The Main Types of Submission in BDSM: Submissive, Slave and Pet

bdsm relationship

In the BDSM lifestyle there are largely three different types of submissives, and when speaking to them, they will tell you with pride which they are and why. I will give you here some description of those types but before I do so I would like to make clear something regarding my BDSM World. Most will say a slave in comparison to a sub is mostly a female without opinion, she is only to do as her Master desires and in some cases without limits. I argue there is anyone without opinion, desires and much more I do not accept any reference to NO limits. In my way of thinking, limits are always present and even more, a Master’s limits are actually defined by His slave/sub limits but this is a concept I will analyse in some other post of mine. Keep in mind that though i usually like to mention my girl as a slave I am well aware that a slave goes with a Master when a sub goes with a Dom.

I provide you with two different copies that i find really interesting and in () i include my own personal comments

Submissive (sub) – As a sub you submit to your Dom, you give up control for long periods of time. However you have your opinions and your choices and you can still make them. Say you do the dishes and pay the bills, these things usually are still under your control. It changes only during set times and parameters. There is also the thought of the “power balance” between dominant and submissive. Meaning that in a submissive role although you give up the control the power is really still 50/50 just in a different setting and under more intense circumstances. Sex is usually a large part of this relationship and mostly where the submission enters in. Now don’t get me wrong the intensity is still strong and the punishments and pain are real and overwhelming however you have more of an option to stop and this doesn’t spill over into the everyday that much.

Slave – As a slave control is given up completely. The power balance is completely tipped in the Dominants direction. However keep in mind this is a choice the slave makes not something she/he was made to do. Slaves usually are slaves 24/7 (as I explained personally I do not believe there is part-time or 24/7. Those in BDSM lifestyle are always part of this as it is a way of life, a way of philosophy and not something we take a break out of it. Of course, if one anticipates BDSM as it appears on porn movies, then is hard to understand what i am talking about). They may work but when they get home there is no distinction from normal day to a BDSM day, that person is always a slave from the day they ask for that. As a slave sex is still very real and alive however not always the goal and not needed for the Dominant and slave to be in that persona. As a slave the lifestyle is usually (I disagree on that “usually” and i would say the word might fit better) more intense in pain, humiliation and just pure pleasure (It is always about pleasure.Even when it does not involve any sexual act pleasure to serve and pleasure to control is there. I would say instead that in a Master/slave relationship is easier to explore the darker desires of our soul. Talk, accept,admit,explore and find out more about fetishes and needs that usually most people are afraid to even speak off) . Something to remember however is that as a slave this does not mean if the Dominant asks you to break the law or hurt yourself that you should obey on a whim. If a Dominant is asking you to do things that are against the law or against your moral values than he or she is not a true dominant. (additionally how far the Master will go, how much He will push his slave’s limits and what practices He will use are pre-discussed, agreed and in event no matter how confident the slave is a safe word should be agreed for any situation the slave would like to stop what is going on. The more a Master and a slave are honest and open with each other the better it is to understand each others needs and what should they do at time. Honesty, communication and trust are essential and clearly time in order to progress and enjoy more such a relationship).

(This last one is something should not be practised by the unexperienced, never for long periods of time and it has nothing to do with puppy play or other similar sexual fetishes.)

Pet – This hasn’t always been a classification of a submissive person and is still controversial in some circles. A pet is more on the side of a slave except for one large difference, sex does not have to be involved. In many cases it is not. If you have become a pet it is to give up yourself and obey, you gain pleasure from the control and the obeying not from sexual play. There can be play but it is rare in this kind of lifestyle. This submission is one of the most dangerous because you can lose yourself mentally because you so rarely have thoughts of your own, you usually do not work and although you may discuss things with your Dominant he is last say in all things.

Ultimately the deeper you go into submission the stronger you have to be which of course is peculiar since you have to give up more of your control with each level. But you have to be very sure of yourself to give up every ounce of control and thought. Taking each step is serious and should never be taken light by the Dominant and submissive, especially if you want to remain safe, sane, and consensual.

Another comparison (from the blog of the Dungeon Master)  between a slave and a submissive is the following

slave (BDSM) — is a term often used in BDSM to connote a specific form of submissive. A sexual roleplay or consensual slave could also be a masochist or bottom, but this is not always the case.Connotatively it refers to highly committed domination and submission (commonly abbreviated as D/s) relationships, as a person who has surrendered their personal property and freedoms to another, who has become the property or chattel of their owner(s). This term is widely used, as it has a certain self-affirming weight.Some practitioners feel the difference between submissive and slave is the degree of submission. However, many who are involved in Master/slave relationships see the difference as one in kind, not in degree. In particular, some slaves do not have a naturally submissive personality, but simply choose to surrender their will and volition to another (The are more than a few of examples of individuals who are in a decision maker position at their professional life but once they get back home they just put on their collar and surrender their will)

It should be noted that the Owner/slave relationship is entered into on a strictly consensual basis, without the legal force of historical or modern non-consensual slavery. It is also worth mentioning that the laws of all countries (for example the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution) strictly forbid the practice of slavery.

Various forms of symbolism are sometimes used to affirm the Owner/slave relationship, such as wearing the owner’s collar, being registered in a slave register, adopting (sometimes legally changing to) a name chosen by the owner, or engaging in a public declaration or ritualized ceremony of some type. Some people draw up a slave contract that defines the relationship in explicit detail, but these have no legal weight and are therefore not intended to be used in any court of law.

In some traditional rituals, after signing a slave contract, many people celebrate the commitment to the relationship with a collaring ceremony, which can be simple or elaborate and friends are usually invited. The slave then wears a collar, which symbolizes their status. The collar may be an actual piece of neckwear, or may be a bracelet or other piece of jewellery that symbolizes their slavery. These collars are generally never removed unless or until the relationship is dissolved, although some slaves exchange a formal collar for a more subdued (or less obtrusive) one in work and vanilla situations.

There is considerable debate over the exact definition of the word “slave” as it pertains to BDSM. Many people believe that you are a slave if you consider yourself one, whilst others believe one must be in the emotional state of Total Power Exchange or Internal Enslavement for the term to apply.

There are differences of opinion about whether one needs to be currently owned to be identified as a slave. Many in the Master/slave community do not feel that ownership is a requirement.

submission/submissive (BDSM) — (also known as D&s, Ds or D/s) is a set of behaviors, customs and rituals relating to the giving and accepting of dominance of one individual over another in an erotic or lifestyle context.D/s is often referred to as the “mental” side of BDSM. Physical contact is not a necessity, and can even be conducted anonymously over telephone, email or (more recently) instant messaging services. In other cases it can be intensely physical, sometimes traversing into sadomasochism. In D/s, one takes pleasure or erotic enjoyment out of either dominating or being dominated. Those who take the superior position are called Dominants, Doms (male) or Dommes (female), while those who take the subordinate position are called subs or submissives (male or female). A switch is an individual who plays in either role (I would accept the term switch only for those who see BDSM as a sexual play not a real lifestyle.As explained before in my opinion there are no switches as sooner or later the one side will prevale over the other). Two switches together may negotiate and exchange roles several times in a session. Submissives generally outnumber Dominants, with male subs outnumbering Dommes by the widest margin, often three to one or more. “Dominatrix” is a term usually reserved for a female professional dominant who dominates others for pay.


55 thoughts on “The Main Types of Submission in BDSM: Submissive, Slave and Pet

  1. So, this may be quite the odd comment, but I’ll just jump right into it. Are there actually people willing to be dominants/masters out there? I’m quite new to this, and still only doing research, but I’ve only read about people claiming to have/be masters. I just wish for a confirmation that people really enjoy the role of dominant, because I’m very submissive, and everyone I know is also into the submissive role.

    Also, if someone is truly a dominant, what would they do for the submissive? I’m just curious about how the relationship works, so please humor my innocent pondering.

    I love your blog! It’s been one of my newer introductions into BDSM and it’s helped me out quite a lot!

    1. Hello and thank you for your comment. The question should be more like how many of those interested in dominating are really interested to commit in such a relationship?
      Sadly enough many out there for both sides are interested just into a quickly rather than building a D/s relationship. However there are those who are really into this.
      Don’t ask what a Dom is willing to offer before knowing what you expect him to. If you know the answer to your expectations then you know that answer to your question.

  2. I identify as a human pet, kitten, little. princess, brats and a can switch with the right person.

    Being a human pet for me means I am literally the Pet of the one I serve and am there as a friend, confidant, caregiver and am to make the one I serve’s life easier.

    – Drawing the bath for my Dominant
    – Assist in bathing my Dominant.
    – Making sure my Dominant’s lunch is ready
    – Doing laundry, dishes and housekeeping
    – Gas is in the car
    – Running the errands
    – Making the needed calls
    – Making sure the bills are paid
    – Have a candle lit dinner on the table waiting for my Dominant to get home
    – Greeting the one I serve when my Dominant gets home on my knees holding a glass of my Dominant’s favorite drink

    For me it’s also about:
    – Friendship
    – Lending a shoulder when your Dominant is stressed or crying
    – Offering your ears when your Dominant needs to voice the stresses she faces
    – Someone to hold when she started to crack.
    – Someone to cuddle with

    As long as I have my voice, thoughts and feeling are seriously considered I will gladly give up final say.

    1. I approved this comment even if I don’t agree in the way it looks like. To me this sounds more like servitude rather than companionship. I do though understand that people might identify these two meanings in different ways than I do. As long as you are happy with what you have then keep going:)

  3. Hello I have a unusual situation I Have a boyfriend whom I live with and though my needs could be met. Spankings etc. unfortunately he is not very dominant. But I do care if I hurt him as I have 5 kids he has helped me with. He has helped me as far as being patient with them and giving me a job in his company to provide for them. MY DELEMA I met a man whom I call master two years before I met my boyfriend. I tried to met him once and traveled miles to see him. He was ill at the time and we could not see each other. My relationship ship with him is something I crave and do not want to live without. I am his pet through messaging and enjoy it more than anything. The only thing that could be better would to be his pet fiscally BUTmy boyfriend would not approve. I broke it off with my Master shortly after I got together with my BF only to find my Master again and I’m hooked I want him so much. Not to mention if I left my boyfriend who can not fiscally please me AT NO FAULT OF HIS OWN. Well if I left him for my Master I would lose my job and not be able to support my kids. I love my Master and have not told him how much. I try to stay strong and not act on my wants it is becoming very difficult. What do I do my Master is someone I don’t want to live without and is the only person I have deemed Master over me.

    1. For me is simple. Maternity same as paternity comes first and exceeds our ego and what we need. First our children and second our needs. Since without your bf you won’t be in position to provide for them there is no delema at all. If you could then that would be a different conversation. Also you need to keep in mind the bf already proved able to accept your 5 kids and all it comes with so many of them. Is that Master ready to do the same? Is he capable to keep the lifestyle away from them as they need to develop their own approach in life?
      Your carnal needs and deeper desires at this point can’t be a priority.

    2. No my needs have not been my priority so much that I have waited to even met my MSter for 4yrs now. My children do come first and they always will. I do not think Master is ready to take on so much responsibility as my kids needs. But my question is would it be wrong to met with my Master on my free time. My kids go with there biological Dad often. What would you do if you have waited for 4 yrs ? Would you wait until the kids are grown, keep it online, cut it off, see him on my free time. No matter the case I keep this side of me hidden from everyone who knows me. I am a strong hard working woman who always is a good mom first and a good companion to my Boyfriend. But have always lacked the piece of me that my Master has patiently and is Still patient with.

  4. Hi I’m into kitten play , little, and pet lifestyle but live in a Christian community so there are no masters ,daddy’s ,and/or dominants in the area and was wondering how to tell if someone is one secretly

    1. I would suggest you start try to find love out of the lifestyle for some years and wait longer before you jump into this lifestyle
      You have way to many things to learn before getting involved with petplay or D/s relationship. Please take my advice from a friendly POV.

  5. i cant help myself told my wife that i have taking our dogs place in dreams i had, she laugh he pass on, telling her i cant take his place dont look like a dog she saying i dont care what you look like as long as you act like a dog.And i did tell her i want to be a dog, mygod i told her that she hasent done noting yet but at the time laugh saying guess i going to have to get you a coller, do i have to worry.

  6. The descriptions are very much what I would have defined them myself.

    Sadly, where I live there are no Owners. I can travel for occasional play in another city, but that BDSM community and Owners in it are too far for 24/7 control and observation. I’m definitely planning to change jobs and move there this summer.

  7. Thank you so much to the author of this blog for defining clearly the meaning of the Master/pet relationship. It has reaffirmed my attraction to it and why it can’t just be roleplay with characters. I was wondering if you could direct me toward any websites where I could explore this kind of relationship with those interested in becoming pets, in an online environment. In other words an online relationship as opposed to simply roleplaying as characters. Thanks again.

    1. Are you interested in it as a master?
      Cause I’m more than willing to be a pet. The whole aspect of pain and humiliation interests me. Also any sort of corporal punishment is fine.

  8. Thank you for explaining this. I’m trying to figure it all out and It was recommended I read as much as I could so this really helped

  9. So I have been interested in this lifestyle for awhile, and finally found a Loving and appropriate Master. Yet, I feel like I’m to inexperienced because I never really had a REAL Master… I also found out that I have an aggressive personality, as in I lash out on his other pets and subs because I want to be the best. I don’t play we’ll with others so I feel as though I’m disappointing him. This is something I REALLY want, yet…what if I chose the wrong role? What if I’m not good enough for him? What if I’m to aggressive? Also, I’m meeting him face to face for the first time in a month. Please help?

    1. What if he is not what you need? You are human not a pet and as such you might like to have a relationship not a role play as if in a video game. I am against any Master who has more than one sub. I don’t believe in plyamorous and my belief is a Master should be dedicated to his sub in the same way he expect his sub be dedicated to him.
      Anything else to me sounds as taking advantage of human feelings and needs

    2. I agree with masterp35, polyamorous relationships make me uncomfortable and make me feel like Im not getting enough love from my master, so maybe try and find a master who wants only you.

  10. MasterP, I have been in a relationship for 17yrs on and off, my partner says he is a slave and that I own him. I am fine with that however he will just disappear at times so he can play with others. I am feeling like he just plays at this lifestyle what is your opinion on this?

    1. You need to speak with him and understand why he acts in such ways. Maybe you are not as strict as he would like you to be. Maybe not as much dominating as he would like to have you. It is quite hard for me to give you a real answer to that question.

  11. Okay so, I know most of you are going to look at me weirdly, at least, most people do, but I’m 15 and I’m into bdsm, kittenplay, etc.
    It turns me on and everything, but I’m really scared and insecure when I talk to my Master. I dont really know what to do and I have being insecure because it gets in the way of our relationship. It’s over the internet (I’ve been dating him for 2 years, bdsm was introduced about 6 months ago) and I feel like I’ll still be insecure when I’m with him irl. How can I boost my self esteem so I can please him? Help please.

    1. First you need to boost your self esteem by waiting time help you do so. The same time you have to stay away from BDSM it as you need to give time to yourself to evolve and figure out exactly what you need in your life and how to take it. It is wise, no matter what your age is, to give time to yourself before jumping into anything. At your age you never had the time and space for you emotional side grow up. You don’t have anything to lose if you wait for 3 or 4 more years before making such choice. After all, this is the solution to your problem.

    2. Hi,
      I got into the BDSM lifestyle online to, when I was really young. 13 actually. I’m 17 now. My advice: you should go slow. Seriously really really slow. Breaking it off like so many people will suggest, screwed me over pretty bad, but if you go slowly then your emotional maturity can have a chance to catch up to your sexual maturity. Explore sites like this and do as much research into BDSM as you can. This will help you feel more confident when your Master mentions BDSM stuff. You’ll go, oh I know what that means, and also know the pros and cons of different activities better. Also helps on making better choices. Have a look at case studies of other submissive, how their relationships turned out (or are still turning out). Many of them have valuable advice out there. As for insecurity. There’s many reasons for it, such as being a teenager (your brain’s trying to build itself-that’s going to cause so many problems), feeling insecure about the topic you and your Master are talking about (talking with him about it and researching will help), and lastly. Being insecure about the relationship and about your body. This is where going slowly helps. People, no matter their age, are insecure about their bodies when they expose them to their partners. And being insecure about the relationship goes for the same reasons. Exposing yourself emotionally. Letting him see what goes on inside your head. It gets scary. But it’s only really scary when you’re moving to fast for yourself. Slow down, take as much time as you need, he’ll understand:)

      Another thing. I was feeling a bit nervous myself when I was with my Master, but we worked through it by giving me a little “reward-name”. Whenever I did something good, like taking a punishment well, or he was just generally feeling happy and proud of me, he’s call me his “good girl”. I had told him that whenever he called me that it made me feel all happy and safe and warm:) all the feel-good feelings. So maybe you guys could do something like that. A little word or phrase to say “I’m really happy with my sub right now” that makes you feel good.

      Wishing you and your Master all the best. You can contact me by replying here, or by emailing me on misseruanna@gmail.com

      I haven’t ever met someone who’s story was so eerily close to mine, so it’d be good to see how much else we have in common, if you like:)

      Eruanna

  12. Is it possible to identify with a little of each? Im into kittenplay and im a little. But those are non sexual. Im a service submissive. But when i comes to sex i feel like a slave. My need and drive to please at all cost is bigger then me. I push my boundaries as far as i can handle to please my Dom but not far to where it will trigger anything. I can only reach true subspace when im blindfolded and bound. I dont know where i fall into place

  13. I am a dom and I have finally found a sumissive sub that I have been longing for for many years. He is my sec slave, he is married and I but the chemistry is so stong between us, that I find myself, longing for his touch, I miss him when we are apart and he feels the same way. I thought that this would be easy to handle for me but I am torn. I am not falling in love with him, I love the what we have together. I am still very dominant over him and he very submissive. would you consider him my sex slave or love slave. I have more intense orgasams with him and feel more sensations with him then I ever or do with my husband. help me understand what is going on, is it normal for a dom / or master to feel this way about a sub,

  14. I very much enjoyed your information. I am just getting to the submissive lifestyle and trying to educate myself and the information was helpful. Thank you.

  15. My husband and my self are married for a while with children
    Lately we both confessed to each other that we are very drawn to bdsm
    The problem is that we are both seem to be subs….
    Can you advise us please how to proceed from that point?
    Love your blog!

  16. It was interesting reading this article tonight, I was researching because I had someone try to persuade me that my thoughts and feelings were incorrect, and I needed some validation. It helped remind me and put things into perspective that there are those who have been in the lifestyle and those who “play” in the bedroom. I’m not saying that’s wrong or a bad way to be, but those who “play” in the bedroom have no clue really about the lifestyle. I am a slave and can not play at one, and trying to explain to someone who has no interest beyond “playing” is futile and pointless. Lesson learned. Thank you

  17. How does one identify a fake sub from an authentic one?
    Michael Makai’s classification of the pseudo sub posed this question to me. The sub that thinks he or she is one but isn’t. What is the acid test for a dom to spot a fake sub? Have you ever personally told a person that he or she isn’t a sub? And by what standards / qualities?

    1. There is no acid tests. We are humans not softwares. To understand if one is pseudo sub youbjust need to study them and spend time to understand them deeply

  18. Thank You for your tips.
    Ive been reading alot about slaves and slave girls, and i came across a type of slavery called Gor. I completely related to that. Im under consideration by my master, and i wish i was treated more harshly and less humanly as possible. Slaves speak in third person speech. Therefore you shouldn’t use the words “I,” “me,” or “mine.” Instead, say “this one,” “this slave,” or “this girl.” The exception is in speaking of a girl’s particular Owner. If permitted, she may be allowed to say, “my Master.” Although there are instances of slaves using the standard greeting of “Tal” in the books, most channels on IRC restrict its use to the Free.

    1. Seela thank you for your comment. To be honest with you my tips are not so compatible with GOR witch in any case I don’t believe to be realistic or something for the real world.

  19. Very Informative! Thank you for your blog. Love learning more about the lifestyle, though still fearful of those who throw these terms around to take advantage of the inexperienced or those unconnected to a safe group.

  20. Dear MasterP,
    I beg to differ. My Master refers to me as a pet because I’m cherished and have value over what a slave may have. For example, dogs. Their owners expect obedience and they are trained to specific behaviors, but are still considered family with their own opinions and personalities. Just like our family pet, I’ve been collared and will never have another Master until death. I would love to read your thoughts.

    1. My opinion is simple. Pet play should be kept as a play not as a constant situation. We should never forget we are humans and we are to be treated as such. Beyond that I totally agree with all the rest of your thoughts.

  21. Dear Master P,
    I’m So Delighted to have found your site through Master Vile, of World of Vile.
    Thank you for providing detailed, thorough information. It is Master’s like yourself that take the time to educate that I have such a Admirable Respect for.
    Your New Friend, and Follower,
    Anastasia

    1. Sorry my dear. I do not believe in paid methods for training therefore no link that promotes a paid membership for the so called “training” will be accepted. Anything like outfits, kinky toys etc that may be used during a scene are accepted because it is irrelevant to what I consider to be an effort to take advantage of those who are new and don’t really know what is going on. They can learn and train by reading and letting nature lead them to what they need.

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