The Magic Word Is 'Now': A Glance at Femdom in Erotic Romance


Don't let that cover fool you -- the heroine is definitely in charge here. Click and get yours.

Don’t let that cover fool you — the heroine is definitely in charge here. Click and get yours.

By Alexa Day

Don’t call it a comeback. Femdom has been here for years.

And why not? Female dominance has a great deal to offer erotic romance. Next week, on the release day for my own femdom-themed story, “Passing Through,” I will devote a great deal of time to exploring what’s hot about the woman on top. For now, consider the obvious benefits. Femdom books focus on the woman in charge. She might be at the top of the food chain at work. She might be the leader of her single-parent household. Maybe she’s redefining herself, and by extension, the world surrounding her. Whatever her situation, the femdom heroine has a lot in common with the increasingly kink-curious reader, the modern woman who finds herself in control of more things now than ever.

Still, I think readers hesitate a little when it comes to femdom. Part of the reason is that there’s enough femdom in romance now that readers can be very selective, so they make their choices carefully. A publisher’s idea of femdom can be very different than an individual reader’s; that spectrum is broader and more exciting than ever. But all that variety presents a higher risk of finding a story that clashes with a reader’s specific vision, and a lot of readers avoid the risk by avoiding the subgenre.

My suspicion is that readers are still a little nervous about what constitutes femdom. The very word ‘dominatrix’ summons up a caricature, a slim woman clad in black leather, wielding a whip over a hapless submissive. Romance is all about turning these caricatures on their heads, and femdom romance is no exception. You’ll find Dommes in leather, sure. And you’ll find dungeons aplenty if you try. And they’ll absolutely make you warm and happy. There’s just more to the story than that, as we’ll see in a second.

It’s also possible that readers back away from femdom because the notion of expanding their own authority into their relationships with men is not a comfortable idea. We need not look much farther than American politics to see that the male-dominated society doesn’t necessarily embrace the woman in charge. I’ll spend more time on this next week, too, but for now, I’ve got a question for those readers.

Are you seriously going to let that dude tell you what to fantasize about?

If you’re looking to start a summer fling with femdom, take heart. The dominion of femdom romance stretches from the world of leather and floggers to the subtle demand for and surrender of power. It’s a larger, more enticing world than ever, and some of erotic romance’s most established authors have written it.

So foundational you've probably already read it. But click to get a prettier, updated copy.

So foundational you’ve probably already read it. But click to get a prettier, updated copy.

The name Joey W. Hill should have risen immediately to mind as soon as I said femdom. Her Nature of Desire series is populated with several compelling Dommes, but the second book, Natural Law, stands out for me because of its alpha male submissive. Mac Nighthorse is a cop on a mission, and he finds an ally in Dominant Violet Siemanski. Together, they take the reader on a journey that examines the very nature of dominance and submission. Naturally, the pages are loaded with the hot sexytimes. But the traditional trappings of BDSM — the BDSM club, the leather, and all the fixings — form the backdrop of a deep and moving emotional story. The mechanics of dominance and submission are explored here, and from their foundations, a powerful romance emerges. Plenty of readers choose the Nature of Desire series as their first foray into BDSM romance, and the stories pack a powerful emotional punch.

Need more cause to celebrate? How about this: as of this past January, the Nature of Desire series has been updated and fitted with super hot new covers.

We love Charlotte Stein around here. But did you know she has some femdom-themed work under her belt, too? Control features a business owner heroine enjoying the carnal charms of two employees, one submissive and one more dominant. After Control, you’ll never look at the job interview the same way again. In fact, I wish I’d known about it during my own summer job search. In Power Play, the heroine, who’s been giving in to her own boss’s desires, gradually comes to terms with dominating her male assistant. The corporate environment of each story lends itself nicely to themes of female dominance and to workplace fantasy. What these characters will do to get and keep their jobs, how or whether they approach their superiors when they want something — the real world peeks out from the story, in the hottest way possible.

A hot Scot with very specific tastes? Totally worth the complications. Click and see.

A hot Scot with very specific tastes? Totally worth the complications. Click and see.

I don’t know how I missed Cara McKenna’s Unbound; after Willing Victim became one of my favorite books ever, you’d think I’d be more attentive. The heroine, Merry, is on a trip in the Scottish Highlands when an accident brings her to Rob. On the surface, Rob is what we most expect from a romance hero. He’s a recluse with a dark secret. But Rob offers his most secret desires to Merry, making himself incredibly vulnerable in the process. Merry takes up the mantle of dominance to give him the pleasure he’s denied himself for too long. In Unbound, dominance truly is a gift. It’s a gateway Merry and Rob enter together.

Megan Hart has been one of my favorite authors for years. Her characters are like the coolest people we already know, the people we most want to be happy and satisfied, and identifying with those characters so deeply just makes the sex that much hotter. At the beginning of her new book, Beg for It, heroine Corinne reflects on her life as a 42-year-old single mom. Too much time between relationships. The disquieting sense that her kids are more engaged by her ex’s new family. Frustration with the whole idea of dating. And on top of all that, fond memories of “her boy.” Reese introduced her to female domination and a pleasure and power she’d never known before. When he reappears in her life as the rich guy who takes over the company she works for, it looks like things have been turned upside down. But Corinne remembers that she put this man on his knees — and they both liked it.

If you like kinky stories with military heroes, click to preorder. Like right now.

If you like kinky stories with military heroes, click to preorder. Like right now.

My own story, “Passing Through,” is really femdom-themed; it flirts with the power exchange without the formality of full-blown BDSM. Heroine Gigi Deane enjoys the power and the security of topping her partner. She loves knowing that her hot barback, Noah Monroe, will do as she says, when she says to do it. And as long as he stays in line, she’s sure that she’ll get what she wants from him sexually, a certainty that’s been hard to find with other partners. As for Noah, well, he doesn’t back away from a challenge. Testing his body to its limits is nothing new for this former Army Ranger, and he definitely wants what Gigi has to offer him. But these two strong-willed people don’t have much time to explore their new relationship, and neither of them is especially good at negotiating.

My story, included in a great big kinky box set called Hero to Obey, won’t be out until next week, but you can preorder it right now, today. While you’re waiting for Noah and 21 more other smoking hot military heroes to storm your Kindle, why not get your femdom itch scratched with some super sexy reading? We’ve been on top for a long time, friends.

Isn’t it time to enjoy it?

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12 Comments

  • Elizabeth Shore
    June 21, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Enjoy it, indeed! Great post, Alexa. Can’t wait to read your book!

    • Alexa Day
      June 21, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  • dave94015
    June 21, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Reblogged this on dave94015 and commented:
    there’s more variety to the #femdom genre…more romance, more interesting settings & characters

  • dave94015
    June 21, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    #femdom is not a ‘comfortable’ notion with western culture…but romantic relationships might seduce readers into it

    • Alexa Day
      June 21, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      I agree! The idea of women in charge and men in service doesn’t go down easily at first! Next week, I hope to unpack some of that. It’s definitely fun to look at.

  • jaydoubleyou
    June 22, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Great article, and thanks for pointing me towards some future reads.

    • Alexa Day
      June 22, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      But of course! That’s what I’m here for. 🙂

  • madeline iva
    June 22, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    So fun to go exploring! I’m going to blog a bit more about fem dom and maybe Joey Hill herself will stop by to say a few words about it as well. Megan also has a fem dom story in her latest anthology The Devil’s Doorbell and I’ll be talking about that tomorrow on the blog.

    • Alexa Day
      June 22, 2016 at 11:23 pm

      Joey Hill is the coolest; we used to bump into each other at Romanticon back when there was a Romanticon. It’s always good to hear from her. And it is killing me to hold off on finishing Megan Hart’s book until after this deadline. Killing me. She mentioned a book called Burn Down the Night by M. O’Keefe — in it, a con woman holds a biker hostage. That just … man. It makes me grateful there are such things and people in the world.

      • Madeline Iva
        June 23, 2016 at 9:47 am

        Joey Hill IS the coolest!!!!
        Yeah — I think we need to turn to Molly O’Keefe’s ouvre and take a good hard look at her next.

  • Alexa Day
    June 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Reblogged this on Alexa J. Day and commented:

    Femdom lives!

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