I've got a few vanilla friends who don't know all the details of my sex life but have gathered that it's somehow unconventional. And I was startled yesterday to hear two different people assume that I'm a "dominatrix." Which means, I believe, that I wear black leather and call guys "worm," or something.
I guess that surreal as the image of me as spike-heeled dominatrix is, it sits better with people who only know me nonsexually than the idea that I might like to get beat up myself. Femdom seems to be a lot more visible and "sexier" in the eye of the vanilla public than maledom. Which is sexist.
Partly because it's about the girl dressing up pretty. Clothes are a generally uninteresting area of fetish to me--I can appreciate some nice stompy-boots or a tight t-shirt, but costumes? Eh. Top or bottom, I'm a lot more used to being in my undies or naked or even just in my street clothes. But it seems like the public stereotype of a dominatrix is at least 75% a costume. (A black costume, because black is the scary color, and being kinky is kind of like Halloween.) It's just another way to dress women up in something revealing and slutty, to make them into eye candy even when they're supposed to be on top. And men can't be eye candy of course, they'd just look silly in a leather corset, so it's inconceivable that men would be, uh, Dominatrixos.
And partly because it assumes girls are hopelessly vulnerable. A woman hitting a man is safe, even silly, because everyone knows women can't really hurt guys. But a man hitting a woman--that's how abuse works. That's scary. Can't mess around with that. A man who wants to be beat up is a perv, and that makes him funny and gross; a woman who wants to be beat up has real emotional damage and is saddening. The implication is that men can be in control of their sexuality from any angle, but a woman giving up control can't be doing it on purpose, the poor dear. That couldn't be sexy.
I'm not one to get off on shocking the mundanes, I don't go to the mall in a collar and leash and I don't think vanilla people need to be educated on all the intricacies of BDSM if they're not interested. I don't think it's repression to refer to a Dom as a "date" or a "boyfriend" rather than getting into nitty-gritty--it's just polite. If my vanilla friends don't want to know, I don't want to tell them.
But if they really don't want to know, I wish they'd stop making stupid guesses.