Well, you might have wondered when it would happen, and here it is. The final entry in this series of interviews, and I have saved one of my favorites for last.
This interview is with Ferns of Fetlife fame and the award winning blog Domme Chronicles. There are many awesome recurring features on her blog but one of my favorite is her collection of Happy Femdom Stories. Worth a read and if you have a story to tell, please let her know!
Here is what Ferns had to say…
- How would you describe yourself, your sexual tastes, and your power exchange preference?
Starting with the mother of all questions here. Kudos!
I’d describe myself as complex, my sexual tastes run to the passionate and obsessive, and I want what I want when I want it.
- How did you discover your power exchange preference?
I was a pretty confident, smart, take-no-bullshit young woman, and I always attracted men who would fall over themselves to do what I wanted (even before I really figured out what I wanted). Given my later proclivities, I should have been happy with that, right? But I found them insufferably dull because I would push at them, and they would roll over at the slightest hint of my disapproval, would become scared to even express an opinion in case it wasn’t one I liked, they were cowed. The meaner I was, the more they liked me even though that wasn’t what I wanted.
I would steamroll right over them, lose respect and then get bored. Go figure.
I didn’t like myself being that person, and I want to apologise to every man who crossed my path in those days, but I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong, nor could I figure out how to fix it. I chose men I liked and then walked all over them until there was nothing left.
I finally figured I needed a man who would stand up to me. The logic of the young me is perfectly sound, oh, young Ferns, you silly thing!! *laugh* Are you getting a picture of what that might have looked like, and a hint that maybe that didn’t work out so well? Yeah, it didn’t.
I sought out stronger and stronger willed men and finally had a truly horrible relationship (which I fondly refer to as “the relationship from hell”) with a man who never backed down. In that relationship, I discovered a capacity for rage that I had never seen in myself before and have never seen since. Had you asked me if I was capable of that kind of blind and violent rage before that relationship, I’d have laughed my head off and said “Oh hell no!” So *obviously* that didn’t work either.
I struggled with my relationships with men until I met my first vanilla submissive when I was about 26. A strong, smart, fabulous, opinionated man who laid it all down at my feet because he loved me and wanted to see me happy. I led and he blossomed under it, and he never collapsed like the men in my early relationships. Every decision was a clear choice on his part, handing me the power over and over again, with love and incredible sweetness, and every time he did, we grew closer. He was the first man I fell in love with, and the first I felt sexually free with. I used to have lists of ‘things I wanted to do in bed’, and he was wonderfully adventurous and compliant (duh!). On the kink side, I was never one who discussed my sex life with girlfriends, so I thought I was ‘normal’ until my female flatmate was all ‘eeewww’ when she saw what we had in the bedroom (*nothing* scary… it was totally kink-lite!!). It was the first time I thought that maybe I wasn’t sitting in the middle of the bell curve.
- Compare your early sexual experiences to sex now. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned?
The biggest thing for me is owning my sexuality.
When I was young, my sexuality never really seemed to belong to me. I wanted to unleash this power and passion that I felt, but I very rarely felt like I could express it without attracting a lot of unwanted attention, so I stifled it a lot of the time. Instead of an owner, I felt like the gatekeeper of my own sexuality, always saying ‘no’ to unwanted advances, never being free to have what I wanted, never feeling like I could explore at my own pace because that’s not how the boy-girl thing worked.
If I ever expressed any sexual interest in any man (a glance too long, flirting, touching, *anything*), my experience was that they would then run at me like a bull at a gate, and once again, I became the sexual gatekeeper because I knew (even before I had *any* experience) that I would not get the sex that I wanted under those circumstances. It was beyond tedious and I really hated it.
I often felt like my sexuality was being hijacked by someone else’s agenda or expectations and there was no room to express myself in the way I wanted, and it took me a long time to figure out why that was. Once I figured out that it was about control, I was able to better figure out how to find my complement.
- Tell me what it is about domination that appeals to you.
I find that an odd question. Um, it makes me happy, and being happy is awesome! *laugh*
From a practical, unromantic point of view, I need to have harmony in my romantic relationships, and I don’t like too much compromise. Both disharmony and uber-compromise make me resentful and unhappy. Those things are both resolved if I am the dominant partner. I am actually really easy going (truly, I am!) and there are a million things I just don’t care about. Really, don’t care. I’m not a control freak, and on those things I’m not interested in, he can do what he wants, and I will often task him with taking the lead because I’m not at all interested in making decisions about things I don’t have a strong opinion about. But I hate power struggles, I find them a tedious time wasting chore, so when I *do* care about something, I don’t want to argue about it, and I don’t want to give in. Agreeing up-front that I have the final say eliminates that tedium.
From a romantic point of view, dominance is how I show love, desire, affection, tenderness. When I love him I want everything from him, I want to get inside his brain and run it like his mind is my playground, I want to see the world from there, through his eyes, I want his every breath to be mine, I want everything of him to belong to me. When I lust after him, I want to rip the skin from his bones and crawl inside him, stick my hands into his body and touch him everywhere, I want him splayed open, vulnerable, raw and messy and then I want to be the one to save him from that torment. When I show affection, I want to run him into a wall and smash his head against it and meld my mouth with his until he is struggling to breath, and then still suck the air from him and have him melt with me in it. When I am being tender with him, I want to wrap him up all safe and warm, to pet him gently and coo sweetness and feel him soft and small and trusting against me.
For me, D/s is a way to get all of that.
- Describe your ideal partner, and your ideal relationship?
What I look for in a D/s relationship is a full-on romantic-love relationship with a submissive life partner. I want a man who is endlessly fascinating to me, and who is, in turn, endlessly fascinated by me. Someone who is my emotional, intellectual, physical, sexual complement, who fits, who ‘gets’ me and wants to be the yin to my yang.
In a relationship, I want to hold hands and tell secrets and have a language that only we understand. I want to be ridiculous together and laugh so much that we can’t even breath anymore. And when I have him do something for me because I told him to, I want his heart to swell in his chest with the pleasure of it.
- Do you think there is a connection between feminism and femdom? If so, how would you characterize it?
I don’t see it specifically, and I actually loved Tess’ entire answer to this question in interview #18. This quote summarises the key point that I took from it:
“There’s a definite connection between feminism and a deep understanding of
powerplay, trust, and ones own sexual desire, and that awareness means that the display, the
roleplay of power imbalance is fully understood by everyone involved and doesn’t reflect any kind of
This is true regardless of orientation, so I don’t see it related to femdom specifically.
- The cultural image of women who prefer to take the lead sexually is rarely positive. How has that affected you?
One of the reasons I started my blog was because I wasn’t seeing the relationships of ‘women like me’ represented out there in the world. That is, dominant women in primary, monogamous, heterosexual, romantic, hot, sexy D/s relationships, experiencing the gamut of real issues and emotions that we go though in life. I’m sure they were there, but I just couldn’t find them and Ifound it frustrating that we weren’t being seen.
Socially, I think anyone who is part of a sexual minority has problems, and I think those of dominant women like me pale in comparison to many others, so I always feel a little guilty and self indulgent complaining about it when I am fully aware that I can live a happy healthy life without anyone ever bothering me about it. I’m a middle class, heterosexual, cisgendered white woman who has had relatively successful relationships, and for me personally, my level of ‘being affected’ looks something like this:
“Waaah, my pool of possible partners would be so much bigger if we didn’t scare off so many fabulous men with the hideous misconceptions and stereotyping! Stop it!!”
I told you: self indulgent.
Having said that, I don’t want to make light of the difficulties many dominant women and submissive men (and other orientations) have, and continue to have, legally, emotionally, socially etc. We have a frighteningly pervasive culture of shaming those who don’t fit into the nice neat little boxes that the conservative majority have made for us all and that are reflected back to us in every form of media. I think it harms all of us to have our sexuality denied or marginalised, and having these social narratives that herd us down paths that we can’t possibly navigate is causing damage to all of us to varying degrees.
I sometimes get emails from new dominant women who have found my blog while searching for information about ‘femdom’, and often they are incredibly relieved to have found something that they can relate to. It makes me so delighted that they found me, but at the same time, it breaks my heart a little when they talk about how they have felt ‘wrong’ or ‘sick’ or just terribly unhappy because they couldn’t figure out where they fit and they felt so terribly alone. That’s the cost of both negative perceptions and stereotyping.
There have been many discussions in the blogosphere about how this cultural negativity impacts submissive men also, both out in the world *and* in the community, with a focus on the devaluing of submissive men *because* they are submissive. If you haven’t read any of those pieces, you can start here with Dev, then go here to read Chaos and then here with Kitty.
- How well do you feel your tastes and your sexuality is represented in the erotica available today?
The short answer is that it’s not represented, but then, my porn taste doesn’t necessarily reflect my *own* sexuality all that well either, and there are complex reasons for that which I will not get into here.
In porn, I run to the extreme and it is almost always about attack and non-consensual helplessness: predator and prey. What I really want is out-of-control passion and sexual violence: I want to see crazy-scary desire to the point where the submissive is mostly just a thing to be used to get off.
My preferences are usually much better represented in M/f porn because it’s generally all about the dominant taking pleasure at the expense of the helpless submissive, with lots of sexual violence and selfishness and sweaty dirty tears, and the dominant using the submissive to get off. That’s what I want in my F/m porn.
I think James Deen’s films have introduced a new version of M/f porn based on pretty believable connection, including desire, passion, and kissing (and not ‘porn kissing’ which is bafflingly often about the actors sticking their tongues out as far as possible and waggling them about… what the hell *is* that?!). As a more realistic representation of BDSM encounters that includes an emotional component, I’d love to see the equivalent of *that* in F/m porn also. It’s much closer to my own D/s reality, but as porn, it’s just not extreme enough for me.
<insert further complicated thoughts about my masturbation fantasies here, the summary of which is “Holy hell, it’s scary in there…”>
- You are, in my opinion, one of the highlights of Fetlife, and I love your blog too. How do you feel about online kink communities and real life communities?
*smile* Thank you, that’s so lovely!!
When I first discovered BDSM eleventy gazillion years ago, I went out quite a bit. Munches, events, clubs etc, but after the glow of newness wore off, I realised that the community was just not for me. The people were nice enough, friendly, welcoming, but I just didn’t fit there. My BDSM is not a social activity, so I never really felt comfortable: I’m really not a joiner, I’m not into public play, I’m not a voyeur, and I never met a partner in the scene, so I just stopped going.
Online communities provide me with enough of a sense that there are ‘folks like me’ around, and I have found nearly all of my submissives online since way back when.
I’m a member of CollarMe, and met my boy-before-last there, and have made some friends there who I have had for years, so I see value in it even though complaining about it is almost an international sport.
For discussions, though, I find Fetlife suits me much better. I like the diversity of groups because it caters to a wide variety of interests and tastes. For me, it’s a low stress way to interact when I have the time and interest. I get to take part in various discussions, help other people if I can, learn new things, make some friends AND meet potential partners, so win-win-win-win. I found my last boy there, so I am hugely biased towards it. Like any community, there is a fair share of idiocy, but I choose not to engage with idiots on the internet, so I find it easy to ignore.
I think with all of these communities, you have to find what suits you (if anything), and then you have to put in the effort to get the best out of it. I think there is an expectation for some newbies that any BDSM community is a safe haven of kumbya-ers who all sing from the same song book and who will bring them into the fold like lost relatives, but that just isn’t the case. There are ‘like minded’ individuals (regardless of what your mind is like), but there are also those who make you want to stick knitting needles through your own eyes just so you don’t have to witness the utter stupidity any more. People are people, and a ‘BDSM community’ of any sort is as diverse as any group of people.
- Does being dominant in a non-sexual setting (work, etc) energize you?
Nope, I don’t think of interactions outside of my personal relationships in terms of dominance and submission.
My last job was a senior management position for a large company, and with it came the expected responsibilities of leadership. I was good at it, but it was a job. No more, no less. When I did my job well, I was pleased. When I screwed up, I felt bad. I didn’t feel like anyone was submitting to me, and got no particular feelings from being ‘dominant’.
Same with friends, I am most often the ‘yay, someone else is organising this, I’m so happy. Just tell me the plan, and I’m there…’ person. I don’t feel like the organiser is dominating me, nor that I am submitting to anyone in that scenario either.
- Which of the love languages would say you prefer?
I’ve never looked at this before, and I found the quiz profoundly irritating (oh come on! For ‘husbands’ and ‘wives’? Ugh *spit*), but I did it. Just for you!
The result: Primarily physical touch, with quality time and acts of service equal and close second.
I often refer to D/s as a language of love for me, corny as it sounds. I express my love by asserting my dominance, and seek a partner who expresses his love by submitting wholeheartedly and with pleasure. I’m not sure that fits one of the five. Maybe it’s the sixth.
I’d like to thank Ferns for this interview and if you have any questions. ask ‘em in the comment section.