Femdom, or female dominance, refers to BDSM activities where the dominant partner is female. A female dominant is often called a dominatrix, domme or domina. Professional dominatrices (also called "pro dommes") in particular give themselves a named persona, with aristocratic or deific associations, thus "Mistress", "Lady", "Madame", "Goddess", etc.
Femdom scenarios are less common than maledom scenarios in BDSM fiction, but can be found in fiction such as Venus in Furs, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty and the works of the artist Sardax. Female domination is most often encountered in relation to a heterosexual or bisexual male submissive but also applies to cases of female submission.
The work of the artist Eric Stanton frequently depicts situations where men are being sexually dominated by women. Bettie Page is a famous American fetish model who was often photographed posing as a dominatrix with a whip while wearing fetish attire such as stockings, corsets, and high heeled shoes or boots.
Naturally, femdom activities may draw on all areas of BDSM, but there tends to be an association with radical feminism, whether seriously or fantastically. This can lead to apparent paradoxes, such as the humiliation of men by feminisation, though it is readily resolved by seeing this as disclaiming traditional gender associations, and transference of coded images of weakness onto men. Strap-on play plays a significant part in this as well. The inverse of this is of course to glorify the feminine, for example in panty fetishism and foot worship.
Similarly, erotic humiliation can focus on the inadequacy of a male sub's penis, demoting it to a plaything for the dominatrix, over which the male has no real control. Thus cock and ball torture (CBT), verbal humiliation, and orgasm denial.
More intense and heavier female domination scenarios may involve facesitting or smothering, which tend to focus on the sub giving the dominant female oral pleasure, or the dominant female giving the sub anal sex using a strap-on dildo. Other forms of more intense female domination can include face slapping, hair pulling, caning, heavy torture and heavy whipping.
In extreme scenarios, there is a focus on exchange of bodily fluids and total forfeit of rights by the slave. Acts may involve spitting domination, watersports a.k.a golden showers, brown showers and roman showers. (However, in practice brown showers and roman showers are not very common.)
References and further reading
- Lorelei, The Mistress Manual: The Good Girl's Guide to Female Dominance. Greenery Press, 2000. ISBN 1890159190.
- Claudia Varrin, Cynthia Lechan, The Art of Sensual Female Dominance: A Guide for Women. Citadel Press, 2000. ISBN 0806520892.
- Elise Sutton, Female Domination Lulu.com, 2003. ISBN 1411603257.
- Elise Sutton, The FemDom Experience Lulu.com, 2007, ISBN 1430304642.
- Elise Sutton's Guide to Loving Female Authority
- Female Domination Stories and Education Resources
- Female Domination History
- The Disciplinary Wives Club
- Real Women Don't Do Housework
- Uniquely Rika
- Paige Harrison - The Art of Female Domination
- Spanked Husbands Satisfied Wives
- Whap! Magazine: Women Who Administer Punishment
- Ms. Christine and David
- Femdom cartoons
- Femdom Retro
- Classic Dominants