Aggressive Submissive

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What's wrong? You're usually more harsh than this.

A character who is unusually aggressive and domineering in their relationships and particularly romantic/sexual advances, yet relinquishes all control the moment it comes to actually having sex with their loved one.

This behavior is commonly displayed by "harsh" Tsunderes. Parallels can be drawn between this and a Faux Action Girl. Indeed, women in fiction end up on the receiving end of this trope much more often than men (cf. Men Act, Women Are).

An extreme variation, dipping deep into Character Derailment, is often found in fanworks (especially H-Doujinshi) starring a canonically dominant and assertive female character, who remains dominant and assertive right up to the point where the faceless male reader stand-in takes off her clothes.

Note that Tropes Are Not Bad when used appropriately, and even this one can present an interesting dichotomy in a character to explore for drama and Character Development. It only becomes off-putting when perpetrated in fanworks upon characters who you'd reasonably expect to behave in bed the same way they do in canon.

For the male/male case, this is a standard (although somewhat less common) type of Uke in Boys Love Genre works. They're similarly likely to be Tsundere. Because this is a same-sex variation, the Double Standard does not apply, so this trope is generally used in-character. More uncommonly, but still very much present, you will find inversions of this trope, with an aggressive (or even violent) Seme who becomes compliant, gentle and subservient to the Ukes wishes while in-bed - playing with the balance of physical and emotional control in the relationship. The exceptions for in-character usage of this trope are again fanworks where canon characters are used for Wish Fulfillmentnote .

Compare Casual Kink, Property of Love, Safe, Sane and Consensual, Safe Word and All Women Are Doms, All Men Are Subs.

Canon examples

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     Anime And Manga  

  • Celty in Durarara!! is a Badass Biker dullahan who beats up crooks and saves people, while her boyfriend Shinra is a back-alley doctor with a masochistic streak. She's a type B Tsundere and he enjoys verbally provoking her, which often leads to her wrapping him in shadows as punishment. However, Shinra says "At night, Celty's actually like a little bunnyŚ" which immediately causes her to try and shut him up because she's practically dying of embarrassment from having their sex life discussed in a room full of people.
  • Mio from MM! is a very dominant girl for the entire anime series, but in the first two DVD Extras they have her getting dominated by a cat and another girl respectively. The extras were supposed to be Fanservice, but they felt like Fetish Retardant to those that were hoping for more Mio femdom. Eventually one extra focusing on her sadist side showed up, but only one.
  • Kyouko Oomiya in Futari Ecchi, in her relationship with Matsuzaki, at least in the early phases. On one hand he was The Casanova and she a 30-year-old virgin when they started dating but, on the other hand, she is imposingly bossy and he is actually insecure about himself.
  • Mafuyu from hentai OVAs Kanojo x Kanojo x Kanojo is a quite interesting example. The first episode has her being a really domineering Emotionless Girl. The second episode has her dominant too, BUT the guy ends turning the tables on her for no real reason (as he never does that to other girls, and he seemed fine with her dominance on episode 1). That's where the series originally ended, but then they announced a third episode, and on it Mafuyu was hit by massive Chickification and became just as cheerfully emotional and non-dominant as the other girls, unfortunate as her dominance and quietness made her popular.
  • Hana in Seikon No Qwaser is a lesbian version. At first we see she's a quite rough girl with others, but soon she gets dominated by Katja and clearly loves it. Then come the second season and she subverts this by showing she can be dominant with other girls, so she probably likes being both sub and dom depending of her partner.
  • Nana to Kaoru: Nana is an angry tsundere until she gets all tied up.
  • Yuno from Future Diary is very direct and aggressive towards Yukiteru, until she finally "becomes one" with him. Then she becomes super-shy and even bottoms! Notably, she goes back to being her usual aggressive self right after they're done.
  • Inverted by Fuyuka in Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu, who is a Shrinking Violet in day-to-day life but unexpectedly dominates the heck out of Natsuki when they finally do it.
  • A non-sexual example: Zoisite in the 90s Sailor Moon is the one who initiates nearly all physical contact with his lover Kunzite, despite being completely subservient to him normally.

     Comic Books  

  • In The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, this describes the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is a Straw Feminist who shows nothing except contempt for men and the world that they dominate. At the same time, however, she maintains a Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship with Superman, whom she admires for being the only man on the planet who could throw her to the ground and MAKE her his.
  • Deadpool has aspects of this. Very little of what he says is serious and much of what he says is outrageous, but with y'know, snuggling or rather anything vaguely intimate—particularly the rare honest conversation—his dialogue is less amusing and his body language becomes submissive.
  • In Sunstone, which is all about BDSM, Lisa is quite assertive in most of her life, but is a sexual submissive. It should be noted that this is not at all uncommon: one theory of BDSM is that the submissive actually has all the power, and the dominant does all the work to please the submissive.

     Film  

  • A Rare Male Example: In the original American Pie movie, the guy pursued the band girl (eventually giving up on the sex wager), but she ended up dominant during their sex scene.

     Literature  

  • Thandi Palane from the Honor Harrington series is described as very sexually submissive, as a respite from her domineering public 'strong' facade. The fact that she's a genetically engineered Heavy Worlder Super Soldier who can break most men in half and once crushed a man's skull in with her bare fist has made it hard to find men who aren't afraid of her.
    • At one point she asks newfound boyfriend Victor Cachat, "Did it ever occur to you that a lady weight-lifter might get tired of it?"
    • Victor's morning-after musings also include the line, "Dominating her had been like a mortal dominating a goddess, a feat possible only because the goddess herself willed it."
    • Note that Cachat himself, while repeatedly described in the books as a Death incarnate at certain circumstances, is actually a pretty scrawny and physically non-imposing guy. And a bit of a prude to boot.
  • Mitza Lizalor in one of the later Foundation novels. She's a high-ranking member of the government on a Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny Planet of Hats and is socially dominant with her people and in conversation with the protagonist. She also quite likes sex but is disappointed with the guilt that men on her planet feel about it, so the protagonist uses his supernatural intuition to dominate her in bed.
  • Sidonie takes on this role in some of the later Kushiel's Legacy novels.
  • In the Millennium Trilogy, Lizbeth Salander tends to be aggressive and dominating when she's just have sex for the sake of sex, but becomes surprisingly submissive when she's with her on-again, off-again girlfriend Mimmy.
  • Nynaeve al'Meara in The Wheel of Time, thanks in (nominal) part to a custom of the people who officiate her marriage: that the spouse with the higher status in public should defer to the other spouse in private. It's left entirely off-screen, so the only word on the matter is from her: "Glorious".

     Television  

  • Mickey Milkovich in "Shameless" (US) is an aggressive, violent character who frequently comes to blows with others, and is typically the dominant partner in sexual encounters outside his relationship with Ian Gallagher. However, in his relationship with Ian, Mickey is notably submissive and has even performed oral sex on command.

     Video Games  

  • In Metal Gear Solid 3, EVA pursues Snake extremely aggressively from almost the moment she's introduced, and he spends much of the game either trying to shove her off him or joylessly enduring her kisses and gropes. While she is the one who initiates the eventual sex and takes the lead in the foreplay, there's a point, a little while before the sex actually commences, where Snake suddenly grabs her, pushes her onto her back and powerfully dominates her. Perhaps justified, because their relationship was so physically one-sided up until then that Snake had to show extreme enthusiasm to establish that their sex scene wasn't just EVA raping him after having broken his spirit with a week-long course of continuous sexual harassment.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Female Shepard and Liara have this type of relationship, with Shepard being the aggressive, dominant soldier who instigates (or at least tries to) most if not all her romances (Kaidan, Liara, Jacob, Garrus, Thane, Kelly, Samara, Tali, Joker, Vega) while Liara begins as the Shrinking Violet who squees big if Shepard takes a romantic interest in her. However, as she grows in confidence over the course of the trilogy, the role changes to her being a Violently Protective Girlfriend to the galaxy's ultimate Badass and as her father points out Liara throws Shepard on the bed and peels her out of her uniform.
    • Male Shepards get Ashley, an Action Girl who tries to seduce him with poetry, and Jack, a psychotic sexually aggressive Bastard Girlfriend. Both relinquish control during a romance. Tali on the other hand is the inverse, a Shrinking Violet who pounces Shepard during their romance scene.
    • Male Shepard himself becomes the aggressive submissive when romancing Kaidan, especially if he's a renegade. While Kaidan is a softspoken, sweet Dogged Nice Guy most of the time, in their romance scene he is the one that pushes Shepard down on the bed and climbs on top of him, and when they wake up, Kaidan is the big spoon. There's also the scene in the Citadel DLC where he agrees that Shepard is the boss... except when you're not. In that case... find him later.
  • Leliana in Dragon Age: Origins can also come across as this, particularly if hardened, with the culmination of the romance has her basically demanding The Warden goes to bed with her. If she remains softened Leliana is still quite persistent.

     Visual Novels  

  • Akiha Tohno in Tsukihime makes very obvious passes on Shiki (and creeps him out repeatedly) throughout her route, but when it comes to the sex scene, he takes complete control.
  • A similar dynamic occurs with Rin Tohsaka (pictured above) in Fate/stay night: throughout the route she's an assertive Tsundere and The Tease, but in her sex scene she becomes uncharacteristically shy. Once it's over, however, she goes back to her original state, chewing Shirou out for having been too aggressive in bed! It's worth noting that, both in another route's three-way scene with Saber and the scene in the sequel Fate/hollow ataraxia, she acts more like she normally does. This implies that it has more to do with her inexperience and anxiety over being the focus of Shirou's attention than Character Derailment.

     Web Original 


Fanwork examples

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    Anime and Manga 

     Various Media  

     Video Games  

  • Many fanworks featuring Bayonetta fall into this trope. Entertainingly, this was the major complaint the creator had about Rule 34 - not that it existed, but that Bayonetta tended to be in the submissive role, and the fandom actually reacted by making her the dominant one more frequently.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AggressiveSubmissive