Domination and Submission in Romantic Relationships

Tiptoeing into the land of dominance and submission requires a little research. First, you want to define what you even mean by dominance and submission. Many people confuse kink, BDSM, D/s, and power play. This Wikipedia entry about domination and submission has great overviews of many of the definitions and possibilities.

From there, you’ll want to learn how to keep things safe. Even acts that seem straightforward can become dangerous if done improperly. If you simply Google “how to (fill in the blank) safely during sex,” you’ll usually find decent advice. If you’re using any sort of prop, make sure you read the instructions properly. Power play can bring up emotional issues as well. Take it slow until you get to know each other better. Power play requires an unbelievable amount of trust, and that level of trust takes time to build.

Thanks to movies like Fifty Shades of Grey, most people associate being in a dominant-submissive relationship strictly with sex. And although many partners exercise their relationship through sexual activities alone, some carry this partnership into everyday life. The dominant-submissive relationship is different from a master and slave. That dynamic is usually reserved for role play. People engaged in a submissive relationship often consider it a lifestyle.

The dominant’s role is to guide and protect the submissive, whose sole purpose is to please and obey the dominant. Some Doms & Subs remain fixed in their roles and others can switch at any time. Some relationships include pre-arranged scenes where the dominant exerts his power over the submissive. The dominant may create rules that the submissive must follow. The sub may have to ask for their permission in the bedroom. Plead with them to touch or kiss them. Or make certain things forbidden unless they’ve received explicit permission. For example, they could agree that the sub is not allowed to touch themselves or orgasm until they tell them to. In return, the dominant is responsible for protecting the submissive at all costs. The dynamic is one that includes respect and an exchange of power and control.

The rules that both the dominant and submissive live by should be agreed upon by both parties. They should also be well-thought out. The different circumstances that surround each rule should also be considered. Make sure you are explicitly clear about your boundaries beforehand. You should also pick a safeword to use any time you’re engaging in power play. Pick a word that you normally wouldn’t use during sex. Something random like “pineapple” or “unicorn” works best. Any time one of you utters the safeword, that means that you need to immediately stop whatever you were doing and check in with each other.

You can use roleplay to help ease any initial awkwardness you may feel. It can take time to develop your submissive identity, so playing a role can make it easier to come up with your persona There are so many different toys you can use to help you get more into your roles. Each of these toys is relatively inexpensive, and a lot of fun to explore together. You can also try costumes that fit with your role-plays. The Dominant/submissive dynamic isn’t for everyone. But if you like the sound of it, check out mistress dating and if you’re willing to approach it in a communicative and consent-oriented way, it’s definitely worth giving it a try.

Welcome to Vivre Le Rêve, an online lifestyle magazine for all those who are or who want to be living the dream! I’m Rose, the lifestyle editor here at Vivre Le Rêve.