Finding Your Place on the Wheel of Roles

A 2005 global survey by Durex found that 36% of Americans have used some form of bondage in their sex lives. That’s about 114 million people who have discovered BDSM at some point in their lives. Do you think that over 100 MILLION people are capable of fitting neatly into either a Dominant or submissive role? Of course not!

I think of roles within BDSM on a spectrum wheel. On the outside you have darker colors and toward the center there are lighter colors. Around the wheel the colors blend in different tints from blue to green, yellow to orange, red to purple, etc. In a similar way roles within BDSM can blend and shade together.


You can have more sadistic/masochist roles (the darker edges) and then there are people who don’t enjoy pain at all (the lighter interior colors). If you’re a Dominant (which for some reason I always identify as blue in my visual) you can go from a really deep dark blue (a sadistic Dominant) to a really pale blue (a Dominant who doesn’t enjoy S/M).

The roles spread out around the wheel and blend into each other. There are many different role possibilities: submissive pet, Dominant Daddy, sissy slave, etc. The same roles also go from light to dark. You could be a masochist submissive pet, a sadistic Dominant Daddy or a sissy slave who doesn’t enjoy pain at all, etc.


With all these different blends of roles within BDSM, how do you know where you fit in? Or do you? It’s not an easy task and, honestly, it may take awhile for you to find the blend you’re comfortable identifying with.

It wasn’t until several months after I really started doing research that I discovered there was a DD/lgcommunity within BDSM and with that discovery I felt complete. I am a submissive little. My husband is my Daddy.

In order to find that out though, I had to try out different types of play. We went over a checklist of ideas, we went to munches, events and dungeons where we were able to try out toys and see different scenarios in action until we found some that piqued our interest. Then we brought those ideas to life in our own relationship to see if they were a good fit for us.

Some types of play just didn’t work well for our dynamic. As much I really love the idea of kitten play, it just doesn’t do anything for me and even though I’d love to engage in total power exchange as a slave, I don’t feel I can balance it well with my vanilla life. So through experimenting I discovered I wasn’t a pet or a slave.

Even if you do find a role that you’re comfortable with, you might doubt yourself or find something else along the road that fits you even better. I started to wonder if I was really a little as I began to compare myself to other littles. They seemed to fit the role so well, but my brand of being a little was different. Then I attended an event that had a little area and as soon as I got my hands on a coloring book I was in my little space. I was content to just be there with my Daddy, coloring and picking out sparkly temporary tattoos.

It’s okay if your version of submission or Domination doesn’t match up with everyone else’s. If you don’t have a daily list of chores, but other submissives DO.. that’s fine. If you wouldn’t dream of walking your pet around on a leash at a public event like other pets, it’s perfectly fine to keep that activity in your bedroom (or living room or wherever). You don’t have to be like everyone else. Make your role comfortable for you by tailoring it to fit YOU! Find what you really enjoy and incorporate that into your lifestyle.