The concept is often discussed here, I will add some of my thoughts on the matter.
Dynamics of marriage
Traditionally, marriages were mostly captain-first mate situations. This was very necessary for many reasons. The man shouldered the most responsibility in terms of keeping the family sustained and protected. It was the man who earned the money and fought to protect his family. The wife was responsible for all the in-house tasks. She'd cook, clean and raise the children. She worked with whatever he brought home to her. Naturally, his word was law within the household.
Much has changed in modern times, both inside and outside the house. A man doesn't need to haul everything on his back anymore and a women doesn't need to spend hours washing laundry by the river. Many dynamics changed even before feminism came to be, how much more so since it's inception. These changes brought about many good things and some bad ones as well. Many traditional gender roles became obsolete while others were purposefully shamed and ridiculed. However, certain things are in our DNA. We need them to be a certain way. The current mixed up state of gender dynamics leaves many men and women confused.
Naturally, men are dominant and women are submissive. Of course there are dominant women and submissive men and if that works for you, wonderful. But many of us are here precisely because we learned the hard way that it doesn't work that way. What does it mean to be dominant or submissive?
In short, it's all about who's in the drivers seat and who's in the passengers seat, who's the owner and who's the manager, who's the pilot and who's the copilot.
Being submissive isn't the same as being passive. Not at all! A passive person just lets things happen to them. Being submissive is about trusting your husband to make the right decisions and to lead your family in the right direction. You have an opinion and you have a say, but the ultimate decision is in his hands. Why? Because you submit to his authority, because you respect him, because you trust him. Your trust for him is so deep, you trust him with your life, how much more so that you'd trust him with important decisions.
Needless to say, a captain must gain your trust to be trusted to this degree. This should be done before ever getting in bed with him.
Being trusted to this degree is a huge responsibility, one no quality man will take lightly. The more you trust him and submit to him, the more seriously he will take this responsibility and the more confident he will be. The more serious and confident he is, the more likely he is to actually make the right decision. The more he's criticized, the less confident he will be, the more likely he is to make knee jerk decisions and the more likely he is to mess up. You can influence the upward spiral and reverse it if it's already in a downward spiral.
Needless to say, a captain with this level of responsibility will always look out for what's best for you. In my last post i spoke about my grandparents. My grandfather was a true dominant and my grandmother is a true submissive. I can assure you that he never manhandled her, ever. He was the gentlest, most courteous, most yielding person, but there was no doubt that he was in charge. There was no doubt that she submitted fully.
Dominance without submission is abuse, submission without dominance is dysfunction. Both are needed for a healthy dynamic. It's a balance.
Dominance is about responsibility, being in charge and making you feel safe and protected. Submission is about total trust, yielding to his authority and receptiveness. Balance is key!