511. Moderately scattered thoughts on an oddity within the F/m community

I’ve been struggling with ideas on what to write about lately.  Earlier today I realized that I had unearthed some pretty consistent themes while writing my Discussion Group posts.  While attempting to write something coherent I lost my train of thought and fizzled out.  I still find some of this to be interesting so I am going to hit publish instead of deleting it.

The first noticeable theme is that practitioners of F/m often have extremely polarizing views on how they view/treat/perform their dynamic.

The second theme is that the F/m community as a whole fails to develop accessible terminology to classify and differentiate perspectives and philosophies.

Something interesting about these two themes is that they are fairly intertwined and the lack of terminology often leads to views becoming polarized.  This also contrasts so greatly compared to the M/f community.

If you do research and happen to stumble across a work that attempts to classify different submissive types, you will likely find that it was authored by someone in the M/f community.  You may also find that there’s a whole crap-load of sub types out there that people attempt to label themselves as, with each term giving some form of differentiation from other types:  masochist, pain slut, slave, pet, primal, rope bunny, little, middle, princess, slut, housewife, warrior submissive, degradee, parallel sub, bottom, etc.

While some may find this annoying, having terms is helpful to people because it gives them something they can identify with.  I will admit, at times I find it annoying when I feel like someone is trying too hard to be a special little snowflake and says, “I’m a sexy, switchy princess who can be a bratty top or a bottom with a primal streak.”  At the same time, I do have to give them kudos for knowing themselves and what they want and being able to articulate it.

In M/f you will also find dominants that give themselves terms in order to differentiate themselves: sadist, gentledom, daddydom, disciplinarian, etc.

I know there are people who hate labels for the sake of hating labels and reading these paragraphs probably make them groan.  If you can get beyond the semantics game you can see that something entirely functional is going on underneath it.  Basically, people are doing one or more of these three things:

  1. They are doing their best to attract potentially compatible partners.
  2. They are trying to make it easier to find friends who share a similar philosophy that they will feel comfortable with.
  3. They are trying to make it as easy as possible for someone else to understand them.

By contrast, I will take a look at F/m.

What do you call a dominant woman that is looking for non-romantic casual BDSM play partners?  A dominant woman.

What do you call a dominant woman that is looking for a romantic monogamous life-partner to live with in an FLR or TPE-like environment?  A dominant woman.

What do you call a dominant woman that falls somewhere in between those at any point along the spectrum?  A dominant woman.

There’s pretty much one umbrella term that is used.  While there are variants, such as Dom, Domme, Domina, Mistress, etc. each of these are blanket terms.  It becomes even more convoluted when you find that most professionals also use… the same terms (with the exception of dominatrix being the lone-variant that implies pro-only).

At the fringes of the community you may find some specialized terminology when it comes to specific fetishes: Mommy Domme.  Findom.  Key Holder.  Hotwife.  In some cases you may find that sadists will specifically label themselves as sadists, but this is not always the case.

In F/m, there really aren’t very many terms we use to differentiate dominants in a way that gives us any idea of their philosophies and preferences.

It works similarly for subs.  While there is almost always a male sub version of the sub types that people write out for female subs, many of these fall by the wayside unless the type is seen as widely desirable.  For the less desirable male sub types, the only way they will get to experience their desires is if they are lucky enough to find one of the excruciatingly rare dominant women that are into that or… they will have to pay a pro for it.

What I will outline next is meant to be as honest of an assessment I can give of this situation.  It isn’t fair nor do I condone it, but it is how I believe subs in F/m are frequently perceived by dominant women (and frequently by taken subs).

I believe one of the main reasons that sub labels fall by the wayside has to do with the experiences that dominant women have while interacting with submissive men.  In a lot of ways, it seems like there are parallel types of classification at work.  Yes, subs are judged and labeled and not in a way that is anything similar to M/f.

Classification #1: Judgment

  • A single sub that should be taken.
  • A single sub that should be single.
  • A taken sub. (These subs are generally given the benefit of the doubt and assumed they should be taken).

Classification #2: sub-type

  • Service-Oriented
  • Masochist/Bottom
  • Fetishist

Just as the umbrella of “dominant woman” generically labels the bulk of the demographic, “submissive man” is a similar type of umbrella term.  Service-oriented subs are usually pretty good about advertising themselves as such.  Fetishists may or may not have a specific label, but they are pretty straight forward about what they want.  Overall, there aren’t enough applicable terms to say much about submissive men.  If I had to choose a most common desires for single submissive men they tend to be along the lines of one of these:

  • “I’m new and want to experience things, be trained, etc.”
  • “I want to be mostly or completely controlled with some kinky activities splashed in.”

I suppose the word “lamb” is used to describe the first case, but that also doesn’t say anything about what they think they like.  I don’t think there is a name for the second case.  Both fly under the umbrella of “submissive man.”

Also, it’s quite common for dominant women to advertise they are looking for a submissive man and lay out the parameters of what they want from the relationship, but rarely do they use specific terminology (e.g. service-oriented) to define what they want.

Overall, this seems rather broken to me, especially when you consider the drastically differing preferences of dominant women.

Some live to wield control.  Some want to have control but never/rarely want to have to exercise it.

Some want to mix D/s and love.  Some want to keep BDSM completely formal or casual.

Some want a man that they can psychologically crush and stifle.  Some want a man that they respect and will treat as a (nearly) equal partner.

Some want a man that will become completely dependent upon them for validation.  Some want a man that needs no external validation at all.

Some want subs that are completely self-motivated.  Some want to provide continuous motivation for their subs.

Some want to have a lifestyle full of kink.  Some want to have no kink at all and simply maintain power exchange.

I could go on and on with examples of different desires, but I think that is enough to illustrate that what people want can be very different.  It makes me wonder why we don’t have words for these things.  I feel like that would make things a lot easier if people had easier ways of expressing what they are and what they are looking for in a word or two.

I think in some ways this explains the “movements” of people that remove themselves from the community as a whole and classify themselves as something entirely different.  I have to wonder if this would play out differently if we had the words.


20 thoughts on “511. Moderately scattered thoughts on an oddity within the F/m community

  1. So I’ve started a comment at least 4 times. I get it. When it came to my sub side it was easy, or it felt that way. I was a submissive. Yes I enjoy pain and love primal play, but it didn’t define who I was.
    I guess I struggle with this other side of the slash because I am inexperienced. All the resources I used as a sub were geared towards a male dominant. Even now, using social media is “defaulted” to a M/f dynamic. Yes, many of the terms do cross over and mean the same, but somehow it just doesn’t sit right. Maybe I’m overthinking them? Or is it because we want them to mean something more?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, J. Lynn.

      I’m not sure if you are overthinking.

      I find that a lot of those resources are often geared towards more casual encounters. Most of the F/m practitioners I have known over the years have wanted to incorporate their D/s into daily lives, which tends to require more from subs. e.g. you will rarely find a “taken” male pet in F/m.

      It is also far easier for submissive women to gain experiences than submissive men. This allows them to develop preferences and self-knowledge that they learn along the way and find ways to describe themselves. Men are less likely to have an associated term and thus, fewer submissive men advertise themselves in that way.

      These two things come to mind as being partly responsible, but I’m sure there are more reasons. I will keep pondering it…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting Furs, I am still waking up in Oz. Mind you I slept in, I have a mixed reaction to labels, I use them because it helps when you first meet someone but people can change over time with experiences that they have and the years they have been into BDSM and F/m. As a dominant woman goes from being a beginner to knowing and evolving into what she wants and likes, labels could change. For example, a dominant might go from being a Mummy dominant to classing herself as looking for a service orientated submissive or a Sadist. Eh, just a thought. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Morganna. I do agree that labels can evolve and change, it just seems that they aren’t used very often in the F/m side of things. The same scenario as you described above might happen, but most likely, they would simply be a “dominant woman” with an unchanging term to go with greatly changing preferences. It’s quite strange.

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well written and interesting, expansive ideas. I like it all. Makes me rethink the whole hating labels thing. Lol.

    Maybe I dont like them because I don’t see myself in them. That thought had never crossed my mind before. Or maybe not. I’m so tired I can’t tell right now. Lol. 💋

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, PG. It is something that is interesting to me. In M/f, if a label doesn’t fit, they invent a new one that does. In F/m, it’s almost like we work without them… and in turn, it becomes far more difficult to describe our preferences, desires, etc.

      I know you had some trouble sorting through subs that were just looking for play and those who were interested in a serious relationship. I can only imagine if there was a specific term for “play only subs” and a specific term for “relationship subs” that people could place upon themselves and/or advertise that is what they are looking for that it would make that process a lot easier.

      I do know it is impossible to summarize a person in a single word, but those words can help. e.g. If someone labels themselves a vegan, you probably don’t want to invite them to a steak house.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If I may, I have very little experience. I only recently started a conversation with a much more experienced woman. My exposure has been mostly erotica and porn. Not great sources of information. She has directed my to a couple of books on FLR and also has encouraged me to seek out blogs on FLR and some of my other interests and hers. This has given me not only a better understanding of these principles, but the confidence to start to open up and discuss them. Having to search thru a million blogs under “Fem dom”, to find the one or two blogs that actually align with our interests can be intimidating to say the least. To me, the more we can make the information accessible to others the better, and safer, and more enjoyable it can be. As a “newbie”, I will tell you, I feel lucky to have found someone willing to help guide me. And incidentally, she suggested this blog!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for sharing. I’m quite flattered that you were recommended my blog.

      All of us were newbies at one time. It is good that you have found someone to help guide you. I had ~12 years of fantasies under my belt before a Domme “found” me and pointed me towards actual resources. It felt incredibly lucky because I had never thought I would have the courage to seek out a dominant woman if that hadn’t happened.

      I believe that the F/m styles and M/f styles have begun to deviate to such a great extent that very few of the guides actually cross-over cleanly and work for both sides.

      I am guessing that you have seen the lack of terminology and differentiation at work in your searches of blogs. There are very few “flags” to differentiate play from relationships from professional/porn, and so on. FLR seems to be the closest one but some of those authors can get very hard line as well about their views.

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I often notice your “incomplete” posts get me thinking on the subject at large. The absence of clear labels of activities and roles of practitioners in femdom relationships could be the result of the nascent nature of this kind of relationship (to, at least, the general public’s knowledge – despite the presence of ‘femdom’ imagery on ancient pottery, etc.), or could it be to the preference by women for keeping femdom lifestyle relationships fluid?
    When I started as a ‘houseboy’ with a dominatrix, she soon gave me more complicated tasks and responsibilities (such as her PA, keeping track of appointments, billing, etc.) – to see if I could handle the business.
    Maybe many women shoot low in finding a mate and hope to evolve his involvement over time, rather than assign them to a fixed role?
    This is much different from the leather culture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dave.

      I’m not really certain there’s a fixed answer. I do know that many Dommes end up in the process of evolving. The most common answer I get about labels is usually that they don’t want to be kept in a box and tied to something that will dictate what they can/can’t be/do.

      It becomes a little fascinating when you dig into it. Do the terms not exist because people don’t want them to? Or would they use terms if they were readily available? It seems that Dommes with specific fetishes will use known terms, e.g. cuckolding. In your case, the search for a houseboy was one that gave the sub a label.

      I think this stands out the most to me when I read threads or blog entries from Dommes that express frustration at not being able to find any “good” subs. In the absence of clear labels, it is inevitable that there will be clashing philosophies and ideas about what the roles mean and what people are looking for.

      Take care.


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