Fem Dom Fetish Written by: Mistress Tracy, 07/10/2006
What is a Fem Dom?
In my earliest musings, I always felt domination was simply a natural part
of my being. It wasn't until I got older that I became conscious about being
a dominant female and in the same breath self-conscious of my sexual leanings.
It isn't exactly typical or feminine to be a dominant female sexual partner,
especially in high school; after all, we are taught throughout our childhood
and puberty that anything deviating from the subscribed gender roles of Barbie
or G.I. Joe is going against the grain of nature.
When I first encountered BDSM, I asked myself, what is a dominant female? There
were no historical role models that I could relate to, and more often than not,
men and culture regarded those women who exhibited sexual power as whores or
bitches. Still now, asking what a femdom is, even to those who consider themselves
as such, elicits very little historical knowledge, psychological depth, or agreed
understanding that is autonomous from male philosophy, psychology, sexuality
and other theorem.
In regards to dominance and submission, there is plenty of research on de Sade
and Masoch - sadism and masochism - but like most things sexual, research is
more commonly applied to the male gender and desires rather than to the female.
Even if we generalize that women have traditionally had a common sense of community
or family by which they define themselves, there has never been consensus on
the term feminism, let alone on the definition of femdom or her desires.
However, the earliest recorded example of at least a female equal is from the
Bible, Genesis 1:27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image
of God created he him; male and female created he them." It may seem an
odd place to begin a discussion of female dominance, yet it is this very reference
that has led to myths in almost every Judeo-Christian religion and cultures
about the creation of an equal to Adam and before the existence or perhaps even
the submission of Eve. Nevertheless, the mythological Lilith, also known as
Lilin, Liltu, the Night Owl, or Screech Owl in the King James Bible, can be
found in Middle Eastern, Babylonian, Arab, Greek, English, German, Oriental
and Native American legends. There are many different tales about this mysterious
and often considered demonic woman, however it is often speculated that she
was Adam's siamese twin and in the most appropriate version of this myth (for
there are many), it is told, "Adam tried to make Lilith lie beneath him
during sexual intercourse. Lilith would not meet this demand of male dominance.
She cursed Adam and hurried to her home by the Red Sea."
Defined as a woman in opposition to male dominance or a female asserting her
dominance over man, Lilith would seem the most basic concept of what it is to
be a femdom. Certainly, this myth aspires to give us an example that gender
roles, while prescribed in culture, are not necessarily natural models of behaviour,
even according to some translations of this chapter of the bible. Female sexuality
is diverse, fluid and complex, and where one woman may have come to discover
her dominance through her experiences with men, others may have always known
intuitively about their dominant leaning. However, Western
culture does not like a dominant woman and attempts at every turn to force her
to submit to her place as wife, witch or whore.
"Looking back on my life now, I can say that I have always had a dominant
personality. I was always a leader not a follower among my peers. I was a tomboy
growing up, and learned to play with the boys," states professional Dominatrix,
Mistress Gemini in an interview on Fem
This is not an uncommon experience of the femdom, and yet it is also not the
only one. Many other women go their whole lives in submissive and vanilla relationships
until one day they determine - either through their own personal growth, or
perhaps through an experience that triggers them to realize their own sexual
empowerment - their leanings as a dominant female. However, a dominant female
is not necessarily a femdom, and other than to recount various and unique 'herstories',
it is difficult to pinpoint what makes some women submissive in bed and dominating
in the boardroom, others dominating in the bedroom, and still others a lifestyle
femdom or Dominatrix.
In an online article, Mistress Elise Sutton writes that "Female Domination
did not originate from dominant women or feminists. It was men who coined the
phrase Female Domination to categorize their sexual and social desires to submit
themselves to the female gender." It's hard to dispute this statement,
particularly since sexual desire has traditionally been bound to male fantasy
and discourse. Women, in fact, have had little access to their own desire or
sexuality throughout Western history, let alone access to power.
To further her argument, sadism and masochism were not identified as sexual
practices until Richard von Krafft-Ebbing named them in his book, Psychopathia
Sexualis (1886). Similarly, both definitions are based either on one man's (de
Sade) fantasy of sexual power and control or violence over women, or on another
man's (Sacher-Masoch) desire to be dominated by women. It
would indeed seem that female domination originates from the submissive or masochistic
appetites of men.
Bondage, humiliation, spanking, whipping, fetishism, role-play, feminization,
CBT and golden showers, among other things, are all a part of what a male submissive
wants and, as Mistress Elise states, needs. While she goes on to define female
domination as the "male longing for loving female authority," I think
there is a fallacy in this. Frankly, it hardly seems dominating to define femdom
within a parameter of male want, since it easily situates her as a woman who
continues to succumb to male desire and fetish, and one could easily interpret
that she is doing nothing more than women have done since the submission of
Eve - servicing the male orgasm.
On many, but not all femdom porn sites, scenes rest on the Dom's ultimate submission
to the penis. By this I mean her ability to either give the submissive an orgasm
or, believe it or not, succumb to the power of the phallus through having a
cock in her mouth or pussy. It is this kind of conventional pornography that
hold women back from realizing their true dominant potential and it plays into
the definition of a femdom as nothing but a two-dimensional object of male desire.
While Mistress Elise has some very valid arguments regarding what male submissives
do or should want, one can't help but wonder where she would locate her own
pleasure, desire, and power as a dominant.
Another Dominatrix, Lady English, suggests that orgasm is never the goal of
the femdom, and that it basically lowers the female dominant to nothing more
than a whore. "Where the female dominant retains sexual gratification to
substantiate her prominences as a supreme being, the prostitute sells sexual
gratification which reduces her femininity and her humanity to the substance
of a commodity. Those who truly believe that the female is to be cherished,
adored and worshiped would never consider to bargain for her most intimate possession.”
She hits on a few elements of taking pleasure in being a femdom in her What
Is Female Dominance. She suggests first that the Mistress must be unattainable
to the male; second, that the essence of true female domination is a celebration
of femininity; and she also suggests that the transference of power from the
submissive to the Dominant is part of the femdom pleasure.
This seems a very reasonable definition and explanation, except that the transference
of power suggests that the female does not have it within herself in the first
place and that only through men's adoration of the female as supreme does he
willing hand over power (which is symbolically his) to her.
In all definitions of female dominance that I
have come across, I find a bothersome paradox in which the femdom so readily
defines her domination through the male submissive. Alternately,
male dominance is rarely, if ever, defined by the desires, wants or needs of
the female sub, so why is it that women always choose male discourse and desire
as crux to assert anything, let alone a definition of female supremacy or dominance?
While both the Dommes I have quoted seem in slight opposition with regards
to their philosophy of female domination, I would suggest that there is one
commonality between them and with most other femdoms, and that's in the implied
or explicit connection of the dominant female with nature, as well as the commemoration
of her own femaleness. It's from here that I feel that we can and should begin
to understand and define the femdom without resorting to the use of submissive
male desire as a starting point.
The Enlightenment thinker, Charles Montesquieu, once asked, "Does natural
law submit women to men?" While Camille Paglia does not specifically theorize
about the modern femdom in her book Sexual Personae, she does equate femaleness
with nature, and I would say that she answers no to that question. Celebrating
the mother as "the overwhelming force," Paglia suggests quite the
contrary in articulating that the biologic reality of women is a source of power
in itself. "The North American Indian myth of the toothed vagina (vagina
dentate) is a gruesomely direct transcription of female power and male fear."
Natural law, it would seem in this context,
submits men to women and in this way a femdom need only define herself by realizing
and taking the power already born of her own basic anatomy.
Until the dominant female rejoices in her own body and femaleness, or as Lady
English suggests, celebrates femininity, until the femdom discovers and unites
upon a communal base from which to define her power, she will not only never
understand her own desire, but ultimately she will continually be imprisoned
to definition by the sexual appetites of men, and not her own. Certainly it's
an issue deserving of much more space than available in this article, but with
all of this in mind, I would like to go back to the initial question that I
had asked myself as an inexperienced girl in the world of BDSM: what is a female
dominant? I believe a true femdom is a woman who is born of and knows her nature,
and is not made from the fantasies of men.
 Hefner, Alan G., Lilith.
Encyclopedia Mythica, 25, July, 2004.
 Sutton, Mistress Elise. What
Is Female Domination? 1, January, 2004. Bitchy Toons, 03, May 2006.
 English, Lady. What
Is Female Domination? 1999, Leather and Roses. 12, May 2006.
 Paglia, Camille, Sexual Personae. First Vintage Books, New York, 1991.
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