Dominance and Submission (D/s)

Last Updated: November 4, 2019

Share this:

Definition - What does Dominance and Submission (D/s) mean?

Dominance and submission (D/s) is a term used to describe the erotic or sexual behavior in which one person gives up their control to another. This is common in the BDSM community. Some individuals use D/s only during sexual role playing, while others may live in a full-time D/s relationship. Although physical dominance is a common element in dominance and submission scenarios, emotional and psychological dominance is also quite common, such as when a dominant orders his or her submissive to perform a sexual act.

In the BDSM community, the word dominant, or any other variation of the word, is capitalized when written.

Kinkly explains Dominance and Submission (D/s)

It's important to realize that true dominance and submission can only exist between consenting adults. Many BDSM and D/s players aim to live by a motto of keeping all play safe, sane, and consensual. Dominating a nonconsenting person is not only illegal, it's also quite dangerous for all parties involved. If you're looking to play with dominance and submission in the bedroom, you and your partner should also decide on a safe word beforehand. This should be a word or short phrase that would not normally be uttered during D/s play, such as "jelly bean" or "banana." Some D/s players use the traffic light system, in which green means keep it up, yellow means ease up a little, and red means stop right now.

A male dominant may be referred to as a "top," "dom," or "master," while a female dominant may be referred to as a "dominatrix" or "mistress." Submissive partners may be referred to as "bottoms" or "slaves," or whatever else their dominants choose to call them.

Do you need ideas for your next steamy scene? Take our quiz to get a personalized scene built just for you!

If you're just tipping your toe into the world of BDSM, you may be unsure where to even start when it comes to planning out a scene.

We made this quiz to provide you with your next, or first, BDSM scene based on your own tastes and desires!

Email Newsletter

Join thousands receiving hot new sex related articles, goodies, and great deals.