As a novice submissive it can be an exciting endeavor to enter into a relationship right away before you know anything about BDSM or D/s, or even being introduced to the dynamic from someone you met online or face to face. People do it every day. It is also one filled with questions and uncertainty about your role. Often you go seeking the answer to these questions online, and often these questions arrive in my email. So, I'm going to do my best to help you find answers.

First, let me say that this isn't the easy way out of finding information. I'm going to guide you to the answers, but you'll still have to do your own work as far as finding the answers that will work for you. With the variety of relationships and people, in general, there is no way I can possibly have the answers to your unique situation. But that doesn't mean I won't try to help.

Okay so taking that in mind, you've likely gone searching for answers because you are now in a D/s relationship or considering a D/s relationship with someone and you are brand new to the world of dominance and submission. Don't worry, there are more people like you right now with the same sorts of questions, seeking similar answers.

You are not alone.

What are dominance and submission?

That shiny new toy is scary, isn't it? You've been introduced to D/s by someone you met online or in real life, but you don't know a thing about it and sometimes before even learning that you agree to be in a dynamic that is now confusing you. Happens all the time. So let's start with the basics.

Dominance is having negotiated control over aspects of another person's choices.

Submission is surrendering to the control of the Dominant in negotiated situations.

Dominance and submission, abbreviated as D/s,  is the relationship dynamic where one person has authority over another in consensual, negotiated terms. This level of authority varies from relationship to relationship and can be in the bedroom during sex play only or encompassing the entire relationship and life of the submissive. There is no wrong or right way to be in a D/s relationship as long as both parties consent to it.

Have you ever wondered if you’re living up to your full potential as a submissive?

Submissive Reflection: A Journey of Rediscovery is a workbook designed to build a clear picture of what your personal submission looks like and how to be the best submissive you can possibly be.

 What is BDSM?

BDSM is a huge acronym for the kinky play that you can engage in if you are interested in it. BDSM is not a requirement for a D/s relationship, but it often has some elements to it. BDSM stands for bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism. Go look up those terms if you want to know more about each one.  Basically, if you like things kinky in the bedroom you will be applying BDSM to your D/s dynamic.

Now that I've covered that basic definitions for you I feel the need to emphasize that even though you are entering a brand new relationship, you really do need to know who you are as a submissive or potential submissive before you get too deep. Just because someone tells you that you are submissive or could be submissive doesn't mean you really are.

Submissive is a personality trait and it's an attitude/behavior. You can have a submissive personality and not be interested in a D/s relationship or anything kinky. Same goes with dominant personalities. You can have a dominant personality and not be interested in D/s or BDSM. It doesn't even have a correlation with your likelihood of being predisposed to that. So, don't assume that if you have a submissive personality you are automatically submissive and visa verso.

When you enter into a relationship, you are commonly a dominant and submissive depending on what needs to be done and who's best at it. It's called switching in BDSM terms. But a D/s relationship has more defined roles and you are less likely to switch back and forth. It's common for the relationship to have very specific functions laid out for each person.

I've just said yes to a relationship, what does that mean?

It means you shouldn't have said yes in the first place. Honestly, so many people enter into D/s relationships with absolutely no clue what it will mean or how it might change their relationship or themselves. And so you go researching for answers. But I'm not here to tell you to break up with the person. It's obvious you like them and you like the idea of a D/s relationship or you wouldn't be here learning about it.

From the first steps, you should be talking with your partner about everything from hopes and dreams to needs and desires. You need to be on equal footing for these conversations and you should never be afraid to share your thoughts with them. If you don't trust them enough with what you have to say, then you are not ready for a D/s relationship and should try to back off a bit until you are. Communication will become the cornerstone and you will learn to be very good at it!

Alright so back to just entering a relationship and the person you are with has said you are a submissive. Alright, what does that mean? What can you expect? That's the real meat of the question, right? Well, you are going to have to work for the answer. Remember that communication thing I talked about above? Yeah, use that.

1. Ask the Dominant. Oftentimes they know what they are looking for in a submissive and can tell you what to expect in a relationship with them. At this time you can negotiate and share what you like and don't like about the suggested way to organize the dynamic. It's about coming together and finding what will work for you. A few things that they might indicate as their expectations of you include:

  • obedience
  • love, affection, compassion, romance
  • sexual pleasure
  • domestic duties
  • kink/BDSM
  • modes of dress or behavior changes
  • following rules
  • learning new talents
  • improving yourself through education or career choice

2. Ask yourself. What do you want out of a relationship? It doesn't even have to be kinky in nature, but everyone has needs and desires for a healthy, stable relationship. Share those with your potential Dominant and make sure you are compatible with them on those things. Don't settle for less than what you need and don't agree to do things that are on his needs list just because you are supposed to be submissive. You have the power to make your relationship as fulfilling as you can.

The Dominant Doesn't Know the Answer to My Question

I get this a lot actually. The submissive has asked the Dom what is expected of them or what a D/s relationship would look like and the answers they get are vague or misleading. "You'll have to wait and see," is not a valid answer! Push them to give you real answers with specific information. If they truly don't know, then I, personally, would consider not submitting to them until they can come up with an answer that satisfies you and you have negotiated a clear path for the developing relationship.

It is often the case that the Dominant is new also and thinks that they can't be Dominant without a submissive so they haven't taken any time to think about what they would expect or like to see in a D/s relationship. So they rush off and find a potential submissive. That doesn't mean they are inherently bad people, just uninformed. Communicating and learning how to negotiate will bring your relationship closer together and will develop a better understanding of what each of you needs and expects from the other. Direct them to this site or to to find answers to their novice Dominant questions.

Oh and a final thought; make sure you lay out your expectations of your Dominant. Submissive does not mean pushover or without opinion - so be heard. It is a relationship, first and foremost and you deserve to have a lot of say in your own happiness.


  • What expectations have you learned your potential Dominant needs to make the relationship beneficial to him?
  • What relationship expectations do you have for a potential Dominant?