Reader Letter: Embracing Femdom As A Beginner

So this question popped up in my fetlife feed, and with the original author’s permission I reprinted.

So, I have a lot if issues. I’m new to all this and really need a mentor in general. [To keep things short] I’m going to try my best to narrow things down and hopefully find some help that way. For one, I’m kind of shy. I like to get to know people before I’m comfortable enough to act “dommy” around them. And then I also like to take other people’s feelings and abilities into consideration. I guess you could call me a soft domme? But then all of that just causes issues for me, like people expect me to be a super dominatrix bitch right away, or they expect me to make all the rules and boss them around. What do I do with all this? How do I get over this shyness so people will actually take me seriously and not call me a fake all the bloody time? Then, if someone actually gets past that, I’m not sure what to do with them. They usually suggest that I give them tasks or whatever, but it’s always sexual, and I’m not interested in sex all that much. What I really like is the aspect of control. Anyway, in short, I don’t want my D/s relationships to revolve around sex. So what I can do? And what are some tasks that I can give them to do that aren’t as sexual? 19FDomme

Hi, 19FDomme!

Figuring out how to get what you want is a challenge at any age. Being a dom, especially a female one, means dealing with a whole bunch of expectations and stereotypes that may stand in your way. As you’ve probably already noticed, there’s a lot of expectations put on us to be “in role” from day 1 and develop some sort of persona rather than simply relaxing and being yourself. Part of finding satisfaction as a Dom is getting past what others want for you and discovering what you want. When it comes to diagnosing your problem, I want you to think about this sentence. You wrote: What I really like is the aspect of control. 

This is very reasonable and a huge part of dominance as a personal identity- it’s no wonder people trying to use you as a fetish dispensing machine are boring and frustrating you! A key part of dominance is the near addictive draw to that sensation of power. It might be benevolent and nurturing, or it might be sadistic, but it can also be one of the most challenging parts of getting your needs met.

The first thing to remember is that submissives are not interchangeable, so things not working out with one sub does not mean you are a bad dom or not a dom. Building a D/s dynamic is about finding someone you work well with, and no one relationship is a perfect copy of anyone else. This can feel frustrating, because you are probably bombarded with attention and loads of guys are promising they really want to submit, but most of them are just asking you to fill their fetish needs. Even if they are ready, eager and willing to try to make you happy, at this point, no knowing you, all they can offer is suggestions based on what they want and what porn tells them you want. This can make the whole thing seem not for you.

Unfortunately, beyond the problem of getting to know people well enough to actually serve them, rather than the abstract idea of a dom, inexperienced subs will also forget that doms are people too and may act pouty if they don’t get the fantasy they were expecting. Because of this, you may feel like you have to put on an aggressive, unapproachable persona with everyone you meet in order for possible play partners to take you seriously. Actually, you can consider not doing that your idiot filter- the ones who expect you to be Mistress WhippyBitch straight off the bat really don’t care who is dominating them- and have demonstrated they don’t want to take the time to get to know you.

Dominance is intimate, and it’s vulnerable. It involves being capable of being selfish, and admitting that you want things badly enough to have someone do it for you. Meanwhile, wanting to care about your sub’s needs and feelings doesn’t make you a weak dom, it makes you not a raving pyschopath. Pornography (and the marketing copy of professionals) gives the impression that dominants are unyielding bullies with zero empathy and a constant presence. It can be natural to be very shy about your dominance if you feel like you have to overcome that public perception! Any sub that calls you ‘fake’ for being who you are instead of their fantasy is not worth your time. That’s because being a dom is not about what their kinks mean to them, it’s about what your desires mean to you.

For most people, BDSM is sexual. I don’t know, in your case, whether for you it’s a psychological power trip, or you’re just not particularly promiscuous with your favours. Be that as it may, it’s okay to want to do things your way because it’s your sexuality/personality and that’s going to be constant even when you are single. While professionals excel at packaging femdom into a one size fits all approach, finding something that works for you is about finding your own kinks. You said get the most satisfaction from a sense of being in control- so if you want to build on that you need to develop what sort of control you want. Power can be about giving people things, or about denying them.

Here’s some very basic advice in that line:

1) Take the time to educate yourself about what is and isn’t okay regarding limits and safety advice. That way you will feel secure knowing how to keep your sub protected while being able to call out nonesense when you encounter it.

2) Confidence is born from being able to feel in control of yourself. I already talked about recognizing time wasters and learning to banish them. You should also decide what your standards are and commit yourself to being willing to cut people off who disappoint you – with reasonable expectations, subs being idiots to you will no longer feel like you failed and you’ll save your energy for the ones who are worth it. You can also know that you are going to be extremely desireable to your potential partner – good subs are worth their weight in gold to a dominant, but you don’t have to put up with “eh, close enough!”.

3) All that fetish stuff- the tying people up, etc… is about creating a feeling. You should only do it if it helps create the feeling you want to experience in you as well as in your partner. If it isn’t your kink and it doesn’t make you happy, you are not less dominant for saying no.

4) Do the leg work in your courtships because it lets you control for interactions more so than if you just sit in a chair waiting for subs to petition you. This may sound all awkward and weird, but start with a few positive comments and the mere fact that you made the effort will get them standing up to attention. On the other hand, don’t let people mistake passivity for submission- it’s okay for subs to get fulfillment out of your planning and aggression, but they should never make you feel like some sort of under paid manager and entertainer.

5) There is no such thing as a free lunch, so make sure that subs trying to ‘serve’ you are clearly understanding and expressing what they get out of it. A common route for wasting time is the service-for-fetish bargain a lot of people are offering. Service can be many things, but it’s supposed to be a tangible gesture of a sensation of subjugation or worship, not a work exchange.

6) Don’t express yourself sexually or socially the way you think dominants are supposed to want it- own what you want. If your personality is mousey and soft, don’t let other people force you to speak louder to be more dominant- make them stop and listen to your whisper.

7) Lastly, watch out for the hype- once one’s confidence is built up, it’s easy to buy into the idea the idea that dominance puts you above inputs from subs. Outside of a pre-agreed upon dynamic they are your equals and even then, don’t let yourself miss out on all the valuable guidance and feedback your partners have to offer.

15 Things I Wish I’d Known as a New Femdom

alicescanWhile I’ve always had an inclination in the direction of kinky, even before my sexuality was much of a coherent thing, for much of my life I didn’t really know how to describe what I wanted and I certainly didn’t always know how to get what I wanted. Finding out the word was “dominant” was a total light bulb moment, but after all the exploration I’ve done, there’s still a few things I wish came in the welcome package for every new femdom.

1) You are only 50% of the end product in any D/s dynamic. What you are building together, with your partner, is a feeling. This is about as tricky as say, building a sense of love or deep trust, and it’s not going to work with any random sub or switch anymore than any heterosexual man or women are automatically perfect for each other just because they’re both straight. The corollary of this is that just because he first sub identifying people you meet are not attractive to you does not mean you aren’t a dom.

2) Chuck all your assumptions on how you should act and how the other person should act out the window and actually talk about how you want things to look like together. Assumptions are like not reading the map when you embark on unknown territory. Otherwise if you’re a sadist and they’re not it could get ouchy (sorry, sorry!), or they can spend all their time sulking because they thought all doms do their particular favourite fetishes and it hasn’t occurred to you to try it.

3) Put both your fetishes into a big pot and stir them together. Dominants are not fetish fulfilment agents, but subs are not robots. Your D/s identity is only the opening line in a discussion that leads to you both getting what you want and fetishes are the extras that help you achieve that. The dynamic that works is the one that takes into account that you both have needs.

4) You may need to push a bit against people being annoying or unhelpful to get started. (Sorry, it’s probably the patriarchy.) One of the biggest things that discourages female dominants is the first time we try to assert ourselves, a partner decides to say no or make it extra difficult (particularly if said dominant is a switch), or they approached you with their desire like it was a big awful, complicated favour that has to follow the sub’s script. It is okay to say “I need you to work with me” or require things to be made simple for you. You don’t have the right to dom someone against their wishes, and everyone deserves limits, but anyone who really wants to support you should be open minded and at least ready to humour you.

5) It is not who you are, it’s what you want. You can be the most whip skilled, knot wizard girl scout with the most assertive demeanor ever, or you can be a shy and doe eyed creature who hurts yourself when spanking someone else. You can be a professional hostage negotiator, or cry when you have to ask for a raise. You can look like a fetish pinup or a soccer mom. Whatever your personality is like, what makes you dominant is the desire to dominate, and that’s also whether it is limited to your significant other once a month after church, or done all the time with a forty person harem carrying you about on a sedan chair.

6) You have to be selfish about not compromising on your core desires. This one is a toughy because nobody sets out to be intentionally selfish- but because everyone is fussy and has their own things, it’s easy to be accommodating. This ranges from putting up with partners who arbitrarily get bored with D/s, to changing up everything so you do only the things the sub finds hot on their schedule, through to dating vanilla because being alone sucks. If you do this, something will always feel a little askew and temptation to what you really want may make you resentful.

7) There is no such thing as a non-dominant sex act. You can do oral. You can be penetrated. You can cross dress, you can be tied up, beaten and made to cry in public. See #1, for the root of this and also #5- but more to the point there may also be power for you by playing with your own vulnerability and it is not a feeling of control to let custom or the judgments of other dictate what you may do. You will feel better having the sex you like rather than the sex you think you should like.

8) Your sub may come with their own baggage related to their orientation. Particularly male subs, who get very short shrift and have to deal with feeling less than masculine or unsexy. This means a lot of people who think they need to apologize for wanting you. It also means a learning curve if you two try a fetish like cuckolding, where they discover that you really are more into them than the alternatives, regardless of the flavour of your bedroom talk.

9) The porn sucks, forget the porn. The porn will make you angry or sad. Fuck the porn. Porn that works for you will probably be a cobbled together collection of broken or hacked together bits and pieces. However half the people on the sub/switch side are also making do with the best they can get. So if you find someone who really gets what you’re looking for, tell them they’re awesome, because it’s probably a lonely labour of love for them.

10) Not all people of the submissive persuasion know how to make themselves feel the way they want to feel. This one is also a tough-y, in that you will end up meeting people who either found the feeling accidentally in a past relationship, or during solo self exploration, who will then expect you to be able to bring that feeling out of them. It is not a measure of your worth as a person if you can’t make someone feel submissive.

11) Someone being submissive to you in a way that makes you feel powerful is magical, but can feel really scary too.  I’m not the first person to notice that the desire to dominate can feel incredibly vulnerable, but once again, touching on #1, being dominant means needing someone else to do their half of things. When you get used to saying “meh” about people meeting your needs, it can be a feeling of frightening dependence to learn there is more for you out there from a few rare people.

12) You can only be someone’s fantasy for a short while, but you can be someone’s reality indefinitely. Professional doms make money living up to people’s fantasies in short duration, and specialize in making it as close to perfect as possible to maximize their profit. However in an actual relationship, if there is no room for you to be human it is going to eventually crumble under the weight of improbable expectations. A dynamic may take maintenance, but you shouldn’t need to be constantly plugging gaps and bailing the boat to keep someone’s attention and respect.

13) Looking after people can feel powerful, but it’s not a substitute for dominance. As a female identifying person, caretaking is one of the few non-controversial routes you are allowed to gain and exert power- but watch out for letting it turn into you being used. Do not tie yourself to dysfunctional people to feel powerful and strong by comparison- they will either get better and fuck up your little plan, or stay bad and fail to be there for you when you need them.

14) Don’t even think of going semi-pro, and don’t tolerate being treated like the budget option. Either become a full on professional dominant and charge what they are worth, or stick to doing it for love- becoming a grey area pro is not going to help or make you happy and people trying to ‘tribute’ you can’t imagine you enjoying things for their own sake. Sex Worker is a job, and the rates they charge are also to screen out the guys who are not worth their time, as well as to deal with the headache of people with a “me first” attitude. Only play with people who are serious about you as a person, either out of respect and affection. And more to the point, becoming a grey area pro-dom is confusing if you ever plan on an actual relationship- and those “budget” clients will not see a cheaper rate as a warning not to push for more than you feel like giving.

15) The people who help you figure this out will come from all sorts of different places. They will be the sub boyfriend who is better at knots than you because he’s been tying himself up for years. They will be the snarky older woman whose blog finally makes you realize you can have fun with this, or that your secret fantasies have a name and people really live that way. They will be your mom accidentally pointing out that the reason why you’re not happy in your relationship is the lack of power, or even the high school boys who insisted on carrying your books. They will be the Disney villainess you were supposed to be scared of, and the person who is asking your for help that forces you to actually examine how things work. and you’re always going to be learning- there is no being done with that until you’re dead.

The Big Mistake Even Good Submissive Men Make When Looking For A Femdom

Male subs, stop asking for the relationship you don’t actually want with a dominant woman.

This pertains to you, the guy who is thoughtfully and carefully filling out a profile to put his best foot forward on the internet, or sending out your messages nervously and respectfully as you can, to try to convince what you see as a rare, nice femdom woman that she should be into you, or at least not knee jerk delete your greeting. This is talking to the guy who tells people, as reassuringly as he can, that he is “very submissive” and will do anything to make them happy while trying hard not to rule anything out by being specific. Or the guy who helpfully fills out that he’ll do house chores, chauffeur her around, anything really, as long as she will just deign to accept him or even talk to him. Or the person who petitions women like he should be apologizing for wasting the carbon than makes up his body mass.

Not all of you sub guys should actually be doing this. It’s actually hurting your chances at making a human connection.

Yes, it’s not a good idea to lead with a barrage of demands, and nobody likes a laundry list of fetishes in their inbox or a partner who has how you’ll act all mapped out. But, if you’re at all a long time reader of this blog, you probably aren’t dealing with the level of selfishness or stupid, which leads you to message women with “wanna meet at my hotel while I’m in town for business and spank me and fuck my ass?!”. 

I’m talking about the fact that a lot of sub guys prepare themselves to please an internalized idea of what a femdom is. In most people’s minds, that’s a very client-and-pro styled relationship, where the assumption is that the woman is not willing and eager in her own right. It’s, at the very least, a hyper exaggeration of the idea that nice girls really don’t wanna and need to be bribed and cajoled into it. I’ve rattled that cage often enough this should be old hat right now, that a lot of us dominan women love it for its own sake. However, what isn’t being said, but needs to be said is this-

A lot of you guys aren’t actually into either being unpaid domestic workers or Mr. Everybody’s Servile Cur and you are still selling yourself that way because you think that’s the Right Thing to Do. For every silly boob who writes me calling me “Mistress Goddess Lady Divine” because he wants it to be true, there’s a not so silly bloke who thinks I simply delete anyone who doesn’t address me like I was some sort of fantasy nobility and thinks it’s a protocol thing he has to go through because otherwise he’s not a Good Submissive (TM). And it’s past time we stopped demanding every guy with a submissive fantasy act like a simpering sycophant or an emotional masochist before the relationship even gets off the ground. Afterwards? That’s up to you- but before? This trend is not helping.

Real life example time:

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FAbQ: Should You “Train” With Someone?

Getting practical experience is a challenge.

One of the confusing things about kinky sex, is that the term “train” is used without much explanation  When we talk about someone in a D/s relationship, especially in an erotic context, “training” is often put under extreme focus- And in stories and porn, the dominant will often train someone to submit, or train someone to serve. Teacher/student or Trainer/animal are really popular role dynamics

Logically, if you’re new, it may feel like the next step is to find a dominant to show you the ropes. And if you got introduced to this, you may decide that being “trained” by a dominant is a good idea. On the flip side, as a dominant, you may be ultra nervous if you’re starting out, or feel like you don’t deserve to be a dom until you have experience.

So, should you offer yourself up to a dominant on an apprenticeship basis?

No, not really. This isn’t to say that mentors and educational resources like work shops are a bad idea, but the first thing a noob runs out and does should not be to find a dom. Experienced people can teach you all sorts of positive things, but looking for a person specifically to train you as a sub to either learn to be a submissive or learn to dominate is not a good idea because it will be hard to find someone to take you on, and it will severely limit you when you learn.

The problem with “training” is that in practice, people experience D/s as part of their general relationships. Of course this might sound like a perfect idea- I mean if you’re vanilla (not kinked) and a virgin you would want to get a boyfriend or a girlfriend, right? Of course it’s a good idea to find people that you connect with to experiment with! But when you’re new to kink, waiting until someone takes you on to start learning is like trying to experiment with sex without knowing anything about birth control, which orifices to use, etc….

1) It’s not safe for you. In practice, kink is usually pretty safe, at least on the same level that vanilla sex is pretty safe. You usually won’t get badly physically hurt if you mess up- at least if you don’t go into the complicated or painful stuff. However there is no central regulating board of kink. Any damn fool can call themselves a dominant. They can claim any number of years of experience and make any grand claim of skill they like. If you learn about what you like and find reasonable first, it is easier for you to know when you should be rolling your eyes at pompus Lady DoomWhip or Master DemonShovel.

Besides, ,ot only could you pick up all sorts of stupid or abusive ideas (eg, a submissive always obeys all dominants), but you may have a problem giving informed consent. That is to say that you will be able to consent to trying something with a clear understanding of what it is and what its effects might be.

2) There aren’t that many promiscuous people looking to “train” out of the goodness of their hearts. As I said, for many people, D/s is a love or sex thing. A lot of people, myself included, are happy to talk about kink, but we are not so happy to give our favours out freely. It can be highly personal to connect with someone and a purely training relationship presupposes lots of single/poly doms who just live to indulge random people’s kinks.

Besides, if you’re happily married, this leaves you rather high and dry if you can only get initiated through dropping monogamy. Because most kink is happening between normal couples, not in the stricture of apprenticeships.

3) There is no such thing as universal training. People are delightfully different. There are many ways to do BDSM, and all of the correct. Generally when a dominant does train someone it is to serve in the manner that that person finds pleasing.

For example some people really like anticipatory service, that is, someone who will figure out what the dom needs without being told, while other people only want obedience based service. Some people are really into fussy protocol, while others don’t care if you walk ten paces behind (or whatever) as long as rope, or feet (or whatever) are involved. Playing with people is a good chance to experiment, but even individual subs respond well depending on what happens.

4) Not everyone is a switch. This is particularly important to the concept of becoming a dom through learning. There is a concept that you will get a better intrinsic attitude to submissive psychology and limits if you actually try it. In practice… there isn’t one set way to approach it, and more to the point, if you’re lacking submissive tendencies in some way  you won’t get much to extrapolate from. A serious masochist, for example, trying to apply that to a “sensual” submissive won’t get very far, and if all you feel is bored, frustrated and uncomfortable that’s going to give you funny ideas what subs like.

So it’s not wrong to look for mentors and people to experiment with, but you shouldn’t muddle D/s training with learning.