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Submission refers to a set of sexual rituals, behaviors, and customs where individuals willingly hand over control of their bodies to their partners. While submission mainly occurs during erotic episodes, some couples integrate this ritual during their daily life. The partner who takes the upper hand position is normally known as a Dom, or Dominant. The inferior or willingly docile partner is referred to as the sub or submissive.
While physical contact is one of the main pillars of a D/s relationship, it is not always necessary. Some also indulge in emotional submission where the sub willingly modifies their lifestyle to meet the Dominate partner's needs and expectations. Sexual submission greatly varies in intensity. It is usually negotiated in the form of a contract. In many cases, a safe word is agreed upon to keep both parties safe.
Safety is one of the most fundamental aspects of a submissive relationship. This sexual practice falls within the BDSM culture. The Dom is may be referred to as the Master or Mistress. While some people choose to indulge in D/s play both within and outside the bedroom, many couples use the relational D/s aspect only in special sessions or scenes. Some BDSM couples usually derive pleasure from inflicting and receiving humiliation and pain.
Other submissive practices also include restraining devices and accessories, bondage and discipline, flogging and spanking, sexual role play, suspension, wax play, strap-on sex, and gagging. The concept of ownership is a recurrent theme in the D/s relationship. By this token, the submissive partner usually wears a collar to show ownership by the Dominant.
The act of submission isn't always sexual. In some D/s relationships, the Dominant partner makes decisions on behalf of the sub. Sometimes, submissives will also act in a service type manner including cooking and cleaning.