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Also see the Roles and Functions Page

In BDSM, a submissive is the person who follows the orders of the Master, Dom or Mistress Domme.

Dictionary definitions:

Main Entry: sub·mis·sive Pronunciation: s&b-'mis-iv Function: adjective

adj 1: inclined or willing to submit to orders or wishes of others or showing such inclination; "submissive servants"; "a submissive reply"; "replacing troublemakers with more submissive people" [ant: domineering]
adj 2: willing to submit without resistance to authority; deferent
adj 3: abjectly submissive; characteristic of a slave or servant; "slavish devotion to her job ruled her life"; "a slavish yes-man to the party bosses"- S.H.Adams; "she has become submissive and subservient" [syn: slavish, subservient]

Main Entry: sub·mis·sion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sb-mshn) n.

The act of submitting to the power of another: “Oppression that cannot be overcome does not give rise to revolt but to submission” (Simone Weil).
The state of having submitted. See Synonyms at surrender.
The state of being submissive or compliant; meekness.


A submissive (abbreviated sub), in a BDSM context, is a person who submits to the will of another person: the dominant. The submissive may or may not receive physical punishment, but the submissive always takes direction and instruction from the dominant.

In consensual spanking, the spankee can assume a submissive role, which may include accepting "punishment" from the dominant. The submissive surrenders control, both mentally and physically. For example, when a spankee is instructed to undress, a submissive follows orders and bares her/his buttocks without question. Thus, he or she willingly surrenders control of the scene.

However note that a spankee is not necessarily submissive, and a spanker is not necessarily dominant. In sensation play, for example, there is no domination and submission. A spankee may also play the role of a recalcitrant brat, or can even be dominant in a scene (see topping from the bottom).

Some people have a more or less fixed orientation as a submissive, while others assume the submissive role for a limited time, perhaps only a single scene. A person who is at some times (or with some people) a submissive, and at other times a dominant, is often called a switch.

Also see the page [ Subs and Slaves ] and/or [ Subservience ] and/or [ Submissiveness ]
Also see the page [ RPOV:Submissive ]


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