I’ve really got to admit, I am surprised how much wrong information is out there about the differences between a Master and a Dominant. In some cases I found explanations like a Dominant is not someone with BDSM traits! So let’s see what really a Dominant is and what a Master from my point of view.
As you know, the title Dominant is used for males, and while people have been incorrectly using the word Domme for years now — the correct title for females Dominants is Dominatrix. The word derives from the Latin word Dominus and by definition it means Master or Owner. So initially, I can say a Dominant and a Master actually is the same by word definition though we use them as something different in this lifestyle.
Master, on the other hand, is more like one with big knowledge and experience. Now some say that a Master is a Dominant who spend many years in the lifestyle and dedicated his life to learn as much as possible. I personally don’t agree with that and I’ll explain why in a bit. They see it as an honorable title but there is a deeper meaning than just honour.
Now, where I strongly disagree with most of them, is they see everything as titles defined on their own, when in my point of view, the title is defined by the other part of the relationship — the bottom. I am a believer that a Master goes with a slave and a Dominant with a submissive, therefore there are no other levels. There are no Grand Masters and small Dominants. We don’t need to complicate things when they are simple.
The similarity explained in the word definition of Dominant is exactly what makes perfectly acceptable for a Dominant to permit or ask from His girl to call Him as Master. He can’t be an owner though since He is dealing with a submissive and not a slave.
When we analyze and think of titles, the definition of words is really important. So you might be wondering why we need them? In my personal opinion we don’t. We only have to use them at some points just to indicate preferences when we introduce ourselves to those who don’t know us.
You’re going to hear them a lot nonetheless, and will starting points when we’re meeting potential partners (much more when it is online). As I said they only give a general indication of preferences. Therefore, don’t stay to the tiles one use if you wish to know how compatible you are. Ask for more information if you want to know someone, there is nothing wrong is asking and if you spot an approach like “you are a bottom you should not ask so much” that should work as an alarm that something wrong is going on.
To sum up, and give you clear difference between them, I will go back to the differences of a submissive and a slave. If you want to fully control a person you can’t be a Dominant but only a Master. A submissive on the other hand, can’t deal with a Master as she needs a less controlling environment. Beyond that, a Master and a Dominant are the same.
One last thing. What you practise, and how often, does not affect the title. If you are into B&D, D&S, S&M or all of them it makes no difference. If you just like a controlling power exchanging environment or sadomasochism will not change anything at all. If that was the case then we would have a huge list of titles defining our sexual and/or companionship preferences. I am a Dominant (as I usually deal with submissives) and not a breast bondage slapping and spanking pet Master. When you think about it — how stupid does this sound?