Many Dommes indicate “feminization” as an activity they offer. It’s popular. A lot of men are interested in it. Usually it’s cis men, but I have known trans men who enjoy it. Also, usually straight men, but sometimes queer, bi, or gay men, too. (I’m not talking about trans women. Trans women are women, not “men in dresses”.)
I enjoy and happily offer it to anyone who is interested. However, I don’t like to call it “feminization”, I prefer to call it “femme”*. Cultural implications aside, it sounds more elegant and, well, sexier.
Now, what I’ve noticed and find interesting about “feminization” is that it is usually fetishized and framed as an expression of humiliation.
Exactly how is it humiliating to be put in “women’s” clothing or lingerie?
If this were MaleDom I could understand this type of play, but FemDom? It makes no sense.
Why it’s even thought of as humiliating in the first place is because men are taught to feel emasculated by comparisons to women. So, if you dress like one? Well, shame on you. You’re not a real man, you’re a “sissy”. Proper straight men don’t do this so you must be a “faggot”.
While I understand how this is erotic for some people, the basis for it is rooted in misogyny (and homophobia). You can’t be shamed for embodying something that has been assigned to women unless there is something shameful about being a woman. So, when Dommes do this type of play, who are almost always femme themselves, it’s ironic.
(Photo: Mikael Jansson. Graphic: Have a Gay Day, Facebook group.)
If a submissive tells me they like to be humiliated, I ask them in what ways. If they say they like to be “feminized”, I tell them I’m not the Domme for them. I don’t even want to pretend I think it’s humiliating. Why would I when it’s how I love to dress myself? It seems that if I went along with even the fantasy that putting a man in “women’s” clothing is embarrassing or damaging I would be insulting myself in the process. That doesn’t seem very Dominant to me.
Then why do I “feminize” men? Because it’s hot. Putting men in beautiful panties, garter belts, stockings, heels, sexy dresses, and makeup is fun and provides people who were assigned a “male” gender a space to express parts of themselves they have been shamed about, if not directly, indirectly from society. I find helping men, butches, and non-binary people explore this part of themselves genuinely enjoyable. Why should only femme women enjoy silky or lacy lingerie, heels, and lipstick?
Also, I love blending butch and femme together. Like the sexy Pavel Petel below:
So, if you come to me and want to do femme play, my goal is to to offer a space for people who were assigned a “male” and/or butch gender and presentation a space to explore the parts of themselves they have been shamed about, if not directly, indirectly from society. I want you to feel like you have a safe place to express your femme and/or feminine side, feel sexy, be treated like a “woman” (if that’s what you want to experience), and most of all to feel good and have fun, not to try to enforce the idea that you should be embarrassed about it.
*“Femme”, for those who don’t know, is a concept that originates from queer communities and its intent is to respect “gender” variance. It’s complement is “butch”. Unlike heteronormative culture, these terms acknowledge that people can have particular bodies and sexual identities and also have a so-called “non-congruent” gender presentation. This means you can have a penis, identify as a male, and be “femme”. Likewise, you have a vagina, identify as female, and be “butch”. This doesn’t inherently say anything about your sexuality. Anyone can be “femme”, “butch”, a combination of both, and/or something else. Using “femme” instead of “feminization”, for me, acknowledges this cultural value and separates the activity from its misogynistic associations.