A submissive is a role in the BDSM community, it is to the right of the /. There are several types of submissives, different levels if you will. One is not better than the other, just different. Different in many ways including the amount of control you give to your Dominant, and even what type of Dominant you might be looking for. A sub can be a boy/boi, girl, gender fluid or gender neutral or trans (or any that i have forgotten) All sexualities and gender identities are also included in being a submissive.
I’ve done many years of research on the various roles in this lifestyle, I am writing the following to break down what the sub roles are and to help decide what type of submissive you might be. This is my opinion drawn up from years of personal experiences, talking with other educators in the lifestyle, reading lots of notes about the various submissive roles. You do not have to decide just one, you can be some of one and more of another. You might also change roles completely as you grow in the lifestyle or if you change partners.
Bottom. A bottom is technically not a submissive at all, but we class them under subs because they are in the s-role in a scene. I am not saying submissives are better than bottoms, this isn’t a race so calm down. A bottom is there to experience the scene, NOT to submit. They are not necessarily sexual with the Top in the scene, but can be. A bottom would be the prey role in a primal scene, or the masochist in a S/m scene. We would also classify a S.A.M. (Smart ass masochist) as a bottom. They use bratty behavior to be anywhere from teasing to down right rude to their Top to get a sadistic primal reaction from the Top. They want pain and want to be put in their place and won’t give that up easily.
Service Submissives A service sub is less about sex and more about doing chores for their Dom. Some will dress up in a maid uniform or completely naked. They enjoy providing services for the D-figure. This role is usually not sexual at all, but of course that is acceptable if both parties agree to the terms. Dommes will have their service subs serve tea to other Dommes during a traditional tea party.
Sexual Submissive A sexual sub is similar to a bottom, with the exception they do submit, but only during the scene. They are also known as bedroom submissives. Again one is not better than the other. These submissive are usually very busy or have kids so it is not ideal to be naked, kneeling and awaiting their next order. A lot of times this is what married couples will do to spice up their marriage. I have known some that were so strong willed outside of the bedroom that this was their only time to let go and be free to float about subspace.
Internet Submissive An internet sub is one that experiences all things online. They usually use some mssg service, phone calls and video calls to spend time with or scene with their partner. They usually never meet their Dom/Domme, or play in real time* (Real time instead of real life bc real life implies that online is not real life). With some this is all they want, for whatever personal reason they don’t want to take it to real time, others can’t either bc of their location, job or just not confident enough to take it to the next step. There is a huge community of online only kinksters on various sites. I cannot suggest any websites besides FetLife bc I am not an online sub, and would not want to put anyone at risk. I have spoken with some that have experienced subspace from an intense phone call from their Master,
Littles A little is a submissive that has a childlike attitude and view on life. A sub normally serves their Dom, but in a CG/L a little is taken care of by their Caregiver(CG). Even though it looks like its reverse and the little is in charge, they are not. The CG wants and needs to take care of their little, it’s in their nature and fulfilling to them. There are times where the little does serve their CG, during a scene or by completing a task. The littles usually likes to have fun play dates with coloring and stuffies. Littles and their CG are NOT into pedophilia and/or incest. Their Daddy is not their biological father or pretending to be. The Daddy/Mommy role is more of a caregiver, emotional supportive, a cheerleader and Dominant. A lot of people lately have been putting age play and being a brat as a requirement to be a little. NOT all littles age play, and not all those that age play are littles (or even a submissive). You can age play (or regress into little space) AND be a little BUT it is not required. So those littles that don’t age play won’t have a “little age”
Being bratty is a behavior NOT a role, and is not normally part of being a little. Besides some light “picking” and teasing, a little does as they are told. The bratty behavior belongs with a SAM which is a bottom. You can be a little with bratty tendencies (SAM tendencies to be correct) the little side is who you are in your dynamic, the SAM part should only come out in a scene, since that characteristic is part of a bottom. “Funishments” are wrongly placed as a little thing. They are bratty to get a fun-punishment. This is completely incorrect. A SAM will be bratty and disrespectful to get pain or a spanking from their Top. No submissive, littles included want to be punished or disrespect their CG.
Submissive A sub is someone that enjoys giving up control in exchange for pleasure in serving their Dom/me. They follow the negotiated rules set out by the D-figure, and agree to a punishment if they break a rule or are disrespectful. Normally a submissive will have a safe word, even during punishment. Their Dominant will also ask for and consider the subs input and opinions about a scene or different kink, especially if they haven’t explored it together before. While the Dom has control, and the final say so, the sub does have a voice in this dynamic.
Slave A slave is the submissive in a Master/slave relationship. This relationship is built on trust, yes the others are as well, but M/s is VERY strict. Once the vetting process is over, the negotiation period will begin. Some of the old guard have collars for each stage of an M/s. During this negotiation stage you will be “under consideration” meaning the Master will be going over various rules, scenes, kinks, limits and punishments they expect you to follow if you decide to submit. You have a voice during this time, so use it. If there is anything you don’t like, can’t do, don’t want to do etc speak up and negotiate. This is how the contract is made. I suggest a 9-12 months of being under consideration bc once the contract is signed, you belong to them. No not legally, and yes you can walk away. It won’t hold up in any court. Doing so without a just reason will make you look bad in the eyes of the community. The Master is not allowed to cross any hard limits, and while technically you don’t have a safe word, there should be an emergency word if your health is in question.
I hope breaking down the various types of submissive will help you get a better understanding of the lifestyle but also yourself. While we don’t want everyone in a box with a label, there are some guidelines you should follow when discovering the submissive in you.