BDSM Confessions: What It’s Like Being A Submissive

"Aren’t pain and pleasure two sides of the same coin?"
Photo – Wikipedia

BDSM play, especially on the submissive side of the spectrum, can be extremely dangerous. Obviously this should come as no surprise given the implements that are used: whips, clamps, binds… This is why it’s absolutely crucial to gain real insight into what life is like in the kink community and hear what some veterans have to say about their own experiences. I have previously interviewed a Dominant, and learned much about BDSM play and the dynamics at work in a Dom/sub (D/s) relationship. This time I had the good fortune of interviewing Amber, a self-identified submissive with masochist tendencies, who’s had over five years of experience in the community. The transcript of our discussion is below.

How’d you get into BDSM and when did you realize you were a sub?

I realized I was a sub long before getting into the lifestyle, probably long before even realizing that there was a lifestyle to get into. I’ve always had very vivid sexual fantasies and they all seem to revolve around one common theme: submission. For me, that means being bound, collared, spanked, imposed upon… The idea of submitting completely to a dominant force and giving that force power over me is extremely arousing. In many cases, just being tied up and caned has proven more gratifying than penetrative sex. There’s a real thrill to it, a rush, especially when you spend so much of your day trying to prove to yourself, to the outward world, that you are in total control.

Also, aren’t pain and pleasure two sides of the same coin?

As for getting into BDSM, it was kind of an organic journey for me. Past boyfriends would confirm this, but I’ve always been into kinkier sex. By kinky, I mean rougher, so some light choking, slapping, spanking, [sugar daddy] roleplaying, that kind of thing. BDSM roles weren’t formalized at this point and I never really thought about myself as a sub. It wasn’t until I started dating a guy who thought of himself as a Dom that I began to understand more about the community and how everything’s codified. Our relationship didn’t last long, but I became exposed to the lifestyle and from that was able to eventually find a Dom.

How does one go about finding a Dom and what are some things a sub should be looking for?

There’s an active online community, which is how I found my first Dom. Basically, I had impromptu interviews because I knew what I was looking for (I’d done my homework). These dates or ‘munches’, as they’re called, gave me a chance to get a read on a group of guys since I wanted someone with plenty of experience and someone communicative who I felt at ease with. If you live in a city, there’s a good chance you can find BDSM classes or demos. Attending these and getting to know the scene better is always a good idea. If you’re looking for a master, definitely don’t rush it. You have to remember, this is someone who will have complete control and power over you. You want to make sure they know what they’re doing and that they listen.

At the end of the day, the sub has all the control since they decide what form play will take place so be sure you find a Dom who respects those boundaries.

Have you ever been injured?

I have, though the injuries I’ve experienced have all been intentional. As a masochist, pain plus pleasure are exactly what I’m looking for. For me, the limit stops just short of a visit to the hospital. To call the experience transcendental or euphoric would be an understatement. I want to be enslaved, to feel possessed, even to feel just the faintest suggestion of fear—these experiences augment and transform climax to something different, something more profound. It’s exciting, totally exhilarating… I’ve had lacerations, bruises, once I even broke a wrist, but I’ve never been discouraged. Part of the journey is the degree of closeness you achieve with your Dom. You become, in the most essential terms, one entity, united in the act of domination and submission. This is why, as a sub, it can be confusing. Sometimes you form these emotional attachments that are bound up in the role you play.

What’s the best experience you’ve ever had?

Where to start? Since it’s most recent in my mind, I’d probably say with my most recent lover. For a month, he was away and we devised a set of complex rules for me to follow if I wanted to masturbate in his absence. This was our first foray into submission outside of the bedroom, and it was totally exciting. Basically, if I ever found myself aroused while he was gone, I agreed to punish myself. This included clamping, caning, whipping, etc. I had all these stages I had to go through to prove that I was committed to getting myself off and if I did all these things the final step was to call him and ask him for permission. By then, I’d be physically and emotionally exhausted. I’d be turned on beyond all metrics and desperate for him to let me do it. A couple times he said no. Whenever he did, I’d go through the process again. It was intense and amazing. The anticipation, to so fully submit yourself to someone else… You’d be amazed at how close you can get to someone.

Does being a sub in the bedroom ever translate to submissiveness in real life?

For me, no. For others, it might. As a lawyer, I have a pretty high-pressure job. Some would say that I’m adversarial, perhaps even too assertive for my own good. Were I to be placed on the spectrum between Type A and B personalities (strong drive/competitive vs. laid back), I would fall on the far A side and I’m definitely something of a control freak. Being a sub allows me to explore a part of my personality that gets very little attention. It’s a relief and a release, a way to give up all agency and allow someone else to take the helm, as it were. It’s an amazing chance to embrace how diverse and broad each individual can be, to explore an avenue I’d otherwise leave ignored. It’s an important outlet and it lets me be myself.

I remember a previous partner forced me to wear a chastity belt to work. It was strange, the paradox of being totally in control, empowered in my professional life, but then to be bound and controlled by a sexual partner.To allow that control to happen, it was intense.

What’s some advice you wish someone would have given you when you started out?

That’s a good one. One interesting thing few people talk about is the strange emotional attachment that develops over time between Dom and sub. When I was just starting out I was very naïve so I confused that attachment with love. I guess you could say I fell in love with my first Dom, who was in no way interested in progressing our relationship to that level. It’s something I had to deal with over time and sort of come to terms with. In play, you give yourself completely to someone else, you want to be their slave, for them to possess you in this extremely visceral way. It’s intense and you have to take a step back from it. Sort of drop the role, if that makes sense.

six-myths-about-bdsm-debunked-by-science-compressor
Photo – Lelo

If you want to learn more about being a Dom or sub and the basics of BDSM play, we’ve got you covered in this beginner’s guide to BDSM – because no one should have to rely on pop culture and Fifty Shades to get their crash course on BDSM.

Comments
Written by Hugh Jasse

An eloquent soul, a lover of women, fine wine, and travel. I can often be spotted aboard a skiff in Santorini, catching rays and artfully plucking at my lute.