To begin, what is a submissive? Firstly, the dictionary gives the basic meanings of the word submissive as follows:

  • The act of submitting to the authority or control of another.
  • The condition of having submitted to control by someone else.
  • The surrendering of power to another person.



Obedient, slavish, servile, and compliant are just a few other words that can be used to describe submissive behaviour. Generally, a submissive is a person who makes a conscious choice to give up some or all control of their life to a Dominant. Being a submissive means allowing someone else to control your body and behaviour, within the pre-set limits you and the Dominant have agreed upon. A common misconception of the lifestyle is that submission is weakness. But submission is not a sign of weakness; some of the most successful and strongest people are submissives. Submission is not about passiveness, and it is not about being a doormat – most submissives are intelligent and well balanced people just fulfilling their basic desires to submit and to give up control.



For a Dominant, being able to control and own an intelligent, strong person, is more pleasurable than being with someone who is simply passive. It shows the true nature of a Dom and sub, consensual submission to a masterful Dominant.



Characteristics of Submission

A submissive’s characteristics include doing whatever the Dominant requires of them, within the boundaries already agreed upon by both parties in the relationship. They serve the Dominant in whatever manner they wish, for their pleasure and comfort. This includes serving both sexual and non-sexual desires. This could include being there for the Dominant’s pleasure, whether it is for sexual favours, or partaking in flogging or spanking, or perhaps indulging in medical play, or bondage, or any number of activities, whenever and however the Dominant wishes. This could also mean taking care of the Dominant’s house, cooking, cleaning, accompanying them on outings, sitting by their feet, running errands, or doing the shopping, to name a few. It may also be completing tasks set by the Dominant for amusement, or for a specific purpose such a journaling or exercising that could be to help the submissive improve their well-being, or to challenge their mind, or simply something that the Dominant needs to have done.



Levels of Submission

The level of submission refers to the time, commitment and limits of a submissive. There are eight levels of submissives.


1. The Kinky Sensualist

This is a person, not into servitude, humiliation, or giving up control. They like the rougher side of sex and sexual acts, all on their own terms (the focus is on pleasing themselves not to please others). It could be as simple as enjoying getting hickeys!



2. The Submissive Role-player

This is more about being submissive in role-playing scenes, for example, schoolteacher scenes or school girl scenes. The submissive role-player is usually into humiliation, but NOT into servitude, even in play.


3. The Play Slave

This submissive likes to play at being a slave, likes to feel subservient, and may, in some cases, like to feel one is being “used” to gratify partner’s desires. They may even really serve the dominant in some ways, but only on their own terms.




4. The Deep Submissive

This is someone who truly gives up control, temporarily, and within agreed-upon limits with the Dominant, but gets their main satisfaction from aspects of submission other than serving or being used by the Dominant. They are usually turned on by suspense, vulnerability, and/or giving up responsibility. A deep submissive gets pleasure from serving their Dominant and also being pleasured by the Dominant.



5. The Submissive Play Slave

…Really gives up control but only temporarily; only during brief scenes and within limits. The submissive play slave gets their main satisfaction from serving, and being used by Dominant – but only for FUN purposes, usually erotic.


6. The Uncommitted Short Term Slave

This is a slave with slightly more intensity than the previous type. The difference lies in wanting to serve the Dominant in both sexual and non-sexual ways, but only when the slave is in the mood. May even act as a full-time slave for, say, several days at a time, but is free to quit at any time (or at the end of the agreed upon several days).




7. The Part-time Sensual Slave

This slave has an ongoing commitment to an owner/slave relationship and regards oneself as the Dominant’s property at all times. They want to obey and please their Dom in all aspects of life – practical/non erotic and fun/erotic. They devote most of their time to other commitments (e.g. job), but the Dominant has first pick of the slave’s free time.


8. The Full-time Live-in Consensual Slave

Within no more than a few broad limits/requirements, the slave regards themselves as existing solely for the Dom’s pleasure/well-being. The slave, in turn, expects to be regarded as a prized possession. This is not much different from the situation of the traditional housewife, except that, within the D/s world, the slave’s position is more likely to be fully consensual.



While not everyone identifies as a slave or submissive, most people at some point in their sexual journey has gotten or given a hickey, given or received a little spank, or perhaps enjoyed some light role-play. It is all about consensually giving up power or receiving someone’s power for pleasure and enjoyment!