I can’t call myself a femdom anymore.
I’ve been slowly coming to (and fighting) this realization for over a year now.
I’m not a woman, I’m ay’lonit, enby, non-binary. And it wasn’t long after I first came out about my gender that I started feeling uncomfortable calling myself a femdom. But I continued to do so because… well, because what else was there?
Femdom has been a part of my identity–a pretty big part of my identity–for nearly 10 years now. I’ve learned about kink and my own sexual and relationship needs and preferences through the lens of that identity. My closest friendships and connections with other kinky people are based on that identity (either as a shared identity or subs who prefer to serve femdoms).
Separate from the label “femdom,” I don’t “fit” in kink. My experiences, from harassing CollarSpace messages to no-show subs to fighting against the stereotype of the leather clad dominatrix to learning to recognize and accept my preference for being on the left side of the slash have all mirrored those of so many femdoms I have spoken with.
I could simply call myself a “dom” as I did when I first entered the scene. In fact, for a while I was pretty fierce in my insistence that I shouldn’t need to hang “fem” on the front, I’m a dom, period.
But I found that doing so brought it’s own set of assumptions. A dom is assumed to be a man in the scene. And a woman is assumed to be a submissive. And so I gradually started using femdom, which connected me with others like me and made it easier to find subs who were interested in me.
In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be divisions based on gender. It would just be “dom” and “sub” and none of the bullshit stereotypes.
Years ago, in order to find the section of the kink community that I fit in, I had to accept and eventually own and learn to take pride in “femdom.”
Now, for the same reason, I need to walk away from that same label.
I am not femme, not a woman, not a femdom.
But in walking away from the label I am walking away from so much more than just a label.
All the femdom representations that I lovingly collected over the years, they don’t represent me. I thought they did, and I still love them for their better-than-average portrayal of a kink dynamic that is far too stereotyped. But they don’t reflect me.
Nothing does. Even my own book, which I wrote in large part because at the time I couldn’t find any good femdom rep in the novels I read. It’s still a good femdom rep. I’m damn proud of the work I did on it.
But it isn’t the rep for me and my identity that I had intended it to be.
So many communities I have been part of, from Fetlife groups to CS chatrooms to a few Discord chats, they aren’t made for me. I thought they were, because I thought I was a femdom. And maybe I was before I came to terms with the reality of my gender. But I don’t belong there now.
If I simply call myself a dom, a dominant, then I go back to the communities that are dominated by maledoms and femsubs. But the assumption that anyone who presents as or is read as a woman is submissive. I don’t want to wade through that bullshit again. I don’t want to read more kink “representation” that paints women as inherenty submissive and in need a big strong man to take care of them. Leaving aside any philosophical issues, I spent most of my life identifying as and thinking of myself as a woman. I am STILL closer to being a woman than a man. I don’t the mental stress that wading through that bullshit puts on me.
So what am I? Where do I fit in kink? Or, better, how can I make kink fit me?
I’m an enbydom. A non-binary dominant. For all I know it’s a term I made up. I’ve never seen it before, and Google thinks I’m looking up a word in Welsh.
But it fits. It’s me.
And if I need to create communities and representation and place in kink for enbies (dom and sub) with my own two hands, I’ll do it. Maybe only in a small way. But someway.
I’m stubborn like that.