Domination is defined as the exercise of control or influence over someone or something.  The flip side of this is,  of course,  submission. Many of you have read,  or heard about,  50 shades of grey.  Either way, it has generated strong opinions of  the book and subject matter. As I psychologist,  I understand that when she laments many times how unsure she is of the relationship and shows her concern, it’s because the lifestyle is so different from a regular,  or vanilla,  relationship. She is also trying to reconcile how much she enjoys the dominate/submissive (D/s) relationship.

In a D/s relationship,  both parties take sexual enjoyment from the relationship. These days,  sexual identity is more fluid, but the D/s paradigm had been an enduring theme throughout  civilization. While a 1985 study showed only about  30% of persons in the BDSM  lifestyle.  In 1995, a second study found 89% of these heterosexual women prefer the submissive  role with a male dominant.
One of the most important things to have in a D/s relationship is a safe word, so your partner knows if they’ve crossed  a line.  If the save word is used,  the dominant should cease  play immediately ands comfort his,  or her, submissive. Dominants should be careful to set their own limits as well. Having total control over another must be tempered. Agreeing  on hard and soft limits should be discussed well before hand. Relationships  may or may not be monogamous and dominants  may have several submissives, and vice versa.Here are some common BDSM terms:

  • Play-refers to sexual activity
  • Scene- an individual play session
  • Switch-a person that can be dominant or submissive.
  • Top- the active role (agent)
  • Bottom- the passive role (patient)
  • Vanilla- regular sex


Some activities that may  be included in play are:
* consensual slavery or domestic servitude.
*chastity  enforced on the submissive
*erotic and verbal humiliation
*fetishes- ie. feet, latex, etc
*role play- dressing up in costumes,  animal play (“furries” & pony play for example)
*whipping and corporal  punishment
*human toilet (“golden showers”)

That’s a basic overview.  So, what if you  want to try D/s in your relationship? Talk to your SO in a non sexual situation and bring it up.  Start  small and work your way up!

Fuzzy  handcuffs  here we come!