The Dominant Submissive

I used to be sure of what I like. I used to be sure of who I am. I have always been attracted to strong, powerful, masterful, dominant men. That makes me submissive, right? Therefore, I must be a sub.

But I can also be bossy. I like to be the one who organizes things and to be in control of what is happening. I like to play games and to tease. Not very subby!

According to Wikipedia, “Dominance and submission (also called D&s, Ds, and D/s) is a set of behaviors, customs and rituals involving the giving by one individual to another individual of control over them in an erotic episode or as a lifestyle.” That definition sounds pretty accurate to me, but it doesn’t seem to describe who I am, how I feel and what I do. I don’t give up the control; I want it to be taken.  After all, how can I know that he’s really dominant, masterful and strong – rather than a wannabe – if I just give him permission to dominate me?

Perhaps there’s a different name for that. Is there a word for a girl who is dominant, but doesn’t want to dominate? A girl who is dominant, but is excited by men who are far more dominant than she is?

When I was in my late teens I knew a Goth couple. The guy was incredibly sexy and I never saw him in an outfit that didn’t include at least one item of black leather. The girl was delicious in her long, flowing skirts and artistic jewelry. One day they showed me some photos they’d had taken in various sexy poses. I can still remember one of those photos today. She was handcuffed, at his knees, gazing up at him with a look of pure adoration in her eyes while he looked sternly down at her, a black leather whip in his hands.

I was so curious about that photo. Looking at it had had an effect on me that I wanted to explore. I didn’t dare talk to the guy as I was too much in awe of him, but I plucked up the courage to ask the girl about the handcuffs and whip and what they did with them. What she told me completely broke the spell. She laughed and said that she and her boyfriend liked to play in the bedroom but it was just a game; he didn’t tell her what to do or control her in any way when they weren’t role playing. She was too much of a feminist to let a man boss her around, she said.

I was so disappointed! It just didn’t seem to make sense to me. I was so intrigued by how I felt looking at that photo, and I knew that just play acting wasn’t what I wanted. I also wondered if it was possible to be a feminist and still enjoy being tied up.

I know there are some people who live the D/s lifestyle 24/7 but I am curious to know how they found their partners and how the dominant and submissive roles were worked out. Do the subs just do as they’re told right from day one, or do they play around a bit first, see what they can get away with, find out how far their Master will let them go? Do the Doms expect total obedience from the beginning, or do they enjoy breaking in their sweet little rebellious filly?

I very much enjoy role-playing on Second Life. It can be extremely fun and also exciting if you find someone with a good command of the language, decent typing skills and the right sort of imagination. It took me a while but I have also now found some excellent places on Second Life where the role playing is very high quality and the theme is not just adult, not just rape fantasy/non consent, but also most of the time I am not required to give in quickly and easily; it is expected and enjoyed that the character I am playing will put up a fight and only give in when she absolutely has no other choice and even then she probably won’t enjoy it. Most of the places I tried out before finding these rare locations were just not what I wanted. Second Life Gor, for example, is fun for a short while but once my character had been broken in she was expected to remain obedient forever. There are many places with a BDSM theme where you can role play on Second Life and where the subs are very willing slaves or the victim very quickly becomes more than happy to do what the kidnapper wants. This is fine if you enjoy role-playing scenes like that; I do not. Once my character has been conquered, once she has fallen for her Master, once she no longer wants to fight him and is happy to do whatever he wants, the game is over and so is the fun. It becomes boring for me and I want to start again with a new character and a new storyline.

Am I alone in enjoying the fight that comes before the surrender? Am I alone in being attracted to men who can control me because they can really control me, not because I have let them?


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  1. I.G. Frederick says:

    First, you’re very much not alone in enjoying the “fight that comes before the surrender,” it’s actually a rather common fantasy. Second, your biggest issue is terminology.

    Being a feminist doesn’t mean you have to be in control or can’t allow someone else to take control. It means that who’s in control is NOT determined by gender and it’s a choice you need to make for yourself.

    Being submissive doesn’t mean you aren’t bossy, or the one who organizes things. In fact, organizing things could be a service you provide your dominant.

    However, wanting power and to to be in control may mean that a) you haven’t met the right dominant or b) you’re a bottom, not a submissive. (For the difference, see the post I wrote last fall about BDSM Labels.)

    As to your questions about living a 24/7 D/s lifestyle, I can only answer for myself. I met my submissive when I taught a workshop on writing erotica as part of the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. He is not a submissive (and, in fact, is more of a dominant). He gradually incorporated more and more of the protocols I require into our interactions as a way of, well courting is probably the best word.

    But, needless to say I did not throw him to the ground and “take him.” (He’s a foot taller than me and much stronger.) He learned what my protocols are through numerous discussions (negotiations) we had about what I require from someone in service and that I would not consider a relationship with anyone who was not in service to me.

    So, I also find strong, powerful, masterful, dominant men very attractive. I just take great pleasure in putting them on their knees. >;-)

    To answer the most important (in terms of safety) question you asked: “After all, how can I know that he’s really dominant, masterful and strong – rather than a wannabe – if I just give him permission to dominate me?” If he dominates you without permission he’s not a dominant he’s a rapist, abuser, and criminal. D/s is a CONSENSUAL exchange of power and both parties must consent.

    If you find “forced” sex hot, you can negotiate a scene wherein he “breaks” into your house and “forces” you to have sex with him or kidnaps you and takes you somewhere to “rape” you (but be careful, scenes such as this have been mistaken for the real thing for unpleasant consequences.

    Such a scene MUST be negotiated before hand and you must both be clear on what the limits are and what your safeword is.

    If you CHOOSE to submit to a “really dominant, masterful and strong” man it will be because he will EARN your submission through respect and trust. That takes time. And a lot of very honest communication.

    Remember, real life is not an online game. If someone does something dangerous or that you don’t like on Second Life you can turn off the computer. In real life, you can end up dead.

    It’s okay not to know exactly what you want and to explore the lifestyle to determine what is right for you. Sometimes, what you want may change based on who you’re with (you might be a switch). Sometimes, it just requires finding the right person. But, please, be careful and stay safe.

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi, I.G. Frederick, thanks so much for your great response! (I’ve corrected the link to your blog post; for some reason it wasn’t showing correctly.)

      I read the definitions in your blog post and they are very interesting. I’m definitely not a switch though, nor a bottom. I enjoy being in control but mostly because I like it when that control is finally taken from me.

      You said, “If he dominates you without permission he’s not a dominant he’s a rapist, abuser, and criminal.” And I agree with you, if to dominate means to touch. But when I talk about being dominated I’m not just talking about physical touch; I mean being dominated psychologically, in a cerebral way. If that makes sense.

      Yes, I do find simulated forced sex very hot. I would love to try a real-life role play but I’m not sure I’d be able to get into character with someone I know well. I have heard of couples who organize a house break in, like you mention, and the husband wears a mask and the wife never really knows for sure if it was him. That would be… too scary? Too exciting? I’m not sure…

    • Yuki says:

      I might point out that some decent dionmant women do, indeed, show up to fetish parties. *cough*The idea of lists and requirements can seem pretty lame to a lot of folks. Ditto on being formally trained. I’m not really a fan myself.But, would I like a partner who could black my boots? Yes, because I have a boot kink. Would I like a partner who could cook? Yes, because I love to be cooked for. These aren’t formal skills. They’re just things that people happen to know. Axe, I’m sure you have some skills hanging about somewhere. We all do. They’re our hobbies. And sometimes potential partners will ask you what you’re good at, or what you’re interested in, because they want to know more about you. Not because they want to to meet a list of requirements.Re: non-sexy submissive skills :A lot of things that are integrated in BDSM culture get a bad name because they aren’t specifically sexual, and it’s important to many of us to hold onto the sexual nature of our kinky identities. I have been to a formal tea service, and it is not a sexy thing. At the same time, I would argue that since a kinky identity (for me, at least, and I suspect for others as well) can extend beyond the bedroom, incorporating non-sexual activities into the interactions between kinky partners isn’t necessarily bad. It’s simply a matter of finding a balance, a person who has similar interests to you. Some of us will only want to do kinky things that are explicitly sexual, while others will want to bring the dynamics into seemingly more mundane aspects of our lives. You just need to figure out what you want, and when you want it.Maybe cooking, for example, isn’t a submissive skill for you. Maybe it is. You can play it any way you’d like.

      • I.G. Frederick says:

        BDSM is sexual. The dictionary definitions of most of the terms in the acronym include the word sex. One reason some things “integrated in BDSM culture get a bad name” is NOT “because they aren’t specifically sexual,” it’s because what seems sexy to someone people doesn’t seem sexy to everyone.

        For example, Yuki, you claim a formal tea service “is not a sexy thing.” To you perhaps. But, if done correctly by a sexy (preferably naked) bottom, I (and many other FemDoms) find it incredibly sexy. On the other hand, force feminizing a male, a huge turn on for many FemDoms and male bottoms, ain’t my cup of tea. (Couldn’t resist. 😉

        Is there anything sexy about cleaning a toilet. Probably not for most. But somebody needs to clean the toilet and cleaning a toilet as an act of service so your Dominant never has to — incredibly sexy.

        One thing to remember — your D/s relationship is your D/s relationship and no one else’s. What one Dominant considers an act of submission, another considers an act of control. (I recently won an award for an article on just this subject, you can read it at What Some Women Tops and Bottoms Have in Common”.)

        “You can play it any way you’d like” is exactly right. We all have to explore what it is that we want, what turns us on, and then find someone who either wants the same thing or wants to be with us enough to provide the same thing. (The latter being, IMO, one of the sexiest things you can find in BDSM — a Dominant submitting because they love the person they’re submitting to, not because they’re called to submit.)

  2. Thendral says:

    I think you’ve come amazingly far to rleziae what it is that you really want congratulations, hon. You’re a much stronger woman than you were five years ago. And even though I’m sure you know it, I want to tell you again there’s nothing wrong with wanting a shit-ton of kink in the bedroom and companionship outside. Nothing wrong with NOT wanting a 24/7 D/s relationship. Whatever you need, whatever makes you happy, that’s what’s right.

    • Mikee says:

      Yeah, I think it can be very sexy when two strong peiatnslroies vie for control. That is as long as neither one is in any way abusive. But two alphas wrestling for the top position can open up a lot of yummy possibilities.

      • Lumi says:

        Boy, I sure hope so! My latest book is about extacly that! A male Dom who owns an illegal BDSM club meets a vanilla female cop. Guess who winds up in the handcuffs? LOL.Ash *who thinks it’s a hoot and a half, sexy as all get out and hot as hell!And YAY you for taking control in such a literal way, Dawn! Me? I just surround myself with protections spells and bind the most serious a**holes.Ash

  3. Jackdaw says:

    Well, if I read you correctly (and I may not be), this is sometimes known as “topping from the bottom”, or being a “pushy bottom” or a “bossy bottom”. That’s what gay men call it, anyway — at least, the gay men I know.

    In my experience, again, what you’re asking for is hard to get — in effect, you want to be forced into submission without being asked first, because as far as you’re concerned, if you give permission, it isn’t force. As a straight guy, I’d say this is *very* tricky territory, not just for you but for me. The line between what you’re looking for and rape is razor-thin, and I myself would avoid it, just because the cost of being wrong is too high (by which I mean, not just the criminal cost, but the ethical cost: I have no interest in being a rapist).

    That said, there’s nothing wrong with wanting what you want. And there may be ways for you to get it, either by sending very subtle signals to the right man, or perhaps by contextualizing your behavior in an appropriate context — an S&M club, for example, if that’s your thing. But on the whole I think what you want is so complicated and contradictory that it’s one of those fantasies that can only be enacted in a somewhat watered down form — say, by giving consent to someone, but not specifying a time or place where the ravishment should occur. And, yes, always have a safe word, and always keep a sense of humor about it…

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi Jackdaw.

      I have a herniated disc which was unfortunately not caused by performing a kinky sex position. That would have made a great story and an excellent blog post. Anyway, I can’t stay at my computer long enough to reply at the moment, but I wanted to thank you for commenting. I will reply shortly!

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi again Jackdaw,

      I’ve heard the expression, “Topping from the bottom” and I don’t think it really fits me. At least, it’s not what I want to do, but I probably do it as a way to find out if the guy will stop me and take over completely.

      I understand what you say about this being very tricky territory. Sending a strong message that I want to be taken without my actual, spoken consent is very exciting; I find it an extremely exhilarating way to flirt and have had a lot of fun with it. But it is a huge risk and do I really want to trust my body and safety to the sort of guy who would take that risk? It definitely works better in stories and fantasies than in real life.

      A club doesn’t work for me, because that gives consent! Plus, I’m much more into the mind games of control, rather than just the ropes, whips and pain etc. I find being unable to move because a man tells me not to, far sexier than not being able to move because he has tied me up. Although, that is exciting too.

      Your last idea is perfect. Using a safe word spoils it a little but I would use one anyway because It wouldn’t be fair for either of us otherwise. I’ll have to think about it (something fun to do while waiting for my back to heal!) Maybe leave a handwritten note for him…

      Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Hazem says:

      Hey, your first review! I’m clrtenruy reading the book myself and I have to say that I agree with what you write here. Kate is frank and honest and that makes for such a joy to read. I don’t know if you have an e-reader, but if you do, and if you are looking for more on BDSM, The Sevarian Way by Justine Elyot was recommended to me by Elenya Lewis. If you’re keen on reading classics, The Story of O and Venus in Furs are the way to go. If you want something you can both read, lots of online sex shops like LoveHoney have good literature on BDSM and bondage and that stuff. Hope I was of help .x Jilly

      • Dechie says:

        ROFL. You guys are cracking me up! Okay so we like hot stawey wrestling for domination between two alpha characters. As long as sex follows of course. Maybe I should see what I can do about that LOL Nikita darlin’ being on bottom has its advantages too Tina *hugs* Nyquil bugs me out tooHey Jambrea, Jennie, Robin and Lena! *Hugs*Ash, honey, that’s just as effective in a lot of ways and I can’t wait to read your latest!

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