Empowerment and Kink – An Inside Look at Femdom

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Femdom refers to a wide variety of kinks and dynamic styles where a female-presenting person takes on the lead or dominant role. Beyond that very broad definition, Femdom encompasses a lot of things – financial domination, goddess worship, female supremacy, caregiver dynamics, and so much more. So, let’s delve into this world and see just what female domination is.

Femdom: A History

The first thing to understand about Femdom – it’s nothing new. While Fifty Shades of Grey may have helped spawn a whole genre of domineering male billionaires, straight men are not the quintessential picture of kink Domination.

Women are.

We can easily pick out older historical figures that might fit a basic idea of female domination, however Femdom as we recognize it today seems to have gotten its start is the 18th and 19th centuries. These women usually operated in brothels using floggers and similar implements on their clients. So yes, while men were decrying the efforts of the Suffragettes, they were also bowing at the feet of women who would dominate and whip them.

Tracking accurate history of Femdom to the present day, it’s difficult to create a cohesive timeline. Different eras have icons of kink and BDSM, often with women playing roles as both Dominant and submissive. The Bondage Queen herself, Betty Page, was frequently presented in both roles. It’s notable, however, that while we can name Betty Page as a BDSM icon from the 1950s, she does not have a straight male counterpart.

Femdom Today

With rising interest in BDSM, many female-presenting sex workers involve themselves in some aspect of BDSM and female domination. However, it is not just for the professionals. Many women enjoy being dominant in their private lives, when they can release themselves from the responsibilities of career and home to enjoy the supplications of their partners.

What draws women to Femdom? There are a lot of answers to that question. Some of them include,

  • A natural inclination to be dominant – re: a “dominant” personality
  • A desire to feel in control when mainstream life doesn’t afford that option
  • Wanting to express something outside of their nature – i.e., a “submissive” personality who enjoys taking control in private
  • An agreement with a partner who wants to be in a submissive role
  • Sexual curiosity where a woman may want to enjoy both roles at different times

These reasons should seem familiar as they all have corollaries to why men and women often seek submission.

Types of Female Domination

Just as women have different reasons for wanting to be a Dominant, they have many different options for expressing that Dominance. These are just a few of the more common types of Femdoms you’ll find in kink and BDSM.

The Dominatrix

Also known as the pro-Domme, the Dominatrix is a sex worker who specializes in Dominating her clients. While I use the term “sex work” this is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of adult-focused work. It is important to note, many Dominatrices do not engage in outright sexual contact with their clients. In fact, often the whole point of a scene – the term for one’s session with a Dominatrix – is to not have sex at all, denial being a popular kink in Femdom.

I list the Dominatrix first because for many, especially those familiar with BDSM from the pre-Fifty Shades era, the leather-clad Dominatrix is the quintessential idea of BDSM and kink.

The FinDomme

The FinDomme is another popular form of female Domination. While sometimes a Dominatrix, often these women do not engage in sex work at all. Some may not even engage in other kink activities – though most do. The types of Financial Domination she may engage in varies between FinDommes between a FinDomme’s submissives – it is not uncommon for a FinDomme to have multiple subs. Typically involved with submissive men, Financial Domination can come in the form of gifts and tribute in exchange for a FinDomme’s favor. It can also be as extreme as a submissive giving up all financial control to their Dominant. A FinDomme’s favor can range from attention and praise to different kink activities – or restraining from punishing the submissive with those activities.

Mommy/Caregiver

Not every Dominant is ruthless and sadistic. The Mommy or Caregiver Domme tends to be a nurturer who looks after the wellbeing of her submissive. The style of submissive will vary from men with a diaper fetish to littles who want someone to watch them while they enjoy their favorite activity and offer guidance, praise, and protection. While some Mommies and their subs can also be involved in S/m activities, the marker of this type of dynamic is the caregiving and nurturing aspect itself.

The Mistress

The term Mistress has a few uses in BDSM and Femdom. In BDSM and kink communities, the term is one of respect. Dominatrices will also use the term as a professional title. The term also simply refers to the Dominant woman in a relationship, where both partners enjoy a wide variety of kinks and fetishes. It is a catch-all term, but because of its usage both professionally and as a term of respect, it’s one that most women do not take lightly. A Mistress may control a slave who has given up all (or most) control to her, or a submissive within specific Dominance and submission boundaries. A Mistress is often a master of bondage and utilizes punishments and rewards to keep her partner in line.

Consent, Consent, Consent

The most important aspect of Femdom is Consent. While many aspects of this lifestyle can be negotiated, Consent cannot be. Whether a man wants to shower his goddess with gifts, a woman wants to abandon her ability to say no to her partner, or a person want to be tied down and whipped for a while, they key to Femdom is not what a woman is willing to command. They key is what her partner is freely and enthusiastically desiring to give. The real control of a Femdom is not holding the leash of her partner. The real control is her restraint to only pull as much as her partner has consented.

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