"Yes, Mistress."

The first time I heard those words again, I felt amazing. I felt power and elation. I felt sexy. I felt capable. I felt alive.

This was after being in a very vanilla relationship for two years.

I started dating again, half-heartedly, a few months after we broke up and made some nice connections with people and had a lot of sex. Most of it was good. But there was still something missing.

With two of them, they playfully called me Mistress and were submissive to me when we had sex, but it wasn’t a proper BDSM relationship.

I eventually realised this was what I wanted. I wanted to be a domme and I wanted a man (or men) to be submissive to me. I wanted to explore my own kinks and theirs properly.

So, I signed up for Fetlife and started talking to people. Joined groups and discussions. I posted about rediscovering kink as I had been in a kinky relationship with a previous partner before being with my very vanilla boyfriend.

I got A LOT of messages. Apparently female dommes (some female dominants don't like the term "domme", but I don't mind it) are hard to come by. Women of colour who are openly into kink? Even more so.

There's a misconception that all BDSM is whipping and pegging and roughness. That female-identifying dommes are always dressed in leather and are ruthless and make their submissives bleed. This isn't always true.

Yes, there are some D/s relationships that are like that when they play a scene, but then there is usually extensive aftercare where the sub and domme talk about what happened, why and what could have been better, etc. There's hugs, kisses and cuddles.

As a gentle domme, I don't really like humiliation, but I will call my subs some derogatory names that have been agreed upon before and that they get a kick out of. I am also very sweet and gentle with the men who call me mistress, but I am also strict. The sub I have under consideration right now loves being called "sweet boy" and "little one", even though he's almost two metres tall and is by no means "little".

I also had a few online relationships with foreign men and would give them little assignments. I'm not into findom (this is when a domme controls your finances), but I would do all manner of things - from ignoring them after they were bratty (some people really like this), to making them spank themselves for me.

I've been called "Mistress", "Ma'am", "Domina" and even "Goddess". It all made me feel so incredibly powerful and, for the first time in months, I found myself not thinking about my ex constantly.

It helped me process a lot of what happened when my ex and I broke up. It helped me get back the power I had lost. It made me remember that I deserve to be treated like a queen and that I have a responsibility to treat my partner with kindness and nurture them. Also, it's just plain fun.

Being a domme has helped me see that I don't need the love and attention of a man to be worthy, but that I can find it and control it if I wanted to. It's given me a freedom I didn't have before and has made me feel sexier than I ever have. I'm more confident in my decisions and I don't doubt that I am beautiful and my body is too.

I eventually ended all of my online relationships and am now concentrating on my IRL sub as it's a big responsibility and I've realised that I want to be more invested in that relationship. There are rules, hard limits and kinky exploration, but there's also respect, adoration and affection from both of us.

And that's what I was missing.

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