by Madeline Iva
Let’s talk about women in seriously tight leather, wielding whips. While everybody hates a shrieking bitch, we all respect the woman who has her sh** majorly together. This woman is my role model when I encounter her–be she a mom or a boss.
She is unflappable when it comes to getting results. ‘Results’ often means putting man or man-child back in his place and making him behave. I respect this kind of woman–but do I identify with her as my heroine in an erotic romance story? Sure I do!
In the DEVIL’S DOORBELL anthology I was raving about last week, the heroine in Megan Heart’s story is a domme, with a hot sub. His dick may be in chains (literally) but he is clearly empowered with his own agenda.
Our heroine in this story is heart sore (but then again, what Megan Hart heroine isn’t? ; >) She tends to his needs, until her own needs become so large, that her sub puts his role aside. He takes his turn being the comforting one, the one to hold her and fuck her hard if that’s what she needs.
All of which helps when a demon from her past comes back into town. This bad boy who once wrecked the heroine shows up to befuddle her head and break her heart. Again. Yet thanks to her domme experience and her sub, who’s shown her just how good a real man can treat her, she is no longer the broken woman her ex left behind. She finds an emotional power to deal with her ex calmly and firmly—putting him in his place sexually–even in her highly vulnerable state. Not your typical spanking sub tale.
Joey Hill has probably been most successful writing domme heroines and sub heroes. In NATURAL LAW, the hero is a cop going undercover at a sex club as a sub to catch a murderous FemDom.
Mac is an interesting alpha-sub. The heroine thinks he throws himself into the submissive roll with the cocky idea that he’s so tough, no woman can break him.
Such attitude makes her itch to try, of course.
Letting himself be restrained, Mackenzie, full of male pride, insists he can take anything she dishes out. There are two scenes when Violet violates his sense of old skool masculinity. As he roars with primal fury, he’s helplessly getting off – and getting off – and getting off some more.
Reading these scenes, I was like ‘Oh my God!’, my eyes glued to my Kindle.
Viola breaks her bucking bronco, and leaves us with a wounded, sexy beast, weary and full of feels as she holds his large head in her hands. He’s more humble, his primal force banked in the tenderness he feels towards her. I’m sure this scene hits all the right pleasure button for women readers.
MADELINE IVA: How are you the rare exception when it comes to erom writers in being able to have really successful FemDom sex that actually sells? What’s your secret sauce?
JOEY HILL: When I started writing my first FemDom/male sub story, I didn’t expect to BE writing that genre. Holding the Cards was intended to be MaleDom/female sub, because that’s what I liked to read myself. But it didn’t work, and I became so frustrated, I flipped the roles and suddenly the book took off. That was the story that taught ME that I could enjoy reading about that type of relationship.
I didn’t quite get my feet under me until the next one, which was NATURAL LAW. When I wrote Mac and Violet’s story, I figured out “the secret sauce” so to speak. Like most of those who were writing erotic romance at that time, I was a traditional romance reader. I loved romances with uber-alpha heroes (aka Dom wannabes that the world wasn’t ready to call Doms yet, lol). So when I wrote NATURAL LAW, I wrote a hero who had all the elements of those traditional heroes. Mac Nighthorse was protective, strong, and sensitive at the right moments in a masculine way (not a girl hiding in a guy’s body, lol), but he had the intriguing twist of desiring to submit sexually and serve… Full stop.
It was that word “serve” that clicked for me. Since then, I’ve called this form of submissive the “palace guard” sub. He’s the type of guy who might be a cop or in the military, with such a craving to serve the woman he loves that it translates into a submissive orientation. I am a submissive myself, so I used my understanding of the submissive psychology to guide me through the scenes, but integrated it with how I’d expect a male hero to react and handle those scenarios.
Of course, the nice thing about how the erotic romance genre has evolved is it also now has room to explore the beta male subs.
It’s also REALLY important not to forget the Domme side of the equation. Just as my male sub still has traditional qualities of romance heroes, my Domme has vulnerabilities. She doesn’t stop being a woman in love; far from it. Her Domme side is all part of how she loves. She’s tough and amazing, but she still needs to be held when she cries. Which is genuinely the way a Domme is in real life as well. Dom or sub, these are still human beings whose needs and desires are pretty much the same as what we all have – they just express them through a Dominant or submissive orientation.
MADELINE IVA: Do you think FemDom will be more embraced by romance audiences as we move along?
JOEY HILL: As the erotic romance readership has grown more sophisticated, they’ve become more willing to try storylines they wouldn’t necessarily have considered when they first started reading erotic romance. So yes, I think as readers hear from other readers “Hey, this is really good and you should try it,” they will. That’s how NATURAL LAW gained in popularity and became the book that launched my career. Pretty funny, since I assumed in the beginning I would only ever write Male Doms, lol. Now I do Dommes, Doms, threesomes, you name it. I guess erotic romance authors become more diverse and sophisticated as we go along, too.
But final note, if an author wants a FemDom book to take off get it in the hands of readers/reviewers who will give it a try and crow from the rooftops to other readers if they love it. I’m seeing more and more requests from readers looking for “good” FemDom/male sub stories.
MADELINE IVA: Thanks Joey for being here today and answering these questions! Our very own Alexa Day has a FemDom story out in the new anthology HERO TO OBEY.
The hero in this story is young-ish, hot-naturally–and performs as an excellent bar back for the owner of a restaurant and bar on the seashore. The heroine’s female employee is like “Can we keep him? Can we?” because he really puts an strong work ethic into his physical labors in an efficient and conscientious way. The heroine, however, has other ideas about what to do with such an obedient, gorgeous employee who responds so well to her commands.
There’s a great scene in the store room where nothing is said really, but the chemistry is palpably felt to the point where the relationship cannot go back to the way it was. You’ll have to read the rest to find out what happens.
Meanwhile, do you have a favorite FemDom read? A favorite Joey Hill or Megan Hart book you adore? Does FemDom do it for you? Do you think this sub sub-genre is a growing trend?
As we become more comfortable with women in positions of enormous power, *cough* woman president of the United States *cough* do you think more women will see themselves in the FemDom role and look for more of these romances? Or do you think it will drive women even further into the fantasy of submission as they seek a break from all that responsibility?
Meanwhile make your mistress happy–follow us at Lady Smut and subscribe to our newsletter.
Madeline Iva writes fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Her novella ‘Sexsomnia’ is available in our LadySmut anthology HERE, and her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, will be out Fall, 2016.