What do they mean and what is the difference?
All the above are words used for those that are in Dominant roles in the lifestyle. The first three Mistress/Master, Dom/me and Top are titles used for Dominants. The other three Mentor, Protector, and Trainer are titles of positions that a dominant fulfills in the life of a submissive.
Dominant (taken from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
noun - : a dominant individual in a social hierarchy adjective -
: commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others
: overlooking and commanding from a superior position
Dom and Domme are shortened version of the term Dominant. With Dom usually referring to a male, though I and a few other females I know use the term to refer to ourselves. Domme is the feminine shortened version of Dominant.
Dominatrix - is another term for a female Dominant. However, I will note that at least in my area of the country it tends to refer to a woman who charges for her services. Much as the term Prodomme.
Domina - is yet another term for a female Dominant. I believe it is used more in European countries.
Basically anyone who takes the lead role and controls a scene could be referred to as a dominant.
The other meanings.
Top - Usually refers to someone who is dominant during sexual scenes. Their desire to be dominant is connected to sexual pleasure and not necessarily to other aspects of their lives.
Master/Mistress (taken from the Merriam-Webstar Dictionary)
: A male teacher: one having authority over another: one having control : an owner especially of a slave or animal.: the male head of a household.
: a woman who has power, authority, or ownership: the female head of a household.: a female teacher or tutor: a woman who has achieved mastery in some field.: something personified as female that rules, directs, or dominates.
My Definition in the context of BDSM and more specifically a D/s relationship is:
One who accepts ownership of a submissive or slave who has consentually agreed to that relationship. The title used by a submissive/slave toward the Dominant that has collared them or in some manner accepted the sub/slave as belonging to them.
I am a Mistress. I have exprience in real life BDSM, not just online. I am considerably skilled in several areas of BDSM play. However, I do not allow the title Mistress to be used to address me, except by a sub that is in a D/s relationship with me. Subs/slaves that are not in a relationship with me, may address me as Ma'am or by my name.
1 a: one that protects.
In the BDSM context it is one that looks after a collared sub/slave at the Master/Mistress' request or fills in for him/her when they are unable to be present. I have also seen this term used for a Dominant that takes an uncollared sub/slave into their care at the request of the sub/slave. In the case of an uncollared sub/slave this position may actually be more of a Mentorship.
2 a: a trusted counselor or guide. b: tutor, coach.
In the BDSM context it is a Dominant who offers guidance and support to a new sub. The relationship is one in which the Dominant helps the sub to explore the meaning of being submissive in a non-physical manner. It is someone for the sub to ask questions of, express concerns to, basically a trusted friend with knowledge of BDSM.
Neither of the above relationships are sexual or physical in nature. The Dominant in both cases does not in any manner own the submissive. In the case of a Protector filling in for an absent Master/Mistress, the extent to which the relationship includes the right to discipline/punish the sub is according to the Master/Mistress' instructions. Unless they specifically stated that discipline was to be administered by the Protector in their absence then it is not the place of the Protector to do so.
1 a: one that trains
In the BDSM context it is a Dominant that takes on the responsibility of training a new sub in various BDSM activities. This relationship does include many physical types of training. It may or may not include sexual contact. That should be negotiated between the sub and the Trainer. However, it should be clear to the sub that this relationship is a temporary one and is not the first step in what will become a Master/sub relationship. The Trainer should be addressed as Sir or Ma'am, as the title Master or Mistress will be given to the Dominant the sub comes to belong to.
In all of the above relationships the sub/slave is not in any way owned by the Dominant. The sub may end the relationship at any time, as may the Dominant (in the case of a Protector appointed by a Master/Mistress it is the Dominant's responsibility to care for the sub until their return). The sub should not wear any collar or be marked in any manner as the sub does not belong to the Dominant in any way.
by Loving_Mistress all rights reserved 1998-2003