Are Femdom Relationships Male-Centric?

» BDSM, D/s, S&M: Speculations

Plethora left a very long comment that I didn’t want to languish buried under the entry that he was commenting on (F/m Stereotypes).

Simply put his contention is that the male ultimately controls F/m relationships. That I’m giving his thoughts greater exposure doesn’t mean that I agree (and I may comment later).

Plethora’s words:

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Let me start by saying that I happened upon this site completely by chance when looking for some of the very submissive male shaped images that have been mentioned earlier. :)

That being said I am enamored by the intellectual community I seem to have discovered with regard to D/s.

In my somewhat brief (about 2 years real experience) time in “the scene”, I have thought this topic over extensively. I am a submissive male, and I recently graduated college with a degree in English/Philosophy with a particular focus on Feminism in general.

I believe that a large part of the D/s material that anyone, regardless of their involvement, is exposed to is male centric. This doesn’t come as a huge shock to anyone I wouldn’t think, but it works in many facets. I have found that many male Doms are conceited about their own beliefs, and I don’t think I have ever met a Dominant female that doesn’t have a story about a male Dom who tried to convince her to submit to him at some point. I have found that as a general rule, many men see women as objects whose “job” it is to carry out their sexual desires and fantasies. On the surface, Femdom would seem to be different, but in practice, it really isn’t. The woman is still there to satisfy the desires of the man, and indeed I have found that even many very healthy and uplifting Femdom relationships do not deny this fact. In these cases I have found it is merely a happy coincidence (more than coincidence surely, but more on that another time) that the woman satisfies her own desire

I genuinely feel that the number of relationships within the realm of Femdom, as with other realms, in which a male stays in the relationship despite being unfulfilled sexually is far far far fewer than vice versa. This isn’t to say that one party or the other needs to be disatisfied, but I think it speaks to the point that it is the male sub who ultimately controls the relationship.

In Male Dom relationships, the same can be observed fairly readily. I have spoken to submissive females who stay with their Master despite never getting to partake in the activities they desire.

It has been distressing to me to find these things really, but when I think about it, not all that surprising.


In reading this I wondered if you had some model of F/m relationships that you considered somehow more authentic than others. There’s a wide variety from couples who do it as a form of play to those who live in fairly strict Mistress / slave relationships.

I know you didn’t mean to but it seems implicit in the above that women are easily manipulated and used by men.

Actually among my set of friends and acquaintances it has been the woman who has left the man for sexual dissatisfaction. (Necessarily a biased sample.)

I can’t really frame more of a response. What you’ve said is fairly generalized. Don’t take that amiss. I know that some themes require several thousand words just to begin discussing.

Again, thanks for the comment.

I think there is a very good chance of this being correct about a lot of couples. However, I don’t think it is inherently correct.

Most guys are driven by their sexual fantasies—this is the whole point of chastity as control, after all. Put a sufficiently narcissistic guy in charge, and the femaie slave may simply be objectified to the point that her desires really won’t matter — a blow-up doll might do as well. This is one reason why it is important that the partners decide carefully on the relationship at the beginning.

That same definition at the beginning is important for female led relationships. Most guys won’t enter them if their fantasies are not being, to some extent, satisfied, and they won’t stay if that doesn’t happen either. If a woman stays in such a relationship when her needs are not being satisfied, then the relationship is being led by the male. At least in a femaie led relationship, she has a much better chance to have her fantasies satisfied as well.

If what someone fantasizes about is his or her sexual needs (distinguished from desires they don’t require to be actualized for fulfillment) then it would be foolhardy to maintain a relationship in which they aren’t met.

These are all ideas. I’ve only had 2 hours sleep so treat them with a bit of salt.

I’m not Superbitch but I honestly believe a lot of men who label themselves submissive are ANYTHING but submissive.

Most are probably just fetishists who perhaps wish they could be submissive but really aren’t. A common misconception is that submissiveness is a path of weakness which is easy to tread.

Another factor is that women seem (at least) to have more control over their sex, and tend to feel a moral responsibility to use whatever power they have for good. That is a gross generalization as I’ve found a lot of nasty pieces of work called women, but it stands true for those who are morally strong and inclined for the greater good.

And do not mistake the above paragraph for female superiority rhetoric. I think women are better sometimes at not letting desires take over, for example, whilst men and women have fetishes, more men get trapped and sexually limited by said fetishes than women do. Not inferiority so much as simple biology. Men and women often need eachother to feel whole and balance. They have different strengths and weaknesses.


If I think Richard needs something for his emotional/sexual/spiritual health, I’m not going to hoo-hah about giving it to him just because it might mean I’m running around to please him. Just because I prefer the Dominant role it doesn’t mean I’d begrudge him something he needs.

Perhaps sometimes men do have more of these ‘needs’ than women. This gives us a chance to help but also an opportunity to be in control as well.

There is service in Dominance and there is strength in submission and endurance, so the two mirror eachother recursively in that respect. My view is that the two are very similar and based on a similar thing (possibly scars from the past involving power issues - but I’m not sure exactly). If you accept the “we are all one” theory (asin, our relationship to other people tells us about our relationship with ourselves), all sadism is masochism and vice versa.

I honestly don’t believe that Richard controls our erotic adventures, and I think he especially has taken considerable measures to make sure that doesn’t happen. He wants the submissive space. It is based on my wants and needs but naturally I learn to like things that Richard likes because he mainly likes things which increase my power and his submission, and I like the effect they have on his brain so ‘the end justifies the means’. You give a little so you can reap it back :)

If he’s helping me, why cut off my nose to spite my face and get in the way over some power squabble. Seems childish to me - I’ve noticed most of the most revered Dommes love to hear their sub’s fantasies and know what pushes their buttons. Is it because they’re natural sexual servants? Noooooo chuckle. It’s obvious really if you think about it.

Outside of the D/s canon we see eachother as equals and it’s that which I think encourages us to talk and do a lot of planning for our sexual adventures so that they run smoothly for both of us.

This is an excellent topic and I think ultimately it is true that many subs may lead relationships. This is from speaking to random guys online.

I was hoping you’d weigh in.

For the two of us you summed it up perfectly: my need is for you to be in control. An attempt to manipulate things on my part would destroy the magic.

And you love me so natually you are happy to help me explore my sexuality.

I have occasionally run into difficulties with partners who didn’t like to tell me what they wanted, because they felt that as the top in the relationship, it was my desires which were relevant. (Indeed, one of the mottos in my last relationship was “It is not about you,” meaning him. Sadly, of course, it was.)

The men I have played with recently have been self-described service-oriented, though there’s been a strong sexual component. (I may have to - gently - inform my current pet that no, chatting with me on-line and doing as he’s told, pleasant as I find it, isn’t strictly service.)

I ran into the concept of the “service top” recently and was unhappy with it (though I’m sure it works for many people). The truth is, I do many things because my partners enjoy it, but I do not view this as putting myself in a subordinate position. There’s a lot of power there, frankly—if you want to reduce a man to a hypersensitive melted little puddle of need, you’d better know what the heck will put him in that kind of state.

Just because the man is getting what he wants doesn’t mean he’s in charge. Particularly if what he wants is to make me happy. It’s not about what he wants; it’s about putting him in the position where I control what he gets, and whether it’s what he wants or not.

One of the purposes of this site is to let Alexandra know of things that excite me without asking her to do them.

I could do the latter but it is a thrill to have her surprise me. And except for S&M outside of D/s asking just doesn’t feel right.

Greetings once more, and thank you for putting my comments center stage, so to speak.

I’d just like to reply by saying, as Richard rightly point out, many of my comments were broad generalizations. I think the “meat” of what I was trying to get at is that many use BDSM as a mask, attempting to distort the reality of their desires in a relationship. I find this to be true particularly of those that are fairly new to the scene, if I may call it that. I think it is something that I often jokingly refer to as “D/s Lite”. IE, men are exceedingly more likely to succumb to their need for some kink once in awhile by calling themselves submissive (or dominant) than women are. I have no basis for this other than personal observation, but it is an observation that I have heard echoed by others and thus I lend it at least some validity.

I readily acknowledge this is not the case in every relationship, but my experience is that it IS the case in far more than I think is ideal. I mean often enough men are introduced the “the scene” because they see and/or hear stories about half naked women at fetish clubs. Sad but true…


This is an interesting and very detailed thread regarding a phenomenon that i’ve considered logically and empircally valid for more than 30 years.

F/m “porn” (gratuitous use of a short word for convenience) male oriented? Of course. Males are the primary consumers (and often producers) of such material. Many studies have shown males are visually oriented.

But as i said, i’ve felt for many years that it is the submissive that powers and facilitates the power exchange relationship. That Dominant Female exists in a vacuum, unless She is able to interract in real time with a submissive male partner. This happens because females are so little influenced by imagery, when compared to males. THIS DOES NOT IMPLY THAT SOME WOMEN DO NOT IN FACT OBTAIN AROUSAL THROUGH F/m “PORN”. We all understand some women can be aroused by this. But, ideally, She does need a partner for full and complete realization.

The submissive facilitates this relationship by saying, in effect, “i submit to You, and will permit You to do such and so, but will not accept this and that” or words to that effect. Of course a successful relationship is not this cut and dried; in my experience there is usually negotiation and often this is quite extensive and intense. It’s not at all unknown for both parties to tailor their kinky “wishlists” in favor of a prospective partner who more than fills the bill in other areas. That isn’t always an accommodation for convenience or a “settling for less.”

The question “Is She a Domnina if She doesn’t have a submissive?” is not similar to the “sound of one tree falling” koan. She still is a Do mina, but without a submissive She is not an effective Domina without a submissive to affect.

Are F/m relationships male-centric? Yes, in some respects. Is that “wrong” from the standpoint of power? It can be. But, since there are fewer Domninas than submissives, She gets a numerical advantage to even out the disparity.

I fully agree that F/m relationships are male centric in most instances.

As a lifestyle and occasionally professional Domme, I have seen both sides to FemDom : the service industry to satisfy male desires and the lifestyle that supposedly is in place to satisfy the Domina. In professional Domination all women are there to satisfy the male. It is a business after all and we are there to make money while doing something we (hopefully!) like/love. But you do make concessions and I know a lot of women in that industry who don’t even really like any of this.

In the lifestyle scene, it still is dominated mostly by male tops and fem subs, which is something I am trying to understand. I remember reading a Cosmo sex poll months ago that asked if women preferred to take the more dominant or submission role in bed. 67% of women preferred the submissive role!!! And this was a vanilla sampling! I think women are generally cultured to be submissive and throwing those skins off is difficult. So even when you are the top, you still care about your bottom and want him to be just as happy as you are so yes, you will satisfy his needs and feelings. This does not mean you do it at the expense of your own however.

As a woman, I can attest to the fact that we generally speaking more emotionally inclined than males. I love my sub and I want to take care of him and I want him to be happy. I also want to be happy and I expect a lot from my subs. If he is not fulfilling my needs there is real punishment and training that goes with that. On the flip side, a part of effective training is not only punishment but reward for good behavior - which can mean satisfying a fetish that is not yours. This I do not see as catering to a male taste, it is technique.

The area that I find is most controlled by males though is in the attitude of Dommes. In my experience, most male subs have this deified idea of how a Female top is supposed to be. Cruel, stern, unloving, humiliating…that is most subs’ view of the FemDom I find. As a woman and as a sadist I can be all of those things, but it is not who I am 24/7. Anyone who is truly those things all the time would be a psychopath…and who wants to submit to that? But I have heard more times than I care to count that a sub can’t submit to me anymore because I am too “nice” to him. I like my subs to be my lovers…I don’t have vanilla relationships, so my sub is also going to be my boyfriend. Now, one would think sub guys would be knocking down my door right? Quite the opposite. Because I am not falling into this hyper-fantasy of feminine cruelty and expecting them to love me the woman, most become uninterested. I have heard I am much too real for them. I have only ever encountered a sub who respects and loves me not only as a Domme, but also as a woman, and he submits to both sides of me. I wonder why this is so rare?

Your feelings?

Please share your feelings about Are Femdom Relationships Male-Centric?. Please stick to the topic of the entry. Forthright disagreement is fine as long as it is civil.
My thanks,


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