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Submissive Play In A BDSM Relationship

Submissive Play In A BDSM Relationship

I knew I was a kinkster since I was 8 or 9 years old, around the same time that I discovered masturbation (I was an early bloomer raised in a sexually safe environment), but I never understood what BDSM was until late in high school. My parents always emphasized the importance of safety and consent in our discussions on sex and sexuality. They never called sex shameful, and those lessons have stayed with me throughout my development as a sexual being.

I’ve always had a positive view of BDSM, but I didn’t start exploring it until a few years ago right before I started live streaming. I discovered that I’m a switch: I find pleasure in Dominating and submitting to other people, and I’ve experienced both roles online and in person. I’ve submitted to Dom/mes in single scenes (sessions in which kinksters engage in in BDSM activities), in typical relationships, and as a 24/7 sex toy. Dom/sub relationships are built on trust and respect, and healthy kinksters develop deep bonds beyond friendship and love.

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Characteristics Of A Sub

It’s all about power. Subs voluntarily relinquish their autonomy to their Dominant partner(s), and their Dominant partner is expected to respect their rules and boundaries. Some subs are very obedient while others require training or conquering. Developing a safe, healthy Dom/sub relationship takes a long time, and the safest subs are always ultimately in control.

There’s no such thing as an “average” Dom/sub relationship. Common titles for subs include slave, pet, bitch, toy, sissy, and whore, and Master, Sir, Owner, Mistress, Goddess, Princess, and Queen, are all common titles for Dom/mes. There are three basic types of Dom/sub relationships: bedroom, lifestyle, and professional. A bedroom D/s relationship involves the people setting times and boundaries for when they take on Dom/me and sub roles. This can include couples who occasionally get into kink, people who do scenes (play sessions) frequently, and those who only play at parties and dungeons.

The rest of the time, they behave like typical 21st-century couples. Lifestyle Dom/sub relationships are the most intense. Slaves and pets are the most common type of lifestyle subs. Lifestyle kinksters live their roles 24/7. Subs often assume “normal” roles in the workplace, but when at home or with their partners they engage in compliant roles. Professional is pretty self-explanatory – you pay someone else for their services as a Dom/me, sub, or switch. Professional subs talk to their clients and establish rules and boundaries before a scene. Adaptability is key, and you must have a firm grasp of your limits.

Misconceptions About Dom/sub Relationships

There’s a widespread assumption that all submissives are damaged people that suffered abuse as children and that all Dom/mes are sickos willing to take advantage of them. Yes, some submissives (and Dominants) have experienced abuse, but a Dom/sub relationship is not inherently abusive. As a person who has (miraculously) not experienced sexual abuse, I had no reason to associate my BDSM experiences with trauma until very recently.

I’m concerned with the influence of 50 Shades of Grey on novice kinksters because it depicts a Dom that does not respect his sub’s safe word – the gravest sin in the BDSM world.  While I definitely understand the appeal, I wish 50 Shades had presented readers with a healthier example. Also, most couples don’t use a contract unless they’re 24/7 kinksters.

Knowing The Right Dom

First, you need to have overlapping interests. A Dom who craves an obedient slave will not be happy with a resistant brat, and a masochistic sub will not be satisfied with a Dom who doesn’t like pain play. The healthiest relationships I’ve seen developed are within the larger kink community. I believe it’s crucial for subs to have other kinksters in their social circle so that they can keep an eye on one another. I was in an intense Dom/sub relationship (we rushed into it) that turned abusive, and I wouldn’t have left if I didn’t have other kinky friends to point out my Dom’s psychologically manipulative actions. I’ve been fortunate that the trauma associated with that Dom only lasted for six months. You don’t have to be in love with your Dom in order to have a satisfying, meaningful relationship.

Common BDSM Acts

The most common BDSM acts include restraint (bondage with ropes, handcuffs, tape, cuffs and collars, ball gags, etc), fantasy situations (rape play, roleplay, power-reversals like a secretary dominating her boss, etc), assuming sexual control (forced oral sex, pegging – anal with a strap-on for men), cuckolding (partner pursues sexual relationships outside of partnership), chastity, and verbal and physical humiliation and degradation. Pain play is used by sadists and masochists and includes paddling, spanking, whips, scratching toys, needles, and electricity. Pet roles – pony play, puppy play, etc – and age play are more specific relationship styles.

Safe words must be respected. Some people choose a single word for “stop” while others use red-yellow-green (stop, slow down, keep going).

Types Of Punishments

Each relationship comes with it’s own set of rules. For many subs, pain is the preferred form of punishment. Spanking is the most common method. Other methods include flogging, paddling, caning, bondage, and scratching. However, painful acts are not always performed for disciplinary reasons. A masochistic sub may enjoy a thorough spanking at 60% of their Dom’s strength but find extreme discomfort in spanks at 80% of their Dom’s strength.

For some subs, especially non-masochists, tasks like sitting in an uncomfortable position, extra exercises (“drop and give me twenty!”), and doing something embarrassing are frequently used as punishments. You can be a masochist and not be submissive, and you don’t have to be masochistic to be a sub.

Name of author: 
Emilia Song

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