My Favorite Sub/slave Position – Kowtow, Kiss The Floor
The following is from a social thread by The Kink Realm. It has been reproduced and adapted for public viewing on this website. Additional thoughts may have been added in this version.
If you’ve ever searched online hoping to find a single definitive source referencing BDSM submissive/slave positions, you may have come away from your search feeling as though you’d entered a rabbit hole of conflicting information. It’s not even so much that various sources disagree on the actual positions, but rather the naming convention — you might be hard-pressed to find a wide range of sources that use the same terminology for positions.
This can make the search for something simple a more belabored task with uncertainty being the main reward. But for this article, I’d like to reference one primary source, and one primary position, outlining why I find it such a great position for subs/slaves (s-types in general).
Quick note on inclusivity
In my search on this topic (and plenty others) over the years, I’ve found numerous sources that speak in a highly exclusive language, often forgetting about those who are not like them. Even in titling this article, I considered using “A Great Sub/slave Position for All,” but “…for Some” would be more appropriate. It’s important to be accommodating in our kink speech for various body types, styles and abilities. Instead of saying “Well, it’s just not for you” we could just as easily be more open to our wonderful, wide range of kinkster representation. I am personally continually working to improve myself in this area and encourage others to as well.
In order to KISS, I’ve decided to buckle down and choose a primary source when referencing sub/slave positions. That source is The Restrained Elegance lexicon of slavegirl positions (please refer to it for this article). There is a lot of information provided on this page including clear visuals to assist in the study of positions. I am also appreciative of the disclaimer regarding the sometimes nonconventional (non-vanilla, non-PC) style of language we use in kink, as well as the recognition that some of the physical positions come with caveats.
The Kiss the Floor position, aka the Kowtow
This position — aka #4, kneeling, outstretched and various other names — is based on one that comes with a long, meaningful history from East Asian culture and beyond.
Kiss the Floor calls for the s-type to lower themselves onto their knees, butt up, forehead to the floor, arms outstretched. While most positions can be written as simply as that, there are a few particulars to keep in mind. It’s important to practice positions, and it’s also important to understand what your D-type requires of you.
For instance, with Kiss the Floor, knees: you can place your knees apart or tightly together. toes: Same goes for the feet, as well as toe position — toes tucked vs relaxed/stretched out. back: The arch of your back in this position can add extra visual flair. arms: Arms should be stretched out relatively straight, but whether you cross them at the wrist or not is up to your D-type’s preference. belly: If your midsection would otherwise make this position difficult, no problem. Simply spread your knees a bit wider and allow your belly to rest (fall) gently between your thighs. hair: If you have long hair (I have locs down my back and this is frequently something I have to address), place it as your D-type prefers. If no preference has been given, split your hair in the center and spread it evenly on both sides of your neck. head: As far as the forehead to the floor, well… I just can’t see putting my clean forehead directly onto any floor unless I’m being held at gunpoint in a bank robbery. Sorry, but germs are germs. I do, however, find that this position lends a little wiggle room for such details. more: And lastly, know it’s OK to modify (or request modification of) a position that may be difficult for you. If this is an unreasonably uncomfortable position for you, try (and offer) a few variations that allow proper presentation. On the Restrained Elegance page I’ve referenced, consider the “Offer Yourself” & “Servant Genie” positions.
All the reasons…!
The Kiss the Floor position is, in my opinion, one of the most reverent positions. It is also quite visually appealing, good for show. I have used this position on command, and on occasion, without prompting when I needed to show deference to my owner (likely for a blunder on my part).
It’s also a rather comfortable position for some, and one where you can adjust for your comfort without disrupting your presentation. It’s one of the few positions where you can take care of the inevitable nose itch without breaking pose too much. And I’ve found I can remain in this position for longer/extended periods, unlike other, more strenuous positions.
This is my favorite sub/slave position above all others, even above basic kneeling which can be hard on one’s knees, and even the lower back for some. Basic kneeling is hard on my ankles and always has been. I tend to have to shift often with toes under vs toes back (tucked vs relaxed). I’m surely not alone in this struggle.
Sometimes being able to rest body parts is important while in service. Just resting the forehead on the carpet can be a good break when (if) your neck begins to strain (if you’re a floor germophobe like me and attempt to keep your forehead 3 cm off the surface the whole time). In Kiss the Floor, I love being able to arch my back inward, butt up & out, allowing my natural curves to star the show. This position allows for the hips to spread out comfortably (once relaxed) without much extra effort. Also, it also allows me to relax my back & shoulders, which can be extra important before a scene or after bodily use (post-scene).
For all the bits & pieces of the physical aspects of submission, opportunities to relax the body & mind are crucial. This sub/slave position can be (at least briefly) restful. As pointed out by OOMF, this position is good for reducing noise of the audible kind, or “outside noise.” The upper arms are close to the ears, acting as barriers and reducing sound. The head down position, eyes to the floor, also reduces sight. Sensory restriction while in this position might even help reduce anxiousness & nervousness that outside noise tends to sharpen. Through this, it’s also good for reducing internal noise. I mentioned it even being a positive meditative position.
The key benefits to the Kiss the Floor position: reverence in show, visual appeal, potential for relaxation & meditation/reduction of stress.