‘You’re not like other dommes’ is something I have heard many times, a sentiment which usually has been prompted by my having a completely normal, polite conversation with a prospective submissive.
This is not surprising really, given the pervasive and ‘classic’ image is that of the strict, crop-wielding, leather-clad dominatrix. She is beautiful, perfectly composed, organised, and with her demands and steely will in perfect clarity. By the very nature of the pedestal she stands on, she’s cooly distant, tantalisingly out of the submissive’s reach, only to be worshipped and revered. Unfortunately, or perhaps very fortunately, she exists at best only momentarily.
This, however, isn’t a widely acknowledged fact, even by subs who have been in ‘the scene’ for quite some time. There has been some debate as to why this is – blame has been placed on pro-dommes and their marketing. As ‘wardens of fantasy’, they precisely embody the above image, because their appearance in their clients’ lives is momentary. For a few hours at most, they can really embody a client’s fantasy. But, as Lindeman’s book rather perfectly shows, to achieve this takes extensive preparation and staging, which is just not possible when this is your life, rather than a fantasy you visit for a few hours.
Personally, I have the utmost respect for (legitimate) pro-dommes. It is not an easy business, and they face discrimination even within the kink community (2). Placing blame on them and their marketing is unfair. Male fantasy tends towards idealising women (3), in any context, and as any business, pro-dommes merely use what is appealing to provide a service which is in demand. And let’s be honest – it really isn’t diffcult for a novice submissive to have a rummage online, and get an idea of what lifestyle dommes are looking for.
Quite unfortunately, that fantasy image is frequently all that many submissives have as a sole reference point. This, from what I have seen, tends to lead them to try to only say things they think a domme would want to hear. I receive countless messages filled with the same, essentially meaningless sentiments about ‘worship’, ‘devotion’, ‘service’, which are almost formulaic.
Not only does this entirely obscure their personality, and invariably hurts their chances of a domme taking an interest, but hurts their chances of successfully developing a dynamic, as it means they are not looking for what they should be; an actual connection. This would be the extent of my comments on the subject, were in not for the fact I keep hearing ‘you’re not like other dommes’ precisely from the type of sub I refer to above. That comment is usually followed by one (or all) of a now familiar criticisms of these ‘other dommes’ – namely, that they’re distant, brusque, cold.
Given the height of the pedestal we’re put on, it’s no wonder we get a little cold.
After being pushed up onto that pedestal, bombarded with platitudes and hollow, formulaic messages, all under the weight of that rather significant expectation that we behave like the perfect goddesses we supposedly are, it’s no wonder we lose our patience and good will. I don’t think I can sum it up any better than furcissy in this post:
All of the Dommes I have helped in the past year are passionate and intelligent people with an abundance of compassion and empathy and the desire for a deep romantic connection with a sub that will lead to a serious long-term relationship. Many of them began this journey with hearts wide open and bright hopes of finding that special partner that together, would create a life filled with love, joy, and kink.Unfortunately this search is rarely easy. The process has many bumps and hiccups along the way. Each disappointment leads to a mounting sense of frustration. It usually only takes a couple of months for the excited optimism to fade and be replaced by jaded skepticism. Watching this process is rather painful. While it’s not quite like watching a child open a Christmas present only to find the box contains socks, it is more like seeing a child who has come to accept that every box from now on will contain socks. The magic is gone.
Now, maybe the reason I still retain a good portion of my patience is because I am still young, or because I am a patient person, or because I just like socks. I don’t actually know.
I like to think it’s because I try to give people a fair chance, and not judge right off the bat, given their apparent blandness might just come from anxiety, inexperience, or just not knowing how to approach me. I have found some particular gems that way, and I hope this is an attitude I can hold onto.
But I will say this the submissives I refer to above; you can’t put dommes on a pedestal, and then complain we are distant. If you want warmth and conversation, approach as you would a person. Not your fantasy goddess.
- Lindemann, D.J. “Dominatrix: Gender, Eroticism, and Control in the Dungeon”, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, (2012).Master Bear, “Leather Bear Tails: The Invisible Woman: In Defense of Pro Dommes”, [Accessed 15th December 2018].
- Bader, M. “Male Sexuality: Why Women Don’t Understand it — and Men Don’t Either”, Rowan&Littlefield Publishing, (2009).