The Beginners Guide to Dominance and Submission

Chapter 1 - Basic Definitions

Dominance and Submission are not to be confused with Sadomasochism. To make this more clear, I am including these basic definitions. They are taken from the American Heritage Dictionary.

  1. Bondage - 2. A state of subjection to a force, power or influence. It comes from the Old English word bonda, which means husbandman (farmer)
  2. Dominant - 1. Exercising the most influence or control; governing. 2. Most prominent in position or prevalence; ascendant. Comes from Old French and Latin dominans, to dominate.
  3. Dominate - 1. To control, govern or rule by superior authority or power. Comes from Latin dominari, to rule > dominus, lord.
  4. Submissive - comes from Submit.
  5. Submit - 1. To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another. 2. To subject to a condition or process. 1. To yield to the opinion or authority of another; give in. 2. To allow oneself to be subjected; acquiesce. Comes from Middle English submitten > Latin submittere, to set under: sub-under + mittere-to cause to go.
  6. Sadism - 1. The perversion of deriving sexual satisfaction from the infliction of pain on others. 2. Delight in cruelty. 3. Extreme cruelty. Comes from Comte Donatien de Sade (1740-1814)
  7. Masochism - 1. An abnormal condition in which sexual excitement and satisfaction depend largely on being subjected to abuse or physical pain, whether by oneself or another. Comes from Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Austrian novelist (1836-1895)
  8. Sadomasochism - 1. The perversion of taking pleasure, especially sexual gratification from simultaneous sadism and masochism.

If you ignore the terms "perversion", and "abnormal" in the above definitions, you can still see that nowhere in the definition of dominate or submit do you have pain as an integral part. It is a difference in gradients and intent. I am not saying that S&M is wrong, bad or undesirable. It is just a much higher gradient than D/s, and may be too intense for the beginner. Some people may confuse heavy D/s with S&M. They are two very different things.

Return to Table of Contents