There’s a very clear dress and behavior code for dominant women and I hate it so much that I made the tagline of my blog ‘And I’ll play wearing fuzzy slippers if I damned well want to!’
If you’ve ever watched any female dominant porn, looked at a prodom’s website, or generally not lived under a rock for the past few years, you know the dress code consists of:
high spiky heels
skin tight clothing
a scowl (very important)
No matter how often people tell me they think knee-high black leather boots with 4 inch spike heels look great and turn them on, I simply don’t feel very toppy when my feet hurt and my footing is uncertain. You try throwing a flogger when you’re worried about falling over on your ass and tell me how confident you feel.
The dress code for dominant women has nothing to do with what actually makes those women feel toppy, and everything to do with porn producers trying to appeal to straight men. This image of female domination actively turns women away from the idea of kink because so very few women can actually relate to it.
The behavior code is even worse. Not only am I expected to dress up in uncomfortable clothing I don’t necessarily like, but I can’t even appear to have fun dominating someone. In most porn (at least, most porn that I’ve seen), the dom treats the sub with utter disdain, referring to him as a pathetic little worm who isn’t worthy of fucking her. It appears to be a trial for the dom to even be in the same room as the sub.
How is that hot? And why on earth would I bother playing with someone if I didn’t think he was worthy of me? Again, this presentation of submissive men as worthless and disgusting turns women away from kink. It took me years to figure out that I was dominant because I couldn’t make a connection between myself and these women who didn’t even appear to like the people they were dominating.
Until I started reading forums frequented by actual dominant women with lives and hobbies and real affection for their partners, I never realized that it was possible to be a dominant woman who actually liked her partner, and dressed in what she felt comfortable in, and didn’t spend all day barking orders at everyone around her.
As ranty as this post is, it’s actually meant to be a message of hope for all the women out there nurturing a secret interest in kink. You can do this too. You can do it your way – you don’t have to look a certain way, dress a certain way, act a certain way to be allowed to play. Kink is not just for people who are taller than you, thinner than you, more conventionally attractive than you.
You don’t have to play any particular way either. Your kink still counts if you don’t want to beat people bloody. Your kink still counts if sometimes you like to beat people bloody and sometimes you like to be more gentle. Your kink still counts if you like to laugh while you play. Your kink still counts if you like to make your partner laugh while you play. Your kink still counts if you like doing things that your partner likes too.
Kink is for everyone, dammit!
29 thoughts on “Fuzzy Slippers”
I agree with you two billion percent and THIS is one of the reasons that I started my blog. When I went looking, I could not find any portrayals of F/m relationships that I could relate to. Even the blogs of people who purported to be in real relationships didn’t reflect my reality (maybe because their blogs were focussed on role playing, or maybe I was just rubbish at finding the ones that didn’t, really I have no idea).
Just thinking about the idiotic portrayal of F/m relationships and play out there makes me grit my teeth all achey jawlike and causes steam to start hissing out of my ears.
*rant rant rave rave ranty rant rant*
Real women, real men, happiness, fulfillment, play, fun, love, lust, passion, broken hearts, pain, laughter, exploration, doubt, fear and fluffy slippers. THAT’S what I want to see.
Thank you for preaching the good word. I get so worried about the new girl tops I meet feeling overwhelmed trying to be this cliche they see in bad kink porn. And getting weird about the pressure to be “mean.” The best dominant women I meet and get to play with are the ones who have fun and just go with things, for themselves, not for other peoples cliches and media constructed concept.
As a sub, I’ll say all those clothes, hang-ups and cliches are active turn *offs* for me.
Good on you to call it out.
I think this post wins.
On the note of “kink is for everyone,” a good corollary to this post may be “Defining Kink” which uses a very different path to end of a very similar note.
On related but not identical notes, see also: Honor thy language: “kinky” is an adjective, not an activity, and Brief (show)case study: How to include “vanillas” in your BDSM outreach.
I am inspired now, to write a story where the domme is dressed in tee shirt and jeans, with sensible shoes and a comfortable hairstyle.
preach it, sister!
I have no problem with people wearing anything that they like. A couple dominant women I know of really like stuff I wouldn’t wear unless someone near and dear to me were being threatened at knifepoint. If shiny or tight stuff makes a gal feel good, as you said, their kink still counts. As for me? I’m nobody’s idealize portrayal of a domme, and my kink counts too.
I’m with you, uncomfortable boots don’t make me feel dominant and sexy, they make me feel miserable, and that may be why there are all those scowls in porn… but anyway,
yes, what you said, kink is for everyone, however they and their partner want to do it.
As a male top who has no time for the rules/rituals/wardrobe/codified expectations of who and what I “should” be, I can say that the feelings and frustrations you’ve expressed here transcend gender, and keep a great many people away from “the scene”.
Please, please, more like this.
– Mr O
@Nobilis – As someone who lives in a tshirt and jeans (at least outside of work), I’d *love* to read a story involving a dom who dresses like me.
@Mr O – Awesome, I really didn’t expect any male tops to identify with my ranting. I’ve recently started hearing (or at least noticing) that you guys are about as constrained by stupid stereotypes as female tops are. If you want to elaborate, I’d love to hear more about which expectations frustrate you.
Kink author Janet Hardy has written that jeans and a t-shirt is her topping uniform. And while black leather is hot to look at, one’s dress shouldn’t be confused with one’s attitude or skill.
In most porn […], the dom treats the sub with utter disdain, referring to him as a pathetic little worm who isn’t worthy of fucking her.
A long time ago, I had a partner who used to apologize to me when, at the end of a scene she wanted to have sex. She actually would get upset when she came, and excuse herself for not being a “real” domme.
And yes, she had gotten all of her information from bad porn and a former partner who had bought into the worthless worm paradigm.
BTW, I’m so glad that you started blogging this. I know you just started, but I’ve already added you to my blogroll, because it’s just that good.
@Tom – Yay, there’s someone else out there like me! I actually do like leather, I just don’t like being told I must not be a “real” dom if sometimes I want to play in something comfy.
I feel so bad for your ex partner. The idea that toppy women shouldn’t get off on topping absolutely infuriates me. So does the worthless worm paradigm – I have lots more ranting to do about that one.
I’m really flattered to be added to your blogroll, I’ve enjoyed your writing for ages 🙂
I was in a relationship with a wonderful Domme who took complete control of me almost immediately. She worked as an Xray Tech and more often than not she was in scrubs and sneaks. If anyone was in a corset and high heels it was me, and she made damn sure of that. She totally dominated me and rarely wore fetish or sexy clothes, yet the relationship was extremely erotic and the sex was intense.
In fairness, some dudes really do want to be treated as worthless worms. BUT I agree 100% that the “worthless worm” style of BDSM is highly overrepresented in the media while all the other possible styles are sorely underrepresented.
And as someone who identifies as butch/genderqueer, I’d feel so ridiculous tarted up in a corset and heels that I wouldn’t be able to focus on anything else.
Also, you can add me to the list of women who struggled with figuring out their identity/orientation because they thought being dominant meant being a loud, scary bitch.
Maybe, perversecowgirl. In a fantasy. But, out of one, no, I think they don’t. This exact mismatch is what The Scene is so fucking awful at making clear and why it is so fucking fucked up. Why is this a hard concept to understand?
@perversecowgirl I feel a little better every time I hear another person say they had trouble figuring out their identity/orientation because they only ever saw the horrible stereotypes about dominant women. For the longest time I thought I was just kinda dumb for not making the connection between those caricatures and myself.
And of course being butch/genderqueer has got to make it that much harder, because the only representations of non-cis-male dominant people are pictures of highly feminine cis-gendered women. God forbid any female-assigned people should dress or act in a way that doesn’t make the average fratboy’s dick hard.
@maymay I’d have to agree. I can actually kinda sorta intellectually understand the appeal of exaggerating a power dynamic to the point that I’m a goddess and my partner is a worthless worm in a scene and only in a scene, but it’s maddening how those guys seem to get so attached to that fantasy that they try to crush all of their interactions with women into that framework, leaving us cold and alienated. It’s just no fun when someone starts the scene without me and expects me to follow the script he wrote long before we met.
maymay: you’d know better than me how deep the “I’m a worthless worm” thing goes. I don’t really hang out in my local kink community and am not super experienced as a domme.
I was assuming the “worm” thing was more than just roleplay for some people because when I was on alt.com, I’d get contacted all the time by guys who spoke like that to me right off the bat. Not “Hi there! I’m a sub and I fantasize about being badly humiliated, how about it?” but straight on to “Hello mistress, would you deign to let me worship you?”
I figured that if someone only wanted something to be a fantasy, there’s be more of a divide: they’d approach me like a sane and rational adult and we’d negotiate the dynamic before sliding into our respective roles. That’s how I want to do it.
Although I don’t want to do the “you’re a worthless worm” thing at all, actually, so it’s moot.
Upon reflection, I feel I should point out that I never actually said anyone really, truly wants to be treated as worthless in real life. I was responding to the idea that BDSM porn doesn’t reflect what actual people do by basically saying “Well, some people play that way, but yeah, overall the depictions in porn are inaccurate.”
Then you came at me out of left field with a rant that apparently accuses me of not grasping the difference between fantasy and reality, and I was like “buh?” and scrambled to defend myself…but the fact of the matter is, whether a guy really wants to feel worthless or wants to pretend he’s worthless is completely irrelevant to my point – which was simply: “BDSM porn does portray the way some people like to play – even if those people are in the minority.”
That’s an interesting point. It’s entirely possible I’m a bit of a jerk for ignoring the possibility that anyone plays like that in real life just because I’ve never actually seen anyone play like that in person, or even heard about it from what I considered a reputable source (ie, not a femdom who makes her living fulfilling that fantasy, or some random guy who frankly sounds completely out of touch with reality).
Of course, very little role-play happens at my local parties, which could be skewing my perspective. Almost all the play I’ve seen in person is fairly simple impact play, probably because that’s the sort of play you can actually do in a dark, loud play party.
late to the party; but thanks so much for writing this.
i wish i saw more erotic stories/images where the domme looked more like me (short, unassuming & dressed in comfy clothes).
“It took me years to figure out that I was dominant because I couldn’t make a connection between myself and these women who didn’t even appear to like the people they were dominating.”
Not just women. I am a guy and I figured out I was submissive in my mid-teens. But I stayed away from the kink world for more than a decade because the way the sub is portrayed in femdom scared me so much. I never wanted to be the degraded little “pathetic” guy who is loathed by the domme that is ubiquitous in femdom porn. I just wanted a loving relationship with a kinky woman who’d be “the boss of me”.
And it’s not just visual porn. I even read Venus in Furs as a teen. And sure as heck, I didn’t want to be anything like the severin guy.
For a long time I wondered if women actually enjoyed being dominant because they all looked so unhappy and pissed off in all the femdom material I came across, and much of that hate would be directed at the sub.
Eventually I did manage to venture out and find my lady, but after years of confining my submissive self to the realm of fantasy. And shortly after that I found Bitchy Jones’ blog and those of other like minded people that really made me aware that my desire for more lovey-dovey femdom wasn’t bizarre at all.
“[Porn] has nothing to do with what actually makes those women feel toppy, and everything to do with porn producers trying to appeal to straight men.”
That is exactly the point. Porn is, more often than not, produced for men. A lot of men find bitchy high-heeled mistresses very hot. So porn provides these images of bitchy high-heeled women, and men buy it.
It’s not so different from regular porn, really. In regular porn women half-orgasm from giving blow-jobs and get all weak in the knees when you open up your trousers and show them your cock. This, of course, is not the case in real life. This porn is produced for men who find that fantasy hot.
And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Fantasies are fine, as long as the are not your only source of information. Porn does not offer good sex education, and sm-porn should not be anyone’s primary source of information on BDSM.
And it isn’t. As you’ve said: “I started reading forums frequented by actual dominant women with lives and hobbies and real affection for their partners”. As soon as you step out of the internet-porn-world and into any actual BDSM scene, you find more. You find actual people living actual lives. Just as most men understand that flashing your dick does not make a woman horny, in much the same way most people who are into BDSM understand that a dominant woman is not the same as the snarling, unhappy, high-heeled, corset-wearing, sex-denying Mistresses in porn.
Of course, everything’s different online. I do get pictures from men showing me their cocks because they think it will turn me on. And.. well, that’s sad. But really, most people get that porn is not real life. Maybe things are different here, maybe it’s not as bad as where you live. But in the Netherlands, not many people who are into BDSM confuse porn with real life.
I just found your website via MayMay. It’s really terrific, thank you.
I wanted to tell you a wee story.
I was at Club Pedestal (the femdom club in London) recently, wearing a dress I really like – I’d call it a black babydoll dress, I guess. A man (submissive, presumably), dressed in drag, asked me if it was my first time, and when I said I have been going for years, he said he was surprised because what I was wearing was ‘not quite right’. This kind of thing pisses me right off. Some submissive men obviously think it is part of their role to decide what dominant women should wear. That doesn’t sound like submission to me; in fact, quite the opposite.
That’s awful 🙁 The really sad thing is much the same thing has happened to me. The first picture I always share with someone who I’ve been chatting with online is a completely vanilla picture of me wearing jeans and a tank top. Someone I shared that one with told me I didn’t look very dominant. Apparently my purpose in life is to dress in a manner that makes ‘submissive’ men’s dicks hard.
“That doesn’t sound like submission to me; in fact, quite the opposite.” Exactly! There are plenty of submissive women who get a thrill out of having their doms choose their outfits, perhaps these guys would be happier with one of them.
Porn makes everything very weird.
What we have here is the confusion of dominance and submission with fetish. Leather is wonderful, kinky boots are amazing, and corsetry is kinda nice too, but it’s all just fetish. It’s fun to play dress-up. Just ask any biker about their leathers, any female wedding guest about their fascinator and any Regency dandy about his cravat.
Porn overplays the association between fetish, which is great, and dominance, which is also great. Not the same thing at all, though. Me? I like Cinderella, so I like bossy, aloof women sneering while I do housework. It helps if they’re wearing ballgowns, but that’s a really really specific niche. I like going to weddings.
Also, think carefully about the whole chastity and denial thing. It’s a masturbatory fantasy that involves not masturbating. Two more things, men’s bits are pretty damn funny-looking, and new leather smells pretty damn good.
I loved this post and I can really relate to it. I wrote something similar yesterday how I felt that I didn’t belong because of all the stereotypes in BDSM.
Thank you for a lovely blog.
My Lady’s favorite outfit to wear is a bright orange flower print muumuu. It definitely ramps up the fear factor!
The most attractive thing a dominant woman wears is her smile. Showing that she enjoys her dominance is both attractive and reassuring that this is who she really is.