June 29, 2016

Doing Whatever He Wants – And Loving It

By Elizabeth Shore

Yesterday our own Alexa Day – whose story Passing Through is part of the fabulous new naughty military release Hero to Obey that we’re celebrating this week – wrote a great piece on the idea of Femdom, i.e., flipping the tables on the traditional concept of woman as submissive. With femdom, of course, she’s the one in charge, and as Alexa smartly points out, this gives us, “a take-charge heroine [who] drives her own sexual journey, and I’m all about seeing her partner treating her with the deference reserved for royalty.” Yepper. I’m on board with that, too. But still and all, in my hot fantasies, being the submissive is still where it’s at. Yet, why??

In Alexa’s post yesterday she pointed out that one reason submission in romance is so popular is because it appeals to the side of women who may have wild sexual desires but who are reticent to explore them without direction. A dominant male telling a woman to roleplay her fantasies removes any guilt she may have about the fantasy. She can’t be scorned, after all, for crawling across the floor like a kitten since she’s just doing what she was told. The burden of having to justify her behavior, even if only in her own mind, is removed when the behavior is dictated by someone else.

I think there’s certainly some truth to that, but that explanation alone still doesn’t entirely satisfy. So I set out to find intel on what strong women who like being dominated – the so-called tough on the streets, submissive in the sheets – had to say about it. Here are a few quotes from a post on thoughtcatalogue.com.

“Women are raised to act pure and chaste and I find that disgusting. Being his little sex slave is my way of rebelling against a society that tries to oppress female sexuality.”

“I like to be manhandled, mastered and degraded – but only with someone I trust. It’s a bonding experience.”

“I like being treated like his sex slave; it makes me feel irresistible.”

The best article I found was one from several years ago on alternet.org that includes a long attribution from our own Rachel Kramer Bussel, who states, “There’s no reason why a woman’s feminist thoughts or credentials or beliefs should be somehow demoted because she’s sexually submissive.” No indeed. In fact, when I think in a personal way about why the idea of submission is arousing to me, it boils down to the last of the three quotes, “it makes me feel irresistible.”

In any Dom/sub relationship, negotiation takes place and boundaries are drawn. What each person likes, what they don’t like, what really gets them off. Which means that if a man is dominating me, he’s thinking about me. I’m the one getting his full attention. I do, as the last woman stated, feel irresistible, because I’m very well aware that this scenario is also massively turning him on. I alone am the source of his desire. And let’s be honest, it’s nice. No complaints. Having wanted attention devoted just on me…I’m good with that. 😉

It’s been said that the everday powerful woman likes being dominated in the bedroom because giving up power there temporarily liberates her from having to make constant decisions. Someone else – whom she trusts – is taking care of that. It’s freeing to be sure, and perhaps that’s also a huge draw for many. Even if a woman doesn’t have a traditionally thought of “powerful” day-time role, she’s still got obligations and decisions to make that don’t have to be dealt with while in the role of submissive.

Hero to Obey cover imageI’d love to hear what you think. Dominant or submissive? Do you set the rules, or does your partner lead the way? While pondering, be sure to check out Hero to Obey and see how Alexa’s heroine Gigi takes care of business. And then follow us on Lady Smut. Do it, you hear. That’s an order.



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  • Post authorKiersten Hallie Krum

    See, this interests me, because the idea of being submissive is so repugnant personally. It actually makes my skin contract and not pleasantly either. No judgment on those women (or men) who *do* get off on being submissive, but I can never quite wrap my brain around the idea of obeying a man’s commands with such totality, *especially* when they appear to be debasing in some way (and yes, I get the whole trust thing, I just don’t “get” it) and not only of allowing it but inviting it–*enjoying* it–even craving it. But then, I’m not big on “obey” outside the bedroom either, so maybe that’s a clue.

    I’m not interested in dominating a partner either (not *that* way at least) because I don’t have the need one way or another to make my partner or myself less, to subjugate or dominate him (no matter the trust dynamic, willingness, or mutual understanding of boundaries and needs) in order to get off. I like a challenge and I like to win, so a friendly tussle is not beyond the realms of possibility, but the submissive deal really makes my head cramp with lack of comprehension, because no. *Hell* no.

    *Shrug* To each her own, as per usual.

    Reply to Kiersten Hallie Krum
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    There are so many flavors of BDSM and D/s. The total attention of a male is one thing, and sounds a little daunting to me. On the other hand, a guy who makes it his personal mission in life to make sure I get off again and again…and again–without worrying about himself–that’s another.

    The whole ordering around bit, hmmmm. Yeah, doesn’t sound like my idea of fun either. But being kind of manhandled by someone I’m super hot for–now that sounds fun.

    Certainly, I’ve experienced a sense of paralyzing coyness a time or two with the opposite sex, and know what that feels like. And certainly even just reading romance, I have experienced clashing desires. I think a lot of BDSM and D/s stuff is about hanging out in that clashing desires, paralyzing coyness territory and making hay with it.

    Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorKel

    This is an interesting discussion to me, because there are so many misconceptions about what is involved.

    The first misconception is who is in charge.

    The sub is in charge of the scene. Yes, the Dom(me) designs the scene, and gives the direction for the scene, but they do it at the sub’s pleasure.They cater to the sub’s ability to feel, to experience, to react. The sub has the power to end it at a moment’s word or action. The Dom(me)’s power ends at the sub’s choice.

    The game is deeper than anyone not playing knows.

    So, the desire to be submissive is an illusion of giving up control. It appeals to people who have control, who know they retain control, who are not allowed to not be in control – but it’s a game. It requires the sub to allow someone else to have power over them in a way they do not normally allow. It’s a trust exercise, which is thrilling. It’s letting someone focus completely on you to all else, which is emotionally very complicated. It’s potentially physically challenging.

    If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong.

    On the other side of things, being a Dom(me) is hard work. You have to be emotionally aware of your sub, you need to pay attention to their physical tells because adrenaline is a wonderful and lying thing. Muscle strain, fatigue, emotional traps – these things are hard to see from inside a scene, but it’s your job as the Dominant partner to safeguard your sub. They are your responsibility. A good Dom(me) is half psychologist, half sex-god(dess).

    People who want to play full-immersion, 24×7 are playing a different and dangerous game. They actually want to own someone else, but not to take responsibility for their emotional well-being, usually for some other reason. I’ve never met one who didn’t have problems that should have been addressed by a professional. I haven’t met everyone, of course, so it’s possible that there are well adjusted humans who want complete control over someone else for sane and healthy reasons…

    but until then, I’m just going to go with the examples of sanity I’ve seen. It’s a game. Sane humans play it with self-awareness, with very specific rules of behaviour, and with care for their partners.

    And the sub is in charge.

    • Post authorKiersten Hallie Krum

      Yeah, I don’t get that. I mean, I get it in theory, I understand the technicality of what you’re saying and that that is how it works for those people involved in it, but still, my brain just goes, “ah, no.”

      Good that it works for others, though.

      Reply to Kiersten Hallie Krum
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      This is what Megan Hart’s story in The Devil’s Doorbell gets across so very clearly. The guy is the sub, but you sense his slight impatience when he has to put aside that role, and you get that being a domme is hard work, and our heroine is weary for a moment trying to juggle some strong emotions AND do that work. It’s so well written.

      Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorAlexa Day

    This is such a great post. I think the best part of fantasy is trying to figure out what to try next. This? That? Some other thing? All those sexy what-ifs. Who doesn’t love that?

    Reply to Alexa Day
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