This is a topic you don’t see covered often. You don’t see it on many non-fiction blogs or websites, but you also don’t see it much in fiction either. I’ve been building up to discuss it for a while, so I’m going to take my time and lay it all out for you in two parts.
Let’s start with some questions I’ve received about this subject:
Is it weird to submit to someone younger than you?
Will a younger Dom understand me?
They will understand as much as you let them understand. You will probably run into some misunderstandings, yes, but those can be cleared up with open communication.
My Dom is a few years younger than me, but he wants to try Daddy kink with me. It feels weird calling him Daddy because I’m older. What do you think?
Daddy is a type of Dom. It’s usually a Dom who is a caretaker and age doesn’t need to come into it. Nor does gender. I know of several Daddies who aren’t even men so… it may feel weird at first, but I think if you relax, you’ll get used to it.
I’ll add a question of my own here… Why does submitting to a younger partner generate so many questions? Why is it that we rarely see it represented?
There is a perception of what a Dominant partner is supposed to be. They are meant to be the strong one. The experienced one. The wiser one in the relationship.
Let’s break this down. We’ll start with strength.
Many people equate strong with older because growing up the strong ones were the parents and teachers—the adults. In reality I don’t think Doms are necessarily any stronger than subs. I think… it feels like that, but it’s not really true.
It seems like they are stronger, because part of being a Dominant is managing yourself and your emotions, at least when your sub is present. You have to be the one in control, which means putting aside your own pain to deal with them, which is fine to a point.
It can actually be unhealthy, even toxic, for a Dom to feel like they have to hide any struggles from their sub. If you, as a Dominant, are putting up a fake façade of strength to hide what you’re going through, then that’s a problem. You may be underestimating your sub and what they can handle, or there may be an issue in the relationship if your sub can’t deal with seeing you in a ‘not strong’ place.
Remember a D/s relationship is a partnership. Both sides have a duty to be there for the other, though it does play out in different ways. The way in which you care for your partner is different as a Dom than it is as a sub—but there still needs to be equal caring.
What about experience and wisdom?
Doms are supposed to lead the way, guide and teach, at least that’s the way it’s usually portrayed. To do that the Dom has to be the one with all the experience and wisdom, right?
There are two problems with that. The first is that no one is born with these things. Everyone has to start somewhere on the path. It’s comforting for a sub to feel like the Dom has everything under control because they’ve done this many times before… but that’s not always going to be the reality.
It’s okay to learn together. It’s okay if the Dom hasn’t done this before. Just make sure they’ve done their research and start off slow.
Don’t slam the door in their face because they are new. Let me tell you—new Doms? They can be very enthusiastic and a lot of fun.
And just because someone has experience, doesn’t mean they are doing things right. It’s easier to teach someone the right way to do things, than it is to unteach bad information they’ve picked up along the way.
Here’s the other problem … age doesn’t automatically bring wisdom and experience. Being older is no guarantee that you know what you’re doing either. There are plenty of people that begin investigating the scene late in life and are relative newbies even though they have the silver in their hair.
While we now have people exploring from much younger ages. I explored online for a while before I dived into any real-life events. I was about twenty-one the first time I went to a party. I was the youngest person there.
I continued to be the youngest or among the youngest at almost every event I went to for probably about five years. Something shifted around that time because suddenly there were more people coming in who were younger than me. Even as young as eighteen or nineteen and I was glad to see them.
But this has left us with a large number of younger Tops and Doms actively playing. Most of the ones with social media influence are in their twenties and they seem very well versed on how things are supposed to work.
Sometimes… they are better at this than the older crowd. Not all of them, but many, have healthier boundaries and a much clearer idea of consent.
The number of younger people out there posting about safety, consent, and good domming techniques far outstrips the previous generations. Which you would probably expect since social media in general seems geared towards the younger crowd.
But it’s not just online. In local groups you’ll see a huge focus on players in their twenties. Society has changed and kids growing up now have more freedom to express who they truly are. This is a good thing!
People understanding they are kinky from a young age isn’t exactly new. Many people understood something was going on. They knew they felt things differently, were interested or excited in odd things. They knew that what they liked wasn’t typical.
But the topic wasn’t one that was spoken about much. Around 2011 is when the kink world really went mainstream although it was already making strides in that direction. The massive popularity of 50Shades skyrocketed D/s lifestyles to the big screen and well, suddenly everyone was into it.
Since BDSM was no longer a dark secret that only weirdos participated in, it became okay to admit you were kinky. You could blog about it. Serious writers could write about it. You could openly publish, on Amazon, romance books with BDSM as a focal point.
Because of all that, the number of informational websites about BDSM lifestyles has increased by an insane amount since then.
This has had so many positive benefits for the scene and one of the most important is that people have helpful resources to learn from now. That’s why the younger generation of players is so well prepared for the scene. They know about consent and D/s etiquette because they have been able to research and learn.
Those who take the time to do that research before jumping in, will have a much better understanding of safety aspects, and what they have a right to expect in a kinky relationship. They don’t have to creep in by the back door and learn one painful lesson at a time because there’s no one to ask unless you’re lucky enough to have more experienced friends.
I can’t tell you how happy I am about this. When I was new I had so many questions and there were no reliable sites out there to give me answers. Few took BDSM seriously enough to actually lay things out for newbies online.
When you looked, you were more prone to find negative things about the scene. About how it wasn’t healthy, about how being a sadist or a masochist meant you were damaged. The positive, reliable, information sites were rare.
Boy, you sure could find a lot of fiction though. People’s darkest fantasies were all over the place—and that is not the best place to learn how kink is supposed to work. Fantasy is fantasy not fact. This is something I will never stop repeating.
Fantasy is fine. Read all the dark, twisted, kinky stuff you want, but don’t base your relationships on it. Please.
I’m not going to rant about that now, I’ve got several posts that cover that topic already, but I did want to emphasize that because it ties in. When I was new to the scene, I had access to plenty of fiction but very few facts. There are many choices I would have made differently if I’d known more.
That’s not the case anymore for new people. With all the sources out there to learn from, they are picking up healthier habits and a better understanding of how an ideal D/s relationship should work. When they come into the scene they often have that knowledge already, and they start adding real experience on top of that.
By the time they are mid-twenties some of them are extremely capable Doms who have been playing for several years and know exactly what they are doing.
So why do older subs still feel weird about submitting to Doms who are younger than them?
We’ll discuss that in part two, next week!