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Creating a Submissive Training Plan for Yourself

Submissives don’t have to wait for a dominant to give them structure, plans, and training! There is a lot you can do on your own to keep yourself connected to your submission.

A training plan involves protocol, goals, rules to follow, and, ideally, rewards. A lot of protocol and training in relationships revolve around sexy kinky things, but sometimes people use it as tools for self-growth and self-improvement.

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A quick side note: though I am really into the tools and ideas of the self-growth worlds, I take it with caution. Sometimes focusing so hard on improvement and growth can give the impression that who you are and what you’re doing already right now is not good enough, and I don’t want to encourage that. Still, it’s often satisfying to dream big, break it down into goals, and work toward them, so the tools still have a useful place in my life.

Even if you don’t currently have a dominant, you can create a training plan for yourself to keep you motivated, connected to your submissive, and striving. These are excellent skills to hone, both for yourself and for your future dominant.

So what is a ‘training plan,’ anyway?

A training plan is a breakdown of the small steps needed to reach a goal. For example, if the goal is to run a marathon, the training plan breaks down the different steps to get mentally and physically prepared in order to do it. For example, a triathlon training plan might include identifying one’s current level of swim, bike, run; increasing capacity for each; targeting biggest improvement potential; and setting a date to do the triathlon in order to dole out the milestone goals between then and now.

Making a goal and working to achieve it combats boredom & complacency, because there’s something challenging to strive for — pushing oneself is not usually boring, and inherently not complacent.

Within the context of D/s, there are dozens of skills that submissives can hone in order to be of greater service to the dominant. Setting a goal to learn or master some of those skills can serve the D/s in the long run, as well as the submissive themself.

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If you are in a relationship, and you want more training or support to meet goals and push yourself, you could think about presenting your dom with a short list of goals you are curious about, that you think will benefit your partnership, and ask your dom to choose which one they would like most. You could still follow the other suggestions, and create the rest of your plan yourself, knowing that the reward will be presenting your completed goal to your dominant at the end of the plan.

Step 1: Identify What Kind of Training to Pursue

Depending on what you want to improve, or what your dominant/household would want you to improve, your training will be different.

Here’s some examples of skills you’d like to increase or parts of your life that you’d like to improve:

  • Providing sexual service
  • Domestic service: cooking, housekeeping chores, bookkeeping, assistance, gardening
  • “Trophy” attributes like dress, grooming, mannerisms
  • Entertainment: music, dance, storytelling, producing/hosting events
  • Expressions of devotion

Step 2: Vision What You’d Like the Goal to Be

Here’s some examples that (roughly) correspond to the examples above:

  • Receive double penetration
  • Perfect your favorite Thai food dish
  • Do 100 push-ups
  • Play guitar well enough to share sing-alongs at a campfire
  • Make a photo album (actually print out some of your Instagram photos!)

Step 3: Break the Goal Into Small Tasks

Continuing with the examples above, here’s some of the tasks and experiments that could happen in order to perfect your favorite Thai food dish.

  • Go visit your favorite Thai restaurants to order the dish and see how you most like it
  • Research Thai cooking classes in your area
  • Ask that friend who is a really good cook for some help
  • Look up recipes for that thai dish
  • Gather the ingredients needed
  • Cook the dish for your friends at least 5x to experiment with getting the flavors right

Step 4: Set a Timeline

When do you want to have this task or goal complete? A timeline is essential to a training plan — otherwise, it’s just a someday-dream.

Make your timeline as realistic as possible. You might even check in with friends about the timeline and see if they find it realistic — sometimes it’s hard to tell how long something will actually take.

Step 5: Set Aside Time To Do These Different Tasks

That might mean saying no to things you want to do, or canceling things, or pausing a project or hobby you love in order to make time. You can come back to all those things later. You won’t miss out on that much, I promise. (This is a good time to practice noticing your FOMO — fear of missing out — and not letting that fear overpower your goals and training.)

Put your tasks on your calendar! You could even make a date with a friend to keep yourself accountable.

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One Last Note: About ‘Failing’ to Meet Goals: I’ve noticed that submissives are often a-types, and often beat themselves up (even more than their doms beat them up) for mistakes and short-comings. Learning to acknowledge limits, forgive failures, understand and move on are big skills for a sub to build. (Big skills for all of us to build, let’s be honest; but in a D/s context a sub is held to external standards and both D and s need to work with that with kindness & forgiveness & humanity.)

Step 6: Practice

Anything new needs practice. For a while, it will be a thing to try out (and probably fail, sometimes). The only way to see the progress is with more practice, more diligence, and more trying.

Find different ways to practice. Put your skill in different situations to adjust and practice with different variables. Tell your friends that you’re practicing and ask for their help in supporting you. For example, cook at a friend’s house, cook in a very limited prep time, cook using only what you have in the house and make a range of substitutions.

Step 7: Present! Show Off Your New Skills!

Once you feel confident that you have practiced a lot, show off your skills! Share what you’ve been doing with friends. Offer your new cooking skills by bringing dishes to a leather community event. Or find different ways to share what you’ve been learning, and tell people about your journey.

  • Make the Thai dish for dinner for your partners + friends
  • Dress up for no good reason, just to look good
  • Write down a fantasy about your new DP skill
  • Set up a campfire sing-along

This is part of how to reward yourself for a job well done!

Step 8: Celebrate Meeting Your Goal!

You get to decide how to celebrate — you could bribe yourself, you could create a star chart and cross things off, you could high-five your bestie and congratulate yourself.

And repeat!

Set another new goal, break it down, and get it done!

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queer women" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert.

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