I found this list embedded in an article, and I love it.
First and foremost, a good Dom has an extraordinary amount of self-control. Sometimes he is so patient that it is infuriating. His job as your Dom is to make sure that you get what you need from him, as well as getting what he needs from you. This leads to the next sign of a Good Dom…
A good Dom will understand that even though he is the Dominant, your opinions matter. Your needs matter even more than that. There will be times where he will have to decide which is more important: something you want or something you need and he will have to make that judgement call.
A Good Dom always has reasons behind his rules and they make sense. “Because I want you to” may be what we’re told when we ask why we have to do something, but that’s not always the real reason either.
A Good Dom understands that your mental, physical and emotional health is important as well. Those rules about taking your meds and working out? They’re not for his benefit, well not totally anyway;. they’re for your benefit. Making sure you eat well? Another way to make sure you’re healthy. Sometimes this will even mean asking you to be careful what friends you keep up with.
For example: I have a friend I enjoy going out with, but she tends to be very needy and the night always winds up turning into a huge bitch fest where she complains about anything and everything and I in turn become very stressed out and depressed. Master Jason has told me on several occasions that he no longer wants me to hang out with her by myself. Recently, this became a private rule between the two of us. If she calls or texts me and asks me to come hang out with her, I am either to make certain there will be other people there too, or I am to set a time limit on our evening. Master Jason has not once told me to end the friendship with her though and I don’t believe he would, he wants me to be able to come to that conclusion on my own if it gets that bad, but he does want to make sure I understand why he doesn’t approve of my hanging out with her for too long and why he considers the friendship to be toxic.
A Good Dom understands the importance of Aftercare. It is never “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am” with sessions with a Good Dom. Sure, we have quickies, but that’s usually “just sex”.
In a scene a Good Dom knows that you have been brought up and down, to orgasm, through orgasm sometimes denied orgasm and then brought back to it again, over and over and over. In a scene, you are extremely vulnerable. The beauty of a successful scene is that you allow yourself to be vulnerable and allow yourself to trust someone enough to handle you and protect you, care for you, love you, while your defenses are down and the Dom gets off on being trusted with you while you’re in that state of mind.
A Good Dom understands that there may be tears, extreme joy and other strong emotions that flow through you for a while after a successful scene (and even more so after an unsuccessful one). Aftercare (usually, but not always, administered by cuddling or snuggling together) allows you to come through those emotions (also known as sub-drop) unscathed.
What’s more, is that there is such a thing as Top-Drop — where the Dominant is also going through strong emotions and he needs to know that you still respect him, are still loyal to him, still want to be with him after he’s made you so very vulnerable and even exploited that vulnerability for his sexual gratification. (And your sexual gratification.)
A Good Dom knows that communication is key especially in this lifestyle. He knows that talking things out, discussing and understanding your views, your limits, your fears and your desires is the very core of how you will serve, how he will teach and how well you two will succeed in a relationship together.
This takes patience and work. Sometimes a submissive will require more work than the Dom can give her, and in those instances a Good Dom will let her know that they aren’t fully compatible. He doesn’t take on more than he can handle, because he knows that it wouldn’t really be beneficial to anyone if he did that.
A Good Dom may also require both of you to go through more painful parts of who you each are. This can be crap you’ve gone through in the past, this could be asking you (telling you) to seek counseling on certain issues, etc. He knows that if you are going to trust him with your vulnerability, he needs to be able to handle it. He also knows that if you can’t trust him with your emotional pain, then he probably shouldn’t trust you with his either. We all have some baggage, but if no one talks about it, then nothing really gets solved and no one learns to grow. Without communication, there will be no growth to your relationship.
A Good Dom does not pretend to know everything about you. He is not perfect and neither are you. You will both have to work at the relationship, it’s still a relationship after all. A Good Dom understand that. He can even understand you and sometimes it will feel like he knows you better than you know yourself… but a Good Dom doesn’t claim to fully understand everything there is about you either. This goes back to number five: communication is key. He doesn’t read minds, and you don’t either. He doesn’t always pick up on hints you drop, and you won’t always pick up on hints he drops. It may feel like you each know the other completely, but your both still learning and constantly changing…. if you’re not, you’re in a rut and no one likes hanging out in ruts.. not relationship ruts anyway.
A Good Dom will check in on you during a scene. This can be done verbally (and should be done verbally if you two are still getting to know each other). He may ask any variation of the following: “Are you okay? How are you doing? What color are you at?”
For couples who have played together longer this can be done simply by watching you react, reading your facial cues, listening to your breathing, etc.
A Good Dom may even end a scene before you think you’re ready. “No, if we keep going I will break skin, or bruise nerves that won’t heal properly” or “I think you’ve had enough, little one.” You may not enjoy hearing these things but your well being is HIS responsibility and you are his most valued possession. He knows where your limits are (because you’ve talked them out with him already) and he’s making sure that he doesn’t abuse the trust you’ve given him by breaking those limits. If you don’t want to be bruised for days but your pain tolerance is really high due to the endorphins and adrenaline running through you, you may not realize how hard he’s flogging you. A Good Dom is aware of this and will respect the limits you agreed upon before the scene started.
Most importantly for this one: if you have a safeword, and you use it, a Good Dom will STOP EVERYTHING, unhook you, untie you, bring you down, figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. A Good Dom respects the safeword. It does not end the relationship (because that would only cause you to fear ever using it). It only ends the scene. There are people who choose not to even have safewords, or think they aren’t needed. Clearly I am not one of these people. If I am bound up in intricate ropes and my arm starts to go numb, I need to be able to say so and quickly. For me, this means calling out my safeword and then explaining why I am using it. “RED SIR! My arm is numb!” or more frequently — “RED SIR!! Cramp! Cramp! CRAMP!! OWWWW”. I workout and I like to change up my workouts frequently. Sometimes I forget to drink extra water even though I find routines that make me sweat more. This causes my body, my muscles, to dehydrate and can quickly cause cramping. In my personal opinion, a Good Dom gives you a way out during a scene specifically for this kind of issue. For me, that’s the use of and respect of my safeword.
A Good Dom does not pretend that you are his only option and if you choose to end the relationship, he will not make threats to force you to stay. He may fight for you but not to the point of threatening you. He will let you walk out of his life forever if you want, even if it nearly kills him to do so because once a BDSM relationship is no longer consensual between both partners, it is no longer healthy. If the relationship is not consensual at all times, then it is not something he is interested in being a part of. You CHOOSE to submit to him, and in return, he fills a void that only the Dominant can for a submissive. If he forced you to stay, forced you to submit, literally and physically forced you… then he is abusive and therefore NOT a Good Dom.
A Good Dom is honest to the deepest part of his being.Honor, duty, loyalty, trust… these are things that are not only important to him, but things he strives to personify in other areas of his life. He prides himself on always doing the honorable thing, even if it costs him extra time to do so. He requires the same high expectations of you that he does of himself. He will not flat out lie to you or deceive you or trick you into doing anything. He may tease you, he may joke around with you, but he knows where the line is and he stays far away from ever crossing it.
A Good Dom is humble. He recognizes his own flaws and will gladly point them out to you time and time again. “I am not perfect, I am far from it.” may be a common saying for him. “I can’t read minds, I need you to talk to me” is his way of reminding you that he may be good at reading you, but he still needs your permission, your confirmation, your trust and honesty as well.
A Good Dom works hard to constantly enrich himself. He seeks out new things, new lessons, new ways of doing things. He looks to learn about you, about new skills he can use (be they in the bedroom or outside of it), for new ways to help others.
He knows how easily he could become “set in his ways” and how simple it would be to stop learning, or claim that all change is bad… so he works hard to avoid that.
Choosing to be sedentary in life breeds contempt and added to this, a Good Dom understands the importance of a well read mind, and the need to exercise it. Volunteering your time, skills or money to those less fortunate than you helps you to enrich your own life, a Good Dom gets that and encourages it. He knows that the lessons the poor can teach us are more valuable than any dollar could ever hope to be worth. He understands that helping others fuels an understanding of compassion, loyalty, honesty, self control, humility, and communication with others.