As is my habit, I disappeared into a pile of health issues, failing to update my Patreon or my blog. Vague shitposting occurred on twitter, as I shuttled through the multitude of appointments that go with disability recovery. I am ok though, don’t panic. It’s one of those things that saps my ability to function but isn’t known for being particularly fatal. HOWEVER!!!
Guess who is teaching a class tonight for Dating Kinky’s Women In Charge event?
Yes, yes, I didn’t effectively promote it, and I am finetuning my slides and throwing together a “Resources Post” to share in the chat while I give the talk right now. But the main thing is I am here and uh… if you clicked that link you were there too. And it is a REALLY important topic, that I did a pile of research for! so to share those resources, look below!
As an advice book, this 2014 manual is not good. While there are many ways a book might be bad, this one is a special kind of harmful. That’s the sort of guide where some of the advice isn’t the worst, so you go through a few pages giving them the benefit of the doubt, and then things hop off into its own ridiculous realm. We have misogyny, sexism, weird pet peeves of the author, dangerous BDSM advice, and of course miles of fap.
And whoops, it’s built on yet another bit of garden variety scamming. Whee!
The initial tells that something aren’t quite right is the odd perspective Sophia James brings to how she thinks all of this kink business works. I am loathe to call all suspicious femdom accounts “men”, but the misogyny in the way the manual talks about women; their frankly dangerous claims about other, unnamed professional dommes they claim insight on; and their enormous gaps in knowledge all point to significant odds this is dude fap. Fap charging other people money. Yuck.
Follow the author on twitter, and the nature of their fraud becomes immediately more telling- this person doesn’t exist. Not as in Sophia James being just a pen name for a real domme, but it’s clear that the persona exists to masturbate about femdom, while taking the money of naïve men who are just trying to educate themselves as a bonus. For Sophia James, It’s a very careful kind of lying: You find a feed full of stolen pictures of different but just similar enough to seem like the same person if you squint. They don’t explicitly say this is them, but it’s awfully weird how they feel they should do this. Otherwise they’re just peppering their timeline with ogling free porn of women and saying random fantasy for dudes type things, or telling various pro-dommes their ideas are hot. Now it’s *possible* that Sophia James just happens to be a largely lesbian who is incredibly tedious, but… come on.
Here’s their profile on twitter:
And, below is where they nicked their profile pic from:
The text of their twitter profile, other than ads for their books, is almost entirely stories they claim to be doing with other women, sometimes where their sub can watch. Otherwise its so, so many comments on random women and whether they are hot or not. We get it dude, you like willowy women with big boobs.
They also comment extensively on stuff other female dominants share, but only the sexy stuff. Unlike the actual social media profiles of professional dommes there is distinct lack of the usual familiarity or aesthetics.
Kink isn’t that big of a world, and even if you confine yourself to a niche, normally the profiles have some modicum of interaction, at least if they aren’t endless book spam or twitter “engagment” groups. Sophia James behaves like a poorly socialized horny man who figured out pretending to be a domme is the only way one will give him the time of day.
Ok, whatever. There’s a million fap accounts, why is this an issue?
If you believe the author, they “[…] sold over 400 copies of this book last year and many thanked me for changing their lives. ” and then claim they sold 10 thousand of this book total. That’s a LOT of people who have been cheated. It’s most likely they are lying here too, but even in best case and I am wrong that they are an actual femdom:
“Dominant Female Submissive Female” is still complete garbage as a guidebook.
The class was the live version of “On Top: Exploring Your Dominant Persona”, taught by Justine Cross, variously touted as the most popular Dominatrix in LA, participant in extensive public outreach experiences and significant mover/shaker in her community. She owns two dungeons, which host an important part of the larger local lifestyle community. It’s a dedication of her life to advancing acceptance of BDSM and being a domme a find deeply praiseworthy. She’s very much a role model for others to aspire to.
People familiar with my presence on the internet probably know that I take every option to attend classes that show you how to be or realise your dominant self. Moderating r/femdomcommunity not one week passes without at least one newbie asking “how do I?” Meanwhile this blog exists as an anchor of sorts, dedicated to the subject of being a lifestyle domme for your own delight. Reviewing classes is a nice mix of learning things for myself and knowing where to send other people to learn.
The target market of this particular class is novice dommes. It’s important to reach them directly because femdom is a culturally distinct entity within the BDSM community at large, and although much of it is still dedicated to the interests of male subs and their most psychologically resonant fetishes, it’s also a space that is often much less hostile to female power than the mainline BDSM community can be.
However… Any domme class review I do is fussy.
If you are upset by having someone’s very affordable public contribution pulled apart with a magnifying glass, I might not be the writer for you. If you happen to BE Justine Cross reading this, message me to send you the cost of a stiff drink, as I am tearing into things with all the concern and sensitivity of a pack of velociraptors on an unattended BBQ buffet. Caveat lector.
And, I’m pretty biased going into this, because I think way too much emphasis is already put on teaching women to embody personas already, and every other domme lesson out there seems still stuck on the archetypes of “The Mistress Manual“, a book I am not whelmed by. On the other hand, all the dommes that teach these classes aren’t stupid, and the queries I get from would be dommes often phrase their need in a pursuit of finding a particular self presentation. This naturally makes a “Persona” class seem more attractive in marketing, so I tried to go into it with an open mind.
Besides, I have an endless desire to know what is out there, because when someone is on the top of their game, as Justine Cross is, even if I disagree on something, they clearly have something I can learn from. I am hardly an indomitable authority, and I would be deeply uncomfortable if there was nowhere else to send folks than me for good information. Safe sources that are different in theory than me should be nurtured, because this pocket of identity is pretty marginalized already.
So, would I recommend Justine Cross’s Domme Persona class?
Justine Cross has both organizer bonafides and a lengthy teacher and presenter resume. They are very good at communicating. I would say it’s an excellent intro class with up to date reminders that dominants can have limits, but little direct emphasis on female pleasure. Most dominant classes for any gender seem more responsibility focused, developing a framework to safely hold authority, but I think domme oriented instructional stuff needs to center this a bit more.
You do not need any part of this class to be a domme. If you want to be better at embodying what people expect of a domme, it’s a much better place to learn than most resourced. There’s value here, but having asked her dead on why this (outside of the self evident safety part she taught) was necessary, I feel the bridge between the dominant self and the external performance is not explored enough by the class.
Additionally, although her Lifestyle bonafides are without question, there’s a few bits in the content that are continuing to hold all dominants to standards only useful to professionals or at best a narrow stripe of kinky folks in a public community. Most advice in her class is good and well taught, but it’s decidedly about embodying a dominatrix externally in a way that needs the dungeon to work. That standard looms a bit too much into her class, though make no mistake, her own communicated joy in her life in no way make dominating seem like a duty or a chore.
First, delving into what she did particularly right:
Without her class I would not have found her wonderful free(!) scene negotiation sheet. She offers it for on Gumroad, crediting its first version originator, Pervocracy. Being properly plugged into the spectrum of kink communities for info is key for any educator, and Justine Cross has that down perfectly.
(Only one caveat on the attribution: I don’t know if Cliff prefers to reference his dead name professionally, for works predating his shift to going exclusively by that name. This sheet still credits that way. I definitely don’t think Justine Cross is doing anything wrong)
I also really appreciated that the class took the time to talk about dominant limits and explained it in a very accessible way. They did not do off the rack domme characters like I feared she might, the persona in the class title was more of a self selected thing to nurture and construct within the self.
The bones of the Mistress Manual seem to be still there in the very deep background, but the distance from it has included more of the self. I at no point felt like it was a class exclusively on mastering the thing hubby asked one to do, as most domme guides do.
Particular to that point, Justine Cross was very much in her element when she talked about the limits of the old saw, to sub before you dom. Little touches of her personal interest in the cnc messy “abuse” inspired scenarios were a little window into desire that are missing in a lot of conversations, though she is impeccable consistent in flagging real danger.
Her safety discussion was flawless. That I can’t say more about it is due to it’s constancey, and did not veer into over corrections nor neglect the dominant’s comforts. She managed this without being full of safety myths. And I liked she touched on a preference for darker things that outside of care and enthusiastic consent, would be explicitly abuse.
Now the criticisms, because I am a miserable pedant:
There was only one big oof. And not a potentially fatal one, just a misdirection, if you are exclusively lifestyle. Other things I noted would be smaller, for all go into them in detail. I remind you to read my review in the context of nitpicking, and my own agenda, and that I am still recommending her.
The biggest issue is I think she wasn’t able to effectively distinguish lifestyle and pro. Some of this is that it’s not a hard binary. And yet, I feel that because of the validity of sex work and the format of kink as delivered only in dungeons, parts of the whole spectrum and quirks of lifestyle only femdom culture were missing. The problem went as far as her intro querstions, asking us to define “dominatrix or dominant” even as she told us this was a lifestyle rather than sex work focused class. Notably she just asks one to define “submissive” in her class.
(Of course some lifestyle only women do call themselves Dominatrices or draw all their inspiration from there, but most do not. This didn’t put the contemporary idea of a dominatrix into it’s larger context of ways to be a domme.)
Nitpick 1: A missed opportunity to befriend an awkward elephant
The low hanging fruit (which I am trying to knock down and discard), one might levy at her, is that her work with clients somehow taints her. That’s sexism, nobody tells all the male pro-riggers that if they aren’t completely attracted to their models, their work is less valid. But the question “are you a real domme tho?” is an elephant in the room. Not because I am asking, but because she is self aware of the context of her audience’s thoughts to be stuck having to build a self justification into the curriculum.
Make no mistake, Justine Cross’s professional work experience in no way makes her lifestyle “authenticity” lose its loud self evidence in everything she does. Part of the fun of her class is her use of tone and expression where you can see how uplifted and comfortable she is in her kink. I found myself admiring her- she deserves the prestige she has. I don’t cringe to know she puts herself forward to the media to represent what femdom is. If people think I am like her, by pop culture exposure, that’s a compliment to me.
It really sucks that lifestyle and professional have to be put at odds. Most pro dommes are both. Even if they were not, it wouldn’t matter- that a person wants to dominate is personally enough for me. I want them to be fulfilled doing it, but being lifestyle only also never stopped someone from trading in harmful info either.
I do not think we got a bridge built, and about the only point she looked self conscious was in reference to professional work she does when it gives the client most of the say in the script of his scene. She mentioned him being happy was enough. I sort of think that was a missed opportunity to talk about the unique permission women get to express power through nurturing, giving and empathy.
I think that the standard we hold dominants, particularly sex workers to, harms dommes. As much as I dislike advice that teaches dominance like a purely giving thing, it’s a worse burden to place on female dommes that if we overtly acknowledge we might focus on the sub we lose respect and power. Femdom, in the name, has permission to be gendered and thus the other. Where it is most in alignment with feminism is when it rejects that power has to look like by a very male standard.
And I think we need to have a stronger foundation, collectively, that traditionally feminine associated things, from homemaking to penetration, do not have to be submissive.
Nitpick #2: The direct female pleasure problem
All that being said on being giving not being inherently submissive, we are also still struggling with having pleasure or being selfish at all.
My biggest criticism of most of the intro/general het femdom classes I have attended is that they focus on getting it right as a vocation and not on pleasing yourself. There may be a lot of focus on projecting authority through symbols, technique, and body exercises, but none about achieving and outcome other than “you are happy because you feel you are recognized as a dominant, including by yourself” and “he is happy because he got what he wanted”.
It’s like if an intro to sex class covered lingerie, dirty talk, anal and deep throating, and neglected to talk about her orgasm. Some of this is coyness inherent in our sex taboos about women. At the best of times, it’s framed as a nurturing, generative performance. But even so, these classes never seem to touch on things like the stealth-domme parts the novice might realise she was doing all along. Or ask her to think about her needs directly and how she might get this met.
And all these personas seem less like permission to be a part of yourself you suppress and instead creating a new part of the self who is allowed to do things the you, to this point, can’t. Notably while Justine Cross asked us to look to our own examples of fictional dommes to build that persona, she didn’t linger there.
I think the why do all this was missing
Maybe it’s the brevity of the class, but the most interesting part of examining your fantasies and fixations is seeing how they might embody what you personally want. Sometimes it’s a means to an end, sometimes the moment itself is the goal. In Justine Cross’s framing, dominance seems more like a means to an end in itself. The argument was present: Be like fictional domme or real dominatrix to be domme.
She doesn’t ask why you might want to be a domme or what emotional or sexual fulfillment this might bring you. In Justine Cross’s class, being perceived as a domme by yourself and others is enough in itself. Am I doing this to create a safe space to be sadistic? What kind of buzz does having power give me, or am I more focused on the reactions of a sub? Am I strengthening my ego in just knowing I have admirable topping skills or do I want the outcomes for me?
Mistress Shahrazad, teaching at The Ritual Chamber, is the only domme class teacher I have found, to date, who suggested you might have to struggle to even identify, much less vocalize one’s needs as a woman. I think because her class was FLR focused things could get away from the constant performance part dommes in particular get asked to do. I find it odd, given how much mainline feminism is exploring the perils and pitfalls of asserting oneself that femdom lessons for women don’t touch on that psychological side more.
For Justine Cross, her style section for dommes is a fashion shoot of her different looks. This is in sharp contrast with her sub class (reviewed later, below), where sub style is the permutations of kink preferences. It’s a very external presentation. It’s true that women have more permission to express themselves via outwards adornment and affect. Nonetheless, it’s another missed opportunity to talk about how style leads to her feelings.
(I often wonder if I might just be weird?)
My sadist self needs no mask, she uncoils out of my core into occupation of the entire room. I don’t take her to the grocery store and the DMV, but she is indelibly there in my sexuality. Flirt and her teeth are what smile back. Fuck, and it’s your mind I try to unpick to control the interaction. Reciprocal horny loops occur when someone I want subs to me.
In the larger world, when a woman wants to be sexually or romantically dominant, the matter is presented very differently than to a man. We still drag her into caricature flavours of dominatrix: governess, goddess, amazon, and so on. These aren’t even what real life dominatrices are like! That’s (based on my current sample) usually warm, empathetic, creative, cynical and queer. But, the archetypes we are given as baby dommes aren’t even the power fantasies that move reams of women’s fiction. If someone is a governess or a teacher in a story that’s typically sold to women, the former is about independence in a historical setting and the latter about her dedication to a traditional but essential job. Neither give her permission for cruelty in a way that powers sadism.
Being a Dominatrix can be one kind of permission, but we need more!
Sure, plenty of women look at the capital M “Mistress” and want to embody that, but meanwhile the male dominants are getting to be heroes and vampires and corporate bosses. Or in real life, allowed to be middle aged alt/nerd guys playing make believe patriarch. He’s getting his dick sucked by someone he is calling “little one”, and we dommes are all over here trying to not be collectively scraped off the internet by social media female body bans and credit card providers.
Maybe it’s because hard power, and unapologetically self focused power are usually denied to women, without severe social penalties? A world where the female orgasm is more obscene than the male one on film will necessarily put female pleasure aside unless abstracted, euphemized or channeled into approved outlets. But, as much as women have permission to wield certain kinds of embodying and giving power men do not, the experience of being dominant that keeps the domme as purer, more limited thing than male doms are way more shades of the “The Female Eunuch” than I would want, given what a disappointing TERF Germaine Greer turned out to be.
Shows like Billions and Bonding, the latter of which Justine Cross cited as a good example, subtract female sexual pleasure from their scenes. Instead it’s the admiration of other women for your topping skills, and strict distance from one’s more vulnerable desires, an aloof power. You have something your partner wants, done well, ideally naturally.
I do think women regularly fantasize about being a dominatrix, along with other sexual vocations. So, classes to do this make sense. The dominatrix is a transgressive and yet very traditionally feminine place to be, a forbidden deviance that promises a power trip. However, I think men do not use those same self imagining filter tools to enjoy their dominance.
Dommes are not asked what they want in the context of their lifestyle-only relationships. The presumption at best is that you can put on a persona as a tool, but nothing about one’s own fetishes. Empowerment is mentioned, but never “horny”.
All of this is more like a context of the domme class’s absent female pleasure problem.
That Justine Cross doesn’t address this context head on is not an endorsement. In practice she does more to make kink accepted in the mainstream than I do. But I think in swelling our numbers I must stay like Nidhogg in the roots of Yggdrasil, that nasty dragon gnawing the base of the world tree. My place in all this is about a certain sort of self assured self advocacy. I have to stand firm that what a femdom is must be expanded without eliminating any of the current forms.
Male subs are *extremely* good at collectively saying what they want. There is an ocean of porn in every permutation imaginable. There is virtually none for lifestyle dommes, to the point our male partners routinely either think we don’t exist or their porn is for us. For an industry that acknowledges that women can make up a third of the customer base, we are still stuck in “but women don’t like this” for commercial content.
So, it’s a situation of scarcity that puts that problem. Maybe in the end I am naught but the lunatic fringe, but content for us needs to be more inclusive of ways of being. Elsewise we will have more eras of “not like other femdoms” in lifestyle only land and continue with the ongoing rejection of gendered labels by otherwise cis women (or femme folks) who feel excluded by the lean of contemporary femdom culture.
Nitpick 3#: A poly/pro approach is not acknowledging a monogamous majority
This was the heaviest structural issue I noticed. She defaulted to putting dommes in contrast to eachother, way more than subs are placed apart. I think it makes sense for a public living marketing power house like Justine Cross, but it will not necessarily make her lessons accessible to couples or the vast majority of serial monogamists and monogamish folks.
For example, when we talked domme limits, she suggested if something is a limit to you, you could refer your sub elsewhere for that. Great advice for pros, who have a healthy and supportive culture that is naturally more stringless poly, and uses referrals to strengthen the whole community, terrible for the average monogamous woman. That’s what the majority of dommes are, and there are other ways to navigate your limits than opening your relationship. I would be careful to go as far as saying it will have the opposite effect of encouraging dommes to push through their limits for fear of having to share. But it left a hole in this particular issue that needs patching.
The most frustrating example of this domme inter-comparison approach was the closing topic. It was titled “Honing Your Craft or specialty – What do you want to be known for?”. Nope. Please do not. Topping is skill based, being a domme is absolutely an internal desire thing, and the “craft”/ vocation part is explicitly a pitch only women seem to get.
In pursuit of this dominance-as-calling idea, Justine Cross described developing a personal style to differentiate yourself from other dommes. This is not advice lifestyle dommes need, and is actually harmful as phrased, implying that pursuit of social distinctiveness should be prioritized. Lifestyle dommes do not need to convince anyone they are specialized or have branding.
You might use a persona as a tool, but you absolutely aren’t doing it in healthy competition with other women, as an artist. Your relationships don’t work that way; you can offer a more complete picture of yourself because the world is structured to allow you to do so. Being a domme, for most women, isn’t like becoming a burlesque performer, where you take on a stage name and create an audience digestible snapshot. You definitely don’t worry your domme identity is too much like another domme- you may never do more than read/watch these other women or have interactions that are indistinguishable from vanilla.
In the kink community, on the lifestyle side, there’s definitely a possability social prestige in building a public parasocial identity even more so than just being “the funny one” in a friend circle, but this is not needed. I can say first hand as someone whose whining on the internet for nigh on a decade accidentally gave her a perceived identity, or who had people think she was an aloof badass in the in person scene in Montreal, because I was the event runner and didn’t feel comfortable seeking play in a pool I had authority over- that identity doesn’t need tweaking. You can just be yourself as most of the whole person.
Again, this segue into taking persona to mean something like a brand was a missed opportunity. It could suggest differentiation in pursuit of satisfaction, where a unique style was more about focusing on your fetishes and putting a you focused spin on it. And ironically that’s more of where her partnered to this sub class went.
Contrasting this with Justine Cross’s submissive oriented class
“On Your Knees: Power in Submission”, is aimed at subs in general, though marketed with a hooded suit sub dude picture (which she noted in her class was not optimal, but still nice to see a boy sub in central focus), and was flagged in her domme class as an alternative. As such, I couldn’t feel I was doing a review justice without looking at her recorded class for subs. It was incredibly well done, and I feel I would give it as a good class for anyone from a future person who saw themselves as a client only, to a baby sub just starting out.
Unlike the domme class, this one dedicates a whole section to sharing your needs, something conspicuously absent in advice for femdoms, both in Justine Cross’s Persona class and most educational resources. It’s woven throughout our shared culture, that the subs are not asked to distinguish themselves in the sense dommes are, or dress up in a way that exists in the interspacing between our perception of ourselves as sex and the perception of others of us as sexy.
Although the kink negotiation worksheet was provided to both classes, only in the (recorded) sub class was there any effort to review it. She asks the sub class to explicitly fill out answers to “I am, I need, I require”, which she does not do in her domme class.
It’s actually rather interesting to me that she does more to justify what she liked in the class for subs, than she does in the class for dommes. Some of this is based on curing the starfish idiots (or “hotdog sub, a term I am now stealing). These people assume dommes are telepaths or monolithic. Still, the presentation on expressing your needs includes things like “making you feel better after you have had a bad day”. I am not saying that’s not very *submissive* as you can do whatever you like in your D/s dynamic and doing that is something I personally enjoy as a dominant! I am saying that I would be shocked if the average femdom-for-femdoms class talked about communicating to your sub how to make you happy in such a nuanced way. This is missing, given how often dommes ask plaintively if they are allowed to be vulnerable or have needs too.
This class would have actually worked as a general BDSM ed class and is a lot of stuff baby dommes also need to hear
It’s a pity we don’t. In this class, there was a lot of practical advice for subs about leaning in, and working with what the dominant is putting down, as well as reminders of where the reciprocal way a scene works. I have to wonder if most dommes are expected to come into this already knowing that. Nobody tells us to approach it from a place of mutual goals. Giving to a sub is always self conscious, if mentioned, caveated with “but I am still a dominant”, while the sub is assumed to want a more whole spectrum as natural.
Dominance, like masculinity, is alas, more fragile than femininity or submission.
What makes a great sub, according to Justine Cross, also includes style/persona. And yet, these mean very different things than the domme class taught. For subs, she emphasizes the skills and self knowledge of what they are into as informing their persona. Styles are a lot more play oriented “bratty bottom” versus a super masochist, and so forth. There’s way more here about your needs as a sub, to help you with self knowledge, while the domme persona class didn’t seem to put even the play preferences of the domme central.
She also emphasizes how subs can build practical skills like massage or cooking (or specific familiarity with a flavour of kink). I am sometimes critical that this can lead to male subs feeling like they only have value in very sesexualized roles, and she might have toughed more on the subject of the female gaze, but she did a very good job of teaching how important being personable was to getting folks to play with you.
It’s part of the greater tragedy of femdom as a culture, because Justine Cross leaned, via her own examples, even way more into her own dominant pleasure in this class. Although she repeatedly emphasized she was a financial dominatrix, her broader explanations and real life anecdotes took the audience past stereotypes and better illustrated that sex work isn’t the orphan in the spectrum of what we might desire.
But, the bones of the difference I am talking about, in how we teach to dommes versus subs, is very clear in the two outlines…
– What makes a great dominant? – What makes a bad dominant? – Consent using the Kink Negotiation Worksheet – Archetypes – Style and fashion – Technique and style – Training, knowing your skills – How you identify, using a title or a name – Character or Persona – Honing Your Craft or specialty – What do you want to be known for?
Bring all of your questions and together we will explore common dominant archetypes, styles, techniques so that you know how to begin your journey into domination. Whether you are single or with a partner you will learn skills to help you enjoy this path with confidence and sexual creativity. Unleash your inner dominant in the bedroom and in life!
– What makes a great submissive or bottom? – Learning to express your kinky needs – Consent using the Kink Negotiation Worksheet – Styles of submission – Protocol and etiquette and other fancy words – for how to serve – Contracts and agreements – Boundary setting and inner work – Skill building for service
Together we’ll explore the role of the submissive, and how to safely create boundaries for healthy D/s relationships. If you are just beginning your journey this will give you the foundation to serve, as well as make a great impression on your dominant.
Class comparison taken directly from Gumroads and correct as of November 2021
Some sort of conclusion of this review
Having continued the trend of making myself completely unwelcome in any dungeon around the world with my pickiness. I should probably finish this wave of negativity with a few other caveats. I haven’t listened to her recorded class, and she was teaching live with a significant head injury the night before. Although she assured us she did not have a concussion, my own professional (snrk) background means all the symptoms she publically mentioned made be a little suspicious- I have to emphasize that what I got might have had the parts I though were missing if she hadn’t had an wrought iron bit of sex furniture bean her hard enough to give her a headache the next day.
And I actually think you SHOULD do both classes, because the recorded sub class was much more superior in conveying dominant joy and pleasure, as well as a bunch of good general advice including handling consent violations versus accidents, and a certain supportive frankness of building stuff together. And for the $20 USD the live class cost me, and $15 USD for the recorded versions, you are getting a bargain. At that cost, Justine Cross has made good information extremely accessible. She should be commended, tipped and celebrated.
And I hope I can see her interrogation work shop, because the purring enthusiasm she brought to talking about the subject in an off hand mention was a brief moment of feeling completely and entirely understood. I do want to see her speaking more narrowly than generally, as I suspect my socks may be blown off.
The saga of this latex stockings review is one of a few bumps and hiccups, but ultimately a lovely product. I won’t bury the lede, this is one of my favorite items in my growing fetish wardrobe. However these full length latex stockings, lovely or not, were also a measure of the maker’s customer service as well as their skill in rubber tailoring.
Eustratia, the Latex Designer
As a UK based fashion house, Eustratia exclusively sells on etsy and at time of writing, does not seem to have their own store front. Their designs are unique, particularly in their use of pressed lace and mesh into the rubber. That’s well beyond my budget at this time (T_T) but like nothing else I can find on the market. For the most part Eustratia looks like a one person show with maybe some background help, and she is very clear this is a labour of love and not priced anything close to the high quality. But does she live up to her own mandate?
The Latex Stockings, Themselves
These stockings were my second latex purchase after that Polymorphe blue hoodie dress I had been coveting for about half a decade. The stockings are that colour we used to call transparent “nude” until it occurred to the general public that not everyone is a creamy sort of buff. I’d describe the tint as reminding me of how I take my tea, or a latte, if you are not an abomination to normal tea drinkers like me.
When I bought them, I opted to get them cut to my exact measurements. I also added a little plastic rib in the band at no extra charge, to makes them “stay ups”.
Since buying these, I’ve also tried stockings by Cathouse Clothing and Libidex. From a cut perspective these are superior, both in my opinion of the shaping to my leg and the aesthetic placement of the seams. That latter part was actually a significant part of my attraction to them. Although I make no secret about my stocking fetish, I also prefer to work with the materials I wear, not against it. Most designers seem to try to mimic the more traditional back seam look of old fashioned nylons. To be honest, when you are already forcing something that barely qualifies as wearable into clothes, trying to copy conceits to material in the original garment being imitated can feel like buying leggings with fake pockets and jeans rivets printed on them. Eustratia approaches latex with an understanding and appreciation of the material.
I don’t think it would be fair to make a perfect “fit” comparison, because the other two designers were off the rack, and this was tailored. I can say if you can afford to get your latex tailored and you are either athletic, or like me, curvy, do so.
The most important question to ask is if they feel good and flatter me.
Subjectively, I think I look amazing. That’s me modeling them in the images, in all my squishy glory. As a femdom they also fill the secondary goal of reducing my property to that state he had coined as “put my mouth on it” level desire.
These stockings are a dream to get on, giving that silky second skin feeling. I only need a whisper of powder to get them on and no silicone self greasing needed. They have discreet venting via tiny holes on the seams at the feet, so no unwanted balloon toes. Custom measure points at different areas at the leg means that I don’t have particularly bad puffy thigh spill over problems. Being able to select shoe size avoids the classic trouble I have fitting my giant (size 9-10 US!) feet into something designed for the small and dainty.
The little plastic ribs do a good job of keeping them up, as does the natural grip of latex. Rolling is minimal, although you do need to settle the rib just so as it can stab you a bit. That’s an easy adjustment, and the effect is worth the extra bother. They shine up nicely, and if you wear them for an hour or so, they remain reasonably comfortable.
If I were to nit pick I need to dig very hard. The only thing I noticed was different was a tiny amount of stray glue at the clearly carefully hand done seams. After one wearing that rubbed away. Natural, hand made crafts are going to have handmade hints. The much more significant problem that after their first wearing, both latex stockings developed the worst nightmare of any fetishist- small cracks. (!!!) However, when you work with a custom made product, how they handle a problem is, in my opinion, as much a measure of the quality of what you get, as when everything goes smoothly.
The Mishap (And What Happened)
When I bought them, it was just as the pandemic was kicking off. This in no way impacted the promised shipping times, and after a preliminary inspection in May 2020, they were a secret bit of fun at a park picnic. However, after taking them off (June 2020), I quickly discovered cracking at both feet. At first, as a latex noob, I was concerned I somehow damaged them, but inspecting my shoes showed nothing they could have rubbed or snagged on. Consulting with people with significantly more experience than me, we determined this was a materials fault.
Eustratia was very responsive on etsy, and quick to come up with the easiest solutions for international repair. That’s good to know if you have something that gets damaged from normal wear and tear! In my case, when I discussed my concerns with materials, she suggested mailing them back for her to inspect them. At a very nerve wracking postal experience (for some reason tracking them there cost almost as much as the stockings themselves, so I opted untracked), the maker let me know they arrived and were in queue.
I held off on my latex stockings review pending the actual outcome of this. That meant both anxiously waiting for pandemic level postal service to get them to her, and waiting for all the supplier delays and ship back time until I could get my replacement.
Better with Round 2?
I received the new stockings in January 2021, from a completely different European country, but no less neatly and prettily packaged and prepared with exactly the same care and love as the first parcel I received. These got their test and photo shoot, and I’m now extremely happy.
In a perfect world, there never would have been need for repair or replacement. However, given the cost, Eustratia basically ate it on labour and return shipping (replete with tracking!). Further, when you are making smaller batches there will already by risks to supplies and so forth. With custom work priced competitively to off the rack, let’s not pretend that I didn’t get a massive deal.
No, seriously, the closest match of basic latex stockings by Libidex are about $20 more expensive, and that designer is almost certainly getting a bulk materials discount AND not giving you remotely the same scope in sizing. Sure something went wrong, but insuring it didn’t would have meant significant up front costs that just would have put this out of the budget of an experimental purchase.
That’s part of why I do these reviews. As with my last one, the Libidex Matrix Latex Catsuit for Women, as a relative newcomer, guessing fit off models and online shopping can feel extremely intimidating. I won’t do the thing of saying that my body is more “real” than someone who poses for a living, but out side of the carefully curated spread sheets, word of mouth and star ratings on websites, latex clothing really doesn’t seem to get much consumer support the way that vibrators or dildoes do.
If cost was a prohibitive barrier to me exploring latex, the complex vocabulary and my own skepticism has always limited how deep I could go into exploring hypnosis. Enter Silver, a regular subject/sub/victim to turn my mind control fantasies into mind control realities. There’s praise there for how much his experience in this kink has accelerated my own confidence and growth.
I really cannot stress enough the symbiosis in a dominant’s skill and submissive’s skill. The constant emphasis on describing submission as a passive act, anddominants as the universal energy and experts of all kink robs us of so much potential, particularly for baby dominants. Exploring Hypnosis as a niche of a subculture I have found a lot to like. There’s less emphasis on the “True Doms” (or gendered primacy the way rope feels like it decided hemp and patriarchy were unavoidable defaults) and a lot more space to blend it into a whole life rather than being a commitment to a different world.
Charmed! is a Annapolis Erotic Hypnosis convention they have been putting on for several years. This is my first time, and I am quite impressed by the professionalism, both in structure and delivery on the online medium they used this year. The silver lining of Covid is that I probably would not have attended if I had to pay to fly there and stay for a weekend, but the activity in particular is uniquely set to remote exploring and learning.
So you were looking for a latex cat suit and you were considering getting the Female Matrix Catsuit from Libidex…
I got the Matrix, my first latex catsuit, as a gift from Silver, who seems to be spending his entire personal entertainment budget trying to wrap me in head to toe rubber, an activity I am not at all resisting. One thing we noticed, however, is the lack of easy to find reviews. The sites that sell them (in this case Libidex), usually have a user submitted section for comments with stars.
Reviews from other people are important, for a number of reasons. For most enthusiasts, latex clothing remains very much the mail order fetish gear (or to update terms, online shopping situation) it was 100 years ago. Often involving significant international shipping. While there’s a whole thriving review industry for sex toys, mostly dildoes and other thing designed to get people with vaginas off, latex seems to be largely a matter of word of mouth, or scrounging old forum posts where some blessed soul spread sheeted a list of brands.
So, my experience with the Matrix Latex Catsuit for women?
This is a footed, full neck to toe latex catsuit available in a scope of different colours. Mine is a size medium, in basic black. My version has their standard thickness latex (o.5 mm). A triple zipper pull system lets you open an access window, probably best for sex, but also bathroom breaks without having to undress, and I suppose, getting your tits out if you would prefer that.
Price: Regular £245 (or $326.77 USD or $424.54 CAD) – get on their mailing list for frequent sales.
Contents:Modern Femdom Romance, Hooking up with the Boss, Kink Club, Stand Alone In Series
Did I like It? It’s ok.
I feel bad when I don’t like something, because there’s so few F/m works targeted at women. Tempting the Domme isn’t bad, per say, but there’s a few things I just couldn’t get past. In the first place the setting, a pair of BDSM clubs called the Stronghold and the Marquis, had traditions taken from the worst kind of trying to justify itself BDSM-as-a-culture. Next, the male lead repeatedly ignore the ostensible Domme’s “stop doing that”. Finally there’s too many characters, and I didn’t need to know about a catalogue of their goings on, nor do I think anything of note really happened to any of the side characters worth dedicating so much time to them.
Uhgh, the author, who seems to normally nail out perfectly serviceable M/f romances, doesn’t deserve my fussiness. Maybe this would work for someone else? She clearly is familiar with how BDSM actually works, and her sex scenes pass the possible and chemistry present test. But, I don’t think making the heroine that resistant to the situation is doing the book any favours and ultimately that swayed my away from liking it.
The premise is a “He’s the Boss So It’s A Bad Idea”, which isn’t the worst way to stop a simple, modern relationship transaction from resolving in chapter one. However there’s so much additional accidental showing of how the sub, Luke, has the Domme, Olivia, at a disadvantage. She manages the Marquis, he has part ownership. He’s forever walking into her office to deliver gifts, calling her a pet name she tells him to never call her, etc. The text reminds us repeatedly it’s ok because Olivia secretly likes it and her attraction to him (and lack of hard no) is consent.
This isn’t like, weird Gor style all women want to be taken hard nonsense. But the book very much does not believe reluctance is a reason to stop. And more than just owning part of her work place, those squintillion characters (all heroes of their own books) who make up the social network, including the other owners Olivia is under, are gung ho about mashing the pair together even though she is clearly wildly uncomfortable.
Coercion takes different forms, and I empathized with Olivia identifying that the whole scenario put her in a huge risk if it didn’t work out.
So it isn’t just her singular employer, it’s her other employers, their significant others and her colleagues all finding Luke’s aggressive pursuit of her not only exciting, but a great deal of text is dedicated to everyone caring very much about her personal life. I don’t feel the author realized how much this actually undermined Olivia. I was more scared for her here, where the people were the center of her world were more concerned about a HEA for Luke than how unhappy it made her, than I was for the later Narrative Peril.
For all 25% of the text is dedicated to talking about the safe, protective nature of the club’s teaching and practices, it seemed to be protesting too much.
As for things that we didn’t need, there were also pages of X likes Y but Y likes Z level explanations of social dynamics I can’t figure out why, as a person reading one book in a series, we care about. Between the new characters in the sub class and the regular cast from other books, it honestly became hard to keep track of who was what. Unfortunately Olivia’s perspective didn’t really seem like she liked anyone much either, which as a domme reading about a domme navigating an almost entirely M/f world ended up contributing to the deep sense of not belonging.
There’s a few touches I did like: Olivia’s anxious disguised as aloof domme ego, and sense of self in relation to that. The unusual inclusion of Luke still smarting from a breakup where he was called boring, was interesting. Additionally the author really hit her stride with the exploration of his in scene submissive mindset- it is more realistic than a lot of works write for men. Additionally, Luke being pushy gets a bit better once the will they/won’t they ice gets broken.
I can see where the norms of the genre were working against the intent of the story.
Romance isn’t, by tradition, about situations that the reader might want to actually be in themselves. High drama courtship that would make you mace the lead in real life can also be read with trope goggles on. However, I still think his boundary crossing might have been helped by restructuring him as less of a pigtail pulling tease. Or at least holding off on that until they had an established dynamic. Or it might have helped to discuss the expectations of male courtship to sweep her off her feet versus his role as her boss in text.
As far as serving tropes for tension: There’s a few points where Olivia has real problems due to external drama and peril provided by the narrative, and that lets the characters be put in close enough contact to bond, outside of work. This, ironically, flows a lot less creepy. Still, “were it not for a crazy stalker I wouldn’t tolerate you trying to help” still isn’t setting a comfortable coercion free bed in which the characters could romp.
The peril is also where the author showed some of her strengths and more distinction in the other characters.
For example, I had to giggle at all the Alpha Doms falling all over themselves to try to be useful in a manly way. There was good stuff in the ego push/pull of how very little most people are actually the masterful or timidly enticing sex stereotypes we fantasize about. A side bit about one of the more manly tops enjoying being spooned as a source of shame for him suggests the author, herself, isn’t unaware of the difference between what kinky people aspire to be, and who they are.
Which brings me to the third “nope”. Woven throughout the story was the means by which the club culture initiated new kinky people to being in the group. As per the narrative they had switched from everyone being required to do an “initiation scene” to taking a group class, sorted by category.
In the world of the Stronghold, more binary switches or role fluid people really aren’t a thing. BDSM transcends sexual pleasure and is to be done casually with anyone as a part of the learning process. All dominants must experience “everything” they want to do to subs.
I quote Silver directly:
I wonder if anyone has ever written a book where before someone can sub, they have to dom. “Oh, you want to be spanked? Well, here’s your paddle. Have to pass the standards.“
There really isn’t the idea in the culture of the club that being a submissive can be a personal thing. Meanwhile doms are elevated outside of their relationship dynamics, even encouraged to leer and intimidate the new sub class for mutual titillation. The subs are supposed to wear revealing outfits that distinguish them from the doms, and are perpetually referred to by anyone as “subbie”. Although there is no protocol of obedience, adding in amplified gender roles for most of the side characters really built up the atmosphere of an environment where subs were cherished but not really exisiting in a position as equals outside of their consent. The situation isn’t far from how people act in real life, but it really isn’t a healthy one.
Tempting the Domme is very close to confronting the gendered part of the problem effectively
The problem of universal sub disempowerment is not the author’s fault. Fantasies, and from thence, the kink scenes that tried to recreate them, are forever coming up with scenarios where the power imbalance is real. From putting uneven prestige on being a top and mentor, to creating an artificially one size fits all concept of the helpless sub being ‘protected’, power dynamics nobody needs or signed up for creep in. BDSM also often tries to recreate a sort of hyper-gender role dynamic across the D/s lines instead, and that’s in the book as well, but the author handles that a lot better.
In real life, even our concepts of “Top” and “Bottom”, coopted from queerness, drag in ridiculous ideas about the inherently submissive nature of penetration. The author does a really good job of touching on this and the male protagonist’s struggle with self acceptance. But, as an idealized premise there’s a huge amount of infantilization, and a pretty pernicious problem.
With power oriented along gendered lines for most practical levers in the larger culture. BDSM often stumbles over making M/f heterosexuality, if heterosexuality did drag. But humans don’t actually do binary as well as we like to act we do.
I had a post I did a while back “Queen Hatshepsut’s Strapon“, where I unpacked the problems with centering power on giving a domme a phallus (rather than her having one because she wanted one). Here, the core complexity is softness versus gender roles.
So as a character, excepting the lack of respect he shows for Olivia’s comforts (even when he seems to clearly understand they are there and how line crossing his behavior is), the sub, Luke is an interesting study into where gender and BDSM stereotypes break down in trying to support the lived experience of the people involved.
Credit where credit due, I also appreciated Olivia’s distrust on Luke’s constence, and a certain additional pressure on her side of not feeling unattractive as much as being very used to even men who are into it deciding they just couldn’t handle being like that.
It’s why I, as a reader, feel bad about the fact that I didn’t like it. When there’s very little on the market that’s serving a need, it puts too much pressure on the stuff that does, and for a get-what-you-pay-for kindle ready, well, it’s just ok?
It might be Thanksgiving this week for my American readers, but as a Canadian there’s no barrier between me and full blown holiday cheer. Thus, in the spirit of writing the content I wish to see in the world, here’s the shopping guide of things really worth gifting.Well, giving to me. But you get the point.
A Shiny Dickosaurus Rex
3D printing makes anything possible and the glorious dickosaurs by Mae (@adorabledomme) are one of the best things to come out of 2020. Glossy and fierce, a word of caution if your ornaments will be put to any recreational use they are not made of plastic that’s body safe, so make sure that any explorations in trying to make reverse fossils use a barrier method to keep their fierce creatures contained. Give her a whimsical reason to smile as we kiss this trash fire of a year goodbye.
The most ludicrously glittering shoes
Irregular Choice offers shoes that let you put the femme in femdom. Sure the Nick of Time shoes aren’t the usual fetish fare! But, if getting to sit at your feet and worship is the real gift you can give them, let your sub see them appropriately adorned.
I want them. Or in purple. Or black. And I want to press my size 41 foot into his face before making him plant perfectly precise kisses in the middle of each bow.
Hard Smacks & Fat Stacks
Pen & Kink is back at it, with a must have kinky kitchen wall print. Pair with maple syrup and a long handled cheese board to give to your domme friends, or anyone else who isn’t ashamed to show wasn’t on the menu in their house.
Not a decor kind of domme? There’s tshirts, stickers, and of course all sorts of lovely other designs. I’m partial to “Silence is Golden”, or the “That’s a Paddling” pillow.
Twisted Monk Limited Edition “Tannenbaum” Rope
O Christmas Tree! Decorate your cute little bondage bunny in limited edition festive hemp rope. Snag it now, it’s only here for the month, and I can’t tell you if it will becoming back. Personally I am already imagining a suspension with rough hewn timbers, a wreath crown, and fat advent candles dripping hot wax.
And hey, the colour might be just for December, but there’s the lifetime safety guarantee that if you get a little tangled and a safety snip is needed, replacement is possible.
Now if only regular Christmas lights and garlands came with that offer too…
Silver (4) Balls
Shiny 4 Balls in silver stuffs more than a stocking, though at the budget “Planet Dildo” price makes it particularly perfect to pad out gift bags and sparse packages.
And with frequent sales and fairly fast shipping, if you miss the inevitable Black Friday deal, Tantus pretty reliably runs 50% and 40% off sales.
Pop culture historians know that the origin of the contemporary Furry culture were fans of “Funny Animal Comics”, but while we generally aren’t shocked that modern Furries are hecking pervy, what if I told you that the fetish fodder woven into those plush suits went all the way to the root?
Meet Beatrix Potter: Late Victorian to Edwardian era mycologist, illustrator, and generally remembered as beloved children’s book author. You probably grew up with at least some familiarity with the Tale of Peter Rabbit (all her kids books followed one animal in human clothes or another) or the other adorably named, folksy very British pastel mammals and birds. I had a complete run of her children’s works, printed hard cover with dust jackets, printed to be about the side of an adult’s hand, with a nice display box.
This isn’t a story where we talk about how she also had a second trade in making BDSM porn, like the explicitly kinky creator of Superman. Beatrix Potter’s other identity was a thwarted by sexism, but outside of her kid’s books, she was merely talented botanist who studied mushrooms (and then after a land conservationist). No, Miss Potter put her kinky themes front and centre: a fascination with authority figures seeking to punish their naughty charges; clothes being shredded, lost and torn; and captivity in tight spaces and scenarios
And there’s nowhere more blatant than “The Tale of Samuel Whiskers”
It’s Regency Femdom Week, but I am immensely busy trying to dodge a pandemic to safely meet my submissive, and don’t have the undivided attention to bang out a proper work of fiction. Instead I offer a Regency Historical Romance review by way of consolation!
“Bold Seduction” is available on Amazon here as an exclusively digital book, as well as the standard kobo, nook, etc… At the time of writing this review it’s still on sale for 99 cents, but the regular price is quite fair too. I receive no affiliate or financial benefits from my review, and the closest I am to the author is following her on Twitter.
The book, itself
The Bold Seduction (of Professor Hornsyby) by Karyn Gerrard, was something I grabbed on sale for 99 cents. The premise was unusual- a male virgin, so I was intrigued to see what she would do with it, although I had never read anything by her before.
I am very glad I did.
I keep saying the problem isn’t that femdom content isn’t out there, it’s that it is seldom flagged as femdom. This particular novel manages to hit enough points to do better than many things that call themselves thus, and with the organization of the first annual Regency Femdom Week, I would be remiss not to both review and promote this book.
Our hero, Philomena, or “Phil”, is a brothel madam who still occasionally sees clients. She’s now in her early 30s and doing very comfortably, but getting a little bit bored. Thus when she is hired by the well meaning friends of Spencer, the third son of a nobleman, to relieve him of his virginity, she takes the job herself. “Professor” Spencer is autistic, and as an austistic person (me), his portrayal is probably my favourite in fiction so far.
The book is from a short story, and now is the launch of a trilogy. I can see why she gave it a second pass and more fleshing out; it was well worth its increased length. Although it’s very much an erotic romance, there is no gratuitous sex, and an extremely slow burn story, as much about cooking and getting to know one another than bedroom romps. I usually skip the sex scenes in romances, and I never felt I needed to here.
This is not hard femdom, but (author) knows how to build a tease and denial atmosphere, replete with edging. Despite her mission, and the hero’s reluctance, our protagonist manages to reaffirm enthusiastic consent every step of the way. The convenient remote location and lack of transportation to and from the hero’s isolated house gives the characters space to get to know each other and her to respect the initial no without immediately leaving. If not strictly a Christmas romance, with the framing of New Years in the background, this is a Holiday story that holds up year round.
Content note to femdom hungry readers:
Although most of the sex is very directed and initiated by her, as Spencer starts to feel his oats, the heroine enjoys him taking a more assertive role occasionally.
It does not, however, disempower her or flip roles completely. He very innocently keeps joking about her being a queen in a way that I find is often a real life tell for a sub guy in the wild.
As a person who has done the sexual initiation thing, I generally find I appreciate knowing I have installed confidence into my target. I generally don’t code it as “dominant” in my emotional experience of his behaviour, but I enjoy Silver takes initiative and doesn’t confine himself to by the numbers submission.
This book does zero sadomasochism and manages to affirm enthusiastic content with natural regularity. There is no bondage, and no degradation. You won’t enjoy this if you are hunting harder kinks, but I found it nicely hit on the right notes for a naturally occurring FLR.
What about its success as a genre piece & romance?
There’s all the good stuff of a historical romance: Dresses. Navigating social class. Self discovery. Social ruin. The fantasy of inequality put in the service of feeling powerful. We don’t, thankfully, get a surprise extra level of enobling, but the hero is the third son of an Earl, so this isn’t strictly speaking the rare historical commoner romance.
Phil’s approach to sex work doesn’t go down quite so obnoxiously as many heroines, although this does do the “only client I actually ever was attracted to”. She is a victim of an abduction into her trade, which I was a little cautious of, and a little foreshadowing that her wicked aunt and uncle may have intentionally disposed of her into this state of social ruin. Luckily this book doesn’t assert all sex workers are victims, but touches on her colleagues having a huge scope of different experiences and relationships with what they do for a living.
Buried in all this, however, is a very lovely story about the isolation of trauma. Maybe this is particular to me, my autism exists in a space of unclear beginning/end between serious business abuse I survived. Spencer and Phil are both living in self imposed silos of isolation because of abuse, and that’s rather the connection point I can understand how they get each other.
Emotionally Avoidant People In Love
Phil and Spencer are using intense self reliance as a means to be safe, and neither is very trusting. Spencer overtly is never sure if he can trust the good intentions of anyone but his family due to very real past experiences. Phil, meanwhile, repeatedly remarks she respects, but isn’t close to her colleagues in her business, with a very obvious theme of nurturing but arms length to them. For example, a character mentioned repeatedly, but not introduced “Darius” her business’s security, is a rescue from a back alley beating, and I can bet that her “nobody cares about me” attitude never uttered self pityingly, is ruthlessly enforced.
Spencer makes her feel safe because she is so busy unpuzzling him and accommodating, that the inevitable love sneaks up and grabs her unawares. She makes him feel safe because she narrates everything she is doing with him and takes the time to explain something he’s hitherto been exposed to as something humans are supposed to automatically figure out.
Another thing I found pleasant in Gerrard’s depiction of autism was that she skipped the trope of inherent misanthropy. The hero is withdrawn, not because he can’t connect with people, but because the experience of being autistic has provided repeated trauma, both sensory processing and socially. We learn his inevitable social class fueled boarding school experience was an exercise in learning to suppress to survive. But we also see a family that, like every family tree with autism in it, has learned to accommodate.
What Spencer has, that Phil doesn’t, is a foundation of being loved by family, that he is able to share, in turn, by loving her.
And (hooray!), he is no Rain Man. True, he is an academic, but he’s not framed as a magic savant, just a guy with a strong knack for his field of study. I also had to grin when I saw him doggedly (and implied accurately) using the medium of classical history to understand human behaviour- oops, hello me! He also isn’t a particularly successful scholar as far as achievement- his “Professor” is a courtesy title he’s chasing because he seems to be trying to leverage his talents to overcome his disability.
Spencer also wanders around being boggled Phil doesn’t send him into a meltdown, again, see me with a big Cheshire cat grin. With spectrum disorders you can come to believe your worst is normal. In reality, the severity goes up and down with how stressed you are, so a discovery of a modicum of empathy and acceptance can seem miraculous.
Although I don’t consider saying their is a HEA is a spoiler, I am going to park a more tag before I touch on the climax of the novel.