Pretty often I see people ask for ideas of things they could do with their submissive, and usually most of the responses they get are super dismissive. But I think it’s a fair question. We can all run short on inspiration sometimes.
So here are twelve relatively simple ideas for regular dominance in a relationship, sorted by what flavor of dominance they’re best suited for. All of them are designed to be able to work at a distance, so they can apply to LDR dominance just as well as to an in-person relationship.
1. Require Them to Ask Permission
Want to foster a sense of subordination in your partner and give them a regular reminder of your control over them? Pick some simple thing that they do often, and require them to get your permission before they’re allowed to do it. Classic choices include permission to get into bed for the night, permission to masturbate, or permission to use the bathroom.
They’ll feel your control in a very present way every time they ask, and it creates regular points in your day-to-day routine at which it’s convenient to insert more dominance if you so choose: “Before you get into bed, I want you to…”
Give some thought to how frequent and how urgent the requests will be. Permission to get into bed happens once a day, at a relatively predictable time, and probably isn’t a crisis if you don’t respond for an hour. Permission to pee requires more consistent availability and a faster response time from you. One simplifying option is to make the rule fail-open: tell them that if they ask and don’t get a response from you in some set amount of time, they may consider themselves to have permission.
2. Teach Them a Position
Attracted to the idea of training your partner? Want a way for them to put their discipline and devotion on display? Choose one or more precise postures to train them to adopt on command. There are lots of position guides available online if you want inspiration.
Having each posture be precise is important. Even if there’s no practical reason why you care exactly where they place their hands when they kneel, picking one option and enforcing it gives them an opportunity to show their devotion through their willingness to pay attention and learn how to do it right. Once they have learned it, it gives them a more intense feeling of control, by getting to arrange their body exactly according to your instructions with little room for interpretation or judgment on their part.
So think about each body part and decide exactly how it should go–the feet must be exactly so far apart, the head must be facing like so, the back arched or straight or bowed. Write it down so you don’t forget, and then make them practice until they can put every part of their body under your control with a single word from you.
3. Help Them Change a Habit
Want to watch your partner improve themselves under your guidance? Ask them about habits they’d like to change or improve. Pick one to work on, have them come up with a plan to change it, and then help hold them accountable to their plan.
Accountability could mean a system of rewards and punishments, or could be as simple as their just being required to report their progress to you every week. Knowing that you’re going to have to account for yourself to your dominant later can be a powerful motivator to resist temptation and do what you know you ought to do.
If it fits within the scope of your relationship it is, of course, possible to pick the goal or make the plan yourself, rather than letting your partner make those decisions. I said I was going to keep these ideas simple, though, and being the enforcer for a goal and plan that your partner chose is definitely the simplest approach. It tends to minimize resistance, and make it more likely that the plan is something that’s realistic for your partner to achieve.
4. Require Them to Practice Affirmations
Maybe there isn’t a particular habit that you want to change, but you’d like for them to feel your dominance as a generally uplifting presence in their life. Choose or create an affirmation (“I possess the qualities I need to succeed,” “I overcome my fears,” “I love and approve of myself”) and require them to repeat it out loud as part of their morning routine.
The theory with affirmations is that saying positive things aloud will help remind someone to think more positively. Having an affirmation that comes from you will also remind them that you think positively of them, and are rooting for their success.
5. Make Them Your Personal Shopper
Want to have your partner be practically useful to you even when you can’t be together? Give them a budget and a shopping list and let them do the tedious parts of reading reviews, comparing options and placing orders.
This service becomes more valuable the better they get to know your preferences, and it can be wonderfully satisfying for both of you to watch them get better and better at fulfilling your needs with less and less direction from you.
Depending on your dynamic, you could use them just to shop for sexy, kinky purchases or for your regular everyday needs. Having them handle shopping for the toys, barriers, lube, etc, that you’re going to use on them can create a special anticipation. Having them shop for supplies you’re going to use for dates with someone else can be a juicy exercise in objectification.
6. Make Them Your Event/Vacation Planner
Most of us assume that making plans is the dominating partner’s job, but it doesn’t always have to be. If you have an upcoming night on the town together, a vacation, or just a free weekend day, you can give your partner some guidelines (“I want to be outside while it’s light out,” “Sushi,” “Somewhere I haven’t been before”) and tell them to plan something you’ll enjoy.
Planning the details of kinky playtime usually is best kept in your own hands, but you can just give them a time to block out for that (“have us back to the hotel by seven so that I can enjoy you in private”).
Even if you aren’t going to have an opportunity to enjoy time together, they can still plan a trip or a day of pampering just for you, researching things they know you’ll enjoy and handling the bookings and reservations.
7. Prescribe Their Grooming and Appearance
Want to keep your partner reminded that their body is your possession? Dictate how they make it look. Make their hairstyle and shaving choices for them. Dictate their hygiene and beauty products, or their what kind of clothes they wear. Instruct them on which and how much of each they are to use for different circumstances.
The more specific and ritualistic your requirements, the more they’ll feel like your doll every time they get ready to leave the house.
8. Take Away Their “I”
Do you have a partner who’s really more of a plaything than a person? Want to rub it in? Forbid it from using “I,” “me,” or its own name in private communications with you. Have it refer to itself as something like “your property” or “this fuckdoll,” and use the pronoun “it.”
Adopting and remembering to use a new form of self-address can take some practice, so this can also provide a fine excuse for discipline as you train your property to speak correctly.
9. Make Them Write Degrading Things on Their Body
Want to keep your partner squirming throughout the day? Have them use permanent marker (red Sharpie is my favorite) to write messages they’ll find degrading on their own flesh. For an extra edge, have them place the writing where it will be just barely covered by their clothing; so they walk through the world knowing that plain evidence of what a “filthy pig” or piece of “cheap trash” they are is hidden just below the collar of their shirt.
For many people it’s especially intense to have to choose the exact wording themselves, rather than having it dictated by you. “Write the wretched truth about yourself across your chest before you come see me tonight,” can be a powerful head trip for your partner, and both entertaining and enlightening for you.
10. Make Their Masturbation Dirty
Have a partner who’s hot for the dirty and disgusting sort of devaluation? Want to make them dirty even when you aren’t with them? Tell them that they’re only allowed to masturbate when sitting on the toilet, or with a pair of your dirty underwear stuffed in their mouth, or with a paper bag over their ugly head. For harsher and more restrictive control, tell them they have to be in a gas station bathroom.
11. Challenge Them
Want to capture the feeling of wrestling for dominance, even when you’re far out of grappling distance? Create dares or challenges between the two of you, with the loser having to pay a forfeit of submission. Who can hold their hand over a candle flame the longest? Who can get the best time or most steps on their fitness tracking app this week? Who can hold off cumming the longest while you talk dirty with one another over the phone?
If you have the kind of conquest dynamic where one party is always the conqueror, stack the challenges in their favor. If you love the uncertainty and the genuine competition of really fighting for control, make the odds more even and let the spoils go to the victor.
12. Blackmail Them
With this one I feel like I need to emphasize that we’re still talking about consensual power exchange. Nonconsensual, criminal blackmail is a ubiquitous threat, primarily for women whose shitty-excuse-for-a-human-being exes threaten to publicize compromising pictures of them. This is the lowest kind of behavior and must be condemned whenever it rears its noisome and misshapen head.
For that reason, this is a kind of play that requires explicit, specific and unquestionably enthusiastic consent, with clearly shared boundaries about exactly what blackmail material might possibly be shared and how and with whom.
All that said, there are some folks (mostly men, in my experience) who will practically cream their jeans over the idea of being “forced” to obey by someone threatening to reveal humiliating things about them.
Consensual blackmail is usually calibrated to be embarrassing without being life-ruining. “I’ll show these ridiculous baby pictures of you to your other partners” might be plenty. “I’ll post this picture of you wearing frumpy panties to FetLife” could be appropriate for some folks. Unless your partner has an exceptionally kink-friendly workplace, “I’ll send X-rated pictures to your boss” is too much.
So there you go. Twelve possibilities for things to do with the control that someone has given you over their life. Not all of the ideas will appeal to everyone, of course, and you’re certainly under no obligation to use them exactly in the way that I’ve described. Take anything here that strikes a chord, make it your own, and enjoy the pleasures of dominance.