My next interview is with Kitty Stryker. Kitty is a Tumblr, and a Tweeter, and a contributor to Good Vibrations Magazine. She is very involved in making sure people understand consent and understand why it is important. She is very busy and important so I am just delighted that she agreed to do this interview.
- How would you describe yourself, your sexual tastes, and your power-exchange preference?
I’m a queer Dominant woman who likes to be called Sir while wearing high femme fashion. While I enjoy a bit of sadism as much as the next kinkster, I prefer service submission and psychological surrender more than fancy toys and rope techniques. I particularly like blending politics with my kinky sex- forced feminism is a new taste on my palette and I’m finding it enjoyable! Roleplay is kind of my speciality, from clown sex to dominant little girl to femme Batman.
While I prefer the company and sexual energy of other women more (and enjoy the entitlement of many men less), I have a male submissive and fiance who serves me as my valet-in-training, Daddy slave, puppy and little boy. I also have a lovely girlfriend. Lucky me!
- How and when did you discover your power exchange preference?
I originally thought I was, not just a submissive, but a slave(!). I studied hard on how to be the best at service I could be, trained myself on various techniques and positions, and cursed the fact that the male Dominants in my life seemed overly focused on cocksucking rather than training me to be the best slave I thought I could be. I tried switching for a while, but still felt like I was being conned into being a free sex worker instead of an honored submissive.
Disenchanted, I moved to London in 2007, where I had a fresh start and began being more Dominant in my play. I realized very quickly that my tendencies were on the Dominant side all along, and that no amount of shoving my top energy into a bottom shaped hole was going to make that change. Now, I enjoy training submissives in service, rather than being trained!
- If you compare your first sexual experiences to sex now, what is the biggest difference?
I don’t see sex as a right anymore, something I can demand or that can be demanded of me. It’s certainly more about clear negotiation and consent than it was when I was starting out- and I’m a lot less likely to take any bullshit from a sexual partner!
- In terms of taking charge sexually, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned?
You will fuck up. You will probably cross a boundary and not know or realize, no matter how much you both try to be good about consent (consent can be coerced through social pressures too). Be humble about it, not defensive- that’s what makes you a Domme with grace and respect, rather than an asshat.
- Tell me what it is about domination/sadism that appeals to you.
As much as I rebel against it, I am a bit of a mother/destroyer type. I like to take care of people, but I like to help them on their path of enlightenment, help them discover new pieces of themselves. Sometimes that’s about stripping their ego away to expose the raw materials. Sometimes that’s about encouragement and confidence building. I suppose on some level I have a bit of a Pygmalion complex- I like to mold people, and as a Domme I can do that.
I also desperately love to play with a submissive I can destroy and then put back together. There’s something amazing about the energy when you break someone down past their defenses and privileges into something tender and sweet.
- I’m a sucker for a love story. Tell us about you and your fiance?
We met at a femdom night in London- his boss (the editor of the now-defunct Filament) dragged him along, and my friend was the House Mistress and invited me along. He was wearing a waistcoat, pink ascot and bunny ears- I was wearing a red cotton rocket suit from a Burning Man art project. We gravitated towards each other as the most interestingly dressed people in the room. Soon after, we had a first date that kept going for hours… and that began our relationship! We just knew we were right for each other. We’ve had many adventures since, from muzzling in a graveyard to pissplay on a picnic to diapered dapper dinners- I love that he’s willing to give my whims a go, and I still feel a little giddy when I see him trussed up and whimpering.
- Would you say your kink is something that you do, or part of who you are?
I would say being dominant is part of who I am- manifesting that in kink is something I do. As my kinks are less about the physical and more about the emotional/mental, I feel like my desire for control would find a way, in or out of perv sex!
- Do you think there is a connection between feminism and femdom? If so, how would you characterize it?
Inherently? No, I don’t think that a femdom is necessarily a feminist. There can be consent issues, slut-shaming, body fascism, racist fetishization and other expressions of privilege within femdom as within any type of sex. As feminism typically covers the idea of moving away from oppression and power imbalance, I think it can take some mental gymnastics to figure out how you can enjoy a power imbalance and still fight institutionalized oppression, especially if your desires extend beyond bedroom antics.
Personally, I like to employ techniques that empower my submissives to better themselves and increase their self-esteem. I also like to talk about and submit my boy’s body to the objectifying female gaze, thus acknowledging the male body as something that can be eroticized and sexualized as well. I feel that you can use femdom as an implement to explore feminist issues, but you have to choose to do that, I think.
- The cultural image of women who prefer to take the lead sexually is rarely positive, and doing so professionally makes that even more complex. How has that affected you?
My first impression of a dominatrix was Doris the Dominatrix from Eating Raoul. I’m kind of glad, because she saw it as a lark, and was a mum raising a kid quite cheerfully. It allowed me to see kinky people (particularly women) as rounded individuals who had lives outside of latex and primping. It made it less scary.
But yes, many of the women who are pegged as dominant women in media are slender, white, cold-hearted, heterosexual (and yet asexual at the same time), severe women. I wonder if I shied away from being a Domme first because I was unsure I could make the cut- being a fat girl, being queer, being sexual.
As someone who also does BDSM professionally, I find that it’s less the media’s depiction of Dominant women that impacts me, and more how the media depicts women generally. In the US, I have to struggle to get bookings, because society dictates that clients will want that “idealized”, patriarchal, capitalist model of femdom (and women in general). In the UK, where I can find sexy clothes that fit my body at most shops on the high street, I could be myself, and that was appealing to people. I find that disparity fascinating (if a bit disheartening).
- You are very active in the community, and advocate quite bit. Maymay and Kink in Exile have written about how exhausting and disenchanting activism can be. Do you struggle with at all with those feelings?
Sure. I think it’s almost impossible not to want to throw in the towel sometimes. I work hard to take care of myself so I don’t burn out, and even then it doesn’t always work! Working on Consent Culture has been a lesson in how putting your neck out can be a hazard- my libido has certainly suffered in the aftermath.
But it ends up being worth it when a local play space starts to hold consent workshops for event hosts regularly, or when someone tells you that they felt safe coming out against their abuser. I care too much about changing things to walk away now- it feels like a responsibility.
I’m trying to get better at balancing, and being ok with shutting my brain off sometimes. It’s ok to not analyze everything all the time. And martyrdom doesn’t suit me.
- Does being dominant in a non-sexual setting (work, etc) energize you?
Often, yes. I enjoy being a benevolent dictator in non-sexual spaces. But it’s also important for there to be balance, I find- if I’m in charge all the time, it can feel like I can never relax! It can be nice to take a back seat once in a while.
- There is a theory that we all have an innate preference for affection expressed in 1 or 2 of 5 ways which are called Love Languages. Which love language would you say you prefer?
Acts of Service is my primary love language, closely followed by Quality Time.
There she is and I am so glad she took the time to answer my questions. If you haven’t ever read Kitty’s blog— you should!