The Mistress Manual (The Good Girl’s Guide to Female Dominance) by Mistress Lorelei
A caveat before I begin: Mistress Lorelei, by look of her blog, is an intelligent kick ass feminist. This is in no way a criticism of her as a writer or as a dominant. She hits a lot of great points, and it’s not the worst book that could fall into the hands of a novice.
It’s just… it’s another guide on how to act like a pro-dom. It’s like if you were a gay man and all you could find was advice on how to please clients as a rent boy or acting like a rent boy to spice up your marriage. It’s not a how to for dominants who also happen to be women, it’s a guide to pleasing male subs by taking on a role to satisfy what they want.
She gets some bits okay, like talking about post scene whoopsies and bad feelings. She clearly wants her audience to feel empowered and comfortable. Unfortunately she’s still stubbornly clinging to the idea that the reason to be a fem dom is better participation by the male in housework. She at least suggests you might find this leads to better sex but… not because it’ll make you horny. I recognize that many women are not comfortable with their sexuality and prefer ‘fun’ over ‘fucking wet’. And getting listened to, at least in the bedroom might even spill into confidence in other areas- I know when my desires are being respected I’m much happier. But nowhere is it stressed by Lorelei that you’re doing this for you.
For example in asserting your authority:
“It is also your duty to rename his genitalia. The name should emphasize his juvenile and inferior status without being so mocking as to render him impotent. A slightly childish name for his penis and two alliterative names for his testicles will equip you to tease and torment him to your heart’s content.”
“You should know that even when he is bound to a backboard or forced into ladies’ clothing, you must supply him with fantasies (the script) or his mind will wander.”
This isn’t about the dominant. She sells the archetypes, nurse maid, governess, etc… talks about gender bending and dudes in diapers. It’s not all bad, of course and I’m not against male pleasure. Ideally both parties in a D/s thing are getting their needs met. She even gives dating advice for single doms. But Lorelei is oddly silent about being a dom woman with a vanilla man or broaching the topic with a partner from the women’s perspective or even any indication that it’s ever the reader’s idea.
Instead her instructions often read like a client’s wish list. Now there’s a long history of sex tips for women in the Cosmo school of “touch him on the penis!” and man pleasing, so she can’t be faulted for not deviating. And many, many people get off best when their partner is horny, but this isn’t doing sub guys any favours either.
Lorelei writes as if all sub men are cross dressers or adult babies or all manner of extra fetishes. She puts a lot of emphasis on roleplay scenarios where you are the Governess or the Nursemaid or similar. The guy is the sexual deviant being catered to by a woman understanding his unique sexual needs- this is not about her sexual perversion. We’re back to re-enforcing the idea that anything female and dominant is odd and that sub guys are just men with elaborately complicated demands.
Don’t get me wrong, she definitely cares about her audience. For example when she’s talking about developing authority by dressing up:
“A simple black T-shirt and matching jeans can be as effective a costume as all the leather-and steel regalia in the world. You need to decide how much of your submissive’s visual sense you want to please, how much you want to tease. Also, frankly, how much do you enjoy dressing up? If you love it, you can choose elaborate outfits by fantasy. Or you can relax and say the hell with it. You’re the Domme, remember.”
This is a huge leap better than Elise Sutton’s guide to being a highly specific male fantasy. I think if I had a criticism here it’s that in this context “Mistress” is being used to mean a professional dominant and not in the generic sense. It’s another roleplay scenario being put on as surely as if the woman was dressing up as a naughty school girl.
Category: How to Guide
Rating: o~o~o (3/5)
How I got it: Borrowed
TL:DR: A good gift for a vanilla woman you want to top you, or someone who doesn’t like thinking about their own sexual desire to dominate. Very much a “Vanilla Guide To Being A Dominatrix”. Not my cup of tea.