The Psychology Around Dominance and Submission

D/s relationships, Psychology -

The Psychology Around Dominance and Submission

"Why on earth do you want to be a submissive? You are just a doormat and he is taking advantage of you!" (We often hear going on in the heads of those in the 'vanilla' lifestyle or unfamiliar with D/s relationships.)

Perhaps people more understand Dominants, especially looking back in history like the man is in control and the breadwinner of the home. These days even being a 'non-sexual submissive' housewife is not even always looked on admirably. At the outset, we say do what YOU want to do and what makes YOU happy. If onlookers don't understand, it doesn't really matter!

But apart from amazing kinky sex, what does the submissive get out of it?

Sometimes people only see what they want to see from the outside and are very quick to make a surface judgment. They might see a strong powerful man (or woman) standing over a kneeling naked submissive (male or female). He is in control and she is meek. Whatever it may look like from the outside, that is most definitely not the true extent or rawness of the relationship. That judgment fails to consider the thoughts, emotions, feelings, conversations, negotiations and inner voices, let alone the consensual aspect of it.

There are many misconceptions about BDSM and D/s relationships, often to do with people being naive or just unaware or because of how it is depicted in the media. The needs are different - the Dominant needs to be in control and the submissive needs to be controlled. Even though those needs are on opposite ends of a spectrum, there is always safety and consent, and the power and trust are equal no matter whether you are a Dominant or submissive. 

Some of the misconceptions are that Dominants take what they want and don't listen to their submissives; that submissives should be quiet, never ask for what they want and should just do what they are told; and that D/s is so serious that there is never any laughter, teasing and silliness. Is any of that true? Absolutely 100% not!

People in a Dominant and submissive relationship are humans with needs and desires, and each person must find it fulfilling for it to be a successful and lengthy relationship. Dominants do not 'take' anything without full consent and prior negotiation with their partner. Submissives, after consenting, do as their told but of their own free will. Both should have the freedom to express their wants, needs and desires whenever they want - a huge part of BDSM is communication! You should laugh and have silly moments because laughter, no matter what type of relationship you are in, is absolutely essential! If something is funny or just tickles your fancy (or fanny) or appeals to your sense of humour, let it out! If it was designed to be a serious scene, you could always have a funishment later which is even more fun!

I am a woman, a female submissive, in a relationship with my male Dominant, my Master. From the outside, I am a stereotype 'typical' submissive, very willing and eager to do as I am told to please my Master. I love to kneel at my Master's feet (especially naked!), I love being commanded and told what to do and I love a very very high percentage of BDSM play activities from light and fun to rough and intense (without going into lots of detail!).

But look closer and you will see that it is with my choice and my consent to do so. I am a consenting and willing partner in our dynamic. I have the choice at any time in or out of play to stop a scene with a safeword. If he tells me to kneel immediately, it is my consensual choice to stop and kneel immediately. In doing so, I am not being a doormat, I have a voice to use any time I want, but I am choosing to give all of myself always to my Master. The freedom in being a submissive is knowing you can trust your Dominant with all your soul so you can let go completely and follow the rules, guidance, commands and directions you are given. 

For the Dominant, they also need to have full trust in their submissive that they will follow those rules and protocols. Sometimes they are for the Dominant's benefit, others are for the submissive's benefit and others are mutually beneficial. What makes a D/s relationship so satisfying and wonderful is that there is complete trust in one another, control over their own actions and an understanding of the dynamic. 

A command by a Dominant should have a purpose, from light kinky fun to something deeper. And a submissive's willingness to comply can come from multiple places.

“Spread your legs. Don’t move.”

That moment could be a spanking or a bit of kinky fun. The submissive wants the release of endorphins and the pain. The Dominant wants to exert ultimate control and make physical, mental, and emotional contact with their partner. At the same time, maintaining a position keeps them both safe from accidental harm. One wrong angle, and real damage can be done when partners play rough. It’s a power play and words to ensure safety. Hearing those words can make a submissive feel very owned and controlled as well as excited with anticipation for what is to come.

That moment could also be a test of wills. The Dominant has placed their submissive into that position and expects them to remain in position until they release them. That is a turn on for the Dominant to know their submissive is choosing to obey them. The submissive might have one or many reasons for staying in position! They are turned on by pleasing their Dominant; they are stubborn and refuse to move before being allowed to; or maybe they know they might be rewarded if they comply! Not one single reason or motivation for staying in place under their Dom's direction is based on weakness.

Submissives are not unthinking robots or weak-willed men or women who require guidance to get through their day and life (although of course the Dominant may provide advice and that is completely okay and a wonderful part of the relationship!). Submission requires thought, consent, integrity, trust and honesty.

Dom and sub relationships are both simple and complex. At its simplest, it is a power exchange between two consenting adults. The Dominant makes the rules, sets the course and takes on the responsibility of the care of another human being. Submissives choose to follow the rules, serve their Dominant and should provide constant sharing of thoughts, feelings and feedback about their experiences. Each has power and each has their part to play and when you find the partner that fits you, it really is a match made in heaven. D/s relationships have two partners willingly engaging - both equal but both very different!


1 comment

  • Becky


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