Monday, 2 February 2015

Those Fetlife stats and why they don't matter: What are the chances of finding Femdom in the Fetish scene?

What are the chances of finding
Femdom in the Fetish scene?
A single heterosexual sub walks into a munch.

What are his chances of eventually -- since munches aren't singles bars -- finding an ongoing relationship there, rather than the opportunity to take part in scenes at clubs and play parties?

Judging from what people post online, worse than finding a vanilla relationship in the straight dating scene where the ration of men to women can drift as far as 1:4 in your favor.

But how much worse?

Those Fetlife membership statistics

There's no super survey of Femdom in the fetish world. However, somebody posted some stats for Fetlife. Since many Fetlifers are denizens of clubs and munches, we can treat it as a snapshot of what goes on in real life.

Up until this point, the best data I could find was quite old Kinsey statistics from 1993:
14% of men and 11% of women have had some sexual experience with sadomasochism
That's a BDSM male/female ratio of 1.27 to 1... not too bad. However, the proportion of (self-identified) men to women in this Fetlife survey is roughly 1.6:1, actually worse than yesteryear. This may just mean that more men surf one-handed than women, though. Let's just agree that there are roughly as many kinky men as kinky women in the world.

(The Kinsey stat doesn't mention sexual orientation but the Fetlife orientations seem roughly matched -- the same proportion of men and women are available for heterosexual pairings.)

Things get more depressing when we start looking for Femdom.
Kinsey : “A [1995] study looking at message board posts found 71% of heterosexual males but only 11% of heterosexual females... prefer a dominant role when engaging in sexual bondage.” 
That gives an m:F proportion of 6.45:1 assuming equal numbers of men and women. I'm guessing that women were in the minority on the old boards, and that a high proportion of them were pro dommes, not in itself a bad thing, but not necessarily what most subs want long term.

Reddit user "dalalphabet" totaled up:
23,989 submissive males and 14,767 dominant women.
Less than 10% of men and women identified as exclusively same-sex in their orientation, so let's ignore orientation for the moment. That gives Fetlife a proportion of 3:1... not good, but roughly twice as good as a few years ago.

Meanwhile, 32,083 male switches and 20,406 female switches changes the odds somewhere between 1.6:1 to 4:1 depending whether the women will top men.

However this probably doesn't matter, because the precise statistics don't matter. Here's why...

Why the Fetlife statistics probably don't matter anyway if you are looking for a Femdom relationship

Let's just agree that in Femdom world there are more subs than dommes. It certainly fits the sob stories online about male subs greatly outnumbering dommes.

The precise proportion, however, is irrelevant.

Any imbalance in favor of the
dommes means that most of the
dommes will be attached most
of the time
Any imbalance in favor of the dommes means that most of the dommes will be attached most of the time, since subs will do their best to preserve the relationship. Meanwhile the pool of single subs will "churn" as men drift away disheartened and others take their place.

When a sub position does become available, you'll always be competing with several men. A larger group size won't help because you'd need an awful lot of dommes for more than one to be single or looking for a secondary at any given time.

Assuming exclusive relationships and that 3:1 ratio, a community of 40 means you're competing with 19 other spare subs, a community of 400 just means that you're now competing  199 other subs.

If it looks bad for the sub, it's also bad for the domme.  Many unattached dommes report real trouble in finding a partner. I think this is the result of of pool size and "noise".

If you live in a big city, potential vanilla partners are measured in hundreds of thousands, kinky ones in mere thousands.

It's simply 100 times harder to find a truly compatible partner if you limit yourself to the kinky pool. It's about the same as only dating fellow squash players. True, you'll always have some values in common, but that won't be enough in itself.

Although subs want to throw themselves at the feet of anybody who will dominate them, dommes tend to be more wise and less desperate in their choice of partners. However, their pool is limited to a small number of men who won't help them establish whether that compatibility exists. Worse, a good proportion of those men will be rather odd; entitled, pushy, needy, ugly...or just fixed in those expectations.

So is it worth getting involved in the local fetish scene? 

You don't know until you've tried. Communities can vary wildly.  You'll certainly find friends, support, and BDSM know-how.

However, if you are a male sub I would not regard the scene as the automatic answer to all your romantic needs. You'll still probably have to go out and find your own domme in the vanilla world.

And, if you are a married man with submissive urges and a vanilla wife... well the grass is neither greener nor kinkier on the other side of the hedge.


  1. In my experience BDSM communities are the worse to find a partner to play or anything else. People sometimes are quite crazy and full of stereotypes. I think that are equally number, more or less, of domes and submissives. Problem is, a lot of dominant women do not know they are dominant or they know it but they do not fit with the main stream female dominant.

    Porn is full of a fantasies about how domination is, but women prefer a realer approach to porn.

    1. This is pretty much what I had suspected. Thanks for sharing.

  2. agree as many of the Dommes in scene are just not what one wishes for in a partner in an ongoing relationship for all sorts of reasons even beyond the numbers there, i have found it best to quest in vanilla land for serious partners while flagging kink, and using the scene just as a social place holder of sorts.

    1. Thanks. Can you be more specific? And would dommes say the same about subs in the scene?


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