Dominance and Submission 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Dom sub Relationships
Before I do begin, let’s get one thing clear. I, and we, am not an educator, a kink professional, a doctor, a sex therapist, or any other kind of counselor. These professionals exist, and they’re amazing, so if you’re at all curious and want the polished advice of a pro, go do it. All we can do is share our own story and what we have learned - our own truth. Let’s also say this: This is not a tiny world, and there is no black and white. There are varying degrees of all of this, from the Master/slave dynamics to inferiority to fetishes–more than we could possibly cover in one post. Maybe we’ll get there. But first, we must start somewhere with some broad passes of the brush to start roughing out our foundation. Proceed.
Definitions of Dominant and SubmissiveOxford English Dictionary (yes, I still own the two volume Shorter O.E.D. And I will never let it go.) tells us that Dominant by definition means: most important, powerful, or influential. Submissive, conversely, is defined as ready to conform to authority or will of others; meekly obedient or passive. and here, my fellow kinksters, we find our first measure of duality. The yin and yang. On the one hand we have power and influence, on the other we have obedience and passivity (you brats just hold your tongue for a little while). Pretty straightforward, but what’s important to recognize is that you cannot have one without the other. There is no power without someone to submit. There is no leader without someone to guide. Both are needed, and both are equal. Let me say that again and make it clear. Both the Dominant and the submissive in the relationship are, in fact, equals.
What it means to be a DominantPerhaps it’s easier to say what a Dominant is NOT. A Dominant, or a Dom (male) / Domme (female), is not a self-annointed title we bestow upon ourselves. It is not an excuse to tie someone up, spank them, degrade them, or use them however you please. Just because you call yourself a Dom does not in fact make you one. Being called a Dominant is a gift your submissive or submissives give you based on the care, protection, guidance, and love you show for them. It is earned. A Dominant is a listener, a communicator, a care taker, a protector, a leader, an earner of trust. A Dominant is selfless and will always put the needs of their submissives before their own. It is a great deal of responsibility! You, as a Dominant, are responsible for someone’s happiness and satisfaction, for understanding their needs and making sure they are met. Whether you are a full time Dom or a play time Dom, all of these qualities hold true. Be sure you are up to the task and take it seriously.
What it means to be a submissive
A submissive in many ways is the one who actually holds the true power in the relationship. It takes an incredibly strong person to be a submissive. In fact, I have curated a set of guidelines for baby girl to help structure her mindset and outlook for the day. When she feels lost, or unhappy, or struggling to find her inner peace, she can turn to those guidelines for help. One of those guidelines says: “I shall never think of myself as a weak person for it takes a strong female to commit to the drive inside me, to serve, to obey and to please my Master.” I’ve always felt this was important because it takes a ton of strength and commitment to be a submissive. You have to know yourself and your needs and be able to communicate them, but also know your Dominant’s needs and be able to identify them as they arise. It’s not easy being a submissive, but it can be incredibly rewarding.
Being both a Dominant and a submissive means being uncomfortable, being vulnerable, open, honest, truthful, respectful, have a sense of humor, and a willingness to fail and grow from those failures. Some of you know and have known for a long time that you were one or the other. Some of you may have times where you feel Dominant and at other times submissive (this is called a Switch). Wherever you fall, just be really honest with yourself about who you are and know that whoever you are and however you identify, you is amazing and never let anyone make you feel otherwise.
Coming up next...
How to Get Started in Dominant and submissive Relationships