NOTICE: The article below deals with adult and fetish-related topics and fantasies. If you are offended by this sort of thing or are not a legal adult, I suggest you leave this instant.
As is the case with Real Life (RL), there are several types of Dominants within Second Life (SL) and other virtual worlds. The term “type” does not refer to the role that a Dominant may adopt, either as a lifestyle choice or as a roleplay option depending on their mood; these will be discussed at a later date. By “type”, I define the approach a Dominant adopts w.r.t. D/s relationships within Second Life (and perhaps even RL, if they can and/or want): what is the Dominant seeking to get out of the whole D/s scene? Are they in SL just for casual play? Are they looking for a relationship? Is D/s the main reason for their presence in SL, or is it offset or balanced by other, more “conventional” interests and activities (romantic, creative or otherwise)? Is the Dominant monogamous or polyamorous? Once again, the inspiration for this post comes from an excellent post by Exotix (Inara Pey), that was published on Her “Devices and Desires” blog, which I highly recommend as an essential read for anyone who is interested in actually learning a few things about D/s.
There are three primary categories of Dominants in SL tend to place themselves in: casual, moderate and lifestyle. Please do note that a Dominant’s interests may very well be dynamic and, therefore, shift as time passes, from one category to the other; this shift may also depend on the circumstances. Also, do note that what is written here can very well apply to RL as well.
The casual Dominant: This type has little or no interest in forming a serious D/s relationship. They are interested only in the thrilling rush they get from the feeling of power over a new submissive (or more); the enjoyment of a new experience; and the excitement of finding new ways to gain pleasure and tease (and even tormenting) a submissive. Their activities are mostly short-term capture and their interactions may last for up to a few days. In general, they most certainly are not looking for a long-term (or even medium-term) relationship, although some casual Dominants may make an exception if someone really special comes along. Casual Dominants usually frequent open play sims, kindap roleplay (RP) sims and similar places, because it is easier for them to find curious submissives (or people in the mood for sensual/sexual experimentation) for some no-strings-attached play.
The moderate Dominant: Here, things are more serious. For them, D/s is a focus of their SL existence. However, they also have other interests that may have little or nothing to do with D/s – so, they tend to spend significant amounts of time engaging in activities that may be entirely unrelated to D/s. This does not mean that they are not committed to “being” Dominant; instead, it means that their SL existence is more reminiscent of RL, where we all have a variety of interests. They are involved in D/s, sometimes deeply so, but D/s is not the centre of their existence.
The lifestyle Dominant: This type sees D/s as their reason for being in SL. To them, all other activities and interests play a secondary role (or, quite often, none at all) – they dedicate their entire in-world time to having a “fully D/s” lifestyle, as this is their primary, if not exclusive, goal. To achieve this goal, they often adopt more forceful dominant roles, frequently combining the roles of the Controller and the Disciplinarian (more on them, and on the other dominant roles in an upcoming post). Also, their attire is frequently chosen to reflect their deep involvement in D/s, even when their interaction with other avatars happens outside of a D/s or BDSM context: fetishistic boots, uniforms, open display of accessories such as whips etc. More often than not, people new to SL and D/s aspire to this role, as they perceive it as the quintessential symbol of “the lifestyle”.
Within the moderate and the lifestyle Dominant types, we can find two subtypes of Dominants: the Collector and the Matriarch/Patriarch. These two subtypes are not found in the casual Dominant, as those who only seek casual gratification do not generally adopt any specific behaviour regarding their D/s relationships, as they usually do not seek long-term or medium-term relationships.
The Collector: As the name of this subtype suggests, this is someone who gathers submissives quickly, often in accordance to specific criteria or roleplay requirements. It is not uncommon for Collectors to collar people quickly; the Collector is inclined to view the size of their collection of submissives as a sign of their prowess as a Dominant. This does not necessarily mean that a Collector cannot be a skilled Dominant; what is usually the case is the contrary, as many of this subtype can easily assume one or more Dominant roles in order to succeed at attracting submissives. The flipside is that maintaining a balance within the group is not always a priority for them, however. It is also not uncommon for Collectors to be unwilling to provide the attention or nurturing that a submissive in their care might desire, and many Collectors are quite up-front about it. This results in a high turnover of submissives for most Collectors – new submissives come in, but also many frustrated submissives leave.
The Matriarch/Patriarch: While this role may initially seem similar to that of the Collector, their goal is entirely different. For the Matriarch/Patriarch, it is not quantity that matters, but quality. Rarely will you encounter a Matriarch/Patriarch who collars submissives quickly; instead, they prefer to take time to see how a potential can adapt, coexist, engage and relate with the submissives that are already part of the “family”. The care the Matriarch/Patriarch puts into the selection of their submissives pays dividends in that the “families” formed are far more closely-knit and enduring, and the turnover of submissives is far lower than that of a Collector’s group. Submissives who desire and/or need more in the way of nurturing and support can settle better within a Matriarch/Patriarch’s family, as they will receive love and support from their peers when the Dominant is not present or their attention is focused elsewhere – and they will rest assured that the Dominant actually cares for them.
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