BDSM Guide

0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Dominance & submission

A special form of intimate relationship based on consencual submission of one person (submissive, short – sub) to the instructions, orders and rules of another (Dominant, short – Dom, if a man and Domme, if a woman). Obedience can be situational in the form of a one-time act, periodically repeated role-play games (RPGs), e.g. during sex or can be turned into a lifestyle.

When Dominance & submission has become a lifestyle (also known as D/s 24/7), the aim is for the relationship of domination and subordination to cover the maximum of the daily life of the parties - from their intimate experiences, their public life and contacts with third parties, to individual finances and decisions for the future.

Dominance & submission may or may not involve sexual acts, or sexual acts may be aimed solely or primarily at satisfying one partner, usually the Dominant. In this case for the submissive remains the sexual pleasure of unsatisfied arousal, as well as the happiness of having delivered sexual pleasure to his Dom or Domme.

A special form of this type of sexual disorder in the context of D/s - relationship are the practices of Sexual denial and Orgasm control. In some cases, e.g. in Forced chastity, this type of relationship can also be physically secured through the use of chastity devices such as Chastity belts (for men and women) and Chastity cages (also known as "Penis cages" designed specifically for the male genitalia), restricting access to the genitals with a padlock or other locking mechanism. The practice is used as a tool of control and domination over the submissive and can serve as an independent basis for D/s-relationship. In this case, the locked partner is known as chastity sub or chastity slave, and his Dominant partner as Keyholder.

Although the traditional understanding of Dominance & submission involves physical contact between partners, the imagination, supported by modern technology, allows building a D/s relationship remotely by exchanging e-mails, phone calls, text and video chat between partners. Historically, such a practice has taken place through written correspondence between parthners in which the dominant has sent letters with strict orders and detailed instructions on what and how should do the submissive, which in turn has returned obediently written letters containing detailed progress report. A classic example in this regard is the correspondence between the "father of masochism" Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and his future wife Angelika Aurora Rümelin, known by her creative pseudonym Wanda von Dunajew.

Dominance & submission relationships are usually focused on the mental control of the submissive and involve use of rules and imposition of certain types of behaviors. Some D/s relationships are highly formalized (a certain way of expression, wearing a certain type of clothing by the submissive and less often by his Dominant, establishing strict rules of behavior, setting a daily routine, asking permission for each action , e.g. use of furniture, going to the toilet, etc.), others are freer without depriving the Dominant partner of the right to issue orders, await their execution and punish misbehavior. Some highly formalized D/s-relationships may involve defining the submissive's daily routine with detailed instructions on what and how to do down to the smallest detail. Such a practice in BDSM is known as "Micromanagement".

The establishment of rules in Dominance & submission presumes the existence of sanctions for their violation. Entering into D/s relations, the submissive agrees (and in some cases insists) that he will be punished for his sins. Punishments can include the whole arsenal of BDSM practices - from humiliations, through bondage and the use of sensory deprivations to various types of corporal punishments.

Punishments do not have to be physical, and in some cases the use of corporal punishments would be not only inadvisable but also ineffective (e.g. to punish submissive masochists). Many D/s couples turn to deprivation (from trivial ones, such as the right to use a telephone or computer, to deprivation of food, water, sleep or orgasm), uniform and monotonous tasks (e.g. writing 100 times on a piece of paper: "I will not do this anymore") or a stricter daily routine (going to bed early, getting up early, cleaning the toilet several times a day, washing the floor with a toothbrush, etc.) as a substitute for corporal punishments.

Many D/s couples, especially those who practice Dominance & submission occasionally in their relationship, use various obedience training techniques, incl. using restraints such as bondage hoods, training collars and special clothing such as uniforms, spanking skirts, leather lingerie, etc. Others prefer to use rituals, incl. those of commitment, e.g. collaring. Many submissives, especially those who practice D/s 24/7, wear day collars in their daily lives as a symbol of their relationship with their Dominant.