Site Network: Submissive Guide | Submissive Journal Prompts | Dominant Guide | Kinky Blogging | My Blog |

Essay Collection

Hundreds of the most informative essays have been hand-picked for depth of knowledge and varied opinions with new and seasoned practitioners in mind. A wide range of topics are available for you to explore. Donations are always open so submit your essay to The Iron Gate for consideration!

Email to a Friend    Print Essay    Save to Computer

Warning Signs for Submissives

Author: RC Bauer

Filed in: submission, newbies, warning signs


Some of the things I write about are my personal experiences.  I also write about experiences others have shared with me.  In those cases permission of course is obtained prior to writing about any of their experiences.  No one’s name will ever be used because everyone has their belief on how their relationship was.  They have their beliefs on how and why it ended.   And with anything, everyone has their opinion on how this or that should have been or was.  Please keep that in mind when reading my article.              

Please also keep in mind these are not rules to live by or things to do for a successful relationship.  They are simply warning signs or things to make a person stop and think prior to getting deep into a relationship that could be emotionally and/or physically detrimental to their health.                
I am by no means an expert on BDSM.  I have been a submissive in the lifestyle for almost 10 years now.  I have served Dominants but I also know there is still more I need to learn.  I have been in monogamous and poly relationships.  I have been in a 24/7 living together D/s relationship for over two years.  I continue to learn and welcome any opportunity to do so.              

I have met many submissives that run into the wrong person and leave the scene.  I have met submissives that have tried and tried again and they too left the scene because the pain they experienced was more than they could take.  The thought of maybe going through that again led them to leave this community.             

If only one submissive reads this and stops and thinks before making that move it may mean the difference in their lives.  If only one is a little more careful because of what they read here before making that step that cannot be unmade.  I do apologize for only writing from the point of view of the submissive.  I am well aware that Dominants as well must be careful in their choices.  I am also aware that Dominants are also hurt by relationships especially those where deception played a major part in the relationship.            

The relationship I write about now is a difficult one.  It is from a submissive who just ended a 24/7 relationship with someone she thought she would spend the rest of her life with.  There were warning signs that were dismissed or explained away by the Dominant.  In this relationship she learned emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse.  Mixed together the two can be devastating.  Please read the warning signs below carefully remembering the views and portrayal of events are those of said submissive.  


If the Dominant gives you references check them.  If he/she doesn't give you references at the very least ask for them.  If he claims to have been in the lifestyle and very active in this community there should be at least one person that can say yes I know him/her.  If he/she says their last relationship ended because of this or that and it was amicable, investigate further.  The other person should not have a problem giving a reference if they have remained friends as the Dominant has said.  If the references he/she gives you don't get back with right away consider moving cautiously until they do.  You can always ask for different references.  Do not be afraid to say do you have any other references the ones you gave have not called or emailed me back.  This is your mind, body, and soul you are entrusting this person with.  If they are true they will give you other references.                

In the relationship I speak of there were references given.  But not one of these references got back with the submissive.  In her mind the fact that he had given them at all was proof that he was real.  She now knows this is not true anyone can give you any body’s email and say email them and ask about me.  It could be deleted as spam, because they truly don’t know you or that person.  The person will never get back with you.  When you apply for a job you are requesting they allow you to work for them.  You are going to be giving them your time, energy, and experience.  They get at least three references from you and call those references before you are called back.  Why not follow the same practice in this situation.  This is someone you are giving your time, energy, mind, body and soul.  A reference from them is even more important.


Communicate clearly, concisely, and often.  Know what type of relationship you are getting in.  Know what type of relationship you want as well as what the other person wants.  Read and study all you can about the lifestyle.  If you know in your heart poly is not for you.  Keep going until you find someone that feels as you do.  If you are unclear as to what type of relationship the person you are getting to know wants; ask.  Be very clear before commitments are made.  Communication is truly key.                

The submissive was with this particular Dominant for over a year before another person was added to the family.  She was a submissive not a slave and she thought they at least would discuss such an addition.  There were children involved and she wanted to know what part this person would play in her lives and their lives.  So when this other person was added out of the blue prior to her even meeting this person it caught her totally off guard.              

They had discussed him one day adding another but he hadn’t in over a year and made no indication he was looking for another submissive or slave.  She knew that he had many submissives before. But he also knew she had been in a poly situation before and it didn’t work out.  She wanted time to know a person and felt that if this person was going to be around her children she should have at least had the opportunity to meet her prior to her addition to the family.  Prior to him announcing the new addition to the community he traveled in.     

Your Health            

The next warning is particularly difficult.  Know yourself before getting to know someone else.  Examine your own being inside and out.  To submit you must be healthy mind and body.  If you discover your issues after you are together, as was the case in this submissives relationship, deal with it as a unit.  If you have issues that need to be addressed, address them.  If the issue is a physical one seek medical attention.  If the issue you have is emotional or mental deal with it.  If you should be getting medical treatment get it.  Even after that is taken care of, the person you decide to get into a relationship with must be aware of it and be willing to take on that responsibility.               

The submissive I speak of had an emotional problem she wasn’t aware of in the beginning of their relationship.  She knew something was off but didn’t know what it was until well into their relationship.  Her Dominant had issues of his own.  He made no bones about letting her know he was a suicidal depressant, with psychotic tendencies.  How do you talk to someone who has already let you know they could snap whenever?  He made it clear he had many issues but his did not need to be addressed hers did.  He told her she needed help but refused it for himself.  This made the relationship strained at best.            

If you are in a poly relationship and it is supposed to be open where everything is being discussed out in the open there should be no secrets or lies.  There is no room for lying in an open relationship.  If lies are discovered come clean and go from there.  Lies should not be added to further explain away others.  There is no such thing as a good or little lie.  Dishonesty has no place in any relationship especially a D/s one. 

New Rules out of the Blue            

Pay attention and take notice if things that start to change midstream.  If rules are set in place and the rules continually change that makes it difficult for any relationship.  If you are told you are his/her alpha, you were his first and your relationship is the primary one in the relationship and that the others know exactly what that means, that should not change from moment to moment.  Know what your place in that relationship is.  Know what your role in the relationship is.  This should be clearly defined prior to others being added.               

This submissive was told by her Dominant that she was his alpha/primary submissive and that their relationship was also primary above the others.  She was his alpha as far as she knew until the slave let her know privately that just because she was the first one with him that didn’t mean anything.  Just because he was living with her that did not mean she was better suited to be his alpha.  She had just as much right to that position as any.  The submissive brought all of this to her Dominant’s attention.  She was then told that actually there was no such thing as an alpha in a leather poly family.                

Granted there are many poly relationships where there is no alpha.  There are many where there is.  But then you get into the differences between this and that.  She just didn’t know and the person she trusted to give her that information fed her bits and pieces that explained the way he did things.  There is no such thing as “only one way to have a poly relationship”.  These are things that need to be discussed well before the opportunity presents itself.  Poly relationship or not honesty and integrity are essential.  

Let the Dom be the Dom            

You are the submissive you are not responsible for him it is usually the other way around.  If you have entrusted yourself to him he is responsible for you.  If it is time to leave because the relationship is not healthy anymore leave.  Do not stay because he reminds you that you are supposed to be taking care of him.  You are supposed to be serving him.  Do not stay because he reminds you that you are his financial support.  Guilt trips are not healthy.  Someone who truly loves you or has your best interest in heart or mind will not make you feel guilty or worthless.  They will not instill in you the belief that you cannot live without them.              

This submissive realized that poly may not be for her she asked for an out.  She felt that she was never given a chance to get to know the other person and what she was getting to know told her this was not going to be a loving sisterly bond.  It was then she was again reminded that she needed him.  What was he supposed to do?  He convinced her of this and more.  If he had to he would let the other go to work on their relationship.

Listen to Your Gut            

If you have a gut feeling, listen to it and take head to your insides.  It may be you need to slow things down.  Never go forward feeling pressured, rushed or be made to feel like you have to.  If you have questions about things going on in the relationship, ask the other person for clarification.  Especially if you are in a relationship and it is established that you can ask anything.  Never let important questions go unasked or unanswered.  Ask now because later may be too late.  Often when our instincts kick in it is for a very good reason.                

If you just met this person and they are assuring you that you are meant to be together and early on discuss collaring ask yourself why.  It takes time to develop a relationship.  What is the rush and why.  If early on they start needing money here and there be careful.  It takes a different kind of person to ask someone they just met for money.  Let’s face it, once you start that practice it is hard to break it.  If you give your hard earned money that early on just imagine what they can get from you later on.  Keep this in mind especially if they are asking early on into the relationship.    


Some believe that being submissive means you enjoy getting hit, slapped, or worse.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  Many submissives want a Dom that is not only firm but loving as well.  Some need and crave that as much as they need and crave the discipline.  When they believe they have found that it can be devastating to find out that they haven’t.  If the relationship turns violent it is definitely time to go.  When things are no longer consensual it is time to go.              

When the hands you feel are around your neck instead of holding you close it is time to go.  If you feel you can’t leave and truly fear the other person it is time to reach out.  Reach for your friends and others in the lifestyle.  Because you are submissive does not mean you should stay and take abuse versus leaving the situation.  D/s is like any relationship in that it takes time to build.  Trust, integrity, honesty, and values are a must.  If you possess those things shouldn’t the person you are committing and submitting to.


For those that are curious as to how the submissive I speak of made out her story continues.   She left after it became clear by his words and his actions that he didn’t love her.  It got only worse when read an email he wrote to his slave explaining that he stayed not for her but for what she gave him.  According to this submissive he went as far as to let the slave know just how much he hated the submissive.  She learned that he spent a lot of time with his slave and another submissive.  Yet he continued to hide it all from her.              

She worked almost every day and he did not, allowing him this time.  He spent time with the slave and other submissive while she was at work.  He went out of town a few times and she later learned it was not where she was told he would be going.  He went to leather events with his slave introducing her to many he had never introduced his submissive to.              

The abuse became physical up to and including rape.  It became unbearable but it was only for the safety of her children she left.  But even after she left he continued to weave his web of lies.  The main one being that the slave was let go because he wanted to work on them.  She learned this was not true.  When she had grown emotionally strong enough to let him go completely, his new announcement to the community was that his slave was his queen and leader of his new family.              

The submissive now lives in a completely different state.  Unable to communicate with the friends they once shared as a D/s couple.  She surrounds herself with her family and friends and tries to live her life as best she can still unsure if she can completely return to serve another.         

Thank you for allowing me to share your story.  
RC Bauer
Copyright ©2006

This is Copyright © protected and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the author.  Published on this site with permission.

Related Essays

BDSM Rights

Iron Gate Banner Exchange