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ASK! Ratio of Dommes to Subs

As a male submissive, I’ve noticed that there seems to be an unfavourable ratio of dommes to subs. Why are there so many more submissive men and so few dominant women? What effects do you think that this has overall?

The Ratio of Dommes to Subs

I think that there is a huge disconnect going on here that leads to an illusion of an unfavourable ratio of dommes to subs. It’s a number of factors that come together to create this misconception, from inaccurate labelling to different approaches to meeting people.

For me, one of the big problems is that there are a lot of men out there who say they are submissive, but don’t actually want to give up any power or authority. A well known dominant woman on Fetlife, recognizable by her avatar of fuzzy bunny slippers and no-nonsense approach to things, coined the term “submission fetishist” which I think is a good one.

Submission Fetishists

ratio of dommes to subsA submission fetishist is a person who enjoys the actions that they view as submissive, but often want them done in a specific way, following a certain order by a woman dressed in a particular way, etc. She has to say the right lines at the right time, and basically indulge the “submissive’s” fantasy without regard to her own desires. There is often an insistence that this is the “true” way of femdom, and that anyone who does things differently is a fake.

You will notice in the above scenario, the “submissive” isn’t giving up any power and that the fantasy revolves around SM and other play activities. While there isn’t anything wrong with having fantasies or wanting to have them fulfilled, the person in question would be much further ahead to call themselves a bottom.

In calling oneself a bottom, instead of a submissive, it indicates a play role more than a power exchange role. Dommes who are looking for a power exchange relationship will know that they are not compatible. Accuracy in labels is important for getting what you want – since labels open the door to a more in-depth conversation about wants and needs. However, without any agreed-upon definitions of the various labels in BDSM, it there can be issues in communication.

Fake Dommes?

Adding to the perceived imbalance in the ratio of dommes to subs, those same men, the bottoms, will often declare a domme ‘fake’ if she doesn’t cater to his fantasies. The fake label can also be applied to women who aren’t immediately bitchy and demanding or just aren’t bitchy at all. Again, it’s the porn stereotype that doesn’t really translate into real life.

The idea that there is a skewed ratio of dommes to subs also stems from where people are looking. If you are online, there can seem to be an overwhelming number of male submissives. Some of this is down to the labelling issue, but there is more to it than that.

Online Spaces are Male-Dominated

ratio of dommes to subsOnline spaces tend to be male dominated, to begin with, and are generally not safe spaces for women. This is amplified when you’re talking about a sexually charged space, like Fetlife and other BDSM websites. When you look at kink websites, there is a larger number of men of every orientation. Male dominants seem to outnumber female subs (and M/f is by far the largest demographic on these sites).

Dominant women complain about being inundated with crass private messages, crude comments on photos and general harassment from many male submissives, with younger, more conventionally attractive dommes getting the worst of it. Keep in mind that these same dommes may also be fielding private messages from male dominants doubting their orientation and demanding submission. In response to this hostile environment, many female dominants have changed their orientation label to something more neutral or left these sites altogether. This creates an artificial shortage and creates the appearance of a low ratio of dommes to subs.

Many others prefer to lay low, finding that the messages and other unwanted attention get worse when they are visibly active on the site. It’s common for women to remove gender entirely from their profile and use an avatar of a pet, scenery or object, to deflect the worst of things. It seems that the more feminine your avatar, whether it’s sexually suggestive or not, the more negative attention you will get.

Few Submissive Men at Munches or Parties

ratio of dommes to subsOf course, once you get out into the ‘real world’ or meatspace, you will see an entirely different picture. Male submissives are a rare sight at munches or kink parties, while female dominants are more prevalent. Many do prefer to stick to femdom only events, again because of mistreatment or prejudice from the M/f crowd.

Many submissive men claim that they are shy, so they don’t want to attend public events. Many insist that they can not go without having a date – even to non-play oriented events like munches. Some simply baulk at the idea of having to make an effort to meet people, wondering why they can’t just chat online indefinitely.

While some of it is laziness or entitlement, a lot of it is a legitimate fear to step outside of what is expected of them as men. Men are told that they have to be dominant, in control, masculine and tough. To admit to submissive fantasies is hard, to tell a crowd of strangers or act on those fantasies is even harder. Toxic masculinity is to blame here and shows how our patriarchal society actively harms men as well as women.

Identity Erased

While most kink scenes are welcoming of everyone, there is often a subtle insinuation that female = submissive and male = dominant that can be uncomfortable.

ratio of dommes to subsI often tell a story about showing up at a party, with my date. He was wearing a collar, with the leash in my hand. He was standing behind me, wearing latex shorts and being wonderfully attentive to my needs. A male dominant that I knew approached us and asked my submissive for permission to hug me. My poor boy didn’t know what to say or do, he just kept looking at me, confused, saying “Ummm…..Ma’am?” While it was an innocent mistake, it shows how prevalent the idea that all women are submissive can be and why dominant women might not want to attend parties where their identity is erased ‘accidentally’.

The erasure of identity isn’t just limited to the dominant women. Every submissive man I’ve dated has had submissive women chase them and try to convince them to dominate. It is generally an unpleasant experience for them, with insinuations about being ‘real men’ and such. Sadly, there seems to be an impression that submissive men are less than dominant men – a stereotype that is blatantly untrue and incredibly damaging to some men’s self-image.

Even with that, there are still more dominant women than submissive men at most munches and parties that I’ve been to. I know many dominant women who have been looking for many years for a submissive boyfriend. Personally, I would have spent a lot of time single, if I were straight, due to the lack of submissive men (and even more so compatible ones).

There are many more reasons for this perceived imbalance in the ratio of dommes to subs, too many to get into here.

I think that ideas about the ratio of dommes to subs cause all sorts of problems. Online, it creates an artificial shortage, so dominant women are put up on a pedestal without anyone’s consent. This is negative in a few ways.

Never Ending, Unwanted Messages

ratio of dommes to subsWomen get even more desperate messages, as men who consider themselves submissive compete for attention. They will spam any and every dominant woman they can find, sending message after message. I’ve had messages from men that email me every 6 months or so for years on end until I get fed up and block them. Often, they send the exact same message every time. In speaking to other dominant women, I know I’m not the only one to experience this.

Too Many Concessions

For submissive men, it means that they may become willing to compromise on things that they wouldn’t otherwise. I know monogamous men who consider poly relationships, even though it upsets them and damages their self-esteem (I don’t think that poly relationships do this, but people who are monogamous often have this experience when trying poly relationships because it is against their nature). I’ve met many submissive men who have learned how to service top, in the hopes that they can find a switch to date (again, I don’t think there is anything wrong with switches or dating them, as I’ve dated many, but if you’re going against your BDSM orientation, you probably won’t be happy). I’ve even met straight submissive men who serve male dominants to satisfy their kinky needs.

Actual Fake Dommes

ratio of dommes to subsOn top of that, you get some women who see an imbalance in the ratio of dommes to subs and decide to take advantage. I’m not talking about pro dommes (a legit business, and one I am a part of), or findommes (a legit kink), but women who aren’t dominant or even kinky, deciding that they can make money off of submissive men. You will see men asking about paying dommes all the time, with some scams involving money to buy BDSM toys to use at a first meeting (that never seems to happen).

Of course, in discussions about the ratio of dommes to subs, each side has their own view (and each person too), and these discussions can get pretty heated. I’m not saying I’m right here, but this has been my experience of the ratio of dommes to subs. I would love to hear about what other people have experienced too!

Check out this video I posted on my Youtube Channel

 

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