Gift Ideas for Your Dominant or Submissive

Gift giving is a love language – and in BDSM it’s also a common practice between play partners. Just like in vanilla relationships, a gift can be symbolic of your relationship and a way to show your affection to your partner. The following guide will cover some of the most common gifts to give to your dominant/submissive partner.

 Gifts For Your Dominant

You may want to find a gift for your dom that shows your dedication and affection. After all, they protect and tend to your needs. So it’s only natural that you want to return the favor. While they invent new scenarios for you and fulfill your kink needs, a dom also has their own needs.

  • A Toy They’ll Love to Play With

Giving your dom a toy you know that they will love to use on you is a great way to introduce something new into your relationship and show your appreciation. Whether they love a little pain and would get a lot of enjoyment of something like glass jacks to use with rope or they would love the idea of teasing you in public with a remote controlled vibrator.
A toy with a thoughtful note shows your appreciation and invites more play between you – so it’s hard to go wrong!

  • A Massage/Spa Package

Being a dom can be a lot of work. You are looking out for someone else’s well being and doing a lot of the heavy lifting (sometimes literally!) whether they tie you up on a regular basis or you are in a more 24/7 relationship where they are dominant over you most of the time. It can be easy for your dominant to not focus on themselves enough – so a gift like a massage package or a spa day can make sure that they are getting the self care they need as well.

  • An Aftercare Kit

Aftercare is not just for subs! After intense play everyone can use a little pick-me-up. Talk with your dom about what they want most after an intense playtime, as everyone has their own preferences. Whether they like to have some time to themselves to read a book or just cool off, or they want your affection and reassurance.
Once you know what they want after play, you can build an aftercare kit for them with some of their favorite things or get one from us. Gifting an aftercare kit can also help you build a ritual in your relationship that helps you wind down from more intense activities. Whether you end up enjoying a cup of Bottega Nera’s exclusive Aftercare tea or you give them a bottle of their favorite whiskey and some body care products to help with their aching muscles.

Gifts for Your Submissive

Gift giving to submissives can be highly symbolic, and also be part of your D/s (dominant/submissive) relationship. Whether you like to dress your submissive up as a doll or you want to symbolize your relationship with the right piece of jewelry, there are many ways to show your appreciation to the person who places their trust in you as your submissive.

  • Collars

A collar is one of the most symbolic and commonly gifted items in D/s relationships. Some people consider a collar as important as a wedding ring – so you should give this carefully with negotiation beforehand about what it means to your relationship! There are many collar types to choose from. Some are much more overt like a dog collar or a locking steel collar, and there are also much more subtle options that look more like a necklace.
A well-made collar can be the symbol of your love to each other that you can wear proudly in and out of the dungeon. It’s also one of the most common gives from a dominant to a submissive.

  • Lingerie

A beautiful set of lingerie is a gift that will make almost any submissive swoon. Not only do they get something that many women and men absolutely love, they get to wear it out to kink parties or in bed with you. Lingerie is also excellent because as a dominant you can choose something that appeals to you and shows your submissive in the best light, accentuating what you love about their bodies.

Sub-drop can be a serious issue for BDSM play. Sub drop is a dip in hormones after intense play that can cause almost “hangover” symptoms – like tiredness, depression, and also the physical symptoms like bruises and sore muscles. Having an aftercare routine that works for both of you is critical to care for other people when practicing BDSM. Gifting an aftercare kit to your submissive shows that you care about their well-being and gives them a set of tools that they can use to help reduce any uncomfortable feelings after play – which is a great benefit to you as well, because they will want to play more if they don’t feel bad after each session!

If you’re not sure exactly what your partner will like or you’re building out your own toy box a gift box from Bottega Nera is an excellent option for a gift. Our gift sets include everything that you need to create your own bdsm scenes. Having a set of toys exclusively for your relationship is another beautiful symbol of the affection between you and your submissive.


I Feel Ashamed of My Sexual Fantasies …

So you had a daydream or saw something in a movie, and suddenly you have a burning desire to have your partner tie you up. Or you desperately want to try what it would be like to feel some pain during sex. And with that desire, you have completely conflicting feelings of embarrassment or shame. So you feel ashamed or embarrassed about your sexual desires. What should you do about it?

Modern society has told us many stories about what sex and sexual desire “should” be. We have expectations about who we should be attracted to and how we should pursue sexual interests. We see romances on the TV, and, for the most part, they are vanilla. Depictions of sexual fantasies were relatively taboo until recently – the gay community helped bring some of these more into mainstream culture (think San Francisco Leather Daddies). However, more heterosexual-leaning people are often still behind in their ideas about what sex should and shouldn’t be.

We often get questions about if a particular interest or kink is “normal” or not. With the societal pressure to behave a certain way and not a lot of information about anything other than vanilla sex, it can often feel like a fantasy or an interest is “wrong.” The truth is, human sexuality is much more complicated. Recent studies have found that women’s sexual desire and interests are much more fluid than initially thought. Your interests can change wildly throughout your lifetime – from who you’re interested in what sort of sexual activities you prefer. And that’s totally and completely normal.

Feeling some amount of shame about your sexual interests is also quite normal. We have pictures of what we should like, and when we find that we want something completely different, it can feel like something is wrong with you. Think about it like coming out, in a way. You may be heterosexual, but admitting even to yourself that you like bondage or being dominated can feel shameful if you have a story about what you should like. So how do we get over that? Read more to find out.

Is Liking ___ Normal?

Before we get started, there are some important topics we should cover about safe sex and kink. While some are more socially acceptable than others – if it’s legal, consensual, and ethical, then having an alternative sexual interest is safe to explore. Whether or not society says so, your interests are defined by a complex net of experiences in your life. Being sexual is entirely natural and good for your well-being. That being said, some sexual activities are illegal. While this means we wouldn’t include them in our legal, consensual, or ethical list, these things change over time. In some places in the United States, anal sex is still illegal, among other “Non-Vanilla” sex. While at Bottega Nera, we don’t agree with some of these antiquated laws; other laws are in place to protect minors and other vulnerables. It’s essential to check your local area and understand how you can explore what you want to within the law’s boundaries.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way – chances are, whatever you’re interested in has other people who like it too. It’s prevalent for people to be interested in being tied up/subdued or into sadism/masochism. We’ve heard people relate their first stirrings back to old Batman cartoons or some other innocent impression (helloooo Indiana Jones). Ever heard of weighted blankets? It’s a similar concept; there are real physical benefits to being tied up. Many people find the “weight” or pressure calming – it allows them to let go of their current worries and just experience sensations. The desire to feel this pressure is so common that we would say it’s becoming mainstream now.

When you think about how these kinks pop up – it’s no surprise we see them. While Batman didn’t mean to be kinky, it was. Our seeds of interest are hidden in everyday life. When they come up, it’s a perfectly natural path for our brains to take.

Kinks vs. Fantasies

As humans, we are deeply imaginative – and as a result, we also can have daydreams or fantasies quite often. When people begin to be more open to these, they are sometimes surprised at what they dream up and what excites them. Our imagination can go a lot farther than we may be interested in going in real life – and that’s also totally normal. When you’re daydreaming, there are fewer limits, and you don’t need to match those daydreams in real life.

If a daydream you had about an anonymous threesome is great but is too risky for you in real life – that’s completely fine! This relates to what is ethical, consensual, and legal. You may daydream about something that doesn’t fit within those bounds – rape fantasies are very common. However, you shouldn’t act out those fantasies in their true form. There are ways to explore a fantasy or some elements of it within the consensual and legal bounds. That is what a lot of roleplaying is based on.

A Little Embarrassment is OK

Feeling embarrassed about your sexual interests is totally OK. We all sometimes feel unsure about what we want. When asking a partner to engage in something different, it can feel scary and uncomfortable. Knowing that almost everyone goes through this can be a comfort. Even the most practiced BDSM players were probably unsure or embarrassed about what they like at one point in their lives. There are some ways to overcome this if you choose to and move into exploring what you want. Here are some of our top tips:

  • Research what you’re interested in. Luckily, many alternative sex blogs cover almost any topic you could be interested in. They cover how to practice safely, what to expect, and much more. This knowledge can be vital, just like understanding the basics of safe sex are crucial to your health.
  • When you’re ready, talk to your partner if you have one. Let them know that you’re interested in something new. Remember that it’s OK if they don’t feel the same way. Though you may be surprised at how open they are to trying something new. Novelty is essential for long-term relationships, so trying something new and having a partner who is open to experimenting can be great for your relationship.
  • Explore your feelings around shame and embarrassment. Emotions aren’t “bad” or “good” – you need them all! Often your resistance to feeling shame and embarrassment can make those feelings worse. If you feel like your quality of life is affected by your emotions around the topic, we recommend trying therapy with a kink-friendly therapist.

Suppose you feel ready to experience your fantasy. In that case, Bottega Nera’s Gift Sets can be an excellent way to get body-safe toys in a curated set based on themes or interests.

 Other Resources:

Kinky Sprinkles – A blog that covers topics in kink and polyamory from beginner all the way to advanced topics

XCBDSM – A BDSM blog that covers the ethics, how-to’s, and learning resources for kink

7 Ways to Deal with Sexual Shame – An excellent resource by Pleasure Centered Sexology AU that breaks down the psychology and how to cope with severe sexual shame

A Short Introduction to Kink


So what is kink really? If you google the definition you will come up with something like “abnormal sexual interests.” At Bottega Nera we think kink is the acceptance of sexual interests of many different kinds, and the celebration of sensation. Kink is about feeling and experiencing new feelings and playing as an adult. Sexual exploration and the normalization of sex has a positive impact on society and can help us have a positive relationship with ourselves and our partners. The BDSM community revolves around careful negotiation and an acknowledgment of consent.

To begin understanding the world of kink, there are a few key definitions that you might find useful. So many acronyms and terms are thrown around when you first start exploring, and we know it can be a little overwhelming!

Stands for Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, and Sadomasochism. Yes, we know it should be BDDSM but that sounds a little funny doesn’t it? The acronym encompasses some of the key elements of Kink, including the roles you can choose to play with and some of the types of play. Of course, this list doesn’t encompass everything within the “kink” community, but it’s a good start.

Bondage – Simply put bondage is the restriction of actions or movement of a person. Some common types of bondage are rope, handcuffs, straps, and harnesses. Bondage can create a feeling of restriction that is comforting or arousing, and many people enjoy being bound or restricted. Think about the weighted blanket craze – a heavy blanket for sleeping and relaxation that supposedly reduces anxiety. Many practitioners of bondage would say that they get a similar feeling from being tied.

Kink – A more all-encompassing term that refers to anything beyond typical sexual interests. The term can be used when referring to a person’s specific interest “They have a kink” and can also be used to describe the whole genre of sexual exploration.

Fetish – A fetish is a specific sexual interest. The term can be used to describe a certain interest that a person must have present to be sexually satisfied, and also can be a thing that turns them on but they don’t always need to be aroused. You could have a foot fetish where feet must be present always for you to be sexually interested, or you could just sexually interested in feet but not need them to get off.


All of these definitions can be intimidating. You may have found something that tickles your fancy and you don’t know where to go from there. Our boxed collections can give you a whole package of toys and experiences to try, curated so that you know you are getting the best quality toys possible and skipping over the cheap novelties at the sex shop.

Articles written by Kinky Sprinkles

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