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How to Be Submissive in a Relationship

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By Deborah McCoy


7 min read

| Advice

Hey there, lovely reader! Navigating the deep waters of relationships, we often hear about “submission.” But what does it truly mean? How does it fit in today’s world? Being submissive isn’t just about following orders. It’s an emotional dance, an interplay of trust, respect, and deep connection. It’s about finding balance, understanding, and mutual growth. In this guide, we’ll peel back the layers, dispelling myths and diving deep into the heart of submission in relationships. Ready for the ride? Let’s set sail!

The Roots of Submission:

Ah, history! It often holds the key to understanding the present. Submission in relationships isn’t a new concept; it’s been woven into the fabric of societies for centuries.

  • Historical Context:
    • In ancient cultures, roles were often defined by societal norms. Men played dominant roles, while women were typically submissive. This setup was often about survival, not dominance for the sake of power.
    • As civilizations evolved, so did relationship dynamics. Monarchies, chivalry, even religious texts – all played a part in molding perceptions of submission.
  • Cultural Influences:
    • Different cultures perceive submission uniquely. In some Eastern cultures, submission might be viewed as a sign of respect, especially towards elders. In contrast, Western societies often associate it with a lack of agency or freedom.
    • Pop culture, movies, and books (hello, “Fifty Shades!”) have also shaped modern interpretations, sometimes muddying the waters between healthy submission and mere fantasy.

Today’s understanding of submission is a cocktail of past norms and present influences. As we move forward, it’s vital to differentiate between age-old practices and what submission can mean for today’s couples.

Types of Submission:

Submission is like a gem with many facets. Each angle offers a unique glint, a different perspective. Let’s explore the various types that can be present in relationships.

  • Emotional Submission:
    • This isn’t about keeping secrets or bottling feelings. It’s about trust. When you open your heart, share fears, dreams, and vulnerabilities, that’s emotional submission.
    • It says, “I trust you with my heart. I know you won’t break it.”
  • Physical Submission:
    • This could be as simple as letting your partner lead a dance. Or, in more intimate settings, exploring boundaries and mutual desires.
    • Remember, it’s crucial to navigate this with clear consent, mutual respect, and open communication.
  • Social Submission:
    • Ever let your partner pick the movie for date night? Or decide the vacation spot? That’s a form of social submission.
    • It’s about compromise, saying, “I value your choice. I’m okay with following your lead this time.”

It’s vital to note that being submissive in one aspect doesn’t mean you’re submissive in all. Every relationship is unique, and so is the dance of submission within it.

Misconceptions About Submission:

Oh, the tales we hear! Submission often gets a bad rap, doesn’t it? Let’s untangle fact from fiction and shed light on the truth.

  • Debunking Myths: Submission isn’t Weakness:
    • Strength lies in choice. Choosing to submit, trusting another with that power, isn’t weakness; it’s courage. It’s about knowing your boundaries and trusting someone else within those confines.
    • Submission comes from a place of love, trust, and mutual respect. It’s about creating a bond, not breaking one’s spirit.
  • The Difference Between Submission and Subservience:
    • Being submissive means giving someone else a say or control in specific situations. It’s a mutual agreement.
    • Subservience, on the other hand, is a one-sided power dynamic. It’s about serving or being under someone’s control, often without consent or choice.

Remember, submission is a two-way street. It’s as much about the person submitting as the one leading. It’s built on trust, understanding, and mutual respect.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Submission:

Like a coin, submission has two sides. While it can create profound connections, it’s essential to recognize when it tips into unhealthy territory.

  • Signs of a Balanced Submissive Relationship:
    • Mutual Respect: Both partners value and honor each other’s choices, emotions, and boundaries.
    • Open Communication: There’s a constant dialogue. Concerns, desires, and boundaries are discussed openly and without judgment.
    • Growth Together: Submission leads to personal growth and strengthens the relationship.
  • Red Flags: When Submission Turns Toxic:
    • Coercion: If someone feels forced into a submissive role, it’s a huge warning sign.
    • Loss of Identity: Submission should never mean losing oneself. If a person feels they’re fading or being erased, it’s time to reevaluate.
    • Unequal Power Dynamics: Submission should be a choice, not an obligation. If it feels one-sided, with one always giving and the other always taking, that’s not healthy.

The crux? When rooted in love, trust, and respect, submission can be beautiful. But, like all aspects of a relationship, it requires constant check-ins, reflection, and communication.

Building Trust:

Ah, trust! It’s the invisible thread weaving hearts together, the bedrock of submission. Without it, submission is but a hollow shell. So, how do we build and nurture this precious commodity?

  • Laying the Foundation:
    • Take Baby Steps: Trust isn’t built in a day. Start with small acts of submission and see how they feel. It’s a journey, not a sprint.
    • Share and Listen: Talk about your fears, desires, and past experiences. Listen when your partner does the same.
  • Navigating Fears and Insecurities:
    • Face Them Head-On: Everyone has fears. Recognize them, name them, and share them. By bringing them into the light, they often lose their power.
    • Seek Reassurance: It’s okay to ask for validation. If you’re feeling uncertain or insecure, voice it. Chances are, your partner feels the same way.
  • Challenges and Solutions:
    • Trust But Verify: It’s a saying for a reason. If something feels off, it’s okay to double-check. But do it from a place of care, not suspicion.
    • Seek External Support: Sometimes, a therapist or counselor can provide tools and insights that can help navigate the complex dance of trust and submission.

Trust, like a plant, needs care and nurturing. Water it with open conversations, sunlight it with transparency, and give it the soil of understanding. With time, it’ll blossom, making submission a joyful and fulfilling experience.

Safety First:

Submission without safety? That’s a recipe for heartache. Safety is the net that catches us, the armor that protects us. Let’s explore its role in submission.

  • Establishing Boundaries:
    • Speak Up: Define your limits. What are you comfortable with? What’s a no-go? No topic is too small when it comes to safety.
    • Respect Them: Once set, boundaries are sacred. They’re the line in the sand, showing where comfort ends and discomfort begins.
  • Using Safewords:
    • Pick a Word: It could be anything – “pineapple,” “red,” “moonlight.” Its job? To signal a stop, a pause, a check-in.
    • Honor It: If the safeword is used, everything stops. It’s time to communicate, assess, and ensure all’s well.
  • Consent: The Golden Rule:
    • Ask and Listen: Before trying something new, ask. Consent is ongoing, not a one-time deal.
    • Revoke At Will: It’s okay to change your mind. Today’s “yes” can be tomorrow’s “no.” Being submissive doesn’t me
    • 8. Power of Communication:
    • Ah, words! They bridge gaps, mend fences, and weave tales. In submission, they’re the heartbeat, the rhythm that syncs two souls.
    • Speak Your Mind:
      • Express Feelings: Whether joy, discomfort, or desire, let words flow. They help your partner understand you better.
      • Ask Questions: Clarity dispels doubts. Unsure about something? Curious about a desire? Just ask.
    • Active Listening:
      • It’s a Two-Way Street: While expressing is vital, so is lending an ear. Hear the words and the emotions behind them.
      • Reflect: Repeating or paraphrasing your partner’s words ensures you got the message right.
    • Regular Check-ins:
      • Touch Base: Take moments to discuss how things are going. It keeps the relationship fresh and helps adjust the course if needed.
      • Safe Spaces: Create moments where any topic can be discussed without judgment. A cup of tea, a walk, or even a dedicated “chat time” can work wonders.
    • Open communication keeps the engine of submission humming smoothly. It ensures misunderstandings are few and connections are deep.
    • An giving up the right to choose.

Safety is the lighthouse guiding the ship of submission. It ensures the journey is smooth, even when seas get stormy.

The Why: Benefits of Choosing Submission:

Choosing submission? It’s not just about giving up control. Dive deeper, and you’ll see a world of benefits unfurl.

  • Strengthened Connection:
    • Bonding: There’s a unique bond formed when one submits and the other leads. It’s intimate, deep, and often indescribable.
    • Shared Experiences: Navigating the waters of submission together means shared memories, lessons, and growth moments.
  • Personal Growth:
    • Self-awareness: Submission teaches about limits, desires, fears, and strengths. It’s a journey inward.
    • Empowerment: Contrary to popular belief, submission can be empowering. Making choices, setting boundaries, and trusting someone with them is powerful.
  • Enhanced Communication:
    • Skills Galore: Active listening, expressing needs, articulating boundaries – submission is a crash course in communication.
    • Trust Building: Continuously communicating and validating each other strengthens trust.
  • Adventure and Exploration:
    • New Horizons: Submitting opens doors to new experiences, fantasies, and realms of intimacy.
    • Shared Adventure: You chart unknown territories together, creating stories unique to your relationship.

Choosing submission is like picking a new book. It promises stories, lessons, emotions, and growth. And like any good tale, it’s best experienced rather than described.


Embarking on the path of submission is like setting sail on a vast sea. There are calm waters, stormy days, and the thrill of discovery. It’s not just about giving up control; it’s about trust, growth, and shared experiences.

When chosen, nurtured, and navigated with love and respect, submission can be a beautiful addition to a relationship. It can help partners grow closer, communicate better, and explore new horizons of intimacy.

Remember, the key lies in mutual respect, communication, and safety. With these pillars, the edifice of submission stands tall, serving as a testament to a unique bond shared by two souls.

And hey, if you ever find yourself doubting or second-guessing, that’s okay, too. Like any journey, the path of submission has its ups and downs. But with the right partner by your side, the journey becomes the destination.

Here’s to love, trust, and the beautiful dance of submission!

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Posted By
Deborah McCoy
Passionate relationship writer, renowned for her ability to shed light on the intricacies of love and human connection. With a deep understanding of psychology and personal growth, she has become known for her insightful and engaging writing on these subjects.

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