If you’re like a lot of Scandalous women, you’re probably just about over the concept of the submissive heroine; one that seems to—um—dominate a good number of books and films as of late.
Never fear, though. Today’s cineplexes are still filled with examples of kick ass heroines, including portrayals of paranormal powerhouses like Katniss Everdeen (as portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games series), the new and improved Cinderella in Into the Woods (as played by Anna Kendrick, this version stands up to her stepsisters, a giant and even the prince!) and Lucy, the female warrior played by Scarlett Johansson in the sci fi flick of the same name. And yes, Ladies, it’s finally going to happen; Wonder Woman gets her own movie in 2017!
“Coolness!” you’re probably thinking at this point. “But what if I want to watch something that a.) features a kick ass dominant heroine and b.) is really, really naughty—as per usual?”
Well never fear Ladies; many shades of sexual power are portrayed in the pages of erotic books and the frames of many a sexy film. And, just sometimes, the ladies come out on top.
The concept of ‘dominatrix as heroine’ has been presented in a number of films, ranging from sex comedies like Exit to Eden and Preaching to the Perverted to erotic dramas such as Dangerous Sex Date (Amorestremo). Still other films emphasize the concept of the everyday woman taking charge in the bedroom, ranging from the big budget Unfaithful (who can forget gorgeous Frenchman Olivier Martinez begging housewife Diane Lane to “heet me” in bed) to the softcore video series Love Scenes: Her Fantasy, advertised with the tagline, “The women are in control, and the men are there for their pleasure.” Works for us.
Boy in a Bathtub, perhaps the ultimate feminist answer to 50 Shades of Gray, is the story of a gorgeous young man (played by Coed Confidential heart throb Brandon Ruckdashel) submitting to a glamorous courtesan in the 1920s. Directed by feminist Maria Beatty, this 2006 film is finally being released on DVD.
In the bookstores, Kate Pearce’s Mastering a Sinner (Aphrodisia) presents the empowering and oh so sexy tale of a proper Victorian noblewoman who dominates her lover in 1820s London. Her contemporary counterpart is found in Metaphysical Erotica’s Lovers anthology, where author Sense-ual relates the true life experience of a first-time dom in the story, Introduction to D/s (Dominant/submissive).
Sense-ual is the pen name of Laurie Handlers, founder of the Tantric Butterfly Workshops as well as a radio show host and erotic filmmaker.
“My experience being dominant introduced me to a whole new outlet for sexual turn on. In addition it introduced me to new inspiration for writing and film. I had never even considered it before. It was for other people, kinky people, not me. But I must admit, my experience was delightful and very highly erotic. Surprises are good!” she said. “One thing I want to make clear, I am not the kind of person who could dominate and hurt someone else or humiliate someone. Ordering someone around with respect is how I played it.”
Another recent release that puts the ladies back on top is Woman’s World by Shari Dare. In this erotic scorcher, the planet Plazar is run completely by women.
“With their own men castrated and turned into eunuchs, it is Regina’s job to search the galaxy for suitable breeders to perpetuate the female line,” reads a description of Woman’s World, available through Whiskey Creek Press Wild. “Regina came to Earth with two purposes. The first was to find a breeder for Princess Adrianne and the second to start a new life for herself. After one night with Mark, she knows she must…break this man to stud. From the way exotic beauty, Regina, checked out Mark’s package, he knew a night of great lovemaking was bound to follow. What he didn’t know was this conquest could take him on the sexual journey of his life. Once Mark is on Plazar he finds himself completely at Regina’s mercy. Unlike other men in the breeder’s program he rebels and gives Regina an experience she never experienced before. She is sure Mark will be the one to change the world in which she lives perhaps for the better.”
As totally awesome as she is, Regina is not Dare’s first dominant heroine. Her DOLLS (Desirable Older Ladies Love Specialists) series, available through Class Act Books, features women of a certain age that hold a certain amount of sensual power over hot, often younger men. And under the name Sherry Derr-Wille, she writes the Outlaw series; compelling tales of tough women out west.
“I wrote WOMAN’S WORLD as a parallel to the normal bondage books where it’s the woman who is held and degraded by the man,” she said. “It only seemed right to turn the tables on the readers and show what could possibly be if women ruled the world.”
When it comes to portraying women that take charge in the bedroom, male authors also are getting in on the act. SS Hampton, Sr. recently released Sharing Rachel through the MuseItHOT division of MuseItUp publishing.
“Burt and Rachel Markham are ordinary small business owners of a seed & feed store in a small Kansas farming and ranching community. Many years before, as young university graduates eagerly anticipating exciting overseas employment, a lifetime in Kansas was the furthest thing from their minds, particularly Rachel who was raised overseas and dreamed of going back,” reads the book description. “By July 2013 their twin 18-year old daughters, having graduated high school several months before, go east to attend a university. Burt and Rachel settle into their new life of an empty house and a predictable and unchanging routine that threatens to stretch far into the future. One summer evening Burt has an idea—but will Rachel accept the idea? If she does, will the idea add new excitement to their marriage, or destroy it?”
The idea, basically, is that Rachel gets to indulge in an exciting affair with a hot young man.
“Rachel takes the idea and runs with it, with his support and encouragement. But, Rachel is no pushover as her bull learns,” said Hampton, who also writes for Melange and Musa books. “This is not a typical cuckold marriage – the cuckold-hubby does not dress up feminine nor does he sexually serve the bull or prepare the bull and Hotwife for each other, nor does the HotWife belittle the husband while having sex with her bull. Nor is she at her bull’s beck and call.”
Of course, all-powerful heroines can be found in real life as well. Late last year, when new regulations were imposed on the production of pornography in the UK, the new rules seemed to target materials that featured acts particularly pleasurable to women; including face sitting, femdom and female ejaculation.
One strong Englishwoman fought back, and in grand style. Charlotte Rose, B.S.c, Sex Worker of the Year Winner 2013, and a sexual trainer and political campaigner, staged a large-scale face sitting protest outside Parliament in response to the new laws. Rose’s protest, set to the tune of the Monty Python comedy classic Sit on My Face, drew the attention of politicians and news outlets around the world; and, of course, of Scandalous Women. We were honored recently to profile Charlotte Rose for an exclusive interview:
Megan: As a sex-positive feminist publication, we at Scandalous Women were very much concerned about the restrictions placed on adult film productions in the UK. We couldn’t help but notice that several of the acts banned (face sitting, female ejaculation, femdom, etc.) were those particular to female pleasure.
Charlotte: We cannot be sure if that was the main reason as ADVOd are stating that all activities banned are due to harmful or dangerous activities – yet i have never heard of any cases of death through female ejaculation…In regards to dangerous or harmful activities, it still remains that gagging through shoving a penis down a woman’s throat is still ok.
Megan: And what inspired you to begin the face sitting protest?
Charlotte: I wanted to do something as ridiculous as these new laws, and someone recommended “Sit On My Face” by Monty Python and that was it – it was fun. I wanted this protest to have fun in it yet be serious at the same time, which it did.
Megan: As a sex worker, you currently specialize in the sexual training of men. How do you feel that your training sessions can help men become better, more sensitive lovers toward women?
Charlotte: I love what I do, and I am thrilled to say there are so many men out there that really DO want to become better lovers, and they want to learn how to give MORE to women, and I am honoured to be able to help so many. It’s not just men I help but women too. I will be launching a new fellatio course in March, as it’s not just men i help, but women, and couples too. I help anyone who not only wants to improve the skills they already have but also virgins in ‘how to.’
Megan: You also are renowned as a dominatrix. How do you think that a woman can find pleasure and empowerment through the exploration of her dominant side?
Charlotte: I have been called many things within the sex industry, maybe I should just state self-proclaimed Guru. 🙂 By taking charge of the things a woman wants sexually gives not just empowerment but also enlightenment to the wonders of sexual explorations. The only problem is a lot of women are scared of taking charge, it’s not about demanding what you want from men, it’s about being confident in asking. A lot of times a woman (and a man) expects the other to be able to give the other what they want without being told, yet sometimes it’s much more simple to just ask. Communication is the key with anything, it’s just confidence that gets you a head start.
Megan: And do you consider yourself a sex-positive feminist?
Charlotte: YES YES YES – sex is amazing, I will always fight for the right for a woman to choose but I will fight for a man too – it’s about all of us, including gay, queer, straight and transgender – we all have a right to have fun.
Megan: How did you first become interested in sex work?
Charlotte: At the age of 17 when I first got introduced into the sex industry I knew then I loved it and still love it now to this day, probably a little bit more actually now I have all this knowledge.
Megan: How has it enhanced your life?
Charlotte: I used to be so shallow in my younger years, but this job has made me open my eyes to the beauty of everyone, I would never be ashamed of kissing someone overweight, I would never stop hugging someone because society classes people as outsiders, I have lots of disabled clients and love everyone. It upsets me when people can be so nasty when it comes to visual synthetics of people. We are all beautiful.
Megan: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about sex workers?
Charlotte: That we are forced – the biggest group of people who think this are various feminist groups and also female politicians – if you want to know the truth about our industry then ask us, don’t just presume.
Megan: How do you feel that we as a society should deal with and fight against tragedies like human trafficking?
Charlotte: I have a variety of ideas that we / government could put in place to reduce trafficking but people like (British Labour Party politician) Fiona Mactaggart just keep adding more dangers to us, by adding amendments to the modern slavery bill a few months back…she knows nothing! If England was to incorporate that into our society then the dangers would be massive, adding to poverty, adding to increasing risks of STI’s through more girls being more competitive with fewer clients, pushing sex work underground. To put safety measures in place the government needs to sit down with sex workers and ask us our thoughts as we know our industry–not a rich politician.
Megan: Charlotte Rose, we would like to honor you as a Scandalous Woman that makes a real difference in our world.
Charlotte: Thank you for that honour, I love a good scandal. Let me just remind you that this protest is not just about sex, it’s about free speech, we are being censored without consent by the government; if we don’t act now we will have nothing left to fight for in the future. I am creating a website called www.officiallyunited.com where groups / campaigns / charities that support personal liberties can unify our forces and voices and make a difference together.
Megan: Thank you for all of your work and efforts in the name of free speech and women’s sexual liberation!