Submission Without Dominance?

Ever since I created this blog, I’ve been exploring other sexuality blogs here on WordPress, and loving how much I’ve learned about the current state of D/s and others’ ideas and terminology. It’s at the cross-section of linguistics, psychology, and sexuality, so how could I not love every minute of it?

The thing that’s been most interesting and most revolutionary to me in my reading is exploring the idea of “dominance.” I’ve realized that dominance as a concept is not actually that important to me when it’s able to be extracted from “submission.” What I mean is that what I really, truly like is submission, and I enjoy dominance primarily as a way to be on the other side of that. But in a world where I can enjoy a boy’s submission without being dominant towards him, it’s not so important to me. I’ve been latching onto it because I’ve seen it as the other side of the coin, but maybe it doesn’t always have to be.

In educating myself about this line of thinking, I came across—well, I came across many things I didn’t understand, then things I disagreed with, followed by many things that truly fascinated me—and the best, most profound thing to my mind was the last line of this paragraph:

“And my point is, if our environment weren’t designed to train rapists […] no one would see anything special or ethical or fun about domination, even people who think submission is sexy. Because, bluntly, Submission’s where the magic happens.” [originally from, which no longer exists]

I don’t know how much I agree with the first part, but I’m including it for context. Frankly, “Submission is where the magic happens” perfectly encapsulates everything I’ve been trying to understand about myself lately. I know it’s what turns me on, but I know I’m not submissive, so where does it fit in? For me, that’s it: it’s where the magic is. It’s everything about my desires that makes me passionate about sexuality. And what this paragraph got me thinking about is where my lust is located.

Really deconstructing it, I see that when I try out a dominant thought in fantasy, my satisfaction comes from the resulting submissive feeling in my potential partner. I think of it like a chain of events. The dominant thing triggers the submissive feeling, and that triggers my satisfaction. It does not come immediately from the dominant thing. It’s an important distinction, and I’m glad to be on this thought path now, because it helps me understand myself that much better.

If submission doesn’t require dominance, then what other roles can a partner take opposite submission? Facilitator? Leader? What if facilitating submission requires dominance? Is that distinct from being dominant? It’s fascinating to me and I intend to explore the idea.

I do want to say this: I don’t fully stand on either side of the judgments on dominance that I’ve found, and I don’t know nearly enough to have an ultimate opinion on this. This is particularly true because I’m not in the BDSM community and I also lack D/s experiences. What I do know is that my ideas about it have evolved a lot over the past year, and that “dominance,” as it exists both in practice and in theory, continues to be a subject of interest to me. I’m not shedding the label so much as I’m stepping back from it a little, so that I can see where I want to use it and where I don’t.


14 thoughts on “Submission Without Dominance?

    • That’s actually a huge compliment, in my eyes. Thank you! I love presenting food for thought, whether people ultimately agree or not. This idea felt new to my brain too, so I’m glad to be able to share it.

    • Thanks for your comment—I really like this perspective. I’ll be keeping this in mind as I continue to think about these things.

      I guess the distinction I see is between someone who likes the power and the act of being dominant vs. someone who just gets turned on by submission in a partner. Not that either is better. But I think there’s a certain “power high” feeling that can come from dominance, and that some people in the dominant role are in it for that more than others are.

    • Thank you! I appreciate the feedback and I’m intrigued to hear that you’ve had similar thoughts about this. Thanks for sharing this post on your blog, as well.

  1. Your post is profound! I found your blog post through Stella Kiink who has already made comment here.

    So a couple questions coursed through my noggin as read your words- you seem akin to relating to submission or submissive thoughts and hold true to the role of Dominant… So could it be considered that your proficiency at domination (or leader, etc,…) is because of your relational ability to see the world through the submissive’s eyes? And, if that is true (or close), then does that make your “Domme” even stronger?

    Perplexing… I took a hard look at it (pun intended) through what the submissive offers in a recent reblog of one submissive who desiresd domination but has had to settle for bedroom kink. She (PeskyNymph) said, in effect, submission is not being a doormat, rather, submission is using your largest sex organ to lead into scenes with your pronounced sex organs by creating and enabling her husband’s domination through her submission. To your point, “submission is where the magic happens,” I believe you cannot have Domination if there is no submission. Instead what you end with is someone who is “domineering” -more or less a person trying to be a leader but instead ends ruling by intimidation. Under that line of thinking, you may have subservience, but never the true TPE submission on which both the Dominant and submissive can thrive.

    Nice piece of writing Ms… I enjoyed reading your blogs.

    -Tom Wolf (Mynx’s Sir)

    • Tom Wolf,
      Thank you very much for stopping by my blog and commenting on this post. My apologies for not responding until now, but I wanted to give your comment due consideration.

      I think it is true that I can see through submissive eyes—whether or not that enhances my dominant abilities is yet to be seen, but I do think it can. Because the most powerful feeling for me comes from knowing that a boy is in that submissive space, I can focus my actions on my partner in order to achieve that (even though I certainly enjoy my own feelings of being able to have him, as well). I hope it will translate to being attuned to my partner’s needs.

      I think the idea from PeskyNymph’s blog post of creating domination through submission is a very interesting one, and it seems like the flip side of what I see for myself. For me, domination is a way of enabling submission. It seems like it depends on the couple and the people involved, and what they’re looking for. That said, I also think it’s possible for both to happen at once. Two people who enjoy their roles but take them on primarily as a way to enable their loved one certainly sounds like a recipe for empathy and consideration in a relationship.

      Thanks once again. I appreciate hearing your thoughts.

  2. Reblogged this on The Mynx Blog and commented:
    Terrif follow-up to my most recent post about “What is D/s?” Ms. KWSW’s post resonated with me because of her view’s from the submissive’s perspective. My comment to her is at the end in the “reply” section of her post.

    -Tom Wolf (Mynx’s Sir)

  3. This is really interesting and and enjoyable to read. I think I probably do enjoy my dominance separate from my partner’s submission, but I’ll have to think about it and try to put it into words. One example I can think where submission can exist without dominance is erotic hypnotism. Sure, facilitation is a leadership role of sorts (although not always – see consensus building models). But in hypnotism, the sub is submitting to the process, not the hypnotist. The hypnotist is just like a guide that’s also serving the process. I certainly would not *feel* dominant if I was hypnotizing a sub, although they would probably *feel* submissive. (I suppose it depends on the scenario/fantasy too of course.)

    • Wow, erotic hypnotism is such a good example of this. And it’s funny you mention it, because I only just heard about the concept today. I think that is probably the clearest example of “leading” someone in submission that I can think of.

      I’m also interested in your point about how facilitation is often a leadership role, but not always. The idea of “serving” is sort of intrinsic in facilitating, since you’re helping someone do something, and I’m extremely interested in the way that can overlap with dominance. It seems contradictory, but it also seems to be a kind of dominance that I really like.

      Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts, and for the follow. I feel like I relate very much to your words, and I’m glad to be following back.

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