The Secret Power of Being a Sub

When it comes to BDSM sex, it seems like a lot of discussion can be very one-sided. People frequently talk about that kind of play from the perspective of the Dominant partner - recommendations of equipment and toys, tips for things to do for your sub, how to establish control etcetera, etcetera - but the perspective of the submissive partner is not one that gets enough attention.

Before we go any further; some clarifications for the uninitiated: BDSM is B/D (Bondage and Discipline), D/s (Dominance and submission), and S/M (Sadism and Masochism). You know the kind of sex where someone wears a dog collar and gets whipped? It’s that, and many, many other things. In BDSM play there is usually a Dominant partner (the one in control) and a submissive partner (the one being controlled). I don’t condone 50 Shades of Grey as an example of literature, cinema or BDSM sex (because, much like its male lead it’s ‘50 shades of fucked up’) but for our purposes today: Christian Grey is the Dom and Anastasia Steele is the sub. Got it? Great! Let’s never speak of it again.

I suppose being submissive has a bit of an image problem in a way. There’s a bit of misconception that being submissive means being completely without choice in a D/s situation. Like, you just lay there while the Dom does all they want with you, and you don’t even have to waste energy thinking about what you want because they do that for you. But as every single sub could tell you, that’s complete and total bullllllshit. Being the submissive partner doesn't mean giving up control - let’s chat about it!

And to those who came here for sandwich advice, I’m sorry but this post isn’t for you. (*sad trumpet noise*)

So, I’m going to throw something out there, as a gauntlet but also a reassurance for those who need it; in a healthy, consensual BDSM interaction the submissive is actually the one in control.

Okay, so I understand that this may contradict what I said earlier: isn’t BDSM about the Dom having control over the sub?! Sort of. I would argue that the BDSM is about the Dom having the illusion of control over the sub. Although the sub is the one being dominated, restrained, in receipt of pain and often humiliated - they chose to have those things happen to them. And it’s that choice that makes all the difference.

This is where the key word ‘healthy’ comes into play. In a healthy D/s relationship before they ever step foot in a bedroom the D/s in question will spend a long time talking over what’s going to happen. They’ll discuss the sub’s limits, likes and dislikes, hard nos and most importantly a safeword that the sub can use to stop the proceedings at any time.

A good Dom will be aware of this. They’ll pay attention to their sub, they’ll respect their limits and they won’t force them to do things they don’t want to do. (For the record, doing that isn’t part of BDSM , it’s abuse.) It’s called BDSM ‘play’ for a reason. While the Dom may be the one wielding the whips and chains, the sub is the one who ultimately calls the shots : they ultimately choose what happens, when it stops and when it starts. This is where the power of being a sub lies.

So, if you were thinking of dabbling in some D/s play but you’re too scared to give up total control hopefully this was helpful to you. Just remember this: find a good Dom, set your limits and gird your loins! Happy playing! 

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