What Do Dominant Women Want?

After last week’s post about the blogiversary collaboration with Unrepentant Fatty, and, after much wrangling with the internet sprites, I’ve finally managed to collect and organize some of the really great lists that readers sent to me into something resembling a cogent blog.

All of the lists are available below the cut in what is maybe the World’s Longest Post but is fascinating none-the-less. Up here, I’ll be adding a few comments and observations as away of summarizing the data and comparing it with the men’s results that UF got.

The results have been fascinating both in the similarity of what people want in general and then, also for the ways in which they differ – some which I don’t think people would have always expected. I know there were a few things that made me re-evaluate my own wants or nod in agreement. Some things I simply hadn’t thought about and seeing them written in the lists of others really got me thinking.

I hope that you will all add in your own observations in the comments and over on UF too when the Men’s results are up. I think that this could be a great way of trying to better understand the opposite gender in the quest for better relationships and kinky experiences.


So, on to the analysis…

Something that stood out upon reading the women’s answers was that nearly every woman specified things that could be applied to a vanilla relationship. The men largely did this too from what I’ve read. It just goes to show that more or less everybody wants someone who they can be with away from kink first and as a kinky person second. It might seem obvious but it’s reassuring and pleasant I think.

In broad terms, women are also looking for a man who is self confident, happy and sure of where he is headed in life. Most of the women want to be in a relationship with their submissive man although there are one or two who are happier with casual play.

Women also said over and over again that desire and communication of that desire was essential. Men having trouble expressing their desires is so often talked about that it has become a cliché but it really does seem like the ladies don’t just like this but need it. Obviously, the more honest and open we are about our desires, the easier it is to try and get the fulfilled. Sometimes, well a lot of the time, that’s difficult but it’s worth it. You get out what you put in.

Reading the lists, I was struck by several tiny details that were lovely and yet, hadn’t crossed my mind at all.  Unrepentant talked about sexual generosity which is something that I think is vital  on both sides.  Both Sexy Blue and Mistress Maria picked out the importance of having an overlapping playing style and need for the same level of intensity which is so simple and yet, is something that many people forget about.

Mistress Maria also mentions STD testing. I’m so glad she put this on her list because it is an unspoken element of the “cleanliness” that I think the rest of the responders spoke about. It’s also respectful toward your own body and those of your partners. Safety is always important and really needs to be spoken about more. I think people see it as necessary but unsexy part of sex. That said, I don’t see why it can be treated as a healthy and so, sexy part of getting intimately involved with someone. If everyone’s results come back clean then, hey: celebratory sex. If not, then that’s something that needs to be fixed.

Throughout these interviews with dominant women, there were also a few points which were very specific to the individuals that I thought were interesting or worth mentioning.

Mademoiselle T of CollegeCulinary notes that she wants someone who is both punctual and switchy while Mistress Maria specifically notes that she prefers her men to be shaved. She’s also not looking for a monogamous relationship.  Unrepentant wants “a dash of darkness” in her man. Calla In June looks for fortitude.

Overall, these lists show that while there are a core of needs that many/most people want there are also enough individual deviations in their preferences to allow for the inevitable variations of submissive men.  In the words of my grandmother, there’s an arse for every seat. 

1. From Mlle T

10 things I look for in a submissive guy:

1) Pride – I wouldn’t want a partner that was ashamed of his submission. Because, by extension, he would be ashamed of me.

2) Confidence – I’ve interacted with submissive men that need CONSTANT encouragement. It’s tiring and lessens the enjoyment for both parties.

3) It may be a given, but someone with similar kinks to me. I think both parties should bring different things to the table but there should still be common ground.

4) Going along with #3, a willingness to experiment. And not just sexually; I love novel experiences and would want to share that with my partner.

5) Ambition – I need a partner who is driven. I have a hard time interacting with people who don’t have goals or dreams and the drive to pursue them.

6) Openness – Having a partner who is closed off mentally and emotionally is exhausting and makes it extremely hard to create trust

7) Caring – Some days I need my sub to just pamper and care for me, the same way I would do for him

8) Punctuality – Being late is a MASSIVE pet peeve of mine. As fun as it can be to give a punishment for not being on time, doing it on a regular basis would just piss me off.

9) An ideal submissive would be a guy who can take care of himself and stay healthy. I don’t want to be someone’s mom and remind them to eat well and work out.

10) I need a submissive man who can also switch! My sound funny but I’m kinda switchy myself and would need someone who could mix things up.

2. From Sexy Blue

The ten things I look for in a submissive are:

1.Interest in me. (I won’t play with someone, at least not several times, who just want to be played with. I want him to want ME, not just “someone”.)

2.Emotional and mental stability (that doesn’t mean I won’t play with someone who’s got a depression, but it does mean I need it to be STABLE. Predictable. See “Self sufficent” below.)

3.Self sufficency (He should have his own life and be able to live it without my support or help. I’m not his mother or his nurse or his piggy-bank. Nor is he mine.)

4.Good non-verbal communications (I can read most people’s body language just fine, but have encountered some people whom I simply can’t understand. If I can’t understand them, I can’t play with them.)

5.Good verbal communications (We need to be able to talk to one another and make ourselves understood. If we communicate in very different ways, that might be a problem.)

6.Overlapping BDSM-interests (BDSM is a wide field. We don’t have to enjoy exactly the same things, but there must be some overlap.)

7.Overlapping expectations and goals for the BDSM-relationship (If you’re looking for a 24/7-thing, or someone you can move in with, or someone to fulfill your stereotype porn-fantasy, I’m not the domme you’re looking for. If the expectations and goals don’t overlap from the start, they better get clear pretty soon, see “verbal communications” above.)

8.Willingness to trust me and explore BDSM along with me (if you have your thing and won’t ever try anything else, how will we grow and develop?)

9.Likeable person (We should be able to interact in a non-BDSM setting. He should be a “good guy”: Kind, helpful, a sense of humor etc.)

10.Overlapping playing style (I’m not someone who stand three feet away, wielding a whip with a stone cold expression on my face. I love to touch and taste and smell, I laugh and smile and enjoy what I do. I need cuddles and closeness when it’s all over. If that’s not a style you can live with, then we can’t play.)

3. Mistress Maria from Girls Rule-Subs Drool Tumblr

– wants the same intensity of D/s that I do. I see if they’re bedroom only, 24/7, switch back and forth, or etc.

– open-minded.  A submissive doesn’t have to like the same things as me, but has to be open-minded enough to try them or be able to communicate which things are his limits.

– attractive.  I need to want to fuck him. This encompasses physically and chemistry.

– shaved. I wasn’t going to put this on the list, because it seems too superficial but… it’s true.  If somebody has a beard, I won’t even consider them.  I do not like kissing men with beards or getting oral from men with beards.  I know some women love them, so they should have a Domme who doesn’t hate it!  Even pubic hair will make me think twice.

– STD tested.  (I want to be fluid bonded/no condoms with my subs)

– NOT monogamous.

– Has to be able to hold up a conversation.  Often, I can tell within twenty minutes if a potential sub is not going to work out, if despite my best efforts, the conversation keeps stopping.  Heaven forbid you just answer my questions with a yes/no answer.

– Polite and respectful.  You needn’t follow protocol at all times (unless we negotiate that), but generally polite and respectful is a must.

– Prefers a sensual rather than sadistic and/or disciplinarian Domme. I try to get into their heads a little bit to figure out what their ideal is.  I don’t want to own somebody if they’d be more satisfied with somebody else, even if they *claim* they’ll be fine with sensual.  I’ve had too many experiences of hardcore masochists wanting to submit to me and then after a few scenes, noticeably wanting more that I wasn’t interested at all in giving them.

– flirty.  Yes, I want a sub who will flirt with me. Play with me.  Seduce me. And I’ll flirt right back.  Don’t treat this like a business negotiation.

4. The Ten Things I Look For: Lipstickandligature

1. Genuine interest in a relationship. I’m not interested in being with someone “just” for kink. I actually want to date them and want them to want a kinky AND romantic relationship. I can’t have one without the other.

2. Confidence. I don’t want someone who is riddled with self doubt and low self esteem. Obviously, everyone has times in their life when they feel less than great but I need someone who, generally speaking, likes himself.

3. Independence. I like people who have their own interests and lives away from a relationship. I think it’s healthy and prevents a couple from living in each other’s pockets all the time. I won’t be someone’s mother; they need to be able to make their own life decisions.

4. Pride. Not in a flashy way that makes others feel uncomfortable but I need to be with someone who makes an effort with their appearance, cleanliness and deportment/general behaviour. On a kinkier note, I want a submissive who is proud to be so, I won’t be someone’s dirty secret. Kink isn’t shameful  and he should believe in this too.

5. Kindness. I need someone who will give me hugs  after a bad day at work and reassurance if I was upset – just as I would do for him. I need someone there in the bad times as well as the good.

6. Good Conversation. I need someone who can switch off the kink, who sees our relationship as just that and can talk to me not as Mistress or Ma’am but just as me, about ordinary stuff; what happened that day or shared interests or on books or films or dorky Youtube videos.

7. Compatibility. This applies to both general interests and to kink. I think that he needs to have similar, matching interests. Obviously, no one ever has identical interests and that’s fine and can be enjoyable – learning about things I wasn’t ever into – or it can be something I just benignly neglect and let him get on with like football or collecting obscure Star Wars Memorabilia. Kinkily speaking, so long as we’re more or less in the same area then I think specific kinks can be worked with and people can find compromise.

8. Drive and ambition. I want someone who knows what he wants and how he’s going to achieve his goals.

9. Someone that doesn’t take themselves or their kink too seriously. A person who can laugh and is prepared to have fun.

10. A man who is feminist and treats me as an equal person; Someone who does not tokenize me for my gender or my preference for a dominant role. I am a person not an object and want to be treated well – I would, of course, afford him the same courtesy.

 Unrepentant’s List 

1. Respectful attitude, and a firm grasp of the concept that I am a unique human being and not a stereotype or an object.

2. A lack of machismo and arrogance

3. Intelligence

4. Open mindedness

5. Empathy and warm-heartedness, but with a dash of darkness in them.

6. Enthusiasm and eagerness to please

7. A strong ability and desire to communicate

8. Openness and emotional availability

9. Sensuality and physical affection



2.Sexual generosity

3.Someone who’s easy to talk to and comfortable to be around

4.Someone who’s fun and has a sense of humor

5.Someone dependable and trustworthy

Calla InJune – http://callainjune.tumblr.com

1. Honesty. With self and with me.

2. Self-awareness. What was great on Tuesday might be awful on Friday after a bad week at work. Own that and admit it.

3. Trust and Trustworthiness.

4. Self-reliance. I’m not interested in 24/7 play and my partner needs to be able to exist without me. And I without my partner.

5. Desire. To be with me. To please me.

6. Masculinity. It’s not any commentary on other women’s choices, but I like my men to be men (I might stick his ass in frilly knickers from time to time, but he should look, act, dress, and smell like a man for me…)

7. Intelligence. I can’t abide stupid people.

8. Observation with intention to improve. I like him to learn about me and be able to predict with a modicum of accuracy what I may want that day. Whether it’s food/drink, pampering, books, shows/movies, whatever.

9. Fortitude. Need I say more…

10. Agressive. I don’t like blindly subservient men. I like them to be able to think on their feet. I like it when they don’t just roll over and show their bellies.

17 thoughts on “What Do Dominant Women Want?

  1. Yeeep I would’ve been more eloquent if I knew it was going to be posted! But, alas – it’s still an accurate representation of what I look for in a sub. It was fascinating to read the others’ lists: Thank you for putting this together!

  2. Peroxide

    This is great, very interesting to see this laid out (and If any other women write in with their list, I’d love to see more.)

    I find it intriguing that several respondents, including yourself mentioned that they don’t want to have to “mother” their partners.

    Because for me, while I can be perfectly self-reliant and responsible, a key part of the appeal of a F/m dynamic is having someone who will, if not take care of me, at least nudge me to take care of myself better.

    I’m curious to see the men’s responses, and whether the desire for a caretaking figure is common.

    1. Hey Peroxide, thanks for your comment.
      I found the lists super interesting myself.

      I think that your need for a nurturing presence in your life as part of a D/s dynamic and women’s observation that they don’t want to have to mother a man are actually different things. I think. I can only definitively speak for myself in this and for me, they are. (I actually wrote a post about it ages ago.) https://lipstickandligature.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/oh-mama/

      When I say that I don’t want to have to mother someone I mean that I don’t want to date someone who doesn’t have their life generally together. I say this because I have known guys who have expected me to fix everything in their lives and have done nothing but take and take and take within a relationship. Guys who were not prepared to take responsibility for having an active role and put in equal work towards maintaining a relationship. That is what I mean when I say I don’t want to mother someone. I want a man to be equally invested and responsible for the relationship as I am and invested in the success of his own life; a person who can get things done. To me that is what I mean when I say “mothering” and it’s probably the wrong word because, sexually/kink speaking I really love the nurturing and caring part of a relationship. To me, that is what D/s pretty much is – it’s an amplified form of caring for someone. But, I would like to care for someone intimately when I know that they’re also a competent person and not actually an overgrown child. Hopefully, that clarifies things.

      1. Peroxide

        I remember that post, and I see the distinction that you’re making… But it feels to me like a bit of a fine line. I guess I’m concerned that during my needier periods I’ll slip from one to the other. You know what I mean?

      2. I know! >< And it *is* a really fine line I think. So fine that I feel like I don't always know what it is that I want or even how to define the kind of control I need. Maria apparently feels the same too and now, maybe this should be a whole other post! I think it comes down to at least knowing that the submissive partner can take care of themselves but that the dominant partner can still be nurturing. Because I do get alot from petting/caring for people like that. Gagh, but really there are more questions than answers.
        I don't want to date someone who is generally incompetent and who doesn't have their life together; I want someone who is self-sufficient, self-aware and is also submissive. I don't think that's actually much clearer, but do you see what I mean? haha.

  3. Ooh, that’s one more thing I should have included in my list – I do not want to be somebody’s mother. That’s a big reason why I am not what they’d call a disciplinarian. I called off a very serious relationship because he wanted me to be a mother figure, and that’s the last thing I want. I want a competent man to submit to me. Although… now I’m wondering what exactly that means. WHAT do I want them to submit to me? I don’t want just sexual/in-the-bedroom play. In fact, I’ve even been thinking I might be interested in exploring a Master/slave dynamic…. but how can that coincide without wanting to be a mother figure? Am I searching for the pleasures of control without the responsibility of control? I’m going to go think about this.

    1. Maria, my mind is wracked with all of these exact questions! I still think some more thinking needs to be done on this! ^_^ It’s tricky because I struggle all the time with taking on a mothering “role” in a large part of my every day life and I don’t want to do the same with a partner. I think it’s more about wanting active submission and interaction with an intimate partner, with someone who is sociable and confident and actively decides to submit. Not someone who just rolls over, like CallaInJune said. :) I joke that it’s greed; I just want to have my cake and eat it whenever I like. *shrugs*

  4. Steve

    And where does this composite submissive exist ? Does he have a big letter “S” on his chest and go weak in the presence of kryptonite. Looks as if the Dominant Woman is as unrealistic in her “wish list” as the submissive man.

    1. Steve, The point of a wish list is that it is just that – wishing. No one is ever going to fulfil another individual’s list completely, are they? Also, I suspect if a person checked every box of their partner’s requirements for an ideal partner then it would be a very boring relationship indeed with nothing being surprising or novel or difficult. The purpose of writing these wish lists is so that men and women can see where they stand relative to the desires of their opposite, so they have a better idea of each other. These lists are by no means definitive but merely a general suggestion. The realities of actual people having relationships are, of course, fraught with the everyday annoyances that everyone faces but in providing lists hopefully, couples can better navigate one another’s desires without the use of kryptonite. :)

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  6. i think everyone was honest with there lists and it was cool to read, but what troubles me with such lists is that when a person makes the “list,” in regards to their ideal partner (whether it is a vanilla list, or in the realm of D/s) their actions tend to lead in another direction.

    An example is that often i see Ladies on my facebook feed that post all these things the a so-called “real man,” is, what they do, etc. But then you see their real dating patterns and it seems they just run in the opposite direction. I’ve personally been to bars and clubs with single female friends before and they often talk about what they want in a man, but get inside the bar, and suddenly they are drawn to the guy who is most likely the biggest A**hole in the place, and almost a complete 180 from what they say they want. Guys do the same thing, they say things, but then we immediately run to looks before anything else.

    These lists are helpful and are great about gaining some insights but i often wonder how much of what we say we are looking for is subliminally what we feel we SHOULD be looking for.

    Very interesting article :)

  7. Yes you’re right. Lots of vanilla wishes and a few with the flavor of a FLR or WLH environment. Considering the way many people, certainly online, talk about dominant women and their acolytes, makes me wonder if it’s not high time to define ‘dominant’ differently.

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  11. I’m so glad that someone mentioned that they like a submissive who is willing to switch.
    I’m not a perfect human being – I’m vulnerable just like everyone else is.
    Just sometimes I like to be able to be the damsel in distress for a while.
    Being a domme means that you have a responsibility to your sub and, sometimes, it can be a heavy weight.
    It’s lovely to have the opportunity to give back in the same way.

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