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Submissive training – is it necessary?

This prompt for Tell Me About has had me thinking for a few days. It is common to see information about ‘training your submissive’ in BDSM manuals and guides. Submissive training is also a big thing in fiction, for example the Brie series by Red Phoenix which is set in a training centre for submissive females. I can’t deny that I found the books extremely hot when I read them a few years ago. But is submissive training actually necessary for someone in a D/s or M/s relationship? And if so, what might it comprise of?

Submissive – born or made?

I don’t think you can train someone to actually be a submissive as such. It is something that comes from within, almost a need. However I do think there are elements of submission that take time to emerge. Reading about different types of relationship and considering what you as a submissive might want from them is useful. Understanding the elements of BDSM and what you, as a submissive want to find out more about, or try. Each dominant will have their own way of doing things and have ideas about how they wish the relationship to play out. Whether this takes the form of training, conditioning or something else is debatable.

Training vs education and learning

In a previous life I was education lead for a group of public sector organisations. I organised learning and development courses, bought places on university courses and was in charge of mandatory training. I hated the word training, though was forced to use it. That’s because without an element of educational learning behaviour can’t change. Maybe you can train a dog to fetch something, but we don’t generally do that with humans.

Learning new skills, understanding about consent and safety, finding someone in real life to help mentor as well as reading fiction and factual accounts of a dominant submissive lifestyle seems a good approach. I guess some dominants may train their submissives as they would a dog but I’m not sure that is a good approach. Even teaching positions, kneeling or preparation for anal sex should be about more than just practical training. Knowledge of your own body, elements of safety and learning from others is vital.

How did I learn to be the slave I am today?

Back at the beginning I found all I could about submission and BDSM in general through the internet. I joined forums and information sites and followed links to blogs. Then I read erotic novels and bought a couple of ‘how to’ books written by those with experience of the lifestyle. But it wasn’t until I got together with S that I began to understand what might be involved in a D/s relationship. Unfortunately that was when I realised I had a romantic view of being a submissive. However on the plus side I also discovered that I enjoyed pain, humiliation and degradation. By the end of that relationship, I had a better knowledge of what I wanted.

When I first met Master I was under the impression that I knew everything there was to know about being a submissive. But Master is a different kind of Dominant to S (as you’d expect). So I had to begin to learn how to be Master’s submissive. Bed room and play room stuff is easy in comparison to learning what they want from you as a person. It has been elements of my behaviour that have changed. This hasn’t happened through training but through reflection and communication. What’s more, we have learned together how to be each others Master and slave. And from that has come trust.

Reading and blogging as a learning tool

Writing about our experiences is a great way to reflect and learn. Especially through interaction with each other and some level of challenge. Master has always read this blog and continues to read current and past posts. Journaling is also useful, so long as there is an effort to think and review what has been written.

Many people find this blog through searching for submissive / slave relationships. So maybe I’m doing my bit in helping to educate a new generation of dominants and submissives. Or maybe it is just a way of getting off on some sexy writing. Who knows?

I for one love to read other D/s related blogs. All relationships are different and there is no one way of being a dominant or submissive. But it is great to learn and to reflect on those differences. Plus it gives us things to talk about when the Safeword D/s club meets online.


23 thoughts on “Submissive training – is it necessary?”

  1. Nodding in agreement here, Julie … I too was once a ‘trainer’ … title didn’t fit the job description any more than ‘training’ fits what we do in our dynamic … nj … xx

  2. I think the biggest thing we all need to learn is that submission and dominance isnt the same and that it’s so personal to everybody. So as much as we can read and research ultimately its how we want our personal needs met. Great post Julie.

  3. I very much agree with what you say here.

    As a novice sub you want to learn and all too often this is interpreted as needing to be trained. You can learn the mechanics of something but I think it can have a big disconnect with why you want to do something. And generally the ‘why’ is about how you and a partner spark off each other and there’s no training manual for that.


  4. Like you I don’t believe someone can be trained to be a submissive, but there should already be something in their nature. They can however be trained in different aspects of their submission. There are many valuable resources out there, and of course a Dom/Master can also train his sub/slave in things he would like her to do (insert any other genders here as desired – I am writing from my own perspective here) such as anal training or teaching her how and when to kneel. Great post!

    Rebel xox

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  6. I agree so much with what you have said here Julie and there are some parallels to my own post except I think you said much better what I was trying to put across 🙂

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  13. Have you and your readers ever thought about getting help for your mental illness and perversions? Lots of advances in medications and therapy that I am sure will help you. Good luck in recovering from your disease.

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  16. I can relate to what you’re writing. I thought I knew a lot too after reading everything I could on the internet and such, but when I met an actual Mistress I learned that there were many things I didn’t actually know.
    And I think I agree with you on that you can’t train someone to be actually submissive and that there already needs to be a certain need or something in someone’s personality that makes them submissive somehow.
    It’s interesting to get someone else’s perspective on all of this.
    I definitely think reading and blogging is a great way to reflect and learn. It’s definitely why I’m blogging.

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  22. Julie,
    I enjoyed discovering and reading your thoughts on ‘training’. Looking forward to reading some of your other posts.

Your thoughts are always welcome

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