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Nervous About Trying to Dominate a Partner? Sarah Sloane Tells You How to Start

Feb. 10, 2011
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Washington, D.C.-based sexuality educator Sarah Sloane swung through the Midwest this week on a mini teaching tour. Although Sloane leads all kinds of classes, including fellatio and female ejaculation, she's best known for her work around kink and BDSM (as well as being an avid knitter!). I caught up with Sloane to ask for her thoughts on a common question we get at the store.

We often have female customers whose partners would like to be dominated. The women in these situations are usually game to try, but are not sure where to get started, or even if being dominant feels natural or right for them. Do you have any tips for novice “mistresses”?

Absolutely! First of all, figure out what they mean by domination. Do they want you to tie them up and spank them? Do they want you to tell them what to do? Do they want you to wear fetish clothing? Domination is a big term for a lot of very different activities. So figuring out what turns them on is your first goal. Your second is to figure out if any of it makes YOU hot. There are things that I love to do to my partners when I'm "on top"—but there are things that I do happily for them because seeing them so highly aroused makes me feel sexy and powerful.

Once you've done that, pick out one thing—just one thing—that you want to try. And instead of making a big scene just for that, try integrating it into your sexy fun time. If they want you to spank them, maybe you can grab their wrists in one hand and start slapping their ass gently with the other, and see how it feels for both of you. You don't have to be someone totally different than your normal self if you don't want to (though role-playing is often an easy way that we can embrace different aspects of power). All you have to do is be willing to give it a try, and be willing to look for what's sexy to you. If your first effort doesn't turn out fantastically, don't worry! Just pick something else, and try again.

There are books, DVDs and websites that give ideas for novice dominants—you can look online or ask at your local shop for some recommendations. There are also plenty of kink-oriented classes and organizations in Wisconsin that you can visit to learn more about what fun can be had. The most important thing, though, is that both you and your partner enjoy what's happening, consent fully to doing it and be mindful of the limits for both of you.

Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXpress? Send them to
laura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.

Laura Anne Stuart has a master’s degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than a decade. She owns theTool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee’s East Side.


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