Review: Dominant Women Submissive Men: An Exploration in Erotic Dominance and Submission
Dominant Women Submissive Men: An Exploration in Erotic Dominance and Submission by Gini Graham Scott
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This book is published in the early 1980s. Several of the chapters seem dated and irrelevant. It should also be noted, this author does not have this book listed in her list of published books on her official website. She is a researcher who does write business and how to book. If the book research is based on the population of fifty males and twenty five females as indicated in the beginning of this book, it explains a lot.
The books starts out explaining the types of men and women attracted to the D/s relationship in a Domme to male submissive manner. It comes across as a bit judgmental using words like “inept” and “inferiority” when describing a “natural male submissive” versus a “male balancer”. The first half of the book is a large generation validating many of the misconceptions the vanilla world places upon female dominants and males submissives. While there is a concluding statement indicating that D/s knows no socio-economical class, throughout the book, it is repeatedly noted that only white middle class seem to participate in this subculture. The theories behind this are merely speculative, not proven.
One supposition is the middle class to wealthy people have both the time and money to explore this lifestyle while the poor have no such luxury. Another proposed reason is minorities follow cultural dictates and do not mingle with White folks. The one about blacks is presented in a plausible manner in which she states black men are stereotypically dominant and to have a black woman who is already traditionally running the household to be in charge of the sex is too much. These theories are lacking because in the book, there was never an interview with a person considered in either the poor class or a minority. And by minority, she means black. Oddly even though this was in California, neither Hispanic nor any Asians were mentioned. Perhaps neither of those ethnicities is considered a minority.
The book came across as an outsider (as she calls it) trying to muddle through the why and how of D/s. She does make good points of how the relationships experience problems no different than vanilla relationships. However, in the aspect of D/s with a Domme, it’s worse. Chapters are dedicated to the issues Dommes experience with male submissives. Male submissives are shown as fickle and not as submissive as they present. The social stigma of a man submitting is repeatedly emphasized. Honestly, after reading this book, it’s more a lesson in why this will never work. It’s more damning than reassuring that there are others out there and they can make a D/s relationship work.
The book details how to join a scene. The two main organized groups mentioned still exist almost thirty years now. Society of Janus is still thriving and can be found at http://soj.org/. The SM Church can be found in the Yahoo! Groups - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SMChurchoftheDarksideGoddessKali/. A good explanation of the Church is can be found here http://margelle.org/aboutgoddess/page70/page70.html. The latter half of the book covering psychology dynamics and D/s were cursory rather than enlightening. This is not a how to book for a new to the lifestyle Domme and male submissive. The chapters are more anecdotal than educational.
The one piece of information which was of interest is the power struggle in contrast to the power exchange. This can applied to any D/s relationship, not just a femdom one. Essentially it’s the submissive constantly testing the limits and trying to wrestle the power from the dominant. A common phrase from the submissive lips is, “I’m not just going to bend over. It has to be earned”. This is a destructive type of behaviour.
There were a couple of items which captures the reader’s attention. In the chapter on The Dynamics of the power exchange, She acts as though she knows exactly what she wants and does not apologize for making the submissive feel the intended discomfort. If she makes a mistake, she passes over it quickly by briefly acknowledging it or by continuing as if it never happened or was intentional. “Being dominant,” Danielle once commented wryly, “is never saying you’re sorry.” (p. 153) Really? I read this and thought, well, this is the last nail the coffin. The book didn’t even redeem itself when it mentioned. If you don’t have consensuality and safety, you don’t have S&M. You have violence (p. 185 ).
The last piece I found interesting is the topic of professional Dommes and how those in the lifestyle before the internet survived. The Commercial world of D&S section is amusing. What did people do before irc chats, Skype and the internet? Mistresses by Mail: Fantasy Tapes and Letters is a chapter which basically says it all. In conclusion, the author mentions in the book how D&S may now be receiving a rapid expansion particularly if the news media continues to offer informative pieces on D&S and the fashion media continues to glamorize D&S imagery (p. 256). If only she knew how it is now in 2012 what she wrote then in 1982.
View all my reviews