he was rather quiet), really really intelligent. And not boring at all but actually just as weird as I was, once you got him talking.

And strong. Holy hell is that man strong. Big and solid.

We eventually went on to date one another, and even though we had crazy chemistry, we didn’t have a D/s dynamic for quite some time. Part of this was because when we first started dating, I was actually still submitting to my other partner, and out of respect for my Owner, Justin was staying away from dominance-based stuff. But even after my Owner and I broke up, it was something like six months before I ended up in a D/s dynamic with him.

Does this mean that we were vanilla for six months? Oh hell no.

Instead, we switched. Basically, we fought for six months straight. Wrestling, biting one another. A constant (consensual) power struggle.

He towered over me by at least eight or nine inches. Outweighed me. And he knew aikido.

I didn’t let that stop me. I attacked him when he was vulnerable. Exploited every weakness I could.

But over and over again, I lost.

And one day, after about six months of constant wrestling, of limbs and of wills, I conceded defeat. “I do believe you own me,” I said.

It’s been one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Finding a Good Dominant Starts By Finding a Good Person

So how did I find a good Dominant? Basically, I didn’t look for a Dominant at all. I instead looked for a good person, and then our natural dynamic later followed.

Dominance wasn’t the reason I dated my first Owner; it did come into play later, but if I’m being perfectly honest, the first thing that drew me to him was our mutual love of yard sales (yes, really). And while D/s was exciting for me to explore, it never quite gelled up correctly as something the two of us should be doing together.

With Justin, it became obvious that he was meant to be my Dominant. With other partners, I’ve known pretty quickly that I was looking at someone who should be my submissive (yes, in spite of thinking initially when I first hit the kink scene that there was no way I was a switch, hahahahaha).

It’s really about the person. First and foremost.

I know this might not sound like an attractive proposition for everyone, focusing primarily on the person over the role, but it’s the best way I’ve found to find quality kink partners.

Focus on the person and how they make you feel when you’re together rather than hunting for someone who checks certain boxes on paper but leaves you wanting when you sit down with them.

When you’re doing this, sure, you can eliminate people who don’t identify as Dominants or at least switches (which was Justin’s designation at the time we began to date, switch), but don’t expect someone identifying as the “correct” role to compensate for any personal compatibility issues you might be having. Because it won’t.

Finding a good Dominant starts by finding a good person. Someone who you enjoy being around. Someone who cares about you. And someone who is willing to expend time and effort to learn the proper techniques so you can have fun but also stay safe.

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Have a question about a post? Maybe need some advice about a relationship or situation? Write me. I love getting messages from you.

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Books by Page Turner:

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory 

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