This can be a tricky issue. Here is why: many subs believe that a Dom should ALWAYS be a Dom, and if they (the Dominant) want to play the sub role, well, they believe that can ruin the whole dynamic of the relationship. However, there are many subs who find no problem whatsoever “switching” roles from time to time. For them, this change livens up the relationship and brings new insights that would otherwise be impossible.

It wasn’t all that long ago when just saying you were a switch could mean loss of respect, if not from a potential partner, then from the BDSM community at large. The good news is much of that is changing now as more and more people are beginning to see that switching is not as abnormal as once thought.

Even so, there are some issues that need to be addressed by couples who want to try switching before they actually begin the session. Here are a few tips:

Switching is NOT for Everyone

This may be the most important tip to get across right at the start. There are some Doms/Dommes and subs who simply will not find it enjoyable to switch roles. Many partners may consent to reverse roles, just to try it, only to discover that it is not for them. This is something that has to be respected.

Communicating Is Key

The first step to switching is talking to your partner about it. This should be done in a relaxed manner, with no pressure being put on either side. If you are the one initiating the idea, have your thoughts already in mind. Be able to explain why you want to try switching and be prepared to face some objections.

It is also important to listen to your partner and to understand that he or she may not truly understand what it is you want them to do. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have some answers ready.

Be Honest

When discussing the idea of switching it is imperative that both people be honest with one another. If you are a sub and want to experience what it feels like to be in control for a period of time, say so. If you are a Dom and want to experience bottoming, just say so.

If there are certain activities that you want to try, express that to your partner. For instance, if you are a Dom and want to know what it feels like to be tied helplessly or whipped, let your partner know that that is what you are looking for in the experience.

Set Some Rules

If you and your partner decide to try switching, here are some rules to keep in mind. They can be very important, so do not ignore them.

Treat the switch as the role they are playing – it does not matter who is playing which role during the session, each person must play the appropriate role. If you are (now) the Top, then you must act like the Dom and control the session. If you are (now) the bottom, then you must act like the sub and obey or risk the consequences.

The top MUST be respected – in a switch session, whoever is playing the Dominant must be respected as such. This must be agreed upon in advance or else confusion and disappointment are likely to follow. The exception is this: if the “real” Dom says that he or she wants an escape “word” that, if used, means the he or she cannot perform as sub and the session is to end immediately, then that should be agreed upon to and respected. Remember, not everyone is able to switch comfortably.

After play discussion – for those new to switching, once the session is over, take some time to discuss what happened. Again, be honest. Tell your partner what you enjoyed and what you did not enjoy.

By being open and honest, your chances of having a long-lasting “switch” relationship will be greatly enhanced. You should even incorporate your switching rules into any Dominant/submissive contract you write up.