BDSM 101: Domination & Submission #BDSM101


Domination and Submission

bdsmHere we come to a discussion of domination and submission. For me, this is the centerpiece of BDSM, but that’s only because domination and submission – d/s – is the most important to me. It means almost nothing to others. So you can decide what it means to you.

What is Domination?

At it’s most simplistic, domination is about being in control of one’s self and one’s environment. We call the individual in control mentally a Dominant and a person who controls ‘in scene’ a Top.

Keep in mind, this discussion is about everything within the context of BDSM. Outside of it, the definitions could change drastically.

Dominants (Doms)

A male dominant is called a dom and a female dominant is called a domme. However, that’s in third person and I wouldn’t sweat semantics. For all intents and purposes, the dom is the individual who is in control of a d/s relationship. Erotic literature would lead us to believe that a dom is all commanding, in charge of his/her daily life, CEO of multinational corporations, and always in charge in the bedroom.

Wrong.

Doms come in all shapes and sizes, all genders, all sexualities, and all job levels. In fact, I’ve only ever met one dom who was wealthy and ran his own business. The rest worked regular jobs.

BDSM is about living out one’s fantasies. So a truck driver or a cop or a barista might work in a job where they don’t have a lot of power and have to work at the whims of their bosses. Can you see how dominating in a sexual context might fulfill a side of them they can’t be in the rest of their life?

Sorry to buzzkill that particular fantasy about your future dom being a billionaire. Don’t get me wrong. There are rich, powerful men out there who might be dominant. But they are one in a million. More than likely they are either vanilla or submit when they can.

What is Submission?

Submission is about giving up control in one way or another. That may be for a 15 minute scene quickie on a Wednesday afternoon or for a full weekend or for a 24/7 d/s relationship.

Submissives (Subs)

A sub is a sub, whether they are male, female, or another gender. There are many terms for sub(boy, girl, pet, pup, slut…), just as there are many terms for dom(sir, ma’am, mistress, master, my lord, my lady…), but there are two qualities that I find engender all submissives.

A: They like (or need to) give up control.

B: They want some sort of boundaries.

Those boundaries usually encompass whatever control they are giving up.

However, besides those two qualities, every sub is different. There are those who need to serve sexually, those who need to serve in other ways, slaves, littles, puppies, ponies, taken in hands… basically a different type for every sub out there. Every sub has different desires and needs. Just like every dom has different desires and needs.

So if you are a CEO of a multinational corporation and millions of jobs rest on your shoulders every day, I can see how an individual like that might enjoy releasing that control and being a sub for a few hours.

D/s in scene

I have discussed d/s in reference to their personalities, but I must state clearly here that there are two different trains of thought on d/s.

The one is focused most on play and they look at someone being a dom in a scene or a sub in a scene, with the happiness of knowing that the moment the scene is over, they can drop that and go back to whatever they were doing before. There is nothing wrong with that – in fact I think you’d find that is the majority of people.

But there are those for whom domination or submission is who they are at their core. It’s part of their makeup. They were, in essence, born that way. I cannot divorce my submissive self from who I am because it is part of who I am. And that’s okay too. You just have to learn to build up a barrier against those who might try to use your personality for their own purposes.

What’s my d/s quotient?

If you’re just starting out, prepare for an interesting ride. It happens quite often for a person to come into the lifestyle expecting to be one side and finding out they are the other. So a guy comes in, figuring he’s the dom and oh, he finds a need within him he never knew he had to submit. Or a girl comes in figuring she’s a sub and finds home in taking control.

Guess what? That’s okay. Dipping your toe into the pool is not an all or nothing proposition. In fact, if you came in and never grew, I would wonder if it was right for you. I’ve gone from a submissive to finding my slave nature to accepting other things about myself that are personal and won’t be shared here.

Come in and try something. And try something else. Meet others. Discuss. Find all sorts of opinions. Find what resonates with you. And enjoy it.

Warning: When engaging in anything remotely dangerous (And BDSM can be dangerous), always do your research. Study. Talk to people. Learn. Never take one person’s word for anything. If twenty different people who don’t know one another say the same thing, you should listen. But always trust your gut.

If you want to engage in a certain type of play, read about it – and I’m not talking about erotic novels or stories. Read books on BDSM. Talk to people at BDSM clubs – email works if you are too scared to go to a club at first. Learn from someone who knows, damn it. I’ve seen the results of edge play from people who didn’t have all the facts. It’s not pretty. And it can be deadly.

Would you go diving off a cliff without learning to swim? Would you do intense weight-lifting without warming up?

Learn. Study. Practice. Then indulge.

Coming up

Coming next week, I’ll dive into: S&M-Sadomasochism.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. Or Contact me about something you would like to see in a future post.