The other night, one of my friends confided that she was having difficulty with her current relationship because she was used to more alternative relationships. I asked what she meant by alternative relationships, and she said, dominant/submissive. Her boyfriend, an ISTP, is apparently too passive and very non-dominant. She's an ENFP and prefers to be the submissive. She said it makes her happier to be told what to do and either be rewarded or punished for her actions. She was striving for nonsexual examples and told me, "Such as cleaning my apartment. I'd rather be told to clean my apartment, and depending on whether or not I did a good job, be rewarded or punished." She said she just doesn't feel as satisfied doing even tasks like cleaning unless being told and having some sort of external appraisal or other.
She also enlightened me that the dominant/submissive relationship isn't always a sexual one.
I asked if she had talked with her boyfriend on the matter. She said she had, and that he had been making attempts to be more dominant... but that he doesn't know what he's doing and that he really needs to talk to someone that is a dominant to understand it better.
I found this really interesting. My only real thoughts on dominant/submissive were masochist and sadist, and sexual, and etc. Apparently, I was completely ignorant.
I suppose I'm curious about the topic a bit more... say the mindset and why the need to be appraised or punished is there... and why the need to be told what to do? (If you're the submissive that is.)
What's the mindset of the dominant? What do they get out of it?
And also, is this more prolific amongst NF types?
I ask, as while this topic progressed, I noticed somewhat of the dom/sub trend amongst NF friends I knew, though never directly stated as such. Plus, I have a close INFJ friend who actually is very very into the masochist/sadist sexual thing. However, my ENFP female friend informed me that the INFJ friend is a switcher... switches off between the dom. and the sub. This shows in his personality, which I had always described as sort of split. He's bisexual, and tends to either come off very masculine (and talks about guns, video games, etc.) or very feminine (and talks about makeup, shoes, other boys, etc.), depending on the day or the company.