The "Do Me sub" : A masochist in submissive disguise

The "Do Me sub" : A masochist in submissive disguise

Back in 2009 when I was undertaking my apprenticeship at the Dominas Realm dungeon (now closed), the senior Mistresses had a particular expression they used to describe a particular type of client. 

The Do-Me sub.

"And what pray tell is a Do-Me sub?", you may ask.

The Do Me sub

A "Do Me sub" is someone who says they're a sub, before proceeding to tell you exactly what you are to do to them.

"I want to be dominated, and for you to take control of me Mistress. I want to be your toy. You will be wearing leather clothes, red or black which allow me to see your skin, for example, a small bra, a short leather skirt and very high heels. I sent photos ahead of how you'll be dressed - did you receive them?

I will present myself in front of you, kneeling down. Then you'll tie up my hands strongly. I am now your prisoner, your slave. Then you will walk around me, caress me or strike my ass. Put a tie around my cock, exciting me as well as being severe. At the same time, you'll give me instructions on how I have to talk to you, always using "Mistress" at the end of my sentences, and no talk if I'm not invited to.

Then you'll continue with total bondage of my body. I like to feel the rope on my body. You'll act slowly, taking your time, and of course I must not move otherwise I am punished. Then you'll play with me, alternating between being erotic, exciting or severe. You'll then test my resistance, pinching on my nipples, or having me stay in the cage, dripping candle wax on me, fixing me to the St Andrew's Cross with mask over my eyes, and whipping me. Within my limits - no watersports.

Then you'll offer me your breasts to kiss very gently. You can also show me your breasts and then take them away just when I am about to kiss them. You'll play with me, caressing one second, and stopping for no reason. 

When you consider I have behaved the proper way and obeyed well enough, you'll give me my final reward, making love or exciting me with your hand. You can also ask me for a massage, soft and sensual. Any misplaced gesture is punished unless you agree to it. After that - you liberate me."

The above is adapted from an actual real life email from someone who identifies as a "sub". 

A sub who scribes and prescribes the entire session he wants in great detail. And in violation of most professional Mistress's boundaries in respect of the sexual content. And which ironically is prefaced with: "I want to be dominated. I want you to take control of me".

However everything which follows after this first sentence, contradicts it's meaning. 

He doesn't want to be genuinely dominated with Mistress taking control. He has his fetish and fantasy in his mind's imagination, and he wants the Mistress to play out and enact this fantasy of Domination. 

He's scripted the entire session from start-to-finish according to his own wants. And where's the room here for what Mistress wants? Where's the empowering of the Mistress to dominate him really? Where's the opportunity for her to control him to Her actual wishes?  

One of the female graduates of my Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts certificate class recently tweeted me in on this amusing meme: 

A sub telling their Dom all the things they want to try

There's the so-called "sub", wide eyed with his frenetic plans and ideas and visual examples of the session he wants, and the activities he wants.

And often what follows this is a sub disappointed or frustrated that things haven't lived up to his hopes and expectations, and a baffled Mistress who doesn't understand how he could have such high expectations or say he wants to be dominated but then seemingly doesn't actually want to submit but only to submit in the ways he wants. And seemingly a fantasy (masochistic) submission rather than a genuine power exchange.

This operation is seen very well in the film 'Duke of Burgandy' (2014), written and directed by Peter Strickland, in which the so-called submissive it turns out deeper into the film has told her Mistress what to say and do to dominate her - to a great degree. (For those interested in watching the film, the trailer is here and option to purchase in top right hand corner - I have no vested interest or back-kick and am sharing only for knowledge: )

Duke of Burgandy

There is also a very amusing short little animated film here, entitled "SUBMISSIVE MALES WATCH THIS":

It's only 1 minute, 46 seconds long, and gets the amusing point across well by showing the "Do Me sub" in their most extreme form. (Most aren't quite as bad as this, lol)

A "Do-Me sub", or a "master masochist"?

As I explain to my students, this is not a true submissive at all. This is as the Mistresses of the Dominas Realm would call a "Do-Me sub", and in most cases is actually a masochist rather than a submissive.

The popular definition of masochist - as someone who enjoys pain, is due to vast oversimplification and shortening to meet dictionary-style descriptor, and it's not correct.

In fact, someone who enjoys pain is in my definition a "pain slut" or to use the psychology term - an "algophiliac".

A masochist is not someone who necessarily enjoy pain for pain's sake, but rather takes their pleasure from drawing invested punishment (and potentially bullying-style humiliation) from their Mistress, and "bumping" her to get their fetish and fantasy. The masochist enjoys the pain the Mistress is inflicting because it fulfils his fantasy and also her investment in administering it shows that she cares enough about him to be bothered to hurt him. 

A masochist also inevitably has a particular fetish - such as for leather, or stiletto shoes, or fur - as was the case of Leopold von Sacher Masoch (the author of 'Venus in Furs' and after whom the term "masochism" was named after), or some other "thing".

Leopold von Sacher Masoch (author of 'Venus in Furs' novella, and in real life he sought to be whipped and beaten down by a cruel women wearing furs.)


If we look to Leopold von Sacher Masoch, as the original masochist, he wanted to be a so-called slave to Mistress, and have her dominate him, wear furs, whip him and beat him down. But the contract he had drawn up reveals she was not to enter his office, leave him alone in specified hours, wear furs frequently, and... and...    and the list goes on. 

Indeed his letterhead featured a commissioned illustration of his exact fetish fantasy - featuring a woman wearing regal furs and wielding a severe whip.

  Leopold von Sacher Masoch letterhead from Welcome collection

A psychology with a cadence towards submission and ego regulation

Leopold von Sacher Masoch, and masochists more generally, have a very specific psychology that goes beyond enjoying pain per se. Rather what they seek is a play in which they are beaten down by the Dominant figure - through punishment and/or humiliation, who is wearing or wielding their fetish and to the image and details they have in mind. The masochist often wants to be at her feet, in awe of her, with her elevated above him. For her to tease and torment him, alternating attention on him, and then ignoring him in turn. He wants for her to be cold and cruel, beating him down with whip or with insults (or even in some but not all cases degradation) - until he "submits" and is in a trance-like state of yielding - or "sub space". This is the reason that many masochists (mis-)identify as submissives - is that they do want to submit, to be strong-armed by the Mistress into submission, through a particular sequence which has a kind of cadence to it. And once they are there in that "submissive" state - they do truly enjoy that state, like an infant or small child whose mother whose power and strength has brought them under control.

There is ego regulation going on, from the masochist revelling in (narcissistic) success in machinated - plotting - to draw the attention of the Mistress. To her toying and playing with him as a cat - or rather tiger - would its prey, pouncing with ipower over them and weight upon them, making them little. Bringing their ego into regulation, squishing the air out of their over-inflated balloon. And in the aftermath reassured by the feeling of being invested in, cared about, and thus worthy, clever and loved.

Professional Dominatrices are of course expert in such offerings and services. With a wardrobe typically filled with popular fetish attire requests, of leather gloves, skirts, hoisery, catsuits, corsetry, latex attire, stiletto talon heels and thigh high boots, and other items often to cater to very specific but less common client requests - such as for fur, or silk scarves, items with supersensuality and powerful animal association.

A masochist emailed me just the other day to emphasize an element from a class on fetish - the animal aspect of many fetishes.

Animal aspect of fetishes

I recall Sacher-Masoch had "dreamt of human tigresses" in a letter to the sculptor Rodin, his fur fetish elaborated by some degree by this phrase. Furs are literally the skin pelt of particular animals. The catsuit also evokes this concept of animal skin. Silk fetishists frequently wish to be cocooned in silk. Others want to be woven into a web of ropes bondage, in which the Mistress is by extension the Weaver-spider who has entrapped her prey. One of the FemDom clubs was called Mantis, named after the Preying Mantis who uses its mate to feast upon after copulation. While various birds of prey have powerful talons which they use to grip onto flesh.

Indeed it is no coincidence that the powerful Goddesses across ancient Mesopotamia, Anatolia and across and into India - were linked to and symbolised in proximity to lions, tigers and birds of prey.

An algorithm of desire of the "Do-Me sub" or "masochist"

After eleven years of theoretical and practical study of BDSM, I feel that I really know the pattern of the script they want and its rhythm, or rather algorithm. If I was working on the mathematical equation, it would go something like:

Sexy powerful clothing with fetish effect is worn or wielded

+ lowering (of man / person)

+ Invocation of awe

+ they have invested attention of Dom

+ Command

+ Bringing under control (by bondage or other)

+ Overpowering / strong-arming

+ the 4 Ts (tease, toy, torment, torture)

+ Ignoring attention of for periods

+ Specific fetish worn or wielded

+ Beating down (eg whipping, bullying) with "hits" of pain

+ more of 4Ts (tease, toy, torment, torture)

+ Proximity privilege (such as body worship)

+ Tease-and-denial

+ Begging / bargaining / plea for release

+ Delayed gratification

--> Ending, reward, release & liberation (could end with denial, with caning, with sexual release or ruined orgasm, worship, or numerous other ways) 

Phew! That's a lot of energy expended there - did you feel it reading that? Or perhaps if you're a masochist reading this you're just thinking "hot" and you've been taken off into a state of fantasy?

There are individual nuances to the above of course. A CP fetishist will have specific School teacher roleplay and paddling / caning potentially. A latex fetishist will have you and them wearing latex tied in with this session, perhaps strapped down to a medical chair and the tease and torment may be using medical equipment, speculums, clamps, electrics, etc. And numerous other variation. Those with strong algophilia (enjoyment of pain and endorphins from it) will potentially want a stronger emphasis on heavy pain infliction, etc. Many masochists are into forced face-sitting and / or weight upon them pressing down on them, or being sat on their chest or body, or trampling literally walking over them. Some enjoy heavier bullying focus with verbal humiliation and face-slapping, or degradation play such as pissing, etc. To each their own form, but there is nonetheless a pattern and rhythm, and a way this rhythmic cadence makes them feel. 

So how does a masochist differ from a submissive then? 

The difference of a submissive is that they enjoy pleasing their Mistress, and genuinely care whether she is happy or displeased. I call a submissive a "sub placeur", with placeur meaning "pleasing".

My father - a submissive - used to say "for you I kill ze bull", meaning "for you - anything", like a matador he would slay the bull for me. Much like a chivalrous knight who would slay a dragon for the Lady, a submissive stands at the ready to serve - and please - his Mistress.

Edmund Leighton "The Accolade" (1901)

If you ask a submissive what he's into or what he wants, the answer is often "I want to do what you want to do Mistress". And although this can be frustrating to a Mistress, he is answering in integrity with his identity.  They defer frequently to the Mistress.

By contrast, a masochist doesn't relate particularly at all really to the chivalrous knight. To a masochist this kind of thinking is weak and sappy. A masochist is in it for what he wants, to be Dominated to his fantasy, and is self-orientated or self-centred actually in this regard, and he thinks cynically that's true of all people.

A masochist also only wants to "submit" when he's in the mood, at times that suit. Otherwise he's liable to get very grumpy, complain or refuse when the opportunity's there but he's not in the mood. And he needs the algorithm that I elaborated above: the overpowering, the entrapment, strong-arming, the wants you in the sexy powerful attire. And it's really all about them (the masochist).

Now I should additionally qualify this by explaining a submissive does also often enjoy many of the same things, but the difference is that for him that's a bonus to get that "play", and there's a sense of caring about the woman and pleasing her that is the foundation of a submissive's inclinations.

So how does a masochist differ from a slave then? 

A true slave, or "nomis slave" or "titilus slave" as I'll likely call them in my forthcoming book, wants to be owned - their ideal would be 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), and given clear duties, role, place, security.

In stark contrast to Leopold von Sacher Masoch's what I would call "mock slavery" (eg I'll be your slave, during these hours, but you can never enter into my office, and you shall wear my fetish, and whip me, and fulfil my fantasy as scripted and as I manipulate and bribe you to do, etc), a real slave feels that they are a slave as their true identity and wants to be owned and to find an owner who can fulfil their needs. 

I recently posted a blog post of some writing by the late (deceased) slave david stein, that explains well what a slave needs. (Direction, discipline and service, explains slave david stein.)

Image: slave david stein

I think in many eras, slaves may well have joined an abbey as a monk to get the kind of sense of place, purpose, duties that they feel most fulfilled by. And indeed the book "The Rule of Saint Benedict" written in around the year 516, for monks living with the authority of an abbot - reads very much like a slave-training manual. 

Whereas such a life would not suit a masochist at all; he only wants the play of being a slave when he's in the mood for it, and it involves the ingredients that capture his fantasy of Domination.

So although a masochist may call himself a "submissive" or "slave", and these terms get thrown about readily and mixed up frequently in the BDSM scene, due to misunderstandings also of the term's meanings, and he is not in fact either of these things. And they often don't identify with masochist as they think it means someone who enjoys pain, whereas many masochists don't enjoy pain per se, but rather being beaten down by the Dominant (with pain hits).

And it's one of the reasons I plan to rename the psychology typologies in my new book forthcoming, to get greater clarity of the way people self-identify.

Psychology typologies by Anne O Nomis

submissive --> sub placeur (meaning pleasing submissive) someone who takes their pleasure from pleasing their Mistress and submitting to their Mistress

slave --> nomis slave (meaning name slave)* or titilus slave (title slave)* someone who takes their pleasure from being owned, having duties, discipline, a place, security.

masochist --> supersensual machinator (meaning supersensual + artful plotter)** someone who takes their pleasure from drawing invested punishment and humiliation from their Mistress, and bumping her to get their fetish and fantasy of being strong-armed into submission. 

fetishist --> someone who takes pleasure from play with their fetish

kinkster-hedonist --> someone who takes their pleasure from explorative play with kinks and hedonism (and may not be submissive or Dominant but happy to play in either role or switching)


* I am undecided of which of the two slave terms to go with, whether nomis slave (name slave) or titulus slave (title slave), and wish to see which uptakes better with slaves themselves. I don't have ego invested in the "nomis" - it means name rather than referring to my psuedonym Anne O Nomis. The word "anonymous" itself being "without" + "name".

** The term supersensual was the term that Leopold von Sacher Masoch used himself in his book 'Venus in Furs' when its character Severin is describing his own inclination. In German this is rendered as übersinnlich (supersensual), with associations to supernatural, the awe of the  magical sorcery-like sensual fetishistic effect.

Are all masochists "Do Me subs"? Do they all scribe and prescribe how you should Dominate them? 

No, not all masochists are "Do-Me subs" in scribing and prescribing what they want - but a lot to be fair - do do this.

Some - newbies in particular - don't yet know themselves well enough what they want exactly other than to be "Dominated". As they begin experimenting and some things "work" on them and others "don't", they begin to start bumping towards that which does have the magical sorcery effect upon them, and they can't help but manipulating or scribing this then, to try and get better what they want.

Some masochists have learnt how to be subtle in their manipulations, "gifting" her the fetish they want her to wear, suggesting in nudging ways. Some masochists who are seeing professional Dominatrices or very experienced lifestyle Mistresses feel confident and trusting enough in her knowledge and understandings that they can to a greater degree leave it down to her, because she's doing the algorithm largely anyway which is getting the desired effect. Or by giving her a certain amount of information that is enough to indicate the direction they want to go, and reminding her of their fetish preferences.

However it's true that many masochists do indeed present as "Do Me subs" with tactics of dictating what they want in order to get that magical effect and submission they yearn for.

And as Mistress may have previously had or seen a genuine submissive - who was happy to please Her and much more pliable around the content of the session play - she may get very confused then trying to understand this "do-me sub" or sub who is actually a masochist using the wrong hat to title himself.

The masochist may feel they need to explain to a Mistress clearly that they're not much into doing things like cleaning for her, or doing things for her that are not on their fantasy erotic fetishistic wavelength.

Here's another email from a masochist masquerading as a submissive.

Hi Mistress,

My name is _____ (deleted for privacy),

I am a submissive 34 years old and I would like to meet you for a switch session, as far as I am concerned you can inflict the following punishments on me:

insults, slaps, shoe licking, whip, swift bondage, torture of the nipples and parts, kicks and knees in the parts, pissing, wax, dildo or strap-on.

What are the procedures for meeting you?


Do you see the scribing and prescribing of exactly the activities he wants? Do you see the ingredients I refer to in my algorithm, and indeed in another email was what the Mistress should wear. (For quick referral, a reminder that the algorithm was:

Sexy powerful clothing with fetish effect is worn or wielded

+ lowering (of man / person)

+ Invocation of awe

+ they (the masochist) has the invested attention of Dom

+ Command

+ Bringing under control (by bondage or other)

+ Overpowering / strong-arming

+ the 4 Ts (tease, toy, torment, torture)

+ Ignoring attention of for periods

+ Beating down (eg whipping, bullying) with "hits" of pain

+ more of 4Ts (tease, toy, torment, torture)

+ Proximity privilege (such as body worship)

+ Tease-and-denial

+ Begging / bargaining / plea for release

+ Delayed gratification

--> Ending, reward, release & liberation (could end with denial, with caning, with sexual release or ruined orgasm, worship, or numerous other ways) 

This email evidences another very good exemplar of the "Do-Me sub" that the Mistresses of my dungeon of internship would have referred to, and who in my framework of thinking - is a masochist (supersensual machinator) and not a sub. 

Masochists often are quite capable of switching, and often do so in order to direct the content and activities exactly as they want. Indeed many masochists switch to playing Dominant role, which might seem odd to many seeing they want purportedly to submit, but it evidences exactly why a masochist isn't a submissive. They want that algorithm above. They "bump" the Mistress in the direction of what they want. They scribe, prescribe, direct, unless by chance she's already doing what they're into. (Such as you may get with an experienced pro-Domme who's so used to the activities and rhythm that she autopilots to it.)

And often frustrated by things not quite going as they want, some masochists opt to switch in order to get the exact content they want, to gain pleasure in both the Directing of the scene as well as vicariously in what the person subbing for them will be feeling.

It's for this reason that the term "sado-masochist" is often used as a further identification to explain the switching from masochist-sub-bottom into the alternative role of directing-sadist-top.

The problem for heterosexual male masochists - here's what women want. 

I feel empathy for masochists (supersensual machinators) because they're often misunderstood, or end up frustrated or confused, or sad or let down, or find it hard to find a life partner who can fulfil their needs. And not all, because I know some who are happy and indeed a few such couples come to Villa Domme each year. 

However part of the reason that they find it hard often to find what they want, to be dominated as per their hopes or fantasy, with the activities and rhythm they need to get to that delicious place they want to go, is that it's not perfectly aligned or even well-aligned with the activities that most lifestyle female Dominants want.

As a reminder, and I've written a post on this, here are the favourite activities of 43 lifestyle Female Dominants, averaged from the ratings they gave out of 10 for each activity. This is from Elise Sutton's book 'Searching for Wanda', but graph my own creation to visualize the data more clearly in this form:

At the very far end of this graph are many of the activities that masochists want - the more sadistic activities, cock and ball torture, humiliation play (including verbal bullying), corporal punishment and bondage. 

Up the top rated activities end of the graph are things which please the woman. Domestic servitude - having the man do the washing, ironing, vacuuming. On body worship the masochist may well be into, orgasm control too. But then her controlling finances and having final authority? The masochist likes to be in control, and I don't know of any example where he's gone along with this, although I'm not saying there are none - it would be very rare for a true masochist to agree to that.

It's the perpetual conundrum for masochists, they say want to submit and give up power, but they don't actually want to give up power and give over actual real power to the woman.

They more want mock power play, once a week or a few times a week, when they're in the mood for it - most typically.

But it's very confusing for the woman because you often say you're a submissive, and say you want to be her slave and plaything, and yet when she goes to take power - orders you to do household chore - you say "no, not like that, I mean sexy stuff, like be cruel to me and can you put on that outfit and then whip me. But now harder. Then ignore me, and like taunt me..." etc.

So what's the answer to this conundrum? Communication. Compromise. Put energy into your Mistress one way or another, because you are zapping a lot of energy out of her, and ultimately that's not sustainable. 

If you're seeing a professional Dominatrix, why not just be honest and tell her you're more of a masochist in the sense of wanting (insert algorithm) and be appreciative of her service, knowledge and craft abilities to facilitate that, and pay her appropriately and well? They need the equipment, the attire, the knowledge to execute this. It's a specialist occupation because it's quite complex doing that.

For a lifestyle Mistress, she's not being paid and she's unlikely to fully understand your psychology. So you're going to need to explain with clarity. Be patient that she will take time to "get it". Positively reinforce and compliment when she's doing things your really like. Don't complain and be negative as this will just lower her self-esteem and make her feel unconfident and incompetent and lower morale, and have her potentially want to give up. And a relationship is two ways, not only about getting your fantasy sexual needs met. Treasure her, invest in her, support her, respect her, and importantly - consider her needs and wants, and not only your own.

I suggest don't be a "Do Me" sub.

Allow space for the Mistress's wants too, come at it as a pre-scene negotiation rather than a pre-scene dictation. Find your mutual areas of cross-over and wider willingness. Be honest and frank if possible, rather than manipulative.

Realise and recognize that your needs extract a lot of energy to meet, so ensure you're putting energy back in somehow - whether financially, or domestic labour, or other genuine giving of energy into and towards your Mistress that is not all about yourself. Why would you want to do this? Because bottom line if you don't you'll drain her of energy, of enthusiasm, lower her self-esteem and confidence over time, and you won't find her sexy or powerful or able to dominate you any more if that occurs. 

The higher she is, the more you'll worship and respect her.

And because on some level, you believe in the cause of Female Dominance and in the power of women, because a very real manifestation of that captured your imagination and eroticism in the first place. Am I right?

Over and out.

x Anne O Nomis

 PS If you want to talk to me more about this topic, I do offer private Zoom consults and now have an online booking system in place in order that you can book, and I also teach classes which cover such topics which are FemDom orientated and open to people of all genders and sexualities.

I also host 'Villa Domme' held in Europe each June, where Doms and subs / slaves / masochists fly in from around the world to attend and live the lifestyle with classes, activities, dinners and drinks for 7-10 days. (Note for 2021 we're in a castle rather than a villa, so technically Castle Domme.)

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