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Obedience training part 1: Getting started at training your submissive

Updated: Apr 21

Obedience training is one of the fundamental aspects of BDSM. Shaping a submissive's behavior is one of the things that Dominants find rewarding and also at times frustrating.

Before we get into the basics of obedience training here are some terms that are helpful to know:

Obedience: Compliance with an order, request, or submission to another's authority.

Behavior: How a person acts in response to events or stimuli.

Reinforcement: A consequence that follows an operant response that increases (or attempts to increase) the likelihood of that response occurring in the future.

Punishment: An event that will decrease a behavior that is undesirable if imposed for displaying said behavior.

Obedience training or submissive training are activities and techniques that are designed to modify and shape a submissive's behavior by the dominant to increase desired behaviors and decrease unwanted behaviors. The importance and dynamics of what this looks like between a Dominant and submissive are entirely up to them.

There are a number of things a Dom and sub need to establish before training begins.

Purpose, Goals, Desires

One of the first things that will need to be established is what you want to accomplish with your training and how you will accomplish it. It's important to know what obedience looks like to both of you so you can then work on how you will accomplish it. Once you agree on what you want to work on, you can figure out the techniques you will use that will best achieve your goals.

  • Establish goals for your submissive and yourself. What do you want to work on with your training? It might be physical or mental health. Perhaps sexual services need work. Domestic services can be worked on. If you are into creating protocols and routines, these are excellent things to work on.

  • When will training take place? If this is a 24/7 type of relationship, then the submissive will be expected to perform their duties all of the time. If it's more of an "in the bedroom" type of BDSM relationship, you might have set times or only in certain situations that you establish.


Before the training of a submissive can begin, consent is of utmost importance. Not only to do the training itself but for what types of punishments will be used, when they can be used, and also what is off limits. It's helpful for Doms and subs to make a list of BDSM-related activities they like, which ones are soft limits, and what is off limits at all times (hard limits).

Establishing boundaries and limitations allows the submissive to feel safe and won't be punished with something they don't want to be done to them at all. The Dom will also be able to know what the boundaries are and what they are willing to do within the training. Even in D/s relationships, both Dom and sub have a right not to partake in activities they don't want to.

Once you know what you want to train your submissive to do and have a good idea of your boundaries, it's time to dive into the nitty gritty of obedience training. So what do you train on? Let's start with some of the common things Doms will want their submissives to work on.


How a submissive presents themselves is usually important to a lot of Doms. They may want them to wear specific outfits they find sexy. They may want them to wear nothing at all and prefer a nude submissive. How they wear their hair may also be important, especially for subs with long hairstyles. Wearing a collar is pretty standard as a show of submissiveness. Maybe a favorite perfume or cologne is important.

Consideration should also be given to what makes the submissive feel sexy as well. They should have some say in what is worn as both Dom and sub need to feel good. Putting some thought into how to dress and other ways a sub will present themself can set the mood for a good training session.

Titles and tone

How will your submissive address you? Sir? Master? Madam? Do you want your submissive to be polite and respectful? Can he or she use swear words or will they be punished for swearing?

Also important is how you will talk to your submissive. Will you be warm and sensual or strict and cold in tone? Loud or soft-spoken? Give your submissive a say in how they are addressed as well. Do you want to call them "slave"? Do they like being called a dirty slut? A lot of male subs like to be called humiliating names but not all of them do. It might be triggering to some subs to call them certain names so it's important to talk about this ahead of time.

Types of Service

The types of services your submissive will perform are likely the areas you will spend most of your training on. Some examples of services are"

  • Domestic Service: These could be chores, ordering and getting groceries and supplies, wine service, and much more. This includes most household tasks but unless your submissive doesn't work and stays home, it is wise to divide up these tasks somewhat fairly. Extra chores can always be assigned as punishments for bad behavior if needed.

  • Sexual Sevice: Do you want your submissive naked and ready to perform as soon as you walk in the door? Maybe they need to learn or work on certain sexual services they aren't experienced at. These are usually the fun services subs like to perform but should be taken seriously as well. Not being "in the mood" may or may not be an excuse depending on what you negotiated.

Submissive Poses

Another popular area to train your submissive in is proper poses and posture. Some are military-like such as "attention" and "at ease". If you are into Gorean BDSM, they have different names for poses. Doms who train on poses usually insist on correct posture and quickly comply with a command. Having a punishment ready for correcting poor poses is a good idea until they can do it correctly every time. The various poses will be covered in another blog post.

Hopefully, this gives you a good idea of what needs to be negotiated and areas to be trained on. Part 2 of obedience training will cover the techniques used to train your sub and what makes for good rewards and punishments.

*Want an easy way to keep track of your training? The Obedience App is a great way to set habits and assign rewards and punishments for your submissive. It's free to start but unlock its full potential and get 20% off a paid membership by clicking the link and signing up today!*

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