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Don’t call her a dominatrix!

by Beth Divine 25 Feb 2019

While the BDSM community is as flourishing as ever – perhaps even more so! – some of the terminology has crossed over into mainstream usage. As often happens when niche or fetish activities are brought to the attention of the ‘vanilla’ (those who like heteronormal sex) these terms have been ever so slightly skewed.

Thus the impression of a dominatrix is an angry nymphomaniac who secretly hates men and wants to punish them even as she needs them. And, of course, (sarcasm italics) her angry nymphomania will be cured by a jolly good rogering from the right man…

The mainstream costume for a dominatrix is pretty standardised too – shiny black leather, plastic or rubber, the highest of high heels or platform boots, usually teamed with excitingly slutty fishnet stockings that show off a great deal of thigh and hint at a promise of more exciting regions not far out of sight. She usually carries a whip or riding crop, and always has luscious dark red lipstick on, all the better for those extreme close-ups of her mouth saying things like, ‘You’ve been a bad, bad boy.’ and ‘I’m going to have to punish you.’

In truth, a dominatrix is simply the female active partner in a sub-dom relationship which may or may not be sexual – it may or may not even be physical. Some sub-dom relationships can even be conducted at a long distance, over the internet, using texts, calls or social media. The important part of the relationship is the control exercised by the dominant partner, both over their submissive partner, but also on their behalf.

If anything, a dominant partner is a protector as much as a punisher, as they have to be careful to exert only enough force for satisfaction of the sub, not enough to actually harm them.

Because of the mainstream ignorance about the finer points of BDSM relationships, many female dominants – previously happy to be called dominatrices – are now preferring to be known as a ‘fem dom’, or ‘domme’, or even by the genderless ‘dom’, or ‘dominant’. So unless you are into a bit of vanilla role play, be sure not to call your powerful female partner a ‘dominatrix’ – she’ll have to punish you for that.