Domination and submission. A roleplaying scenario—often sexual—in which one partner is dominant, and the other is submissive. Partners play out these roles in a consensual manner; ideally, they have discussed ahead of time what they want and don’t want in that scenario. The dominant person may give orders and expect the other to obey; or the submissive person may resist but eventually give in; or the dominant person can pretend to physically force or be rough with the other, or call them names or humiliate them. Domination/submission (D/s) scenarios can take all sorts of forms, which is why it’s important for partners to communicate well. People who play with D/s often do so because they find the scenario to be a sexual turn-on. Consensual D/s is also a way to feel powerful or like you’re at someone’s mercy, in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone, unlike relations of domination in real life.

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