When couples are looking to spice up their sex lives, one of the first things they might consider is BDSM. The acronym is short for Bondage, Discipline, Domination and Submission and can be really fun for those looking to try something new and experiement with power play. One of the most common terms in BDSM is “Daddy” or “Daddy Dom.” The term refers to the person with more power (there are also Mommy Doms) in the sexual relationship. Lots of people love to feel dominated by their partners, as it can be totally freeing to just let go and let the other person call the shots.
But what if you’re not in a partnership? Can you still practice BDSM? The short answer is yes. For the single lads and ladies, there are definitely ways to start exploring your BDSM fantasies sans partner. In fact, you don’t even need to be single to enjoy the benefits of solo-play BDSM! All that’s required is an open mind and some imagination. Use this guide to start exploring power play in a totally new—and very hot—way.
Establish your desires.
It’s a good idea to start a BDSM relationship (whether partnered or solo) by looking at your goals. Consider your desired outcome and what you’re hoping to achieve. Daddy Doms also have a very nurturing side to them, so you might also want to find ways to tend to your emotional self. What are you hoping to nurture? What are you looking to grow? What boundaries are you interested in pushing? Answering these questions might give you a bit of perspective as to how you want to begin your solo BDSM journey.
Set your Daddy Dom rules.
Every BDSM relationship has rules and yours is no exception. Your rules will depend on what exactly you want to achieve out of your Daddy Dom exploration, but below are some examples using common goals I’ve come across as a sexuality doula. Use these ones or feel inspired to create your own!
If you want to feel more organized sexually…
Set weekly goals that will help organize your free time and your kinky time. You can start by setting specific organization tasks like cleaning your living space every Friday night, doing your monthly accounting on the last Saturday of every month, meal plan once a week. Then set aside time for masturbation or taking sexy selfies. If you stick to your schedule, you’re following your rules!
If you’re exploring your sexuality…
Look for tasks that will feed into your exploring your sexuality. For example, consider buying and reading a new book about sex every other week. Another goal can be attending a new class or workshop that sexually interests you. Take what you learn and set apart at least 10 minutes a day for self-pleasure.
If you have a specific long-term goal…
Maybe you have a very specific goal—you want to go on more dates or finish writing a manuscript. With long-term goals like these two, it’s important to set mini-goals in order to achieve the big goal. For example, establish that every Sunday afternoon you will spend 15 minutes setting weekly goals that work towards your long-term goal. Have specific daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that work towards your goal. If you’re looking to go on more dates, this could include creating a dating app profile or letting your friends know you’re looking. On Friday nights, check-in with yourself and see how well you’re achieving your short-term tasks.
If you’re new to BDSM and simply want to experiment…
Consider joining a local club, or online sex-positive group, for support and inspiration, and make sure you interact weekly. Prioritize research and buy or borrow a new BDSM toy or tool to try every month. Write or fill out a list of your BDSM interests, and explore one new one each three-month period. If you continuously check things off, you’re following your goals.
Rewards, punishments, and fun-ishments.
No BDSM relationship would be complete with consequences. Because you’re going to be you’re own Daddy Dom, and also your own sub, you’ll need to know what type of sub you are. At this stage, you should assess whether you’re more motivated by rewards or punishments.
Here are the three most common types of submissive. Read through and see which one resonates for you.
‘Good girl/boy’ subs: Often motivated by praise and encouragement, want to be told they are pleasing their Dom. Will behave correctly if they get treats and compliments.
‘Bratty’ subs: Bratty subs love to make trouble, and can be quite naughty and cheeky. In order to get them to behave, the threat of punishment needs to be real. Also, they often like punishments, so spanking is usually a “fun-ishment” and isn’t going to work for a real punishment.
Combo subs: Most subs are actually a combination of these two, in different ratios. If this is you, you will need to incorporate a variety of punishments and rewards into your Daddy Dom plans.
If it fits the crime…
Now that you know your goals and motivations as a submissive, you can create your Daddy Dom plan. Using the rules you set for yourself earlier, assign a punishment for not completing the task. The punishments should match the intensity of the task. In other words, if the task is really important to you, it should have a more severe punishment than a less crucial task. For example, let’s say your goal is buying and reading a new book about sexuality every month, and you consider this of the highest importance. If you fail to keep this goal, your punishment can be donating one of your existing books to a friend or charity. It’s extremely important that you’re a good Dom to yourself and you follow through with any punishments you’ve earned. Be creative and think of punishments you would both enjoy and dislike, it’s good to make sure your punishments fit your crimes.
Likewise, rewards should always be on the menu if you stick to your goals and you’re tackling them like a pro. If your long-term goal is to write a book and your weekly task is to write at least a chapter and you complete it, indulge yourself in exploring mindful masturbation to treat yourself! Take control of the ambiance and the works, as a good Daddy Dom should, and praise your accomplishments
After the fun and sexy times with yourself and the punishments, you need aftercare. This is a time and space for processing and nurturing. Daddy Doms are very good at aftercare, so don’t skip this step!
Aftercare will be personalized based on what you find restorative and helpful. Here are some of the activities I recommend: snuggling and getting cozy; warm baths or showers; watching a feel-good movie or TV show, reading a book you enjoy, coloring, prepping and enjoying something warm like tea or dark chocolate, or journaling. Here are some prompts for your post-BDSM, aftercare reflection:
- What did I learn from that?
- Was there anything I was surprised by?
- What could I do differently next time to improve the experience?
- What were the highlights?
- Where there any aspects I wouldn’t want to include again?
Being your own Daddy Dom can improve your sexual relationship with yourself, help you achieve goals, and even have a bit of fun. It’s also a fantastic way to safely explore how you feel about being both a Dom and a sub, which can be very helpful for future partnered relationships (if you want them).
Isabella Frappier is an Australian ex-pat living in LA, who swapped gumtrees for palm trees. She’s a writer and a holistic Sexuality Doula, who specializes in body literacy, sexual sovereignty, and BDSM.