Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Submissive What?

Like many of us here in the 1-800-DOM-help group, I find the interplay between a Dominant and submissive utterly fascinating. I think our society at large has a bit of a skewed perspective on what it means to be a submissive in a sexual relationship.

Submissive is seen as weak.

Just for fun I went over to the fountain of all knowledge...Wikipedia...and did a search for what they felt Submissive meant.

Submissiveness is the incidence or trait of voluntarily yielding to the will of another in an interpersonal relationship, or as a result of intimidation to some display of assertiveness or aggression by a partner. It can be found in everyday human and animal interactions.

Interesting. Let's keep reading, shall we.

In interpersonal relationships, some people prefer or are willing to adopt a submissive role in sexual activities or personal matters. The level and type of submission can vary from person to person, and from one context to another; and also is dependent on the other partner being willing to assume control in those situations. Some people can include occasional acts of submission in an otherwise conventional sex life, or adopt a submissive lifestyle.

What I like about this definition is the awareness of the range of submission that can be had in a sexual relationship. It's not all whips and chains people (though those can be a LOT of fun) and we should broaden our views of what submissiveness means in a sexual context. You can play Dom/sub games with a partner. It can spill into your day to day life...or never leave the bedroom.

The power in the Dom/sub relationship is with the sub. They are the ones who set limits (though some Doms have lines they won't cross as well) and they can halt the games as they go on.

It takes a lot of strength to give control to another person.

So what do you think?


  1. You know my firmly pro-sub stance, and there's one D/s cliche that I think is absolutely true - a lot of submissives are people who are very "strong" or have a lot of responsibility in other areas of their life. They're ceding control because it's a needed respite from decision-making. And of course because the whips and chains are fun!

  2. Great post Christine! I agree, there's so many levels of submission, and it also can mean different things to different people.

  3. Dominance and submission is infinitely fascinating which is why we like to explore it. Subs are definitely the ones in control because if they don't submit, there's no submission. Also, if the dominant controls without the subs permission (explicit or tacit), you have abuse and not a D/s relationship. Both sides of the relationship are interdependent, although I'd bet most Doms don't like that part. LOL...wink.

  4. Clarification - I bet the Doms don't like being dependent on anyone. Sorry - thought about it and it sounded weird without the clarification.

  5. Great post Christine. Always been fascinated by the dynamics of the D/s relationship. I like how you explained the various ranges of submission. I think besides strength in giving up control, there needs to be a lot of trust.

  6. I'm not sure Dominants do not like the dependence. It's the greatest gift from my perspective for a sub to be willing to trust and submit. And I think about the contrast between strength and vulnerability for a Dom in this situation. Service oriented submissives are geared to want to care of their Dominants and that always entails some vulnerability to let that happen and someone to sacrifice for you and focus on you. Just like there is great strength in submission, there is great vulnerability in this control because it is so achingly clear there are real limits to it.

    The flavors or submission and Dominance are fascinating to me. Thanks so much for this post Christine.