Dominant and Submissive Types?

I’ve explored this question since the beginning and I feel it is one everyone needs to explore and try to answer. We all have many facets to our personalities and we will all have some common threads, but each of us is unique.

I more easily write from the perspective of a married D/s relationship, but I’m sure what I share will be beneficial to any Dominant or submissive. I more easily write from a Dominant (male) and submissive (female) point of view, but feel free to change pronouns.

I think we marry who we marry because we recognize qualities and behaviors in the other that we instinctively know will enhance ourselves and the would-be marriage. If your D/s discovery happend way down the road of matrimony you may be surprised to find that you are well-suited to one another as Dominant/submissive, even though D/s probably wasn’t on your radar once upon a time.

Ok, so now everything is out on the table and open, you’ve decided this is the life for you,  and you’re walking along your journey. You want very much to make it all better and stronger, but there are times your submission or your Domination doesn’t go like it should or the way you see it in your head. You’re not sure how to please him and he is confused as to why you don’t do what he’s asking. Maybe some questions need to be answered?

1) What is my submissive type?

2) What is my Dominant type?

3) What do I want in a submissive?

4) What do I want in a Dominant?

Many people in the D/s lifestyle are unattached before seeking a partner and will seek out the type of submissive or Dominant that floats their boats. If you’re married, you have who you have and need to make it work with that person. Like I said earlier, more than likely this person in well-suited to you, but fine-tuning needs to happen because many years of married vanilla life needs to be peeled back and put in the compost pile. We are all slowly exposing ourselves to the core and if you’re like me, you’re surprised by what you find hidden in those layers.

I used my awesome investigation techniques (meaning I Googled it), and found many sites that broke down different types of submissives, but they were more along the lines of bratty sub, natural sub, etc (not what I was after). There were also some that were condescending and we’ll just not give them the time of day. I found a few blogs that did a fine job of explaining. Here is one taken from http://bdsm-sexperts.blogspot.com/2010/09/different-kinds-of-submissives.html

Different Kinds of Submissives

This post will be short and simple! I don’t like many of the online “Types of Submissives” Guides, which make it seem like there is a right kind of a submissive and several wrong kinds, or else use deragatory names to refer to submissives. So I’m making my own list!
There are a few different kinds of submissives:
  • service
  • sexual
  • household
  • all of the above
  • pain

The service submissive is probably the most common in my experience. This submissive spends a lot of time doing acts of service, such as drawing the Dom’s bath, massaging him (or her) when he’s tense, bringing him food and drink, or otherwise making his life more comfortable.

The sexual submissive may not bring the Dom his coffee every morning, but she is sexually available for him at all times. The training for these kinds of submissives often includes sexual training to enlarge the anus for more easy anal sex, learning to deep throat, and other sexual services.

The household submissive is less common, but this sub spends his or her time cleaning, taking care of the household chores, cooking, and keeping the home neat and welcoming. The only time I’ve ever heard of someone being ONLY a household sub was a poly situation where other subs were already meeting the Master’s needs for sex, service, and companionship.

All of the above submissives incorporate sexual submission, care of the household, and service. These are most common in monogamous BDSM relationships.

Pain submissives are, simply put, masochists. They often don’t enjoy other aspects of submission, but they do enjoy pain. These submissives are often only submissive in the bedroom or during a play session, but revert back to an equal relationship when not getting his or her “pain needs” met.

I really respect this author for realizing that you actually can be a combination of all these types and I would even dare say that you can factor in Pain submissive, because there are days when you just want a spanking. Am I right, ladies?

Here’s a really good breakdown of Dominant types from http://louisvillefringe.com/?p=229, and like the previous author, came to the conclusion that Dominants are a combination as well:

What kind of Dominant?

In my relationship with my Sir, we have striven to incorporate a certain amount of structure, including rules and protocols. Out of an interest for that which my Sir is interested in, I am currently reading through a book called “Discipline: Adding rules and discipline to your BDSM relationship” by Lilly Loyd to further my own understanding of the hows and whys of this aspect of our relationship. I haven’t finished it yet, but wanted to touch on something that I found particularly interesting that I read today.

According to Loyd, there are three basic kinds of rules: rituals and protocols, standing orders, and behavior modifications. Rituals and protocols include things like how you greet your Dominant when coming home, or whether or not you utilize furniture, or how you refer to them (Sir, Master, Daddy, etc.). Standing orders include “blanket” rules such as disallowing orgasms without permission, requiring meal planning or daily to do lists, etc. Behavior modifications include those rules which alter or begin a habit such as placing keys in a certain place (one of my own rules, due to the fact that I was forever losing my keys), or requiring exercise a certain number of times a week, etc.

The differences between the three types of rule seems a simple enough concept. I’d never really thought of it that way before so it was interesting. But wait….there’s more.

If there are three different types of rules, Loyd goes on to question if there are then three different types of Dominants. Hmmm…..alright, I’ll bite. Here’s what Loyd says (paraphrased):

The Ritual and Protocol Dominant:

A Dominant who’s very pragmatic and likes concrete, tangible outcomes may favor rituals and protocols. They’re the kind of Dominant who might be able to step into the role of Emperor or Empress…expecting you to simply hang around and be available for use. They are aware of subtle details in your appearance, attire, and demeanor and are likely to be very aware of body language during a scene.

The Standing Orders Dominant:

The type of Dominant you imagine when you hear the word “strict.” They have standards they live by – and will impose them on you. They like things done the right way…their way. They manage their own lives smoothly, with to do lists which they often place before anything else. They have a solid sense of order and routine.

The Behavior Modifications Dominant:

This Dominant’s motto is “It’s for your own good.” They get pleasure out of seeing others improve, even if it does not directly benefit them, the Dominant. They are obsessed with your inner workings and how to “fix” flaws. They are often sweet and caring and are proud of you when you do something to improve your life or break bad habits. They have a talent for abstract, long term plans.

As I read through the (longer) descriptions I couldn’t help but wonder which category my own Dominant would fall into. We have a variety of “rules” which seem to span all three of the categories. While at first I tried to box my Sir into one of the types, as I thought about it I realized that I think the writer is wrong. I like her analysis, don’t get me wrong here, but I think more often than not people…Dominants….are a mixture of those three categories. I don’t know if anyone could be a pure type. If you are reading this and you think you identify as a “pure type”, please comment below! In my opinion, having a mixture of the different types of rules/Dominants is healthy and not at all a bad thing.

On the other hand, and playing my own devil’s advocate, maybe there are people…submissive types….who don’t need one or more of the types of rules. Maybe you need some rituals but don’t necessarily need or want any behavior modification rules. I’m not here to judge…what’s right for me might not be right for you and so on….

All in all, I simply find the concept interesting, although I conclude that it doesn’t apply to MY specific dynamic. I’m interested in what this author has to say further in her book….

If you want to have some fun, take the submissive type test over at http://www.okcupid.com/tests/the-submissive-type-test. I’ll post my results in the reply. Anyone know of a good Dominant type test? We all know it’s easy to manipulate these tests to try and to get the answers you’d like, but take it honestly and let us know what you find out.

My sum total of all of this is that no one fits in a box and days, times, and situations ebb and flow. We all need to have flexibility and we each need to hold up our end of the bargain to the best of our abilities. It gets hard, but remember, you’re in this for the long haul, so put into place those rituals and reminders that will get you over hurdles. Then take all of the above and throw in healthy doses of love, compassion, sensitivity, mercy, and grace and I believe you’ll have a life-long D/s-M that will be the envy of all your vanilla friends and D/s-ers, too.

78 thoughts on “Dominant and Submissive Types?

  1. I have put so much thought into all of this for such a long time now. You are right, it is something that every submissive should think about. :) That submissive type quiz was very intriguing.

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  2. I think about this often – pretty important to this whole D/s thing. I’m a bit of every type. The quiz was interesting…I maybe agree with the percentages it yielded, but not really with the final category, if that makes sense.

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    • Makes sense to me….I thought the same thing shygirl! The quiz was informative but not really accurate as a lot of those questions didn’t pertain to the dynamic of our version of
      D/s-M. Further proof we dont all fit in a box right!

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          • If I can get that going then you all have to help with questions. We can make them pertain to the married lifestyle, even adding in scenarios with children. Here’s one: Your husDom calls you on his way home from work and tells you to strip down naked and wait in the bedroom for him while kneeling in a “present” position and he’ll be home in 5 minutes to give you an inspection. While you’re waiting you hear water and giggling coming from the kids’ bathroom and you know they’re up to no good. Do you a) keep waiting for him because you know if you’re not in that position when he walks in the door you’re going to get a strapping b) Throw on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt and run like mad to the bathroom to bribe the kids with pre-dinner chocolate if they would just not make a sound for the next 30 minutes c) Call Sir and tell him the kids are acting up and he needs to do something about it.

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            • Ooohh! Thats a good question!!!!! I’ll help! I think I’d do B….well, maybe A and just deal with the mess later….I don’t know! What would you do? These types of questions would be good as posts too, so we can get other subs thoughts/advice for everyday situations that come up and how best to deal with those vanilla moments!

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              • I wouldn’t do A because water damage can cost thousands and my husband would be very mad if I allowed that to happen. We had a bathroom water situation once and thank God we caught it before any real damage was done. Also, he would have to walk right by that bathroom on his way to our bedroom and I would get questioned as to why I didn’t have the kids under control when he got home. I wouldn’t do C because “telling” him what to do does not go over well at all. I am not allowed to speak to him that way. I would do B because I can run like the wind and I almost always have a chocolate stash for bribes and PMS (Godiva dark chocolate chips in the freezer).I think he would appreciate my ingenuity. I’ll ask him if he could please reply to this so we can get his opinion.

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                • I agree, C wasn’t even an option….and A was iffy…I think you’re right, B is the best option! If my husband got home before I could get it under control….the kids would be sent to their rooms, and he would continue with his plans for me, and correct the kids when he was done.He’s totally understanding when it comes to the kids. There are 3 under age 9, so we have our hands full!

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                  • Same here. He’s totally understanding when it comes to dealing with the kids. The reason I wrote throw on sweats and a t-shirt is because if I put on a robe before dinner it would start 20 questions with the kids…”Mom, why do you have a robe on now?” “Mommy, are you sick?” “Mom, are you going to take a shower?” “Mom, can I take a shower, too?” It would be a huge time waster and the clock’s-a-tickin.

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  3. Thank You for a wonderful look at and flavor for this life-style we share…

    I think if you look at all the various elements you personally have spelled out along with the quandaries of choice mentioned, coupled with the outstanding (sexperts and louisvillefringe) awareness pieces you so uniquely included, it would seem to me, like others here that nobody fits in a plain paper bag or box. We all have our issues and orients that brought that first attraction and it is taking this issue oriented attraction and moving forward in growth, drawing on your partner to personify your submissiveness and Dominance in a sensual, provocative,enlightening and loving way.

    When you find that certain someone who can engage, support and strengthen your interests and visa-versa, you have found the foundation for the beginning of that coveted life-style we all thrive for. Thank you this day for a wonderful post, one that every Dominant and submissive new to the life-style or just beginning should read… 🌟

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  4. FYI…the majority of men that frequent hookers are married. I used to work in Probabtion. Married men would also seek out gay men in Park District bathrooms and department store dressing rooms to get blow jobs. Their psychological reports always stated that he could not get his wife to give him a blow job. So you go to a gay man in a public bathroom? Liar, liar pants on fire. You’re gay, dude.

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    • That first part is so sad….about married men and hookers. The last part is just disturbing! Dressing rooms??? I really do live in a bubble of naivete (sp?)….grew up that way and now I think I must still look at the world through rose colored glasses. I don’t even watch the news….aside from the national news occasionally.

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      • Not being exposed to the crap of life is a blessing and count it as such. Being naive and being innocent are two different things and it sounds to me that you’re more innocent only because you’ve been blessed with not having to be around the garbage of the world.You don’t know how fortunate you are to have that peace of mind.

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  5. My results of the quiz also came up as slave. While I *mostly* understood the percentages, I don’t think I agreed with my final result much either.

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    • Most definitely. While I’m not going to define myself based on an Internet quiz, some of the questions as well as my results did spark some good thinking :)

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      • The quiz was more for fun. I think the whole purpose is to just look at the variables and realize that no one fits in a box and we shouldn’t try to put ourselves in one. Games online seek to very specifically define and its annoying.

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  6. Great post Elle, I believe I fit into the all the above category…We are still in baby steps of this new lifestyle. I will print this page out and let my sir read it. I will post my results when I take the test.. My brain is soaking up all this knowledge but goodness it can be overwhelming. My heart and desire I know is all submissive but the vanilla mind is just on its coattail…Somedays are much harder than others..Thank you for always keeping us grounded and mindful as LK states in her Mindful Monday post.. Love learning from you all!!

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    • Baby steps is all you need. We took it one day at a time. There are times you make big strides forward and other times it feels as though you’re spinning your wheels. I think the biggest key is figuring out your commitment to the lifestyle. Above all else, you do what you’re comfortable with and can truly incorporate into your lives. Thank you for your sweet words, Sweetness.

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  7. Ok so it says : Slave as my results But I agree with Elle, “Hopelessly Devoted Submissive” sounds way better. My percentages were 17% Humiliation which is odd because I so did not like any of those questions about humiliation. 57% submissivness and 62% Service which is good and 58% pain (yikes) So lets just say I like Elle’s description the best!!

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  8. Having some hectic, busy days away from computer… but I bet if I had the time to take that quiz “slave” might come up too for me. That’s because the “modern world” views anyone getting outside their own needs and desires as a “slave,” rather than someone who loves selflessly with integrity and love. The D/s-M dynamic brings a really, really important variable into the equation, I think… and that is love and honoring a commitment. When you love someone selflessly, suddenly their needs become your needs. “Hopelessly devoted” about sums it up!

    We’re a new breed… or maybe we’re an old breed in some ways! There was a time in the past where people might say that “the man wore the pants in the family!’ which is just another way to say dominant. And wasn’t there less divorce? I know there could be arguments about less divorce half a century ago, such as women had fewer options to go it alone– but didn’t that in and of itself define the submissive status? That she depended on her man? “Needed” him? I think something that really has hurt marriages is that women stopped “needing” men (or pretending that). Just as there will always be men who are jerks and who don’t respect their women (thus breaking the covenant relationship), there also can be men who can have authority and dominance in a gentlemanly, respectful and honoring way.

    It’s true to say that no woman “needs” a man… women are strong and capable… but if you chose marriage and a commitment, why not admit you need your man? Your need feeds his dominance. What a beautiful concept!

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    • One of the other points of this post was that if you weren’t Dom and sub before marriage then you have what you have right now. What kind of sub does your husband want you to be? What kind of Dominate is he to you? Are you true to your natural submissiveness? One of the jobs of a sub is to fulfill the desires of her Dominate. My husband wants me to serve him. It so happens I am inclined that way and he saw those qualities when we were dating. We can talk until we’re blue in the face about male/female roles throughout history, buy we only have today. Long-term and married D/s couples evolve differently over time and people change and grow, nontheless, we all have core attributes that are true parts of our psyche that really do determine how you are as a Dominate or submissive.

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  9. Great post Elle, I will be forwarding to my Sir.

    My results said Servant, which is so me. For example, I get up every morning with my Sir at 5 am to make him breakfast, pack his lunch, and send him off to work, when I tell my friends this, they think I am crazy for doing it, although I enjoy it, I do it for my Sir, because he works so hard to provide for our family, it is the least I can do, to make his mornings easier. It also gives us some alone time, and sometimes we throw a quickie in.😜. Submissiveness was my next highest score!!!

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    • I wake up early too (4 am) too get his breakfast and make his lunch. I love doing this for him. With the exception of one friend, everyone else thinks I’m nuts to the point where I had one call him “lazy.” Really? Is it lazy to be at work at 5:30am and work 14-15 hours? I really do feel more complete serving him because he is soooo generous to me in many other ways.

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      • Your Sir and mine are so alike, not only are they fun and probably the life of a party, they work long crazy hours, if my Sir is home around 5pm (which is rare),the kids are like what’s up why is dad home so early? His normal is around 7pm and that is after a 45 minutes drive. I like what you said about feeling more complete serving him, this is so true for me too.

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  10. Like others have stated, most of us are probably a mish-mash of the different types. I wonder where the Daddy Doms and little girl dynamics fit within this, or could that simply be considered a subset of any one of these? I’ll have to take that quiz. :)

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  11. First off, girl and I are married(16+yrs.), fairly new to the D/s-M lifestyle and are pleased with how it’s going so far.

    girl is definitely a combination of all 5 of the types that were laid out, she even likes some pain involved in some of our more intense sessions.

    As for Me, again I would say a healthy combination of the three. So judging by all the previous comments plus our own, it seems more common for all parties to have a little bit of each category, to best fulfill the relationship.

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    • Thank you for the reblog and your reply. I would agree that being married lends itself to a healthy combination, as you so aptly put it. So glad to hear that it is going well for you both. Would love to hear from girl. We are all here to give sub-port.

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  14. Great post as usual Elle, I think you are right, We make our own way in the D/s world. I have read and done a lot of research for my erotic novels and in my own sexual world. I ultimately keep seeing a mixture of things that Dom’s/subs do and don’t do.
    It’s up to the couple. What works for one couple may not work for another. As long as it’s SSC then who are we to judge what other couples should or shouldn’t do. .I bet those swats ended with some great sex. Hehe..

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    • Thanks you for you sweet words. We make it our own way, whether married or single. Every D/s couple is unique and can’t be categorized. However, I believe if a sub is say service oriented, but she is not given plenty of opportunity to serve, she will be very unhappy and feel unfulfilled. A good Dom seeks to understand the personality of his/her sub and in doing so helps her to shine. A sub’s strong points are made stronger and the weaker ones strengthened.

      Yes, seats almost always =fun times ahead :)

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  15. I was very interested in the Dom categories because in my limited experience I have found 4 Dom types which i now use to categorize Doms when i meet them. The three are;
    Head Funking Doms – these are Doms who like to get inside your head and play with your sanity/emotional pain tolerances or just like to figure out what make you tick mentally so they can use your head to control and motivate you, they are usually very interested in hypnosis.
    Pain Dom – these Doms love to see their submissives in physical pain or dilemmas and are very aware of their sadistic nature and freely admit to it.
    Control Doms – these Doms are very much about rules and regulations and punishment they are quick to point out when their submissive does the smallest thing wrong and punishes swiftly.
    Sexual Dom – I have never found one, but I keep looking for him, a Dom that just wants to control every aspect of your sexually and use it for both parties pleasure and is not interested in pain that is not going to heighten the sexual experience for both parties.

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    • Have you found these Doms to be distinctly different or have you seen that they have strong leanings toward one with traits of the others mixed in? I see my Dom leaning most toward Sexual Dom with traits of the others you described. I like your categories.

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  16. Wow! I really liked that last picture/words on it!
    I agree that we are all complex beings and probably cannot be put into one box.
    I must admit that I am very wary of the dominant types described here. It does remind me of things I don’t want any mire. Yet I also know that I do crave giving over some sort of control. I probably don’t have a very strong submissive type. Or have been too damaged by someone who used this dominant streaks without offering the love and respect I should have received.
    Now… let me go take that test of yours ;-)

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  17. Well… it didn’t give me any results :-(
    Bit I did learn some things about myself taking it, so not a complete waste of time ;-)
    I’ll try to take it again from my laptop, see if it works bettet… or do you have to be a member to get results?

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    • Ok, I went ahead and retook the test from my computer. The result is kinky submissive. Basically, it says I scored quite low on submissiveness and service, which are the two things they used mostly to figure out the results. I also agree with the end sentence “Also scening with your vanilla partner is a valid option, you could have a lot of fun that way, more than the regular sex. You’re just kinky :)”. I think that describes me pretty accurately. I completely agree with the fact that I’m probably not very submissive and not too keen on the service front. That’s the result of years of having been taken for granted when I was doing anything. I’m just not in that mindset I suppose. When you wrote that you ran to serve dinner to Coach the other day, that made me cringe inside ;-)
      However, I don’t recognise myself in other things they wrote “You’re into bdsm for either the pain or the humiliation, or both! You don’t value highly the need to service a Dom or the need to feel controlled, what you want is either a scene with pain in it, or humiliation, ” The place where I scored highest is humiliation. Yet I feel this is what I would loathe more than anything. Being used as an ashtray or a footrest? Not for me! Maybe it’s the responses to going out half naked that account for humiliation? I must say that yes, that probably would turn me on more than humiliate me.
      I would probably take pain more easily than humiliation. I don’t tolerate psychological pain too well (and that’s what humiliation would be to me). I probably need to heal a lot more before I can do that. Physical pain is much more tolerable/enjoyable to me. I enjoy being spanked and don’t mind exploring this a bit further…
      And I wrote a small blogpost right here in your comments ;-)
      Sorry about that :-)

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      • I wouldn’t want to be used as an ashtray or footrest either. The naked in public part would turn me on too! Yes, that is a form of humiliation. There’s also humiliation such as being put on a leash and having to crawl on all fours, but I tell you, that can be soooo crazy sexy. These things were are all subjective and a good Dom knows his sub and the proper way to use these things in order to get a desired result.

        There’s nothing wrong with being kinky. Some women want to be submissive in just the bedroom and that’s fine, too. You do what works for you and that’s the wonderful thing about all of this. It’s whatever you make it. What turns one person on doesn’t turn another on. You learn about yourself and if you have a trusted partner you can explore with then that is the icing on the cake. There’s no race here and no comparisons. To each his own.

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        • Yes, that is the wonderful thing about it! Everyone can find what works for them and have fun with it :-)
          I suppose for me, the problem would be to trust a man enough again that I want to give him so much power over me. As you wrote: a *good* Dom knows his sub. You need to build trust before you can go anywhere near a D/s relationship. So that is not for me, probably will not be for me for a long time, possibly never. And that is OK :-)

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