Titles are Sticky

A lot of people ask about titles in BDSM (Master/Dom/Top/slave/sub/bottom) when they first start out, and even though this is a sticky subject, i felt like it was asked enough that i should try my hand at writing something about it. Lots of links will be at the bottom of this post.


From what i’m reading, a Master is a lot like what i understood a Dominant to be. Maybe a different kind of Dominant in that they’re commonly associated with slaves. This would mean that generally speaking, Masters take full control of their slaves’ lives.


A Dominant is the person who has control over the scenes in the BDSM relationship, as well as however much control they want over their submissive. This can overlap with Masters, and there aren’t solid definitions of the difference between a Master and a Dominant.


This is the person performing an act on the other person. That means that a submissive could be a Top, if their Dominant or Master wanted them to. i’ve seen similar definitions on fetlife as well. These are sometimes referred to as service Tops, who are only Topping because they were asked to, rather than because they are truly a Dominant.


There are a lot of differences in opinion here, let’s see if i can represent them all. Some people think the difference between submissives and slaves are the degrees of submission. This would mean that a slave is more submissive than a submissive, but this doesn’t mean a Master should ask His slave to do something against their morals. Some people think that it’s just roleplay between the Master and slave. Also, it could even mean that there’s nothing sexual about it at all !! i can’t imagine being in a long term relationship without anything sexual in it. Eek. That would simply not work for me ! Lastly, some people think that slavery is a part of their identity, rather than a relationship status. i happen to believe it’s probably both.


A submissive is a bottom personality who can stay in the submissive state for long periods of time, but a big difference that’s noted is that they have ‘hard limits’ that are off limits for them. This is something like needles for me. i can’t do needles. The Dom who is considering me is aware that if He becomes my Dom, we can’t do needle play. Thank goodness it wasn’t something He expressed interest in. It’s thought of that even though it looks like the power division in a D/s relationship is uneven and the Dom has more power, it’s actually closer to 50/50 division in a D/s relationship, just that it’s a more intense 50/50, if that makes any sense. Apparently a big part of being submissive is sex.


This is the compliment to the Top position. Basically, a bottom can take the position of submissiveness without being a submissive. It’s more or less the person who is in the bottom position at the time.

So that’s just what i could find online, and i did try to keep the sources list short this time, but i also have to add fetlife here as a source, because i added in whatever i knew people thought that i read somewhere on fetlife. Frankly, titles are sticky subjects, and what i wrote today is what i could find, but it’s not by any means the only definitions out there. Also, there are crossovers of every part. Only Y/you can decide which title is right for Y/you ! : ) Good luck !