Three floggersA dominant person enjoys controlling a submissive person. Reasons
for this are said to include demonstrating skill and power, having ownership of
another person, and being the object of affection and devotion. Domination may
be the fashion in which the dominant feels most comfortable expressing and/or
receiving affection. Service-oriented dominants would add that it is obviously
useful to have the resources and abilities of another human at their disposal.
In addition, many fantasies involve the reversal of traditional roles or
constraints, so that men or women who traditionally have powerful roles in
contemporary culture may wish to experience submissive roles, while others who
normally are responsible for enforcing traditional morality, may wish to
experience situations where such limitations do not exist.
Of course, other known possible motives remain to be considered, including
pleasure taken not only in sheer power, but in the suffering of others, which is
called sadism, thrill seeking in risk taking, and self-destructiveness. That is
why many in the BDSM community are concerned with establishing the motivations
of those involved in an encounter and advise caution in making BDSM connections.
Some dominants and sadists say they are motivated by the desire to give
masochists the pain and pleasure desired by them. Thus, the sadist is a pleasure
giver and not one primarily seeking gratification from the suffering of others.