For non-sexual dominance and submission in interpersonal relationships, see Power (social and political) § Power principles in interpersonal relationships.
For genetic inheritance and expression due to sex-chromosome-linked genes, see Sex linkage. Dominance and submission (also called D/s) is a set of behaviors, customs, and rituals involving the submission of one person to another in an erotic episode or lifestyle. Physical contact is not necessary, and D/s can be conducted anonymously over the telephone, email, or other messaging systems.
In other cases, it can be intensely physical, sometimes crossing into sadomasochism.
Those who take the superior position are called dominants—Doms (male) or Dommes (female)—while those who take the subordinate position are called submissives—or subs (male or female). Two switches together may negotiate and exchange roles several times in a session.
"Dominatrix" is a term usually reserved for a female professional dominant who dominates others for pay.
Note, it is common for writers to capitalise the "D" in Dominant but leave the "s" in lowercase for the submissive.
Many extend this to His/Hers, Him/Her, He/She, etc., to make it clear when they are referring to a Dominant.
The inner conflict and surrender connected with dominance and submission are enduring themes in human culture and civilization.