An insight into the overlap of addiction & sex work…and how society views it
I was getting ready to go out to work in Holbeck one evening, putting on my make-up, doing my hair and listening to Ed Sheeran’s album +. I love this album, it always made me feel happy and nostalgic. It broke into the charts whilst I was at school and felt like a soundtrack of a happy time of my life. It’s also quite calming, which is exactly what you need when you’re trying not to think about the risks of working the streets. Breaking the stereotypes, I put on on my gloves, scarf and hat and when searching for my keys, A Team started playing. It piqued my interest after hearing ‘long nights, strange men’. As the song progressed, I sat on my bed, listened to the lyrics and cried my heart out as each line seemed to tragically hit closer and closer to home.
a #SW maybe someone you know at work or school…not the usual “slutty” stereotype
What springs to mind when you think of a prostitute? Is it tight skirts, thick makeup, scraped up hair that is overdue a wash, high heels and breasts overspilling a clearly unfitted bra? In fact, your mind properly evokes somewhat of the same image you see above, a stereotypical depiction often accompanied with an article about sex work in the media. Yet, I have to ask, when was the last time you looked in your wardrobe and asked yourself how little amount of clothes you should wear in snow, bitter wind or heavy rain. Probably never. Sex workers don’t either, and we are much more likely to stand outside in the cold for longer than your quick run to the shop.
Perhaps this is appropriate attire if I decide to take up the extreme sport of jogging in high heels…
“energy exchange requires consent and negotiation between all parties, no matter their gender, sexual, and BDSM role identity”
Many in the Femdom community feel they are excluded from most BDSM events and social media. Dommes are repulsed by men dominating women. Heterosexual couples distance themselves from the dommes. Dominant males have antipathy toward submissive males.
While the BDSM community preaches tolerance and including any and all BDSM practices, in practice, the participants ignore or snub those who do not fit. The following study shed some light on why this happens. It further suggests some remedies to those who feel they are excluded from mainstream BDSM communities.
Are BDSM males always dominant and BDSM women always submissive?
Katherine Martinez (1) found from over 200 surveys that:
men tend to self-identify as Dominant, Master, Top, or Sadist (DMTS) and always perform dominant roles, while women tend to self-identify as Submissive, Slave, Bottom, or Masochist (SSBM) and always perform submissive roles…BDSM reinforces gendered dominant/submissive binaries
women and queer/pansexual individuals disrupt this binary through their Switch identities and roles. Switching and queer identities…offer the possibility for transforming dominant/submissive and other binaries.
The roles most commonly associated with BDSM are Dominant/Domme, Master/Mistress, top, sadist, submissive, slave, bottom, masochist, and switch [but] Some define BDSM as “anything from simply an occasional sexual practice to a sexual identity or orientation to a lifestyle” [which] may involve sexual contact or sexual role-playing “involving the infliction of pain or intense sensation, use of restraint, or power exchange” [and] also involve nonsexual contact with the “ritualization of dominance and submission.
individuals may adopt dominant or submissive roles, but the meanings they attach to these roles and the ways they enact them can vary greatly
SSBM interviewees seemed more open to the possibility for fluid roles, likely related to their gender and sexual identities—most were women and bisexual/heteroflexible or queer/pansexual. Most DMTS interviewees, being heterosexual men, were rigid about their BDSM roles, only willing to play with various partners but not submit to them.
Switches explored their “multiple sexual selves” through partner selection, often choosing partners based on attitude, or what many called “energy,” and skill rather than partner gender and sexual identity … Switches, especially women Switches, creatively explored their own desires and needs that took into consideration the complexities of identity and practice, which may shift across time and context.
The fear for those who hold firmly to dominant/submissive, male/female, masculine/feminine, and self/other hierarchical binaries is that without these binaries, life becomes unstable and uncertain. The joy for those who actively work to deconstruct these binaries is in the celebration of diversity and movement toward equality. To be certain, a binary is not inherently problematic; as dominants, submissives, and switches attest, energy exchange requires consent and negotiation between all parties, no matter their gender, sexual, and BDSM role identity.
Heterosexual’s tend toward fixed Dom/Sub roles. The paper reviews the history of Western culture and it’s patriarchal preferences. This society promotes heterosexual couplings and disapproves deviance from this “norm”. Heterosexual BDSM practitioners carry this cultural bias into their preferences and activities. Most social media that still allows BDSM posts are largely Male Dom/female Sub themed. Posts that are not conforming to this narrative receive little if any interactions from participants. Women who deviated are tolerated at least somewhat, but men are shunned, possibly because women can still reproduce and add to the population, whereas submissive men are considered too weak to express their “manhood”.
Do gay or GQ people tolerate Femdom participants? Survey results from the study suggest that this group has more switches. Women who bottom, for example, might readily switch to a top role depending on the partner. Butch Dykes, TG’s are often dominant with those they prefer to engage. Femdom couples that appear to be heterosexual are treated with prejudice by many sexual minorities despite their apparent gender-switching of top and bottom.
The BDSM community, like most communities, is segregated by cultural preferences. Many dommes prefer “Femdom-themed” gatherings (such as the Pedestal in London) to the more common male-dom/female-sub ones. There are few social media sites that feature femdom activities and get sufficient participation.
Conclusion. The femdom “community” is an isolated minority in the BDSM one. While “switching” may become more popular in time, many heterosexuals who switch may still retain intolerance toward lifestyle femdom couples.
(1) Katherine Martinez (2018) BDSM Role Fluidity: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Investigating Switches Within Dominant/Submissive Binaries, Journal of Homosexuality, 65:10, 1299-1324, DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2017.1374062
Body dissatisfaction: an attitudinal component of body image that refers to a person’s subjective negative appraisal (or general unhappiness with) of their body or aspects of their body.
Overvaluation of weight/shape: an attitudinal component of body image that occurs when one equates their self-worth largely on the basis of weight and shape, and their ability to control them.
Body preoccupation: another attitudinal component of body image that refers to the tendency to obsessively think about body weight or shape.
Body checking: a behavioral component of body image that occurs when one repeatedly checks their weight and shape. Common body checking behaviors include self-weighing, staring in the mirror, comparison oneself to other people, or pinching various body parts to assess for fat and muscle.
Body image avoidance: another behavioral component of body image that refers to the active avoidance of situations that elicit concerns about body weight or shape. Avoidance behaviors include a refusal to be weighed, wearing baggy clothes as a “disguise”, or the covering up of mirrors.
Body dysmorphia: a body image disorder characterized by the obsessive idea that some aspect of one’s own body part is profoundly flawed and hence warrants behaviors designed to hide or fixed these perceived flaws.
Muscle dysmorphia: a body image disorder that centrally comprises a core belief and fear around being of insufficient muscularity, and a simultaneous drive for muscularity.
In one Switzerland study of 1000 adult women (aged 30-74 years), despite 73% of women falling within the normal weight range, more than 70% of these women expressed a desire to be thinner.
according to the media, men should be extremely lean and muscular and women should be extremely thin…In one study of young girls aged between 13-17 years, nearly 50% reported a desire to be as skinny as the models they viewed in fashion magazines and reported that these magazines gave them a body to strive for.
The ladies want him to do it, but the men are shocked
Everyone deals with their own challenges and insecurities. “I didn’t have a background in dancing at all. So I struggled a little bit,” says Reigns. “Some people don’t have the body and shape that they want, so they have to deal with working out and getting the body they want. Others have to change their diet. Some people don’t have the personality for it. I didn’t really have the personality to be a male entertainer at the start so I had to kind of create a persona that was more of an entertainer. 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Male Stripper
After a few great dates with a seemingly great guy, most women can’t help but get excited about the possibilities. They think of where the relationship might go and they start to invest in a fantasy future.
Most guys can intuitively sense when a woman is reacting to them as an object rather than a person, when she is using him as a means to fill a void within herself.
Guys typically don’t operate this way in relationships and he can’t fully understand what happened to turn this seemingly happy, cool girl into an unpleasant, emotionally-reactive, reassurance-seeking mess. The Number One Reason Men Suddenly Lose Interest
When a guy has been rejected by his partner…his insecurities come back to the surface
If They’ve Made the Wrong Choices
Whether or Not They’re Good Partners
Having (and Showing) Emotions
Is his dick big enough
Where They Are in Their Careers
Is he attractive enough
Not being successful enough. Attractive enough. Talented enough. Man enough. You name it. I think in general it just comes down to the way I unconsciously, and sometimes even consciously, compare myself to others and this overwhelming feeling of not being enough for anyone. But then I remind myself that the eight-year-old boy inside me who is still so hurt from being bullied, and teased, and who came home so broken, in reality has so much to offer this world, is loved deeply by many, and is more than enough. And when I can go there, I feel at peace. – Justin Baldoni
“Ask not what your domme can do for you…but tell your domme what you can do for her”
A curvy 30-something Midwestern mom of 3 discovers her husband has ditched her one day. She takes a look at her body in the mirror: saggy boobs, a post-pregnancy pooch hanging over her tummy that she can’t get rid of. She’s now a single mom of three toddlers and looking for work. She spends her lonely nights on the net. She learns about the femdom lifestyle by reading the reddit gentle femdom group. She sees posts from many lonely men looking for a dominant woman. She starts a dialog with “WannaBeSubby”.
The two learn that they live in the same city and they meet up at a coffee shop. She recognizes him from her high school.
A year later “WannaBeSubby” is now her “SubbyHubby” and is about to be collared as hers. At home he does the housework, takes care of her children while she works at a tattoo parlor. He wears women’s clothing, stockings and garter, lace panties and a dress. She helps him with his makeup.
The two have wild sex where she will queen him until she’s warmed up. She straddles his dick and has several orgasms. When she’s finished riding him, she lets him mount her from behind and satisfy himself. After that, she makes him eat creampie.
Origins of Lifestyle Femdom. When or where did the lifestyle begin? Although it is clear where the prodomme profession began, it is possible that lifestyle arrangements grew out of the dominatrix culture.
Madame C explains: “Clients come with a list – I’m a platform for their desires and fantasies, and they pay for it.” But she is also a “lifestyle” dominatrix, and has three slaves who she is “sexually and emotionally connected to”. Their job, she explains, is to “release her from the k mundane”, be that through leaning over the ironing board or bending over for a good spanking.
Miss Scarlet Letter also has her “boy” – real name Rob Martin – who keeps house while she goes to what she calls her “vanilla” job. BDSM is entirely personal for them; neither earns money from it. They are in a monogamous relationship and at some point will have “a collaring”, a marriage-like ceremony of commitment…
With slaves, submission is total. Another, referring to himself as “dog”, declined to talk to us because “as a dog it is not permitted to hold opinions or make decisions without the express approval of its bountiful owner”. – UNLEASHED: THE SECRET WORLD OF BRITAIN’S DOMINATRIXES
Modern Dominatrix movement parallel to Leather movement. Although the two cultures (Male Leather & Female Dominatrix) are distinct, there are similarities both in philosophy and practices.
In the 1970’s Jack Rinella (1), Larry Townsend (2) and Tom of Finland (3) frequented gay bars in LA (Tom in Germany) and retold the myth of “leather Culture”. While Tom sold illustrations of Leather guys in and out of BDSM-sex, Rinella and Townsend wrote about the BDSM leather lifestyle in underground magazines. By then the leather culture was already active within the swinging and gay communities. Swingers (mostly heterosexual couples) used BDSM as a way to add kink into their sex play. Gay men used Leather as an embodiment of male masculinity and a continuance of “father-son” bonding as Daddy and boy.
For women, the dominatrix culture had evolved from additional brothel services to an independent kink. There were no bars (except a few secretive lesbian ones) for women to gather and share ideas. There were no Townsend & Rinella to write about these ideas in underground magazines except for a few articles by dominatrices promoting their services.
Elise Sutton (4) who had, by her account, lived a lifestyle femdom relationship for over 20 years and had counseled many men with submissive desires. She published several books on the subject such as Female Domination (2003) , The FemDom Experience (2006) and Searching for Wanda (2010) .
Elise Sutton is the author of a website dedicated to personal relationships where the woman is dominant and the man is submissive. She is a self proclaimed Libertarian, Christian, and Female Supremacist. She is credited with creating the term any site dealing with Loving Female Authority must make reference to her. Quite possibly Sutton is the most influential woman in the history of female domination.
Sutton, Townsend, Rinella, Tom of Finland and others popularized the then growing BDSM culture. They explained how it worked to many who never knew it existed. It became a myth to many who flocked to bars and gawk at leather men who parodied the “The Wild One” biker persona.
A lonely midwest housewife learned Femdom was a way to enhance her appeal in a way that her looks could no longer do. She mastered the art of female dominance (“femdom”) and promoted herself on the internet. Eventually she found a masochist mate who played into the role as her submissive. From SubHubby’s perspective, he fell for the soon-to-be domme when they were in school together. He gave up when she married off to someone else. His Odyssey was to return to his original love and fight off the many other masochistic suitors who were attracted to her femdom kink.
Homer wrote an epic poem about Ulysses’ (Odysseuss’) struggles and triumphs of the hero Odysseus and the battles he fought to restore order to Troy and his difficult return to his wife. Both SubHubby and domme had to come to grips to their submissive and dominant impulses and fight off the oppression of “heteronormativity” . Could they do this without awareness of the BDSM culture through the myth created from the literary and artistic works? Would they end up isolated and feeling unsatisfied in their lives of unfulfilled dreams?
Someone attempted to out the domme by exposing her writing and pictures to her friends and family. Some have condemned her views as a desperate attempt to obtain a mate. There are many women who like the idea of having their say in a relationship but do not believe femdom could exist. This domme has published hundreds of photos and videos documenting her activities with SubHubby and she is still attacked mostly from incredulous women.
Many feminist women who claim to be understanding of kink dismiss femdom FLR as a male fantasy, but they provide no alternative to the what we have today.
There are popular and acceptable myths and there are others that are less so. The Homeric legend served to inspire heroism and ‘family values’ to young males. Male Leather tales generally serve to motivate young males to take up with older men. What social good does the Femdom myth contribute?
In Sutton’s view, all women are superior to men from birth. Femdom reestablishes a woman’s “rightful supremacy” to males. Sutton has many detractors who claim her anecdotes are all fake. With the increasing “equality” of marriages, couples are more reluctant to embrace Sutton’s position. Her “myth” may be attractive to only a small minority of males and females.
We’re aware of the “femdumb” myth where a woman plays dumb to snag a guy who will take care of her. Many guys also manipulate women for the same purpose because they prefer a submissive woman who “knows her place”. The “femdom” myth is where a dominant woman snags a submissive guy to serve and obey her. Many submissive men are often seeking such a dominant woman. They usually fall into the trap of stating what they want instead of offering her something she wants and are often rejected. A bottom guy usually manipulates his top to get the treatment they want. Although it is right for a masochist to specify what he can and cannot do (his “limits”), he has to entice a dominant woman to even consider him as a mate or else seek the services of a dominatrix and pay for it.
As much as a submissive male needs a dominant woman to submit to, the dominant woman looks for a submissive male to serve and obey her and provide her with the opportunity to lead him through dominance. In this sense, the dominant woman “needs” a submissive person to express her domination.
There is often a mingling of the concept of FLR with femdom in relationships. Actually the two are distinct. You can have a FLR without femdom and the reverse (such as in a dominatrix-client relationship).
In a FLR relationship, you do not have to be a“Dominatrix in leather and whip” or any other woman for your companion. Just be yourself and train your companion be the kind of man you desire. The advantage of having a subject is that it is the best of both worlds for a woman. He may sometimes be male and will be a nice little subject at other times. ..A lot of women want their man to always be very feminine. They no longer want to see a single bit of macho masculinity in him, so they train them accordingly. They want a masculine man sometimes and other times submissive servant. No one is right or wrong. It depends entirely on your needs and desires. So train your companion to be as you desire. After all, you are the one who lives with him. What is it like to live in a true Female Led Relationship?
Femdom Lifestyle Transactions. An characteristic about the Femdom Lifestyle Relationship is the transactions between the dominant and submissive. In simpler terms, dominant women want or expect certain behaviors and resources from their submissive partner and submissive males want or expect certain behaviors and resources from their dominant partner. Often the submissive wants the dominant to execute BDSM activities or to dominate him generally. The dominant wants her partner to encourage and enable domination through BDSM activity and other aspects of their interaction. I consider these activities as attributes of the Femdom relationship. These attributes can vary between the types of relationships. At present, there are the Traditional Femdom Relationship (TFD) and the Gentle Femdom Relationship (GFD) (5)
What does the dominant woman want in a Femdom Lifestyle Relationship?
Elise Sutton (6) and around 40 of her dominant acquaintances ranked the activites this way (percentage of those who agreed):
Domestic servitude (man doing household chores) – 92 Personal servitude (man giving women massages, pedicures, manicures, baths) – 89 Body worship (male orally servicing the woman sexually) – 87 Orgasm control (male masturbation forbidden, male must gain woman’s permission before receiving an orgasm) – 79 Control finances (woman makes financial decisions) – 76 Final authority (woman has final say in most if not all areas of relationship) – 75 CF/nm activities (Clothed female / naked male) – 73 Spankings (light to firm discipline upon male buttocks with bare hand, hairbrush or paddle) – 73 Cuckolding (woman has right to have other lovers, male must remain monogamous) – 59 Strap-on play (penetrating male anally with strap-on dildo) – 52 Fetish outfits (woman wears leather outfits, boots, etc) – 51 Forced feminization and/or sissification (feminizing male, dressing up male in feminine attire, having male do chores while dressed as maid, etc) – 48 Light sadism (woman likes to inflict slight pain on male – scratching, biting, pinching, clothes pins, clamps, etc – 45 Male chastity and long term denial – requires male to wear chastity device, his orgasms are restricted and rare – 43 Water sports (golden showers, enemas) – 42 Bondage (use of restraints, hoods, gags, etc) – 40 Corporal punishment (harsh discipline of male via whip or cane) – 38 Humiliation play (woman likes to humiliate the male, verbally, publicly, objectification, other) – 31 C/B torture (inflict pain on male genitals) – 28 Hard sadism (woman gains sexual pleasure in seeing a man suffer- inflict pain, hear male scream, leave welts, marks, bruises, etc) – 25 Extreme play (psychological abuse, blood sports, scat, other extreme activities) – 16
Mistresses were more likely to enjoy the activities at the end of the list: corporal punishment, humiliation play, CB torture, hard sadism and extreme play. (7)
While married women were primarily interested in having their husbands serve them domestically, personally and sexually. (8)
Another confusion comes from the mingling of femdom and sexual practices. Indeed, this is probably the biggest criticism of Sutton’s ideas (beside the questionable validity of “Female supremacy”). Her ideas are supported by many colorful anecdotes. While it is not unusual for a sex therapist (or other counseling professional) to bolster their claims with experiences they have with their clients, anecdotal evidence does not make a science. Anecdotes may at best point a direction for further scientific research. It is because of this and other reasons (that we do not ‘experiment’ with human sexual activity and that self-reporting is often flawed), that we are in the dark about what is going on in femdom relationships and that almost any social or psychological theory could be valid.
Nevertheless, it is often noted that couples in any kind of relationship, vanilla or bdsm, intensify their connection through sex. It is here that Sutton’s work and the contributions from others, including writers of erotica, excel. The femdom myth has a number of “best sexual practices” to enhance the relationship:
Other women view GFD as a way of sexual expression:
Arousal and denial: a great motivator to spur the male to submission is the prospect of denial of orgasm. When the dominant works them up to a state of arousal and then denies them orgasm, they will do absolutely anything she wants.
– Ashtray service is when the male sub acts either as the ashtray or holds the ashtray for the dominant.
– Objectifying the dominant female treats the submissive male like a piece of furniture such as a footrest
– Body worship and service involves rewarding the male sub with the dominant’s body. The dominant holds the complete power to bestow or deny the male sub access to her body and thus holds the reins of sexual satisfaction for him.
– Butt plugs can be worn in public and are an excellent medium of control and public humiliation.
– CFNM is an acronym that stands for clothed female, nude male. A naked person is very vulnerable and subject to shame and/or embarrassment in public. Some Dommes use this technique to remind the male sub of their superiority.
– The male chastity belt is a device used to restrict orgasm. Sometimes, no device is used when the male sub is sufficiently disciplined. They are simply ordered not to come and they do it. This does not work for every male sub, however.
– Cock and Ball Torture refers to many actions and devices that cause pain or restrict the genitals in any way. – Cock rings are also known as the hidden collar. There are so many variations of this device that it is impossible to list them all. Their main function is to control the male sub and mark him as belonging to a certain dominant.
– Corporal punishment is the most common type of BDSM technique in both sexes and involves spanking or caning using various implements from hairbrushes to cat o’ nine tails. To add a bit of humiliation to the punishment, the male sub might literally be bent over the dominant’s knee to receive his punishment. TFD/GFD – depending on the severity of the punishment. Some male subs prefer sadistic impact play, others prefer erotic pain-play. While TFD consistently uses the former, GFD sometimes uses the latter. There are some GFD relationships that have no pain-play.
– Cuckoldry is a scene where the male sub watches as his Domme gets sexual pleasure from another man while he is forced to watch and denied sexual relief. – Emasculation happens in various ways when the domme takes away or reduces the male sub’s masculinity.
–Findom Financial control stems from the concept of 1950s housewife where the man would work and then come home and hand over his check to his wife.
– Forced feminization is cross-dressing a man who is not a cross-dresser. It is a form of humiliation or embarrassment or could be a kink of the domme. Sometimes it involves something as simple as making him wear panties under his work clothes. – Goddess worship is similar to female supremacy, but in this case, the woman is worshipped by her male sub as a goddess or representation of Mother Earth.
– House hubbies can be a permanent thing in the male sub relationship or something that is practiced on the weekend. It involves role reversal where the male subs take on all the designated femme roles in the house.
– Humiliation is a scene that has many forms and types. Some of the most common types of humiliation are physical, verbal and public. Using embarrassment for humiliation is commonly practiced.
– Induced orgasms mean that the domme supervises while the male sub masturbates himself while she gives him instructions and restrictions at will. An example is that she could whip him thirty times while he masturbates and at the thirtieth stroke, he is to come. If he fails to comply the process begins again until he does as he’s told. This is a great opportunity for the dominant to get creative and keep things interesting. – Male milking is another way to control orgasm. The dominant is the one that takes the orgasm from him while he has no control over himself.
– Mounting involves tying up the male sub and then the dominant uses his body as she wishes. He exists only to give her pleasure.
– Nectar ingestion is the ultimate reward for the male submissive. It involves swallowing the dominant’s come.
– Schedule control is when the femdom has complete control over the male sub’s time. Telling him what to do and when and giving him specific times that he is to check in.”
Interpersonal transactions in and out of “femdom”. It’s important to note that lifestyle relationships involve periods where participants revert to ordinary activities but still retain the Femdom personality types. Dominants expect considerations beyond what is usually found in egalitarian (“vanilla”) relationships.
Here is a GFD list for dominants:
The small stuff does matter. It tells me that he is attracted to me because I’m me, not just any dominant woman. It adds a personal touch to our interactions. I like how he pays attention to my personal foibles, such as demanding to be called Doctor or Ma’am instead of Mistress, or that I really like my boots licked. Or the fact that I like tea, and how I like it served.
He makes it clear how important I am to him. He makes room in his schedule for me. He does little things to show me that he’s been thinking about me when we aren’t together, like writing me letters or buying me little gifts. He makes me feel like he wants me by what he says, and how he acts. At the same time, he doesn’t assume that this somehow gives him a right to my time, energy, desire, or body.
I don’t have to wonder if he wants to be here. He says please, and thank you. He is clear and honest on his boundaries. He says no, or otherwise expresses his limits. “Well, I’m happy to go shopping with you but I need to leave at 4pm,” or “I am happy to be beaten but I don’t want to do CBT play right now.” He does not pretend he does not have limits.
He does not confuse the fantasy of submission with the reality of submission. He has a life, a career, friends, and hobbies. He is a person, with a personality outside of being a submissive. Kink is not the only thing we bond over. We can relate as equals and friends when we are not in a scene. (24/7 is a possibility, but it should not be the norm when I first start playing with someone.) We have things in common outside the dungeon. We can have a conversation, we can go to a concert, and we have friends in common.
When he serves me he actually serves me rather than his own fantasies. If he runs errands for me, he does it right, and to the best of his abilities. He doesn’t offer to run errands for me just to get my attention, and he doesn’t mess up on purpose to make me “punish” him. He’s good at what he does, especially when what he’s doing is meant to please me. He also doesn’t use this as a bargaining chip, or as an opportunity to barter for sex.
I am not his dirty little secret. Kink is not his dirty little secret. He should not be ashamed of his submission. I can respect the fact that he may not want to acknowledge his kink or submission in every situation, but I cannot play with someone who thinks our relationship is something wrong, shameful, or terrible. If he treats his desires for kink as wrong or shameful, what does he think of my desires for the same thing?
He understands that I have many facets. He does not suddenly lose the ability to bottom to me because I bottomed to someone else. He doesn’t assume that because I did something with someone else I will do it with him. He understands that I have many hobbies, academic interests, and kinks, and he respects that he is part of my life, but not the sum total of my life. It helps if we met at a vanilla social function, and not at a munch, or on collarme.com, or in a dungeon. Meeting through mutual friends suggests that we have common interests outside of kink and submission.
His submission is personally meaningful. He does not think that being a submissive means being someone other than who he is. Just as I want to be seen as a person and not as a generic Dominant Woman, I want his submission to reflect how he is a person, and not some generic Submissive Man. I want him to submit, not some cardboard cutout of a person. I want the submission to be personally meaningful, not just a rote framework copied from porn
Psychopathology. BDSM in general has been described as a relationship between a Sadist and a Masochist. The recent trends have been to remove the pathology (unless it is associated with a personality disorder) and suggest that BDSM is an attribute of sexuality . This ignores the masochistic drive that some males have which requires different treatment if it becomes a problem for the individual or relationship.
One of the most common confusions I see as a Dominatrix and BDSM educator and consultant, is a woman who has a partner who presents as a submissive but is actually a masochist.
What’s the difference? Well people often mistakenly think that a masochist is someone who’s into pain, and that’s partly true but it’s not the whole truth. Some of the differences in my view between a true “submissive” and a “masochist” is the following (with some sweeping generalization for lack of space to go into it in too much complexity or depth in a short blog post).
A submissive – wants to please you, and gets gratification from knowing they’ve pleased you. Is typically very grateful to their Dominant. They may be anxious to know whether they’ve disappointed you in any way, or if you’re displeased with them, following play. They are generally happy to go along with most of what you want, to make you happy. They want to learn how they can please you.
A masochist – will want specific activities that they are into, and will often try and prescribe and script the play they want. They will often send you or leave out particular material as guides or hints to what they want done to them. They will have particular fetishes and fantasies they want fulfilled. They can be grumpy and complaining and negative if they don’t get their way, or you disappoint their desires of what they envisaged. In their fantasy, the woman is above them and just out of reach, and is cold towards them and punishes them cruelly and her investment in punishing them shows that she is invested enough to bother spending time and energy on them. However she must seem above them and a bit out-of-reach, and too much proximity and familiarity will result in them devaluing her and getting bored.
In short, a masochist can leave the female dominant (or aspiring female dominant / partner) feeling really unconfident about herself and her abilities, and down that she can’t seem to give him what he’s wanting.
I would estimate that around 85% of all the consults that are booked privately with me, turn out to be women who are trying very hard to try and dominate their (self-identifying) “submissive” partner – who is not in fact a submissive but a masochist.
To clarify, femdom relationships may have kink and fetish transactions. While kink exchanges may be viewed as a compliment to sexual activity, a fetish is necessary for sexual fulfillment. Dominants who are unaware of the distinction or cannot understand their submissive’s fetish might assume that the FLR will not succeed.
Impediments to Femdom FLR. In a recent correspondence with me, Mistress Alexandra Morris wrote:
“I think tons of women are more interested in FLRs than they say. They want to be in charge (in all kinds of ways), but they are afraid of conflict, so they become passive-aggressive instead, and that ruins everything, including the dream of a fulfilling FLR. “
Conflicts may arise out of many things. Both members of the relationship may have what are ultimately conflicting goals. He wants immediate satisfaction of “sex-only” desires to be met; she wants long term changes to the relationship dynamic. Participants either have to remember the reasons they established their relationship or have the relationship nailed down in a “contract”. An example of a TFD contract has terms such as:
Obligation to Obey: [slave] shall unconditionally and cheerfully obey every one of [Owner]’s commands and wishes and shall, at all times, conduct himself within the rules set forth by [Owner]. [slave] has surrendered all of his personal freedoms to [Owner]. The only personal freedoms permitted for [slave] are those which [Owner] may graciously choose to allow him, at Her discretion.
Scope of Control: [slave] has surrendered to [Owner] complete and unconditional control over all aspects of his life including, but not limited to: Financial matters; Personal matters; Professional matters; Social matters; And legal matters (to the furthest extent permitted by law).
Punishment Actions: [Owner] has been given all rights to punish [slave] in any way in which She desires, for any reason that She feels is appropriate, at any time, and at Her discretion. [Owner] shall not be required to demonstrate to [slave] that any punishment action is justified. [slave] shall to do his best to avoid punishment by always striving to please and obey [Owner] and to always strive to conduct himself within the rules set forth by Her. [slave] shall cheerfully submit to any punishment prescribed by [Owner] without hesitation.
Domina Jen has a specific contract for her submissive husband (excerpts):
Rights of Mistress
Mistress shall have the following rights subject to the limitations of this Contract:
to control and dominate submissive;
to do anything Mistress pleases with submissive, whether for Mistress’ amusement, pleasure, or as punishment;
to use submissive’s body at any time, in whatsoever manner, sexually or otherwise, subject to the limits stipulated in Schedule 3 (if any);
to punish submissive for breach of his obligations;
to express tenderness, love, and understanding toward submissive;
to remind him of his submission;
in Her absolute discretion, to grant and later revoke any right or privilege not mentioned in the Contract in favor of submissive, and;
to reward submissive for good behavior as follows:
Being allowed to masturbate. Being allowed out of chastity cage. Being able to request specific teasing activities. Switching for a weekend while keeping him locked in chastity. Being allowed to orgasm. Not having to eat his cum.
Responsibilities of Mistress
Mistress shall make decisions with due thought and care.
Mistress accepts responsibility for submissive’s body and agrees to provide a safe environment for submissive while in Her care.
Mistress agrees to train submissive and provide him with all necessary guidance and materials he needs to best serve Her.
Mistress must protect submissive’s physical and mental health during play, humiliation, punishment, or any other activity. Mistress shall not be physically or mentally abusive outside the terms of this Contract.
Mistress shall not monetarily exploit submissive or attempt to isolate him from society.
Mistress shall maintain personal hygiene and health at all times to an acceptable standard.
Mistress shall provide submissive with reasonable aftercare following any play/scene. Additionally, Mistress may stipulate what aftercare She requires from submissive, if any.
Other responsibilities of Mistress:
To play with submissive often.
To make sure he feels fulfilled
To take active part in putting him in the proper mentality and keeping him there.
Availability of submissive
submissive shall make himself available to Mistress during the following times:
submissive must treat Mistress with respect, loyalty, and honesty at all times.
submissive must never be rude, demeaning, or condescending toward Mistress
In private, submissive must address Mistress as “Mistress” at all times without fail. In public, where there is not enough privacy to use this title, submissive shall address Mistress as “Ma’am or Jen.”
submissive acknowledges his behavior is a direct reflection of Mistress and he shall act in good representation of Mistress at all times.
Eye contact restrictions, if any:
submissive may not make eye contact during punishment.
Touching restrictions, if any:
submissive may not touch Mistress’ breasts or genitals without permission.
Other expected behaviors of submissive:
submissive will keep his body available to Mistress at all times.
submissive may communicate with Mistress as follows:
A period of at least one hour will be set aside every Sunday to discuss the relationship and address any concerns or questions. All rules regarding behavior will be suspended during this discussion.
submissive may ask for clarification on an order or request.
Responsibilities of submissive
submissive agrees to submit to Mistress in accordance with the terms set out herein.
submissive now belongs to Mistress to do with as She pleases within the guidelines of this Contract.
submissive must diligently and promptly obey the terms of this Contract and Mistress in every request without question, subject to submissive’s Veto power in clause 34 (if ticked). Questions may be asked about commands only for clarification purposes in a respectful manner.
submissive agrees to wholeheartedly serve, and always aim to please, Mistress.
submissive will accept Mistress’ training and guidance in whatsoever form, wherever provided to help him serve Mistress and help himself grow into a better person.
submissive shall promptly inform Mistress of any wrongdoings that take place while not in Mistress’ presence.
submissive will obey all orders, duties, and responsibilities within Mistress’ areas of control as stipulated in clause 31.
Areas of Control
Mistress shall have exclusive control over the following aspects of submissive’s life and body.
Body, genitals, sexual slavery, bathing and washing, eating, self-gratification, mind, tobacco use, recreational drug use, alcohol intake, photographs, videos, recordings of submissive, grooming and hygiene, health and fitness.
submissive is prohibited from acting on or making any decisions with respect to matters which fall within Mistress’ areas of control. If submissive has any suggestions or requests in respect of such matter, submissive must raise this with Mistress and request to engage in or act on the suggestion or request in a respectful manner. Mistress shall give thought and consideration to submissive’s feelings and concerns when making decisions, however submissive acknowledges that Mistress shall always have the final decision-making power in Her absolute discretion.
Where submissive has a right to make a choice in respect of a matter, submissive shall consider whether his choice will please Mistress and shall always be within the orders, boundaries, instructions, and guidelines Mistress has set for submissive.
Of course, BDSM contracts do not have much binding power in most legal jurisdictions, but they do reinforce a couple’s intentions.
Wedding Vows. Couples who use Femdom themed vows should refer to them as a kind reminder of their intention. For the recalcitrant submissive male a vow such as:
I have made it my mission this past year and a half to serve you, obey you and worship you to the best of my abilities. Sometimes I have succeeded and sometimes I have failed, but I have always sought to serve you as best I can. I now affirm to you tonight, before the eyes of gods and men, that this endeavor will be the focus of my life, that your happiness will be the gauge for my success or failure and that your will and desires will be my own.
Like a contract, a wedding vow has little binding power but it should remind the couple the reason they were engaged.
In less formal or non-contractual relationships, participants will have to talk it out using the following steps.
The 7 Steps to Resolve a Conflict Step 1: Agree to talk and establish ground rules for the discussion Step 2: Take turns in explaining your feelings and thoughts about the situation Step 3: Identify the conflict Step 4: Take turns in exploring options to resolve the conflict Step 5: Agree on a solution Step 6: State the solution.
Ideally, the best approach is to seek alternate means to avoid conflict. In Morris’ account with a submissive:
He was opting out of our little power-play while we were in the midst of it. This guy clearly had no idea how to please a dominant woman.
I raised a finger to his lips. “Shut up,” I said, trying to make it sound kinky as much as I could, but I really was annoyed with him.
He smirked again, seating himself on my bed as he licked his lips.
As I stood before him, glancing at his already hard cock, I kept thinking of how forced this felt. I didn’t like how he treated it like a game. It wasn’t a game to me; it was how sex should be. Surely, I knew that men were not really my servants, but I didn’t like how Joshua reminded me of that by opting out of the dynamic every now and again.
Is it possible that Joshua thought Femdom was merely a kink for getting off? If he was genuinely interested in a FLR with his dominant, she may need a different approach by starting with small steps and shaping your partner into the submissive you want.
How to implement Femdom FLR with reduced conflict.
Karen Pryor suggests click-training (“shaping”) as a way to train animals.
Raise criteria in increments small enough so that the subject always has a realistic chance of reinforcement.
Train one aspect of any particular behavior at a time. Don’t try to shape for two criteria simultaneously.
During shaping, put the current level of response on a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement before adding or raising the criteria.
When introducing a new criterion, or aspect of the behavioral skill, temporarily relax the old ones.
Stay ahead of your subject: Plan your shaping program completely so that if the subject makes sudden progress, you are aware of what to reinforce next.
Don’t change trainers in midstream. You can have several trainers per trainee, but stick to one shaper per behavior.
If one shaping procedure is not eliciting progress, find another. There are as many ways to get behavior as there are trainers to think them up.
If behavior deteriorates, “Go back to kindergarten.” Quickly review the whole shaping process with a series of easily earned reinforcers.
End each session on a high note, if possible, but in any case quit while you’re ahead.
Pyror updated the 3rd law this way: “As soon as the animal learns that if it doesn’t hear a click, try again, it’s already entering the world of natural variety,…We withhold a click for a brief moment and see if the animal will give us something a little different, a little closer to our goal”
Although submissive males cannot be trained as easily as dogs, the dominant can adapt some of these techniques to train her submissive:
the best Mistresses are those who don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach and get irritated by any aberrant response of a “slave”, but rather those who maintain psychological curiosity and interest to get to know their submissive / slave, their quirks, and things that work on them.
Essentially, one can use lessons from dog and dolphin training psychology and practices, to train one’s submissive or slave. .. into three areas: slave training (to reinforce desired behaviour) , slave shaping (teach [the slave] new tricks..), and how to un-train annoying behaviour in your slave.
…what is it that [a dominant] might want to train her submissive to do? What’s going to please you? (A glass of your favourite wine presented to you on arrival home after work? A bath run to the perfect temperature with bath salts? A foot massage done perfectly the way you like? Oral sex performed the way you like?) What’s important to you? (Respect shown in particular ways? Giving you your space at specified times when you need? Devotion and consideration towards you displayed in thoughtful ways? Or something else?) And what does your submissive / slave long for, want and need? (To know their place? To know how to please you? To get their fetish “fix” every now and again? To get respite from being in charge, or counter-balance to their work responsibilities and role?) – adapted from ANNE O NOMIS
Femdom in erotic accounts. Here are a few samples of the Femdom myth.
I unlock my Slave Selection boy toy from his chastity cage at least once a day, to play with him and give him a wonderful raging hardon.
I need to KEEP him “finely tuned” as well as remind him daily – who is in charge.
“You were wonderful tonight dear. I’m ready for the wedding now that I know you know your place. You’re going to be the perfect husband for me.”
Alice was somewhat confused by all that’d happened but was heartened by the news they would get married.
She was driving and had her arm around her transvestite fiance, gripping him securely as she talked of the happiness they would experience being married.
Alice sat silent and insignificantly as he resigned himself to his fate as a slave sissy husband to this beautiful assertive woman he’d worked so hard to make his wife.
At the wedding, it was Alice who wore the wedding gown, marched down the aisle and was given away by his mother. His mother cried in joy as the couple was pronounced “Woman and husbanette”.
Alice learned for the first time what being a femdom husbanette meant. It meant he had vowed and agreed to a lack of manliness and his role would be of total dedication to his bride and total subordination to her in the marriage. She could do no wrong.
He was married to his wife, his mistress, and was always expected to be loving, loyal, faithful, and obedient. – The New Husbanette
You can train your man to be exactly as you wish. If you wish for a very masculine man, just make it so. He will act as a man most of the time, and some will suspect that he is also a male subject. This often adds to the excitement of knowing that he will fall on his knees when ordered and will do all that is ordered of him by his wife (private course). You can also feminize. Which is amusing, the feminization of a man is so much fun to do to a very masculine man. You can dress him in women’s lingerie, makeup while wearing your gold belt, and he will take it well. He will become a full subject before your eyes and you can do what you want, he can not resist. You just need to train your man to act like a man during the day, but to be meek and humble towards women and docile towards you.
Make him wear women’s underwear if you wish. Allow him to dress like a man in everyday life to make things masculine if you desire it. Sports, fishing, leisure or any other. Let him go to the gym and work on his body. At home he will always be ready to wear the apron, lingerie, and serve you at all times. You completely control and if you ever decide to totally feminize, you can. It’s what you want.
A lot of women want their man to be always very feminine. They no longer want to see a single line of macho masculinity in him, so they stand accordingly. They want a masculine man sometimes and other times submissive servant. No one is right or wrong. It depends entirely on your needs and desires. So train your companion be as desired. After all, you are the one who lives with him. – The Best way to have a FLR Relationship
It is now fashionable to recognize the possibility that woman can be the equal of the man in the couple, that man can do the cleaning, ironing and caring for children but we remain on a notion of sharing…
More and more famous women are now proud to recognize that they are dominating women. You would also be surprised by the number of famous men who have power and success in their professional lives and who aspire in their private lives to be the perfect slave of a dominatrix.
Culture provides the context for social interactions. It is a set of attributes that people make up as they go along and use in their interactions. Some attributes are used to signal others of a particular type of social interaction one is interested in. An example is the “Hankie Code” that Leathermen used to show their interactive and sexual preference (2).
Femdom FLR is a collection of relationship attributes that make up what I call the “Femdom myth”. The source of the myth could be a lengthy research topic in cultural anthropology. Although it parallels the BDSM Leatherman myth, it diverges in some important areas such as lifestyle attributes. The male Leather movement embodied male social hierarchies through dominance that is often supported in Western society. It is not clear how of if the Femdom myth is integrated into society as its counterpart (male leather). Femdom in modern history statted from brothel services. The [Femdom] profession appears to have originated as a specialization withinbrothels .
When viewed as an arbitrary set of transactions between the dominant and submissive, Femdom FLR is an embodiment of practices that appeals to those who participate from either the dominant or submissive persona. In lifestyle relationships, this “Femdom” persona is one of many personalities that those in the relationship show. That is, they may practice BDSM in some situations and ordinary egalitarian behavior typical of marriages. Many participants gradually accept the dominant and submissive roles of each of these persona over time. It is often said that a lifestyle involves the power dynamic of dominance and submission through most activities in the relationship and is not limited to sex in the bedroom.
As BDSM has become more acceptable, we are moving away from the medical model of describing it as a pathology, moving toward regarding it as a social phenomena. Femdom is a type of BDSM that has developed along the Leatherman’s myth that is particularized for relationships where the female dominant leads submissive males or submissive females in dyads, triads and larger groups. Femdom behavior was promoted initially by Dominatrices. It has evolved to include “lifestyle” arrangements. Femdom is also evolving into two directions: Traditional (Sadistic) Femdom and Gentle Femdom. Gentle Femdom has tried to distance itself from sadistic practices and replaced it with “mommy – child” interactions by borrowing parent-child transactions. It is not certain at this time if this is a nuanced preference among the participants, or a completely new variant of BDSM. While gente femdom may have borrowed many attributes of the traditional femdom myth, it may be attempting to establish its own myth (see previous post: What is a soft FLR – a guy’s practical guide ) .
Townsend was a novelist and authored several books of the Gay male leather genre. He is known for popularizing the Leather Hankie Code
“he is an essential eyewitness of the drama and salon around “Drummer” [a gay leather magazine] in which his novels were frequently excerpted. His signature “Leather Notebook” column appeared in Drummer for twelve years beginning in 1980.”
Jack Fritscher, Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer, San Francisco: Palm Drive Publishing, 2008
For other background information about Townsend and his involvement in the Gay Leather movement, read:
Jack Fritscher, “Introduction” to “The Academy: Incarceration for Pleasure, Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer Magazine, www.JackFritscher.com
The scenarios, in which macho authority figures abandon themselves without shame to kinky group sex, provided not just arousal but also humour, affirmation and pride for a then frequently despised minority http://bit.ly/2jwJESI
In Urban Aboriginals, Geoff Mains pioneered our understanding of the connections between the neurochemistry of pleasure seeking and radical sexuality. But the book is more….. .so much more. Its stories and vignettes take us personally into the experience of different old guard “scenes” with intimacy, intensity, range and depth not found anywhere else. Simply required reading. –Guy Baldwin, M.S., author and psychotherapist
The Rise of BDSM (Sub)culture1The Rise of BDSM (Sub)culture and Its (Dis)contents: A Literature ReviewYing-Chao Kao, M.A.Department of Sociology, Rutgers University
“to reestablish the link between sociology and sadomasochism/BDSM studies, this research sociologically re-conceptualizes the history of BDSM subculture and interdisciplinary BDSM studies.”
BDSM (bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadomasochism)MARGOT WEISS Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, United States
The first gay leather communities began to appear in the United States following World War II. In 1950s and 1960s Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, gay leather bars and motorcycle clubs appeared, catering to men who enjoyed leather, fisting, and kinky sex. By the 1970s, there was an array of shops, bars, and clubs catering to leathermen in many U.S. cities, as well as magazines like Drummer, begun in 1975 (and the successor to male physique magazines). Although leather neighborhoods were threatened in the 1980s by sex panics around HIV/AIDS, urban restructuring, and gentrification, the leather community continues today both locally and internationally. There are bars and clubs in cities around the world, a globally recognized Leather Pride Flag (designed by Tony DeBlase in 1989), the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago, events such as the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco (the largest leather event in the world), and leather title contests.
One of the core debates in the late 1970s and 1980s feminist “sex wars” took place over lesbian SM. Radical feminists in the United States and the United Kingdom saw in BDSM play the rep-etition of patriarchal, imperialist, and racist forms of power inequality. This charge fractured feminist and lesbian communities, pitting anti-pornography, anti-BDSM, and anti-butch/femme feminists against pro-sex or sex libera-tionist feminists (Linden et al. 1982; Samois 1982). Today, the question of the politics of BDSM, especially its eroticization of social inequality, continues to interest scholars. Some have explored the queer and feminist politics of BDSM performances; some have considered theways BDSM might transgress normative embodiment; and still others have debated whether BDSM might prove therapeutic, either because it serves as a break from everyday demands, or because it enables practitioners to rework these demands in play.
Becoming kink-aware a necessity for sexuality professionals Sabitha Pillai-Friedman*, J.L. Pollitt and Annalisa Castaldo Center for Human Sexuality Studies, Widener University, Chester, PA ,USA
As BDSM continues to become more and more destigmatized, albeit conditionally,the mainstream public has started to openly discuss and to embrace formerly forbidden BDSM fantasies. Sexuality professionals may already be seeing clients who are newly curious about BDSM and others whose closeted, forbidden BDSM fantasies have been liberated. It is no longer a choice for sexuality professionals to deal only with vanilla sexuality, especially as “vanilla sex” has shrunk from describing all normative sexuality to referencing only “sexual activities typically associated with bland heterosexuality” that seem inherently unadventurous and unsatisfying (Francoeur,1995, p. 693). It is also no longer a choice to describe themselves as “kink-aware” without adequate education and training.
Care and the care of the self in sadomasochist relationshipsNathalie LugandPascale MolinierUtrpp Paris 13
Defining sadism as an experience of sexual sensations of pleasure (includingorgasm) produced by acts of cruelty, in particular corporal punishment inflicted onapers on, Krafft-Ebing consider ssadism as a deepdesire to humiliate, hurt, make suffer, in the worst scenario destroy the others inorder to create sexual pleasure. Masochism would be based on the desire to be completely controlled and subjected to the desire of the other, to be humiliated, abused by a person treated as a master. In line with Krafft-Ebing many therapists, psychologists, and psychoanalysts still describe sadism and masochism in terms of psychopathology, while other authors, scientists in social sciences, and the practitioners of sadomasochism well known under the acronym BDSM
1) consider it as a form of social behaviors, which involve subculture and relations between people (Weinberg and Levi-Kamel,1899). Those social relations and the scope accorded to such notions as the ability to put oneself in someone else’s place, to show care and devotion along with the ability to take on responsibilities can then be examined under the perspective of care (Molinier, Laugier, Paperman,2009). This divergent conception of sadomasochism is
2) based on a complete reversal of the sense of those practices, of the ethical norms that they imply and of the pleasure that they are likely to procure to both partners.
I GHOSTED YOU, BUT I AIN’T DEAD
I am happy to report I am not dead!
I had a deep-seated need to disengage from my blog as well as from a handful of email buddies I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up along the way. Honestly, I ghosted everyone online. I know it’s mean. Sorry, I could have easily just spent a few minutes with a short note, but I kept thinking, “I’ll post something this week.” And then the weeks went by. ONE ETERNITY LATER. . .
WHY? I am still unsure. It was like a switch went off and nothing about my anonymous online life interested me. I am not sure exactly why. I think it was a multitude of factors which I will go through. I will try to be a better “online friend” and at least share that a hiatus is self-imposed and nothing bad is…