Every Dom/sub dynamic is unique, which is why every submissive learns different lessons and tips that work best for them. So for this special blog post, I’m bringing in 15 of my favorite submissives in the BDSM community to answer the question, What’s one thing you wish you knew before becoming a sub?
Now, all of these submissives are actively living the lifestyle. And in this post they’re sharing some of their best advice and lessons that they’ve learned along the way.
You’ll get a taste of a multitude of different perspectives that have allowed them to become their own version of a good sub. From fake doms to kinky empowerment, you’ll get insight into it all.
I cannot wait for you to read their brilliance and reflections!
By the way, if you want to learn even MORE about how to become the best submissive you can be, I’m giving away a free cheat sheet where I break down how to be a good sub. Just click here to grab it. I can’t wait to see what you think.
Now, let’s dive in!
Beware of the fakes
“I wish I knew that males like the idea of being a Dom, but few actually want to do the work. Take the sex out and a lot just flounder and don’t know what to do.” – Sully, Beautifully Bound
“It’s not a utopia. Kinksters talk big about important things like consent and negotiation, but there are good and bad people just like there are in any other walk of life. Some people have bad intentions, and sometimes people with good intentions f*ck up. So we have to keep our eyes open and use our judgement, not just blindly trust everyone who labels themselves ‘kinky’.” – Amy, Coffee and Kink
Learn how to spot a fake dom here »
The importance of consent
“I wish I knew more about how deep consent goes. And I wish more people got educated about how deep and how far that word goes. As it has allowed me to explore more, be more confident and comfortable with ‘new to me’ kinks in a D/s relationship.” – Slur7777, on Instagram
“Informed consent. We’ve all heard of consent but informed consent is critical, especially for beginners. As a newbie submissive, one might give consent in the excitement of the moment (e.g. in sub frenzy) and not really know towards what it is that they are consenting. This can be easily avoided by not falling prey to the ridiculous notion that a “good submissive is seen, not heard” and instead ask a LOT of questions.” – Daphne, Master Arcane
Learn the 5 things you need to know about consensual non-consent here »
Navigating different dynamics
“It is alright to know what you need from a Dominant. I wish that I had taken the time to figure out what kind of Dominance would feed my submission. Knowing that in advance would have allowed me to better understand what kind of Dominant was a good fit for my submission. Once I have entered a dynamic I want to submit fully and to do that I need to be able to express my needs before the dynamic has begun.” – Claire, Wicked Grounds
“How polyamory is supposed to work, and how deeply painful it can be when it doesn’t. I fell hard for the Dominant who became my Master, and polyamory was required. My personality and that of his primary never meshed, and I don’t think either of us was/is truly poly “at heart.” I don’t think it can work if everyone isn’t wholeheartedly working for the same things. You can be deeply, madly in thrall to someone — but that doesn’t mean he’s worth the sacrifices of polyamory.” – Kate Kinsey, author and educator
“I thought I had to blindly follow the Dom and never show any sign of initiative or personal preference. That resulted in less than optimal sessions because I was afraid it was ‘topping from the bottom.’ Constant requests actually do end up topping from the bottom because the sub in essence is trying to lead the relationship. However, an occasional request when needed is allowed and can be necessary for a better experience for both parties.” – Emily, The BDSM Coaches
Discover 3 topping from the bottom mistakes here »
Every submissive is unique
“I really wish I had known that kink comes in so many shapes and sizes. When I first started exploring, I was under the impression that all kink looked the same, that if you wanted to do X, you had to do Y. I spent a lot of time trying to force myself into molds and boxes because that is ‘what subs do’. Now I know that BDSM is so much more bespoke than I thought, and it’s given me freedom and more fulfilling relationships since I had that realization.” – Evie Lupine, BDSM peer educator
“I think one thing I wish I knew was that it’s all perfectly normal to want to become a sub and have different fetishes than other people. You don’t have to be the same as others that you watch and read about, as everyone has different fetishes and it’s normal.” – Rich, Submissive Blog
See the ultimate guide to being a submissive here »
Learning what submission really involves
“I wish I had known just how much work it would be. All the fiction I devoured about the kinky sex and dungeon play never prepared me for being in a D/s relationship. Being a submissive is not about the time spent in bed or tied to a piece of BDSM furniture. Being a submissive is about working in concert with your partner to build a D/s relationship that is future proof. And that is rewarding and challenging work, indeed.” – Luna, Submissive Reflection
“Something I wish I knew before becoming a sub is how nurturing submission can feel. Before going there, I thought submission looked like abuse, but there’s a lot of empowerment and safety that can come from it.” –Anne, Medium
“What I wish I knew before choosing to embrace my submissive side, is that submission begins in the mind, and is not something to be applied from the outside.” – Lola, Kink Lovers
Get a free submissive journal here »
Finally discovering the lifestyle
“I wish I’d known being submissive was possible. Recognizing my need for submission was a light bulb moment. All the things I thought were “wrong” with me actually had a name and there were others just like me. I wish I’d known in those early days that submission can be whatever works for you and a partner. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else, even other submissives.” –Kayla Lords, Loving BDSM
“Transitioning from a vanilla marriage is tough!! Letting go of old habits and practicing mindfulness 24/7 was the toughest part. Dom Sub Training helped me focus on the importance of showing Sir each and every day how much this life means to me.” – Tina, Dom Sub Training member
Learn how to go from vanilla to BDSM and kink here »
And the one thing I wish I knew before becoming a submissive
“I wish I knew how powerful being a submissive is. In the beginning I thought subs were weak, broken creatures that needed a Dom to ‘fix’ them. That couldn’t be farther than the truth. Submission allows a person to gain control and stability over their lives. While a good Dom can help guide them to become the best version of themselves, submitting is still a choice. Knowing that I chose to be a submissive is extremely empowering.” –Alesandra (learn more about me here)
**Special thanks to everyone who shared their words of wisdom with me for this article!**
What about you?
I’d love to read your response to the all-important question: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a sub? Please share in the comments. And don’t forget to grab your free cheat sheet below!
I wish I would have known how to show my family that I am not manipulated, on the contrary. I had a backlog because my ex sent a very negative letter to my mom, mother in law and sisters where he gave his opinion.
I suffered a lot from trying to make it up- but in the end it was all about following my heart and daring to do that even while being judged. BTW- the answer is- don’t. They won’t believe you anyway.
the second thing I would have loved to know upfront is that there is not right or wrong- we have a relationship that is different from anyone else’s, and that’s ok. I tried to fit in- and even more so, tried to fit my Master in, and it was such hard work- and so unnecessary. Maybe we don’t use the right words, or the right symbols. But it’s ok. This is who WE are. And we thrive. That’s what counts.
I wish I had known that many people outside of your relationship would try to force their idea of what D/s looks like and that ultimately your full satisfaction only comes from within yourself and your relationship with your partner. We all make our own rules.
Becca Kay says
I grew up and at an early age began reading books on etiquette. I also followed columns like Mrs. Manners nearly religiously. In my mind, there were certain things that ladies simply didn’t do. Coming into this relationship and exploring it with my Master, I had so many preconceived notions about what Slaves did. Add into the mixture my own having to realise that yes, there are certain things ladies CAN do that may not be written down in books, and you end up with me having internal struggles nearly daily.
Fortunately, my Master did a lot of reading (he still does) and he’s helped me realise that in the dynamic, that as you stated, Elenor, we all make our own rules. Each dynamic is that of those in it…no one else’s. There is no trying to fit a square peg in a circular hole. Instead, there is such a vibrant way to it.
Honestly? I feel a lot more at ease wearing the collar we picked out (he had me look at a few) than I do without it. There is such freedom living the lifestyle I chose in service to my Master.
I wish I had known that it is okay for guys to be subs too. There was always this global idea that guys should be “strong and powerful” and simply put, I wasn’t. Eventually I stopped caring what other people think but I still wasn’t open about being the way I am.Then a certain girl made me realise that I’m actually a sub, and I enjoy it when a girl takes charge. The whole idea that a guy should always be a dom or take control faded away and I realised that even though I’m a guy, it’s okay to be a sub. As numerously mentioned, it’s okay to be yourself and everybody has different kinks, so just embrace it even if the world says it’s wrong.
I reality is I like being a sub even though I’m a guy. I wish I knew that it was okay to be a sub even as a guy before I realised I’m a sub.
Growing up in a house hold of religious people and being taught that BDSM and kink is wrong and a sin kinda made me hide the fact I am a sub until I met my daddy and my master. They showed me it’s ok to be a sub. I wish I knew that it’s a lot of work to follow the rules and listen all the time when your a switch. When working i’m more dominant then submissive when at home i’m more submissive then dominant. If your the same way please tell me do you follow the rules you’re given even when in a dominant mood? I tend to try to but normally I can’t and i get in trouble.
I wish I’d known that anyone can be a submissive and that they can be the strongest and even dominant people to anyone but their dominant. And that being a headstrong person outside of my relationship didn’t make me any less of a submissive
Robert Milton says
Thanks for your wonderful dissertation