When you learn how to be submissive during sex, you will experience a whole new world of kinky, incredible sex. First, keep in mind that being submissive and power exchange is a two-way street, which means…
You’ll have to talk to your man about it if you’re interested. It’s best to talk to him about it well before the fact and not during the heat of the moment. Switching from regular sex to that which includes BDSM can be tricky or awkward in the moment. Discussing it beforehand also helps you to determine what you’re both comfortable doing and not doing.
If you’re unsure how your partner will react, approach the subject by explaining exactly what it is you wish to do – being tied up, spanking, flogging, blindfolds, orgasm control, service or some other form of BDSM.
Many of these activities also show up when you have rough sex. More on rough sex.
You might simply want to be taken over his lap, but saying you want to try “BDSM” might bring to mind more extreme forms of bondage and discipline or even ideas of abuse that aren’t actually safe, sane and consensual.
Unless he might be receptive during the moment, it’s better to have this discussion in a neutral time and place. This also gives you time to research BDSM activities that could be risky.
What If He’s Not Dominant?
Hopefully, you’ll be matched with a partner who is interested in playing the counterpart role to yours, but this isn’t always the case. While you can’t force the desire to dominate in another person, you can highlight how powerful he will feel by taking on that mantle so that he can make demands of and perform erotic activities with you.
You may also find that your partner is interested in trying on the dominant role but is worried about hurting you. This is a major stumbling block for some couples.
Having a safe word, which you’ll read about later, can help put you both at ease. If you know that pain or submission turns you on, you can also explain how that feels for you. For example, you can tell him that although something might hurt, you don’t experience it in a negative way. It’s something that makes you more aroused.
Either way, your boyfriend or husband might need encouraging if you’re really interested in submitting. In fact, if he does have interest in dominating you, he might not understand what you see in playing the counterpart. If this is the case, then you simply need to explain it to him.
If service is a large component, you can discuss how pleasing him ultimately pleases you as well.
How to Be A Good Submissive
Before you get to the specific activities that submission involves, you need to understand what it takes to be a good submissive. This foundation will guide your words, behaviors, and even thoughts as a submissive. And these guidelines don’t just help you serve your partner; they help you determine whether a partner is a good match for you, grow as a person, and get the most out of your relationship.
The basis of submission includes only entering into play or relationship to which you fully consent, being honest with yourself and your partner, having an open mind, and caring for your mental and physical health.
Being a good submissive requires an immense amount of trust. Otherwise, how or why would you hand over control to your partner? During play, it’s your responsibility not just to listen to commands given to you but also to utilize your safe word (more on that in a bit) if play approaches your limits. You should also provide feedback about scenes.
Submissives may have specific expectations in scenes and their relationships, and these things, including punishments, are agreed upon by both dominant and submissive. Because each relationship or interaction can look so different, there is no one-size-fits-all description of what makes a good submissive. This is also why you might make a great submissive for one partner but a poor one for another. Rather, you must determine what kind of submissive you are/want to be and how you will interact with your partner and rely on this foundation to guide your good submissive behavior.
Discover your sexual personality with our Sexual Blueprint and BDSM Test.
Finally, remember that there is no such thing as a perfect submissive. Your submission, like everything else in your life, is imperfect, and striving to be the best version of yourself is a lifelong project. You can only work toward being a better submissive tomorrow than you are today, and frustrations in your life or relationship can make it hard for you to be a good sub from time to time. It’s also important to keep in mind that what it means to be a good submissive can change over time as your relationship changes. For some people, their submission only grows, but this isn’t the case for everyone.
To find out more about how to be a good sub, check out our guide to submissive rules.
A Primer on How to Be Submissive
Although this article will suggest plenty of behaviors that show you how to be submissive and exemplify power exchange between you and your partner, there’s no one way to be submissive.
Instead, you should look for ways to show submission to your partner that you are personally comfortable with.
Generally, a submissive person will be the one who is bound, gagged or blindfolded…or a combination of all 3. Often; a submissive will wear a collar in addition to those binds. Your submissive persona may be the receiver of penetrative sex and impact play such as a spanking, paddling, or flogging. If you’re engaging in BDSM with sex, you might find that giving oral sex to your partner helps you feel submissive.
The feeling of power that a person often feels when receiving oral sex certainly lends itself to the power exchange you’re looking for. You’ll learn more about giving your man a great blow job from the tips in the Blow Job Guide.
To really dive into the submissive role, you can ask your partner whether you can perform certain actions, such as bringing yourself to orgasm or changing position (100+ sex positions here). You might also find that you both enjoy it if you call your partner “Sir” – or another nickname that indicates your positions of dominance and submission.
Some power exchange relationships extend outside the bedroom. For example, serving your partner at home or even in public can be a sign of subservience. You might have a specific routine that requires you to kneel or to drop your eyes when in front of him. Many of these things can be adapted to playtime in the bedroom and vice versa.
Not So Submissive?
What if your partner wants you to be submissive but you’re not naturally inclined to be that way, the best you might be able to do is to play a bottom for the scene.
What is a bottom?
Bottoms receive the same bondage and discipline as a submissive, but the idea is that it’s a temporary role, and you don’t have to necessarily feel submissive.
Roleplaying Ideas for Dominance, and Submission
For some people, it’s easier to get into a submissive headspace by playing a specific role that’s associated with submission while your partner plays an authority role. Here are a few:
- Teacher and student
- Boss and employee/secretary (maid is common)
- Coach and athlete
- Doctor and patient (or nurse)
- Cop and prisoner/criminal (interrogation or prison scene)
- Personal trainer and client
- Kidnapper and victim
- Military personnel (he gives orders, and you must abide)
- Owner and pet
- Photographer and model
- Pirate and maiden
Of course, there are many other scenarios that you could play with your partner, and you could simply be the more dominant and submissive versions of yourselves, respectively. However, roles add in an idea of how a scene should play out and the type of words and behaviors that each person will display. For more tips on roleplaying, check out this guide on roleplaying.
These roles are often played with bondage. You might think bondage is extreme, but it can be as simple as holding your wrists during sex or using a single pair of cuffs.
How to Be Submissive Without Giving up All Control
Remember that just because you are the submissive or bottom doesn’t mean you lack control. You should discuss with your partner what will happen before the fact if you’re planning a serious BDSM scene rather than just sprinkling in a few elements into your regular sexual routine.
A “scene” is your playtime. It may be scheduled and activities planned beforehand, or it may be more loosely planned and spontaneous, taking shaping as you go. Sometimes people refer to “the scene,” meaning the BDSM community.
A safe word can also help to ease your reluctance if you’re not sure about this whole BDSM thing. A safe word is a word or phrase you can say when things are too intense for you to handle. Your safe word should be easy to remember and say even when you’re under duress. Wikipedia has some great info on safe words here.
A popular system is the “Light” system in which you instruct your partner, saying:
- Red when you want him to stop
- Yellow when you want him to slow down
- Green when you want him to continue
It can be exhilarating to give up control in the bedroom, but it can also be frightening if you don’t feel safe or understand how to be submissive in a healthy way.
Even if you enjoy being a submissive, you may still run into intense feelings or find that your scenes trigger past traumas. Both of those things are normal, and if your relationship is healthy, you should be able to work through them to truly enjoy how erotic and freeing BDSM can be.
Unsafe Play Partners and Red Flags
Beware of any partner who thinks the only way to be submissive is to give complete control. A lack of safe words, discussion of what’s going to happen and your feelings or wanting to jump into a BDSM-like scenario too early in your relationship can be a red flag that this person is a potential abuser.
A potential abuser or unsafe partner may not let you state your limits or needs, perhaps arguing that you’re not submitting enough when you do so. But that’s not true. Ignoring your safe word is another huge red flag.
Other red flags include
- Isolating you from your friends and family
- Barring contact with others in the scene
- Trying to “break” you
- Humiliating or belittling you outside of a scene
- Mood swings
- Not communicating
- Making you about your submission
- Refusing to admit fault or to apologize after making a mistake
- Ignoring requests to use condoms or engage in safer sex
- Pushing your limits
- Forcing you to do things that could harm you such as not allowing you to use the bathroom
- Lying or cheating
- Drug or alcohol abuse especially during a scene
- Prior bad relationships
- Being critical
- Trying to force you to submit
BDSM is a far cry from actual abuse because you should both be benefiting from BDSM, and no one should truly force you to do anything you don’t feel safe or comfortable doing. Reaching out to members of your community should be encouraged as should remaining connected with your own support network.
Turning the Tables
We commonly see images of dominant males and submissive females, but that’s not the only way how to be submissive. Your man could submit to you, the powerful woman, or you can take turns with dominance and submission. A person who enjoys both roles is known as a switch [1, 2], and a switch gets to experience both sides of the coin.
Taking on the dominant role has the obvious benefit of you getting to use your man for your pleasure and benefit. It’s also a great way to show him what you like in bed and to train him to do those things on command! Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you have to be submissive, and you can learn a lot about yourself by exploring your dominant side too, as I explain in this guide.
When done right, exploring BDSM follows the mantra of “safe, sane and consensual.” Whether you want to be dominant or submissive, there’s no reason to be ashamed or even afraid. With honest and open communication, you can safely explore those sides of you to find things that turn you on or even bring you closer to your man.
One of the benefits of BDSM is that it encourages honest — and frequent — communication about sex. But society often doesn’t encourage us to talk about sex, even with our partners. If you’re unsure where to start or what to say, our guide to sexual communication may help.
Getting Into BDSM
Now that you know some of the basics of BDSM and submission, you might be eager to start. There are plenty of articles on Bad Girls Bible to help you explore BDSM starting with BDSM for Beginners and What Is BDSM?
BDSM Information for Newbies
- Light Bondage: Powerplay & Enhancing Your Sex Life
- 8 Vital BDSM Rules To Keep It Safe, Sane & Crazy-Kinky
- The Complete BDSM Aftercare Guide: Learn How To Do It Right.
- BDSM Subspace: The Good, The Dangers & Aftercare
When You’ve Got A Little Experience
Once you’ve got the basics down and you’re sure you want to explore more BDSM, check out the
- 16 BDSM Punishments for Effective Behavior Training
- 13 Deeply Intense Bondage Positions For Your Next BDSM Scene
- Pet Play 101: Doggies, Kittens, and Ponies, Oh My!
- How You Can Have a Functional (and Sexy) D/s Relationship
- The Ultimate Guide To Domestic Discipline & Improving Your Relationship
For the Most Serious BDSM Lovers
If you love BDSM and your power exchange relationship, you may want to engage in it 24/7. This is known as total power exchange. Some people find it very fulfilling, but it’s not for everyone!
No matter how experienced you are, we recommend progressing slower than you think necessary and starting any impact play lighter than light. You should check in regularly with one another to make sure it’s going okay .
What The Science Says
A few studies of BDSM have been enlightening. For example, one study found that people wearing ball gags experienced less empathy to others’ suffering .
Another study found that submissives experienced an increase in testosterone and cortisol during a scene. . Others studies found similar increases in cortisol . But cortisol can also decrease due to BDSM activities .