Many women are viewed as submissive, especially when compared to men who can often be more dominant.
Some women readily appear to have submissive traits because of the way they defer to others.
But like most things involving people, there is a lot of room for variation, and few traits belong solely to women, submissive or otherwise.
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No, many women are not naturally submissive.
Still, many societies expect women to be submissive and teach them not to ask questions, decline requests, or otherwise assert themselves.
Because it’s difficult to go against the grain if the dominant culture has certain expectations, many women may try to adhere to the submissiveness expected of them, even if it’s at odds with their personality.
If a woman is especially good at downplaying her actual self, it may not be apparent that she’s doing this.
Although it’s impossible to describe a woman’s personality with complete accuracy, some women commonly display the submissive traits listed below.
- Allowing others to make decisions
- Serving others in home, social, and professional settings
- Putting other’s needs before their own
- Obeying other’s requests
- Speaking quietly
- Asking permission
- Waiting to speak
You’ll notice that these traits aren’t specific to women. Some submissive men share them, too.
However, a submissive woman may be more likely to care for her home and children while her partner financially supports her family than a woman who isn’t as submissive.
Thus, many stay-at-home mothers are submissive.
Society views motherhood as an important component of femininity and expects mothers to sacrifice for their children’s wellbeing, so a woman who does so isn’t necessarily submissive.
Human beings, women included, are complicated. Most of us have personalities that are mosaics of various “dominant” and “submissive” traits.
Plus, our personalities can change over our lifetimes and even adjust when we find ourselves in new situations.
So, it’s completely possible that a woman will only appear to have a submissive personality sometimes or only display a few traits that we normally associate with being submissive.
It’s absolutely okay for a woman to be submissive if she is being true to herself. Unfortunately, many women may not feel like they truly have the choice to do that.
Most people live in a society that values submissiveness in women, even if they are a relatively “modern” society where women have “achieved equality.”
The expectation that women should be submissive or display certain characteristics can play out in subtle ways.
When those expectations are incorporated into work culture, institutions, and even laws, it can discourage women from being true to themselves or even living the lives they would choose to live.
Plus, women who refuse to be submissive may become targets for judgment and poor treatment because they threaten the status quo.
For example, a woman may be viewed as bossy or unpleasant when she is simply taking a leadership role or asserting herself because she isn’t submissive.
People may question her womanhood, femininity, or ability to be a good partner or mother.
People may assume things about women with submissive personalities or who display certain submissive traits.
For example, they may assume these women are weak, have no confidence, will not stand up for themselves, or are easy to control. This isn’t always the case.
Instead, submissive women may value keeping peace and making those around them happy. They may have a heightened awareness of others’ needs.
But many submissive women can stand firm and protect themselves and those they love when the situation calls for it.
Plus, a woman may only choose to display submissive behavior to those people whom she trusts and deems worthy of her submissiveness.
Although it’s not necessarily unhealthy for a woman to display some or even many submissive traits, it can become unhealthy.
This is especially true if the woman’s partner is controlling or abusive.
Unfortunately, such people often look for partners who are submissive or otherwise vulnerable because it makes them easy to manipulate.
Submissive behaviors can become negative when they involve extreme meekness and keep the woman from standing up for herself.
A woman’s submissive personality traits may be unhealthy when she doesn’t seek out what she needs to be healthy and happy, especially when it comes to asking for those things from other people.
Of course, if her children emulate those qualities, it only furthers the cycle.
A woman who identifies as sexually submissive, sometimes just known as a submissive or sub in the BDSM scene, is one who lets her partner direct the relationship.
Typically, a submissive woman will be on the receiving end of activities and obey her dominant partner’s commands.
Together, this couple has a D/s (dominance and submission) relationship.
D/s is one aspect of BDSM, which stands for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism.
Often, D/s relationships will incorporate elements of bondage, discipline, sadism, and machoism into their interactions.
But this isn’t a requirement, as people can still be submissive – or dominant – without including those other activities.
Some couples rely on these roles for their entire relationships, and this is often known as total power exchange (TPE) or 24/7 D/s.
Some people use the descriptors “Master” and “slave” instead of “Dominant” and “submissive,” respectively, in these arrangements.
Sometimes, people with dominant personalities mistakenly believe that a woman who is a submissive will submit to them just because they identify with complementary roles. Yet, that’s often not the case.
Submission, whether it comes from a man or a woman, is a gift. Before a submissive presents as such to someone else, trust must be earned.
Remember that submitting gives another person control over certain aspects of a scene or even a woman’s life, and she could find herself in dangerous situations if that other person is not responsible.
Although BDSM activities can include spanking, flogging, or even more extreme activities that may seem abusive to outsiders, there is a big difference between kink and abuse.
As described, a submissive woman fully consents to BDSM activities, whether for a single scene or an entire relationship without coercion.
She can revoke that consent at any time by leaving the relationship or pausing the scene.
For example, kinksters use “safe words” to pause or stop a scene that has become uncomfortable. Using the “traffic light” system is common.
A submissive can say “yellow” to slow things down or pause or “red” to stop play entirely.
If her dominant partner wants to check in, she can respond “green” when everything is going well.
BDSM practitioners often abide by practices such as SSC, which stands for “safe, sane, and consensual,” or RACK, which means “risk, aware, consensual kink” and recognizes that you can never completely remove the risk from any kinky activity.
Others follow a code dictating that while activities may cause physical pain, they do not actually permanently harm a partner.
Absolutely. In fact, some women (and men) who find themselves with many responsibilities during the day especially enjoy being sexually submissive.
This is because submitting allows them to hand over the reins to someone they trust and, for a brief period, not have to manage the scene to ensure everything goes well.
However, this doesn’t mean that every woman with a dominant personality will submit in bed.
Nor does it mean that someone with a submissive personality necessarily wants to take control sexually.
Some people are even known as switches because the role they play depends on the person with whom they’re playing.