On The Cultural Limits of Conventional Femdom

So in addition to neglecting my femdom blog, I’m an avid participator in nerdy hobbies like roleplaying. Realistically this has always intersected with my sexuality- once I was charting my path beyond my parents running a tabletop for me.  I got interested in it partially because my head craves weird dynamics I can’t find in real life. Since my teens I’ve deliberately played with this.

I participated in a large LARP organization recently, where I played a stupidly popular character.  And what I discovered about this was how much people LOVE a dominant woman. Grown ass men calling me Mommy. Piles of people pledging fealty. Going out there and being me was a crucial part of the success of the character because the same energy I bring when my dominance gets to shine was present in the rambunctious, bawdy, loving ball of fluff that I played.  And it continues to remind me how disempowering the standard femdom shit is.

My character got gacked and part of the sadness I had to process is this outlet for a part of me to safely let my dom out was cut off. Once again, no place to be my whole self. (Although perhaps I should try living authentically instead of through fiction? The world is not very nice to dominant girls.)

I can say this and people will argue until the cows come home that it isn’t because they personally feel empowered by it, but the whole concept of being a dominatrix is a performative straight jacket created to give a context to have power in a limited context that’s “safe”. You put on the leather trousers and use the understood scripts and everyone has the jist of what you are trying to do, so presto- dominance!

There’s good reasons, since raw and undefined dynamics are potentially dangerous. The character of a dominatrix lets everyone wrangle consent in easier than starting from a blank slate and then trying to explain “so you are my victim and thrall but also you want it and are not being raped for real just vulnerable like an amusement park ride because I would never, ever hurt you”. Since part of dominance is buy in, it’s understandable to fall back something people but into easily.

Only that’s been jamming a square peg into a round hole from day one. Not a lot of room for complex sadomasochists who don’t fit Dungeon Mistress well.  Serious talk about it gets as far as accepting that being a dominatrix supersedes things like physical comfort, but  not that it’s bullshit in a world where femsubs get to fetishize regular dudes in power positions and I need a corset and implications of sex work.

There’s no space to talk about how my fetish self is Queen Elizabeth I not Ilsa Shewolf of the SS. There’s no space to be an insecure mess who also needs to be respected. To talk about your needs as something more than a menu of kinks, or worse, a dismissive declaration that the sub’s needs are irrelevant, is hard. But those options leave my needs unmet.

For example there doesn’t seem to be space to talk about preparing to feel sexually dominant by cleaning my bedroom floor and dusting, because I intend to have a man here and I must feel utterly in control of my space.  If I talk about the profound need to nurture my partner people will twig into it, but it’s not in the porn and it’s not in the archetypes.

As I write this, it’s doing that dusting and putting things to rights. I could have done this earlier, taken the bristle brush to the tiles of the bathroom, found the cobwebs in their corners and removed them (I fall on a medium on the neatness scale, much as I am neither extroverted or introverted) but it’s a good way to get my head in order. Momentarily I get to launch into some laundry, again, working to claim my space so I can claim someone else.

Scrub. Scrub. Visions of his naked body, the too long legs, the rust blond on his belly and chest and the odd shock of black hair on his lower back. I’m not offering him conventional femdom, but I suppose he’s not offering conventional submission.

Anticipate, court. Seduce. He said that while he’d aware the capacity is there most women just don’t do it for him. Is he asking for the conventional script done well or something else? What is the serendipitous leap that we need, that any couple needs to get that sing and sting of a unification between two people trying to make an exchange of power?

I cannot be anyone’s dominatrix. I can neither put that part of myself and its desire aside. So I think about this now, making my space mine before I make him mine.

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6 Comments

  1. I’m so interested in all of this. I feel a lot of the truths you talk about. I’m going to write a post on it: Too many thoughts for a comment.

    But I’d posit the idea that the way you felt in your LARP role is exactly how a lot of dominant women feel in the ‘dominatrix’ role. That’s exactly what makes it feel good and why so many perpetuate it. Not sure I read it right, but you didn’t seem to make that link.

    While the details may be quite different, the ‘people love dominant women (slash me)‘ thing you felt, that freedom and validation, is the same. Yes, many people love it in role play and the LARP environment is a(nother) place where it’s ‘safe’ for people to love it. In an environment in which they can play and then walk away. Doesn’t mean the feelings aren’t real, but it has those same constraints compared to ‘real life’.

    It’s frustrating for so many reasons. And I get it. I do. But it has almost no bearing on actual for-real healthy relationships.

    Ferns

    Reply
  2. my ‘I get it’ was about stereotypes of female domination and why *women perpetuate it. I think that was unclear.

    Ferns

    Reply
    • I get that it is a script people can easily tap into. The problem is that it is clearly not working for everyone and that the prominence of the Dominatrix is drowning out everything else. Imagine if people thought maledom was only Gorean slave masters?

      Reply
      • Imagine if people thought maledom was only Gorean slave masters?

        I wonder… do you think we might see this happening as Feminism (and changing gender roles) make Maledom seem more rather than less transgressive and other?

        Reply
  3. Wonderful, punchy post.

    I read somewhere that there was this study into college heavy drinking culture. It turned out that very few people actually liked it, but that they did it because they thought it was the done thing. I wonder if the Dungeon Dominatrix culture is a deeper more toxic version of that? Is this what everybody really wants, deep down? Or – more like – is it a kind of hangover from the bad old days?

    bullshit in a world where femsubs get to fetishize regular dudes in power positions and I need a corset and implications of sex work

    I think the corset and SW implications can be initially permissive, but ultimately nerfing. As you say, D/s without the LARP is potentially dangerous. I’d like to go further and suggest that it’s dangerous to the self image. As long as people are making a LARP out of it, on some level both can pretend it’s a service to the submissive. I see the same kind of defensiveness in the meme “The sub has all the real control because they can pull the plug”. (Which is technically true in the same way that the professional sports star can in theory walk off the field, but not really relevant.)

    Reply
  4. M.

     /  January 24, 2018

    This post really resonated with me (so much that I need to think about it more before I can put my thoughts into words). I hope you’re having a good time with your man.

    Reply

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