In the vast world of BDSM, there are many variations of relationships, but also types of submissives.
Most people say you cannot classify submissives because they fall into more than one category. This is true. there are many shades of grey in between (pun intended). Everyone submits differently, depending on their own personality, relationship dynamic, and view of submission.
In today's post, I want to explore the differences between a submissive and a slave. What are the differences? Are there differences in rules and protocols? Why classify one as a submissive versus a slave?
A submissive is a person who gives up control and gets emotional or sexual satisfaction from aspects of submission which may include serving or being used by the Dominant. A submissive usually only submits during a scene, during sex, or during certain well defined and set parameters. They may or may not follow rules or protocols outside of the above situations. At all other times, they are on equal footing with their Dominant. These people also normally don't give their Dominant the title of Master.
A slave is an individual who is wholly under the control and power of a Master. A slave is the property of their Master. They freely surrendered their rights and privileges as an individual. They thrive on the opportunity to provide unconditional service and to exceed their Owner's expectations. A person that identifies themselves as a slave usually feels happy by making their Owner happy. They feel down and depressed if they perform a task incorrectly or make their Owner angry. Slaves normally live in a 24/7 TPE (total power exchange) relationship with their Masters.
Now, having defined the differences between the two, are there exceptions? Well of course there are. The above definitions are what is generally accepted by the BDSM community at large. With the explosion of BDSM on the internet, there are many variations to both defined roles. There are now cyber slaves, cyber submissives, and many roles in between that has not yet been defined.
There are those that think defining themselves as a slave, means they are more devoted or more submissive. I don't agree. You can call yourself whatever you want, but your actions and words more clearly define the type of submissive you are.
Is there a difference between a slave and a doormat submissive? Oh yes. A 'doormat' type submissive is a person that does not have any self esteem at all and feels like they are not worth the slime on the bottom of a dumpster. Their self image is so low, they usually do anything and everything their Dominant tells them and never complain, no matter how bad the Dominant might be to them. They feel they deserve the roughest and most abusive treatment their Dominant can give, even if such treatment is not warranted. They never ask why because they do not feel they deserve an answer.
A slave usually has very good self esteem. They know they are prized by their Masters because of the gift of their submission. They have their own convictions and can think for themselves. They do take abuse, but only when it is warranted, as in punishment for something not done correctly or misbehaving. They are strong and loyal, but feel happiest and complete when owned by their 'perfect' Master. They are completed when able to be in total submission 24/7. They love having strict rules and boundaries and always follow them religiously.
Submissives might have some rules but most of them are not that restricting. Cyber submissives and slaves usually have certain protocols they follow, such as emailing the dominant first thing in the morning about their schedules and last thing at night to tell them how their day went.
In closing, is one better than the other? Does the title of submissive mean you are a stronger person than one that considers themselves to be a slave? Or does a slave mean they are more submissive? They answer according to me is NO to all of the above.
As I stated before, and deeply believe the more I have read, learned, and experienced over the past 20 years, titles do not matter. It is all about what you feel naturally, what you are compelled by your very nature to do or be, that is a true submissive. No matter how far you feel you need to submit, as long as you follow your instincts and your nature, not try to force yourself to submit further than you think you can, you are all equals.