soft dom written on sheet and hard dom written on brick

Soft Doms, Hard Doms, Medium Doms (just kidding). There are many different types of doms out there, and even if you only dabble in BDSM you probably have come in contact with some strange words to describe them. Soft and Hard Doms on the surface seem pretty self-explanatory, but do you know exactly what those terms mean? Honestly, sometimes I don’t, and that’s why I’m going to break them down in this article. Let’s discuss Hard VS Soft doms! 

Soft Doms 

“I’m disappointed, not angry.”

In general, a soft dom is exactly that, a dom that takes a softer approach from what we are used to seeing. They aren’t going to force you to do things, and are more inclined to positively encourage you to get to the goals you want. Whether those be life goals or kink goals. Their rules are usually made with reasoning and to push you within your limits. 

Soft doms are more likely to ask submissives to do things, not make them do them. If their request is denied for no valid reason, they may give a warning or ask for an explanation before jumping into a punishment (or disciplining). 

A tantrum or some bratty behavior might get a sub a leer look in the moment, but you better believe these soft doms are thinking about the best punishment to show them the error of their ways later. 

When it comes to consequences, soft doms have a variety of non-traditional punishments to use on their submissives. Some methods of punishment a soft dom might invoke are making you write lines, denying you an orgasm, giving you too many orgasms, or tickling you. Though, some soft doms opt for the more old-fashioned approach of a spanking as well (Yes, soft doms can spank!). 

A soft dom praises a submissive for their efforts and congratulates them on their advancements. They are likely to commend a masochist submissive for the pain they are taking and encourage them to take more without guilt. 

Hard Doms

“Do as I say!

Hard doms tend to run a non-negotiable show (after rules are agreed upon). Once they set rules in place with their submissive, they are meant to be strictly followed. Unless the rule needs to be changed, or redone their submissive will be following it. 

The rules that these types of doms make can vary vastly from making complete sense to this seems fun. Another thing about the rules made by these doms is they can either be super easy to follow, or super easy to break. Some hard doms just want an excuse to “punish” a masochistic submissive. 

When it comes to their submissives breaking the rules, the consequence will be enacted, usually, immediately. Warnings are not as common among this type but aren’t impossible. 

The punishments hard doms come up with can be reasonable or downright mean. Some punishments for breaking a hard dom’s rule could be degradation, humiliation, or spankings.

They also tend to push limits more when it comes to punishments (within boundaries). If their submissive doesn’t think they can take anymore, a hard dom may test that plea.  

Final Thoughts

The terms soft and hard dom are more descriptors for the types of doms than they are actual types themselves. Think of them more as adjectives. For example, a hard or soft caregiver, Master, or handler. When it comes to these terms, it’s also best to think of them as on a spectrum as well, very rarely is someone completely one or the other; they are usually a mix.

In my opinion, a dom’s hardness or softness can change from day to day and usually depends on the needs of their submissive at the moment. A sub who is being brattier than usual may need a harder dom that day to keep them on track, whereas some days a soft dom is perfect. 

These terms are effective at giving a surface-level idea of the type of dominance a person chooses to enact. When it comes to the finer details, it’s up to those involved to communicate to get a deeper idea of who they are as a dom.

More on Soft & Hard Doms: 

Hard Doms vs Soft Doms (Loving BDSM)

What is a Soft Dom?