Sunday, March 27, 2016

Femdom Is Not a Self Help Book

Too often femdom is portrayed as a second rate choice for women who can’t get a boyfriend, rather than acknowleding kink is part of your sexual identity. Swap BDSM for gay and nobody would dream to come up with such an idea. When it comes to kink, somehow it is fine.


 In one of today’s newsletters I found a link to a story about an ugly duck who takes a dominatrix class as the cure to a unhappy vanilla love life. As if. It is your usual harrowing tale, that is before you take into account the editoral freedom the author – a freelance writer and comedian – allows herself.

What caught my attention was not the fact it is – yet another story – about a dominatrix but its headline: “Secrets of the world's greatest dominatrix.”  That doesn’t make sense. One size does not fits all, neither in love nor in lust. It turned out to be the usual misleading, attention grabbing headline.

As I clicked to read the full story, the first thing that caught my attention was the header image (pictured above). It has written cliché all over. A younger woman, sitting on an obese, bald, older man. Nothing says unlucky in love as that kind of image.

The orginal article on Narrative explains how the author signed up for “Secrets of the World’s Greatest Dominatrix”, a class taught by Tara Indiana. I probably spend too much time cleaning the dungeon with a toothbrush but I never heard of her. Her website made me wonder why the class was named just that. Mistress Tara’s About section is coming soon:
“COMING SOON! LOTS OF INFO
ABOUT HOW AWESOME I AM!!!”
A bit of tongue in cheek. Now that I love. Apparently she also runs for president. Better be carefull Hillary. Perhaps Tara Indiana should consider Trump as running maid.

mistress tara for president. Whipping America back into shape, one middle aged white men at a time.
Watch out Hillary! (Image: Tara Indiana)



Diversity in dominance
As the author struggles to make her way into the dungeon, she encounters a man:
“the way he looked at me, with utter submission, made me feel powerful.”
You never know what’s on a man’s mind but his submission does not necessary make you powerful. At least not as in personal power. There are two kinds of power: situational dominance and personal dominance. If your boss orders you to do something, you better do or get fired. That is situational dominance. When people obey you despite a clear hierarchy or the ability to enforce and punish, that is personal dominance. Quite frequently the two of them get confused.
If a man looks at the author with utter submission, does it come from her personal strength or his desires? You know the answer.

Then think some more. Ever heard a man talking about finding his “Inner God?” Don’t worry if that makes you laugh, there is nothing wrong with you. So why do women keep searching for their Inner Goddess? It is silly isn’t it? Feels a bit like a sales pitch: if business is good, you promote yourself from mistress to goddess. Which only highlights what was missing before.

Classs begins and the author descends into a hotchpotch of misconceptions. Learn from the best. You always should. There is nothing better than being the dumbest person in a room full of people. Personal transformation is about learning – both from yourself and others.
“true change came from learning from a community of people, both online and off, who decide to honor their true desires. For some men, that comes in the form of a submission that is often frowned upon because it’s deemed un-masculine. “
Maybe that works for her, but the first step is always to accept who you are – within reason of course – and take it from there. I fail to connect the dots between submission, true desires and true change.

Little is written about what happens during the rest of class. Psychology is an important part. Of course, it is. It is something people call human nature. Neediness too often leaves out the fact that a slave’s desire to serve is about his “true desires” rather than mistress’ needs.


Dominance vs sadism
After class, the author is invited to attend a second one. This time it is all about slave training and dominant woman. Overwhelmed with the aura of some of these women exume, she sums up their attitudes:
“I don’t give a flying fuck what you think about me.”
We all know that is just an attitude. Your presence has little to do with femdom. It also reminds me of one of my pet peeves how some dommes use their kink as a wall to shield the woman from the mistress. We all have our pressure points, but not everybody flaunts them that easily. A dominant who displays a real life disregard for what matters to others is usually a red flag.

The author draws confidence from the fact “there was a wall of men behind me who, the second they walked in, had essentially acknowledged that I was their superior.” Once again it goes to the heart of the various types of dominance. An old Dutch nursery rhyme tells the story of a foolish old man who built his house on ice.  As soon as the author discovers superiority is based on nothing but frostbite, what will be left of it when spring arrives? Yet another example of how the concept of situational dominance often clashes with personal power. Unless the author is into kink there are better avenues for her to explore how to deal with men and relationships.

Discovering her inner non-sadist, the author realizes part of today’s class is about delivering physical pain to a slave. As she is handed a script, she realizes her inner Goddess has to get ruthless. It turns the whole notion of dominance upside down. To me it reads as if she is effectively obeying Tara Indiana’s orders. During the first class of the day the author jokes about all the wicked stuff the dungeon cat has seen. Once mistress Tara smiles noddingly, she begins to feel more confident. How’s that for a complicated domme-sub relationship? I wonder what she was thinking right then. It probably had little to do with her inner goddess.

Of course her ordeal is not over yet. Mistress Tara – who clearly likes to humiliate people – brings the author to the front of the class and explains she will teach mistress Newbie how to properly spank a slave.


So confusing
After four hours of class, the author is confused. Of course she is, I would be too. But she nevertheless picks up a few things. First of all there is this thing called “The Gift”, which is basically anything silly mistress allows slave to do, see or feel. It is often used as a reward. The author also learns how to spell inner Goddess. It is with a capital G, but not an initial i. Deviance is always in the details.

After reading about her experience, I’m left wondering. There are two things I don’t get. Why did she really go to dominatrix school in the first place? Secondly, does the author understand her newfound natural dominance only applies to a subset of men under specific circumstances?

The key to the first question is most likely to nurture her unrecognized, budding interest in femdom. The answer to the second one is hanging in the wind, assuming she is not competing with her sister for the attention of men.

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