I. Introduction
1. What is "femdom" anyway?
a. What is BDSM?
b. What's "femdom" mean then?
2. What is the focus of #femdom?
3. Who is welcome in #femdom?
4. Who is not welcome in #femdom?
II. Etiquette
1. What's etiquette?
2. Who's in charge?
a. How are ops selected?
b. What's their function?
c. Who are the bots?
3. Some general Do's and Don'ts for newcomers
III. Finding people
1. Finding a domme
a. Private messages
b. Patience
2. Finding a sub
a. Patience
b. Responsibility
3. Reality

Introduction

What is a femdom anyway?

One of the first things that comes to mind when someone sees the channel
name, #femdom, is that they have no idea of what it means. Some think it's
related to feminism. Some think it means women only. In actuality, "femdom"
is a term related to the wider term of BDSM.

What is BDSM?

BDSM stands for the following list of things: Bondage Discipline Dominance
Submission Sadism Masochism. Some brief definitions of each of these terms
are:

Bondage
Restraining someone. Could be tying them down to something. Could be
just binding their wrists together with silk scarves.
Discipline
Often refers to spanking and/or corporal punishment.
Dominance
Someone being "in control."
Submission
Someone relinquishing "control."
Sadism
Enjoying causing another person pain.
Masochism
Enjoying being caused pain.

Some other terms are also top and bottom:

Top
The person who is doing things to someone. Top is often associated with
a paingiver, but not always.
Bottom
The person who is having things done to them. Bottom is often
associated with a pain receiver, but not always.

For all of this, the motto Safe, Sane, Consensual is emphasized. BDSM is not
about abuse. It's about people doing things to other people, and everyone
involved wanting to be involved, and hopefully everyone enjoying themselves!

For more on BDSM, see the FAQ for the Usenet group alt.sex.bondage.

What's "femdom" mean then?

The word "femdom" comes from a combination of the words "Female Dominant." A
Female Dominant is a woman who choses to be the dominant partner in her BDSM
relationships.

Note:

There are also "switches." A switch is a person who is not always dominant
or submissive, but instead is one sometimes, and is another other times.
Switches of both sexes are fairly common, but don't often switch within one
relationship. Instead, they often have partners they are dominant with, and
partners they are submissive with.

What is the focus of the #femdom channel?

The focus of the #femdom IRC channel is, as you might guess, female
domination. That can be anything from discussion of techniques, to public
"scenes" (acting out of something), to chatting with people who are
interested in female domination, whether casually or in a lifestyle.

Who is welcome in #femdom?

Anyone who is interested in the idea or practice of female domination is
welcome in #femdom. Those who want to find out a bit more about female
domination to determine whether they ARE interested at all are certainly
included.

Who is not welcome in #femdom?

People who only want to come into the channel and bait those who are there
into arguments, male dominants who think it would be cool to dominate a
dominant woman and so figure to pick one up in the channel, guys who only
want net.sex, and people who are bent on pretending to be female just to
mess with people's minds are not really appreciated on the #femdom channel.
Remember, like most of the Internet, IRC is broken down into topics so
people with similar interests can discuss those interests without getting
bogged down with other things. If you have absolutely no interest in the
idea of BDSM with a woman in control or on top, then there's little for you
in the #femdom channel.

Etiquette

What's etiquette?

Etiquette is the behaviour that is expected out of people. It's helpful to
understand the do's and don'ts before going into any social space, and the
#femdom IRC channel is no exception.

Who's in charge?

You will notice that when you do a listing of the channel, some people have
an @ in front of their nicknames. These people are channel operators (also
called "ops"), and are as close as the channel has to people being "in
charge." The bots will also have an @ in front of their nicknames.

How are ops selected?

On Effnet #femdom, the operators are voted in. To become an operator on
Effnet #femdom, you must be nominated by an existing operator, seconded by
another one, and then be voted in. There are also quarterly "votes of
confidence," in which the operators all vote on one another to determine
whether or not people stay operators.

On Undernet #femdom, people who could be good moderators are pointed out to
the bot maintainers, who add new operators whenever they feel new blood is
needed. Operators who turn out to be problems can also be removed by the bot
maintainers.

Being a channel operator in either #femdom has nothing to do with whether
one is female or male. Just on whether or not the other operators feel
someone will do a good job.

What's their function?

The operators on the #femdom channel's primary job is to "keep the peace."
They intervene if a problem user joins, hackers attack, or things just get
too hot under the collar between a few people. The general sequence is that
an operator will first warn someone (publically or privately), if the person
persists the operator will kick (remove) them from the channel, and if the
person continues causing problems, they will be banned from entering.

If someone on the channel is causing you a problem, feel free to notify an
operator. However, keep in mind that the operator will likely try to get
both sides of the story.

Also, keep in mind that #femdom operators can't do much about people who are
_not_ on the #femdom channel.

Who are the bots?

Hel, Monat and Antartica are the bots on Effnet #femdom. Red_Dwarf,
Babylon5, and W are the bots on Undernet #femdom. Bots are computer programs
that sit on IRC with nicks, just like people do. These bots are mostly used
by the ops, but have various functions that are available to the general
channel user. Ask an operator if you have more questions.

Some general Do's and Don'ts for newcomers

DO ask questions. It's the only way you can learn.
DON'T ask questions just to get off. The dommes can often tell when people
are just fishing for masturbational material, and don't really appreciate
being treated as objects like that.

DO look for a domme (dominant woman). After all, they hang out on the
channel, so they're certainly out and about.
DON'T expect a domme to be interested in you simply because you say you're a
submissive, and will do what she wants. There are a lot of submissives out
there. See later in the FAQ for tips on finding a domme.

DO look for a sub, if you're a domme. After all, they hang out on the
channel too.
DON'T expect a sub will be interested in you just because you're a domme.
However, a lot will be interested in you just because you're a domme. See
later in the FAQ for tips on finding a sub who's right for you.

DO scene with people, if you find a willing partner.
DON'T involve other people in your scenes, or try to get involved in other
people's scenes without at least asking them privately if they mind. This
includes something as small as just asking someone to hold something.

DO demand respect from your own subs, if you are a domme and wish to do so.
DON'T demand respect from other people, sub or not. Respect is something
most people feel should be earned, and the residents of #femdom don't take
kindly to women joining the channel and demanding that all subs kneel to
them.

DO have a femsupremacist (belief that women are superior to men, or should
be the ones in charge as a general rule) mindset if you like.
DON'T expect everyone else on the #femdom channel to share that view. There
is, at times, a channel called #femsuprem where female supremacists can find
like-minded people.

DO try to respect other people's kinks.
DON'T go around calling other people sick for being into things you're not.
Just because you're not into something doesn't mean that other people can't
or shouldn't be.

DO pick a nickname that reflects who you are.
DON'T pick a nickname that's a job description (e.g. "subm" or "Mistress"),
as you will look like one of the faceless masses that way. Picking
"Mistress" will cause a lot of confusion, since a lot of subs call their
owners "Mistress."

DO send private messages to people when appropriate.
DON'T start private messaging all of the dommes, begging them to dominate
you. This happens to most dommes many times a day, and you will find
yourself being ignored at the least.

DO lurk (sit quietly and watch) and figure out how things work, if you like.
DON'T expect people to drag you into conversations if you make no effort to
get into them.

DO take no for an answer if a domme or sub tells you "no, I'm not
interested."
DON'T assume that they'll turn around and want you if you just bug them
enough.

DO give the channel another try if you come in once and find it boring, or
just uninteresting. After all, if not many people are there, if the people
there are having bad days, or the people there are all those who want to sit
back and be entertained, there just won't be much conversation.
DON'T drop in once and assume the channel will always be as you saw it.

DO get to know the dommes and subs.
DON'T assume that all of the dommes and subs are the same. There are as many
different kinds of dommes as there are different kinds of women, and as many
different kinds of subs as there are people, since subs can be of either
sex.

Finding People

Finding a Domme

A lot of subs come to the channel in hopes of finding a domme. Some want a
relationship where they can learn about BDSM from the safety of long
distance, some want a relationship that will lead to something in real life,
some want the occasional online fling, while others just want to make
friends who share their interests.

Here are some tips for those who are looking for a domme.

Private messages

Most dommes get a LOT of private messages from people they don't know.
Actually, most female nicks on IRC do in general.

When you join the channel, it's not a good idea to start immediately
messaging all of the female nicks asking if they're male or female, domme or
sub, if they'll dominate you, etc. The longer a domme's been around on IRC
and the channel, the less tolerance she's going to have for things like
that, because she's been through them so many times.

It's best to chat with people publically first, in open channel. Then, if
you want to ask them a specific question about something they said, ask them
publically if they mind you asking them something privately. If they say no,
try not to take it personally, but also don't keep pressing the issue.

Patience

Don't expect to find a domme right away. Many of the dommes prefer to get to
know people before they'll play with them, and especially before they'll
take someone on as a sub. While there are exceptions to this rule, don't be
offended if you're not one of them!

Hang out on the channel, chat, get to know people, and let them get to know
you. One day, you just might meet a domme who shares your own interests, and
is interested in you.

Keep in mind that those who give off the impression that all they want to do
is walk in, get spanked, and leave, don't tend to get any positive
attention. Dommes don't tend to like to be looked at as "life support
systems for whips," or to feel like they're being ordered like a pizza.
Dommes are people too, after all, with their own wants, needs, and
desires...and treating them like two dimensional cutouts will severely
reduce your chances of being seen as worthwhile by most of them.

Finding a sub

Not only do many subs come onto #femdom looking for a domme...some dommes
actually come on looking for subs.

Here are those tips for those looking for a sub.

Patience

Don't expect to find the sub of your dreams right away. Everyone's
different. Take the time to scope people out, find out what they like in
both a scene and real life context as far as BDSM stuff and hobbies go. Just
as in relationships, most of the strongest domme/sub relationships are among
people who are friends as well as owner and sub/slave.

Responsibility

Depending on how involved your relationships tend to be, you could be owning
a sub completely, or just playing around with them when you're both online.

Keep in mind that regardless of the level of play, you have the
responsibility to provide what's called "aftercare." That is, don't play
with someone and just run off. Make sure they are doing ok. While aftercare
can be more important in real life play, there are plenty of times in online
play when it's important as well.

Also, if you're going to have relationships where you have a lot of power
over your subs, remember that you will also have a lot of responsibility for
their care and well being. Keep this in mind if you intend to own a lot of
subs...the more subs you have, the more time you'll have to invest in your
life as a domme.

Reality

There are those on IRC (and the Internet in general) who are very much what
they seem, and there are those who are very different from what they want
you to see. Remember that not all of the women are women, not all of the men
are men, not all of the heterosexuals are heterosexual, not all of the
homosexuals are homosexual...same goes for any other gender combos, races,
creeds, belief systems, etc.

Take some time to get to know people before you play with them, and/or give
out personal information like phone numbers, addresses, etc.

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38717 accesses, last modified Sunday, 09-Feb-97 18:39:51 PST
Copyright 1995 Dee-Ann LeBlanc / dee@renaissoft.com