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Female submission describes a relationship in which a female submits to the dominance of a sexual partner. The submission can be voluntary and consensual. The dominant partner is usually a man, but could also be another woman, or more than one person. The term female submission most commonly refers to a woman which derives sexual pleasure or emotional gratification from relinquishing (to varying degrees) control to (as well as satisfying) a trusted dominant partner.
Submission can take the form of passivity or obedience in relation to any aspect of conduct and behavior. Submission can be to a partner in an interpersonal relationship, such as allowing the sex partner to initiate all sexual activity as well as setting the time and place and sex position. It can also be in relation to the type of sexual activity that the partners will engage in, including non-coital sex such as anal sex, or BDSM or sexual roleplay. Some sex acts require a woman to be passive while an active sex partner performs sex acts on her, and this may be seen as a form of submission. Obedience may be a part of a sexual roleplay or activity, and can also be in the relation to the style of dress, if any, or behavior or any other manner. In fact, any act that is performed on a passive woman, such as undressing her, may be regarded as submissive behavior on the part of the woman.
A 1985 study suggests that about 30% of participants in BDSM activities are females. A 1995 study indicates that 89% of heterosexual females who are active in BDSM expressed a preference for a submissive-recipient role in sexual bondage, suggesting also a preference for a dominant male, and 71% of heterosexual males preferred a dominant-initiator role.
Submission may be manifested in a multitude of ways whereby a woman relinquishes sexual or personal control to another, such as acts of servitude, submission to humiliation or punishment such as erotic spanking, or other activities, at times in association with bondage. Female submission can take the form of engaging in sexual activity with a person other than her normal partner, as in the case of swinging (sometimes called wife swapping) or prostitution. The level and type of submission can vary from person to person, and from one time to another. Some women choose to include occasional sexual submission in an otherwise conventional sex life. For example, a woman may adopt a submissive role during a sexual activity to overcome a sexual inhibition she may have. A woman may choose to submit full-time, becoming a lifestyle slave.
Some people derive erotic pleasure from the submissiveness of a sex partner, which they may regard as a turn-on; and some people regard obvious passivity as a form of feminine flirting or seduction. Some women submit to the sexual wishes of their partner for the pleasure of the partner, which may itself result in sexual pleasure for the submissive woman.
Female submission and conquest are very common themes in traditional literature. Often this reflected the reality of a woman's position in marriage and her defenceless and subordinate position in society in general.
In Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, each woman character is characterized as passive, disposable and serving a utilitarian function. Female characters provide nothing more but a channel of action for the male characters in the novel. Events and actions happen to them, usually for the sake of teaching a male character a lesson or sparking an emotion within him.
Story of O, published in 1954 in French, is an erotic tale of female submission involving a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer named O, who is taught to be constantly available for all forms of sex, offering herself to any male.
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- Bottom (BDSM)
- Dominance & submission (BDSM)
- Female dominance
- Male dominance
- Male submission
- Breslow, Norman; Evans, Linda; Langley, Jill (1985). "On the prevalence and roles of females in the sadomasochistic subculture: Report of an empirical study". Archives of Sexual Behavior 14 (4): 303–17. doi:10.1007/BF01550846. PMID 4051718.
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- Comparative Literature: Theory, Method, Application, by Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek. p.181.
- Women as the Submissive Sex in Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'