How to be Submissive in a Relationship (8 Practical Steps)

how to be submissive in a relationship

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So you want to be submissive in a relationship.

I’m assuming this is as opposed to being submissive outside of a relationship, such as at work or with friends.

And that’s cool. Many subs I know are ballbusters in everyday life, but when they’re with their partner they want to be thrown onto the bed, tied up, spanked and ravished until they’re a quivering mess.

What does being a submissive in a relationship look like?

Being a submissive in a relationship isn’t about being walked all over. It’s something you choose to do, and do consensually. You enjoy giving up control and power to your partner because it scratches an itch for you.

That itch may be sexual (ie it turns you on being ruffed up a little) or calming (because you can clear your mind of the troubles in your everyday life and be grounded in the present moment through allowing someone else to make decisions on your behalf, no thought required).

For more information, I recommend you read my Why Would a Woman Want to Be a Submissive? article if you’re struggling to understand your yearning to act out your submissive fantasies in a relationship.

And read my what is a sub to get a better understanding of what the role of a submissive is and the different types there are.

Things a submissive does in a relationship

The type of submissive you are will dictate how you act in the relationship and what services you provide to your Dom.

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Beginner submissives in a relationship might:

  • Allow themselves to be used sexually at any time (known as the free use kink).
  • Enjoy being dominated in the bedroom, adopting submissive sexual positions such as doggy.
  • Enjoy being restrained without handcuffs, bondage tape, rope or bed restraints.
  • Engage in elements of S&M such as being spanked by hand or with a paddle, or flogged.
  • Like having sex toys used on her to make orgasms more intense, or for orgasm denial scenes.
  • Be partial to rough sex involving light choking, hard penetration, hair pulling and being forced into position.
  • Wear a collar to signify belonging to their dominant. Collars can be worn during sex, around the house, or day collars used in public.
  • Learn positions to adopt when commanded, such as sit, stand, kneel.
  • Do little things for their dominant such as run errands, provide massages, and cook.
  • Be punished when standards are not met. Punishments can include everything from spanks to boring line writing tasks to housework. Read Submissive Punishments: The Complete Guide for inspiration.
  • Be called pet names by their Dom (baby girl, kitten, bitch, slut, whore, slavegirl, good girl).

Experienced submissives in a relationship might:

  • Engage in a 24/7 dynamic where they are at their dominants beck and call all day, every day.
  • Enjoy more forceful impact play. Harder slaps, hits or whipping sessions. Strikes may be given to area other than the bum, such as legs, breasts, or face.
  • Be restrained for longer periods of time and more securely.
  • Allow themselves to be used anytime and anywhere for sexual pleasure.
  • Attend sex parties and kink parties to engage in voyeurism and exhibitionism.
  • Enjoy being degraded and humiliated with language (for example, being called a slut) or activities (being given facials, forced to stand naked, written on etc).
  • Carry out tasks given by their dominant remotely over text message.
  • Undergo anal training.
  • Be restricted from using furniture without express permission.
  • Partake in threesomes where she is dominated by a third person, or takes pleasure in watching her Dom control another woman.
  • Wear an anal plug to work or when out of the house.
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The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives

Steps on how to be submissive in a relationship

Now that you know what being a submissive in a relationship looks like, it’s time to get to know the steps needed that’ll take you from vanilla to kinky over time.

Step 1. Why do you want to be a submissive in the relationship?

Why do you want to be submissive? What is it about you that gets you going? Is it arousing, thrilling, calming, exciting, relaxing, curiosity?

Having a handle on your ‘why’ will help you determine the type of submissive you want to be, and therefore how you should act.

Step 2. Discuss it with your partner

how to be submissive in a relationship. A dom and sub discuss over dinner.
If you’re new to discussing your kinks with your Dom, that glass of wine might come in handy.

You want to be a submissive in a relationship, but it takes two to tango. What does your partner think? Does he or she know that you have a preference for being submissive?

If not, the first place to start is to sit down and discuss your desire to be submissive with him. This isn’t easy, and takes great trust on your part. You may be scared as to what his reaction will be, but you won’t get what you want without putting it out there.

(More guides on good communication in Dom sub relationships here).

Step 3. Do your research

The next phase (which it seems like you are doing now) is to start getting yourself familiar with BDSM terminology by reading articles and blogs.

I recommend you check out my Submissives Start Here page if you haven’t already.

Google is your friend. Keep searching all those questions that pop into your head. No doubt one question will lead to ten more, but that’s okay. Eventually, all the individual threads of information will weave together to form a tapestry of knowledge.

Step 4. Decide what type of submissive you want to be

There are many types of submissive you could be in a relationship. During your research you probably discovered some activities which turned you on, and lots which turned you off.

Tests such as my very own ‘What submissive personality are you?’ quiz and the one at are fun ways to get an idea of where your preferences lie.

Step 5. Combine and discard

Just because you want to be a submissive in a relationship does not mean that you have to do absolutely EVERYTHING that all submissives have done EVER!

It is your decision to create your ideal dom sub dynamic, whatever that may look like.

So take the things which you read about you like and incorporate those into your dynamic, and discard what you don’t like.

Don’t be tied down (see what I did there?) to a label just because an online BDSM test told you that’s what you were.

For example, let’s say you’re into voyerism, enjoy being restrained, but can’t stand the throught of being spanked or called pet names (such as good girl) or degrading names (such as bitch, slut, whore).

You enjoy serving your partner sexually but outside the bedroom you take on the more dominant role and like to be in charge of the finances, picking holiday destinations, and organising parties with your friends.

Does that mean you are any less of a submissive?

Absolutely not. That is simply your unique flavour of submission.

It is up to you and your partner to decide where the boundaries of your submission and dominance lie, in a way which works within your relationship.

Step 6: Bring out the Dominant in him

how to be submissive in a relationship. The submissive woman can bring out the dominant in a man

You may have done all the research on how to be a submissive in a relationship, but what if your partner has no idea how to be a Dom?

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First of all, I believe all of us have the ability to be dominant if we really want. We can put on the act and make it happen. But what you really want is your partner to act naturally dominant towards you, so you feel the electrical connection of a dom sub relationship.

If your partner has no interest in being a Dom, then I’ve afraid I can’t help you. Both partners must consent.

If he is interested but has no idea where to begin, then I suggest you point him towards my Dominants start here page.

But, as a submissive there are ways to make your boyfriend more dominant in bed or out of it. You need to up your submissive qualities to encourage him into his dominant role.

This will take time, but as he sees you begin to trust him, and sees you enjoying being the submissive one in the relationship, his self-confidence will grow, which leads to more dominant behaviour, and onwards and upwards.

Step 7: Learn how to please your Dom

woman shows how to be submissive in a relationship by teasing her dominant and giving up control to him

The allure of being a submissive is giving up control to your dominant. Part of the thrill is knowing you are giving him pleasure, through sex or service.

When you discussed dominance and submission with your partner in step two, and because of your history in a relationship together, no doubt you understand what he enjoys. You’ll know his favourite sexual positions, whether he likes your hand or your mouth on him, how he likes to see you dress, and his little routines and idiocinracies in every day life.

Your responsibility as a submissive is to make any or all of these things more pleasurable and easier for him.

Give him massages, fetch his favourite snack, offer to massage his feet as he watches TV, suck his cock as he plays on his phone, run errands for him, send him naughty submissive texts, do some research for him on the project he’s working on.

Read my submissives rules guide for more ideas you might want to incorporate.

These are all things which make his life easier and better.

Step 8: Practice

Learning your role and his role in the dom sub relationship will take some time. It’s like learning a new special language between the two of you.

You know in a traditional relationship, after you’ve been going out a few years, you just know how your partner will act, what he would say in this situation, and exactly what he likes.

Being a submissive in a relationship is just like that, except you’re adding an extra power dynamic variable on top, plus taboo topics which may be difficult to discuss. Not only do you need to know his quirks in everyday life, but you have to understand his dominant quirks and body language, anticipating his needs before he knows he has them.

It takes time to learn this other part of you, and his dominant part of him.

You’ll both grow and evolve over time, understanding which parts of BDSM you enjoy, and which you don’t.

Explore, accept things go wrong, but above all make sure you keep things playful. Keep up the sense of curiosity, and you can’t go wrong.


How to be a submissive in a relationship is a common question. There’s no single way to be a submissive, as the world of dom sub relationships are so varied.

But follow the principles above when starting out, follow your instincts, and eventually, you’ll create your ideal dom sub dynamic, and be having hotter, kinkier sex than ever before.

The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives
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Nice thank you


I had a lot of questions about my role as a sub and this pointed me in the right direction for answers. I like the way you make me feel excited and intrigued by being in a sub/dom relationship. Thank you for the insight ❤️


Really I’m going to try this