Five Self-Care Tips for Submissives

Self care tips for submissives

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Often in a BDSM dynamic, we can get focused on care coming from an external place. A Daddy-Dom caring for their submissive after a rough day. A loving slave-sub makes sure their Master’s needs are met. 

It’s important to remind ourselves to focus on internal care and validation as well. Especially if we want to keep our dynamic strong. When you stop caring for yourself, it can be impossible to care for others. 

When the idea of self-care was on-trend a couple of years ago, it was largely focused on superficial needs and beauty routines. Those things can of course be important, but it isn’t the type of self-care we’ll be focusing on today. 

Thankfully, our larger cultural understanding of self-care has shifted to include things outside of bubble baths and facial masks. Let’s go over five self-care tips for submissives that are related to both mind and body.

1. Use Arnica Salve

Arnica is a daisy-like plant with a yellow flower. It is believed to help with bruise healing. There is currently limited data to support its anti-inflammatory uses. But let me tell you it saved my black and blue hide when I was learning to pole dance.

When arnica is applied externally in a lotion or cream it can help shorten the recovery time for bruising. It is easy to find as an ingredient in a salve or ointment.

You are allowed to keep your bruises if you like them. Some submissives love to keep reminders of playtime on their bodies, and that’s fine if that’s your thing. But for those of us who find them painful or just don’t like the sight of them, it can be a Godsend. I recommend this brand on Amazon.

Arnica cream is great for post impact play to take care of bruises

2. Practice safe words in scenes

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Ideally, you should never have to use your safe word. You and your Dominant should go over what some of your cues are when you are not enjoying yourself. These can be both verbal and nonverbal.

However, if you never use your safe word, it can feel intimidating to use it. Have you ever had that nightmare where you’re performing on stage and forget your lines? That’s exactly the feeling we’re trying to avoid here. 

Having a safe word with no practice can be a bit like expecting to perform a play without rehearsals or having an emergency plan without any drills. 

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Talk with your Dom and let them know you want to practice using your safe word. Any safe partner will agree and let you practice it

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This is not a time to practice CNC. This is a time for both of you to practice for possible situations. Your Dominant may also need to practice their reaction time and coming out of the scene.

It’s important to remind yourself that you should always have safety. 

This is also a great time for your Dom to learn your non-verbal cues that might come before your safe word. Do you tense up at the shoulders? Become very silent? These are cues your Dom should be learning about you.

If your Dom ignores your safe words this is not just a red flag but grounds for termination of the relationship. You are loved and worthy of respect. 

3. Indulge in your alone time

Even if you aren’t in a BDSM dynamic, it can be difficult to make time away from your relationship. Especially as a submissive, it is easy to let the needs of your dominant consume you if you are not careful. Submissives are people-pleasers by nature. 

Talk with your Dominant and set aside time each week that is just for you. You don’t have to do anything specific with this time. In fact, it might be better to have no reason at all. 

This helps you reinforce that your alone time is valid and does not need a reason. 

You can spend the time with friends and family or spend it catching up on a show or scrolling Pinterest for cute lingerie. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is your time to do what you want with.

4. Take time for your hobby

So now that you have that alone time carved out, maybe you can use it to finally practice that hobby of yours. I find that submissives are often budding creatives. We love painting, drawing, writing, really anything where we can express ourselves. 

Let this also serve as a reminder that your hobby is for your enjoyment. You do not have to be good at your hobby or make money at it for it to be worthwhile. 

If you don’t have a hobby, this is your signal to get one. There are times in life when you will need to be alone and away from the world and your hobby can help you. 

Once your hobby becomes a part of your life, it can serve as a meditative practice. This helps you destress and work through challenges in your life. 

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5. Take one day for something you like…that Dom doesn’t

This is my personal favorite on the list. I love taking time for things my Dominant does not care for. He doesn’t particularly enjoy watching TV, so I look forward to the time I get watching whichever show I want without him getting restless on the couch.

Again, the activity here does not matter. It could be walking, shopping, going out for drinks or yoga. What matters here is that you are reinforcing to yourself that your Dominant does not get to take over your life. 

You are a full and valid person who had interests and joys before your Dominant came into your life

It is important to keep making space for the things you enjoy, even if your Dominant does not enjoy them. 

These self-care tips are all perfectly reasonable and necessary for any relationship, especially one with any BDSM component. If your Dominant cares about you as a person they will be, not just willing, but happy for you to ask for the things you need in a relationship. 

Remember that although we love to please, we need to take care of ourselves first.

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I love the information about the arnica! Tip #5 really resonates with me. It’s hard to remember we can have separate interest in relationships at times. Thanks for all the tips! Looking forward to the next article.


I’m glad you liked it. Audrey did a great job with this article. And yes, the sub doesn’t have to be identical to the Dominant. Like any relationship each person should have their own stuff going on!


I am a new to this amazing lifestyle. I have so many follow-up questions regarding self-care and relational development. My Dom and I are in a new relationship with each other. He is an amazing teacher. The unusual part of our relationship is that we have a long distance relationship. We are in constant contact with each other, but I find it awkward to be a submissive when I am the head of my household when I am not with him. And, when we do manage to steal some time with each other…I am constantly in reprimand because I am forgetting basic role expectations. So, as a Submissive, I suck when I cannot be in the lifestyle full time. What can I do to help keep myself in the submissive mindset when my Dom is long distance?


Hi Jonesy. As I type I’m editing a podcast episode today about getting into the submissive mindset, and some ideas for structuring the day so you are both clear when you are ‘in sub mode’ and out of it. Look out for the new epsiode coming soon 🙂