sisterhood

The Femdom Sisterhood

sisterhood
ˈsɪstəhʊd
noun
  1. the relationship between sisters.
    “much of sisterhood is about sharing lipsticks”
  2. an association, society, or community of women linked by a common interest, religion, or trade.
    “the Anglicans set up Sisterhoods all over England”

This definition was lifted from the top of a google search and how bloody condescending and sexist is that example in 1.1.? For sure with out tiny lady brains, we couldn’t do much more with our sisters than share lipsticks to make ourselves pretty for boys.  But anyway… let’s get to today’s topic.

 

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There’s a big word in the Femdom world: it’s a word that’s whispered in ears and shouted on rooftops. It bonds as much as it breaks people apart. It is brandished as a battle axe and used as a splint for wounded limbs. The word is Sisterhood. But what is The Sisterhood?

Well it has taken me a long time to figure it out, and my concept of its definition within the strange and wonderful reality of professional domination is still one that is very fluid and constantly evolving.

I had the idea to write about this subject over a month ago, and I asked my friends and acquaintances within the business to send in their thoughts and experiences with regards to this powerful word and I will be sharing little snippets of some of these writings throughout this blog post. I thought I was all geared up to get this piece written within a day or two and up on my site, but the more I read the writing of my peers, the more I began to question my own understanding of the word and its implications. It occurred to me that the thing about such a loaded word is that different people have different relationships with it. For some women, it has a huge emotional impact, either positive or negative, whereas for others, it is merely a tagline to be used for marketing purposes.

Femdom sisterhood

So I have only been offering Pro Domination for about 3.5 years, in that time iv had my fair share of fan girl moments when interacting with the well established “Uber Dommes” (yourself, Madame Caramel, Mistress Dita etc) and I won’t lie when my notifications on Twitter show I have a reply or interaction from any of the aforementioned Dommes I do have my “omg she noticed me, quick dont panic, remain calm” moment. And its been great! Even just watching you all interact with each other and how you represent yourselves online has helped me learn ways I can improve on myself.
And then iv had the not so great, the bitch comments, abuse, snide comments from “supposedly well respected members of the community” even to the point of suba getting involved, leaving snide comments on tweets, emailing me abuse. It reached a point where last year I was close to walking away from kink because the abuse I was receiving far outweighed any good. But I decided to stick it out because iv been into bdsm for over 10 years, its a passion of mine and something I really enjoy. So I pulled up my big girl panties, I continued to block the emails and twitter accounts causing me grief and didn’t reply to the snide comments and eventually they got bored and so far seem to have moved on.
But its the laughs, the friendships iv made and my genuine love of the lifestyle that kept me here and I’m glad it did!
-Mistress Anon.

As I read more and more thoughtful and sometimes moving pieces sent in to me by other Mistresses, I realised that I was probably not as equipped as cocky little me had thought I would be to preach to the world at large on what is and is not the right definition of this word, what it symbolises for our community and how it is misused. And so I held off on writing this blog post.

It dragged on and on, always in the back of my mind, ever present like the niggling little scratching noise that you get when mice live within your walls. Sometimes I lost sleep over it, feeling like I was letting everybody down, after having made this big announcement as if I was going to write this earth shattering blog post which would redefine the entirety of what we knew as the Femdom community. I would wake up in the middle of the night with a heart rate of nearly 130BPM. I know because my Fitbit told me. It’s funny seeing your heart rate graph go into the red between one and threee am on the little graph in the app. Quite unexpected.

Anyway, this unfinished (or even barely started) blog post has been weighing on my mind. There is a good side to that though: I have been living the past month in a very mindful manner. My consciousness has been finely tuned towards watching how women interact both within and outside of our community in a way that it never has been before. I have found myself observing others intently, and observing myself, both in thought and action. It has been most enlightening.

So what conclusions have I come to? That is still a difficult and complicated question to answer. I can’t speak for everyone because we all live our own realities and the same word can have a different impact on different people. This isn’t something that I accept easily though, because of my French upbringing. As I am sure many of you know, the French are much more precious about their language than the Brits or the Americans are. The French Academy, the people who decide everything to do with the French language, believe that in order for us to be able to communicate, words must have specific meanings rather than being open to interpretation. This is to avoid misunderstandings. Having been educated using this philosophy, I remember having enormous difficulty communicating with British and Canadian friends in my first few years in the Anglophone world, and I still occasionally hit a wall now and then when I use a word that I see to have a very specific meaning, only for it to be interpreted by someone who sees its definition as being more fluid than set in stone, depending on context or personal experience. This has caused me to get into enormous arguments in person and on social media, since words in the English language can be what is known as ‘loaded’. Something that I had never really come across in French. And I think that Sisterhood is a ‘loaded’ word. On the surface, and according to the dictionary, it has a simple definition. Women grouping together based on shared characteristics, be they ethnicity, job, interest, education, social class, belief systems etc. But we all know that it goes much deeper than that. I am not going to speak about the sisterhood at large too much, as there are plenty of amazing feminist philosophers dedicating their careers to this. I am going to restrict my musings as much as possible to the world of Female Domination within sex work.

Madame Caramel

I hear this beautiful, and also cursed, word time and time again in my social media, especially within my Femdom/Findom lifestyle. What does it really mean to me?
I speak as a mature, intelligent, well traveled woman and professional Dominatrix. Let’s start with the downside, there is no way that I will get along with
everyone in the same lifestyle in the same city, but it is very possible to have a beautiful Sisterhood. To me, this really means that I’m connected to a wonderful
bouquet of women who think like me, understand me and have mostly the same principles. We can agree to disagree with each other and yet still maintain
a wonderful relationship, even when disagreements arise.
I know, love and respect many of these wonderful people in this life, and lifestyle, from all across Europe to Asia and the Middle East, but I can also tell that by
allowing someone in who I thought could have the same principles but sadly did not, that I could have destroyed my inner circle. Luckily we are a strong,
independent bunch and we’re all still standing! I know well who is my friend, who is my sister, who is concerned with my well being and is also genuinely
happy for my happiness, as I am for hers.
All the rest, who live for drama, life will teach them soon that we are stronger together but that we must also be independent from each other.
-Madame Caramel

I really wish I didn’t have to write this blog post, because I have seen a lot of pain caused by the big S. Despite all attempts to market ourselves as Goddesses, we are merely human: we Dominatrices are flawed beings and as such can end up being pretty mean to each other when we feel insecure, when we don’t understand others, or when we feel slighted. The easiest way to bond with others is through a common enemy, and often within the world of Femdom, that bonding over a common enemy is branded ‘Sisterhood’. Sisterhood can also be a false pretence, a lure, a light in the window of a big old house on a dark and stormy night, calling out to those who are alone and scared and desperately seeking a sense of community or even family. In a community so full of rifts and insecurities, we are also incredibly good at playing make believe on social media, Selling our fairy tale to all who will believe it, and this attracts those more vulnerable beings into believing that they are walking into a big safe space where it’s all love and peace. The sad truth though is that we are all individuals trying to make a living, and as much as friendships do form, as much as tight bonds are made and we are all in this together, each of us is to a certain degree in competition with all the others and being so in an unregulated industry where we are unprotected by our governement leaves us vulnerable and therefore more likely to be mistrusting of each other.

Don’t get me wrong, the level of support and love that I have found within this community is beyond anything I could ever have imagined for myself at a younger age. I am so grateful towards the universe for putting me here and surrounding me with such amazing and inspiring women. But I would never dare to think that I am owed any of this, nor did I ever walk into this scene expecting everything to fall into my lap or for people to bend over backwards for me. I did however get burned in another way. I thought everyone was trust worthy. I was naive and not well versed in politics, and I got burned more than once. Over time I realised that the world of Femdom attracts some of the most interesting women you will ever meet, some of the most creative, intelligent, driven, strong and inspiring women you will ever meet, but it also attracts some of the more damaged, fragile, unstable, sociopathic and self serving specimens of our half of the human race as well. Our world is a world of extremes, and within such a world, nothing is ever simple. It is a community made up of some of the strongest minded individuals that you could ever meet, and that is always sure to brew some pretty explosive eruptions on a regular basis.

So how does one even begin to approach trying to define a word such as Sisterhood in such an unstable environment which is constantly bubbling, on the verge of detonating? Well I believe that the first thing to do is to get a firm grasp on the limitations of the word.

Mistress Eva, youwillpleaseme

I believe that it is powerful to understand that we share an experience as conscious beings. This breeds compassion – and I don’t limit it to the ‘Sisterhood’. However it deeply influences my thoughts on what the ‘Sisterhood’ is, or could represent.
I see the FemDom ‘Sisterhood’ as an extension on my general belief. That it is a space where we share the interest/lifestyle of FemDom – and the benefits and challenges that it can bring. That it is an opportunity to support and evolve likeminded individuals as a collective system. This is an ideal of course, but it’s my turn at a dreaming up a definition right? -Mistress Eva

THE SISTERHOOD is not a magical realm full of bound, castrated men ready to do the bidding of any woman who walks in, who will instantly be welcomed with open arms by all those who already reside there, to be given all their secrets and inducted into their secret society. If you are a newcomer to the world of Femdom, especially the online, social media based world of Femdom, then you had better be respectful of those who have been here a while and already proven their worth. This doesn’t mean grovelling and licking their feet like the slaves do, getting star struck every time you are faced with anyone of any importance or influence. It means understanding that these women have worked hard to get where they are and that until you too have proven yourself to be reliable, a pillar of the community and someone who ‘gets it’, then they owe you nothing, Work toward the Femdom cause, be polite and respectful, and most importantly respect boundaries and take your time building relationships, and you will be rewarded, being slowly accepted into the inner circle. But let it happen naturally, over time. Don’t see it as an end game, see it as a by-product of having the right attitude. Entitlement and expectation are ugly things that have no place within our world. Nobody is owed anything. We all work to deserve respect, love, friendship and anything else that might come our way.

The sisterhood is not a secret society either. There is no central Sisterhood Temple or Sisterhood Vatican. We don’t hold weekly black masses (although I am sure a few guys wank over the idea that we do), and we certainly don’t have an in and out system. In fact, there is no structured society or even splinter cell movement of any shape or form. There is no THE Sisterhood. it’s not a gang, it’s not a religion, it’s not a secret society. In fact, it is not a tangible thing in any way shape or form and I really wish people would stop speaking about it as if it were any of those things.

The Only Theodora

I have very little experience of sisterhood within the real-life BDSM community alone. The people who were my play partners when I started and are now my clients are exclusively men. I did become some kind of mentor to them in a way (as in, dating coach, financial advisor and such), and this has only resulted in sparking jealousy from other female kinksters. I suppose that the fact that I specialize in Financial Domination isn’t totally unrelated to it, either.
I do, however, have excellent relationships with other sexworkers who don’t do BDSM, such as strippers and escorts, whom I meet in the swingers community. Some of my best friends are strippers. I believe that because our lines of work differ greatly despite all of them being sexwork, we don’t run the risk of stepping on each other’s toes, so there’s no possible competition between us. -Theodora

So what is The Sisterhood, then?
Sisterhood is a concept. It is a word which describes the way that women band together. Now words are funny things, just lines on paper or sound waves going through the air, but somehow they end up being so very powerful. Words can contain magic, and in a way, the S word contains a lot of magic. if we take it for what it is, it really isn’t much at all, just the fact that there’s a bunch of women who are linked by a common interest, which in this case happens to be emasculating men for kicks. But this word, through going from mouth to ear over and over,being whispered on lips and spoken almost as a mantra, has taken on a life of its own. It has become a fortress inside which we have created an army. THE SISTERHOOD, all in capital letters and to be read in your head in an ominous echoey voice (sisterhood…hood…hood…hood…hood…hood..) has grown and taken on a life of its own. It seems that from the dark and hidden pre-internet world of Female Domination, the idea of the Sisterhood as an army of strong independent women no longer being subjugated by the patriarchy and knowing the power that they hold over the other sex has grown so much as to branch out slowly into the general consciousness. Everywhere I look now, I see signs of the concept of The Sisterhood taking hold in the normal, everyday world. Women who were brought up to distrust each other, to see each other as competition, are now banding together, fighting for a common cause, supporting each other in their fight against the patriarchal system rather than slut shaming each other. We still have a long way to go, but look at how far we have come already.

So what does the term Sisterhood mean to me personally? In pure Anglophone interpretive tradition, I too have adapted the word to suit my own definition. As much as I understand its intended meaning, I have distilled the word in my consciousness to find an essence within it. In a world in which we are pitched against each other, brought up by men in a male system to live by male principles of egomania and conflict, I see The Sisterhood as the mutual respect that women within our industry owe each other for finding a loophole in the patriarchal system, for breaking free from the conditioning and for turning the tables. I don’t have to be friends with you, agree with your views or even like you, but I can still respect you for having seen through the fog, for having stepped off of the road and had the strength to pull away from the expected path. One thing that every single one of us has in common, whether we be high class or cheap thrills, cold and distant or intimate and sexy, thin or fat, black or white, young or old, gentle or brutal, is that every single one of us broke free. And we should all take a moment to appreciate that, because it’s pretty huge.

Men destroy, women create.

Men have armies, women have the Sisterhood.

We’re all in this together. Remember that.

 

3 Comments
  • Robert Jones
    Reply

    I can feel your struggle with this article, your effort to define the indefinable, and the insight it gives is a pleasure to read. The fantasist in me adores the idea of the “Sisterhood Temple or Sisterhood Vatican”, even while recognising that such things are just titillating myths!

    More seriously any sisterhood whose purpose is “supporting each other in their fight against the patriarchal system”, ie., is defined by opposition rather than in favour of something is a little suspect. The patriarchy, or maybe I should say brotherhood, is just as vague and tenuous a thing as the sisterhood, ie., not really a thing at all. In the modern era, any brotherhood or patriarchy that defined itself as fighting against women would be outrageous and unthinkable. Does not the same apply to the sisterhood?

    The struggle is surely to avoid the thought and language that divides us into groups, that focuses on difference rather than commonality. Women or men, young or old, black or white, rich or poor, we are all the same really. We have the same hopes and fears and aspirations and insecurites. We share the same wants and needs. Does a sisterhood, of any sort, advance us towards that goal?

    1st April 2018 at 6:39 pm

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