What is a BDSM Slave? Learn the Difference from Submissive

Welcome! Today we are looking at another set of terms in our “let’s clear up these BDSM ideas” series – it’s not really called that, but you get the idea.

While it might be simple for some veterans, the wording used in the BDSM world can be confusing or misleading for newer practitioners. Things like Top/bottom, edge play confused with knife play, etc.

So, this time we are going to look at slave vs. submissive.

A NOTE ON WORDING


There might be times where you’ll stumble across someone who is adamant that their “understanding” is the only correct one. In cases like these, I find all you can do is agree to disagree. Everyone adapts BDSM language to fit their style of communication.

If they call their partner a “pet”, but there is not pet play involved, it’s not necessarily wrong. Perhaps “pet” is their nickname. Maybe their partner is just starting out and not ready to get into that play yet, and the name is a baby step.

So, why do we bother to sort out the differences?

Because if you call yourself a slave, but you’re actually a submissive, you might be attracting the “wrong” kind of person for you. It might not be a good match.

WHAT IS A SUBMISSIVE?


Submissive is a general term for someone who hands over their power to another person – whether through intimacy, sex, vanilla actions, etc. They can do this for their pleasure or someone else’s.

WHAT IS A SLAVE?


The easiest way to describe it is thinking in terms of “scale”. You have various extremes. Submission can be anywhere on the scale, but being a slave is closer to the far side. You give over more control, sometimes all of it. You might even have someone who takes on the responsibility of “owning” you.

THEY SOUND THE SAME


They are both submission. There can be overlap, depending on who you talk to. There are also different concepts of slavery. For example, some people say that a submissive chooses to hand over their power but can still negotiate, while a slave automatically gives over their power and has no say in what happens.

This style might work for some people but not all.

You can still be a slave with negotiations – especially if you have physical or emotions traumas that need to be handled carefully. Just become someone “owns” another doesn’t mean they stop respecting the other person as a human being. Because the minute you cross over that line, it starts getting into abuse instead of BDSM, kinks, or fetishes.

Another example is the right to walk away. Both a slave and submissive, if things go sour, have the right to leave the relationship (even if they are “owned”). It’s the same as marriage. Yes, it’s a heavy commitment, but if your partner starts abusing you, or it’s just not working, then you can totally step away.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT I AM?


My advice? If you’re not sure, start with submission. Start slowly and gently. And if you’re really new, you can even try “gentle domination” and scale things up from there. No one “knows” they are a slave right off the bat. It takes time and exploration. It’s a journey.

Want more BDSM articles? You might like these…

Have a safe, sane, and consensual day!

0 thoughts on “What is a BDSM Slave? Learn the Difference from Submissive

  1. And I feel a kind of release when she puts her foot on my tummy or genitals. But although I do these things, our overall relationship is one of two equals. (Although how equal can one be when nude in front of her friends, exhibiting fresh black and blue lines across the buttocks)

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