In The Ultimate Guide to Kink, Midori talks about “classic icons of sexy dominant women” (pag. 594) in film, literature, mythology and pop culture – not dominatrices per se, but figures like Marlene Dietrich, Cleopatra, or Lilith. Are there any such ‘powerful’ or ‘dominant’ female characters or archetypes that you admire, or take inspiration from? What resonates with you about them?
(This month’s /r/dommebloggers topic was suggested by solumbrava.)
While no specific classic figure comes to mind, there is a certain archetype of woman that inspires me. It’s a type that I project dominance onto, partly because of my past experience seeing dominants of this type, and partly because it’s one that I connect with personally.
In brief, it’s the quiet, confident type. She has power and control, but she doesn’t have to battle for it. She’s reserved and even silent most of the time. She’s content with herself and what she has, and it produces a calm, even demeanor. It’s not that she can’t show emotion, but her stability means that her emotions are in check.
Most of the time, she doesn’t even have to give verbal commands. Her authority is understood, and her submissive naturally compliant. And it’s not from any fear of retribution. In fact, there may be a gentleness to her. But the submissive’s respect and desire keep him firmly in line. The dynamic ends up being more of a natural order between two people, and less of a purposeful construction.
There’s just so much power in not having to exert it.
I’m sure this type exists in all media, but the examples I think of most are in Japanese animation. This type of female character tends to be around boys who are nervous and shy with women. In harem anime, where the male main character is often the one being pursued (another topic for another day), she’s often one of the love interests, but her pursuit is less of an action and more of a presence. She’s not the one hanging off his arm, but the one sitting at the back, who makes him blush when he looks her way.
And I think that gets to the crux of it too. The type I like is dominant not in action but in presence. Something as simple as her gaze makes him want to shrink back and submit, more than harsh words ever would. It’s power without force.
I both identify with and aspire to this type. I don’t like to aspire to something I’m not—rather, I identified a pattern in the women I find sexy, and I noticed that they have traits that I value in myself. When I say I aspire to it, I mean that I hope I can fully embrace these qualities when it comes to being a dom and interacting with a partner. And I hope to find a partner whose energy feeds into this type.