Word of the Week: Switch

by Violet

on Sep 9, 2022

Get your tongue around some new sexual terminology with this week's Word of the Week...

Word of the Week


A term used to describe an individual who enjoys being submissive and dominant during sexual play.

Switches can lead or follow during BDSM play depending on the situation.

In this week's Word of the Week we take a look at the term 'Switch'.

A term used within the BDSM community, a switch is neither a Dom (someone who takes a more dominant role) or a sub (someone who submits to the dominant partner) but is somewhere in between.

As you may have guessed, the word refers to the individual's ability to 'switch' from one role to the other depending on the partner they are playing with.

While many members of the BDSM community are pretty comfortable and set in their fixed roles, switches are more fluid, experimental and find themselves turned on by a broader range of play scenarios. In many ways, switches are great people to have around at a bondage party!

There are no set rules to being a switch, you don't have to be completely fifty / fifty in regards to what you enjoy. Being a switch may simply mean you get pleasure from spanking your partner and enjoy receiving a good spanking yourself.

For those new to BDSM, you may find yourself first identifying as a switch then deciding that you do favour the more submissive or dominant side of BDSM play as you explore different scenarios. It really doesn't matter, afterall BDSM is all about exploring new sides of yourself and discovering your inner-most desires.

Toys to ignite your inner switch

So, you think you're a switch?

One of the first questions that comes up when you discover the wonderful world of BDSM is; are you a sub or a Dom?

However, for many people neither one fit perfectly, instead they find themselves (quite literally sometimes) straddling the two roles. If you find yourself in this category, then congratulations friend, you may just be a switch.

There are no special tips, tricks or secret handshakes for switches to learn. All you need to know is how to enjoy both sides of the sub/Dom relationship safely and how to communicate your preferences to your partners.

  1. Let your lover know what you like. If you would like to try both being in charge and dominated with the same partner its important to let them know. People often assume that if you've enjoyed being dominated in the past then that's all you like, but for switches this just isn't the case. Speak up with your partner and see if they would be up to swapping roles from time to time so you can explore both sides of your sexual appetite.

  2. Understand that some roles won't budge. While you could hit the jackpot and start a relationship with another switch, you're more likely to find yourself playing with a partner who is a sub or a Dom through and through with absolutely no wiggle room. Try to understand that while for you it's easy to switch between the two roles, for some their sexual role is part of who they are.

  3. Keep it safe. As with all BDSM play, using a safe word is essential when exploring your switchy side. No matter if you're the one tied up, or the one holding the whip, always decide on a safeword BEFORE you start playing.

  4. Fall in love with aftercare. No matter if you've been together for a decade or just met at the bus stop, aftercare should be an integeral step in your BDSM play. Cuddles, light hearted chats and other intimate acts are a great way to make sure everyone is feeling safe, happy and loved after a hardcore BDSM session.

Want to learn more sex terminology? Check out our Ultimate Sex Dictionary.


Written by Violet. Lovehoney Editorial Team
Violet joined Lovehoney's writing team in 2019 as our lingerie aficionado.
Violet is also an avid sex toy collector and co-host of The Sexual Happiness Podcast

Originally published on Sep 9, 2022. Updated on Mar 25, 2022