In our original BDSM article, BDSM…what is that?, we touched base on the true definition of BDSM. So far, we’ve learned that BDSM is not just beating the crap out of our partner during sex. We’ve also learned that it is not one single, all encompassing, act. There are three facets to BDSM. It is so much more complicated…and is safe, sane and consensual. In this article, we are going to dive deeper into the second two letters of BDSM. Do you remember what they stand for?
If not, DS stands for dominance and submission, or, D/s. Dominance is the control and influence over another person. Submission is the act of being obedient and yielding to such control and influence. D/s is often linked with one of the other two practices: sadism and masochism, bondage and discipline, or possibly both. Dominance and submission can occur in various ways and physical contact is not always necessary. D/s can occur over the phone, email and several other ways. It often occurs in person and, many times, in conjunction with bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism.
Within dominance and submission, there are typically two players. Those players are often called a dom and a sub. A dom is the partner who takes the active dominant role. Doms that exercise control over a large percentage of a sub’s daily activities is also referred to as a “master” (male) and a “mistress” (female). In most instances, a dom gives and controls acts of discipline, humiliation and bondage on their sub. They use various sensual, psychological and sexual techniques to achieve control.
A sub is the partner who submits to the dominant player. In many scenes, they are also known as the “slave.” The slave’s role is of subservient nature. They are to follow the dom’s authority while under their direct control, or, time periods outside of direct contact. The time frame is dependent on the agreement made between both participants.
The relationships between dom and sub can vary. Some relationships are temporary while others are more permanent. There are instances where the dom/sub relationship is between a married couple. Within a more permanent situation, some tend to have roles that “switch” yet others couples maintain the same role throughout their relationship. Depending on the mood and preference, some roles switch from one encounter to the next, or even within the same encounter.
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