The Dom/Sub Radar

A blue radar map. White text on a black banner reads "The Dom/Sub Radar"

A few nights ago Matt and I sat down to watch First Dates with TV personality Fred Sirieix, and one man on there quickly and openly admitted to enjoying BDSM. I was particularly keen to follow his story, given that he admitted to having cheated on and left his wife in order to explore his kinky needs. Whilst I have never had a physical affair in the name of BDSM, I have unintentionally had an emotional affair, and it did spell some trouble for us too.

Before he had even said anything of his preferences, I already had this guy figured out: submissive male. That was just the vibe that he was giving off to me.

Moments later, he admitted to his date that the cause of his divorce was him meeting a Dominatrix. Et voila!

"How can you tell?" Matt asks me.

"Just can" I reply. "Submissive males get red-faced and doe-eyed in the presence of a confident woman, whereas truly Dominant males have a quiet confidence because they know how to handle her. It's very attractive and a highly disarming thing, I must say. Arrogance, however, is a turn-off."

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I still remember it now - sat on the benches beyond the tills of ASDA Walmart, I people-watched as I waited for my Mum. I was playing a game; a quiet, mental game that I sometimes play all by myself. I like to call it "Dom, Sub, Vanilla or Boring?"

To play, you simply observe a person (or couple) and try to decide for yourself if you think they might be Dominant, submissive, "vanilla" (aka non-kinky) or sexless. You don't get to know if you guessed right, of course, and you certainly don't get to go up and ask. Not unless they're making eyes at you too.

People uninentionally give off hints about their psychology all the time, and it is something that I find truly fascinating. Taking myself as an example, I probably don't seem that confident on the day-to-day and I probably look like I don't care about myself all that much either. Indeed I don't set out to boss people around, and I'm often more concerned by what I need to do each day than what I look like. C'est la vie.

We as a species form judgements of one another instinctively, and we do so more or less from the day we are born: babies respond more positively to a happy face than a sad or neutral one, people typically find female voices more reassuring than male voices, we trust older people more than younger people, even if older people can be dishonest and selfish too. There are numerous other examples of our unintentionaol (and intentional) judgements of others still.

But what about Dominants, submissives and peoples' love lives?

A black and white photo of a man adjusting a tie, suggests a Dom, Dminant man, BDSM

Again, people often have this mental image of a whip-wielding Dominatrix in high-heel leather boots or a tall, dark, muscular man in a too-tight suit as being Dominant, but I personally think Dominance shows itself in other ways. Dominant men are more on hand, resourceful and protective, whereas Dominant women lead the relationship from in front. Submissive women are often giggly and playful people, whereas submiussive men are often more bashful and shy.

Up close, I find that I can pick out Dominants and submissives too.

Some years ago I was invited to a leaving party for one of Matt's collleagues, and one couple in attendance promptly caught my attention. Amy was bubbly and chatty, the life and soul of the party. Mark was chatty too, but more reserved.

Mark was on hand to our group a lot and he often acted in ways that were either resourceful or protective, for example, fetching extra chairs for seating, or blocking the group off from boisterous drunks. He didn't dominate the conversation but he led it at times and he stood with a stance that was neither commanding nor meek. I find that tuly Dominant men do this often, almost as though they don't need to demonstrate their Dominance because they already had it from the start. Again, it can be both highly disarming and incredibly vexing to deal with.

While we chat, Matt looks to me and I look down, then back up at him. He knows exactly what I'm thinking - my D/s senses are tingling.

Matt and I have developed a way to communicate about "the others" without being obvious, and it's so subtle that most people wouldn't even notice. With Amy, I glance in her direction briefly so that he knows who I mean, then I rest my chin on my hand and, very quickly, give a slight downward twitch of my thumb. To Matt, that indicates "submissive".

He nods and raises an eyebrow curiously.


I nod very slightly in response then look back over my shoulder as though something caught my attention. Really it's an indication to Mark.

I meet Matt's gaze again and lightly scratch an imaginary itch on my jawline with my upturned thumbnail. Another indication to Matt - Dominant.

A month later, Mark jokes about wanting a spanking paddle as a wedding gift to handle his new bride.

Of course we don't take action on our inklings in social situations, but they do at least give us some indications of the people that we can "let loose" around.and hopefully, maybe even become friends with. Everyone wants people that they can be friends with, but knowing the signs of your potential people sure helps!

That's it from me for this post! Have you ever had a gut feeling about someone? What did your intuition tell you? Give this post a like, share, or leave a comment below. Alternatively, click here for more kinky posts!

Until next tme,

Stay safe & have fun,

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2 thoughts on “The Dom/Sub Radar

  1. Interesting post. I think it’s a mistake to assume people’s personal lives/behavior reveals anything about kinkiness though. I’ve always heard that men who are dominant in their careers and personal lives, crave being dominated in the bedroom. Actually, I’ve heard the same thing about women. But I don’t think that’s true in either case. People are just people, and most of them aren’t into S&M at all.

    It’s hilarious that you two have a way of signing to each other who you think is dominant or submissive. It sounds to me like you two are seeing kink under every rock and in every crevice. Most people have nothing to do with kink.

    No offence intended though, I really enjoy talking to you, and this post was very interesting! 🙂

    1. Jason, no offence taken at all. How would the world progress if people got offended all the time? This reply does bug me in a way though because it forces me to talk about a post inspiration that came to me yesterday, that was inspired by our conversation 🙂

      First, I have to agree with you that making assumptions about people is wrong, and they probably are wrong, hence I said in my post that you don’t get to approach people and ask about your judgements of them, regardless of what they are. Again though, aren’t assumptions quite often a regular part of our human experience anyway? We see a slighty dishevelled-looking person and think they’re dirty and lazy, we see a woman wth nice jewellery and a sports car and assume that she’s a Daddy’s girl or a gold-digger; people make assumptions of people all the time. Also, the people who people watch with friends and make up stories about the people they see, that again may or may not be right, are making guesses and assumptions too. It’s no different, albeit less harmful because I (generally) keep my thoughts and musings to myself.

      Regarding your point about dominant people, that is widely known to be true and often ties to some extent into Jungian psychology – the shadow self. The opposite is true too, and I suppose is a point that I could have weighed on more in this post – Dominants (particularly Dominant men) often don’t *seem* Dominant and may not have particularly powerful jobs. For them, being Dominant gives them the sense of authority and control over something, albeit within predetermined boundaries.

      I’m going to step away briefly for a moment here, because I have noticed that you’ve twice used an abbreviation that forrms one component of BDSM and not all components, which is a common misconception that sadly the mass media doesn’t help to eliminate: S&M is one part of BDSM, but it is not the whole of BDSM, and it is often seen as the more “aggressive” part.

      BDSM has three components: Bondage & Discipline (B&D) – tying up, kneeling and positions etc, Dominance & submission (D/s or D&s) – power exchanges, setting and following rules, acts of service, and Sadism & Masochism (S&M) – spanking, flogging, whipping, ticking etc. It is absolutely possible to enjoy one component and not others, or one much more than the other(s), in fact it’s even quite common. Again, taking myself as an example here, I enjoy D/s and S&M, but I’m kind of meh about B&D It’s horses for courses, and we can all negotiate what we are and aren’t into and willing to try.

      Just an aside to that, did you know that BDSM is possible without giving or rceiving pain, which is the part that puts a lot of people off? I’ve got a whole post on it here:

      Your point that not many people are into BDSM, I would disagree with you there. Actually, I looked it up before replying to you to get an idea of how popular BDSM really is, and I was astonished to learn that as many as 1 in 3 people have admitted to enjoying some form of BDSM play. That’s not a few people, that’s quite a lot of people. Perhaps, then, my tingling D/s senses are somewhat justified? 😉

      My source:

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