In this guide, you are going tol learn about the 18 different types of submissives. We’ve also included multiple examples of the typical behaviors for each of these submissive types.
What Type of Sub Are You?
Learning about the different types of submissives can help you find your ideal flavor of submission. It can also help you find your ideal partner as some types of dominants are better matches for certain types of subs.
Keep in mind that there is plenty of room for experimentation. After all, people are complicated. If you don’t find that any single type of submissive fully describes you, you might have a few qualities from multiple–or all of these–categories. You don’t need to fit neatly into a single submissive archetype. The same goes for doms.
Safety first – Remember to incorporate BDSM rules such as safe words and aftercare to ensure your interactions don’t cause harm, no matter what type of sub you or your partner might be.
What Types of Subs Are There?
While the list of submissive types below isn’t exhausting, it covers the most common types of subs you’ll read about or meet if you’re involved in the BDSM lifestyle.
Additionally, there are almost always dominant counterparts to every type of submissive. With this in mind, you may want to check out this in-depth guide on the 19 different types of doms.
1. Submissive Brat
A brat submissive might not seem obedient or all that submissive from the outsider’s point of view. However, a closer look shows how this type of submissive likes to push buttons–but it’s all done in play. Doing so gets the brat attention from their partner, who is often known as a brat tamer. For a brat, this attention is the ultimate reward.
3 Examples & Ideas For Being A Submissive Brat
- Talking back – when given out to
- Disobeying orders – when instructed to do something
- Resisting – as your dom restrains you
Go in-depth: Brat BDSM Guide
2. Service Sub
One of the most common types of submissives, service subs are all about performing tasks for their dominant partners. Serving can take on practical elements such as chores, errands, and paying bills.
However, service subs are also expected to service their partners sexually, and may need to perform tasks in a specific way. Acting as human furniture, kneeling, or dressing their dominant are all examples that are more unique to service submission or BDSM.
Check out these submissive tasks for ideas that can be used by a service sub and their partner (of course, they work for other submissive types, too!).
7 Examples of Being a Service Sub
- Cooking – and serving meals, letting their partner eat first or choose the menu
- Serving and refilling drinks – to their partner or guests; can include sampling the drink to ensure it’s correct
- Sexually servicing – their partner or guests
- Cleaning – home, business, vehicles, clothing, and even bathing the dom
- Childminding – can be part of the dynamic
- Planning – for parties, vacations, or other events
- Taking pride – in the tasks they do for their dom
3. Submissive Princess
A submissive princess generally wants to be adored and worshipped. Only then will she surrender control to her dominant. It’s not because she doesn’t respect her partner; she simply thinks highly of herself.
This is not to be confused with a pillow princess, a phrase used mostly within the LGBTQ+ to refer to a woman who prefers to receive rather than give pleasure.
3 Examples of Playing a Submissive Princess
- Wanting to be cared for and coddled – as befits their opinion of themselves
- Resisting slightly – with pouting and whining
- Expecting – to be treated like royalty, including pampering from their dominant
Bottoms receive stimulation, but it may only last for a session. Often, bottoms enjoy sensation but aren’t submissive, so they’re not interested in D/s relationships or taking orders.
Related: How to Have a Sexy and Functional D/s Relationship
4 Examples of Bottom Behavior
- Receiving sensation and stimulation – sensual/soft or more painful
- Asking for stimulation – power play isn’t necessarily involved
- Regaining control – after a scene ends
- Negotiating limits – before a scene (BDSM contracts can help)
A masochist is someone who really gets off on pain–perhaps literally. The most extreme form of masochism is a pain slut who enjoys intense pain. Masochists may not hand over psychological control to their partners.
4 Things a Masochist Sub Might Do
- Misbehaving or fighting back – to encourage physical punishment
- Enjoying play punishments – spanking, impact play, etc.
- Trying painful kinks – needle play, knifeplay, fireplay, etc.
- Asking for more – intensity or stimulation
A smart-assed-masochist or SAM is sort of a combination between a pain slut and brat. They show a playful side, often only to their partner and no one else. However, SAMs go further than brats because they’re masochists who crave pain, either physical or emotional.
3 Common Traits of a Smart Assed Masochist
- Talking back – making sarcastic jokes, mocking their dom, questioning them, and general mouthing off
- Making faces – smirking, etc.
- Turning away – when their partner is talking or demanding attention
7. Break Me Sub
While brats may only talk back and smart ass masochists egg on their partners to incur their wrath, a “Break Me” submissive is all about the physical struggle. They’re sometimes known as combative bottoms. The dominant who is strong, smart, and fast enough to “break” this person will bring out their partner’s submission.
3 Signs of a Break Me Sub
- Resisting – physically until restrained
- Fighting Back – pushing and potentially kicking, hitting, etc.
- Running – from their partner
8. Model Submissive
A submissive model loves looking pretty and showing it off. They may shy away from activities that leave marks because it mars their beauty, and gravitate towards activities that enhance the beauty or let them see themselves.
These people may not really be submissive at all. Some like to look the part as long as the camera is on them but often don’t obey, receive pain, or participate in bondage in other ways. Of course, a person could be a model and an active submissive.
9 Aspects of Model Submission
- Dressing up – in kinky gear
- Posing – for the camera
- Buying or borrowing gear – for photoshoots
- Being bound – for photo purposes
- Attending events – to work with brands, other models, or photographers
- Promoting – brands, products, or services
- Posting on social media – to promote themselves and share their work; could include selling videos or images
- Watching – in the mirror or on a screen
- Recording – their activities, even if they don’t watch it later
A slave never stops being a submisisve and turns over all control to their partner. Slaves are typically involved in 24/7 or total power exchange (TPE) relationships.
4 Behaviors of a BDSM Slave
- Asking permission – to masturbate, cum, eat, speak, or use the bathroom are all common
- Obeying orders – both explicit and implicit
- Surrendering control – completely
- Being sexually available – at all times
Pets can include ponygirls and boys, pups, kitties, and more. They act like and bond with their owners similar to animals. Each pet sub type has its own norms and expectations, so keep that in mind as you read more about this type of submission.
8 Behaviors for Pet Submissive Roles
- Wearing costumes/accessories – collars, harnesses, ears, tails, muzzles, riding gear, leather or fur gear, etc.
- Posing/moving – on all fours, on a leash, while connected to a hitching post, etc.
- Drinking/eating – out of a dish, water bowl, etc.
- Obeying – takes simple commands that are commonly given to animals, including responding to riding crops, etc.
- Sleeping – in a kennel, at the edge of the bed, on the floor, etc.
- Making animal noises – neighing, meowing, barking, or pawing
- Cleaning themselves – licking themselves, even if it’s only pretend
- Playing – with balls or other toys, pets would enjoy
11. Domestic Discipline Bottoms
Domestic discipline or DD is a lifestyle that overlaps with BDSM in several ways, but not many people consider it to be BDSM. Instead, domestic discipline is a way to keep households running smoothly, with the man/husband/father retaining control over his wife/partner and children. Spanking is common in domestic discipline, even if other BDSM activities aren’t.
DD is a traditional and somewhat conservative lifestyle and may complement the family’s religious beliefs, in which the husband is the caretaker of the family’s spiritual wellbeing.
Related: What is a submissive wife?
4 Duties of Domestic Discipline Bottoms
- Caretaking – of house and children
- Receiving punishment – especially spanking
- Obeying – her husband
- Praying – and being devout
12. Bedroom Submissive
Bedroom submissives aren’t interested in a BDSM lifestyle or relationship. Instead, they want to enjoy giving up power inside the bedroom before returning to “normal” outside the bedroom. Submitting is fine as long as there is a time limit. Any expectations of submission outside the bedroom are unwelcome.
This is also known as a sex sub.
4 Things a Bedroom Submissive Does
- Being bound – for sexual purposes.Find out more in our Bondage Guide.
- Receiving stimulation and impact – including sensual domination, impact play, etc.
- Taking orders – for the duration of the scene only
- Providing sexual pleasure – through oral, vaginal, manual, or anal sex – learn how to prepare for anal sex
Related: Intense hand job tips
Short for financial submissive, a finsub hands over control to their finances to their findom or findomme. Sometimes the word “paypig” is used, which usually refers to a male finsub with a findomme.
Financial domination can easily be done online or in long-distance relationships.
5 Traits of a Finsub
- Paying a dominant – in cash, goods, services, debt repayment, housing, etc.
- Obeying – orders of the findom
- Being humiliated – by their findom, can include other humiliation play and verbal abuse
- Providing access – to financial accounts, etc.
- Asking – for the use of their own money similar to a stipend or allowance
14. Rope Bunny
Submissives who love to be tied up in rope are sometimes called rope bunnies. They live for the feeling of the rope against their skin. Usually, rope bunnies are female, and their rope tops (frequently called a “rigger”) are male, but this isn’t always the case.
3 Ideas for Rope Bunnies
- Being bound – can require great patience for longer ties
- Posing – for photos
- Using safe words – at any sign that something is wrong
15. My-Dom-Can-Do-No-Wrong Submissive
This type of sub is less about how a submissive acts with or toward their dom than they do around other people. This type of sub assumes their dom has all the experience and knowledge in the world.
This view can come from the sub’s own lack of inexperience or naivety. Sometimes the dom is inexperienced, too. Think of this as a type of new relationship energy–it’s exciting but can be misguided. People with this type of submissive personality are sometimes annoying.
4 Traits of This Type of Submissive
- Talking about their doms – incessantly and retelling stories about the doms
- Devoting themselves – entirely to their partners
- Withholding opinions – or taking on their dom’s opinion
- Disregarding other’s arguments – without an inordinate body of “proof”
If you’re a bit worried that this submissive type can fall prey to abusive people, you’re right. This works as long as the dominant treats the sub well, but a submissive can easily ignore red flags and find themselves victimized and in dangerous situations. Sadly, Anastasia Steele of the Fifty Shades novels is almost a textbook example of this sub type.
Mentoring, which some more experienced kinksters offer, can protect newbie submissives.
You won’t need to guess if someone is this type of sub because they’ll come right out and tell you. They’re a 24/7 submissive–or slave– and think everyone else should be, too. Otherwise, people aren’t true submissives.
3 Examples of The Slaver-Than-Thou Submissive Type
- Disliking being called a submissive – and not a slave
- Proclaiming 24/7 submission best – loudly and often; often viewing themselves as more submissive and sacrificing more than others
- Avoiding safe words – because they believe “true submissives” should have one; may not set one at all
17. True Submissive
Subs who play out all the common submissive tropes sometimes earn this nickname. These submissives are usually inexperienced and eager to prove themselves, which can lead to some issues.
5 Examples of “True” Submission
- Serving dominants – or anyone, not just their own
- Ignoring red flags – in their desire to be submissive
- Putting others’ needs above their own – even when they should prioritize themselves
- Acting timid or docile – makes them easy to control or abuse
- Avoiding interaction – or isolated as an attempt to submit without stepping on any toes
18. Submissive in Training
A submissive in training can mean multiple things, which don’t have a lot to do with any particular type of submissive personality. First, it can be early in the relationship where the dominant teaches their expectations. A submissive in training may also be learning how to submit from someone they’re not in a relationship with, preparing them for future relationships. Either way, there’s definitely overlap.
9 Behaviors of the Submissive-in-Training
- Learning – about general BDSM communities, etiquette, and expectations from others and media
- Experimenting – with different types of submission to learn what kind of sub you are
- Receiving punishment – for errors (ideas for BDSM punishments)
- Improving after mistakes – which are bound to happen
- Observing other subs/relationships – if possible
- Looking inward – to find their own needs, goals, and inner strength
- Seeking protection – from their dom or trainer
- Creating a training plan – including a timeline, individual steps, and space for practice
- Keeping a journal – to track feelings and experiences, perhaps allowing their dom to read it
Now that you know what types of submissives exist, you probably have a better idea of the type of submission that works for you–and what to avoid. If you’re dominant, you might recognize the type of submissive you’re most attracted to in this list. You can look for a suitable partner or incorporate aspects of submission into your lifestyle and relationship to live more authentically and explore your sexuality.