“The Sub Has All The Power…” *cough cough* “Bullshit.”

“The Sub Has All The Power…” *cough cough* “Bullshit.”

A crumpled piece of paper with the word "rubbish" written on it.

I mean, it’s kind of the point that the sub doesn’t have all the power. They don’t want it. They specifically want to give that up!


Who thinks up this drivel, and speeches it out like gospel so that new kinkies take it to heart and pass it on?

I’m in danger of spraining my optic nerve every time I read that drivel from some internet gobshite, due to my extreme eye roll.




And in case your logic centers are not firing, because you’re too excited for those NYE parties coming in a few hours, let me logic this out for you.

Power in any relationship (D/s or not) is more complex than allowed for in a statement of “XYZ holds all the power.”

Now, I’ve read:

“If a submissive has a safeword then they have the power in the relationship because if they say, ‘Stop’ the Dominant has to stop. They can walk out of the relationship at any time just by revoking the power they have surrendered.”

Fair enough.

This is a great power.

However, are they forgetting the submissive is not the only one with a safeword? The dominant can safeword out, too.

Or just stop.

Or refuse to continue.

Or end the relationship.

So, to me, this is a tie.

“If you break the sub’s rules/hard limits that kind of qualifies as rape doesn’t it?”

Well, yes, it does, or at least a consent violation, possibly assault.

But if the sub breaks a dominant’s rules in the same way, it is also rape or a consent violation. I see no power imbalance there.

So, another tie.

“The submissive can just leave the relationship, displaying the ultimate power she has over the Dominant.”

I’m pretty sure that NO ONE here is going to argue that the dominant cannot leave the relationship for the same reasons or none at all, right?


So, another tie.

I’m just making the point that ANY power in a D/s relationship, whether dominant or submissive is freely given and able to be revoked,a t any time, for any reason.

That’s called consent, and it goes both ways.

The ONLY difference, in my view, is that that the submissive specifically and consciously gives up some of their power to the dominant on purpose.

Thus, the dominant has more power.

Notice I didn’t say “all the power.”

For example, in my relationships, my partners have power over me because I love them, and I want them happy, healthy, and safe.

However, I hold the greater power, because I have my own power—the power of my convictions and boundaries and rules—AND the power they give me.

I make the rules for my subs, and they follow them to continue the relationship.

AND, they hand over their power to me to make decisions (at least some of them), push them farther than they might go, and entice them into new areas of interest and play.

However, the dominant also, by extension, has more responsibility.

This sums it up well, although it is a bit long:

A caveat:

Bottoms do have more power, in my view, especially in pick-up or casual play. In a scene without D/s roles, the bottom sets the stage, says what they want, and the top plays along.

The top does have the power to create feelings and sensations. The bottom is in control, and must be, to maintain safety. The bottom is responsible for their own experience, just as the top is responsible for aiding them in making it happen (when they consent to that responsibility).

Your thoughts?

I’m curious about your thoughts on the matter.

Do you believe that submissives have all the power?


Is it shared?

Is there any imbalance at all, or is this just a pretty game to you?

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5 Responses

  1. I feel that they both have power in different ways. I enjoyed giving the power over to my Sir to pick out date night clothes. I also enjoyed a negation contract that way I knew what was expected of me and what my dominant was in control of. So,that’s why I say they both have power.

  2. In the past… when I would first start exploring BDSM, I would always see these memes about how the sub holds all the power. Then I started to notice, along with seasoned Dom/mes, this group of Tops who were just out for kinky sex play with new subs who had no clue what a D/s dynamic actually entailed. So, they would start calling someone they jusy met Master. And start sending those nude pics. And start becoming brainwashed to the ideal that a sub has no power and their “Dom” has complete control over everything now. Yes of course there are TPE dynamics that incorporate that but a new online connection with no talk of consent, safewords, negotiations? And so I would see subs posting those memes saying no, THEY actually hold the power and were taking it back. It was almost as if one imbalance caused another. Now I know better. I believe it’s a reciprocal power exchange but yes, the Dom/me holds a bit more power as the one who is the leader, the guide, the protector.

    Curious now what you think of all this. My thinking can be elaborate and…. well, wordy….

    1. I agree with what you’ve said.

      I also think that individuals will create variance, and that so will abuse, sadly.

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