What is your submissive play style?
A while ago I retweeted an image on Twitter roughly about different types of subs. That image is somewhat inaccurate, I think but I retweeted it because I thought it was funny and I didn’t expect people to really ask me about it. Then I started thinking about different types of “subs” for a lack of a better term. I have often thought about the different driving forces behind what composes kink, BDSM, fetish, etc, however that is a post for a different day. So I began thinking about the motivations behind each different type of sub I have observed. There will be a follow up to this post because I think there are more sub classifications beyond just these.
So, why does it matter what type of sub/what your play style is? (I think your play style is actually more accurate.) It gives you more information about yourself and what you’re seeking out of your interactions with your Domme/Mistress/etc.
Also, keep in mind that people use titles with their own discretion so “slave” may mean something to one person but something completely different to another person. It’s always important to ask when negotiating. (For example in online Domme communities “slave” basically means “submissive man” whereas in lifestyle BDSM communities a “slave” refers to someone that is “owned property” and is usually a relationship title rather than something you just call someone.)
So these titles are in part borrowed from what I have observed and in part my own creation. Moving along.
A submissive is an umbrella term for someone with submissive desires who wants to be dominated. They have a whole range of interests in the BDSM or fetish realm. They may be casual or extremely serious and devoted to a Mistress. BDSM is a whole world of self expression for them. It’s a type of powerful play or sexual expression.
A slave is largely the same as a submissive with the exception that they tend to be more deeply involved lifestyle and tend to have one or more long term connections with Mistresses. Their real life outside play tends to be much more intertwined with kink and they are focused on “serving” in whatever form that takes for them. That’s not to say that a submissive can’t have domestic relationships that step outside the realm of the bedroom. However, I would say the level of commitment required for someone to make that sort of investment usually involves some sort of collar. Regardless of what title you assign to that relationship.
A bottom is someone who much like a submissive is also experiencing kink for the purposes of self expression, play or sexual expression but the focus isn’t power exchange. They may engage in very hard play that pushes some very hard limits that you would only see from people deeply involved in heavy D/s relationships. Bottoms are experience chasers, limit pushers and they want to see how everything feels and process the fuck out of it. The good and the bad.
A fetishist is someone who seeks the deep exploration of something particularly specific. They can be all over the map as far as the D/s scale and their involvement in the BDSM scene. Their focus is exploration of whatever their particular fetish is and hopefully you talked about it before and also hopefully it’s your thing too!
An explorer I would put neutrally on the D/s scale as they usually have no idea where they sit but it’s always fun to find out! Maybe they have no interest in D/s at all or maybe they really want to sit at your feet and suffer! An explorer is just that, an unknown.
A sensualist also doesn’t fall on the D/s scale but nothing makes them happier than putting a big smile on your face. Nothing makes Mistress happier than someone who wants to make her happy! The focus is typically not the harsh aspect of BDSM but sensation and sensuality.
I hope that helped shed some light on different types of submission for you!