A submissive, frequently known as a sub, is a sexual participant who willingly gives up some or all of their control to a dominant partner. This type of partnership is often referred to in the BDSM community as a dominant/submissive (D/s) relationship. Subs can identify as any gender or sexuality. Being submissive can mean different things to different individuals. It can involve many different activities. By offering themselves to their dominant, submissives gain pleasure from both the acts of the dominant inflicted upon them and also from the knowledge they are pleasing the dominant.
For some, being submissive can involve psychological verbal cues, including referring to the dominant as “Sir” or “Master” or “Ma’am” or Mistress.” It may involve other forms of humiliation. It can also involve different physical acts, including various types of bondage (rope, collaring, cuffs, caging), impact play (spanking, caning, paddling), and different types of torture.
Submissive acts can also vary when it comes to pain. Some subs enjoy light teasing while others get off on significant types of pain. Other submissive acts include obedience, begging and asking for permission, being punished, roleplay, and being displayed and shared by the dominant. Sex gear and toys can also a big part of being a submissive, including gags, handcuffs, spreader bars, paddles, blindfolds, and more.
Some submissives and dominants can be switches. These individuals can move between either role, depending on the scene.