Dom VS. Domme: What’s the difference?

Dom VS. Domme: What’s the difference?

Dom, short for dominant.

A domme is the fem version. Some pronounce it “dom,” some “dom-may.”

I identify as a dom or dominant. I don’t feel like there needs to be a gendered word for who I am. That doesn’t stop people gendering me. Which is fine. I am, after all, a woman, and I’m pretty open and clear about that.

But the gendering is not all that comes with the domme label, is it? Not in my experience, anyway.

A short piece from 2015 was recently necro’d on FetLife, “I Call Bullshit.” Wherein I note the pretty prevalent opinion that floats around the internet that TWOO DOM-MAYS don’t have sex.

Which seems in stark contrast to Doms, who not only have sex and grow their power by doing so, but also have SO MUCH SEX that there are warning posters made (wrote about those, too, in 2014). Here’s a quote from the one that was circulating the internet at the time:

“DOMINANTS, ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION;
Would you still want to be a Dominant, even if it meant that there would be absolutely no sex involved? If you honestly can’t separate being Dominant from the sexual aspects of the lifestyle, then perhaps your reasons for wanting to be a Dominant are just a tad superficial.” —Michael Malai

Which I think is just as much bullshit as the idea that dommes must be sexless creating to DO IT RITE.

So, the tropes:

Masculine dominants: Sex is part of their power, may want sex too much, so it becomes abusive, predatory.

Feminine dominants: Withholding sex is part of their power, in fact, not having sex at all is their true dominance.

How TF do people get these ideas?

Nevermind.

I actually know the answer to that.

But let’s dig into them a bit. Because, well, this goes deeper.

And I’m sure you guessed I was gonna say that, because, well, this is me. LOL!

Or, maybe it’s not so deep. But I also don’t think it’s super obvious. Let’s start, though, with the obvious.

Masculine figures are applauded for being sexual and having sex.

Feminine figures are valued when they eschew sex, when they are pure.

That’s pretty clear.

But there’s more to it than that.

Masculine folk are expected to want and love sex. Even to excess. To the point where they will lie, cheat and steal to get it. Maybe even “pretend” to be a dominant to access more (and kinkier) sex. The more sex they have, the more powerful they are. The more desired. The more valued. The more…masculine.

(Does no one see the harm being done here? Just me? No, I didn’t think so…)

So, what, then for the feminine folk?

The opposite.

Feminine folk are expected to dislike and avoid sex. To the point of frigidness or cruelty. To the point where they will create entire relationships centered around their control over the ways they do not have sex. That the less sex they have (actually, want—more on this in a few), the more powerful they are. They are desired for what they withhold. What they refuse to bestow. They are more valued. More…feminine.

But who believes all this malarkey, you ask?

Well, honestly, most of us in contemporary Western society have some of these beliefs in our heads.

What’s the difference between a dom-d-o-m and a domme-d-o-m-m-e?

Dom-d-o-m, short for dominant.

A domme-d-o-m-m-e is the fem version. Some pronounce it “dom,” some “dom-may.” I pronounce it “dom.”

I identify as a dom-d-o-m or dominant. I don’t feel like there needs to be a gendered word for who I am. That doesn’t stop people gendering me. Which is fine. I am, after all, a woman, and I’m pretty open and clear about that.

For the purposes of this podcast, I’m going to use ‘domme” to represent feminine dominants (dommes-d-o-m-m-e-s), since I’m speaking to gendered ideas, and that will make it easier to differentiate.

But the gendering is not all that comes with the domme label, is it? Not in my experience, anyway.

A short piece from 2015 was recently necro’d on FetLife, “I Call Bullshit.” Wherein I note the pretty prevalent opinion that floats around the internet that TWOO DOM-MAYS don’t have sex.

Which seems in stark contrast to doms, who not only have sex and grow their power by doing so, but also have SO MUCH SEX that there are warning grapics made (wrote about those, too, in 2014). Here’s a quote from the one that was circulating the internet at the time:

“DOMINANTS, ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION;
Would you still want to be a Dominant, even if it meant that there would be absolutely no sex involved? If you honestly can’t separate being Dominant from the sexual aspects of the lifestyle, then perhaps your reasons for wanting to be a Dominant are just a tad superficial.” —Michael Malai

Which I think is just as much bullshit as the idea that dommes must be sexless creations to DO IT RITE.

So, the tropes:

Masculine dominants: Sex is part of their power, may want sex too much, so it becomes abusive, predatory.

Feminine dominants: Withholding sex is part of their power, in fact, not having sex at all is their true dominance.

How TF do people get these ideas?

Nevermind.

I actually know the answer to that.

But let’s dig into them a bit. Because, well, this goes deeper.

And I’m sure you guessed I was gonna say that, because, well, this is me. LOL!

Or, maybe it’s not so deep. But I also don’t think it’s super obvious. Let’s start, though, with the obvious.

  • Masculine figures are applauded for being sexual and having sex.
  • Feminine figures are valued when they eschew sex, when they are pure.

That’s pretty clear.

But there’s more to it than that.

Masculine folk are expected to want and love sex. Even to excess. To the point where they will lie, cheat and steal to get it. Maybe even “pretend” to be a dominant to access more (and kinkier) sex. The more sex they have, the more powerful they are. The more desired. The more valued. The more…masculine.

(Does no one see the harm being done here? Just me? No, I didn’t think so…)

So, what, then for the feminine folk?

The opposite.

Feminine folk are expected to dislike and avoid sex. To merely put up with it. To the point of frigidness or cruelty. To the point where they will create entire relationships centered around their control over the ways they do not have sex. That the less sex they have (actually, want—more on this in a few), the more powerful they are. They are desired for what they withhold. What they refuse to bestow. They are more valued. More…feminine.

But who believes all this malarkey, you ask?

Well, honestly? Most of us in contemporary Western society have some of these beliefs in our heads.

Because we are raised with them:

  • Madonna/Whore Complex
  • Virginity as equal to purity and value
  • Gay promiscuity and lesbian “bed death”
  • Men are lustful, women are prudes
  • Frigidity (anorgasmia) is 99.9% of the time assumed to be feminine
  • Bigger is better (for masculine folk, for feminine folks, it’s the opposite)
  • Multiple masculine partners “ruins” feminine sex parts (while one masculine partner over and over does not).
  • The masculine “obsession” with sex, the feminine “withholding sex” to get what they want.
  • In nonmonogamy, bisexuality between femmes is considered non-threatening, but with mascs is not allowed.
  • Mascs can’t be forced sexually.
  • Masculine people are assumed to be more sexually adventurous, femmes are assumed to be submissive and passive sexually (unless proven otherwise.)
  • Masculine folk are cast in the role of initiator of sexual activity (and dating/courtship), feminine folk as the receivers.

Let me be clear before I go further. If you fit these roles, that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with you, or what you like/love.

I’m not saying that.

I’m saying that assuming these things hurts everyone. Because people are a wide variety of humanness, and those who are not perfectly perched within the spectrum of “norm” can be harmed by being cast into the wrong role for them, and feeling they have to go along.

But, I digress.

The domme who has sex loses her power.

So, how does this become a thing, even?

And I don’t mean that there are not feminine dominants who absolutely do not have sex. There are. And that’s OK, too.

From my personal experience in real, offline engagement with humans around the world, it is a minority. MOST dommes enjoy a wide range of sexual activities.

Just like most doms do. Just like most HUMANS do, regardless of gender or kink role.

So, why is this such a strong current of belief? Why do people admonish me for enjoying and wanting sex as a dominant woman and tell me that I’m doing it wrong, or that I am not truly dominant if I let a man have sex with me?

Here’s my core theory:

Because they truly believe that women do not actually want or love sex (especially with the masculine—but with anyone).

And therefore, if they do have sex in any way, regardless of top or bottom, aggression or passivity, it is against their will, for the other partner, and is therefore a socialize submissive act of service.

Because true dominants dominate, right? And to dominate is to get your way. So the way to lose your domination creds is to do things that you don’t really want to do. To be forced. To SUBMIT.

BOOM.

Fuck me running with a chainsaw.

And you know what? This doesn’t even make me angry, although I feel like it should. Especially on behalf of others.

But it really just makes me sad.

  • Sad that so many people have bought into the idea that feminine=nonsexual or even anti-sexual.
  • Sad that so many feminine folk never really get to explore their full sexuality because of installed beliefs and hangups and trauma (I’ve written about one my own experiences with sexual trauma)
  • Sad that many masculine folk interested in feminine folk believe that they will never be actually desired or wanted in a sexual way by the people they crave and need that from.
  • Sad that so many masculine folk believe that if they are not hyper-sexual, they are not fulfilling their role.

Some additional thoughts.

I have spent 15 years on a men’s personal sexual power forum as a woman offering feedback.

I started there way back when I was researching PUAs, and met some amazing people in that field.

And some of the men who join come from incel communities. Desperate to find a way out of the hell they have created for themselves, or that they find themselves in, created by others also desperate to be valued, loved, and desired.

The hardest part of helping turn these men around?

Making them believe that women do love sex. Do desire men. Do want to share love. And may possibly value them in those ways.

It can literally take YEARS for these guys to get that.

But when they do (IF they do)?

It’s beautiful.

Their lives change. They find their core of power, their sense of self and belonging in the world, and they are noticeably more stable and able to deal with what the world throws at them.

But that is a small handful of men. One drop in an ocean.

And even there. Even in that forum. The default for women is to be sexually submissive (not necessarily submissive in life, but in sexuality). I am an anomaly.

dommes are an anomaly.

But we are not nonsexual by default.

And our sexuality and how we choose to enjoy it does not in any way determine our dominance.

Just as a masculine dominant’s dominance is not altered by them not choosing sex.

Links to previous writings mentioned:

https://datingkinky.com/blog/i-call-bullshit
https://datingkinky.com/blog/lifestyle-thoughts/fuck-yeah-im-in-it-for-the-sex/
https://datingkinky.com/blog/personal/the-night-i-tried-to-be-sexy/

What are your thoughts?

Any of this hit home? Have you lived with any of these beliefs tucked deep down inside you?

How have these (or others) sexual assumptions harmed you or people you love in your life? How have you used them to harm others (on purpose or by accident)?

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