Perhaps in your explorations in BDSM you realized that you fall on the sadist/Dominant end of the D/s spectrum. If this is the case, with enough experience, you may want to consider finding a submissive and moving into a more serious D/s relationship. However, not everyone is a fit for that role. You might have to screen a number of people before you find someone who is the right fit for you.

So, what should you look for in a prospective submissive? These five ways should help you spot a good submissive and screen prospects more effectively.

They Should Be Able to Take and Execute Orders Efficiently

As you go through the process of vetting your submissive, you should give them a small trial period where you randomly give them tasks to complete. Time them on it. If they do them to the letter, or even in a manner that’s satisfactory for you, you may want to move on to a relationship. However, if they consistently mess up simple tasks or act ‘bratty’ (this can actually be fun, but like anything, if done it excess it can hurt the purpose of the relationship) you might want to consider looking elsewhere.

They Are Able to Clearly Articulate Their Limits

In the beginning, this may be difficult for a new submissive. After a while, however, both of you should come to a working understanding of how far you can go mentally or physically. Putting a strain on them could cause a lot of damage. This could apply to a number of things such as a submissive not having a firm understanding of what ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ limits are or not calling out safe words during a scene when it becomes too much. As a Dominant, you have to create a safe space for them to be able to give safewords. However, as a submissive, it’s their job to let you know.

Be Willing to Develop Themselves Outside of the Context of a Scene

Your submissive is a reflection of who you are as a Dominant. Their development is directly associated with how good of a Dominant you are. You should encourage their ambitions whether that’s starting their own company or going back to school or whatever other aspirations they may have. There are a ton of educational classes in the BDSM lifestyle. Make sure both of you go to a few together. This will make both of you better in the long run and deepen the intimacy of the relationship.

They Must Trust You Enough to Submit to You

This may seem a lot like the first point, but it’s so important that it must stand-alone. If the submissive can't trust you, your relationship will be sabotaged at every turn. Scenes will be more difficult to complete, tasks may be left undone, and other mishaps may occur. A lack of trust can be mediated by slowing down and earning the other person's trust over time. Don’t rush into things and you won’t have as many subconscious barriers to surmount. Be willing to have hard conversations. If it does turn out that either of you have some trust issues to work through (who doesn’t have a few hang-ups?) and it proves to be too much for either of you, you can let each other go without any hard feelings.

They Shouldn’t Allow You to Do Whatever You Want

This is tricky because the whole point of submission is to…well…submit. However, one thing you don't want is a doormat. A submissive shouldn’t allow you to do whatever you want. One of the biggest red flags I’ve ever heard was, “ I don’t have a safe word.” They should absolutely have limits to what they do and don’t want from you. To indicate anything less is really a sign of a lack of bodily autonomy. That is more about self-harm than any release, physical or mental. This should automatically be a reason to cease to engage this person in a D/s relationship.

You want to have the most satisfactory D/s relationship that you can. However, at the end of the day, there are just some things you’ll have to learn with time. This is even more important since you act as the leading party in the relationship. Without your leadership and a submissive that’s the right fit for you, the relationship is bound to go downhill. It’s my hope that throughout everything, you find your relationship to be satisfactory both within and outside of a scene. You can only do this when both parties know their roles. As always, have fun and be safe. I wish you well in your relationships.