Opinion: The Dominant Submissive

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No matter where you are in the BDSM continuum – from newbie to experienced – there is one “Prime Directive” (thank you Star Trek) — whether one is a Top or bottom, sadist or masochist, Dom/me or slave, we all want what we want.

If one is a Top, it is relatively easy to get what you want. After all, he/she is in a power position – whether in a scene or in a relationship. But submissives are given no such inherent control.

Thus, the “Dominant submissive” is rather common in our lifestyle.

“The Dominant submissive.” The phrase grabs your attention; but what exactly does the expression mean? Surely, it is not a submissive walking around with a flogger in his/her hand. What I mean by “the Dominant submissive” is a sub whose needs are not being met and becomes quite dominant in an attempt to get what he or she wants from her Master/Mistress.

As I had stated, we all want what we want – Dom, sub or the man in the moon! Thus, there is a natural tendency for all submissives to be subtly demanding in the area of self-fulfillment. After all, a submissive who likes being flogged gets flogged. What we will examine here is where ‘stating your needs’ ends and becoming a ‘Dominant submissive’ begins.

Master/slave and Dom/sub relationships are rarely as perfect in real life as they seem to be online. The idealized world of faultless submissives is a rarity; in fact, it is just about as atypical as the world of perfect Masters. Here is where we enter the human area where Dominance and submission often do not mesh smoothly.

Even the most submissive of submissives can be just as demanding in his/her needs as any Dominant. Of course, need number one should be to please the Dominant. However, the Dom/me should recognize that submissives may have other very specific needs that, if unmet, will eventually tear at the fabric of the relationship. Once the Dom/me recognizes this, and doesn’t react to a submissive clearly stating requests with the old “you’re being too toppy” retort, then the relationship can move forward without problems.

We are not talking about “topping from the bottom.” That usually refers to scene etiquette. For example, “You hit like a girl” uttered in the middle of a scene is classic bottom-topping.

What we are referring to is the normal human need of any person to have their desires met. The term “Dominant submissive,” is really more of an acknowledgement that a submissive’s desires can be every bit as important to the submissive as the Dominant’s need are to him. Often a Dom can get so wrapped up in his/her power that this fact is often neglected. There is a famous saying that “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Thus, if one senses a bit of “Dominance” in a submissive’s demeanor, rather than get out the punishment tool, try to understand what he/she is willing to become dominant over. It is relatively easy to identify the requirements of a submissive. Just ask. Don’t over react to your sub’s stating that he/she “wants to be caned this weekend” or “wants to go to the movies” or “his/her butt hurts and wants to skip the dungeon” as though he/she were becoming the Dominant. Depending on your personal protocol, you might ask your slave to add the word “please” to any requests; but the sub cannot expect you to read his/her mind. By making his/her desires clear, he/she is not taking over your role. The submissive is simply communicating. After all, telepathy has not been perfected yet!

Communication is still the most important aspect of any relationship. In a D/s relationship, a submissive must find ways to commune with his/her Dominant. A Dom/me cannot just guess what his submissive likes; he cannot use trial and error. And the Dominant must be wise enough to understand that ignoring his sub’s basic desires can eventually turn her into a “Dominant submissive.” Of course, the Dom/me is going to push soft limits and explore areas that the sub might not ordinarily do on her own. That is the fun, and privilege, of Dominance. But, there is nothing wrong with a Master being aware of his submissive’s needs and making sure most of them are met. This is not un-Domly. It is smart. And it is the best way to insure that both of you get what you want!

By BaadMaster
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.


  1. Katiebug says:

    Want to know all the dynamics of master salve relationship

  2. Great thoughts. This is something I’ve always that has been the major challenge in this type of relationship. Even if it’s not a 24/7 D/s relationship, when’ you’re “doing it”, if each person doesn’t get what they want out of the interaction it won’t continue to be exciting/attractive/interesting to them. Maybe that’s why I like being submissive, but also like being Dominant – she might be Dom just to please my kinks – and I’m happy to be Dom to please hers! Vice versa applies too 🙂

  3. Dominant submissive? S/he is called a brat. It is also known as topping from below.

  4. How can you full fill a deep and longing desire to be a submissive if you are not and do not wish to be in a romantic relationship with anybody and there for do not have a dominant in your life?

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