Aesthetics and the feel of a chastity cage against your cock may have drawn you to the male chastity lifestyle. But your locked-up cock signifies something much bigger. It demonstrates your willingness to submit.
Being locked in a male chastity device is a submissive fetish and you’re working on exploring the extent of your submissiveness. But whether you’re controlled by your desire to suppress your pleasure or under the command of a Dominant, you realize that being submissive is more than strapping on a device.
The submissive role in a BDSM relationship can mean different things to different couples. It may involve surrendering all independence, or only giving up control some of the time. It may include punishments, chores, and sexual intimacy. Or it may involve none of these.
As in all fetish and BDSM play, part of the joy in learning how to be submissive comes from deciding how the role will work for you, your relationship dynamic, and your circumstances. Starting your journey isn’t always easy. Understanding what it truly means to submit can be physically and mentally challenging. But it can also be brilliantly empowering. I’ll explain.
Defining the Submissive
The word ‘submissive’ gets bad press, writes full-time sub lunaKM in her piece, what does it mean to be submissive? Dictionaries tend to define submissive as ‘inclined or ready to submit; unresistingly or humbly obedient.’ So, we’re not talking positive and empowering here, right? When paired with the images and ideas we have of submission in sport, at work, and backing down in an argument with your spouse, submitting is firmly seen as a sign of weakness. The person who backs down is considered a pushover.
However, this vanilla-world take doesn’t fit with BDSM submission. It’s too broad. And it omits essential elements of a Dom/sub relationship: trust, communication, negotiation, and consent. Submitting in a BDSM context is more nuanced and complex than backing down in an argument.
So how to define the submissive? I suggest we do it like this.
In the BDSM community, a submissive willingly and consensually submits to an Alpha or Dominant. They fulfil their role in line with the limits and boundaries discussed and agreed to by both the submissive and Dominant partners.
Dominant/submissive relationships rely on open and ongoing communication. For sure, every relationship needs these things. But when one partner knowingly places their entire welfare in the hands of another—be it an hour during intimate play or around the clock—clear communication is even more important. When you both participate, that’s a conversation. When one person does all the talking, that’s a lecture, not a discussion. And when you’re not free to communicate your ideas and thoughts on your role, that’s when things go wrong.
Defining Your Version of Submission
Understanding what you want from the relationship is the key to communicating effectively. If you don’t know what that looks like right now, that’s okay. Here’s some help.
There’s no ‘right way’ to be submissive. Remember this when thinking about what submission is for you, and what you expect it to look and feel like in your relationship. What it means to be a good submissive depends on your and your Dominant’s expectations, and your relationship agreement.
I realize the last thing you want to hear as a submissive is, “You’ve got to figure this out for yourself.” I also understand that newly acknowledging that you’re a submissive male may be a lot. But this is how it is. And instead of getting hung up on there being no straight answers, embrace the freedom that comes with interpretation. Now I’ll offer you, what I think is, a good starting point.
As a new sub or slave, begin by assessing what’s already important in your life. Consider how your new lifestyle fits with your vanilla life commitment. (That’s assuming you’re not looking to escape your current life or relationship structure completely.)
Be realistic. Let go of the idea that you have to be in your submissive role or state all of the time. Unless that’s what you truly want. You’re free to make this work however you need it to. So if you know you can only serve your Dominant on the weekend when you don’t have work pressures, be clear about that. If you don’t like the idea of having to ask permission to enter or exit a room or be locked in a chastity cage let your Dominant know. Find a form of submission that lets you balance all the hats you need to wear, without burning out.
There’s no “right way” to be submissive. What it means to be a good submissive depends on your and your Dominant’s expectations, and your relationship agreement. And instead of getting hung up on there being no straight answers, embrace the freedom that comes with interpretation.
The Different Submissive Styles
We know there’s no single way to be a good submissive. So it stands to reason that within the BDSM community, there are several submissive tropes. As you work out what type of submissive you are, you may identify with some of these subby qualities and characteristics.
Bedroom bondage sub – A style of temporary submission. The bedroom bondage sub only hands over control during sexual intimacy.
Slave – Slaves are at the other end of the submissive spectrum. This is the 24/7, all encompassing style of subbing. A lot of negotiation is needed before a Dominant accepts someone as their BDSM slave with the relationship developing over time.
The Dark Cobra small chastity device. The ultimate cock cage for the 24/7 slave? You decide.
Service sub – Pleasing their Dominant and taking pride in their work is a service sub’s modus operandi. They’ll carry out domestic chores for their Dominant, such as cleaning, washing, shopping, and cooking. Depending on the agreement, they may also be used as furniture (e.g. a footstool), for sexual pleasure, or asked to pamper their Dom.
Brat – Deliberately disobeying requests, talking back, and generally being cheeky to get a reaction from their Dominant, brats are possibly the most playful of the submissive styles. And nothing irks them more than their cries for attention being ignored.
Little – Embracing the characteristics of their younger selves, littlies like to giggle, play, be cute, and whinge when they don’t get their own way. Like brats, they enjoy attention, but are likely to fall into line more easily with the requests of their Dominant.
Perfect for little subs, the Silicone Sissy Restraint in pink.
Pet – Pet subs move, act and sometimes dress like the pet animal they’re playing. The most common pets are cats/kittens, puppies/dogs, ponies, or mythical pets. Their relationship with their Dominant is pet/owner, with the owner treating them as an animal. Dominants may walk them around on a lead, spend time patting, stroking, or grooming, and have their pet eating and drinking out of a bowl.
Masochist – Also known as a pain slut, masochist submissives revel in the physical pain inflicted by BDSM play, such as spanking, impact play, and edge play. A masochist may keep asking for more and want to push their limits. Hence it’s always important to establish play boundaries for the submissive and the Dominant, who should not be asked to carry out punishments they’re uncomfortable with.
Qualities of a Good Submissive
A lot goes into becoming a good submissive. No one wakes up one morning, declares themselves a submissive and that’s that. It’s only through experiencing the submissive life, living it, and fine-tuning it, that it becomes the empowering, exciting, sexually charged role you desire. Submissives who know their own mind are thoughtful, and have opinions are often the most satisfied.
There’s a difference between having opinions and being disobedient. A Dominant rarely wants a doormat. Having someone mindlessly follow every instruction is unlikely to satisfy a Dom.
Expressing opinions respectfully, thoughtfully communicating their needs, and empathizing with the pleasure the dynamic brings for the Dominant, are all good submissive qualities. This is, after all, a relationship. A two-way experience.
The other quality I would add to this list is patience. I’ve spoken a lot about you, as the submissive, learning what it means to be this way. But newly crowned Dominants who are learning the craft require your patience and understanding, too.
Busting the Biggest Submissive Myth. Subs Aren’t Powerless
Solid BDSM relationships—whether with a life partner or a pro-Dom—are founded on communication and responsibility. A common beginner misconception is that all responsibility sits with the Dominant. This simply isn’t true. And a red flag goes up if a sub proclaims, “You can do anything to me,” or the other popular one, “You’re the Dominant, you decide.”
This mentality puts both parties at risk. It shows a lack of willingness to engage with and respect the other person’s limits and boundaries. Submissives aren’t powerless. And they certainly aren’t devoid of responsibility. Some would argue that subs hold all the power.
Subs and Safewords
Safewords are generally associated with submissives. The conclusion that’s often jumped to is that it’s only the submissive who uses the safeword. Hence the notion that subs have the real power. All we Dom’s can do is hope that power isn’t abused. (If or when it is, a scene can be ruined.)
In a healthy BDSM relationship, this should never be the case. Either party should be able to stop play and walk away from the scene or relationship if needed. Dominants must have their own safeword to ensure equilibrium between the roles, with each respecting the power of those chosen words.
The biggest issue with the ‘subs hold all of the power’ argument is that it undermines what’s at the heart of the D/s dynamic. Dominants hold the power.
For this exchange to work successfully and satisfactorily, the submissive must fulfil their role of relinquishing power just as much as the Dom must embrace wielding it.
Master Arcane, a male Dominant and owner of BDSM education site The Crow Academy, likens successful BDSM dynamic as ballroom dancing. In his article Restoring balance to the D/s dance, he writes:
“In all of these “Ballroom Dancing” circumstances, you have one person as “the lead,” and one person as “the follow.” The lead’s job is to give the subtle signals that decide what move, or set of moves, will be performed in the very next instant. The follow’s job is to be listening with their whole body and all their senses to these microscopic instructional messages from the lead, instant to instant, and then specifically attune their own complementary movement to comply with these super-fast, non-verbal instructions and even embellish upon the lead’s instructions with subtleties of elaborate movement created from the dancing skills of the developed follow.”
This description perfectly captures the communication and balance of responsibility that a good D/s relationship needs. And, as Arcane goes on to say, either party can choose to end the dance.
More Than a Cock Cage, a Chastity Key, and Falling to Your Knees
Being submissive is often, quite wrongly, thought of as the easier of the two BDSM roles. But as I’ve discussed here, this isn’t true. Being a good submissive means, figuring out:
- Why you want this role.
- What you enjoy about submitting to another.
- What you want from the dynamic, and how to respect what the other person wants from it too.
If you are new to this path, these articles may help you find your way.
The Ltc Guide to Female Led Relationships and Male Chastity