Switching 101

Switching, to put it simply, is someone who has traits, desires, and kinks that fall on both sides of the BDSM exchange of power. This poses a unique set of needs and considerations that goes much deeper than simply researching Dominance and submission as separate topics. It is the constant shift and balance that brings switches joy- knowing that both sides of their kinky persona can be explored, cultivated, and fulfilled.

Let me first start out with the misconceptions within the BDSM community around switching:

  1. A switch is not a valid BDSM identify.
  2. A female switch just hasn’t met a Dominant who makes her feel “submissive enough.”
  3. A switch is not a real submissive.
  4. A switch is not a real Dominant.

For a community that thrives on self-expression and an unfiltered, consensual pursuit of things that bring us joy, we have really let our switches down in the conversations and stereotypes regarding this specific subsection of power exchange. While I am, by no stretch of the imagination, an expert on switching I want to make sure that they feel included in the conversation on Suddenly Submissive- so if there are switch specific questions or topics you want to see explore- please leave them in the comments.

Who can be a switch?
A switch can be male or female and is not a reflection of sexual identity, femininity or masculinity. The only requirement of a switch is to enjoy and pursue both submissive and Dominant experiences and qualities. It should be noted that this is not the same as enjoying topping sexually occasionally and a switch truly wants to take on the responsibility and tasks of a true Dominant.

Can a switch only be in a dynamic with other switches?
Absolutely not. Many switches choose to be in typical D/s dynamics, but may need some extra care and understanding from their partner. For example, a female switch who is submissive in her dynamic may love the idea of being able to tease and be on top sexually so she can have a little more control during a scene. A switch who takes on a full time Dominant role may enjoy acts of service for his or her submissive to help fulfill the need to serve. Extra communication is needed to make sure that the switch is satisfied, and the other partner should be willing to get creative and help this happen.

Am I still a switch if I don’t need both in my current dynamic?
Yes, of course. You can still be a switch even if you have chosen to focus on and live fully within one side of the power exchange. Just in the same way someone who is single is still a submissive, your current absence of the opposite side of the spectrum does not change your identity. You may find certain partners bring out one side of you more than others, or that you’re in a period of your life where Dominance feels extra delicious and choose to focus all your energy there. There is no wrong way to do this lifestyle as long as it is safe, sane, and consensual (she says for what feels like the millionth time).

Can you be a switch and still identify as a pet, little, Sadist, Daddy Dom, etc?
Absolutely. Switching allows you to explore the kinks on both sides of the spectrum, from both the Dominant and submissive perspective. You may identify as both a masochist and a Sadist, depending on the day of the week, and that’s totally valid. If you’re not familiar with some of the terms I just threw out, I suggest digging into the Dominance 101 and Submission 101 posts in our BDSM basics series.

What do do if you think you may be a switch?
First, examine your motives for switching. What are you missing, what do you crave, what appeals to you. Finding out what we want and need is the best jumping off point to figuring out what we need to add in to be completely and totally satisfied. Get ready to do a ton of research- you’re about to have double the fun but also double the responsibility. Because the majority of the information on the internet is aimed at either Dominant or submissive, it may be especially crucial for you to seek out other switches in your community and ask all the questions. If you struggle finding a switch, ask your questions here and I will include them in my upcoming interview with one of my lovely friends who is a female switch in my community. We will be talking all things dynamic, balance, struggles and, of course, the special brand of fun that comes with exploring both sides of the BDSM spectrum, so keep your eyes open.

Most importantly, your kinks, dynamic and identity are all valid, my darlings. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

Suddenly yours,
E.

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