Female Dominance, or ‘femdom’, refers simply to the woman taking total control in BDSM scenes. Femdom is represented in some of the most classic BDSM iconography– picture a towering, leather-clad goddess standing over a kneeling, submissive male with a whip in her hand– we’re sure you’ve seen it somewhere! Femdom is one of the oldest tropes in the BDSM world, as it captures the essence of ‘role reversal’, or the act of inverting traditional gender roles. For some women and men, it’s the ultimate thrill to assume or relinquish control in a way that’s otherwise unusual in day-to-day life.
Femdom is about empowerment; it’s a way for women to dictate direction and be completely in charge. For many women in their day-to-day lives, it can be difficult to always be assertive and ask for exactly what they want in a male-dominated world. Women are often conditioned to believe that ‘good’ traits embody quietness, restraint and meekness. With femdom, these notions are completely turned on their heads– these women’s submissives are simply tasked with pleasing and serving them however they see fit, as the submissive’s goal should always be their domme’s total satisfaction.
If you have an interest in femdom, it’s important to understand what that looks like for you in the bedroom. Female dominance is such a broad concept that the direction of your play will be entirely up to you, but there are tons of classic approaches that we’ll cover. To start, we’ll assume your male counterpart is a hopeful submissive who’s looking to you for guidance in the bedroom: how can he be most useful to you, how can he put your needs first, how can he be pushed to be better? Your role as the ‘female dominant’ will require negotiation and consent, training, and laying out expectations and goals for your sub.
Let’s go over a few of the most common femdom tropes and how a scene might play out with each.
Gentle/nurturing Femdom- As the title suggests, this is a form of female dominance that prioritizes nurturing and guidance. Demeaning or punishment-based acts are not the main focus for this type of play, but they can be implemented in a softer, more teasing manner. Gentle femdom can look like rewarding your sub for a foot rub, for running errands or doing house chores, or simply acknowledging their efforts to be of service to you. When discipline and punishment are implemented, they are done so with the intention not to abuse or overwhelm the submissive. If they do a poor job of cleaning your apartment, for example, maybe give them a gentle over-the-knee (OTK) spanking and tell them they’re not allowed to masturbate for 3 days. Guide your submissive by telling them exactly how they can be of service to you– let them know that your intent is to make them a more nurturing, attentive companion.
Disciplinarian Femdom- This is perhaps the most classical type of femdom– the strict disciplinarian. This type of femdom practice is corrective, and provides little room for a submissive’s error. Disciplinarian femdom prioritizes the woman’s desires, but typically requires a willingness to suffer from her submissives. Your scenes might entail training your sub to accept greater levels of pain and torture if your needs aren’t met (or maybe making them suffer is your need). This could come in the form of physical pain (whipping, beating, etc) or emotional torment, like locking your sub in a room for several hours to put them in time-out. As ‘discipline’ is suggested in the title, this is a type of femdom play that requires plenty of negotiation beforehand to ensure a certain punishment doesn’t go too far.
Humiliation/psychological Femdom- Humiliation-based femdom is a way for a domme to assert her power over her submissive by toying with his mind. The domme may do this by forcing her sub to demean himself for her amusement. She might dress him up in ladies’ underwear and makeup and laugh at him, force him to drink her urine, insult his penis size or reaffirm that he’s inferior in some way. She might train him to perform humiliating tasks over and over again with the goal that he will grow to like them– maybe that humiliating tasks will become the only thing that arouses him in the future. Psychological-based femdom is designed to ‘brainwash’ the sub by associating his domme’s pleasure with his own degradation; if he wants to please her, he will happily debase himself for her.
As with any aspect of BDSM, these femdom tropes are not designed to put anyone in a box. There are ways you can incorporate elements of all three (or none) in your scenes– the goal is simply for you and your submissive to find what works for you. Above all, femdom is a mechanism to feel empowered in the bedroom, unleash your inner desires, act out scenes you’ve always dreamt of and figure out what feels most natural.