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What Is A Sub In Sex?

When it comes to the intricate world of BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism), many terms can be somewhat puzzling for the uninitiated. One such term that often comes up is ‘sub’, short for submissive. Whether you're looking to educate yourself for personal reasons or out of sheer curiosity, you're in the right place. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown to shine some light on the subject.

The Basics: Defining a 'Sub'

At its most fundamental, a ‘sub’ refers to someone who willingly gives up control in a sexual or BDSM scenario, allowing their partner(s) to take the lead. This relinquishing of control can manifest in a variety of ways, from simple acts like blindfolding to more complex scenarios involving restraints or role-playing. But remember, the essential element is always consent.

Different Shades of Submission

Just as with any aspect of sexuality, there's no one-size-fits-all. The spectrum of submission can range from light, occasional play to a 24/7 lifestyle choice. Here are some common types:

  • Occasional or Bedroom-Only Submissives: These individuals enjoy submission only during specific scenarios or sessions. It’s an occasional kink, rather than a lifestyle.
  • Service Submissives: They derive pleasure from serving their dominant in non-sexual ways, perhaps through chores or other tasks.
  • Brats: This playful subtype enjoys teasing and challenging their dominants, often seeking punishment.
  • 24/7 Submissives: These are people who opt for a full-time submissive lifestyle, often following specific rules and structures set by their dominant.

And these are just a few examples. The world of BDSM is as diverse as its practitioners, with many subcategories and niches.

Ensuring Safe and Consensual Play

It's essential to understand that the foundation of any BDSM activity, including being a 'sub', is built on mutual respect, trust, and communication. Before diving in, it's crucial to consider the following:

Safe Words

Before any play session, partners should agree on a 'safe word' or signal. This word (or gesture, in some scenarios) is an immediate cue to stop the activity. It's a clear way for the submissive to communicate their discomfort or boundaries without breaking the flow or dynamic of the scene.

Setting Boundaries

Before engaging in any BDSM activity, it's essential to discuss boundaries. This ensures that both parties understand and respect each other's limits. Regular check-ins can be beneficial, especially for those new to the scene or with a new partner.


This is the care or attention given to partners after a BDSM activity. Since these activities can be emotionally and physically intense, aftercare helps ensure that all parties feel safe, cared for, and appreciated. This can be as simple as a hug, cuddling, or even just a conversation.

Understanding and implementing these safety measures will not only protect all involved but will enhance the experience, ensuring that the dynamic remains a healthy and positive one.

Best Sex Toys for Subs in BDSM Play

The world of BDSM offers a plethora of toys designed to heighten sensations, tease, and tantalize. If you identify as a 'sub' or are merely looking to explore the submissive side of play, certain toys might especially appeal to you. Let's dive into some of the best sex toys for subs, perfect for those eager to surrender control and experience new sensations.

Restraints and Bondage Gear

Why they're great: Restraints play a fundamental role in BDSM play by limiting movement and increasing vulnerability, adding to the sensation of being 'controlled'.

  • Handcuffs: A classic option, perfect for beginners. They're easy to use and come in a variety of styles, from metal to plush.
  • Rope: Versatile and ideal for those looking to explore Shibari or other types of bondage.
  • Spreader Bars: These keep the legs or arms apart, leaving the sub in a vulnerable position and enhancing sensations.

Sensation Play Toys

Why they're great: They heighten sensitivity and can either offer pleasure or pain, depending on how they're used.

  • Feather Ticklers: For gentle stimulation, making the skin more receptive to touch.
  • Floggers: Can be used for gentle caresses or more intense impacts, depending on the material and the force applied.
  • Pinwheel/Wartenberg Wheel: A small device with spikes that can be rolled over the skin for a unique prickling sensation.


Why they're great: Gags restrict speech and can heighten the sensation of submission by taking away the ability to vocalize fully.

  • Ball Gags: The most common type, which fits snugly in the mouth.
  • Bit Gags: Often used in pony play, they sit between the teeth without filling the mouth entirely.
  • O-Ring Gags: These gags have a metal or rubber ring, often used in more advanced play since they keep the mouth open.

Chastity Devices

Why they're great: They restrict access to and pleasure from the genitals, making them perfect for tease and denial games.

  • Cock Cages: For penis-owners, these devices restrict erections and orgasms.
  • Chastity Belts: Worn around the waist, they prevent access to the genitals and can be worn for extended periods.

Final Thoughts

Being a 'sub' in the world of BDSM is a rich and fulfilling experience for many. While the idea might seem daunting or even controversial to some, it's essential to remember that it's all about mutual consent, trust, and exploration of one's desires and boundaries.

Like any form of sexual expression, it's deeply personal, and there's no 'right' or 'wrong' way to go about it, as long as it's consensual and safe.

So, whether you're considering dipping your toes into the world of submission or simply seeking to understand it better, here's to a journey of exploration, understanding, and acceptance!

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