When Submissive Sex is Used to Mask a Lack of Confidence

Being in a sub / dom relationship can be super fun; BUT it can also be used to cover over some deeper dynamics. This contributor shares her story of how she used submission as a way to not fully engage with her partners. She took her shyness and lack of confidence and used it in a role as sub that she never fully enjoyed. All that is starting to change though…


Everyone should have the chance to explore their sexuality. However, the reality in my experience is that taking the time to do so can lead to a certain degree of damage along the way. The whole point of experimenting is that you don’t know if you’re into something or not – you’re just trying it out. This might be a new sex position, or having a one-night stand for the first time, or even exploring your sexual identity. That can be super fun, or it can lead to decisions you later brand as ‘mistakes.’

You may also think you’ve found something that works for you – but it won’t long term. People change, most of us will have multiple partners through different stages and we develop our sexual preferences.

For a very long time, I said that I was subordinate – meaning that I enjoyed being dominated by my sexual partners. To some extent, that was true and remains true. However, it is by no means the whole truth. Discovering submission felt like a golden ticket to not fully engaging with my sexual partner. The fact I didn’t want to make eye contact, or wanted to be turned away from them, or to not have to make decisions was no longer lack of experience or confidence, and suddenly a validated sexual preference.

I used the fact that I was a sub to not fully engage with my partner.

I felt insecure during sex – both about my personal appearance, and also my abilities. This was easy to mask by handing all the decisions over to someone else. If I was nervous or meek, it suddenly became role play. If I was unsure, it was because I was handing the power over. If I let them undress me and themselves, it was because I was submissive. Claiming to be, and acting as a submissive partner, allowed me to put-off fully engaging with sex. This was easier in the short term, but meant that I wasn’t truly figuring out what I enjoyed.

None of this is to say that being submissive, or dominant, or anywhere in between is a bad thing at all. On the contrary, it can be super fun. However, it needs to be a genuine preference – and not something to hide behind.

My opinions on submission have been shifting for a long time. It’s been dawning on me slowly that I’ve simply been hiding behind it, rather than enjoying it. This came to the fore recently when dating someone who has taken so much time to get to know me and my body. He was not entirely comfortable dominating me in a way I’d been accustomed to and that felt surprisingly good.

Without that to hide behind, I’ve been forced to fully engage with him and actually figure out what I enjoy.