In wondering what my best advice to a beginning submissive might be, two things in particular come to mind. I fear I may be a bit redundant, but the advice is good.
First, every relationship is unique to the people within it. While you will hear and read a LOT that tells you what a Dom might be, what a sub might be, truly, the roles they play within a relationship are defined by them and them alone. If there is any commonality, I would say that a Dominant personality feels more comfortable structuring their relationship and a submissive feels more comfortable fitting themselves into another’s structure. Perhaps even that is too restrictive. I do not know. (Red Flags: any time anyone talks about what a “REAL” Dom or sub is or does, or a “TRUE” Dom or sub, what follows is probably bull shit.)
The second major point I would emphasize is that you must find out for yourself what it is you desire in play, in a relationship, and in a partner or partners. We are raised within this society to accept a cultural definition of what the relationship “goal” should be. Here within the Kink or BDSM community, we have accepted that society’s definition is not all that good for us. Unfortunately, often we have not taken the next step and begun our own definition, and we take the easy route of just accepting a different one. What we should do, in my not so humble opinion, is accept the responsibility and work of creating our own definition. A difficult task because it involves questioning a lot of perceptions, a never ending endeavor.
For both Dominants and submissives, this involves a great deal of self examination. While there is much to speak on involving a Dominant’s tasks, I will speak to that at some other time. A Dominant can and should assist you in understanding what pleases them, but it is only after a deep and well established relationship can they assist you in understanding what pleases and is best for you. Until that point, it is up to you. It is your responsibility to have as complete an understanding of your needs and desires as possible.
OK, then. You may be young, are new to the lifestyle, and getting most of your information from books. (Another warning: Novels and most media are designed to titulate, not to inform. While there are many informative writers on the subject, fiction is not the best place for information.) This should be your Mantra. “Listen to your Body.” It is sort of like trust your gut. Go out, find support groups, take your time, watch people play and talk to other submissives. (Talking to Dominants can help, but most of us will tell you our truth as if it is The truth, which it is, I suppose, but only for us. Also, with an apology for our entire group, you are new meat and we do tend to be a bit predatory.)
Counter to what I said above, reading fiction may help here, because finding out what excites you is informative, it is just not so valid as far as technique. Example: You may love the idea of being tied and left in the closet until your Master comes home from work. OK, understand the attraction and discuss ways to satisfy that attraction, but being tied in a closet alone all day is a good way to die.
Whatever you see, whoever you talk to, whatever you hear, Listen to your body. If the play you are watching gets you all tingly and wet, then when the scene is over complement the players and ask questions. If you are listening at a Demo and it just does not do anything for you, remember and understand that whatever form of relationship or play you are observing is just Not Your Style (at least at this time) and accept that. Most importantly, if you enter into any form of negotiation with a Dominant for a scene, play date, short or long term relationship, no matter how reasonable their words, if something just doesn’t feel right, that is your truth, and trust it. Politely say, “Thank you for your time, Sir (or Ma’am)” and walk away.
You may not feel it right now, but you will have time to find what is right for you. You may be hungry now, but every time you go shopping when you are hungry, you find yourself with a lot of crap that is not necessarily good for you. Remember that. Watch, listen, observe your own feelings, and Take Your Time.