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  • Jessica Lansdown

Dominance and Submission - a whole new world of sex?

Updated: Sep 10, 2022

Actually, as a set of behaviours between two adults, Dominance and Submission, has likely been around for many, many years. Dominance and Submission (D/s) can be intensely physical, often crossing into sado-masochism when both sides derive pleasure from dominating or being dominated sexually. Customs and rituals can and do exist in the D/s lifestyle filled with erotic enjoyment and are often seen as a subset of BDSM.

Those who take the superior position are called the Dominant or Dom (male) or Domme (female). The subordinate, whether male or female is a submissive or sub. A switch is the person that plays either part or role often switching from one to the other in a single session.

Of course it’s all about control, to feel comfortable and able to demand that someone calls you Sir, Master or Mistress, knowing that they will comply. To expect every sexual whim and desire to be speedily and precisely addressed to your complete and utter satisfaction, knowing that your sub only wants to serve and please you. That can be very arousing, that can be called dominance.

Although it could be about giving up control, to feel comfortable calling another person Master or Mistress, to want to do whatever it takes to please them, even if it means, as it surely will, becoming sexually subservient. Happily doing anything that is asked sexually, accepting humiliation, pain and punishment as required, following instructions, giving your whole body to serve the master or mistress in all and any way they deem necessary; that can be a real aphrodisiac, and that can be called submission.


Ah... equipment. There is such pleasure to be gained from the myriad of toys and implements out there in the marketplace. These are certain kinds of props which can enhance your pleasure as well as prolong your pain, whether you are the giver or receiver, the Dominant or submissive or even a Switch. D/s play involving toys, as they are euphemistically called, will be an experience that you are sure to remember and want to often repeat. The colour, size or material as well as their various uses offer an enormous array to choose from and can include; clips and clamps to squeeze and pinch, spreaders to keep various things open and available as well as cages and rings to keep things closed. There are handcuffs, hogties and ropes to restrain and restrict all the way through to floggers, paddles, crops and canes, as well as plugs, vibrators, dildos and machines and probably lots in between. Check out for a complete range of toys.

The Dominant

I’m not sure if there are any statistics relating to the numbers of dominants that are males versus those that are females and if there are, I haven’t found them. I’m willing to guess however that there are more males than females who enjoy the dominant sexual role. I am of course basing that guess on my own experiences. Certainly most of the men that I have had contact with have been more inclined to want to dominate than submit. After that my guess is probably informed by culture. Those conclusions sit well with the Alpha Male, ‘completely in charge’ fantasy male characters that are routinely portrayed in various books, TV shows and films. Whilst things do seem to be changing slowly, it is still a rarity to see women portrayed in any kind of dominant way on TV and in film. Having said all that, it does take two to tango… one could argue (I know I would) that women that choose to take on a submissive role are in fact the ones in control. Those women make the opportunity and so make it possible for their dominant to achieve his desires. Without his submissive’s agreement and consent, he simply would not be able to.

The Submissive

The intensity of the D/s relationship comes from control. The surrender of control to another person can be extremely arousing to the submissive who yearns for instructions as well as an often firm and controlling hand. A true submissive will crave the pleasure of his or her Dom/Domme, always seeking to please. A good sub will be fully and happily available in all and any way to provide sexual services of any and all kinds to sate the desire of the Dominant to both provide pleasure and please the Master or Mistress. Submissive services could include receiving pain and punishment through any number of implements through to light or significant bondage, handcuffs, hogties as well as plugs and machines, orgasm denial and many and various kinks and desires in between. There are boundaries of course and whilst I’m sure that it hasn’t always been the case, these days, the relationship between a dominant and submissive revolves around consent and guidelines.

The Switch

I suspect that secretly, quite a number of male or female dominants would happily switch to assume the submissive role whilst others would never consider it. Perhaps it’s because those people just like extremes and so are keen to experience both sides. Partnership already in D/s world can be successful switches and will arrange to play out scenes to suit.

A usually dominant Switch could enjoy a change from the norm; following instructions to service his mistress as she requires, submitting to punishment, and/or anal penetration as well as providing a sexual clean up service for the mistress’s body. Before switching back to the usual and much firmer role of the dominant, the usually submissive could relish the power of the Switch as he or she inflicts punishment on the sub and plays with orgasm control before returning to the submissive role and the possibility of enjoyable pay back that may follow and switching adventures.

Dominance and Submission involves trust and care. The Dominant cares for and looks after the submissive while the submissive cares for and truly wants to please the dominant.

If you are considering entering into any kind of D/s arrangement, make sure that you discuss everything in advance and include basic ground rules. Think about, talk through and agree various elements such as what you will and most importantly what you won’t do. It’s always a good idea to agree on a safe word or phrase that can be introduced should anything go wrong. The agreement of the safe word should ensure that you can be confident that once that word or phrase is uttered and understood, everything will immediately stop.

If you are the submissive, try to discover what will please your dominant the most – just to alleviate too much trial and error. Ask if he/she likes to give pain and to what degree and if others are likely to be involved and what you will be expected to do with any others.

As a dominant, make sure you find out about pain thresholds if you plan to inflict pain and explain all your expectations fully.

I have written a few novellas about Dominance and Submission all of which tell a story about a set of fictitious characters that are involved in D/s play of one kind or another. I suggest that you read any(or al ) of these novellas, as aside from being a hot horny reads, they will each provide some further insight into this marvellous topic of Dominance and Submission.

For a brief introduction of each of the suggested reads, please click on the titles below.

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