The subjects of submission and domination in sex are generally “taboo” because they paint a picture of dingy dark rooms, where strangers get together to practice unthinkable acts. Images of leather-clad dominatrixes and men being whipped, tied up, and gagged conjure up other-worldly, abnormal—even slightly disturbed—types of people. However, this is just not true. These preconceived ideas are what has made this subject slightly taboo.
There is also the misconception that being submissive is not empowering and this actually is not true either. In fact, being submissive can enhance sexual intimacy.
But, before addressing this, it’s important to highlight what domination is and is not and what submission is and is not. Domination is about being sexually in control, where the dominating person writes the rules of what they are going to do, when they are going to do it, and how they are going to deliver the goods. On the other hand, being submissive means adhering to the whims of the one in control. The submissive is totally at the mercy of the dominating person.
There is, however, a distinction between what healthy domination and submission entails and unhealthy examples of it. For these practices to be healthy, both parties need to be dedicated to creating something that they are happy with. They need to do so with trust and respect. If the experimentation goes too far for one of them, then the other needs to respect that. Experimentation is about seeing how far you can go, and if part of getting out of your comfort zone is to say no, then that needs to be acknowledged by the other person. What is “too far” also needs to be discussed before playing these roles, so that both partners know where their boundaries lie.
Not exploring what is okay for each party could be deemed as unhealthy, because there would be no room to really understand how far they can go before too much is truly too much.
There is a stigma that being submissive is not empowering both from a health and a sexual perspective. This is actually not true. Being at the mercy of a partner can be very empowering, as it gives the space for both male and female to move into their own sexual fantasy.
Giving the reins to your partner to truly seduce you can do transformative things for your sex life. You can connect at a much deeper level, as you’re both entrusting your boundaries to one another. In addition, for a couple to experiment with domination and submission, they would have to have a conversation about their fanatasies, which allows for intimacy to blossom.
Sharing your sexual space and experience with your partner will allow for both of you to open up and share something so intimate that it will allow for your connection to deepen. As the connection deepens, so will the trust between you—which is why it does not matter who is dominating and who is submissive.
If you are both creating the space to explore taking your sexual experience to the next level, you are empowering your relationship.