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What styles of submission are there in BDSM?

A submissive has a desire to give up control to a dominant. All submissives have the same desire to engage in a power exchange, but they can express this desire in many ways. They are often referred to as types of submissives.

However, the consensus in the BDSM community is that there are not different types of submissive, but different styles of submission. All submissives share an internal desire to submit. This is expressed in different ways through different styles of submission.

The # styles of submission are:

  1. Bedroom
  2. Service
  3. Romantic
  4. Mental
  5. Masochistic

1. Bedroom Submission

Bedroom submission is a type of sexual submission. This can occur between long-term partners or casual play partners. The majority of bdsm relationships involve sexual play, but not all. In 24/7 dynamics, the power exchange is always in place, and bedroom submission is only one part of the relationship. In bedroom only dynamics, the power exchange is only active while there is sexual play.

The Dom decides what sexual activity takes place.They can engage in sex in any way they want, as long as it remains within the limits agreed upon. BDSM can be very sexually exciting, and bedroom submission is what draws many people to the lifestyle.

While sex is the focus of bedroom submission, other activities can take place as a type of foreplay. Activities that commonly take place in bedroom submission include:

  • Bondage
  • Oral sex
  • Orgasm control
  • Impact play
  • Role play
  • Use of sex toy
  • Giving or receiving sexual pleasure

2. Service Submission

Service submission is commonly found in 24/7 dynamics. The submissive is focused on the Dominant partner's pleasure outside of sex. The submissive will often handle the household chores. They may also take care of the Dominant's bdsm toys, including whips, floggers, and rope. Service submission is about making the Dom's life easier by providing service.

Another aspect of service submission is harder to define, but just as important. Many subs provide emotional service to their Dom as well. These subs often say they act as a soundboard for their partner. They listen to the Dom's ideas and provide honest but respectful feedback. They often play an active role in the decision-making process, even though they don't make the final decision.

Service submission and sexual submission go hand in hand in most 24/7 dynamics. However, some submissives are completely service based, and may only provide domestic service.

3. Romantic Submission

Not all dynamics involve romance, but many long-term dynamics do. These partners have romantic love for each other. Some believe this enhances the power exchange, while some find it can make it more difficult. Romance looks different for every individual and every couple, so it's not always about getting flowers and chocolate. What defines romantic submission is that the romantic love of the partner's is intertwined with the power exchange. The acts of submission and domination become romantic. For those who choose this type of submission, it is simply a natural part of how they submit.

4. Mental Submission

Mental submission focuses on the mental aspects of BDSM. Those outside the lifestyle often think that BDSM is all about the physical, a mix of sex and sadomasochism. However, there is a mental aspect no matter what type of submissive style you prefer. It is impossible to engage in BDSM without thinking about it and making a conscious decision.

However, for some, the mental aspect is a key component of the dynamic. These partner's may engage in acts that are mental based like mind games or humiliation. They may simply enjoy knowing that their partner has control over them. They are usually more aware of the psychological aspects of BDSM, which are always present, even in a scene that appears to be purely physical.

5. Masochistic Submission

These subs enjoy pain play, and the pleasure that it gives their dominant partners. Some process pain in a different way, and experience it as pleasure. Some feel it as pain but are sexually excited by it. They enjoy feeling pain. Others are simply driven by a desire to please, to be of service to their Dom. Often, masochistic submission is driven by a combination of these.

They may enjoy pain for its own sake, but also enjoy pleasing their partner. Some masochists are known as SAMs. These masochists will intentionally provoke the Dom to get rough play. When this is a consented part of the dynamic, it is a valid submissive style. Both partner's know what is going on and enjoy it as a type of play. It is a form of role play, like CNC.

When the sub provokes the Dom to the point of their displeasure, or as a way to get something the Dom doesn't want to give, then it becomes topping from the bottom. The sub is now manipulating and controlling the Dom, and therefore they aren't being submissive.

The Beauty of Dominance and Submission

The beauty of dominance and submission is that it allows you to be who you are. These types of submission are not either/or. No one is expected to choose just one style. Within the context of BDSM, you can devote your life to service of another. You can explore sadism and masochism. You can explore mental aspects that are just as exciting as the physical.

You can experience romantic love in an extremely intimate way, because the trust built in BDSM allows you to go deeper than most would dare. You can explore those taboo sexual acts that you always thought you would be too embarrassed to mention. BDSM offers you the opportunity to explore psychology, sexuality, and intimacy. To learn more about yourself than you ever dreamed possible.

October 19, 2020 by Oleksandr Yefremov

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