It’s The Economy, Stupid

If you look at almost any book geared to femdom relationships they will all have a similar phrase somewhere at the beginning of the book:

“You probably bought this book because your husband or boyfriend has expressed interest in submitting to you”.

I’ve never seen a book for submissive men that says:

“You’re probably reading this book because your wife or girlfriend has expressed interest in dominating you”

It might be out there though.

If that book is out there, I hope it makes it to the Oprah book club soon.

There must be a reason why there are many websites and books dedicated to introducing girlfriends and wives to the subject of dominance and few (if any) dedicated to introducing a boyfriend/husband to the idea.

One could argue that a dominant woman wouldn’t need to introduce her guy to it because she would have naturally picked a submissive male for a partner.

Others might say that there are simply more men interested in submitting than there are women interested in dominating.

Yet another friend claims that “women just aren’t as into fucking as much as guys”. She pointed to the number of women charging for sex compared to guys as an example.

Interestingly enough, a different friend suggested I look into becoming a professional submissive. Claiming that some women might hire someone of my talents and desires.

I still can’t imagine charging for something I can’t give away for free.

25 Comments

I couldn’t see you as a professional submissive for the same reason I couldn’t see myself as one: neither one of us would make good whores.

I’m going to try and explain all the thoughts that are fluttering around in my head on this issue, but since I’m on day #3 of a horrible headache, it may not go so well.

I could really get to hate “nice.” I, like most females I know, was raised to be a “nice” person. The definition of “nice” shifts from person to person, but a few things seem to be constant: “nice” girls don’t hurt people , and “nice” girls don’t like sex. Needless to say, getting hot and bothered from hurting people while having kinky sex is right out.

Sadism is the refined art of being not nice. Exceedingly not nice. (And yes, not all tops are sadists. But let me get to that.) So is it any wonder that there are fewer female sadists around?

Now, as I said earlier, not all tops are sadists. But tops do take control of the power dynamic, sort of by definition. And that’s not “nice” either. Telling someone what they are going to do, to you, or for you, or in general is not “nice.”

“Nice” is putting up and shutting up, and doing what needs to be done, and not enjoying one damn bit of it. Or, at least, this is my understanding of the phenomenon.

To enjoy sex at all is breaking the “nice” paradigm. To enjoy kinky sex, more so. To admit to oneself that one enjoys things that hurt (oh so good!) is to warp “nice” all out of perspective.

But let’s be clear here. The glass (a little more honest) MY glass is only half full. Because for all that I like to think of myself as having broken the “nice” paradigm it lingers.

I’ve been reading Ellie Lumpesse’s (http://www.lumpesse.com/) masculinity interviews with great interest. In several of them, the men talk about the need to make peace with topping. This consensual power play we do SEEMS to go against the egalitarian feminist sensibility that most of us (I do hope!) hold. It doesn’t, I think we can agree. We do it from a place of informed consent, often warping the cultural perceptions around gender, power and sex, and it is a fulfilling part of many of our lives.

Take the feminist angle, and a dose of “nice” and no wonder there are not female tops coming out of the woodwork. Admitting that one likes to hit people and listen to them gasp on that edge of pain/pleasure: that is scary stuff. Even if the people you are hitting want it as much as you do, consented to be there, and are enjoying the heck out of it.

Getting out of “nice” is work. Work: reading, and thinking, and reading some. Finding a voice to say what one wants. Finding other voices who think like you.

And even then, even if you get that far, you find yourself back at “nice” sometimes, wondering if it will ever feel like it’s alright to want to what you do.

I could get to hate “nice”.

“There must be a reason why there are many websites and books dedicated to introducing girlfriends and wives to the subject of dominance and few (if any) dedicated to introducing a boyfriend/husband to the idea.”

Because porn and the sex industry (prostitutes/pro dommes, like me) are dedicated to introducing men to the idea.

I’m with Shadowedge and Peridot.
Men have an entirely different experience with sexuality than women do. Read an article in Cosmo: the “great” sex tips of the month pretty much amount to “Try to not just lie there!”

And I really wonder at the worth of How-To-Domme books. If you get off on taking charge and/or hurting your partner, you just do it. And if he’s the guy for you, he takes it. I imagine that only vanilla women who want to appease their partner read those things.

if you do want to learn how to be a good sub, i suggest ‘the new bottoming book.’ by hardy and easton. it is great.

Well it seems to me you are looking for a relationship not just playtime and I don’t see how being a pro sub would be helpful.

Peridot: Do you mean to say that the sex industry is dedicated to introducing dominance to men? Perhaps I am misreading your comment. Also, I generally think that one tends to view porn that features things one is interested in, rather than becoming interested after viewing something. But perhaps I am incorrect on this one.

Eliza: I think a how-and-why to dom book would have been a really useful thing to me as I’ve been coming to terms with the idea of having a desire for topping in addition to my more usual bottoming identity. I’ve read quite a few books, including “The Topping Book”, “The Bottoming Book”, SM 101, Consensual Sadomasochism, Different Loving, and a selection (in a bookstore, I admit) of the Mistress manual.

I never felt like the way I approach the issue of cultural contexts and SM were addressed. As much as I love Hardy and Easton’s books,there was not an examination of what we can do with the baggage from our lives when we are trying to take on identities within a scene. Their advice basically boiled down to ignoring any qualms one might have. While this may work for some people, I found it profoundly unsatisfying.

And the “just do it” approach seems problematic to me as well, especially when one has not previously talked about it, or shown interest in such things before. Perhaps I just need to think about these things less. 🙂

I find equally unsatisfying the idea that one should attempt to develop a dominate role at the behest of a partner. Experimentation is one thing, but forcing a role one does not feel is another.

The reality of BDSM is that more men see themselves as submissive than females see themselves as Dominant. There is never a shortage of guys wanting to prostrate themselves at the heel of a Mistress at any fetish or BDSM club and most message boards that discuss this subject have majority of male members. It is like that, I suspect, in every country that has an active BDSM scene. So why would you write a book for a female telling her how to make your man submissive when the chances are, if she is into it she can find someone very easily (although Bitchy Jones seems to have trouble!!) and move the relationship along quite quickly.

Men, on the other hand, seem to fantasise about having a 24/7 BDSM relationship with someone who, is most likely to find the whole thing repellent and has no desire to inflict pain and punishment freely and only consent because it seems to be what the male wants. A good example of that is the blog by Hardwired Submissive Man here http://hardwiredsub.blogspot.com/.

Men want to submit to a female for very different reasons that a female wants to dominate a man and as peridotash says, the porn industry is run my men and they will always cater to the biggest and most readily available audience.

“There must be a reason why there are many websites and books dedicated to introducing girlfriends and wives to the subject of dominance and few (if any) dedicated to introducing a boyfriend/husband to the idea.”

Of course there is. The reason is that female sexuality is STILL, even in this day and age and even when the female sexuality is dominant(!!!), widely thought of as being a gift from men. Or at least guided by men.

While men may not be 100% confident with their submissive sexuality, it doesn’t need to be a response-to-women’s-sexuality. Whereas a woman must be seeking out her dominant sexuality because it is a reaction to what her man wants, after all she couldn’t possibly have a sexuality all her own, now could she??!!

*rolls eyes*

As ridiculous as it seems, that attitude is pervasive. And the pervasive attitude itself creates the way the messages are sent, the way the books are written and the way we think about sexuality.

It also explains why most of those articles, books, etc are wastes of trees… they miss the point entirely.

An interesting question. I wondered about this myself.
Incidentally I am a dominant woman who expressed interest in domination to my husband and was met with a panicked stare and avoidance. I know for certain that he’s not going to read any books on the subject.

“One could argue that a dominant woman wouldn’t need to introduce her guy to it because she would have naturally picked a submissive male for a partner.”

Not everybody does. I picked in my early twenties. I understand now that I picked my husband because I wanted the service element. He loves serving me, we have a non-traditional family (I am the one with the career, he follows me around), but my husband doesn’t think it’s anything out of the ordinary. Even though the substance of FLR is there, there’s no formality. And I won’t even start talking about S/M, or its almost-absence, in my relationship.

I think that a lot of submissive men who are trying to get their wives/girlfriends to think about submission know exactly how I feel, only I’m from the other side.

And let me tell you, it’s kind of upsetting to read again and again (not just on your blog, Axe), how dominant women don’t exist, or how dominant women in relationships are always happily topping, in and out of the bedroom. I wish.

I had been in a “traditional marriage” for 11 years (the relationship being 16 years) of a husband led marriage that was brought to the brink of divorce because neither of us accepted as truth that he was naturally submissive and I was naturally dominant. Hell, when we married we didn’t even know what the terms dominant and submissive meant let alone that a wife led marriage was an option!
I think we are a fair example of how couples structure their relationships based on information they are given by parents, society, peers etc without truly understanding their own natures. Which is why our marriage wasn’t working because we were trying to live in a marriage that did not address our true natures.
We are also examples of “vanilla” people who were introduced to BDSM and D/s relationships via porn/the Internet and said, “hey, we like that” instead of knowing we had such proclivities and seeking porn that matched our tastes.
If it weren’t for our mishap introduction to BDSM porn, that led to eventually understanding ourselves, I don’t know as if either of us would have gained insight to our true natures.
Ironically, I was raised to be dominant in all aspects of my life EXCEPT for marriage. I was taught by a feminist mother to be financially independent of a man, to compete in the work force including on an educational level with men, to make my decision regarding motherhood independent of a man and to be self-sufficient which included knowing how to fix my own vehicle. Yet, I was somehow expected to compromise all those lessons to serve a man as a wife.
Talk about mix messages.
I can attest that finding a submissive man is not easy, not in the least, because men are raised to be a dominant position especially in regards to sex and relationships.
Even if a male is submissive, such as is the case with my husband, they are less likely to accept their submissive natures because they are conflicted since it goes against everything they have been taught.
Denial does a great deal to relieve conflict.
As a new(ish) Dominant-wife I would appreciate a book with suggestions on how to “get my man” to express and be comfortable in his submissiveness because as the saying goes you can led a thirsty horse to water but that doesn’t mean you can make it drink.

“And I really wonder at the worth of How-To-Domme books. If you get off on taking charge and/or hurting your partner, you just do it. And if he’s the guy for you, he takes it. I imagine that only vanilla women who want to appease their partner read those things.”

My wife had no clue she got off on beating the hell out of me until I came out as a submissive. And she honestly never once thought about hurting or dominating a man until she started doing it, and then she found the whole thing unspeakably sexy. At the same time, she was nervous about it, and bought a how-to book. I think I read more of it than she did, but it made her feel better to have a manual, I suppose. And I would never have called her vanilla, even then. Or, I would have for the beating that would ensue, I suppose.

Great topic. Here’s my take: Women ‘need permission’ to explore this kind of relationship dynamic. They need an ‘ok’ from a trusted source [book, magazine, friend, whatever] to delve into something that’s different from what they’re normally comfortable with. D/s and Female Domination is one of those lifestyle choices women can and will accept; they’re just not comfortable heading down that road without some sort of roadmap because there are pitfalls and they don’t want to be vulnerable and make a mistake. Even though men are open and eager to engage on this topic, women remain hesitant and wavering – not sure if they’re indulging male fantasy or engaging in something that benefits and fulfills them. I think the book, ‘Venus on Top’ has been a positive force in encouraging women to explore their dominance and explain why some men are so eager to submit to them. Just a thought.

john

@john probably about as many as there are men who don’t understand why their significant other wants to hit them with ouchy things

john, I think that attitude is the prevalent one, and the reason there are so many books who handle the topic as they do.

Not all women, however, need to be patronizingly handed permission to their sexuality.

In reply to kinkytravels’ point about the disparity between male submissives and female dominants: my post was an attempt to take on the assumption that there are fewer female dominates than there are male submissive. What I should have clearly articulated, but did not, is that I’m interested in WHY there are so few females who identify as dominate. My screed against the concept of “nice” was an attempt to poke some of the cultural reasons behind the imbalance.

Sue: yes. Waste of trees, indeed.

Dr. Rose: I think you point out something really valuable: that A) all is not peaches and cream for dominate women (or, you know, roses and thorns) just because of favorable odds, and B)that one may not come to the realization of one’s desires to be dominate until later in life, and after one has committed to a life partner who may or may not be interested. I have run across all the various permutations of this phenomenon in terms of male-female-top-bottom, with an unwilling, or uninterested partner: you are not alone. My sympathies.

BBW Switch: I particularly liked this point which you made:
“Yet, I was somehow expected to compromise all those lessons to serve a man as a wife.” You seem to have experienced first hand how our cultural expectations can fuck things up. Excellent post.

Belisarius: Three cheers for experimentation!

john: I’m not sure that women “need permission” so much as we want a second opinion. It can be really unsettling to throw all of one’s cultural programing aside and take on a role that is at least somewhat antithetical to that programming. And yes, one can make lots of mistakes that I would prefer to to avoid, especially physical safety screwups. Unwanted physical damage for either party would suck.

I can’t argue with your reasoning, and though other’s seem to want to believe that the disparity between men seeking a dominant and women seeking a submissive isn’t that great. I have to disagree with them.

Either way, if go at is as a pro sub, I wish you luck. I can see a guy making some $ as a bi or gay one, but straight… well… I had to retire. I made a grand total of $4 myself. All on one hot September afternoon when Miss Troy Orleans threw crumbled singles at me and told me to say EEEEP!

FWIW, I’m pretty sure I was overcompensated too 😉

Holy crap! I had no idea when I posted this that it would become such a bit discussion.

Thank you all for commenting.

Now I’m wishing I had put more thought in the original post:)

“women just aren’t as into fucking as much as guys”

I had to laugh at that. In every relationship, or even just sexual encounter, I’ve had with a guy, I was the more sexually voracious partner.

And hell, women are the most prolific writers of erotica, and not because they’re not into fucking.

This is a good discussion, although there are a few rage-provoking moments.

Like:
“Men want to submit to a female for very different reasons that a female wants to dominate a man.”

Um. What?
I dominate men because I get off on dominating men. It’s sexy. I’m pretty sure my submissive partners submit to me for exactly the same reason. This whole idea that I, or dominant women as a whole, have other broad, complex motivating factors beyond getting our juicy bits juicier is bullshit.

Also: “D/s and Female Domination is one of those lifestyle choices women can and will accept; they’re just not comfortable heading down that road without some sort of roadmap because there are pitfalls and they don’t want to be vulnerable and make a mistake.”

John, as a woman who’s gone down that road without every buying a single book on the topic, I find your take insulting. Yes, these books are a fine way to get second opinions. But the idea that women as a whole cannot create their own viable “roadmaps” or claim and explore their sexuality with an embracing (not hesitant, unsure, uncomfortable) attitude is wrong. Plain wrong, and misleading, and in no way encourages women to be comfortable with their own sexual preferences.
I’m with Sue on this one. Permission my ass.

I’m with Sue on this one as well. I recently happened across a book on “female domination” written for the audience of a woman “newly interested in domination”…but the entire thing actually read like “here’s how to understand your partner’s weird fetishes, and how to fake it to indulge him and make him happy”. It would have been a better “how to be a pro” book. It was horribly disgusting.

How can you call yourself a dominant woman and completely ignore any sexual desires *you* might have yourself, and cater to every last little desire your partner has? Urgh.

Axe, I think the book you might be a little more hopeful for is something like: “How to Find Your Inner-Dominant, and Let Her Out.” I know I wouldn’t mind seeing a book of this genre actually address female sexuality.

~ MS

Great article. To me it’s simple: there are many more willing submissive men searching for a Mistress then Dominant Women seeking slaves. The demand for Dommes is much higher so they have the full pick of the litter. Consequently books are out there to help men find them or to convince their wife/girlfriend to get into the dominant role.

BTW I voted for this article (spanked it actually) on fetspank dot com if you wish to check it out.

Keep it up!
Chris

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