In BDSM play, the partner who submits to punishment or domination. This can take the form of bondage, whipping, spanking, or a number of other actions. The submissive person is sometimes referred to as a “bottom.”

A submissive person will usually define his or her limits prior to sex. This ensures that the dominant partner (sometimes called the “top” or “dom”) will not take actions that cause injury or discomfort for the submissive. BDSM couples often use safe words to establish clear boundaries.