what is Domination/submission?
A lot has been written on the subject, and I don't wish to be redundant here. If you are serious about D/s, read the literature and talk with other Dominants and submissives. You will find many different ideas and styles when doing so. No one is Dominant or submissive in the same way. Everyone is unique.
For my purposes here, however, I will mention that D/s is ultimately about a power exchange between two individuals. The submissive turns her power, control, and her body over to the Dominant who, in turn, takes on the responsibility of ensuring that the relationship is advancing, growing, developing. The submissive's role is to serve her Master according to His instructions and training, but within agreed upon limits and boundaries.
In this exchange, the Dominant has the responsibility for, and the authority over, the submissive. The extent of this varies from couple to couple, and in my opinion, should be negotiated between the two. For example, some Dominants wish to control every aspect of the submissive's life, including career, contact with family, and so forth. A submissive might like to know about this before getting too involved with such a Dominant.
domination/submission -- a subjective experience
There is no "one right way" to be Dominant or submissive. Anyone who insists otherwise is likely inexperienced, extremely egotistical, and/or downright dangerous.
Submissives should be wary of Dominants who think their style is the only right style, and especially wary of Dominants who do not think they have anything to learn from other Doms or submissives, for that matter.
Don't get me wrong, a submissive should obey her Master; however, before she takes a collar, she should be certain that the Dominant is committed to learning and open to change. D/s is a process, not an event, or a static existence.
That being said, I offer my perspective on a few of the dynamics of D/s. I am not concerned about you agreeing with everything I have to say, but I do hope you will do me the honour of considering my words and reflecting on them.
have a voice, their own identity
As a special one, a submissive should expect to be treated well. If you act like a doormat, you will be found out by those who are looking for one.
Limits are more tied to the evolution of a relationship and to the growth of both the submissive and the Dominant. For example, a new submissive will have more limits than she will 6 months from now, and so on. Limits should be respected, of course, but also tested and challenged by the Dom. In fact, I would suggest that a submissive who wishes to have her submission nurtured knows that she needs a responsible, trustworthy Dom to push her limits and often take her beyond them.
That being said, Dominants should not collar a submissive who has too many boundaries and limits for Him. In such an instance, collaring her will only lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. Better to find a submissive who is more in sync with you. For example, if you are a sadist, seek out a submissive who either is a masochist or has masochistic leanings. Don't invest much time in a submissive who cannot tolerate much pain.
An experienced Dominant will always make sure His submissive has a safe word, which is a word the submissive can use during a scene if things are getting out of hand for her. Safe words mean stop. A Dominant who does not heed a safe call is dangerous.
Masters listen and dialogue
Master, one submissive
You might very well disagree with me on this, but I would suggest that new submissives think hard before they become the property of a Dominant who is prone to owning multiple submissives. It is not about what is right or wrong. Just be careful with your heart.
Everything a Master's submissive does or does not do is ultimately a reflection on Him. While punishment is necessary at times, the real challenge is to train the submissive so that punishment is a rare, if ever, occurrence.
should be fun
(10) warnings to subs
As well, when first meeting, have at least two people (friends of yours) who can act as a safe call. Make sure you have pre-arranged times to phone these people during your first visit with your Dominant. Have a code word to use on the phone, so that if the person on the other end hears it, she/he will know you are in trouble and will take necessary steps to help you. I know this sounds a bit paranoid, but there have been numerous submissives (a couple who are friends of mine) who did not take these steps and were raped.
Do not get involved with a Dominant who is an alcoholic. If he can't master alcohol, he shouldn't be mastering you. The same goes for any other substance addiction.