Let’s begin with full disclosure. I most definitely fall into the stereotype of a female submissive with her own male dominant, and while I may receive the most representation in every form of erotica, porn, and art,

I promise you, my way of doing D/s isn’t the only way - not by a mile.


Drop Your Kinky Stereotypes. Now.


I know, I know. The simpering female, naked and kneeling before her strong, manly, and devilishly handsome dominant partner is what you’re probably used to seeing. And it definitely makes for some hot, steamy scenes to read or view. But don’t ever confuse it with BDSM and kink in the real world. The real world is much more diverse than the fantasy we see in different forms of media.

All the Gender Pairings: Dominance isn’t inherently masculine, just as submission isn’t inherently feminine.


stereotypeI don’t care what media ad campaigns or trashy romance novels try to tell us. Dominant females most definitely exist. You may be familiar with the term “Domme” or “Dominatrix.” In my experience, the second term is more affiliated with professional Dominants (pro-Dom or pro-Domme). So clearly, women dominate their partners. One of my dear female friends eludes the stereotypes and identifies primarily as dominant, preferring to be called “Master” over “Mistress.”

On the opposite side of the D/s stereotype, submission isn’t only for women. Yes, there are some relationship dynamics that lean heavily in that direction especially Christian households or 1950s households. The people who follow those dynamics prefer them - that doesn’t mean they’re the standard or that any deviation from male dominant/female submissive is wrong. Men can most definitely be submissive and not always to female Dominants.

D/s in the Real World


Let me give you a real-world example from my own local area:
The friend I mentioned, who prefers the term “Master” - well, she has a female slave. She mentors other submissives, primarily female but not always. In her work as a pro-Domme (yes, she does that, too), the vast majority of her clients are men.

I have two other friends who have formed a leather family. The head of their household is a transwoman with primarily male submissives. One of her male submissives has taken on his own submissives  (as he taps into his dominant side) who are primarily female. Her other male submissive is dominant to his girlfriend.

Another aspect in all of these pairings and partnerings that defies the D/s stereotype: there is very little sex happening.


It can and does, when partners are willing, but it’s not a guarantee. Everyone explores their desires (dominant or submissive) with other willing partners, regardless of gender.

Of course, if your idea of D/s is male dominant, female submissive (usually naked or in some state of undress), you probably associate the dynamic with two things: sex and heterosexuality. Well, my friends, think again.

Not Everyone in D/s is Straight, either.


Those friends of mine who have different pairings, different relationships, and different dynamics? Well, in that mix are gay, lesbian, straight, queer, you name it. Some pairings are very sexual, while others are purely for the power exchange and the feeling dominance or submission creates in the person.

So if you’re a lesbian submissive and play with bi-sexual man who happens to submit to a genderqueer, asexual person, guess what? That’s equally as “normal” as anything else we do in BDSM. Forget the images you see, the porn you watch, and the books you read for a moment. Think about what makes you happy and fulfilled. You and your partner(s) don’t have to look like any of what you see in order for it to be real.

Now, as a person living the BDSM lifestyle who has friends who don’t fit the typical stereotype, I would love to see more people of color and different sexualities sharing their thoughts, creating beautiful BDSM imagery, and making more porn. Like the rest of the world, BDSM can always use more voices from different backgrounds and experiences to paint a more authentic picture of what it can mean for all people.

Kayla Lords is a freelance writer, sex blogger, and a masochistic babygirl living the 24/7 D/s life. Follow her on her website or on Twitter @Kaylalords.
Images by lust4lthr and lust4lthr via Flickr with CC BY 2.0 license

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