You Must Be Dominant To Be Submissive

There’s a very common theme among personal ads from dominant women, on craigslist, alt or collarme.

“The more aggresive and dominant you are to the outside world and submissive behind closed doors, the better.”

I didn’t make that up. It’s from an actual ad.

The idea is that they want someone who’s not submissive in their daily life.

I wouldn’t say I’m submissive in my daily life. Occasionally people will even mistake me as being dominant at certain lifestyle events. I’m not a pushover, but I’m not dominant either. Many seem to want an alpha male outside the bedroom and an obedient submissive inside.

It doesn’t take a PHD to understand why.

Many dominant women I’ve talked to like the idea of having a guy who’s the stereotype alpha male but is a total puppy to them and them alone. The thought of being the only person that can bring that out of them is a huge turn on for them.

It’s the contrast that turns them on. Probably the same way that the idea of a sweet and innocent type totally beating the hell out of me turns me on, but it turns me on just as much as the idea of an alpha woman doing the same. The difference is you’ll never catch me saying that it’s even better if you’re the sweet and innocent type.

I have a feeling that many dominant women like the idea of an alpha male submitting to them because it’s proof of their power. It shows that they are dominant. Having a submissive who is submissive in his daily life submit to you isn’t as big of a deal I suppose.

Maybe I’m wrong.

I’ve overheard dominant women talking about the dominant men they’d love to control, yet I’ve never overheard any talking about the submissive men they’d like to control. It must be the idea of a challenge.

I have a little info that may not be news to any of you Dommes out there:

I don’t know a single dominant guy that wouldn’t submit to someone. I’ve talked to many dominant guys that would love to submit to a few of my friends because they know it’s the only way they could be with them. It’s not that big of a challenge really.

I, however, have never needed to use a safeword.

That’s a challenge isn’t it?

Maybe a little?


A challenge is fun , but (and I realize this is totally off your actual topic) a challenge to safeword is generally what’s known as a Bad Idea. I happen to think that setting up safeword challenges, among other things, makes it harder to use them when they’re actually necessary.

Challenge us to make you beg. That’s yummy.

As for the dominant public personality thing, I can relate. I happen to like many types of people. But I’m also outgoing and have what’s politely called a “forceful” personality, and socially I can tend to get along with men and women who’re similar to me in those ways. We balance well.

In the bedroom, being the only one to dominate an alpha-guy isn’t something I particularly care about. Might be something to do with being poly, I think; being the only one who can do x, y or z thing with/to another person isn’t a priority.

I’m assertive in life and in bed (i dont identify as bdsm moniker, i say im a top – to men and women)most guys are REALLY put off by my desire to control how things go.

Butch women (i am femme)are also put off by my sexual assertiveness. I find them attractive, but are loathe to let me lead in the dance club or the bed. I guess I upset the butch-femme old gender binary.

I like guys and girls that are themselves, dominant or not. But guys that either treat everyone equally or are on the submissive side in life really do it for me.

I dont think there are hard and fast rules, but it is more difficult for me to meet “subish” guys because they are less likely to ask me out.

I often have to make the first move, which is not hard, but its also something women are not socialized to do, especially when we typically get bombarded by attention from all men or the ones that arent discerning.

Axe, I think you’re plenty dominant enough for what those women are probably screening for.

I constantly have guys asking me to tell them what to eat and dress every day and calling that submission. I think they’re more likely looking for people who don’t need to be “dominated” into doing real life things like brushing their teeth, showering, and going to work, with a little mix of some guys are so spineless that power exchange with them is unappealing, because frankly they have no power to exchange.

Think about it- as much as most guys love blowjobs, would they really take one from a girl who makes it openly and desperately known that she will suck any guys cock, anywhere, any time, and then sort of simperingly and false-innocent grab at their package, and who does this to EVERY guy she runs across?

Hell no. It’s a similar feeling when dealing with a guy who will willingly submit to any and everything with tits.

I DO talk about submissive men I’d like to control. I’m sometimes attracted to celebrities because they look like they might be submissive/masochistic. I even think that some celebrities play to that, which implies that they don’t think I’m the only woman who’s attracted to that ‘look’. (Of course, in real life I don’t think you really can guess from the way somebody looks – I’ve made that mistake before).

When it comes to sex, I want somebody who is committed to being sub, so why would I particularly go for somebody who prefers the dominant role? When it comes to a relationship, I want an equal – nobody in charge, but each willing to take the reins if the other is tired, ill, etc. Maybe that’s because I switch a bit, but don’t think so – I think it’s because sexual dominance or submission is completely separate from ‘real world’ dominance or submission.

Only one of my LTR submissive partners was what you could call a “dominating” personality outside the bedroom. He was also the worst at being sexually submissive. I think it was because he was not actually so sure of himself, and the dominating personality was somewhat of a cover for insecurities.

My other partners have been more sure of themselves, more comfortable with themselves and their relationships with others. None were meek, pushovers, or doormats at work or socially, but none were “alpha male.” They were just themselves. And much better as submissive partners.

Like Eileen, the challenge mentality doesn’t ring true with me, although I’m not poly. I want to be with someone who wants to be with me. I also agree with Lorelin, I want an equal in a relationship, although I don’t switch.

I think the ad you found is characteristic of a much smaller segment of dominant women than you guessed.

The problem is, men are more or less expected to be assertive and yield authority in vanilla circles, so not doing so, for a submissive, has a vanilla meaning of “nice, friendly, perhaps even feminist – a good catch”. For a woman, it’s synonymous to being a nasty bitch no one wants to talk to. While that’s something I like to be in the bedroom, in a one-to-one relationship, I force myself to be less dominant in regular social interaction. So it’s something I would like a potential boyfriend to be able to adapt to… My guess would be that it’s the kind of your the author of this ad meant.

Only some dominant women want submissive men. I am more dominant than any male or female I’ve ever encountered and I loathe – loathe – submissive men. Nauseating to see any man without a backbone. This stuff typically only applies to women who are conflicted internally.

And no, couldn’t give a toss if that statement offends anyone who needs to play dress-up and carry a whip to get someone do their bidding.

I can see the appeal in ‘flipping’ people. I find it fun and challenging to usher people into new things they didn’t know they liked, and when I’ve helped tops and dominants to explore bottoming, I’ve found it delicious. Absent the other dom’s hinting or flirtation, it’s Bad and Obnoxious to tell them that I’d like to help them unlock another side of their kinky selves, of course!

I certainly do ‘notice’ dominant men, and dominant women, and when I notice their attractiveness, I do think I’d like them to submit to me. I’m not sure there that the challenge is the big deal, and I suspect it’s something far dumber: “You’re hot, let’s have sex the way I like.” For what it’s worth, I notice submissive and switchy people the same way–it just doesn’t result in unrequited attraction nearly so often, and so perhaps it’s less visible in talks about what one wants or likes.

Maybe these ads are a backlash. Some submissive men are not only passive and deferential, but lackluster and apathetic. The latter category results in people who aren’t terribly interesting conversationalists, who don’t take care of their appearances, and who appear to lack intellectual curiosity and ambition. I don’t find those qualities attractive, regardless of whether the person with those qualities is submissive. People who are aggressive and assertive outside the bedroom don’t tend to be like that–they have faults, but laziness isn’t usually among them. I wonder if this sort of ad is an attempt to get around that “type”–it’s not a very good way to do it, I think, but I can see why one might try it. Personally, I usually go for majordomo types–people who can organize stuff, including their lives, and who organize best in subordinate positions.

“The more aggresive and dominant you are to the outside world and submissive behind closed doors, the better.”

Actually, on reflection it’s the ‘aggressive’ part which bothers me most. Dominance is something that could be seen as a desirable characteristic outside of sex, but aggression isn’t.

Yes I want an alpha male!

I never try to conceal that. I want somebody who is sure of himself and what he wants, someone who can make decisons on his own on a day to day basis, if I allow that.

Throughout the years I have talked to quite a few submissive males and many express the same concern: submission vs the male stereotype. In my view, it takes a strong and confident man to really submit to a woman without holding back. A.k.a an alpha SUBMISSIVE male.

Most of all I want a male that is proud of himself, of who is and what he has acchieved. I know I am. I want someone who is proud to be my slave.

And I never use safewords either….

I agree that there’s something balancing about a more dominant personality. Most of my better friends have tended to have very strong personalities (even the more submissive ones). They’re just easier to relate to at times.

I also agree that dominant most men would submit in order to make a connection or be with a woman. It ends up being about the energy exchanged.

I think there probably is something to the “challenge” aspect for some. I’ve been attracted to the “challenge” before, bit it’s not the norm.

Personally, however, when I say I want someone who is strong or successful (which is how I’d put it rather than dominant or aggressive)… what I mean is that I want someone who isn’t a doormat. I want someone who is a whole person.

Also, there is something to be said for someone who is submissive only-for-me. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but I’d agree with the above that someone walking around saying, “… anyone? dominate me? plz? anyone? you? no? how ’bout you?” isn’t exactly *inticing.*

As for fantacizing about submissives…. um… YEAH. Most dominant women I know (even those who don’t self define that way) fantacize about submissive men.

My experience has been that dominant women want a man they can control; but they don’t want others to know that. They appreciate a very alpha exterior – but relish ability to control – in and out of the bedroom.


My experience has been that dominant women want a man they can control; but they don’t want others to know that. They appreciate a very alpha exterior – but relish ability to control – in and out of the bedroom.

I’ve heard this before and respectfully disagree — for the same reason I tend to agree with any statement that begins “[insert group of people] are like [insert characterization].” I was just talking about this with a friend last night. I like someone who is my equal. Someone who doesn’t dominate the conversation. Someone who treats me and my friends with respect. I want to be the alpha.

I find your typical alpha males to be really annoying. I don’t like Guy guys–the kind who like to watch the Red Sox and drink beer and not talk much. I like it when a man is in some ways more of a chick than I am. I realize that last statement opens up some questions about gender, but that discussion is outside of the scope of this comment. I should know — I wrote the spec.

I’m pretty alpha in my day-to-day life. “Bossy” is the term I usually use, which takes me down a notch or two 🙂 I like domination in the bedroom because it allows me to let people go a little bit more in other situations. It probably makes me a better boss, actually.

I think you make some good points about the “challenge” of taking down a dominant man. The contrast is very stimulating, and I agree with Sophiste that this reaction could be backlash to all the men who think they must be spineless and passive in order to be submissive.

I find myself attracted to the alpha-sub dynamic, simply because when I dominate someone, I want there to be something to dominate. Passive-stomp-me-man prostrate on floor not so much of a fulfilling experience. I also think this dynamic has a lot to do with the misconceptions of what it means to be dominant and submissive for each individual, shoving everything into categories, and not having an appropriate vocabulary to express what one wants.

For instance, I like strong, assertive, scathingly sarcastic men with willpower. A lot of people would say I’m describing a dominant man.

Fuck that.

To be strong (physically or emotionally) is not an inherently dominant trait, just like being assertive isn’t inherently dominant, and being strong willed isn’t inherently dominant (scathingly sarcastic is cherry on top). Those things complement submission, they make submission delicious. I don’t *want* fragile, indecisive, passive, weak-willed submissive men (which seems to be the predominant idea of what being a submissive man is– again, fuck that). That’s not being submissive, that’s being fragile, indecisive, passive and spineless. Not sexy.

Knowing what you want and being brave enough tell someone is sexy. Being able to take care of yourself is sexy. Being able to make decisions is sexy. Being perfectly able to make good decisions and then letting me make them for you is even sexier.

I have to agree and disagree about it being a challenge, but you have to remember there are two type of people on ad sites there are people that write ads that come from the heart and that is real but there are others that write what they think people want to hear, the facts are everyone is different there are no same Dominants or submissives from the outside they might seem the same but they are not, for this lifestyle you really have to get to know the person heart and soul.

the thing that gets me is how can people talk about everyone in the world, like their are some that say either most men or all men as i said there are no two people the same, i talk to some Dommes and they like alpha submissives but some likes wimps, and i am a Dominant but i have tried my submissive side to see really what it was like now does that make me a submissive or not, i don’t believe it does because i have faith in what i am and i was willing to try the other side but with that being said it did make me a better Dominant because i have an understanding of both roles.

now lets get back to the topic point, it really depends on who it is now people seem to see it as a female point of view but what is it to say that some Dommes that likes alpha submissives don’t want to try out being a submissive, everyone has their own heart, mind and soul with that being said everyone has their own opinions and needs as i believe this topic as pointed out, we have to remember we can only talk about what we know or talk for ourself and not anyone else, as i said i tried both sides and i think alot off Dominants should because they learn alot more about themself and about the lifestyle/being a submissives so they learn about how to treat a submissive.

one last point topic starter said about Dommes wanting alpha submissives because it proves their power, now this is my opinion but no Dominants should have to prove their power, the fact that the Dominant should know what they are and not have to proof it.

remember this is my opinion and might not be yours, everyone has their own thoughts and opinions.

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[…] me probe a sub male’s brain a bit. I particularly like blogposts How It All Started for Me, You Must Be Dominant to Be Submissive and I’m Submissive, Not a Doormat. In the latter post he confesses, “I sometimes find […]

Prophet King Governance Press » links for 2008-06-25June 25, 2008 at 12:40 am

[…] You Must Be Dominant To Be Submissive | Unspeakable Axe It’s the contrast that turns them on. (tags: sexuality kink bsdm psychology) This entry was written by thescribe, posted on June 25, 2008 at 12:39 am, filed under research. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Out of my head on 2008-06-24 […]

[…] So we have generations of men, at least the ones who aren’t trying to rape us and beat us and murder us in gang initiations, trying to “submit” to us, to “love” us, by making us fulfill their own needs. To make us their cause, the focal point for their energy, to remake us in the image of something to be unworthy of because they can’t believe they’re worthy by themselves. There is a degree of backlash, I believe, and you get dominant women who only want to dominate dominant men, like Axe describes here. […]