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The Beginner’s Guide to Dominance and Submission (D/S)

Dominance and submission — sometimes referred to as D/S — involves a set of behaviours that creates a relationship whereby one partner is submissive to the demands of the dominant partner. This dynamic is manufactured to create an erotic backdrop for sex.

Dom puts gag in woman's mouth
Before getting started, you shoud determine whether you're a sub, a dom or both

This type of relationship isn’t always a physical one. A simple series of demands are all that is needed for a successful D/S relationship. These demands can be made by phone, email, text or in person. The idea involves the submissive partner acceding to the wishes of the dominant partner without exception or explanation.

Subs or submissives assume the subordinate role, while doms or dommes (females) take control. A person who can take on both roles is referred to as a switch. It is not unusual for two switches to exchange the roles of dom and sub several times in a sex session. A slight variation on the dom is the dominatrix, which is a term used to describe a female dominant who performs services for money.

What are the different dominance and submission styles?

There are several different types of dominance and submission activity, including role play, bondage and slavery. For instance, a common role play involves a servant and his or her boss. The submissive performs a range of menial tasks at the behest of the dom — a set-up that usually ends in sex or a sexual act. Other scenarios used include police officers, teachers and students, cross-dressing and various other authority figures.

The role-play scenarios possible in a D/S relationship are almost endless. Most couples experiment by adding the tiniest of details to their scenarios, which keeps things fresh and exciting. Among the most popular scenarios today are erotic humiliation, feminisation, cuckolding, whipping, verbal humiliation, enforced chastity and trampling.

How to enjoy dominance and submission safely

Depending on exactly what you want from this type of relationship, there is a fine line between fun and danger. With this in mind, it’s important to acknowledge the risks of D/S before getting started.

Dominance and submission has to suit both people in the relationship. There should be a frank discussion beforehand that covers exactly what will happen and what the boundaries are. Both people must be happy with their particular role, and the enjoyment must be mutual. Finally, a safe word should be chosen, which can be used to stop the role-playing when things go too far.

Tips for successful D/S scenarios

If you’re new to dominance and submission, there are a few things you should bear in mind before getting started. For instance, the first thing you should do is determine whether you’re a submissive, a dominant or a bit of both. It’s then a good idea to think about how far you want things to go, and the specific activities you want to try.

Once you know what you want, discuss it with your partner. This has to be mutually beneficial and consensual, otherwise it’s abuse. Agree on the boundaries and the scenarios you’d both like to try, and settle on a safe word.

Communication, safety and being able to distinguish fantasy from reality are all essential if you and your partner are to enjoy an exciting dominance and submission relationship.

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