How to Be a Good Submissive

Being a good submissive is mostly about attitude, training, pliability. Paradoxically, it’s also about being assertive, knowing yourself and knowing your partner well.

Let me say this first: Unless she’s a pro domme, do not ask someone who you have just met to be your domme. In my experience, a lot of emotional energy goes into dominating someone, even if it’s in line with the woman’s personality. It takes time and energy to be thoughtful about your partner, even more so when you have a D/s relationship.

Also, BDSM is not a first date activity. Let me repeat: BDSM, in any form, is not a first date activity. Even if you’re fucking on the first date, you should not have someone tie you up and gag you on the first date. You just haven’t built up enough trust with that other person to know they’re not the kind of person who will tie you up and then rob you or light your shit on fire. (Shit as in belongings. Not your actual shit.)

Asserting what you want and knowing why you want it

To really be a good sub, you have to know what you want. You have to know what kinds of situations you feel good in and which you don’t. You don’t have to get so detailed that you know exactly what kind of costume you’re going to be wearing, but you do need to know about what you want the general dynamic to be between the two of you.

This also requires that you know yourself sexually — what turns you on and what turns you off. And of course, this can change over time. As you learn more about yourself sexually as well as what’s possible between you and your partner or partners, then you have a wider range of kinks and sex acts to choose from.

The negotiation

Every BDSM relationship and even every session should involve a negotiation, particularly if you’re trying something new. You need to know what your and her limits are, as well as what your warning (slow down) words or phrases are as well as your safe (stop) words or phrases are. A negotiation should be an in-person discussion before the session takes place and can be a good part of foreplay. It doesn’t have to be something as formal as a written contract, but if that’s your domme’s style, then roll with it. I write extensively about how having the negotiation can improve your relationship in this blog post.

DTR (Define the relationship)

For me, personally, the BDSM stops (or starts, depending on how you’re looking at it) at the bedroom door. I don’t want to dominate people in public, I don’t want to humiliate them. I may whisper something to my sub in public as I have my arm around him like “your cock is mine” and “when we get home I’m going to bend you over right away.” Obviously I like being served, but it’s not something I demand while in public or social situations. Socially that can be untenable, because when a woman displays that kind of obvious dominance of a man, it tends to make people uncomfortable, and unless people know about the dynamic of your relationship, it can cause some unnecessary awkwardness.

You and your partner need to define whether the BDSM aspect of your relationship is going to be just in the bedroom, 24/7, or somewhere in between. An in between arrangement might be something like when you’re in public you are egalitarian but when you’re at home, he does all the household chores, the home repairs, and manages a lot of the household aspects. You can decide for yourselves exactly where that line is drawn.

Part of this discussion should also be about how “out” you want to be about your relationship. If you’re in a major city and have friends who are open-minded about these sorts of things, I don’t think this is a big issue. But if you’re in a small town where people think that anything other than missionary is kinky, well, then you’ve got to decide. Even people in the former situation might choose to not disclose because maybe they’re a public figure or well known in the community. It’s up to you and your partner and your collective comfort level about being open.


Generally speaking, if you’re a sub in real life, and even if you’re an online sub, if your domme has claimed ownership of you, she should be your one and only domme. Even if she invites other dommes to play with you, you serve only her. If you want to serve another domme, you should ask permission as this is just good manners. It is bad form for a domme to flirt with another domme’s sub, because she is violating their power dynamic. And many couples who have a D/s dynamic are monogamous, so don’t presume that just because someone is kinky that they are polyamorous. (And vice versa, that not all polyamorous people are kinky.)

Being giving

Good pets should always be willing to give to their dommes. And I actually mean a specific kind of giving — the kind of giving that your domme actually wants. Does she want you to get her car fixed? Do it. Does she want you to wash the dishes? Do it. Does she want you to just bend over with your ass in the air while batting your eyelashes over your shoulder? Do it. Unless it’s a hard limit for you, you should do it. And you should only do what she requests. I think a lot of conflict in relationships in general stems from the fact that people have mismatches in what they consider helpful. What partner A thinks is helping might occur as an insult to partner B. So, ask.

You are actually in charge

The surprising thing about being a sub: you’re actually the one in control of the situation. It’s only by your submission that the session can move forward. If you do not submit, the domme cannot force you (within reason, even if this part of the playing) to continue. You have tremendous power even if it seems like you’re giving up your power.

Specific aspects that could be fun to explore

Once you’ve realized you’re submissive, have defined your relationship, and have cemented your commitment to submitting to your dominant, you can begin to explore more. I suggest keeping a list of kinky acts you might want to try, positions, situations. Keep things interesting.

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