Monday Morning Fika with Cassandra Carr: The dynamics and differences between femdom and a female-led relationship

Welcome to Monday Morning Fika with Cassandra Carr! Governing Ana is thrilled to present our first F/M author. Because not everyone may be familiar with the term “female-led relationships” and because “femdom” can mean different things to different people, I asked her to give a brief introduction to these terms before explaining the difference. As always, please join us for discussion afterward. Thanks for visiting, Cassandra!
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The basics of FLR:
  • Often works in tandem or within the constraints of the marriage itself – it’s an extension of that core
  • The man agrees to let the wife lead – this does not mean he’s cuckholded, made subservient, or anything of the like
  • The female is oftentimes not the dominant personality in the relationship, but takes charge because both herself and her partner want her to
  • Many FLR relationships have nothing to do with the bedroom
  • Areas can be included or left out of the dynamic of the relationship, such as the actual keeping track of the finances
The basics of femdom:
  • Oftentimes these relationships are more service-oriented
  • Larger chance that the relationship will extend into the bedroom
  • The woman dominates the man and he is willingly submissive to her – how it’s done varies from couple to couple
  • There’s more of a possibility that the woman controls everything, from when the man is allowed to orgasm to the amount of spending money he gets in a week
I’m thrilled to be here today with you all! I’m hoping we can have a spirited discussion about this topic.
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I often have readers ask me when talking about my books, “Is Unexpected Top a femdom story?” or “Do you write femdom?” The answer to both of these questions is no. That doesn’t mean I’ll never write femdom, I just haven’t yet. Given how I have the attention span of a flea, I wouldn’t be surprised if I write one.
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Now, to the bigger question. If my heroine punishes and rewards my hero, doesn’t that make the story a femdom?
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Again, the answer is no. Here are some of the differences:
  • The female in a female-led relationship (FLR) is not necessary dominant – she can be in charge without dominating the male
  • Femdom seems to encompass more things than a female-led relationship does, as FLR’s often center around the running of the home and family.
  • An FLR *can* extend into the bedroom, but is much less likely than femdom to do so
  • In an FLR, the male is not submitting to the female, he’s allowing her to take charge.
Those are important distinctions, because, for instance, in Unexpected Top, my heroine is NOT dominant. I named her Cissy for a reason! :-P My hero is an Alpha male, but one that could benefit from an FLR. He also did like for Cissy to take charge in bed, but it was her choice whether or not she actually did. After all, Cissy is not Len’s Domme. She’s just a woman trying to keep her marriage alive and get her husband to appreciate her more.
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The entire process for initiating a female-led relationship is different than a femdom D/s relationship. Oftentimes the female, once she’s made the decision to introduce the FLR lifestyle, will do something very similar to what Cissy did – give sexual rewards to the man for doing the things they want him to do. Positive reinforcement changes behavior, right? Once the man has gotten this positive reinforcement for some period of time, the female starts establishing more rules for the male to follow. In Unexpected Top, if Lens swears more than twice in Cissy’s hearing in one day, any reward he’s earned gets nullified.
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After the man knows what to expect, the true female-led relationship begins. In an FLR, by the way, the rewards and punishments aren’t required to revolve around sex, but let’s face it – giving a man a sexual reward is a great way to get him to do something. Likewise, punishments like spanking don’t have to enforced. There are many different forms of punishment and the couple has to decide what works best for them.
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So what do you think? Do you understand the concept of FLR? What questions do you have? I don’t guarantee I can answer everything, but I’ll do my best!
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Cassandra Carr author pic
BIO:
Cassandra Carr is a multi-award winning erotic romance writer with Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, Sybarite Seductions, Decadent Publishing, and Loose Id. She lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out online. Cassandra is the co-founder of two successful group blogs, Romancing the Jock and Dirty Birdies, and participates in several others as a contributor. Recently she was re-elected president of Western New York Romance Writers.
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For more information about Cassandra, check out her website at http://www. booksbycassandracarr.com, “like” her Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/ AuthorCassandraCarr or follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ Cassandra_Carr.
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BLURB FOR UNEXPECTED TOP:
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Sometimes a wife has to go to extreme measures to save her marriage. When Cissy Holden doesn’t feel appreciated, she takes matters into her own hands–literally–and introduces her wayward husband Len to the concept of a Female-Led Relationship (FLR). Will Len be on board with FLR, or has Cissy just made the biggest mistake of her life?
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13 thoughts on “Monday Morning Fika with Cassandra Carr: The dynamics and differences between femdom and a female-led relationship

  1. Cara Bristol April 1, 2013 at 8:22 am Reply

    In real life, I think that FLR relationships are more common than femdom ones. I see a lot of of relationships in which the woman is traditionally feminine and the man is macho all the way — but she makes the decisions and he defers to her. I’ve heard many a husband answer a question with, “Well, I’ll have to ask the boss.” I’ve never heard a wife say that.

    D/s relationships would be a different matter, of course.

  2. Joseph McNamara April 1, 2013 at 9:16 am Reply

    Thank you for a very interesting and informative look at the FLR type of relationship. Interestingly enough, as a child of the 60’s, I personally know that my Mother (a stay at home homemaker) paid the bills, gave my Father a weekly amount, and of course did a larger part in the child rearing. My Father never suffered from not being that Alpha Male, and worked hard, belonged to many organizations and served on the boards of a whole host of charities. I personally think that sometimes a FLR, total or partial, can benefit the overall health of a couple in many ways we never think of. A marriage calls you to a shared life, why not share the responsibilities as well and as you said Cassandra, in what ever way suits the couple.

  3. Cassandra Carr April 1, 2013 at 9:27 am Reply

    Thanks for stopping by Cara and Joseph!

    Cara – I do see that “need to check with the boss” thing all the time, and I wonder where it comes from? I blame (at least partially) what I call the “Ray Romano syndrome” of TV and movies portraying men as bumbling idiots, but then I also wonder – is it because men don’t want to take responsibility and it’s easier let/force the woman to take it?

    Joseph – Many women have done that for years, you’re right. This isn’t a new thing, it’s just that FLR takes the concept a little farther.

    • Cara Bristol April 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm Reply

      I especially see it a lot in social situations. and I suspect that women are the social directors of the household. I know if my husband receives a social invitation, he will always present it to me and ask me what we should do. If I receive one, I either accept or decline and then tell him what we’re going to do.

  4. terpsichore April 1, 2013 at 10:22 am Reply

    thank-you this was very interesting… :-)

  5. pao April 1, 2013 at 10:46 am Reply

    I agree with Cara that I don’t hear wives saying that ‘ask the boss’ phrase. Though I do wonder sometimes if men use that to escape certain company/situations. I suppose it is possible that there may be a lot more FLRs with varying degrees out there but they’re easy to glance over because it doesn’t look distinctive in public?

    • Cassandra Carr April 1, 2013 at 10:50 am Reply

      Yes, that’s true that it often doesn’t look distinctive. And to be fair most female-led relationships, whether they’re called that or just the way the marriage is, aren’t like Cissy and Len’s marriage. Cissy has rules for Len to follow with a system of rewards and punishments. That’s a pretty structured FLR arrangement.

  6. Joe gallo April 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm Reply

    Thank you for a very interesting FLR discussion.

  7. Lucy Lit April 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm Reply

    Interesting topic! One thing I wonder is what if the female in a FLR doesn’t really want it but does it anyway because the male can’t/won’t step up to the plate? I wonder if he is just looking for a replacement for his mother. Is that just part of the compromise necessary in a relationship?

  8. minelle April 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm Reply

    I agree with Cara that many men say things like I need to ask the boss! I feel that whatever works in the relationship…good for them. It sounds great how you have set up the situation.
    Thanks for the discussion!

  9. Constance Masters April 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm Reply

    Very interesting. I think it’s the structure that must make a difference. Great discussion :)

  10. Lance Smith April 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm Reply

    Very good discussion. My question is if the woman/wife controls some but not all the major decisions is she still the “leader” or the dom? She controls the finances, he determines the social life ant makes the friends, he spanks her hard in the bedroom tonight, but she makes him beg for it next time….any partsnof this FLR? I am confused!

Thank you so much for joining the discussion! Please play nicely or you may be asked to stand in the corner. ;)

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