Women, the Adult Industry, Cosmetic Surgery and Human Sacrifice

I speak to some friends in the same business: the adult industry. We look at photos and videos of ourselves constantly. We market our bodies and our online personas on a daily basis. This marketing not only includes our physical appearance, it’s also out personality and particular view of femdom, of fetish, of being a woman, that convey a certain idea of who we are, behind the mask. Because no to Dominatrices are the same. The job description isn’t a one size fit all.

We were discussing cosmetic procedures as you do. I was going to say because we are a certain age, but people go under the knife or have botox or chemical peels or laser treatment, at a very early age.

How do we come to terms with our ageing, specially since we see ourselves on photos and videos all the time? What model of femininity are we trying to express through our professional personas in the adult industry? As porn stars. Do we, deep down, pander and succumb to society’s ideas about beauty, age, women’s roles? Do we feel better, more beautiful, validated, the more we look like the models offered in the media, TV and magazines?

Society stinks. Older women are assumed to be sexless, ugly, over the hill, useless members of society because we aren’t fertile anymore. Invisible, unless we are serving as maids to our children or husbands. Or we are tarred as bitches if we have a career.

Why do we suffer this bullying pressure to look younger? Why does society want to silence older women? No matter what we do, none of us is going to look 25 again. I have photos of me, naked, dressed, posing, photo shoots that I did while modelling from my mid to late 20’s. I’ll never look like that again. I’m not the person I used to be. My life is very different too, and fortunately, much happier and fulfilling. The life lived since has taught me how to have a more satisfactory stay on this earth and the research goes on.

There is such a stigma of women ageing, it’s as if we have the duty to be wrinkle free, young, fresh and good looking forever. Nothing else seems to matter. I mean, I want to start a PhD next year, that’s going to be a hell of 4 year effort. But am I still going to be judged solely on my looks? And is this blood sacrifice performed to rustle up business, bring more clients into our studios? Let’s not forget that people ask the gods for material favours, first and foremost, and sacrificing a limb is worth the promise of a more materially comfortable life.

We criticise younger professional Dommes who market themselves based on their looks only, but aren’t we succumbing to the same pressure, by fearing it’s the one factor our success depends on?

The thing is, unless we die young, we are all going to age. There is no escaping that. I am not against cosmetic surgery. But it’s not going to make ma magically like myself more at a deeper level. If I have problems accepting myself, my life, cosmetic surgery isn’t going to be the miracle cure. Ime, most of the women I know who’ve gone under the knife, did it at a moment in their lives when they were going through a crisis (divorce, depression, job redundancy…). Maybe I’m seeing too much in a mere coincidence, but there seems to be a recurring theme: husband leaving/liposuction; hitting 50/facelift (why do we give so much importance to numbers?). Dunno, it worries me that cosmetic treatments can so often be a response to external pressures that affect our self-esteem. I haven’t noticed these women I know being happier or having better lives after the procedure, which was always incredibly expensive.

And I think I know what this need to go under the knife or to have needles stuck in you regularly, it’s a form of self-immolation, a human sacrifice in miniature, a provisional death. a symbolic act, a form of bloody ritual of rebirth. We abscribe supernatural, mystic meanings to it: it’s going to change our life, our self-regard, our place in the world. Things are  going to get better if we go through this transient death. and of course, like pious ladies who spent too much time in church, it imbues us with some kind of power, it gives us control of an almost religious nature. Because a blood sacrifice is not any old sacrifice, i;s a stronger bond with the divine. Not to mention the images of chrysalis, coccons and other images of transformation, that the post-op care demands: bandages, concealing, days or weeks of rest, shaping girdles…

That’s why we think it’s going to be the answer to something completely unrelated. An act of blood magic, a contract with the gods, signed in blood. It’s like offering a limb to the gods, as I’ve seen on some very remote mountain chapels in Spain, where people still offer votive offerings of their limbs cast in wax, their long hair in a plait, an offer of gold.

And older women, invisible, fulfilled (or not) their duty as fertile womb, seek validation through self-immolation. People will appreciate you more if you are going to great lengths of discomfort and investment, to justify your overstay on this earth. It’s also a form of apology: look what I;m doing to be worthy. If you don’t sacrifice the hag in you, if you dare flaunt it and honour it, you’ll be tarred either a bitch or a witch, or both.

Patti Smith

On women who wear a cock (again)

It’s no secret that I do enjoy strutting my stuff wearing a strapon harness, and to put it to good use on men too, of course. This is one my little fantasies: in an ideal world, I would grow a real cock for, say, 4 days of the month, and use it. I wouldn’t become a man, I’d still be me, but with a full functioning cock. I’d probably choose a bigger one if there was a choice – yes, I can be a bit of a size queen. Well, it’s a fantasy world after all. Unfortunately.

I’ve said it before: I discovered kink and the kink scene in London, because of my long held sexual fantasy that involved me fucking men with a strapon. For years, I thought that no straight identified man would be interested in indulging me. How wrong I was! the first time I put up an add on, I think it was Bondage.com, I was inundated with messages from blokes. I had to tone it down to calm things down.

What always struck me, and this set me apart from other strapon enthusiasts, and specially, many men’s mindset, was an insistence on using the strapon as a threat, a punishment, a way of humiliating a man by fucking him. Because being fucked is being treated like a woman. And being a woman is lesser than being a man, ergo, humiliating, to be demoted like this. I never related to this, for me it’s pleasure, sharing a very meaningful, intimate activity with someone I love or at least, somebody with a fine arse that I fancy rotten.

I expressed this opinion on some social network recently, and someone pulled me up on that. The UC-SC project is anything but loving towards men, and strapon, aherm, indoctrination, featured heavily (as it would, me being me). I also organize strapon parties for so-called, self-defined “forced-bi” male sluts. Lots of humiliation in it. I love humiliation, but even though the strapon there features strongly too, it;s not to make men feel adequate with the threat of being treated “like a woman”. Here are my replies to these objections, that shed some light on how I see women fucking men, in a BDSM context:

“UC-SC is a fantasy of total surrender and yes, it has elements of humiliation. I don’t quite describe strapon as humiliating in it though, only that “everything a man can do, a woman can do better”. Re the Slutathon, is a party for happy sluts, we try to make the message positive and slut-empowering. I never mention strapons as humiliating per se afaik. it’s a challenge to our male guests, to their feeling of humiliation at letting your hair down and questioning your perception of masculinity

It’s the “getting fucked is humilaiting because someone is treating you like a woman, and women are lesser than men” discourse I despise. But saying that my cock is as good as a man’s? (UC-SC discourse) that’s not demeaning to women, but it does question the hegemony of the cock as something sacred and that justifies men’s entitlement. I’m sure I’m ranting, btw

(on response to some more intelligent prodding): What I was trying to say, is that I do a lot of humiliation in my play. I love it. But the strapon per se, it’s not humiliating, and specially, not in the sense most people seem to make of it, that it is humiliating because it’s unnatural or feminine for a man to be fucked. Forcing, coercing and making to beg IS humiliating, but nothing to do with gender.”

Performing Age in Femdom Fetish Porn

This is the transcript of my paper given at Performing Porn, on July 13th 2013. I haven’t corrected it, but writing it gave lots of food for thought, as did meeting artists, academics and performers at at conference. I will edit and turn it into several articles in the near future.

More information about the vent here: Performing Porn – After the Computer became boring. 

Performing Age in  Femdom Fetish Porn

The subject of my talk is the performance and representation of older women in fetish femdom porn. I am currently writing a proposal for a Phd on female sexual dominance and its taboo, and the subject of ageing among femdom fetish performers) and taboo, would be part of my research.  With this paper, I’d like to start a discussion on the performance of age, specifically older age, in femdom fetish. By older women in the adult industry, I am referring to female performers who appear to be, or who take on roles of women over the age of 40. I am going to focus on femdom fetish content because it’s the area I know best from my on first hand experience.

I have a background in the visual arts, specifically, video an performance, and also in the adult industry. I have an MA in visual arts from Goldsmiths College, but I have been appearing in femdom video and photos since 2002, first filming for other studios and also taking photos for my own websites as a professional dominatrix, and from 2010, I’ve been producing my own femdom fetish subscription members’s website, The Urban Chick Supremacy Cell:


Even when I started as a model for femdom photoshoots, video and websites,  I was over the age found acceptable in much mainstream porn unless you are happy to be narrowly pigeonholed as a MILF or even GILF (I’m sure I don’t need to explain these terms to my learned colleagues).  I have found that BDSM porn, in general, is more accepting of niches, of a wider scope of age, physicalities and presentation, than more mainstream porn that aims to appeal to an audience as wide as possible. Because much fetish deliberately works on the basis of exploring the more niche interests, and once you start digging, a lot of things come up. I am aware that I am making a huge  dichotomy between mainstream and niche pornography. I know this is a massive reductionist vision. Perhaps I should just make a division between porn that seeks to appeal to the widest possible audience, normally for commercial and financial reasons, one size fits all, and porn that deliberately seeks to target a much smaller audience, regardless of the revenue. We could perhaps call it one size fits all vs boutique porn.

Independent femdom studios, normally ran by the female performer or performers themselves, tend to the idiosyncratic in how they view and present femininity, female sexuality and of course, physical presentation. The reason being that anyone with a camera and a laptop can start their on studio.  Many older female dominant performers like me, started our own video, production companies as an extension of other adult businesses we were involved with, often professional domination. We didn’t audition for the part nor were judged suitable to arouse or titillate by other people’s standards.

I knew, when I decided to start making my own fetish porn at he grand age of 44, tht I had as much chance of being hired by a commercial studio, as I had of being on the cover of Vogue. So like other women I knew, I reinvented myself as a porn star because The technology Wa thee, on the tips of my fingers. I think that all the women I’m going to introduce you today, gave ourselves the part and called ourselves goddesses because we could, because we had the desire, the skills, a camera and a laptop. So there was no other gold standard of how we should look, talk, behave and act, than our own personal preferences. with no other external validation than our fans, both existing and potential. Our public appears after we put the product on the Internet.

What most of these independent or niche studios have in common, apart from the editorial control being in the hands of the woman or women who take part in it, is an abundance of older female roles that perform age, experience and command as qualities that are sexually arousing. There is, of course not a shortage of stereotypes and cliches even in the most independent of creators. It seems to me that sexual fantasy works very well when it taps into recognisable, well trodden scenarios, and recognisable figures. Into some kind of erotic folklore, I you wish. In this paper, I will focus on the range of roles and erotic figures available for ladies of a certain age, but also, how these performers themselves use their age, something that in much mainstream porn wold limit their range, and sexualize the figure of the older woman.

The notion of female dominance is often represented by certain figures of authority that have become staples in the iconography of female supremacy and where age is a crucial role play performance. In other cases, there is no justification as to why that woman on the screen is the age she is, no need to justify it through fantasy figures, labels or roles. The performer simply does her thing, with no mention or allusion to her age range. She doesn’t apologise and she doens’t give any explanations. She is a sexual subject and object, because she has chosen to be. (show: Sidonia) However, more often than not, female femdom fetish starss eembrace the stereotypes in the trade, as a vehicle to incorporate age positively in their performance:

Governess; Headmistress; spanking Auntie; CEO bitch; strict housewife in a “female led” household; cuckolding wife…and so on.

I’ll also show examples of fetish porn performers who have reinvented themselves as they age, creating fantasy erotic figures that draw strength and sex appeal from their age, rather than disappear from the industry. The strategies used by these professionals who don’t conform to no the normativity imposed by the larger industry and that have enabled them to have successful careers. It’s a chicken an egg situation: was there always a market for this, or has the appearance of independent, less normative, fetish porn stars, created it? I don’t have an answer for this question, but the demand is there.

There is a bit of an embarrassing silence surrounding the existence of this market in the media, starting form the surprise and myrth that concepts like MILF, GILF, or other allusions to porn performers of an “advanced age” elicits. Hard to speak seriously when you are being taken as bit of a joke. In a climate where these same media can’t stop scaremongering about a disturbing tendency to sexualise extreme female youth, with an emphasis on subservience and innocence as part and parcel of the package, the discussion of older women as sexualised objects or subjects is almost non-existent. I have made my mission to readdress the balance, starting form this paper today. It won’t be the last.

There is, I insist and I don’t need to go into detail, much talk about age in porn, as long as it is about the younger side of the spectrum. A widely spread horror at depictions of extreme youth not only in porn (barely legal label and websites, for example), but in the mainstream media as well. Rivers of ink and pixels have been written about it, however, we can’t deny that there is also a hypocritical naturalisation of this. It is assumed that extreme youth, innocence, purity, are sexy and even if it raises a moral outrage, it’s still talked about it in terms that imply it’s perfectly understood and justified.

Everybody understands why anyone, specially a man, would prefer a vey young woman. It may be frowned at, but it’s a desire that needs no justification. On the other hand, mentioning older female porn stars is invariably met with a mixture of incomprehensible disbelief and even as about of a joke and seen as a rarity, something exceptional, an unnatural aberration. It needs to be explained.

As an example I recently found this transcription of a recent BBC radio 4 program on the subject of the rape porn ban:

Do we know whether pornography harms people?

By Jo Fidgen – BBC Radio 4 Analysis 25th June 2013.

(I selected this text not because I’m going to discuss porn and harm today, but because it’s a classic example of this bafflement at the notion of older females in porn)

(…) Ogi Ogas (…) and a colleague, Sai Gaddam, collected data from a billion web searches and online porn sites, (…).According to his data, most people looking for sexually explicit material online search for “youth”. The next most popular categories are “gay”, “MILFs”, “breasts”, and “cheating wives”.”(…) He was surprised by the popularity of so called “granny porn”. (…) “Women in their forties, in their fifties, even in their sixties are highly sought after,” he reveals. “In fact Britain is one of the countries that has the greatest level of popularity for granny porn.”

So there you go: neuro-scientists in grannyporn shocker!

(show image of Mistress  Sapphire)

We live in a culture that is easily surprised and slightly put off, by the revelation of the existence of a porn market that sexualizes older women, as if it’s something incomprehensible and uncomfortable to deal with. It’s silenced, ignored, trivialized with the use of irony and even a slightly freak sideshow feel around it. Like something not to be taken as real, a serious turn on, but it’s more easily digestible when we turn it into a joke. Like sheep shagging.

At the same time, the prevalence and abundance of a cult of disturbingly young aged performers, both in porn, in lads’s mags and of course, advertising, and the hypocritical moral outcry about it, is designed by those who objet to porn, to horrify the general public into submission and acquiescence. By playing up the “barely legal” card, focusing on it to make it look as if that’s all the porn there is, as if people want to look at nothing but women who may even not be old enough to be looked at. Any other discourse around porn gets silenced. No other porn has any relevance, it’s all about sick perverts wanking over people who look too young. T

The penchant for tarring every sexual desire that doens’t conform to the norm in sex, as potentially child-harming, is constant. You’d be forgiven for thinking that for this reason, “grannyporn” should be welcomed with open arms as proof that you have no interest whatsoever in those barely legal sirens. But this is not the case. I have a theory about mainstream porn’s insistence on peddling a very narrow and repetitive ideal of sexual desirability and activities.

I believe that sexual preferences are subject to fashion and trends, like any other form of cultural product. Some people are very impervious to these trends just as some people are impervious to any social trends. But they are in a minority. One size fits all applies to the offer of porn, but also to the choices people make, grabbing what’s out there. There is, nobody tires to say it, a lot of porn on the Internet.

However, there is also a tendency to over saturate it with repetitive plots and identikit porn stars. This pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap mentality, acts like a screen to conceal any other form of pornography or sexual preference. This saturation acts, in fact, as a very effective form of censorship. After wading through website after website, one has to have very clear and stubborn sexual fantasies, not to abdicate and choose what’s so widely, and enticingly, being dangled at you, insistently, in bright colours and copious quantities, by the cartload.

You have to have very clear ideas of what you want, to be immune to the colour saturated, shiny, glossy, pneumatic, eye popping, screen grabbing images that mainstream porn so deftly saturates your screen with.  After a while, whose crotch can resist it with unmovable stoicism? The subject throws the towel in and succumbs to be seduced by what’s so generously, relentlessly offered to him. This is a very successful way of concealing, that is censoring, any other alternatives. And even more successful at squashing any personal, more intricate, less articulate desires that humbly slumber in your imagination. Because who can resist it, when desire is so well articulated as it is in professional commercial porn? As we know, it leaves very little room to exercise our own imagination. It’s like a big ball of drain waste that blocks the pipes to our more personal, less commonplace fantasies and desires. By the time you’re finished with your sordid business of knocking one off as commanded, you have no desire to start delving into the more personal recesses of your erotic imagination. Then the cycle starts again…

As I once wrote in a blog entry, surrendering to the most hegemonic ideas of what is arousing, fulfills the task of reassuring masculinity. Non-normative desires question, first and foremost masculinity. This scares male porn viewers a lot. Few people want to be caught desiring something out of the norm. Even fewer people want to be consider “a weirdo” , that is, less than a man.

This is an extract from a blog entry I wrote some time ago, about my own thoughts when I started making my own porn content:

The Porn I Want To Make

“In case it needs mentioning, I support the production of porn. I defend pornography as another filmic genre with lots of potential. What I can’t support is the way much, much mainstream porn’s forms of production operate. It preys on the vulnerable, the ashamed and the sexually confused (not only the performers, but the viewers too); it abuses the sexual guilt in the latter, it uses it to make them surrender into submission to their one and only ideas of what’s desirable, what’s sexy, what’s sex. It portrays porn and its participants, both behind and in front of the screen, in negative, shameful, moralistic ways. I despair at the way mainstream porn discourages the viewer from pursuing any desire to explore their more personal fantasies than the hegemonic plots it invariably churns out, endlessly. (…) at the same time, it tells you: you’re ok. You have wanked to this hyperreal, cartoonesque idea of sex, of women’s bodies, and how to use them, so you are normal. You are one of the boys. The gods of normality have been appeased. All is well with you.”

In contrast to much more commercial, one size fits all porn, Femdom fetish content, at least in theory and on the surface, subverts the power exchange by having the woman become the subject, active and aggressive artifice who orders and commands her own pleasure and desires, and those of others. Of course, this recipe, because it’s nothing but a recipe, a cliché, a convention. I’m not fooling myself that in commercial femdom porn, and that’s what I make and what I know best, our market is male and afraid of being found out as an emasculated deviant.

I see in much Femdom porn a mixture of concession to our public, and a desire also of expanding our horizons and those of our public, with new notions of female desirability. In some of the visual examples I’m going to show now and comment on, the women who perform have created new archetypes and roles. Others take advantage of the ones already in existence and validated by their own tradition. Femdom fetish porn offers, at least in theory, a space where being female, being sexually in charge and equally available, but older, is a sexual option and a commodity that is welcomed by some female femdom performers and producers, as an opportunity to explore their own subjectivity. It explores our viewers’ own desires too, because we often don’t know what we want until we see it. I welcome it of course, discovering that the widespread Nuts Magazine ideal of maleness is far from being universal and that a woman’s entitlement to be sexually active and desirable doesn’t end at 25. Or that your only role is that of MILF, an ugly, problematic and of course, inaccurate term. I am not even a mother (let alone a grandmother).


Let’s see with real examples, how the women who perform in femdom fetish videos, eroticises (should i rather say, sexualize? And negotiate age. Female Femdom roles:

Headmistresses and Auntie figures in spanking porn

These figures are popular in setting that are more often than not domestic or everyday places: a home, a school, a nursery. They wear normal everyday clothes too, maybe an old fashion headmistress gown, because fetish has a penchant for nostalgia.

Nanny, governess, nurse

They control vulnerable subjects: babies (as in adult babies); wayward children; sick patients.(images)

Aristocratic ladies with nobility titles

(popular in the Continent, specially Germanic countries and for some reason, Spain)-> OWK’S They go back to Wanda in Venus in Furs.

Exotic temptresses

Military regimes (TEM, OWK’S…) Www.owk.com

… And of course, the titles normally given to dominant ladies: Mistress (with a capital M); Lady; Queen; Goddess…

Photos and examples

The English Mansion Run by Mistress Sidonia Von Bork, this is probably the most popular and successful Femdom video website in UK.


The Anna List Clinic

A lady who deliberately shuns many stereotypes of what’s sexy, she specializes in medical play in her fictional, fetish Anna List Clinic. A commanding doctor figure who imposes her rule and treatment on her patients.



Lady Governa, aka Lady Sharimara Raj

is an example of a rather unusual, personal take on femdom. Of anglo-Indian heritage, this lady and friend has two separate identities:

Lady Governa, English Governess and nanny “Governess of The District Reformatory & Doll House for the Confinement & Correction”

http://ladygoverna.wordpress.com/ (photos)

Lady Sharimara Raj, Persian Goddess and temptress. “Indo-Persian Goddess Worship“

http://ladysharimararaj.wordpress.com/ (photos)

I once asked her how she’d come up with these tow roles, she replied: oh, I was fed up with spending my days in the nursery, changing nappies. I needed some glamour and old fashioned sexiness!

And admirers’ replies on her blog: “you are hot, you know how to dress to get a man. In love with your style and would worship you. Hope to see many more beautiful pictures like these.”

Adapting to an ageing body and identity in porn:

Lady Sonia, Aka Sonia, England’s Hottest Trophy Wife


Her website reads: “The website of England’s most famous unfaithful trophy wife”. This femdom performer is one of the first people who made me start thinking about how porn performers age and what they do about it. She started as a more conventional dominatrix, with all the tropes: rubber, leather, dungeons, etc. As she matured, instead of retiring she reinvented herself as an olde,r, mature, suburban wife and cuckoldress,, complete with twin set and pearls. Thus, she carried on being a sex icon, in her own terms, terms that embraced and maximized her age and experience.

I like to refer about her affectionately as “Sonia, Tory Hot Wife” :)

http://www.lady-sonia.com (photos)

Actually, she’s been abandoning her femdom persona a lot of late. Last year, her webiste read “Sonia, English MILF wife and Cuckoldress” – now she’s merely a trophy wife. Lady Sonia makes more concessions to mainstream porn: more sex, less D/s (although her online marriage is a cuckolding one); words like MILF, use of younger, pneumatic “friends”.

New iconographies of female dominance (Femdom)


Valerie solanas and Ulrike Meinhoff, gave me the key to invent, re-imagine and create, new iconography of Femdom. Away from the classic tropes of idle women on velvet couches, being served upon by obsequious men (and therefore, rendering them passive and dependant on men); the high heels, the nylons and the absurd cliches of the dungeon. all of them, highly genderized and pervasive in their affirmation of a fragile, misleadingly “strong” (only strong enough to punish willing, but weaker men), and the hegemony of male sexuality as the motor. In short, a vision of a dependant, service oriented fantasy that is consumerist, patriarchal and a figment of some unimaginative male mind. It reinforces the gender divide and roles that rely on separation, difference and otherness, to operate.


Valerie Solanas y Ulrike Meinhoff me proporcionaron claves para reimagina, reinventar, proponer una nueva iconogrfía y práctica de la dominación femenina o Femdom. Lejops de las clásicas imágens de mujeres pasivas, tumbadas sobre sofás de terciopelo y asistidas por obsequioos lacayos (y de esta forma, convirtiéndolas en objectos pasivos de su propia sexualidad y dependiendo del hombre). Los altos, poco prácticos tacones; Las medias de nylon y los absurdos clichés de la mazmorra. Todo ello, orquestado para ofrceer una visión sometida a estereotipos de género obsoletos que reafirma la fragilidad y dependencia de la mujer, engañosamente descrita como “fuerte”, simplemente porque ejerce un poder sexual sobre el pene masculino, que castiga, pero sólo ombres que se declaran débiles. En resumen, una visión de una fantasía que se basa en la voluntad de la mujer para acaar una fantasía masculina que la somete por medio de un espejismo consumista (regalos, regalos, lujo…); patriarcal y fruto de la imaginación masculina, que refuerza la división entre los géneros, la diferencia y la cultura de “el Otro”, para funcionar y reafirmarse.


The Baader Meinhof Complex (Der Baader Meinhof Komplex), Germany – Uli Edel, 2008.


Ilustration by classic Femdom artist, Sardax

“Yes, but do you really like submissive men?”

I was asked that at Eroticon 2013 this weekend. I was asked that question by one of the most articulate, informed, political women there. The notion that a woman may find a man who isn’t performing to a notion of alpha male attractive, is still hard to grasp by lots of people.

I wrote extensively about the myths, generally negative, surrounding male submission, recently . Because it’s a gender thing you in our society, see, and whilst it’s ok for a woman to be a little mouse, even cute, it’s still unacceptable in a man. Or we will condescendingly accept it, but assume that they’ll never get the girl. So when the girl chooses these feeble male creatures, they smell a rat.

It was a question asked with the best intentions and genuine thirst for knowledge, but such a cliche thing to ask. My conclusion is that female sexual dominance is not taken seriously. It doesn’t really exist. it’s because you haven’t met the Man who will make you swoon and cower to your corner, in the presence of his steam-rolling masculinity. Or is it a titillating performance we put on, to be  vainly adored by weaker men.

When I was around fifteen, I had a conversation with my best firend on a car trip from the swimming pool. Her mum, a woman who read books and mentioned Freud, was driving. These kind of cultured people were new to me, but they were so appealing, because they read broadsheet newspapers, listened to Mozart and watched films with subtitles. They showed me a new world, the polar opposite of my telly watching, tabloid reading, Julio Iglesias admiring, family.

Anyway. We were waxing poetic, with the potency of our adolescent hormones, about David Bowie’s looks and charisma, and how he made us swoon. Specially me. I didn’t make any secrets that I found his enigmatic androgyny a real turn on. If only boys around us were like that! One at least. Why didn’t they want to be like david Bowie, I wondered?

“Look”, my best friend’s mum interrupted us; “there are two types of women in the world: the ones who like a man with smelly armpits, and the ones who prefer one whose pits smell of roses.”

I knew immediately who she was talking abut, and what camp I was in.

So, do I really like submissive men? What is that question really asking me? My tinfoil hat paranoia tells me that they are asking:

1. Do you really consider as a potential partner, somebody who isn’t there to be your provider and protector?

2. Do you really enjoy telling a man what to do?

3. Is your sexual dominance more than a bit of a theatrical performance or a game?

4. Do you really like men?

And the answer to all those questions is: yes. I still expect, sorry, demand, that my men’s pits smell of roses.

How Fashion is Queer


A must read for us who know that fashion isn’t a frivolous interest of women and camp gay men. Because we all wear clothes, everyday, and make a statement with them, every time we choose what to put on.

Originally posted on The Qouch:

Leigh Bowery

Photo by Leigh Bowery


by Alison Bancroft

There are a number of popular ideas about fashion: That it demeans and oppresses women, or that it is a capitalist plot to extract money – either that they do not have, or that they do have but do not appreciate – from the gullible and the credulous. Attached to both of these is the idea that fashion is vacuous fluff, something trivial that is only of interest to women and gay men and thus pointless by virtue of those who are interested in it. If it were serious, significant, relevant in any way, shape or form, then straight men would take an interest in it. The fact that, on the whole, they don’t take an interest in it, and the people that do are, on the whole, marginalized and discriminated against, is enough to move fashion to the back of…

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Negative myths about male submission

It’s one of those things that makes my heart sink. I meet a submissive man, be it for a professional session, be it for my own, personal fun, and eight out of them will introduce themselves thus: “Mistress, in my everyday life I’m a successful professional, alpha male with lots of responsibilities. But ever since I can remember, I’ve had these submissive tendencies I can’t help…”

I normally reply with a long speech I’ve heard myself repeating many times: that first of all, we are talking about sexual preferences, not about our whole political ethical, moral beliefs. And even though our sexualities are an important part of who we are, it’s not all we are, the whole person. We all function at different levels in our complex world, that should go without saying. It’s odd, too, how men are indoctrinated into this view of masculinity as a whole, unimpregnable, monolithic, as ONE. Cthonian forces full of tentacles, many heads, snake-haired monsters, are traditionally female. But the hero is always one, and often, boringly focused on his one goal and mono-faceted.

Let’s separate our sexual preferences from our everyday, public persona. Just because I’m sexually dominant, it doesn’t meant that I expect people on the bus to part and bow and let me go first, or to skip queues, or to be served first. I wait and ask and say please too. I’ll save my bossy airs for the boudoir, for the people i find hot playing with. Why do submissive men find so difficult to see that sexual impulses are just a fraction of who you are, not all you are? Because they feel uncomfortable, they think they’ve betrayed a mythical form of masculinity that renders them vulnerable, weak, the prey, not the predator. And that it will seep into their “everyday lives” and destroy them. Because once again, sex is a chaotic, Dyonisian, untamed force that can escape and ruin us in the blink of an eye.

There is a subtext of fear of contamination in this “I’m very alpha in my everyday life, but…”. Because you never hear anyone saying, with a guilty voice: “I’m a successful businessman by day, but paradoxically, I’m also a tender loving parent to my children”, as if they were mutually exclusive. Fear of sex often comes with a fear of contagion, of imminent collapse of the world, if it gets out of hand. And those with less mainstream sexual interests often fear that their proclivities may escape from the cage and run amok in their lives. That they’ll blow their cover and reveal them as not the testosterone-fuelled alpha men they’ve been brainwashed into believing they should be.

This notion of submission, in particularly male submission, being interpreted as weakness, doesn’t do anyone any good. Why would I like a weak person in my life? It implies that dominants are by definition some kind of abusive bullies who feast on the weakness of others to feel better about themselves.

As usual, I blame the patriarchy. Thousands of years conditioning humans into thinking that male means strong and pro-active (successful professional male by day…), female equals weakness and subservience (“I love being dressed as a sissy, it’s so humiliating…”). When I play with sissies, I never use their feminine appearance as a form of weakness. I prefer to tell them that they should feel honoured to be accepting their female side, and I punish them for thinking that dressing up as a woman is demeaning, slutty, degrading. Being a woman isn’t demeaning, even though we are still told otherwise. OK, more subtly than a few generation ago, but it’s still there. The automatic sluttiness coming out when a man is put in women’s underwear (a transformation I see regularly), implies that women’s purpose in life is to be the object of male lust. Put a man in a frock and he instantly becomes tarty. Put a man on a subservient position to a woman, and he immediately describes himself as garbage. Sexual object, maid of all chores. Submission and femaleness are intrinsically linked in our psyches. As a Pro-Domme, but also in my personal life, I’ve been fighting this battle for years. I’ll probably never win.

On the other hand, everything to do with being a dominant woman, is perceived as having “masculine” qualities that emasculate men: the penchant for military fetishes and army discipline; the equaling penetration, and in particular, the sue of a strapon on a man, as a form of forced subservience, a degrading punishment designed to make men feel “less male”. Because only women should get fucked, and being fucked, being a female thing, is less than being the one who fucks. So men dream with even deeper guilt, of being fucked. Oh my god, am I gay? Am I a wimp? Am I going to suffer irreversible damage to my body or my mind, if I get fucked by a woman wearing a plastic cock? And what about the humiliation? Isn’t it great, when men think of the act they routinely perform on women, as something humilaiting? Thank you very much, guys.

It’s funny when some people still equal my sexual dominance with being a feminist. The world of Femdom, of female supremacy or dominance, and male submission, is a mine field for sexism, misogynism, male privilege and entitlement. It plays out the mistress and Other woman fantasy, it glorifies the wimp and the emasculated male. It puts womna on a pedestal that does, in fact, render her a passive, useless invalid who needs her grapes peeled by obsequious minions or she’ll choke. It projects, as I’ve shown above with the examples of the alpha male by day myth, the sissification and the strapon, fears of being stripped of a man’s high status as a male. Man, God’s pinnacle of Creation, kicked out his earthly trone of privileges by his dangerous sexual peccadilloes.

And whilst emasculation is one game I do love to engage in as a hot fantasy, the moment a man feels truly emasculated by his impulses or sexual preferences, I deflate. I’m a feminist because I believe that no-one should be prejudiced against, or treated differently, because of their gender.

Men who believe they are weak for being submissive are hard work and no fun. I suppose that our ideas about how men and women are constituted, clash.

Yes, but men and women are different!”, I hear you say. And you and I are different. and me and my next door neighbour. That argument of supposed difference can be fragmented until it boils down to each single individual in the world. And we know what happens when people fetishise their own sacrosanct uniqueness a bit too much: antagonism, compulsive separation and ghettos, both legal and real, emerge. And wars. And the demonized Other.

And speaking of a demonized Other. I can’t help but thinking that all this “I’m an alpha male by day, but I go all worryingly submissive in front of a woman”, is yet another way of blaming those temptressess, those jezabels, for their unconventional and often, uncomfortably tolerated, sexual preferences. A form of slut shaming. Because ultimately, it’s always, always, the woman’s fault. If it wasn’t for our tight rubber catsuits and clicking heels, men would, invariably, be testorone-fuelled alpha males destined to rule the world, undistracted by their fickle cocks. If only women didn’t come into view with their tight skirts, their heels, their latex and their golden apples of eternal damnation.