"That which yields is not always weak."
By definition, submission is the act of willingly putting yourself under the governance or rule of another. If you're a submissive person, you've chosen to give your power and control to another, or have a strong desire to do so. Not everyone is a cut and dry submissive though, and the act of submitting isn't always an easy one. It takes a lot of self-control to make the choice to hand over your own power to another, to yield to their will, and as most submissives can tell you, it’s not an easy choice to make.
Being submissive entails many things, and sex is only a smaller portion of the big picture. A submissive won't just let someone tie them up and occasionally spank them; they're that way all the time. Submissives will act with an almost animalistic type of instinct, eyes down and shoulders hunched, around those they see as dominant to them, in and out of the bedroom. While a submissive will always be as such, they can choose to submit for only set periods of time, weekends, or only for a few hours a day.
The first part of choosing to be submissive to another is determining whether or not you can be. You will need to do some serious self-reflections to determine if you're someone who can submit. Some people are simply not cut out for it, but that doesn't make them bad or wrong. These people should instead consider acting as a dominant if power play is one of their preferences in life. If you find that you are narcissistic, focused mainly on yourself and what you will receive from an interaction, you're not submissive. A submissive is at heart a giver; they give pleasure and care to their dominants and in turn receive what they need in exchange. They care more about giving their partner pleasure and see getting pleasured in turn as icing on the cake, not an inherent right.
If you find that you are someone who could submit, you'll next want to start considering your limits. As pointed out in Fifty Shades of Grey, a hard limit is something you absolutely will not do or allow to be done to you, while a soft limit is something that could become negotiable as a relationship progresses. There’s a wonderfully detailed checklist of limits available online that you and your partner can fill out and exchange. It will help even those who are experienced in the BDSM scene determine what they will and won't do, and can do wonders for beginners determining their limits.
Self-Training of a Submissive
After you've determined your limits, you can begin training yourself to submit. This isn't the same as an official training but the first steps in learning the necessary self-discipline for submission. There are two sides to this self-training, mental and physical. These sometimes overlap but both are equally important to helping you learn to submit. While this is a form of self-training, it’s still something to share with your partner and they can still aid you with it.
To train yourself mentally is perhaps the hardest side of learning to submit. You have to begin recognizing that another is in control of you mentally; they have power over you and your time. One submissive described a phase in which his Mistress would have him log onto a chat service at a set time each day and would sometimes show up to chat with him and at other times wouldn’t. As he points out, this was her way of showing him that his time always belonged to her. While this will not work for everyone, it is a good tenet to teach yourself that your time belongs to another. If you are unable to do this, you can instead simply repeat to yourself, “I am theirs,” three times a day at a set time. This will help to remind you and get you used to the idea that you aren't always the one who’s in control.
Next you can begin taking down your defensive walls. This is more of an active decision, much like the one to become a submissive can be. You must decide to trust the person you're with and hold yourself to this decision. This will help you communicate your needs more clearly and keep you from needlessly fighting your partner on minor things. Some people will feel a need to fight and resist the rule of others from time to time, like a child would when testing the limits of another’s authority over them. There’s no true use for this though. Actively taking down your defenses will help remove this need to fight and make submitting easier.
Learning to say yes is also an important part of self-training. It’s part of the mental training that goes with resisting a needless fight. Some submissives need to learn to say yes, even to the simplest of things. This will aid you in being obedient later on. Have your dominant ask you something inane once day and make yourself say yes even if you "know" the answer to be no. An example would be your dominant asking, "Is the sky purple?" You would answer yes even though the sky clearly isn't purple. It’s a good way to train yourself to accepting the rule of another and will help you bite back an argument over a more serious matter later on.
Doing mundane tasks and getting into a routine of service is another way to mentally train yourself for submission. While it crosses over into a more physical realm, it acts as wonderful mental stimulant too. The task can be anything from going jogging every morning to just folding the same towel ten times a day in a specified way. Doing these things routinely will get you used to them and used to the idea that you do these things to please another, even if they don't always see your work. Some dominants may decide to set other tasks for their submissives, but starting with little things like this makes for good practice.
Patience is another valuable tenet for a submissive. There are times when a dominant may choose to leave you waiting and getting impatient is never helpful. Many dominants will purposefully leave their submissives waiting for them to teach them lessons in humility. One thing you can do to teach yourself patience and make these lessons easier to bear is to set aside time where you are simply sitting in wait. You can learn patience through sitting in the quiet, just waiting for a television show to start, or for a friend to arrive. Practicing sitting patiently like this will make the times your dominant keeps you waiting much easier to swallow.
One of the hardest portions of self-training is accepting and sometimes asking for punishments. This too crosses over into the physical side of submission. Mentally you must keep yourself from calling out your safe word the second the punishment starts, not because a line has been crossed, but because you don't want to be punished. Submissives will sometimes have to stop themselves from doing this and that is why mental training on the matter is helpful. You have accepted that you have done something that has been predetermined by you and your partner as wrong and that you deserve to be punished for it. Mentally accepting this will keep you from physically fighting back. When it comes to asking for a punishment, you must be able to admit to your partner that you have done something that crosses one of the lines you have both agreed upon. This is another reason why being able to communicate is important. You need to be able to swallow your pride and admit your wrong doings and then accept the punishment for it. None of this is mentally easy to do at first, but with time you can learn to accept these things easier.
Physically there are also things you must adjust to in being a submissive. Being comfortable with your own body, whether nude or attired as your dominant has specified, is a basic step. This is something that can only be attained with practice. Sit in front of a full length mirror dressed or undressed and watch yourself for thirty minutes once or twice a week to gain comfort in your own form. Most people, submissives included, will find portions of themselves they simply do not like or find beautiful. You must remember that it is part of who you are and your partner finds you attractive regardless, and likely feels the same about themselves as well. Instead of focusing on the negative, focus on the thing about your body you do enjoy. Is it the softness of your skin? Or the way your costume makes a certain portion of your body stand out and look sexy? Find something good and relish in it. This will make the times when you have to be naked or wear a certain look with your partner easier to bear overall.
Respective posturing is another physical side of your self-training. This is the way your body responds and reacts to your dominant: eyes down, shoulders back, chin level to the ground. Some dominants have their submissives kneel with their hands in their laps and eyes down, others ask them to stand with feet shoulder width apart and hands clasping wrists behind their backs. No matter the specifics of the posture preferred, the practice of being in this respectful posture comes with time and repetition. The entire point of this is to show through your body language that you respect and are willing to submit to the authority of another. With time this can become as instinctual as breathing, but when first starting out it requires practice.
Position training is just what it sounds like. Allowing yourself to be put into a certain position and either left or used in such a position for a set amount of time. There are several positions that a submissive will be asked to get into. “Nadu” is a common position of kneeling, with hands on thighs and eyes downcast. Many dominants may use this as a standard starting position. It’s not a physically difficult position to sit in and so practicing it comes with ease whether alone or with your dominant present. There are a plethora of other positions to be practiced but starting with one so basic and easy to assume is a good way to start.
The final portion of physical training is to allow yourself to be bound. If you and your partner are choosing to skip over all binding practices, then this can be ignored. For others learning to accept a binding, whether in the form or ropes or cuffs, can be a difficult thing. It is the physical culmination of your decision to hand your power and control over to another. This is something you will need to build up over time through practice and trust of your partner. It is recommended to start with simply allowing your dominant to hold you in a set position for a period of time. After a time, you may feel the need to try to escape, but with time this need will abate and you will be more comfortable with your bindings. From there you can move onto things like cuffs and rope bondage.