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Why Submission Works

“Submission was such a nice mini-vacation, in that respect, a pleasure cruise through sex with heightened senses and emotions, and no thought to the outside world.” -Abigail Barnette

It is not surprising that submission and domination themes are among the most common personal fantasy content, or that a huge percentage of pornography depicts issues of power in relationships. This same dynamic is at play during illicit affairs- the thrill of being overcome by our sexual desire allows us to engage in sexual play that goes beyond our imagination. It feels natural to do the most outrageous sex acts when we give up our control. Ironically, this need to be out of control sexually in order to get lost in our own erotic passions prevents many couples from scheduling lovemaking time. The very idea that they could “plan” to lose control sexually is the obstacle that prevents them from discovering how easy it is to engage with submissive fantasies any time.


The relationship between submission and our access to pleasure is an interesting one- by agreeing to give up our control over the situation, we turn something off in our brains that often prevents us from letting go. And being able to let go is everything when it comes to sexual pleasure- orgasm cannot happen in a body with an anxious brain. Submission allows us to fall away from our controlling and anxious mind. We stop questioning, even momentarily, “What does it mean about me? Am I normal?”

The hugely popular series, 50 Shades of Grey, demonstrates just how deeply the idea of submission intrigues us. The range of sexual fantasy about submission is as wide and varied as there are people to think them up. I remember when I began allowing these kinds of fantasies into my consciousness while making love. I was first energized with intense passion and then overcome with shame. I was afraid to share these thoughts with anyone, including my husband, and could not imagine where these fantasies came from. Blocking them only shut me down sexually. Instead, I started studying the realm of fantasy and learned that any fantasy that helps you reach deeper levels of eroticism is fair game. Thinking something and doing it live in entirely separate realms. Even the fantasies that are most illicit and would even be illegal are normal, so long as everyone is consenting and no one is getting hurt.

What’s more, allowing sexual fantasies of submission to inspire your sex life may open you to a range of sexual activity that you would not allow yourself to explore otherwise. Oral sex of all kinds becomes a turn on instead of an obligation. One’s very capacity to sustain intense stimulation increases. Submitting to our fantasies that allow us to explore our sexual edge opens the door to finding pleasure in the most unexpected of places.