I've no doubt approached this topic already from a variety of directions, but it really never gets old IMHO. Like my "There is no BDSM rulebook" as shared on Paloma Beck's blog, the process of learning one's dom (likes, dislikes, allergies, health issues etc) is something that I believe is a continuous thing and not something any book can tell us exactly how to do.
I've played with the "Dom's preference" repeatedly in my fiction- it's quite a rich fount of subject matter for BDSM erotic romance or erotica. I find one of the most common questions is- where should the submissive's gaze be at specific times? In real life, I got myself in pretty serious trouble once because I played with a dom who preferred a lowered gaze when most others I've ever played with have preferred eye contact (as The Queen does in Vala's Story). The thing with that question is- it's where the specific Dom says, that's where the gaze should be. It doesn't matter what happened in some BDSM erotica, what some how-to book/website says if the Dom doesn't agree.
Now I want to share an excerpt from my first NaNoWriMo, an experiment in which I enjoyed some time with The Queen and Tommy as 19 year olds, newly reconnected and crazy in love as Tommy basks in his status as The Queen's collared slave.
unedited excerpt from the tentatively titled The Queen and Tommy- the first two years (prequel to the Vala's Story series)
The Queen and Tommy stood at the edge of the farmers' market.
Tommy pulled on his bottom lip. "Are there any fruits or vegetables you really like or dislike, my Queen?"
"Already getting brave enough to ask me what I like?" The Queen gripped Tommy's upper arm for a moment. "Giving up on the 'I can read any Dom' game you play in the clubs?"
Tommy shrugged and looked away.
The Queen leaned close to Tommy and whispered, "Unless you want punished when we get home, I suggest you answer me with words."
Tommy's eyes grew wide. "I... I...."
"I am getting impatient." The Queen's stern expression threatened.
"Maybe I'm being melodramatic, but this doesn't feel like a game, with you, my Queen." Head slightly tilted to one side, Tommy gazed up at The Queen. "Unless you prefer me to guess, I'd rather ask you and serve you right the first time, my Queen."
The Queen patted Tommy's head. "Good boy."
Tommy whimpered quietly. It sounds just right when he says that.
"I love any sort of berries, unusual soda flavors. I will eat most any vegetable, but I do not generally request any other than potatoes."
Re-reading this WIP reminded me of a recent conversation with my Master. Now :D He likes to say He's "simple"- I do my best not to giggle and get myself in trouble when He says that. This is the reality of food issues that I'm faced with cooking His food...
allergies: all shellfish & ocean-going fish (serious, anaphylactic shock), chicken (although organic, vegetarian-fed seems to make Him less sick), turkey (He almost has a super-charged "after t-giving dinner" response, so it means just "not at work")
preferred meat: beef
most fruits and veggies are unacceptable. "salad" better be macaroni or potato salad or it's a no- green veggies are suspect, unless they are specifically mentioned on the "acceptable" list. bananas & grapes can be okay, but He's picky in their quality.
The acceptable veggies are onions, peppers, potatoes, corn, tomatoes (in pizza sauce or salsa), broccoli (only in Asian dishes though), and assorted "Asian" veggies, like water chestnuts.
No spaghetti or pasta with "too big holes"- think penne pasta.
So He had some interest in the Paleo diet- ack!! I'm so glad He didn't want to seriously pursue it because it would make preparing Him lunches for work difficult. However, having shared that paragraph with you, let me now tell you what He just said... "Carrots and peas are okay too, just peas can't be too mushy, like in pea soup." Can you imagine my frustration hearing this after being His collared slave almost 13 years and not realizing I had too more veggies I could safely feed Him? Thankfully He also likes beans and I was surprised to find He likes shelled edamame. I've asked and I've not asked His preferences over the years- both approaches have been successful at different times :D - but it's something that keeps happening.