1 The non-dominant (or kinky person):
He is not into a power exchange or being in control. He only enjoys the heightened sexuality that the D/s scene brings to him. He feels "safe" in the scene if both he and his partner are having fun. He normally won't try new things without first being told by the submissive what specific things she would enjoy. His pleasure is from the sexual activity and not from S/M or being in control.
2 The role playing Dominant:
This person is normally found on-line. He will act "Dom-ly" and appear to be in control. He may be into humiliation and enjoy role playing. He will have the submissive cyber-serve him, kneel, and will act the role, just as he wants the submissive to act her role. He likes to "train" new submissives because he feels safe when his charge has little knowledge about D/s. The Dominant will normally not "force" the submissive to do things or request things that will push the submissive's limits. The only time he may push is to have cybersex. This type of "Dominant" will usually brag about the slaves he has had and the slaves that he has trained.
3 The Top:
This person likes to play "Master" and likes to feel in control. He will want to have his submissive wear his collar before they have established a relationship. He may have the submissive serve him and his needs. He, likely, doesn't concentrate on the relationship or the submissive's growth, only on the upcoming scene. He seldom gives the submissive exercises, and if he does, he will normally give very little feedback when the assignment is turned in. He will be in control most of the time, but not use the control for mutual growth or benefit.
4 The Dominant non-Master:
This type of person controls the submissive, but it is usually temporary and within agreed upon limits. The big difference between this person and the ones mentioned above is that this one knows that he needs the submissive in order to have the power. He is usually turned on by being served, receiving sexual gratification, in scene and outside of scenes. They do not gain satisfaction from forcing the submissive to submit to their way. They usually dictate the scene based on the agreed limits. Even though they seek their pleasure from being in control, the submissive will find it easy to top from the bottom.
5 The Dominant, play Master:
This type of person also takes control but it is usually temporary and within agreed limits. He gains satisfaction from being served and serviced. Normally he controls the scene and is into bondage and light pain. He may use a spanking device to the point of pain, but does not go far enough to build up endorphins in the submissive. If there is pain in the scene, he may, indirectly, derive pleasure from being in control and causing the pain, but not because of the feelings the submissive may have. This person controls the submissive, but not the scene. The scene will usually end at the same level of intensity at which it started.
6 The True Dominant:
This person dominates the relationship but may have agreed upon limits. The true Dominant wants to be served by the submissive. He enjoys this in both erotic and non-erotic services by having the submissive take care of his wants and needs within their agreed upon terms. This person will only take the dominant role when he is in the mood. Many times he will play the role for days at a time, but he retains his prerogative to quit at any time. The time period is usually agreed to in advance or falls within the time constraints that they have together. You may find this person in short or long term relationships with his submissive. He normally has good reasons why he can't enter a full time relationship and he controls when he will be Dominant. This type of person will usually give the submissive assignments, but may not question her if they are not completed and may not give feedback even if they are.
7 The part-time Master:
The part time Master will have an on-going relationship as Master/slave and he thinks of his slave as his property at all times. He wants the slave to grow and he tries to distinguish between the slave's wants and needs. The part time Master will usually rule the submissive's life to the point that he will give her assignments, tell her how to act and may tell her what to wear. He devotes only his free time to the slave. This type of person will use scenes to help the slave to grow, as well. He usually knows how to control the pain experience and push the slave's limits. He watches the changes the slave makes during scenes and helps her grow outside of scenes. The part-time Master will also help the slave reach subspace. The part-time Master will perform aftercare after the scene to take care of the slave's needs.
8 The 24/7 Master:
This person takes control of the relationship and thinks of the slave's well being. Limits in the relationship are considered opportunities for growth and the slave has duties and obligations to perform. He regards the slave as a possession and spends his time grooming the slave. His day to day role is very similar to the "vanilla" husband, except that his role is stricter, because he is the keeper of the relationship and in charge of her well being as a slave. Because of the total power exchange in which he accepts power over the slave's life, (physical, emotional, and mental), this kind of arrangement is usually entered into much more carefully than a traditional marriage. Normally, contracts are signed specifying what the slave's role will be and what time period it will cover. The contract is normally based on rules of D/s, S/M etiquette, their agreed upon limits, prior negotiations and it will establish areas for growth. The contract may include clauses about who may break the contract, for what reasons and what needs to be done in order to break the contract, and whether or not it is renewable.
Related topics can be found at Boundaries , Negotiations and 9 Levels of submission.
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