I thought I would continue our BDSM basics series by digging in a little deeper about what a submissive is and the different submissive roles within the BDSM community.
Submissives choose to give up control to their Dominant within the BDSM dynamic. Submission is a gift, and one that should not be given lightly as it requires transparent communication and complete trust. Some submissives only enjoy the power exchange during sexual scenes, where as others, like myself, prefer to engage in a 24/7 power exchange with their partner. This means that I am submissive in bed and in my daily life with B. There is no wrong way to explore your submission as long as you are safe and exploring with a consenting and caring Dominant.
Below are some of the variations of submission I am aware of, and many subsmissives in the lifestyle identify as more than one. You may find the type of submissive you are shifts and changes as you grow and learn, which is perfectly normal. Have fun with it.
Brats: A brat is a submissive who enjoys pushing limits and challenging their Dominant. They enjoy corrections, discipline, and being made to behave. Brats sometimes get a bad reputation within the community, but some Dominants enjoy the challenge that a brat brings to a dynamic.
Pets: This is a variety of submissive who enjoys behaving like a pet like manner for their Dominant or Owner. They may identify as a specific animal, such as a puppy/kitten/horse or could just take on a more nonspecific cuddly and small persona. They will take on the animal’s characteristics and may enjoy wearing a leash, playing fetch, eating off the floor or crawling on all fours. This is a deeply dependent form of submission, and much like a true pet, the submissive must rely on his/her Owner to meet all of their needs. Pet play take place in and out of the bedroom, but is often just a nonsexual bonding experience for a lot of dynamics.
Littles: Littles are a seriously misunderstood subsection of BDSM and we will have a full post a little later down the line as it is going to be impossible to sum it up in one little paragraph. A little is someone who identifies with a childlike age and will take on these characteristics in their submission. The Dominant (or Daddy Dom) will care for and nurture his little. The little may enjoy stories and coloring or other childlike activities. Much like pet space, a little must rely on his or her Dominant to take care of them and make their decisions. Little space can be nonsexual in nature and just a deeply connecting and adoring time for the little and the Dominant. This is not to be misunderstood with pedophilia, as all parties are adults.
Middles: Middles are very similar to littles, but identify in more of a preteen- teenage age range. They may be sassier and more independent than littles and may enjoy more teenage activities, like video games or watching TV. A middle is able to engage in more adult conversation, but still is able to escape the stress that comes with being an adult. This can be a very relaxing space for the submissive. Who wouldn’t want to go back to a time before we had to worry about mortgage payments and going to work?
Babygirls: Submissives who identify as a babygirl will take on child like characteristics, but do not actually identify as a little or a specific younger age. She may engage in baby talk, whining or giggle a lot. I dont know a whole lot about this section of submissives- as I dont know anyone who personally identifies as a babygirl- so if that’s you I would love to hear from you!
Slaves: Slaves are the submissive counterpart in a Master/slave dynamic. They give up complete control to their Dominant both in and out of the bedroom and will often have a contract with their Master that outlines the expectations and requirements of the slave. Slaves surrender their rights to their Dominant and enjoy living a life of servitude and obedience. The Master will make all decisions for the slave and he/she will be required to ask permission for most activities.
Bottoms: A bottom is someone who only chooses to give up control to their partner during a sexual scene or an agreed upon amount of time. There should be limits set about what the bottom is willing to do prior to the scene and then the Dominant will assume full control over the submissive for the duration of the session. Afterwards, the power balance will be restored. This is still not the same as just liking rough kinky sex, and is a valid form of submission. It’s okay to enjoy all the different rules and kinks BDSM has to offer and not want to be submissive out to the bedroom. BDSM allows us to have rules, terms and protocols to explore our darker fantasies in a safe and controlled way.
Primal prey: I went to this very in depth in my primal post, but in short a primal prey is a submissive who desire to be hunted, chased, and overpowered. This gives the submissive a chance to submit fully in a very physical and adrenaline producing way, but only after the Dominant has proved his strength, power, and control over them.
Rope bunny: A rope bunny is a submissive who especially enjoys bondage and being tied up by their Dominant or Rigger. There is a physical power exchange with being tied up, and many people find the look of rope on skin to be artistic and sensual. There are risks with being tied up, and the rope bunny should never be left alone. Do not try this without an experiences and proficient rigger.
Switch: A switch is a man or woman who identifies as both Dominant and submissive. They may lean fully submissive with one partner and Dominant with another, or they may enjoy a dynamic where the power shifts back and forth depending on the day or scene. We will have an entire post on switches in the near future, but I wanted to mention them here quickly as this is a valid and common form of submission within the BDSM lifestyle.
Masochist: A masochist is someone who enjoys receiving pain or humiliation from their partner. They may enjoy impact play, spankings or verbal humiliation. There are different levels to masochism, and it’s much more than just whips and floggers. There is a delicious mind fuck to sadomasochism, and the endorphin rush can be addicting.