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). Although in Courtly Love the (lower status) man will invoke this trope as a way of proving his loyalty to the woman.
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 Tools. 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 Uke's 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 Fulfillment.note
- Cream Lemon: In Pop Chaser, Badass Biker Tomboy Rio becomes the Uke to the smaller, sweeter Girly Girl Mai's Seme.
- 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 deredere type of 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 bunny—" 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.
- Yuika from Hensuki: Are You Willing to Fall in Love with a Pervert, as Long as She's a Cutie? tries to play the sadist/dom, demanding Keiki become her slave and trying to force him down. When he pushes her down instead though, she gets quite excited and nervous, and her dreams tend to feature him dominating or groping her rather than the other way around.
- 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 seemingly for no 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; this broke the base, with more masochistic viewers feeling this unfortunate as her dominance and quietness made her popular among them, and more sadistic viewers actually liking the final result, since no lack of emotions and no female dominance goes unpunished.
- 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.
- Played for Laughs in Horimiya. Hori has a short temper and is rather domineering, but admits that she likes the idea of Miyamura acting like a Bastard Boyfriend. Of course, there's nothing to suggest that this extends to their sex life.
- Kaguya from Kaguya-sama: Love is War can be a very controlling person, but she loves it whenever Shirogane shows assertiveness and lists his harsh gaze as one of his most attractive features. Even Kaguya (Ice) -who is basically Brutal Honesty personified- outright says that being kissed is way hotter than giving a kiss.
- Zigzagged by Darkness in KonoSuba, who's submissive to the point of being aggressive as she intimidates everyone around her (especially enemies) with her delusional Aren't You Going to Ravish Me? rants. At one point she even tries to force herself on Kazuma, but gets too flustered to continue.
- 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 Williams is an assertive extrovert in most of her life, but is a sexual submissive in her relationship with introvert Allison Carter. 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.
- 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 in certain circumstances, is actually a pretty scrawny and physically non-imposing guy. And a bit of a prude to boot.
- Mitza Lizalor in Foundation and Earth. 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. She remains most satisfied, although Golan does realize he should make further visits to the planet and her office few if he doesn't want to go Out with a Bang.
- Sidonie takes on this role in some of the later Kushiel's Legacy novels.
- In the Millennium Trilogy, Lisbeth Salander tends to be aggressive and dominating when she's just having sex for the sake of sex, but becomes surprisingly submissive when she's with her on-again, off-again girlfriend Mimmi.
- Nynaeve al'Meara in The Wheel of Time, thanks in (nominal) part to a custom of the people who officiate her marriage: that, as the spouse with the higher status in public, she should defer to her spouse in private. What Lan does with his behind-closed-doors authority is left entirely off-screen, so the only word on the matter is from her: "Glorious".
- Morgoths Ring, has as it's 4th Chapter the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth. Andreth invokes this trope describing her youthful self because of her desire for Aegnor (which he shared, but was unable to return), and implies that this is how all human women are. Finrod was aware of this, as was Aegnor, and he explains that it is not considered acceptable by the Eldar to take advantage of people's desires in that manner. Adaneth has some serious trouble accepting this idea.
Andreth: "for one year, one day, of the flame I would have given all: kin, youth, and hope itself: adaneth I am"
- Discussed by Lady Heather in the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "Slaves of Las Vegas". Grissom is showing her a picture of a suspect (believed to be involved in a BDSM-related murder) and his wife and she is reading their body language. "See, now she's twisting away, presenting herself to the wealthy alpha male. (...) She wants the dominant male to choose her so she can stop being dominant."
- 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.
- Dean Winchester in Supernatural is aggressive and openly tries to take control of situations, often wanting to be the leader. This isn't the case for him in the bedroom, as he is gentle, soft, and very submissive with women. (The opposite of his quieter, more reserved brother, who is actually violent and dominant in bed).
- In one of the episodes of Genesis II by Gene Roddenberry, men are kept in a submissive, subservient state through the fear caused by a drug they are required to ingest, while the women are domineering and dismissive to them, requiring them to keep "eyes down" and not to speak except in response to a direct question, along with many other humiliating rules. When a man shows enough spunk to be promoted to "breeder", he is ritually taken to the bedroom with the woman in charge. Once there, all the rules are temporarily suspended and a relatively normal male-female sexual encounter ensues. It makes for rather a jolt, both for the viewer, and the protagonist.
- Victorious has a kid-friendly version of this trope. Jade has a very aggressive personality and is domineering towards her boyfriend Beck. However, Jade seems to take it the worst whenever the two break up, even being reduced to tears in one episode. The show also implies that Jade enjoys pain.
- 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, it is Liara who 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 and Ashley are possibly both this from some Citadel DLC dialogue. Shepard can say that he likes it when she takes charge when they're out for drinks. When they wake up after a loud party, he mentions that she gave him some bruises. But, only enough to get his attention.
- 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.
- Dragon Age:
- 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.
- Used a great deal more explicitly in Dragon Age: Inquisition where BDSM is a pretty explicit part of the Inquisitor's relationship with Iron Bull, should they hook up. The Inquisitor might be the biggest badass walking the earth, with the authority of entire nations at their beck and call, but is utterly submissive to Bull in the bedroom. They even have a Safe Word. Bull actually refuses to engage in any other type of relationship (with the Inquisitor at least); he reasons that because the Inquisitor has so much responsibility they need some time to let someone else take control, and if the Inquisitor says that's not the case Bull doesn't trust his own judgement enough to safely continue the relationship. Haughty aristocrat Dorian is also a bottom, although it's less of a focus in his romance; if neither is romanced he and Bull hook up.
- Takumi from Fire Emblem Fates is a male example, especially if he marries Corrin. Despite being a highly-competitive Jerk with a Heart of Gold, he blushes just as much as anyone else during his post-marriage conversations with his spouse in the player's castle, and the majority of his S-Supports have him softening up big time. With Corrin, he starts off the most verbally aggressive towards her, but later is one of the quickest husbands to say that he loves her in his voiced lines, and his kiss quotes for her are spoken in an almost shy way.
- 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 (plus Shirou's... uh... "girth") than Character Derailment.
- That said, even in the sequel she still has some notably shy moments. The implication seems to be that her shyness arises whenever she feels she is not in control of the situation - which is why she is so submissive during the first sex scene but manages to be more assertive after she loses her virginity. She also becomes much bolder during Hollow Ataraxia, even managing to toss some quite lewd insinuations at Shirou; on the other hand, when he teases her, intentionally or not, she still gets quite flustered, blushing copiously and, at times, even acting submissively. During a shoulder massage, for instance, Rin teasingly tells him that, if he touches her in a "weird place", she will kill him; Shirou jokingly asks if that applies even if the place in question is really stiff, which catches Rin completely by surprise. She can muster no reaction other than to blush furiously, look down, and meekly call him an idiot.
- Fate/EXTRA CCC provides a handy explanation: Precisely because she grew up with no other choice than to be very independent and hard-working, and because she is normally The Perfectionist, she secretly craves being able to just relinquish power and control and not having to be the one worrying about whether or not things will be alright for just a little bit when with a partner. Both she and the protagonist acknowledge that this does not affect her normal behavior at all and is not something she would ever allow to overtake her real, hard-ass self except for very brief moments.
- Take into account that Extra's Rin is not the same character as the one from Fate/Stay Night. They do have similar personalities, however, so maybe what applies to one also does to the other.
- The Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc character Touko Fukawa is a hostile introvert who constantly insults the other students, and in her pursuit of Byakuya makes inappropriate advances which stop just short of stalking (as she will leave him alone if he asks) and delusionally claims to be in a relationship with him... yet she aspires to become a dutiful housewife that can fulfill all his needs and fully embraces being a complete doormat to him both metaphorically and, according to a bonus mode exchange, literally as well. This dichotomy bemuses all of the other characters. Taken Up to Eleven by her alter Genocider Syo, a literal serial killer with a bombastic personality and all of Touko's vulgarity and more who still nonetheless acts subserviently towards Byakuya.
- Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony introduces Ultimate Inventor Miu Iruma, the "golden girl genius" who constantly boasts about her accomplishments and appearance, barrages the other characters with insults, and who is perhaps the single most vulgar character in the entire series. However, despite this, her facade usually falls flat when others swear or insult her in return, causing her to show a meeker side, and she's shown to get off on things like being called a "cum dumpster" by Kokichi. Though notably, unlike most examples, there are still multiple implications Miu does genuinely enjoy being in positions of power, and her Love Hotel event has her end up taking charge.
- Alien Abduction Role Play: the unnamed human protagonist is heavily implied to be a shameless vorarephile who demands mouthplay from their alien girlfriend, Acktreal. This doesn't end well for them, or the rest of their crew, when this sets her predatory instincts off and puts them in danger.
- The Nostalgia Critic manages to be both a Hot-Blooded brat who shoots things for catharsis and a sexually submissive Extreme Doormat who is desperate for affection. As you might have already guessed, this leads to him getting taken advantage of over and over again.
- Ask That Guy with the Glasses is a psychotic rapist, but has proudly bragged of "going down on everyone and everything".
- Simon in LeftoverSoup is an interesting subversion. He comes across as very assertive normally but is actually totally submissive. Tuesday is S&M day, where one or more of the others in the poly relationship he is part of satisfy his submissive nature and enjoyment of pain. And at the very end, they order him to be proactive, assertive, and dominant for the next six days.
- Simon "I'm in assertive mode right now. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable, which is awesome".
- Lisa of Sunstone is the submissive in her relationship with Ally. Outside the bedroom, however, Lisa tends to be the more active one in the relationship.
- Jillian in Erfworld is a headstrong barbarian warlord and the submissive, masochistic partner in her relationship with Wanda. That said, when she realizes Wanda wants to extend her authority beyond the bedroom and into Jillian's day to day life — and is willing to Mind Rape Jillian to do so — she chews Wanda out on it, pointing out the "submissive" aspect of her in no way invalidates the "aggressive" aspect. Realizing that Wanda isn't going to change is what ultimately makes her break off their Destructive Romance.
- The Miraculous Ladybug character Marinette is a G-rated version of this trope. Very obsessed with Adrien, to the point that she has hurt romantic rivals. Very incapable of dealing with these feelings, and she knows it, so she expends great effort into keeping herself as far away from him as possible. In their Image Song, Adrien refers to it as "her funny game", though in canon he doesn't quite understand her motivation yet.
- Steven Universe has another non-explicit - though likely very much intentional example - in the form of Jasper, who despite being a brutish and domineering Blood Knight is actually shown to have become the submissive one in her toxic fusion with Lapis Lazuli, desperately pleading with her to become Malachite with her again and making it clear she enjoyed having Lapis's anger taken out on her. This facet of Jasper is actually heavily significant to her overall character and a dark byproduct of Homeworld's corrupt system - as the Ultimate Quartz created and born into a war, Jasper is dependent on Homeworld's structure and the idea of having a higher power to put her in "her place" for purpose. This results in a tragically self-destructive addiction to power that leads her to seek out and latch onto similar dynamics, such as an unhealthy and abusive relationship with one of few singular gems who physically overpowers her.
- If there's a doujinshi focused on a girl with a dominant personality in canon, not only will she not be dominant, but she'll likely be getting raped or NTR'd. Or both.
- Sometimes there's even a nasty Double Subversion where the girl starts dominant for a few pages to half the doujinshi, then the guy rapes her or something like that. If it's an attempt to pander to both femdom and non-femdom fans, it fails, as the former will be angry at the cop-out and the latter have lots of material that caters fully to them.
- The only notable aversion seems to be Houkago Play doujins, which often keeps the girlfriend assertive at leastnote . Considering there's no anime and it's unlikely you know about the manga unless you're into feet and dominant girls, it's kind of justified.
- Inverted by the ocassional doujinshi where a Shrinking Violet or other non-dominant girl becomes a total domme. Note this is much, much rarer than seeing this played straight.
- Evangelion 303: Shinji is quiet, shy and non-confrontational. Asuka is hot-tempered, stubborn and domineering. Still, when they make love, Asuka always wants him to take the initiative and be assertive and dominant. And during the Las Vegas trip she teaches him how to be a good dom.
- Power Plays (archived mirror, NSFW): In this Evangelion Shinji/Asuka fanfic Asuka is dominant and Shinji submissive. However, Asuka wants to make Shinji more assertive because she has troubles opening up and making herself vulnerable. This is used like a way to make the two of them beginning to discover more about their relationship and each other as their relationship develops and evolves throughout the story.
- Light Yagami in Death Note: The Abridged Series (Kpts4tv) is a pretty good example of how he's perceived in fanon. Like in canon he's a Serial Killer who wants to be known as God so he is very domineering of the people around him, however when it comes to relationships he almost never comes out on top. This is especially apparent in his pursuit of L who he attempts to seduce in Femme Fatale fashion.
- Light Yagami again in the Crack Fic A Charmed Life, Lampshaded when Ryuk declares him to be "a natural bottom."
- Deconstructed in the (very NSFW) A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones fanfic they say he turns into a wolf at night, in which Robb's extreme sexual submissiveness is presented as a deeply unhealthy coping mechanism he uses to deal with suddenly being forced to take on the power and authority of being Lord of Winterfell, a role he feels deeply unprepared for but also feels is his duty to perform at all times, while simultaneously being left behind by most of his family and support network. Unfortunately, the stress, guilt and cognitive dissonance he feels over his resulting behaviour only makes him feel more incapable of living up to his responsibilities, leading to something of a vicious circle. It ends badly.
- Many fanworks featuring Bayonetta fall into this trope. Entertainingly, this was the major complaint that the creator had about Rule 34 involving her - not that it existed, but that she tended to be portrayed in the submissive role, and the fandom actually reacted by making her the dominant one more frequently.
- Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged puts this spin on Cid Highwind and Shera's relationship. Cid's just as verbally abusive toward Shera as he is in canon, but when they retire to their sex dungeon, she pays him back with interest. Their sessions are portrayed as a way for Cid to vent his legitimate resentment towards Shera for her role in ruining his dream without becoming hurtful, and she's obviously enjoying herself too.
Cid: SHERA! Where the hell is that god! Damned! Tea?! (menacingly) Do I have to make you take me to the basement again?
Shera: (flirty giggle) Cid! We have guests!
- Played darkly in the Hyrule Warriors fanfic Shatter. Cia breaks Link down into her personal plaything through weeks of mental and sexual abuse, but bottoms both times they're shown having sex.
- The RWBY fanfic Vale's Underground portrays Cinder this way. She's a psychopathic sadist who is extremely authoritarian with how she treats others who are beneath her. When she has sex with Mercury, she is surprisingly willing to let him be rough with her. However, she still keeps up her aggressive attitude and it is noted that anyone else would've at least lost a finger by that point.
- The NSFW comic "The Conqueror and the Concubine" by Phobs has Genghis Khan's grandson Batu end up as the submissive to his new wife, a very enthusiastic Kipchak princess.
Princess: Which one of us is the helpless and defenseless captive and which is the lusty godless conqueror? I'm not some whiny Russian virgin! You were supposed to rip the clothes off me and dishonor me in the filthiest way possible! And here I am undressing myself! Now get a move on. Crawl up here and rape me.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic adult fandom will frequently portray the tomboyish, aggressive, and competitive Rainbow Dash as a complete sub. If there is an explanation, it's usually that constantly "being awesome" is really stressful, so she unwinds by letting someone else take the reins (metaphorically or literally). For extra Rule of Funny, this version of Dash is often paired with the Shrinking Violet Fluttershy as her domme.
- In the Jem fanfic A Song of Grumbling & Cotton Candy, Pizzazz may normally come off as the loud and abrasive type but she turns into a softy around her girlfriend Jerrica. It's also heavily implied that Jerrica is the more aggressive one in bed.