Active Submission by Domina Dali
By Domina Dali
We often think of dominants as the “doers” and submissives as the “receivers”. While that’s mostly true, a relationship that follows that mode 100% of the time would be quite unbalanced and likely lead to burnout for the dominant. As well, bottoms may be left feeling frustrated and unable to get their needs met. With this article, I hope to get caring submissives to begin thinking about the concept of active bottoming within their power exchange relationships. I offer you some simple tools to initiate submission, and to empower your dominant at the same time!
Use honorifics as you would lube. Lots and way more than you think is necessary. Seriously, I can’t hear “Yes, Mistress Dali” enough!
Adopting certain postures has an impact on us, creating a feedback loop between our body and mind. Additionally, it affects the way we are perceived and how we communicate. For instance, a classic posture such as kneeling at your dominant's feet can help you enter a submissive headspace and is likely to inspire your dominant as well (and possibly earn you head pats!) Think of postures and movement as a way of asking with your body, and as an ongoing way to enhance communication and flow (like a way of dancing with your dominant). For instance, sticking your bum up at an opportune moment in a scene would likely invite a spank. Of course, none of this is ever meant to take the place of actual conversation, but it’s fun to incorporate once you have a pre-existing understanding between you.
Ritualized Acts of Service
The biggest complaint I hear from other dominants about service is that they do not want to micromanage a submissive. That for many, it’s just easier to get their "own damn cup of coffee". In spite of that, it is possible to create ritualized acts of service that over time become instinctual. It could be something as simple as taking your dominant's shoes off at the end of the day. Whatever you choose, make it personal and meaningful to both of you.
You can also seek out education in a service-oriented activity. Do you like the way your dominant looks and what they wear? The toys they have? Those boots, their rope, that latex skirt? All of those things require a lot of care. Whether you fetishize the items or just want to make their lives easier, learn how to do it for them!
Is there a type of play that you would love to explore but that your dominant does not seem to initiate with you even though they seem interested? It is possible that they do not feel confident in their skill level with that particular activity. Looking for workshops to register for with your dominant would be a great gift to inspire the play you're seeking and would give your dominant the education necessary to execute it safely. Your dominant is not an all-knowing, infallible being and it is foolhardy to think so - even long-time players could do with a refresh now and then. Luckily the Ritual Chamber dungeon offers many educational opportunities! (Don’t mind the shameless plug.)
Show your Gratitude
Tops are not a ride for you to go on or a toy for you to use. When someone feels unappreciated, they get burnt out, and burnout, like fire, can be destructive. Most of the time seeing a happy bottom is thanks enough, but if you are so inspired there are many ways to show your gratitude. A thoughtful gift or a generous tip (for Professionals) can be very touching for a dominant to receive, and if you get them a toy, it’ll be the gift that keeps on giving!
Additionally, you will want to avoid another common cause of burnout: undermining your dynamic. A simple and common example of this is not properly following a command. If you’re given a command (within the bounds of your consensually agreed upon dynamic), do it to the best of your ability, or communicate your inability and make different plans together. If the undermining is coming from a place of brattiness or laziness, it’s a big turn off to a dominant. Unless you have a dynamic where your brattiness is an established part of the fun, just don’t. It will sap your dominants energy and is not the way to go about getting the beating you were looking for.
A lot of the suggestions so far have been aimed at pleasing your dominant, but this one is just for you! The journey of submission is a very special one that can lead you very deep into your own being and inspire such beautiful growth. Be actively engaged in whatever makes you feel submissive. Take the time to reflect on your experiences and desires – it will unlock new understanding and give you deeper satisfaction in future experiences.
Of course, nothing can take place of good old-fashioned communication. It is truly a skill in and of itself that you will develop over time as your comfort level with yourself and with your Dominant gets stronger. There is no one right way to do it as everyone has their own communication style, but do make sure that at the very least, you sit down and talk before you engage in any kind of BDSM play.
Now go, be, learn, and DO the things!