There are so many ways to introduce submission into your sex life.

Here’s How To Be Submissive With A Dominant Partner

Hint: Your pleasure is the priority.

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Outside of kink-friendly circles, power play and BDSM are widely misunderstood. According to Florida-based adult entertainer and licensed clinical therapist Jasmine Johnson, of all the letters in that sexy abbreviation — which stands for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism — submission suffers from several misconceptions. “Subbing,” or being submissive, is often equated with relinquishing complete control over your body or being taken advantage of. But, Johnson said, being submissive with your partner can actually mean the opposite.

“One of the most important things for a submissive to know is that they have all of the power in the dynamic,” Johnson previously told Elite Daily. Even if, as a sub, it turns you on immensely to give up the power in your sexual encounters, Johnson said the power is ultimately “yours to give, to submit, and to relinquish to your partner. It’s a give and take.”

Submission can be so hot for so many people because it subverts expected or accepted interpersonal dynamics that can sometimes get in the way of your pleasure. Amanda Luterman, a psychotherapist and the founder of the Center for Erotic Empathy in Montreal, previously told Elite Daily that for some people who find it difficult to orgasm with a partner, power play can be a game-changer.

“A lot of girls in their early 20s don’t have partnered orgasms very easily,” Luterman said. “They don't feel comfortable incorporating vibration yet, or they feel like they're responsible for their partner's ego during sex so it has to be all manual.” Asking a partner to dominate you or restrain you a bit in bed can “reduce the responsibility sense” or “the fear that a person has to perform as they feel they're expected to,” she said.

Most of all, dom/sub dynamics allow partners to get creative with how they want to communicate and what kinds of dynamics they want to play with.

“Submission doesn't just mean being able to bend over, or get on your knees, or do all of these hot things that you see in porn, and have it be arousing,” Luterman said. Instead, submission is all about the narrative that’s ascribed to it — that’s what makes it sexy (and fun!). Some dom/sub relationships play more with the theory of power and control rather than the physical manifestation of it, which would likely fall somewhere on the sadism/masochism spectrum.

Read on for some ways to incorporate a little submission into your sex life that are sure to leave you and your partner panting for air like a couple of hot-face emojis.

Submissive Things To Say


Words carry a lot of weight in and out of the bedroom. When experimenting with submission, play around with the power dynamics inherent to how you communicate verbally. Try addressing your partner as “mister,” “ma’am,” “master,” or “mistress.” Say “please” and “thank you.”

Sex therapist Vanessa Marin previously told Bustle that to practice “playful servitude,” you can try sentences like, “Please, Mistress, tell me what I can do for you,” or “I exist to serve you.” Try asking for permission before you do anything in bed, including climax or touch yourself.

Submissive Things To Try In Bed

BDSM toys are a great way to experiment with submission during foreplay and sex. Some great power play toys include handcuffs, nipple clamps, ball gags, spreader bars, and paddles. You can also fashion blindfolds and restraints out of scarves, nylons, or other household items.

Role-play — whether your style is full-on cosplay complete with costumes, or low-budget leave-it-up-to-your-imagination — is another way to incorporate submission into your sex life. Some obvious dynamics like queen and servant, officer and delinquent, or teacher and student are great ways to ease yourself in. And Luterman suggests taking things slow at first.

“Incorporate dress rehearsals where you can dialogue, for example, what parts of your body are absolute ‘no’s; what parts of your body are experimental, ‘let’s see how it goes’ regions; what parts are ‘yes, please,’” she said. Don’t be afraid to write out a script ahead of time so you and your partner are clear on the direction your role-play is heading.

Submissive Things To Try Out Of Bed

Some subs and doms carry their sexual scripts outside the bedroom; some even live in full-time dom/sub roles, also known as Total Power Exchange (TPE) relationships. Partners who engage in these dynamics are often referred to as “master/mistress” or “slave.” Not all of these relationships are sexual; some are duty-based and involve completing a range of household activities and chores like cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry, among other things.

“You don't have to fantasize about sweeping floors, but if your beautiful person comes over to you and says, ‘I want to watch you sweep this floor. Take your clothes off, I want to watch your body while you do this for me,’ you may find it really interesting to sweep that floor,” Luterman previously told Elite Daily. “It's not the act, it's the dynamic” that’s sexy.

Marin previously told Bustle that she suggests for doms to develop guidelines for a sub’s behavior. A dom can instruct a sub on what should and shouldn’t be done, and can carry out “punishments” for disobeying orders such as spanking or doing chores. Subs can try asking for permission before straying from the rules.

Submissive Things To Try When You're Alone

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Because dom/sub relationships can be somewhat abstract, you and a partner don’t even need to be in the same room to participate. You don’t need to be physically touching someone to be dominated by them, and sex is not necessarily always part of the dynamic. Some people engage in financial domination (also called findom), which involves giving money or gifts, or taking control of a partner’s financial transactions.

In some dom/sub or Total Power Exchange relationships, subs can be left alone and given orders for how to spend their time. An example? The scene in “Slave To Love,” the episode of Mad Men when Don Draper leaves Sylvia in their hotel room and orders her to stay there all day, just waiting for him to return. The knowledge that you’re doing something for your partner even when they’re not around can be really hot. Of course, unlike the dynamic in Mad Men, in your situation, the power dynamic should be consensual and mutually satisfying (sorry not sorry, Don).

Remember To Communicate With Your Partner

An important component of any BDSM relationship is that you check in frequently with your partner as you play. Aftercare sessions, as these discussions are called, give you and your partner the space to digest everything you just explored together. Addressing the dynamics and kinks that are rooted deep in our subconscious can bring up complex feelings in the moments, hours, and sometimes days after a session. For everyone’s safety and wellbeing, it’s important to remain attuned to your own feelings and your partner’s feelings before, during, and after you play together. When you finish a session, take the time to cuddle and discuss how it made you feel. Ask your partner to share what came up for them.

Being submissive doesn’t mean being degraded or violated. It means trusting a partner enough to let them take your pleasure into their own hands. “A good dom will say, ‘You're going to do this for me. We're going to take care of you,’” Luterman said. Subs, prepare to be nurtured... in a hot way.


Amanda Luterman, psychotherapist and founder of the Center for Erotic Empathy

Jasmine Johnson, licensed clinical therapist, adult entertainer, and sex educator

Vanessa Marin, sex therapist

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