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Different roles in BDSM relationships

Different roles in BDSM relationships

Different roles in BDSM relationships

BDSM is often a misunderstood area of intimate relationships. Thanks to certain music and books in popular culture, people see it as a form of humiliating, painful subjectification. But when two parties are fully on board, it can actually be a freeing, fun and invigorating experience that keeps relationships exciting. It isn't all whips, chains and red rooms of pain, that's for sure!

Essentially, BDSM relies on the surrender of control from the submissive partner to the dominant partner. From here, certain types of games, rules and disciplines can be played out in a way that enables the dom to derive pleasure from control and the sub to enjoy the freedom of relinquishing it.

But when you look a little deeper, there are roles within these roles. This article examines the different types of roles present in an active BDSM scenario. Which ones excite you?

A dom or domme

A dom or domme

A dom or domme (female equivalent) is perhaps the most commonly known role in BDSM and is essentially the dominant party. They will hold control of the situation, dish out discipline and use other physical or psychological methods of control (restraints or orders, for example) to instruct the submissive party to do whatever they say. In this scenario, it is almost always the dom or domme who receives any type of physical stimulation from the sub and never the other way around.

A sub

A sub

Conversely, it's a sub's role to willingly accept and obey whatever the dom requires of them. They must follow orders only and rarely suggest or dictate the direction of the session at all. They can, of course, stop or interrupt the session using the safe word if they are uncomfortable at any time. Many subs find that relinquishing control in this way frees them completely and they enjoy being dominated and told what to do.

Daddy/mommy

The daddy/mommy roles offer power but with protection. It mimics the relationship between a parent who has to guide, teach and punish their child but at the same time loves and protects them. While these roles offer the possibility for punishment, there is also scope for rewards, so this makes it a dynamic where both parties may receive pleasure and stimulation but one where the power balance is still tipped very much in favor of the dominant.

Mistress, master or slave

This is another role where the power dynamic is key. The idea involves the submissive being the property of the mistress or master, and it becomes their duty to provide obedience and service toward them. This role lacks the emotional connection of a daddy/mommy scenario and almost works towards demoralizing the submissive as a lesser being that is there only to serve.

Pet

Believe it or not, this is a more popular form of BDSM than you'd ever imagine. It involves adopting the roles of animal and owner. It can begin with some more subtle animal behavior, such as walking on all fours or mimicking animal noises. Those who are more experienced and engaged with this form of BDSM may want their doms to use a collar and chain on them or even lock them up in a cage for the full effect. People tend to enjoy the complete disengagement from reality - indeed from humanity - when they submit to the life of an animal. It can be very freeing and invigorating.

Brat

A brat is a sub but not one who willingly behaves. This role comes with an element of sass, disobedience and misbehavior that involves a lot of talking back and attention seeking. This is a good way to tip the power balance back and forth, although ultimately the dom is always in control. Essentially, a brat wants to be put in their place but will put up a fight first. Some doms will also enjoy being challenged but ultimately winning the power struggle.

A maid

A maid

Similarly to slave, this role involves someone submitting and accepting that they are less worthy than the dom but also have duties that must be fulfilled. A maid in particular will have household chores to complete. This is a role that can easily be taken out of the bedroom and may benefit from a costume to give the full effect. Couples who are new to BDSM could try out this role first as it is a well-known and easy-to-replicate power relationship with few complex, emotional connotations - unlike the daddy/mommy dynamic, for example.