This is an excerpt from the book BDSM Basics for Beginners - A Guide for Dominants and Submissives Starting to Explore the Lifestyle.
Being #Dominant is a state of mind. It is not a sex act, it is not a game, and it is not a role. It is a state of being and is totally asexual (neither male nor female). First and foremost, a Dominant is always a Gentleman or Lady. There is no excuse for being impolite or rude to others. Save this for the submissive that needs and requires this of their Dominant.
Self-control, knowledge, and a questioning mind, along with the ability to listen, understand, and question, are the foundations on which a Dominant personality should be built. Next is the ability to accept responsibility. A Dominant should understand that in a Dominant/#submissive (D/s) #relationship, the submissive is going to place their faith in the Dom in many ways. It is essential in a (D/s) relationship that the submissive feels enough confidence to give up some level of control and responsibility to the Dominant.
Acceptance of that control must sit comfortably with the Dominant. To have another hand over control of their life, (or at least parts of it) to you is an awesome feeling. It must be borne with great care, and never abused. So, a Dominant does not abuse the #power they are given. They never take that power, they are given it out of love, #trust, and #respect, and the feeling that they can improve the quality of another's life.
Along with #responsibility, the Dominant must have patience. #Patience in a Dominant is a requisite too, because there may be many times when a submissive may not reach expectations. This may not be due to any failing on the submissive's part, and so the Dominant must show patience, and a calming influence: an ability to help the sub, to achieve what they both want, in a structured and sensible way, and never to criticize when things don't go well.
A Dominant must always be in control. Drugs, even alcohol, are mind and body controlling agents. They affect relationships and most importantly can affect a scene, therefore taking away the control the Dominant MUST have.
A Dominant is always honest. To lie is to show You cannot be trusted and a #sub/#slave must be able to trust You to respect you. Every sub/slave knows that not every Dominant is super experienced and will respect You much more if You tell the truth. Be honest with a sub/slave about Your level of experience with others. They can even help You to gain experience, which can be an enjoyable learning process. Tell them up-front if You do not wish a monogamous relationship. Most submissives understand and even expect this in a Dominant. You may not get "that" sub/slave, but You will not lose her/his respect.
A Dominant expects, but does not demand respect. No Dominant demands strangers to call him/her Master/Mistress. Respect is earned over time. Demanding Master/Mistress on Your name means nothing and is a word that when not earned, is meaningless and makes You appear to be petty and childish. Those that know and respect You will call you Master or Mistress when You earn it, not before.
Remember, to other Dominants, You are not Their #Master/#Mistress. You are Their equal. Do not demand Them too ever call You that. A Dominant should only take a submissive that will match Him/Her. A sub/slave that is not into whips should not belong to a Dominant that loves to whip submissives.
A Dominant HAS to know and understand what the needs, desires and wants of a sub/slave are. Failure to do so may harm the submissive emotionally and mentally.