How Does a Dominant and Submissive Relationships Work: Dom and Sub Relationships

dominant sub relationship

If you’ve ever wondered about the relationship dynamic or lifestyle of people who are in a submissive and dominant relationship, this guide on sub and dom relationships will help you understand the reason that quite a few relationships function under some level of dominant and submissive power play. Submissive and dominant relationships can be categorized under the broader term of BDSM. The letters in BDSM stand for Bondage, Discipline, Dominant, Submissive, Sadism, and Masochism. Within the BDSM world, there are those who prefer to only dapple in some aspects of the acronym, and others who enjoy a lifestyle that includes all three categories. BDSM, or kink, is a way of experiencing sex and relationships that involve fantasy and indulgence.

While many people may think of violent sex or latex clothing when they think of BDSM, this is truly not the only form of BDSM that people engage in, and BDSM has a lot more to offer than what it is portrayed as in TV and movies. BDSM doesn’t have to be physical, in fact, a huge part of what people like about BDSM in the first place is the psychological or fantasy-driven aspects of kink and BDSM. There are also plenty of people who enjoy aspects of BDSM without any sex going down, or find the time before and after the sexual part to be the most gratifying or wonderful.

The most important thing to note about BDSM enthusiasts and the BDSM world is that BDSM operates on the understanding that all people involved are giving constant and enthusiastic consent. There is no such thing as sex without consent, this would be categorized as abuse. When someone agrees to partake in a BDSM scene or activity, they are making an agreement with their partner(s) to live out a fantasy and explore their desires and sensations. Because normal human desires sometimes involve pain, role-playing, and loss of control, it is always important to have a safe word when engaging in BDSM. A safeword would be a word like Banana or Helicopter, which would not make sense in the scene, and can be said at any time to pause or end the scene and allow any party to exit.

This communication beforehand is crucial to what makes BDSM work so well, there is an understanding that you and your partner are going to do your best to fulfill the desires and fantasies you each wish to play out and that can be an extremely gratifying thing. There can also be plenty of ways that BDSM can be part of your bedroom history or fantasy list without you even thinking about it. If you’ve ever wanted to role play as a teacher and a student, or a police officer and someone trying to get out of a speeding ticket, or maybe you just like it when your partner grabs your ass firmly, all of this could be a fantasy about a dominant and submissive relationship.

How does a dominant-submissive relationship work

sub dominant relationships

So it is clear, in a dominant and submissive relationship, there are two roles. The dominant person or the dom is a person who will take control of the situation, who can give demands and dole out punishment. The submissive or sub is the person who is being controlled by the dominant, who wants to fulfill the wishes of the dominant and will enjoy being told what to do. These roles can either be fixed or change/ switch from partner to partner depending on the kind of dominant-submissive relationship the relationship happens to be. For most people who have a dom and sub relationship, the relationship is a dominant-submissive sexual relationship. This means that the dominant and submissive roles are most strongly fulfilled in the bedroom, or when sex is involved, but the relationship when the couple is not having sex is otherwise normal. There will be places in the relationship where one person might be dominant and the other might be submissive, for example, if one person usually does a lot of the cleaning or one person takes responsibility for making travel plans.

There are areas in most relationships where one person is dominant and the other just follows suit, and in most relationships, it is not the same person being dominant in every element of shared life. This is quite functional and common, and it works in the bedroom too. There is quite a range of how much a submissive and dom relationship will operate both within and outside of a sexual realm. While it is more common for dom and sub relationships to work in a way where usually one person is dominant but the other person might take control another night, sometimes people can keep their dominant or submissive role inside and outside of sexual activity for a short vacation or staycation.

Although it is less common, there are also people in dominant and sub relationships whose roles are static in life and in sex. While some may see these relationships as an aggressor and a victim, they actually happen to be quite functional when both parties are happy in their roles. People who engage in dominant-submissive relationships are no more likely to engage in criminal behavior than those who have vanilla relationships. The relationships in fact work better at times than those in which two people are constantly fighting to hold the power in the relationship, or neither of the two people is wanting to take control. When a relationship becomes dysfunctional, it is when one person does not want to be in the role they are acting in. For a dominant sub relationship to work, both parties have to be enthusiastically consenting to the arrangement.

Understanding dominant and submissive relationships

sub and dom relationships

Being in a dominant-submissive relationship does not necessarily mean that you or your partner are interested in the other aspects of BDSM, meaning bondage and discipline or sadism and masochism. While Sadism and Masochism and Dominance and Submission can often be confused or interrelated, you can certainly have one without the other. Being submissive doesn’t necessarily mean you get off on feeling pain, and being dominant doesn’t mean that you like to inflict pain, but this can be part of a dominant and submissive relationship to varying degrees if it is wanted by both parties. Submissive dominant relationships also do not have to fall into traditional gender roles. Many people in our society may assume that the man would take on the role of dominant while the woman would take on the role of submissive. This would be because of the way that men are expected to be strong, in control and make decisions while women are expected more to be soft, do as they are told, and to be gentle, this is not always the case for sub-dominant relationships.

There are many dominant and submissive relationships where the woman is the dominant and the man is submissive, or in the case of same-sex couples or gender non-conforming couples, gender plays no role in who is dominant and who is submissive. There is also the possibility that both partners are switches, meaning both can take on the role of being dominant while their partner is submissive or being submissive while their partner is dominant. It’s great if your relationship meets the needs of both partners in a way that feels authentic and wonderful, but sometimes, especially with BDSM, there isn’t as much overlap in what both partners want. You should never do something that you feel uncomfortable with just because your partner wants to do it, and you should never coerce your partner or anyone else into doing something they do not feel comfortable doing.

Dominant sub relationships do not all function in the same way, in fact, there are so many ways that people can fulfill their desires for dominant and submissive relationships, whether that means within their primary relationship, or not. Not all dom and sub relationships happen within the confines of a monogamous couple.

Some dominance and submission relationships are polyamorous, or mostly monogamous with the exception of allowing one partner to explore the kind of sex that the other partner is not comfortable with or interested in trying. This can strengthen some couples because it doesn’t put pressure on one member of the couple to perform a sex act that they do not enjoy, and it also doesn’t shame or deny the other member of a couple of their deepest fantasies.

If you want to try BDSM within your relationship, it is extremely important to communicate your wants and desires with your partner before you get started with any experimentation. You could both sit down together and write a list of what you fantasize about, what you would maybe be into trying, and what you’re certainly not interested in trying. Start with the things that both of you are really excited about, and then play and explore to find out exactly what suits both of you the best.

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