I've been asked this question numerous times. The truth- you ask 100 people, you will get 100 different answers. A lot of it depends on your individual relationship and personality. If you would have asked me this question 6 months ago I would not feel comfortable answering that question. But now that I am more comfortable in my relationship and how our dynamic works, I have confidence in my answer. I know what makes a good sub, at least in my relationship.
See, I happened to be used to what Sir calls micromanaging. The people that introduced me to the lifestyle were very...uh, into detail. So I went into our relationship expecting the same thing- being given a long list of rules and just details on how to do EVERYTHING! Like how to sit, how to speak, what not to say, what to say, when to speak, when to exercise, how to dress blah blah blah. I didn't get any of that. Needless to say it took some time to get used to that.
Sir and I have been together for a little over a year now. I feel we are now hitting our stride. It's so exciting! It seems we just keep finding out more things about ourselves not only as individuals but as Dom and sub. So here is what I feel makes a good sub.
I feel both parties have responsibilities to keep things going when it comes to D/s. Now in our dynamic- there are not a lot of rules and demands placed on me. Sir expects me to use my brain and be able to take care of myself. Which works for me because I am very independent. I honestly can't grasp the concept of wanting every aspect of your life to be controlled. It is not something I want so I just don't understand it. Anyways, I feel as a sub it is my responsibility to voice my needs and desires. That took me a long time to grasp. Even though I may be the one taking on the submissive role, it does not mean that I am not my own person with my own wants and needs. Plus Sir is not a mind reader, so it is MY responsibility to make sure those things are voiced and taken care of.
For me I have three needs for a D/s relationship. The first is consistency. For some reason it makes me feel safe. I want to know that there are set rules and consequences. I want things to stay the same. I didn't know I needed that before so it was very tough for me to voice what it was that I needed. I didn't even know what I needed. I had to do some soul searching on that one. I'm one that tests the boundaries. Every once in a while just to make sure things are consistent I will push to see if nothing has changed. It usually consists of me being bratty as all hell. I want to stop and say that I am very proud of Sir :) well I am proud of both of us. I'm proud of myself for actually being able to voice my needs and I'm proud of Sir for sticking with it and being consistent even though I know it is tough for him sometimes because he doesn't want to upset me. (Psst, Sir. It in no way upsets me- ever. Just to let you know)
The second thing I need in a D/s relationship is to serve. I am a nurturing person. I have a deep need to take care of people. It makes me feel good knowing I can help others and please them. So I try to serve in what little ways I can for Sir. Right now we don't live together so it's not really a 24/7 thing. But when I am with him in vanilla situations I'll do small things for him like get his drink for him. Make sure he is taken care of first before I move onto other things. I make sure I am at his side in case he needs anything.
When we go to events in the community, since we don't have much time to be openly kinky- I take those times to really let my submissive desires out. So a lot of people will find me standing next to Sir quietly lol. Some people freak out about it. One, I'm just a shy person so it kinda gives me an excuse not to be noticed. Second, it's the only time I can truly bring out that side of me so I take advantage of it. In my daily life I am always in control. I'm a mom, my job is demanding, the only thing keeping me in school is my own will. So it is nice to have times where I can sit back and let another take control of situations. It's a release actually. One way I take care of that is being service oriented.
The third thing I need in a D/s relationship is knowing I am special and desired. Maybe it has to do with the fact that we are poly, not sure. Also I feel we all need that approval at some point as humans. We like to know we are desired. I need reminders every once in a while that I am an individual and not just another girl. I need to know what stands out about me. I need to know that I am wanted, that Sir wants to be with me and wants me around. He does a great job of that :) I feel very loved and taken care of. There isn't a moment I don't feel special in his eyes.
So there are my needs, which as I said I feel it is my job to voice and make sure they are being met. A few other things that I personally think make a good sub. Good communication skills, that's a given in any relationship but especially important when it comes to BDSM. A desire to please; then again I'm pretty sure all subs already know that about themselves. I also think it is good to be open to having your limits pushed. I'm not talking about when it comes to a casual dynamic! Honestly if someone tried to push my boundaries and they were not in a D/s relationship with me them they might get decked. I don't handle my limits being pushed very well by just anyone :) I mean if you are in a true D/s relationship and you trust the person it is good to have your limits pushed sometimes. I feel it pushes you to learn thing out about yourself and creates a stronger bond in a sense.
I really could go on and on but I think I'll stop here. Maybe I'll write about this again another time. There are just so many different layers when it comes to D/s relationships and submissive roles. It's a complicated thing. This is a subject definitely worth visiting again.