Sensual Domination

Updated: DECEMBER 8, 2021
Reviewed by Dr. Laura McGuire
on December 7, 2021

Sensual domination is a style of dominance and submission (D/s) which focuses on delighting all the senses. Sensual dominance celebrates pleasure over pain. It does not involve violence, aggression, or humiliation, unlike some forms of D/s. It is often seen as soft or mild dominance.

Many of a sensual dominant's tools are ones vanilla couples use when to dabble in BDSM, such as blindfolds, oils, ropes, ice cubes, and feathers. The Dominant may lightly bind their submissive’s hands or feet to restrict their movements. They may also use mental bondage, simply telling their partner to stay still even though they are not physically restrained.

They may rub oils into the submissive’s skin, move ice cubes across their body, or trail feathers across them. They may compliment their submissive, using a gentle voice or whispers. They may blindfold them to remove the submissive’s sense of sight and heighten other senses, such as touch, hearing, and taste. Sensual dominance may also involve role-play and foot or shoe worship. It may or may not include sexual intercourse.

The Dominant treats the submissive with reverence and praise, rather than humiliating them. While there may be some mild pain, through the use of nipple clamps and soft floggers, for example, it is never the focus of sensual dominance. Any pain should complement the pleasure rather than push the submissive’s limits.

Sensual dominance can help couples experience greater sensual freedom and intimacy. Sharing and setting limits together can be thrilling. So can controlling another person’s sexual pleasure, or submitting to another person and receiving pleasure for it. Sensual domination can also help people discover new turn-ons and sexual possibilities.

As with other forms of D/s, a couple practicing sensual dominance may have defined roles, with one person typically being dominant and the other submissive person giving up control. Alternatively, both people may agree to take turns assuming and giving up control so they can both enjoy different aspects of sexual pleasure.

Despite refraining from many common D/s methods, a sensual dominant still aims to bring their submissive partner to subspace. As it’s easier for a submissive partner shift out of pain than pleasure, sensual dominance often results in a longer period of subspace.

More About Sensual Domination

Some suggest that creating a sensual fantasy through role play can give couples a good starting point for sensual domination. For example, the couple may assume roles such as a doctor and patient, a teacher and student, or a police officer and criminal. These scenarios can inspire costumes and props that make a sensual domination scene come to life.

Others would disagree about the role of adopting characters as a starting out point for sensual domination. Instead, activities that make the pleasure of the Dominant the focus could serve as the basis of the experience. To this end, engaging in pussy worship, crafting a scene where the Dom(me) is clothed and the sub naked and acts of service (feeding them or giving them a massage, for example) can be excellent ways to experiment with sensual domination.

Some sensual dominants like to put a collar around their submissive’s neck. A collar is a traditional D/s tool that shows a person belongs to a dominant. When the submissive wears the collar, it reminds them of their role and agreement to give up control while the accessory is on their neck. Collars are also a visual prompt for the dominant, reminding them of their own agreement to keep their submissive safe.

However you incorporate sensual domination into your sex life, it’s important to keep an open mind. This approach can help you discover new turn-ons and pleasures you might not have conceived before the play session. The sub should always keep the desire to please in the front of their mind, while the Dom(me) should focus on their desire to be pleased.

Many practitioners of sensual dominance feel this style of domination requires more skill than traditional D/s. They say that sensual domination requires more patience and a greater understanding of a submissive’s turn-ons and state of mind. Open communication about turn-ons, turn-offs, and limits before a play session can help a dominant understand their submissive and enhance the play.

While sensual dominance is a fairly mild form of D/s, it’s still a good idea to employ a safe word and safe action before playing. This makes sure the interaction never takes the submissive out of their comfort zone. The submissive can feel confident that if they say their safe word or make their safe action, the dominant will stop or slow the play, depending on their agreement. Listening to a submissive and heeding their safe word or safe action builds trust. After a play session, dominants should administer aftercare to solidify their bond and help their submissive come back to a normal state.


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