That guy you just can't figure out could be a sub hiding in plain sight.
When you think of a sexually submissive man who's aroused by dominant women, chances are you picture a meek, awkward, beta male who will go to embarrassing lengths to please his date. In reality, a sub is more likely to be a fit, confident and successful professional (think: corporate executive, doctor, or attorney).
Since many submissive men have high-powered jobs that require them to always be in control, they want nothing more than to relinquish that responsibility in their off-hours. They seek strong, authoritative, and even sadistic women (called dommes) who can dish out what they crave. Although pro-dommes are well-paid, women called lifestyle dommes choose to dominate men without compensation as a way of life.
While researching my recently published book Mistress Pussycat: Adventures with Submissive Men in the World of Femdom, I learned all about female domination of submissive men (or femdom): a large, thriving subculture that's often misrepresented. Here are 13 signs he might want her to call all the shots once his power suit is off.
1. He's turned on by success.
Does he talk a lot about "high-powered women" and get excited simply speaking about female politicians or business leaders? When asking what a woman does at work, does he follow up by asking whether she "runs the show"? Submissive men have a fetishistic reverence for super-successful females.
2. He wants you to take charge.
Does he love having her make all the decisions about dates and outings? Is he pleased because she's not relying on him to lead? When a female complains about the service or asserts herself in public, is he overly impressed by her behavior? What a misogynistic guy might deem "neurotic bitchiness," he praises as "magnificent."
3. He bows down to high heels.
Is he a huge fan of high-heeled shoes with a pronounced disdain for flats or comfort shoes? Does he go crazy for Louboutins? Those red soles send subs into a frenzy. To him, they're practically power and female dominance incarnate.
4 He also bows down to the feet inside of those heels.
A regular guy will ask, "Do you work out?" But a sub will inquire, "Do you get regular pedicures?" The sub rarely cares whether or not a woman is overweight because her feet are his particular treat. He'll typically compliment her toes and look forward to giving foot rubs.
5. He's not eager to penetrate.
When it comes to sex, he isn't at all enthusiastic, maintaining it "isn't his thing." Many, if not most, submissive men abhor intercourse and are often turned on by sexual rejection. This behavior doesn't mean he's homosexual or even bisexual — just straight and submissive.
6. He looks up to you — literally.
Being physically below his woman excites the sub. You'll often find him sleeping on the floor beside his domme's bed or asking his lady to perch on a chaise while he sits below (often while massaging her feet!).
7. He's really smooth.
Does he often shave his body hair: chest, legs, and pubic area? Unless he's a competitive swimmer, this is one possible sign of a sub.
8. He's a great father.
Submissive men don't just make great parents; they are often overly involved in their children's lives. A sub will travel far to attend his kid's every athletic game or school activity. He relishes being a caregiver. In the event of divorce, subs will often initiate a custody battle.
9. He knows his way around a cleaning supply cabinet.
Subs fetishize cleaning and are always happy to perform the most menial chores. Whether it's dusting or the laundry, a submissive man will consider helping out with the housework a blissful part of his daily existence.
10. He's an old-fashioned gentleman.
These guys have major female-first manners and put extra emphasis on deference toward women. Look for exaggerated signs of chivalry. Many subs make florid demonstrations of opening doors and pulling out chairs for their ladies. When out on the town with their date, they pointedly ask if the meal, table or seat is to her satisfaction.
11. He doesn't need wide-open spaces.
Subs are like cats: they often love being in tight spaces. There are few claustrophobes found among their ranks.
12. He gets off on bitchy behavior.
A sub loves to see his date dress down the waiter for any perceived misdeed. He likes it when she's tough on him as well. The more demanding she is, the more he'll apologize and appease, loving every minute of it.
13. He's a vocal believer in female superiority.
Does he drone on and on about female superiority? How women hold most of the wealth in this country? That women are better at tolerating pain? Why women are the superior sex? He'll mention how women are making advances in business, politics, and leadership and seem excited, not threatened, by the fact.
But before you set your sights on a man who might be a sub, know that if you've correctly identified his lifestyle, he'll expect you to fulfill your side of the bargain, too.
The vast majority of submissive men don't crave or even want conventional sex. This doesn't mean they have no needs or make no demands — their desires are just out of the ordinary.
These guys are aroused by being teased, humiliated, degraded, punished and controlled. If you don't find satisfaction in dishing out such things, femdom and the submissive men who love it aren't for you.