To a lot of people, words like Mistress and femdom evoke a very specific set of criteria; leather, latex, high heels, corsets, whips, red lipstick, and so on. It’s very much like one’s image of a policeman or a doctor or firefighter, or anything else that bears a number of emblematic, culturally defined trappings, in that it’s easy to think of those things as a Domme’s uniform. We think of that as being what a sexually dominant woman wears and the most natural extension of her personality, and to a burgeoning, developing Domme it can be intimidating. It can be hard for a woman discovering her power to put herself in those black stilettos. In other words, it’s often hard for a new Domme, or really the uninitiated in general, to separate the essence of domination, power, and control from the image one often has of a “dominatrix”.
The truth is that while BDSM is a mindset, a lifestyle, and a sexual orientation, what I call the “dominatrix package” is something of a fetish. Think of “schoolgirls”, “naughty nurses”, “French maids”, and so on. The hyperbolized, image laden, totem heavy get up is certainly a thing for some people but when it comes to the real essence of enlightened, mutual, organic BDSM, that idea and that mentality is often a case of the cart coming before the horse.
A woman who is authentically dominant can express herself and her power in sweatpants, gym clothes, no clothes, or anything else. The things that a Domme has in terms of toys, clothing, equipment and so on are no more what make her a Domme than a white lab coat is what makes one a doctor. Those are things that anyone can buy right off of the shelf with nothing more than the money to do so. As hard as it may be to believe and as much harder as it may be to develop, real Dominance, in its essence, is nothing whatever to do with whips, chains, and the color black, and everything to do with attitude.
And what of attitude? Aren’t the dominatrix clothes and implements just extensions or expressions of the ideal dominant approach? The short answer is a very easy no. When it comes to being a dominant woman there are a plethora of ways to skin that particular cat. Let’s take a brief survey of prominent femdom character types:
- Dominatrix – The classic, archetypal image we’ve been discussing. Sadistic, works/plays in a dungeon setting full of aggressive implements and devices.
- Governess/Headmistress – Stern, severe, exacting. More likely to be involved with punishment, retribution, and discipline.
- Boss Bitch – Like a governess but with a different kind of implied authority.
- Humiliatrix – Focused on degradation and psychological debasement. Likely to be demeaning.
- Glamazon – Ego, ego, ego. Implies wealth and status, takes photos of their shopping bags, stacks of cash, and of themselves on boats.
- Queen Bee – Popular girl/head cheerleader type.
- Brat/Princess – “Spoiled”, immature, entitled. Probably seen giving the middle finger.
But in all of these there is the same element of the fetishizable. They are all susceptible to artifice, both projected and received. In short, they are affectations, personas, exaggerations of the dominant woman. But let’s suppose that none of that suits you, whether as a new or experienced Domme. Let’s suppose you’re looking for something that feels more grounded, more real. In that case, how do you express your dominance in a way that feels like expressing yourself? From where do you draw your power and authority?
The foundation of any authentic Dominance is real, honest confidence and self-assurance and, unlike the personas described above, that is something that is impossible to fake. The idea that you are important and special and worthy of love, worship, service, and adoration is something that must be nurtured and cultivated, and the emotional security and self possession that comes with that is what makes any Domme attractive. The leather and the combat boots and all the rest of it just look good on that.
When you start there, you’ll find that there are dozens of ways to be the dominant you. You can be anything from an elegant Lady to the “Mean” Girl Next Door. You can be a mystical Shamanatrix or a badass Punk Rock Queen. You can be all of these things, or none, and more. There is such a thing as a unique dominant sexuality, and if you begin by knowing that yours is just as valid as any of the others you’ll find an attitude that suits you and that won’t make you feel like you’re trying to meet some arbitrary standard.
Just be proud of yourself as a person and as a woman. The rest of it can only come out of that.