Feminization (activity)

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A dominant woman and a submissive man practicing feminization Forced fem.jpg
A dominant woman and a submissive man practicing feminization

Feminization or feminisation (see spelling differences), sometimes forced feminization (shortened to forcefem or forced femme), [1] [2] and also known as sissification, [3] is a practice in dominance and submission or kink subcultures, involving reversal of gender roles and making a submissive male take on a feminine role, which includes cross-dressing. Subsets of the practice include sissy training and variations thereof, where the submissive male is trained to become feminine. Feminization as a sexual fetish is not the same thing as being a transgender woman, and the submissive partners engaging in it are typically heterosexual, men. It has been speculated that the fetish is rooted in societal pressure for men to be traditionally masculine. [4]



Feminization is a practice in dominance and submission or kink subcultures, which involves reversing gender roles, making a submissive partner – typically a man – take on a feminine role, often for humiliation-based sexual pleasure. [3] [5] This may include them cross-dressing in feminine clothing such as lingerie, acting in a feminine manner, getting referred to by a feminine name, having anal sex as the receptive partner, [3] [4] wearing prosthetic breasts, or tucking. [6]

People participating in feminization often role-play different scenarios based around the submissive partner's femininity or feminine clothes; these may include role-playing being caught in the act of trying on panties or lipstick, being discovered to be wearing frilly lingerie under their clothes, being a princess, [6] being a "damsel in distress" and treated like a helpless woman, [7] or being hired "as a woman" for a female-coded job like a nurse, cheerleader, sex worker, or businesswoman. [6] HuffPost described one dominatrix's sissification sessions as involving humiliating the submissive by "parading them around" in high heels, make-up and lingerie; another dominatrix does her sessions by "cheerleading" men into exploring femininity. [5]

Despite being labeled as "forced" feminization, as the role-played scenario may involve that the submissive partner supposedly is feminized against their will, it is a fantasy that is agreed upon by its participants. [4] Whereas not all participants are interested in BDSM aspects of the practice, and only enjoy dressing up, it may also include things such as spanking, pegging, bondage, [3] and humiliation such as making fun of the submissive for having a small and soft penis, and referring to it as a clitoris. [6] The feminized partner is sometimes called a "sissy", [3] and may be said to have been "sissified". [8]

Sissy training and variations

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Cross-dresser in a maids uniform.jpg
As part of "sissy maid training", submissives wear various styles of maid uniforms.

A subset of feminization is "sissy training", wherein the dominant partner slowly over time trains the submissive in being a sissy, making them take on "ultra-feminine" behaviors and participate in feminine activities. [9] As part of this, it is common for the sissy to cross-dress; to shave their body, [9] including their genitals; wear make-up; and wear women's underwear, [8] to appear more womanly. Activities in sissy training involve non-sexual ones, such as applying make-up or cleaning the house, as well as sexual ones. [9]

A further sub-set is "sissy maid training", [9] a common scenario, [7] [10] where the sissy takes on the role of a maid, taking care of housework or serving drinks and food at a party while behaving submissively and wearing an often frilly and revealing maid uniform, [9] [10] such as a French maid or rubber maid dress. The dominant partner in a sissy maid training scenario, overseeing the sissy's housework, may role-play punishing them with things such as spanking, humiliation or bondage, [8] whether the infraction was real or made up; [6] a reward for good behavior might be allowing the submissive to orgasm. [11]

Another common sub-set is "slut training", where the submissive partner is made to wear "slutty" feminine clothing [7] that may reveal a lot of bare skin and show off the submissive's curves, [12] while being teased or chided for being promiscuous or overly sexual. [7] The training involves making the submissive – who often may be shy and embarrassed – overcome those emotions, shifting their mindset so that they instinctively act more provocatively and uninhibitedly. The training may include training the submissive to pose provocatively, such as spreading their buttocks or exposing their genitals, and making them instinctively assume certain such positions in certain situations. [12]

Society and culture

According to a HuffPost feature where sex workers were interviewed, including dominatrixes and escorts, forced feminization is one of the most common sexual fantasies among sex workers' clients: one dominatrix said that a vast majority of her clients want to be sissified. [5] In Danielle J. Lindemann's Dominatrix, about a third of a sample of 305 sex worker clients were interested in being made to cross-dress. [7] The fantasy is to a large degree practiced by heterosexual, cisgender men as the submissive partners, although Vice noted that there were also bisexual and pansexual men present at a feminization meet-up they reported on, as well as some genderfluid and transgender people. [3] In slut training scenarios, the submissive partner is most commonly a woman. [12] The dominant partner may likewise be of any gender; [4] in sissy maid training scenarios, they are typically a woman. [8]

Kinkly describes the appeal of feminization as coming from the societal pressure on men to be traditionally masculine, and how being feminine can give men a feeling of guilt. When a man who is drawn to femininity does things considered feminine as part of a scenario where he is supposedly "forced" to do them, this may provide an outlet for his feelings while also giving him a relief of the guilt, since it within the fantasy is an outside force that caused him to do it; [4] because of the stigma, it may still be difficult for either partner to bring up the subject, however, not knowing how the other will react to it. [10] Some people also use feminization as a way to explore their sexuality. [11] As a BDSM role-play practice, being feminized may appeal to the submissive through making them feel vulnerable and reinforcing their role. [8] Dominant partners may enjoy feminization for getting to bring their submissive partner's "female persona" out, [2] or for getting to erotically humiliating them for their lack of masculinity. [10]

In her book Fetish Sex, writer Violet Blue says that although the kink may seem like it is devaluing women from an outsider's perspective, submissive partners engaging in it often have a lot of respect for women. [6] In Gender Reversals and Gender Cultures, Sabrina P. Ramet writes that although the fantasy may seem contradictory in its treatment of femininity as a source of humiliation, since it often is combined with femdom – as one could assume that the submissive's feminine clothing would be a symbol of the female superiority within a femdom–feminization role-play scenario – the two fantasies are independent even within the role-play, with the humiliation coming from the cultural taboo of wearing women's clothing as a man. [13]

Visual artist Río Sofia created a series of self portraits in 2019 themed around forced feminization, influenced by the Forced Womanhood! magazine and sharing its name. [14] Feminization was featured in an episode of the television drama series Law & Order: Criminal Intent , which was described as an unrealistic portrayal by author Helen Boyd in her book My Husband Betty. [15]

Feminization, as a sexual fetish, is very different from being a transgender woman; [6] Ana Valens, writing for The Daily Dot , still describes forced feminization as a common fantasy among trans women, as the stigmatized need of trans women to be women, through feminization fantasies, can be met before a trans woman has admitted to having that need. [16]

Related Research Articles

BDSM Erotic practices involving domination and sadomasochism

BDSM is a variety of often erotic practices or roleplaying involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and other related interpersonal dynamics. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who do not consider themselves to be practising BDSM, inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture often is said to depend on self-identification and shared experience.

Dominatrix A woman who takes the dominant role in BDSM activities

A dominatrix is a woman who takes the dominant role in BDSM activities. A dominatrix might be of any sexual orientation, but her orientation does not necessarily limit the genders of her submissive partners. The role of a dominatrix may not even involve physical pain toward the submissive; her domination can be verbal, involving humiliating tasks, or servitude. A dominatrix is typically a paid professional (pro-domme) as the term dominatrix is little-used within the non-professional BDSM scene.

Sexual roleplay Sexual and other interactions of people playing type roles

Sexual roleplay is roleplay that has a strong erotic element. It may involve two or more people who act out roles in order to bring to life a sexual fantasy and may be a form of foreplay and be sexually arousing. Many people regard sexual roleplay as a means of overcoming sexual inhibitions. It may take place in the real world, or via an internet forum, chat-room, video-game, or email—allowing for physically or virtually impossible erotic interests to be enacted.

Servitude (BDSM)

In BDSM, servitude refers to performing personal tasks for their dominant partner, as part of their submissive role in a BDSM relationship.

Femininity Set of qualities, characteristics or roles associated with girls and women

Femininity is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Although femininity is socially constructed, research indicates that some behaviors considered feminine are biologically influenced. To what extent femininity is biologically or socially influenced is subject to debate. It is distinct from the definition of the biological female sex, as both males and females can exhibit feminine traits.

Medical fetishism refers to a number of sexual fetishes from which participants derive sexual pleasure from medical scenarios including objects, practices, environments, and situations of a medical or clinical nature. In sexual roleplay a hospital or medical scene involves the sex partners assuming the roles of doctors, nurses, surgeons and patients to act out specific or general medical fetishes. Medical fantasy is a genre in pornography, though the fantasy may not necessarily involve pornography or sexual activity.

Female submission

Female submission or femsub is an activity or relationship in which a woman consents to submit to the direction of a sexual partner or allows her body to be used sexually by or for the sexual pleasure of her partner. The expression is often associated with BDSM, when the woman voluntarily and consensually submits to such activity. Submission usually involves a degree of trust by the woman in her partner. The dominant partner is usually a man, but can also be another woman, or there can be multiple dominant partners simultaneously. The submissive woman may derive sexual pleasure or emotional gratification from relinquishing control to a trusted dominant partner.

Macrophilia Sexual interest in giants

Macrophilia is a fascination with or a sexual fantasy involving giants, more commonly expressed as giantesses. It is typically a male fantasy, with the male playing the "smaller" part. The male may be depicted as entering, being dominated by, or being eaten by the larger woman. Others involve partners who naturally have a significant difference in size.

Erotic sexual denial is the practice of refraining from sexual experiences in order to increase erotic arousal and/or tension. The prohibited experience can be narrowly or broadly defined and banned for a specific or indeterminate length of time depending on the practitioner. The experience withheld can be any favored or desired sexual activities, such as specific acts or positions, provided it is something the practitioner wants. Erotic sexual denial is commonly used as sex play between intimate partners, but it can also be indulged in as an individual practice.

Glossary of BDSM Wikipedia glossary

This glossary of BDSM terms defines terms commonly used in the BDSM community.

Dominance and submission Erotic roleplay involving the submission of one person to another

Dominance and submission is a set of behaviours, customs, and rituals involving the submission of one person to another in an erotic episode or lifestyle. It is a subset of BDSM. This form of sexual contact and pleasure has been shown to please a minority of people.

Erotic humiliation Consensual use of humiliation in a sexual context

Erotic humiliation is consensual psychological humiliation performed in order to produce erotic excitement or sexual arousal. This can be for either the person(s) being humiliated and demeaned or the person(s) humiliating, or both. It is sometimes performed before spectators, including pornography and webcam viewers. It may be part of BDSM and other sexual roleplay, or accompanied by the sexual stimulation of the genitals of one or both parties in the activity.

Petticoating or pinaforing is a type of forced feminization that involves dressing a man or boy in girls' clothing as a form of humiliation or punishment, or as a fetish. While the practice has come to be a rare, socially unacceptable form of humiliating punishment, it has risen up as both a subgenre of erotic literature or other expression of sexual fantasy.

Male submission

Male submission or malesub is a situation in BDSM and other sexual activities in which the submissive partner is male. A woman who dominates a male submissive is referred to as a dominant, domme or dominatrix. Sexual activity between a male submissive and a dominatrix is referred to as femdom. A 2015 study indicates that 46.6% of men who are active in BDSM expressed a preference for a submissive role, 24% consider themselves to be switches and 29.5% prefer the dominant role.

Uniform fetishism Sexual fetishism relating to uniforms

Uniform fetishism is a particular type of clothing fetishism in which an individual is sexually aroused by uniforms. It is a form of sexual fetishism. Uniform fetishism has been associated with a variety of different uniforms, including schoolgirl and cheerleader uniforms, French maid uniforms, and uniforms associated with police or military organisations.

Clothing fetish Sexual fetish relating to particular type of clothing

Clothing fetishism or garment fetishism is a sexual fetish that revolves around a fixation upon a particular article or type of clothing, a particular fashion or uniform, or a person dressed in such a style.

An Asian fetish is a strong sexual or romantic preference for persons of Asian descent, specifically East or Southeast Asian descent and sometimes South Asian descent.

Financial domination is a sexual fetish, in particular a practice of dominance and submission, in which a submissive gives gifts and money to a financial dominant.

Small penis humiliation (SPH) is a form of verbal erotic humiliation involving the penis where a dominant person usually consensually degrades a submissive's penis. The practice may involve sexual acts or just the verbal humiliation itself; it may take place in public or in private.


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Further reading