Fighting The Dominatrix Stereotype

One of my best friends said something to me that made me even more frustrated with the stereotype of a dominant woman. We were talking about how she was coping with her relationship with her submissive coming to an end. She was understandably upset about it and was questioning herself and her desire to be in a D/s relationship. When acknowledged her disappointment and sadness she said “It’s not very Domme-like is it?”

I tried to explain to her that just because she’s dominant, doesn’t mean she won’t second guess or feel down like everyone else. She’s human after all. She an incredibly powerful, smart woman and an amazing Domme, but even superman has kryptonite.

This may be one reason why so many women don’t feel comfortable showing their dominant side. They believe that they need to fit into some mold of a Dominatrix, always confident, always sexual and always “acting” dominant.

Here are just a few reasons why some dominants have told me they sometimes feel less of a Domme.

1: She didn’t feel comfortable yelling at a man.

I’ve played with a decent number (yet still far too small) of dominant women and I can’t remember being yelled at once. The only time I’ve ever seen a Domme yell is in BDSM movies. A whisper is more powerful than a yell in my book.

2: She didn’t want to have to be the one who does all of the work when it comes to sex.

I’ll grant you that when it comes to some forms of play, the submissive does do less “work” (nice work if you can get it), but when it comes to actual sex, I find that I’m the one that is encouraged to be a human fucking machine, not her.

3: She didn’t like to cause a great deal of pain.

As someone who identifies as a masochist, I can say that, while I enjoy being ripped apart, beaten and left as a shivering puddle of flesh on the floor (ok that hasn’t happened yet but fingers crossed for someday) it’s 1/10000th of the possibilities out there. Just because she wasn’t a sadist doesn’t mean she wasn’t a good dominant.

4: She wanted a man for a boyfriend, not a doormat.

This comes down to the submissive and how their submission manifests itself, some may be prone to acting like a doormat. Mine gives me strength. I feel more powerful when I know I’ve pleased either through service or sexually. If I’ve made her cum a record number of times using only my mouth and sacrificed (sacrificed isn’t the best word, but I’m kinda sleepy as I write this) my own pleasure for hers, I feel taken, used and…more masculine. The same goes for the rare occasion I get a really heavy beating, I feel stronger knowing I could take it for her.

5: She just felt like cuddling.

I’m a cuddle whore…give me your best shot….please.

6. She felt uncomfortable humiliating a man.

I’m at a loss on this one. I’ve never been humiliated in the context of play (plenty of times when falling for some phony on collarme or alt however) and haven’t felt the need to explore it nor have I ever been with anyone who enjoyed it.

7: She had a hard day and needed a good cry.

Again, the idea that a dominant woman is impervious to feeling blue is insane. I’ve tried to talk friends through this feeling in the past and it’s a difficult one to combat since it battles some crazy caricature.

I still don’t have a good logical explanation for it. For me it’s obvious but I lack a good way to comfort someone in this situation.

How do you explain to a dominant that just because she may have been tricked by a submissive or had her heart broken by one, it doesn’t make her less of a good dominant?

23 Comments

Oh, this was so hard for me when I was new to being a dom. I felt so much pressure (from myself, not from my wonderful submissive boyfriend) to be strong all the time. And, of course, I’m just human, and not even a particularly tough human.

I can cry in my man’s arms because he’s strong. He’s strong and he’ll hold and support me. And if I don’t feel dominant in that situation, it’s OK. Nobody is asking me to feel dominant 24/7. I am still his mistress – I am just his mistress who needs to be held.

I’m almost completely comfortable with stuff like this now, but it’s really hard at first. At least it was for me.

First and foremost, we are all humans having human relationships with each other. I expect my guy to be strong, funny, bold, etc., and he expects me to be vulnerable and soft.

I have never had any problems expressing my emotions, whether it is sadness, bliss or anger. I see that as one of my strenghts, not a weakness. In my eyes, it does not make me any less dominant, quite the contrary.

About six months ago I was dating a submissive man, at a time when the dearest of my animals had been badly hurt, and I faced putting her to sleep. Needless to say, I cried that day, both from fear and sadness. To my surprise, the man felt that it did make me less of a Domme, and the dating quickly fizzled out. However, I believe that such a reaction is more a reflection of his inability to deal with other people’s emotions. In the end, Dommes are human and have the right to show it!

One of the cardinal sins I committed was giggling. Not in a humiliation sort of way, just because something struck me funny during the scene. Apparently laughing is not allowed while in Dommely Domme mode :). Now I know I am not supposed to have fun when I play…

Isn’t there a difference to being in full on “scene” mode and just being? I think there is a difference in whether it’s going to be a real relationship or just something that’s compartmentalized.

I’ve run into a lot of guys who really just want to be “entertained” and weren’t really looking for a dominant women to be part of their real lives.

This was a really interesting post for me, because it brought up a lot of the issues that I’ve been pondering.

While I do not identify as one who needs a D/S lifestyle, I find myself enjoying D/S play more and more. It really is a lot of fun, and i enjoy experimenting and pushing boundaries, being somewhat new to the whole idea. I find within myself that I have desires to both submit and dominate, making me what the colloquial parlance would term a “switch”, with which, i should add, i’m more than fine.

My problem is more about how i want to explore and experiment, or rather, how either my domme or sub sides manifest themselves. All too often i find myself explaining “I’m too feisty to be a real sub”, which is true on the one hand, but on the other, where is it carved in stone the ten commandments of what constitutes a sub? That s/he must submit — well, duh. But how that plays out, how it is interpreted in the context of the play itself differs so violently from person to person, or perhaps, from D/S relationship to D/S relationship.

I found how, as a male submissive, you explained your point of view, and how open you are to understanding how the whole scene and how it affects you, to be remarkably refreshing and highly informative. Thank you for the insight and viewpoint.

Warmest —
Juno x

People really do try to define themselves and others in such rigid ways.

Well written.

I’ll second Juno in thanking you for that – and debunking the myth that people are their sexuality first, rather than themselves.

I have this theory that when it comes to the stereotypical image of femdom, what we are seeing is an overly sexualized mirror-image of extremely outdated gender models in which the dominant women is encouraged to take on the masculine role and the submissive man is encouraged to take on the feminine. I think this is completely bass ackwards, just as I think the outdated gender models were in the first place.

I wrote about this here, here, and here (listed in reverse chronological order) in case you’re interested in hearing more of my thoughts relevant to this issue.

♀ & i were both new to the whole D/s lifestyle. i was the one asking for it and it’s taken quite a while for Her to understand that as the ‘D’ She gets to decide how it will work and what it will look like. When we’re out in public i wear men’s outer clothes, i hold doors open for her, if it rains i hold the umbrella for her, if it’s cold out i warm her car up and scrape the windows..
To an outside observer all those things look very masculine. She expects me to behave that way, so for us we think of it as submissive.
It’s all about Her will and that includes all things sexual. So when she bends over the couch beside the christmas tree and tells me to fuck her ass while ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is playing; the act itself might appear submissive on her part, but the reality is even in that situation i’m still her sissy-bitch-fucktoy.

Great post btw.

sss

In our relationship, I (The Geek) an the dominant one. I have expressed interest in switching. Nearly all of the above reasons were given at various times as to why that isn’t feasible. IN fact, she on a recent occasion very successfully stepped into a dominant role which started with a bet on my plummeting weight. We should revisit it again with this post in hand as a guide.

An excellent post! D/s is not a religion, and thus needs no dogma or orthodoxy. I think it comes down to how deep your relationship is, and how thoroughly D/s permeates it. I am a Dom with my wife, who is submissive to me, and yet is herself a successful pro-domme.
I would say to anyone hemming and hawing about the rigidity of D/s roles, remember… it is a game. A fun one, and important one, and even one that you never stop playing… but never ever ever let the role trump love, or anything that makes your relationship stronger and closer.

Thanks for the comments all!

I’m glad my point came across. Now if I can only spread the word to all of those great Dommes-in-hiding.

ok I will say again… fuck you are no where close to me, damn! See what I mean darling that you are very vulauble in a real dominant woman’s eyes.. trust me you will find her.

that being said, you might find her more through your blog then other places.

Damn.

Great points. Just as being submissive does not make me weak, showing a girly,soft side does not make a woman any less of a domina.

Congrats on your original post. It brought out a lot of well considered comments… quite thought provoking!
“Marky D.” had me thinking the most!!

Loved this post. As a naturally dominant person ( and former genderqueer Pro Dom) I have learned to show my softer side early to a person I’m dating because otherwise you get comments like ” Wow, you talk baby talk to your pet bunnies? I never would’ve imagined you to….” as though I (and other dominant types) have no feelings or soft squishy moments…ever.

Keep writing. Love your blog and am referring it to subs I know!

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