The Four Categories of Male Dominants

(Not to be confused with the BDSM Dominant archetypes.)

Written by Brendan Hadley
Published 5th December 2021

The Four Categories of Male Dominants

Sadly, there are many fakers where it comes to men claiming that they’re a Dom, just to try and get a woman into bed. In fact, as a BDSM educator, I’ve come to believe that in the case of male Doms, not to be confused with the archetypes of male dominance. There are four predominant kinds of men that call themselves Doms, with characteristics that sometimes overlap, so I can easily see how it can get very tricky for women to find the right kind of guy to feel safe enough to explore with, especially when they are young and inexperienced. You could think of these four classifications of heterosexual Doms as the main underlining personality types behind each of the Dominant archetypes that men tend to gravitate towards on average.

1. The True Dom: Animal representative, The Tiger

White Tiger

The True Dom: True Doms seem to possess a naturally dominant personality, and are ferociously protective of their friends and loved ones. They tend to be direct, decisive, driven, demanding, and observant, and typically have high confidence, are self-motivated, and are comfortable taking risks. Despite the fact that they usually have an above level of intelligence and the smarts to use it wisely, they like to focus more on the big picture and not as much on little details, as they are fully aware they can enlist the services of those who do for that. Although they don’t need the social hierarchy to thrive, the majority of  true Doms are most comfortable in a position of leadership, in addition to learning to become an effective leader, they have the instinctive ability to inspire others and encourage them to follow their vision.

True Doms are respectful and kind, not because they’re sneakily trying to manipulate others into feeling obligated to them. No… he is that way because he likes to be. He doesn’t feel a need to conform to social stereotypes, and isn’t afraid to do what he needs to do to get what he wants in life, nor is he afraid to put others in their place if or whenever needed. And he will always do things on his own terms, much like a big cat. They are tempestuous yet calm, warm-hearted yet fearsome, courageous in the face of danger yet yielding and soft in mysterious unexpected places. True Doms are very confident, perhaps too confident at times. Although they love adventures, and are addicted to excitement it is better not to challenge a true Dom’s confidence. And should you piss them off, you’ll find out this cat has claws!

2. The stage Dom: Animal representative, The German Shepherd

Guard Dog

The stage Dom: Stage Doms tend to be territorial, averse to strangers, dominant, loyal, and protective of their friends and loved ones. Generally considered the world’s finest all-purpose worker, the stage Dom is of noble character and high intelligence. Faithful, confident, courageous, and steady, the stage Dom is truly a delight. Unlike the true Doms, Stage Doms thrive in a social hierarchy.

The Stage Dom isn’t as driven by his dominant nature in his personal life the majority of the time in comparison to the true Dom, but will be able to act the part, and can turn it on as long as needed in a performance based capacity. He is more or less happy to conform to social norms within reason. The Stage Dom is most comfortable in a 2nd in command role, is often dependable and will go out of his way to protect those he cares about, much like a loyal guard dog. Just like a true Dom, these Doms are excellent to have on your side.

Another thing that both stage Doms and true Doms sharing common is that they look after their submissives interests. They will be on their subs side and will want them to be fulfilled in a relationship. Both these Doms will be prepared to walk away from a relationship, if they believe their partner’s needs will be better met by somebody else. In fact they will be more than happy to introduce their sub to somebody else who will meet her needs better than them, even if that means they will lose her.

Neither of them try to dominate the conversation or gratuitously lead a group onto something just to prove to everyone and themselves how Dominant they are. They will let other people have their say, without trying to hoard the limelight all the time.

3. The fake Dom: Animal representative, The Hyena


The fake Dom: Fake Doms are the bane of my existence, although they do indeed possess a certain level of dominance to be sure, these fake Doms are far less dominant than the first two examples of Doms, in fact, they aren’t particularly dominant in their personal life or in the bedroom, and are often all talk but no action.

Unfortunately, social media is becoming filled with “Dominants” that don’t deserve to ever be called Master, Sir, or Daddy by any submissive, because these guys are just perverted creeps in disguise. To be more precise, they’re nothing but sheep in wolves clothing, and they know it.

They’re often quite lazy, they lie, and can hardly bother to educate themselves, and in regards to what they do know, most of the time they are also just basing their knowledge on what they’ve seen in porn, versus actual reality or through mentoring, whereas in comparison, both the true Dom and stage Dom will see this lifestyle as a huge responsibility and a lot of work on their part.

Many fake Doms will say they’re experienced but don’t take the time with a sub to go over limits, safe words, training, or after-care.

They may not even know what any of these terms involve. They might even make the excuse that since they are ‘experienced’ they know what they’re doing and don’t need to go over limits, etc. This is disregarding the foundation of BDSM, that everything be safe, sane, and consensual. Every new relationship should at least have a discussion of the basics, and every sub has the right to speak up and say no.

With that said, fake Doms can be very cunning, and will sneakily try to manipulate others into feeling obligated to them, especially the submissive women they’re trying to get into bed with. Such a so-called ‘Dom’ will pretend to be a Dominant, just to trick new submissive women into fucking him. A fake Dom may seem to only focus on sex, or sexual training. They may ask for nudes or sexual tasks right from the beginning for the sub to prove her worthiness.

This isn’t to say that it’s wrong if a BDSM relationship is only sexual, or if a couple is only Dom/sub in the bedroom. But if a submissive is constantly wanting more than just a sexual relationship, it’s time to re-evaluate things.

They have a tendency to feel naturally uneasy around true Doms for fear of being called out. They’ll conform to social norms if it helps them get what they want, and can’t handle any real responsibility. Deep down fake Doms are lazy, unskilled, narcissistic, and are cowardly like a hyena.

Fake Doms often have a tendency to be compulsive liars, and sabotage their relationships by cheating.

Both compulsive lying and cheating are childish traits and not signs of someone with maturity and self-control. If the Dom is in a relationship already, and their partner doesn’t know they’re seeing someone else, this is a huge red flag. It’s selfish, and many will justify it because they believe they’re not getting their needs met. A healthy Dom is more concerned with reciprocity. Reciprocity is the energetic and synergistic exchange of giving and receiving. It is a flow rooted from a sense of abundance, and the keen understanding of the mutual, connective and collective relationship between all things, including our own sense of self.

These fake Doms may say they have tried telling their partner they are unhappy, but have they told their partner they are so unhappy that they have started cheating? A fake Dom avoids facing responsibility for their actions, and it will be very hard for a sub to trust a Dom who lies or cheats.

Another trait of the fake Dom seems to only ever really engage in the conversation with his submissive when he needs something. Other times he’s distant and barely tolerates her. The sub ends up feeling like she’s just bugging him.

After a break up, it’s not uncommon for their ex-submissives to feel as though the fake Dom was never really their Dom in the first place, to these ladies the relationship felt empty and hollow, and they often report that, while in the relationship they just felt alone.

So as you can see, basically they are little more than childish “fuckboys” as I like to call them.

4. The abusive Dom: Animal representative, the Wild Boar

Wild Boar

The abusive Dom: The Abusive Dom is rash, quick to anger, arrogant, manipulative, selfish, patronizing, sadistic, and demanding, plus has an excessive need for admiration and is prone to domestic violence. Thus, these Doms will unethically use BDSM as an excuse to hurt women; this is often because they lack any real empathy and consideration for other people. They have a tendency to only truly care about themselves and they often exhibit personality traits belonging to the Dark Triad. When stressed, they can become impatient, blunt to the point of being insensitive, may force decisions or take actions without first forming a consensus, and use their authority instead of persuasion to get what they want. Deep down they are damaged, uncaring, and brash, much like a wild boar.

Abusive Doms are often known for using intimidation tactics out-of-context of consensual BDSM play with their subs.

This can happen even in vanilla relationships and is a sign of abuse.  If a Dominant keeps his sub from her family and friends, or tells her she isn’t a “real” submissive if she doesn’t do something, this is dangerous manipulation.

A submissive should also never be made to be fearful to use their safe-words, and discipline and punishments should never be given out of uncontrolled anger. Remember: a healthy Dom is dominant, not domineering. Make sure you know and can spot the difference.

What is the Dark Triad?

As mentioned above, abusive Doms often exhibit personality traits belonging to the Dark Triad. – The Dark Triad is a phrase you’re unlikely to have heard around the workplace, but it’s one of the ‘buzzwords’ in the world of psychology. It refers to three distinct but related personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.

Narcissism: Narcissism comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus, a hunter who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, and drowned. Narcissistic people can be selfish, boastful, arrogant, lacking in empathy, and hypersensitive to criticism.

Machiavellianism: The word comes from the renowned 16th-century Italian politician and diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli. He earned notoriety when his 1513 book, ‘The Prince,’ was interpreted as an endorsement of the dark arts of cunning and deceit in diplomacy. Traits associated with Machiavellianism include duplicity, manipulation, self-interest, and a lack of both emotion and morality.

Psychopathy: Personality traits associated with psychopathy include a lack of empathy or remorse, antisocial behaviour, and being manipulative and volatile. It’s important to note that there is a distinction between psychopathic traits and being a psychopath, with its commonly held association with criminal violence.

The latter two Doms are not much more then overcompensating unhealthy Doms.

Another common strategy a lot of unhealthy men employ is overcompensation. This is often portrayed as the “player lifestyle” imploring men to “be alpha” repeatedly, with little understanding of what that actually means.

The advice comes in all varieties, but usually boils down to this: focus on your own wants and desires to the point of imposing them onto others. Exaggerate your dominance and boast of your strength. Go out of your way to make others feel smaller so that you appear bigger. I used to call these guys “fake alphas” but really they’re just guys overcompensating by beating their chest a little too much.

These men are often serial-players. Guys who obsessively seek out casual sex and not only regard the women they sleep with poorly, but treat them poorly as well.

Eventually some of these guys attempt to infiltrate the BDSM community under false claims of being an experienced Dom.

This behaviour is a mirage. At first a “Fake Dominant” can appear like a man who knows what he’s talking about and is non-needy and less invested. But if you look a little deeper, it’s the same old story once again. Both the abusive and fake Dominants portray an “I don’t give a fuck attitude”, which on the surface appears uninvested to those around them. But the catch here is that both these Dominants actually do give a fuck, even though deceptively they instead walk around telling everyone, “I don’t give a fuck.”

This is like the guy who says, “I don’t care if she calls me back.” And then the next day when she doesn’t call him he calls her a stupid whore and complains about how she was stupid anyway and it’s her loss. But hey man, he doesn’t care, right?

The fake Dominant’s persona’s motive is exactly the same as the ultra-fake nice guy’s persona: to gain attention and affection from those around them. One guy does it by being overly nice; the other guy does it by being imposing and rude. One tries to induce love. The other tries to induce fear. Both are manipulative and needy.

Both these personas are equally dependent on the validation from women and people around them – the nice guy from his girlfriend/wife, the unhealthy Dominant from the amount of women/submissives he’s able to sleep with or hook up with. Both derive from a fundamental insecurity.

Sadly the catch is that only other needy people actually perceive the unhealthy Dominant to not be needy. Anyone who is confident and less invested in others will see right through the fake unhealthy Dominant.

A rich man doesn’t need to tell people he’s rich. A confident man doesn’t need to tell people he’s confident. And a guy who “doesn’t give a fuck” doesn’t need to go around telling people he “doesn’t give a fuck.”

These personas are actually a front, an act, a compensation, an emotional acting out against the women who hurt them in the past. In the end, anger is just as needy as desperation, and both the fake and abusive Dominants are often quickly exposed to have been actually highly-invested in sleeping with the women all along. After all, going out and picking up dozens of women requires a lot of time and effort, and one doesn’t put that much time and effort into sex with women if one isn’t seeking an absurd level of validation.