This post originally appeared Nov. 12, 2011 on 4-Letter Words.
|In many ways, At Her Feet: Powering Your Femdom Relationship by TammyJo Eckhart & Fox is the factual counterpart of my novel Dommemoir. Both offer a glimpse of one woman’s journey into the world of FemDom along with the thoughts from the male at her feet.In telling her story, TammyJo shares a lot of practical tips and wisdom that she gathered along the way. I very much wish that such a book had been available to me when I first recognized and started exploring my own identity as a FemDom.|
As TammyJo says: “Today you can barely find an online community where the sidebars aren’t riddled with … so-called femdoms in collars and impossibly high heels screaming profanities at the rather ugly men cowering before them.”
I never related to those concepts of FemDom. I never did understand why the so-called Mistress would be the one wearing the collar and I can’t wear heels of any height. More importantly, I want the man kneeling at my feet to be attractive, sexy, and macho.
In At Her Feet, TammyJo explains: “You start to figure out what really works for you and what doesn’t, and then you can begin to make conscious decisions about what to reject from the femdom model and what to embrace. When you start simply being dominant, for example, while wearing teddy bear slippers or torn sweatpants, and are still able to get your submissive to kneel at your feet with a mere word or look, you have crossed over to the mature state of femdom development.”
Now that statement resonated with me, as did: “We find it particularly amusing but also frustrating when the woman complaining about how all men are only interested in sex is wearing an outfit featuring a tight corset or thigh-high boots…Wear what empowers you as a femdom, but be realistic about the messages you are sending out.”
I set out to read At Her Feet with an open mind — interested in learning what another FemDom writer had to say about the dynamic, prepared to find many points of disagreement. But, except for a few common misconceptions about sociology,* I found the book informative, interesting and easy to read.
It contains a wealth of practical information that I believe would be useful to women (and men) trying to figure out what they need and want from a Femdom relationship. As the authors state: “If you’re struggling, then we think our experience might open your mind so you can re-examine what you both want and work on making his kneeling at her feet one of the best relationships of your life.”
I particularly found refreshing the acknowledgment of terminology ambiguity in statements like: “Words such as ‘master,’ ‘mistress,’ ‘slave,’ ‘pet,’ or whatever else you want to choose do not have fixed, universally-recognized meanings.”
As I wrote recently in a post about BDSM labels , there are many misconceptions, especially among males who misidentify as submissive, about the dynamics involved in a FemDom relationship.
TammyJo and Fox are frank about sharing the day-to-day realities of making a Femdom/slave relationship work: “We have play time and sex, and we make special plans to do complex scenes. That’s wonderful, but those ties are not what fuels this relationship day in and day out. … Instead, we are strengthened by the continual use of some rules, rituals, and protocols and our open acceptance of each other’s needs and desires. … Those are the things that will give you the power to last a lifetime.”
That echoes what I’ve written over and over in numerous e-mails and what my character, Alyssa, says in Broken: “My domination and his submission form the foundation of our relationship. The sadism and masochism are spice when we have time and I’m so inclined.”: Domination and submission are the important part of the equation, what you build a relationship on.”
If you’re new to FemDom, fantasize about it, or are trying to make it work in your relationship, I highly recommend At Her Feet: Powering Your Femdom Relationship.
*The only passages I took exception to are some of the “scientific” explanations where the authors quote erroneous information that’s been accepted as “facts” for decades or even centuries. For example, they rely on Abraham Maslow to define the difference between needs and wants. But his theory about the hierarchy of needs was never verified and indeed has been disproved in recent years by A. Mari Schaaf-Southard in Maslow and the Work Place, University of Michigan, March 2008. (Disclosure: I was on the advisory committee for that study.)
In addition, the authors fall back on questionable explanations of human pair bonding with statements such as “having either two producers or one producer with someone else to guard the material acquired or created has been a principal way families have survived since the beginning of time.” Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. and Cacilda Jethá, M.D. showed this to be part of a culturally tainted world view in Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality.