Domination and submission are the yin and yang of BDSM, the equal and complementary opposites that, through their benign sybiosis, create relationships of terrific strength and vitality. Neither one can live without the other. You may be interested in the related notes on slaves (above) and on D/s and dominants too .
A submissive (often abbreviated to 'sub') is a person of either gender who submits to the will of a dominant, either for limited sexual play or within a longer-term relationship.To many, submission is an odd concept. Why would an otherwise intelligent adult voluntarily let someone else be 'the boss of them'? Well it may be because submission is not a choice you make, it's who you are. Submissives come in all shapes and sizes. A powerful international tycoon is just as likely to be a submissive as a shy teenage girl. Some submissives are able to compartmentalise their lives, appearing to the world as confident and controlling but still managing to have private times when they can abandon that control. For others the need to submit is more powerful and will dictate the kinds of long-term relationships they enter into and the life they lead. There are those who have a generalised need to be submissive and express this with a succession of inter-changeable partners, and others who only feel the need to be submissive with one special person. For some, submission is limited to sexual play while for others it permeates every aspect of their lives. In return for granting power to a dominant a submissive receives the freedom to 'let go'; to unlock the door and let the secret inner-self come out to play in safety.My thoughts on slavery
The Masochist Versus the Submissive
BDSM Terms, very brief glossary
Silence in submission
Submission - the importance of finding your own level
Am I a masochist? - Interviews
Day-to-day concerns and the need to make decisions cease to matter to a submissive once she is totally focussed on, and submitting to, the will of a dominant. In submitting to control like this the submissive can, paradoxically, become free. Clearly a deep surrender of control involves placing a great deal of trust in the dominant and isn't appropriate for a BDSM session with a relative stranger, where the risks require that the nature of play and its limits should be subject to negotiation first. In a committed D/s relationship though, a dominant and a submissive have the chance to gradually earn each others trust. Trust is hard-won and easily lost, but it is the living, breathing heart of submission. The more a submissive builds trust with her dominant, the more a unique and exhilarating kind of freedom becomes attainable. The roles of submissive and dominant demand equal respect. Being a submissive does not make you 'weak' or 'a doormat'. Real submission requires strength and resolve. Some say that within any relationship involving domination and submission the submissive has the upper hand because she can withdraw at her whim the power enjoyed by the dominant, and indeed that may be true of a very shallow and superficial kind of submission. It is probably truer to say that succesful D/s relationships are always built upon a mutual fulfillment of needs.