Dominance and submission often receives a bad rap from the general public. People are often confused as to why a sexual partner might want to be submissive to another individual. And the idea of being controlling over someone else strikes them as odd and outdated. Especially when it comes to heterosexual dominance between a dominant male and submissive female.
Defining Dominance And Submission In BDSM
They might have seen domination porn and become disillusioned by what it actually is. People might feel that it’s a step back in terms of equality and feminism. What they’re not understanding is the benefits that bondage provides the consenting adults in such a relationship.
Put simply, dominance and submission refers to a power exchange between two consenting individuals. One partner will become the dominant partner. And the other will become the submissive. This is not limited to young couples, heterosexual couples nor is it related to age.
A mature male might be in a gay intergenerational relationship where his younger partner is sexually dominating. Level of this differs between relationships. Dominance and submission and ultimate power exchange might be solely limited to the bedroom. Or it might seep through life in the household.
Very few relationships encompass a total power control
Where the dominant is responsible for all the decisions made. Though the people that are in such relationships often report to be far more stable and stronger than they would be without the support of their dominant partner.
Let’s explore dominance and submission a little more, in order to gain a thorough understanding of the practice.
Popularity Of Male Submission
A most common form of submission within relationships is male submission. There is many erotic literature, and film which depict male submission at the hand of a dominant woman. It is indicative of the idea that there is a certain appeal to submission perhaps due to the stark contrast of the idea of patriarchy.
Such dominated males might be psychologically dominated, or they might be sexually dominated and required to please their dominant before they can become achieve arousal.
There might be an element of orgasm denial in the relationship. Where the male is only rewarded with sexual pleasure once he has attained a certain level of accepted behaviour or completion of chores. Males are deemed to be the dominant forces in a relationship, to flip that and let someone else take control can be liberating sexually and highly arousing.
Males are often viewed as being ‘active’ partners in a sexual capacity due to the idea of the phallus being an active body part. Phallus penetrates a submissive body part, with the body part being receptive. To subvert this notion as is common in a male chastity story is a common male fantasy. Idea of relinquishing control is arousing because they are meant to be in control.
Let’s expand this a little further.
A submissive partner is never forced to submit, a submissive will willingly forfeit their power to the dominant. In that sense, many people fail to understand the following concept; that it is possible to exist in a paradoxical element where there is submission within dominance, and dominance within the act of submission.
A submissive, regardless of their gender, will generally have a safe word at their disposal. This safe word, when used is meant to immediately stop all forms of sexual activity and play.
A submissive might use this word when they feel threatened, unsafe, scared or uncomfortable about a particular activity. This allows the submissive to have a security blanket where they will never be forced into doing something that disregards their safety and comfort levels.
In this regard it is the submissive who continually holds the most power in such a relationship through their ability to have, essentially, an emergency stop button.
Psychology Of Dominance And Submission
As mentioned, this type of play might only be limited to the bedroom, or to the household.
There has been much research and documentation done on high profile individuals who possess demanding jobs where they are in a continually dominant position who find psychological and sexual relief when they go home and play a submissive role.
The submissive role in such a situation is liberating because they spend the rest of their day being in control and in charge only to have that power taken away from them in the sexual relationship. This lack of power might actually benefit them and their lifestyles.
Look at the interviews with Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg
When asked about why they wear the same thing every day and it relates to their understanding that they would do this in order to focus on their work. By taking away some of the elements of the decision making processes throughout life, they had found themselves more able to do their jobs.
By becoming a submissive in this way, they have relinquished a form of power and still retained another. They still have the use of a safeword, they have willingly chosen to given up such power, and they are exploring their sexual fantasies and erotic thoughts at the same time.
When considering it like this, does a submissive still seem helpless and powerless? Being a submissive in such a relationship does not equate to powerlessness and this is the primary concept which people are most likely to misunderstand.
In this regard, dominance and submission is often a misunderstood relationship.
It will often incorporate elements of discipline, for how can you have control without having rules. Occasionally it will feature sadism and Masochism, but not always. That’s the thing about BDSM.
There’s elements that will cross over each other, but they will always rely on one of the three overarching themes. Yes, discipline and bondage might be used in a S and M relationship, however the purpose of the bondage and discipline is to reinforce the idea of dominance.
Hence, the overarching theme of such a relationship would be stoically grounded within dominance and submission. Hopefully by this stage, you recognise the differences between the themes and just how diverse BDSM can be.