When talking about BDSM, the thing that comes up the most (in my hearing) is people who want to be dominant needing help getting into the right mindset. Here are some ideas for small things that can make a big difference.
–Take a walk: I find that something as simple as taking a walk is helpful. Walk by yourself, maybe listening to some music of your choosing. I like Hardcore Industrial, but it’s whatever floats your boat, you know? The point is to clear your head and focus on what you want to do in the scene. This is most useful when you and your partner have been hanging out as equals and it’s time to get into character.
–Limit personal items in view: Choose the spot you will play, and put away clutter. This is useful in case of a struggle so nothing gets broken, for one thing. More important though, it helps to get in the right headspace. Seeing personal items around can pull you out of scene.
–Blindfolds are awesome: If you’re afraid you don’t have the right scary face going on, blindfold your sub! This allows you to feel more confident and not worry about what they are seeing. In addition, it often makes your sub feel more helpless, and so can add to the scene in that way as well.
–Knives: Personally, I have no interest in blood play. However, I have played with a lot of people who wanted to be scared. If you want to make someone genuinely afraid, knives help with that. Just the sound of a knife flicking open is terrifying and instantly recognizable (much like the sound of a gun cocking). To threaten your submissive with a knife with minimal worry about hurting them, have a bowl of ice water handy. Put the blade in the ice water until it is cold, and then drag the blunt side over their skin softly. The cold metal makes it feel like you are using the sharp side of the blade. When it’s cold enough, it feels like it is cutting. This is scary as hell.
–Call-and-Response: This is when you make your submissive say things. I find that this helps get them in the right mindset. Of course you will ask them to answer you with things like “Yes Mistress” or “No Mistress.” (Or master) However, you can take it further and have them repeat anything you want. I like to make people thank me when I hit them and ask for more. Call and response can be something as simple as “What do you want more than anything?” To which your sub should answer “To please you, Mistress.” Teach your submissive to say things about how much they worship you and how much they want to please you. When they say them, it will help them get into their subspace.
My ideas might not work for everyone. These are just some tips.