Labels, Tags and No-Speak


I’ve mentioned before that I belong to a forum called She Makes The Rules, which BTW is a place you need to be if you are interested in or are practicing a female-led relationship. Anyway, I posted there recently and the long and short of it is that I prompted a discussion about the terms femdom versus FLR. If one can judge by some of the member commentary, it would seem that the word femdom is becoming unpopular among those involved in legitimate female-led relationships. Apparently it’s become too closely associated with the proliferation of male-generated porn that depicts men being physically dominated and abused by mean, whip-wielding, leather-clad dominatrices.

Thus the term femdom connotes, shall we say, less savory activities in which people in this lifestyle do not necessary engage. In so doing, it panders to unrealistic male sexual fantasies, which, as most would agree, are decidedly unappealing to most women. The irony then, is that in the minds of some, especially those who are in or considering this lifestyle, the femdom moniker conveys a dynamic that is male-centric and male-focused. This of course is exactly opposite what this lifestyle is “suppose” to be all about. As you may imagine, those in the do-not-use camp, have a problem with this.

As I pointed out in a previous post, I haven’t been very active or tuned in to Internet discussions of this lifestyle over the last year or more. So I was surprised by the pushback regarding use of the word femdom. Since my interest and subsequent involvement in this lifestyle back in 2005, I’ve used terms such as femdom, female-led relationship (FLR), wife-led relationship (WLR) and loving female authority (LFA) almost interchangeably. For my money, femdom has been nothing more than an amalgamation of the words female and dominant. It seemed wonderfully descriptive, and if in fact it cuts with more of an edge than the terms FLR or LFA, it seemed perfectly apropos.

The hijacking of the word femdom notwithstanding, I think we sometimes get too caught up in the use of names, tags and labels. I find myself using the word queer. Hey, it’s a go-to word when I think something is odd or offbeat, but I often receive a look of disapproval from my daughter, who, BTW, is a lesbian. (She asserts that my ability to arrange flowers and decorate the home is clear indication that I am responsible for giving her the “gay gene,” but that’s a story for another day.) We’re headed that way with the word gay as well. What happened to “Don we now our gay apparel,” which did not originally mean wrapping one’s self in a rainbow flag.

Surprisingly, there was once a lengthy discussion in the SMTR forum about adding the word submissive to the No-Speak list when referring to the man’s role in a FLR. This because of negative connotations; you know, images of a doormat, wimp, wuss, namby-pamby, pantywaist and so forth. Some members held that uxorious is a better descriptor, except that your average person has no idea what uxorious means, and when you look is up, the word submissive is used in the definition. “Hey honey, I was thinking that it would be good for our marriage if I was uxorious and you acted like the goddess that you are.” GoddessV would have replied, “Damnit, why can’t you be normal and use regular words!” Umm, regular I am, but normal? Not so much.

I’m not going to worry too much about perceived meanings, connotations or implications of certain terms. For the time being, I’ll keep femdom in my vocabulary and cross my fingers in hopes it doesn’t alienate too many folks in or around the female-led lifestyle.  ~VK


Anonymous said...

I agree with your take on lables for FLR.My wife and I are in a wife led marriage .We both know she is the leader in the marriage but does not like it when I say we are in a wife led marriage. We both know I am submissive to my wife but it makes her uncomfortable when I tell her. We both love our FLR but stay away from using any labels and it works just fine.

Miss Jenna said...

I agree and think it is a shame we need to be mindful of the terminology around our relationships. I for one love the term submissive to describe my husbands attitude towards me. However, I have always approced the label with the understanding that "Being submissive is not about thinking less of yourself, but thinking about yourself, less".

I am sure the subject will end up as an article soon in my own blog.

Anyway, love your blog and I will add it to my like minded blogs on my Gentle Seductress site.

kareng said...

My husband and I are in a FLR. We actualy gave this a great deal of thought and preparation before committing to doing this. We first joined an organization from the web site ( then trained with their material. This organization presents the concept in a realistic manner not based on fantasy.

Fumika Misato said...

Goddess V, I hope you will consider reviewing my book: "Real Women Don't Do Housework"

Anonymous said...

Hope you continue blogging soon,
I have read many of your posts and find them taste full with class and to the point, but more importantly I have found them genuine, my Wife and I are starting to toy with the Idea of a Wife Lead Marriage, what that really means in our relationship is that we are about ready to openly commit to our natural roles

From the moment we became friends, her dominant status was established by both of us, not just her!
it was not an open statement from one or the other, but her strong personality and take charge attitude along with my then submissive tendencies that took over,
don't get me wrong our courtship was that of a typical alpha jock going after the pretties girl in school
only in one way or another it always ended up being on her terms :)

We have been friends for 10 years now and Wife & Husband for 7, the funnies thing is that although I've always been her friend, her lover, her servant and admirer,
and she has always been there to lead, guide and love me, we've never till recently openly talked about the TRUE nature of our relationship,
we have both always known who is in charge and make absolutely no efforts to either show it or hide it
in private or in public
I find our marriage to look so typical from the outside, that to the untrained eye it seems no different, we've have yet to meet another couple in this position but I do suspect they would be able to pick up the subtle differences :)

Anyway going back to the original subject,
very recently during what I can only discrive as the most loving and honest conversation of my life
mi Wife for the first time in our lives has oppenly let me know that she is the one in charge,
that she willingly and willfully owns and contols me, and my obedience is not welcome, is expected,
and has always been so!
During that same combersation for the first time I also openly admitted to her,
I love she is the one in charge, and that I have always willingly and willfully obeyed her,
that I am submissive, that I am her submissive and I love being so and serving her

Needless to say even thou we went backwards where the D/s was establish way before the aknowledgement of it's desired was stated
we have reignithed something within and are hungryer for eachother than ever
just living it was wonderfull but nowing it's deliverate in both sides is heaven :)
I find my self recently searching the web for like minded people, but have been hit in the face
with obcene, distasefull wesites and groups of people who do not seem to have and idea of what TRUE "FemDom" is
we are both begginig our thirties and most of this sites seem to have been created by 18 to 23 year old frat kids
who probably rented a porno movie that had the FemDom label on it, and actually think that applies to real life
so when I came across your site I was happily surprise and I will end my comment as I started it
Hope you continue blogging soon!