What is a Female-Led Relationship? FLR 101

Unfortunately, even in 2022, inequality in heterosexual relationships is widely socially accepted and sometimes even expected. 

For example, one UK study recently showed that the average woman in a hetero partnership does 20 hours of housework per week, while her male partner does just 11.5 hours. It is still assumed that when a straight couple has children, the woman will be the one to take time off work to raise and care for them. And then there’s issues such as the persistent gender pay gap, the orgasm gap, and unequal distribution of emotional labour. 

Most of us would agree that eliminating inequality and creating more equal and balanced relationships is a good thing. But for some people, a consensual and negotiated imbalance of power is actually what they want in their relationships. This type of dynamic is often called a Dominant/submissive, or D/s, relationship.

Today we’re taking a close look at one such type of dynamic: female-led relationships, or FLR. 

What Exactly is FLR? 

In general, the term female-lead relationship (FLR) is used to refer to a heterosexual (or hetero-read, because some people in FLRs may be bisexual or pansexual) relationship in which the woman is in charge. 

The level of control in an FLR can vary drastically, depending on what the people involved want. It might be as simple as the woman taking charge of the majority of day-to-day decision-making within the relationship, or as complex as intricate systems of rules with consequences, rewards, and punishments built in. The term FLR is usually applied when the D/s aspect of the relationship extends beyond the bedroom, though this isn’t an absolute rule.  

Some people view FLR as simply “role reversal”, but it’s not quite that simple. A female-led relationship isn’t about reversing gender inequality and placing a man into the role that women have historically been forced to occupy. Instead, it is about consensual and negotiated inequality that exists for the enjoyment and fulfilment of both parties. The cornerstone of FLR and any other form of D/s is that it is consensual and that either partner may withdraw that consent at any time. 

Why Does FLR Strike a Chord with So Many?

“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” So goes the possibly-apocryphal saying attributed to Oscar Wilde. 

D/s relationships of all kinds may strike a chord with people because power and sexuality are so inextricably bound up together. This can mean that playing with power and power imbalances in a consensual context can be incredibly sexy. 

There are numerous other reasons why someone might enjoy an FLR dynamic, and the only way to know what is true for any individual is to ask them. For some men who submit to their female partners, it’s about having a break from the responsibilities they have in their day to day lives (many men who are submissive at home have high-flying, high-pressure jobs.) 

Some men also find that taking on a submissive role frees them from the expectations and constraints of toxic masculinity. Submitting allows them to be vulnerable, to stop fearing appearing “weak”, and to be taken care of. 

For dominant women, some enjoy the feeling of power and strength that comes from taking on a dominant role. It can be highly erotically charged to have someone do exactly as you tell them, in or out of the bedroom. 

Many dominant women also find that their submissive partners are more attentive to their needs, increasing their sexual and romantic satisfaction in the relationship. Being dominant can also involve taking care of your partner, and some women enjoy bringing a nurturing side to their dominance. 

The more interesting question is always “why does FLR strike a chord with you?” If you can answer this question, you’ll have the best chance of building the relationship that works for you and your partner. 

FLR and Chastity: What’s the Connection? 

Many, though not all, female-led relationships include an element of chastity play. Chastity refers to restricting someone’s ability to experience sexual pleasure or reach orgasm. It often involves the use of a chastity cage or chastity device, which physically prevents the wearer from masturbating, having sex, and sometimes even getting an erection. 

People in FLRs practice chastity in many different ways. Some do it occasionally as a form of foreplay, increasing desire and ramping up the tension before sex or a play session. Others lock their partners up long term, anything from days to weeks or months at a time. Chastity play may also include periods of tease and denial or edging – bringing someone close to orgasm without letting them go over the edge. 

Chastity play can be hot for so many reasons. Most obviously, not allowing release for a period of time increases arousal and allows desire to build and build with nowhere to go. It can also make the eventual orgasm so much more intense. Handing someone else control of your sexual pleasure is, for some people, the ultimate act of submission. 

Don’t forget to play safe if you’re doing chastity, particularly long-term chastity. Dan Savage spoke to a certified urologist in this article, who offered some thoughts on the potential risks and some of the ways to mitigate them. 

You must assess your own level of acceptable risk. Either way, it’s probably smart to take off your device and give your cock a break once in a while. You should also ensure that the wearer always has a spare key in case of emergencies. You can also read more about chastity safety and hygiene here

What Makes a Successful FLR?

Ultimately, an FLR is still a relationship. This means that all the ingredients that go into making any relationship work still apply here. Trust, communication, and compassion must be front and centre at all times. 

Taking on a dominant role in a relationship is a position of great responsibility. This means that you need a lot of trust, and that this trust must go both ways. The submissive man needs to know that his partner will respect his limits, honour his vulnerabilities, and act in his best interests. And the dominant woman needs to trust that her partner will be honest about his needs and boundaries, speak up if something is wrong, and see her as a full human being and not merely a fetish fulfillment device. 

Even if you are living in an FLR full-time, it is vital to be able to step out of role and communicate with one another as equals when required. I always recommend setting aside time for a regular check-in in any D/s relationship. This gives you time to address any issues and ensures that problems won’t be left to fester. You can also agree on a specific safeword which means “I need to talk to you as equals right now.” 

Compassion means treating each other with kindness, consideration, and empathy. Even in a D/s relationship, life is still life and you will both have good days and bad days. While FLR can be a central component of your relationship, it should never override seeing one another as partners first and foremost. 

How Can I Find a Partner for a FLR? 

Glance at any BDSM forum or discussion space, and you’ll find complaints that submissive men enormously outnumber dominant women. I don’t know whether this is actually true, as there aren’t any reliable statistics on this as far as I know. 

What I do know is that there are likely far more kinky people out there than you think, and that there are things you can do to improve your chances of finding the Domme of your dreams as a single submissive man. All of these guidelines also apply if you’re a dominant woman seeking a submissive, too. 

First, getting involved in your local BDSM community is the best way to meet other people who might be interested in this kind of lifestyle. Complete your Fetlife profile, attend some munches and play events, and get to know people. The trick here is to treat everyone as a potential friend, not a potential partner. You’ll build a positive reputation, start getting invited to more events and parties, and the rest will follow. 

Next, be yourself. There’s no point putting on an act that represents what you think a dominant or submissive person is “supposed” to be. You want to end up in a relationship with someone who loves you for who you are, not who you pretend to be. 

Approach any potential FLR relationship as a relationship first. Compatible kinks and desires are important, but they’re not enough to sustain a relationship by themselves. You’ll also need to enjoy each other’s company, respect each other, have fun together, and have compatible long-term goals. 

Finally, be patient. It can take a while to find the right person, but when you do, the rewards can be tremendous. 

I’d like to thank today’s sponsor, LockTheCock, for their kind support of this post. Check out their wide range of chastity cages and accessories on their website! All views and writing are, as always, my own. 

[Guest Post] Adventures in Gentle Femdom by Katherine Pierce

Today’s guest post comes from Katherine Pierce (she/her), who is writing for C&K for the first time. I loved this heartfelt piece on her explorations into gentle femdom and praise kink, and what it means to her and her partner.

Amy x

Adventures in Gentle Femdom by Katherine Pierce

My partner and I have been together for six months, and recently we began exploring kink. He’d never experimented with kink before, and my previous experiences of it were quite negative: my last partner didn’t let me explore my own desires and treated me as a permanently submissive player in his fantasies, which he often wasn’t good at distinguishing from real life. I consider myself a switch, but wasn’t interested in the very aggressive style of dominance my ex enjoyed, and assumed I would never find a way to explore that dominant part of myself.

When my current partner and I first started going out, we were focused on understanding each other sexually. He hadn’t had a lot of past sexual experience, and each time we slept together we uncovered new things about both of us. Our first find was his praise kink and his love of cuddling and tenderness after sex.

Soon after, he began to show me that something he really enjoyed was following instructions and knowing he was pleasing me. He enjoyed not having to be in control. I, meanwhile, loved the fact that I was in a dominant position, but one completely different to what I had seen before. Giving him attention, affection and love after our sex was really fulfilling for me. I decided that this would be a great opportunity to start introducing kink into my sex life again.

We did a bit of research together, and discovered something that seemed to sum up what we already did and what we were interested in trying: gentle femdom.

What is gentle femdom?

Gentle femdom is a style of dominance where a woman is in charge, often but not always of a male partner. However, unlike more aggressive styles of dominance, it focuses on gentleness, tender words, soft aesthetics and lots of aftercare.

A gentle femdom is a nurturing and caring figure, one who supports her sub and gives them space to please her, follow instructions and be rewarded for their good behaviour. She might dress her sub up, give them baths or makeovers, penetrate them in different ways, or a whole host of other activities.

Gentle femdom also doesn’t tend to use pain or punishment as a significant part of its modes of play. Whilst a little spanking for sexual pleasure might be included, there is no hardcore pain infliction. Humiliating or demeaning dirty talk isn’t often used, either. Sexologist Carol Queen said that sometimes subs “feel that it is easier to feel loved and cared for in such a scene”. What kind of sex could work better for a dom interested in being gentle and a sub with a praise kink and longing for affection?

Trying it out

As soon as my partner and I heard about this, we thought it sounded perfect for us. We started small, doing our usual sex acts but with a slightly altered dynamic. I guided him verbally and physically through doing the things we were used to, gave him lots of praise and instructions, sometimes wore lingerie or fancy outfits for our sex together. When we had sex focused on gradually introducing kink, he called me mistress.

I liked having him listen to me, seeing his eagerness to follow instructions. Gradually we began to introduce new elements to our sex, with me guiding him all the way. We’re a very verbal couple, and instructions, dirty talk, and gentle commands are a great part of our sex life which help us both settle into the kinky roles we enjoy.

I placed him in more open and vulnerable sexual positions, and we tried rimming and fingering for the first time, which we both loved. We’ve also recently started trying butt plugs and have bought a strapon, although we’re working up to using it. The tenderness and slow pace of gentle femdom has helped so much with our explorations of kink. It’s also given us a brilliant opportunity to learn more about each other emotionally.

We’ve experimented with a bit of gender play too, and dressing my partner up in my lingerie brought a subversive element to gentle femdom, especially because it made him feel more submissive and pretty. I love that telling my partner he’s beautiful is now a specific, dedicated part of sex.

Aftercare is one of my favourite parts of gentle femdom, especially because it builds on intimacy my partner and I already enjoyed. He sometimes feels fragile or nervous after sex. Having a specific, dedicated time for taking care of him and making him feel safe has made our sex even hotter. Researching aftercare and thinking of new things to do together after sex – having bubble baths, snacking on chocolate – expands our intimacy and gives it a comforting framework.

Gentle femdom has given me an opportunity to explore a side of myself I’ve always wanted to know, as well as making sex a tender and emotionally open space. I’ve been able to learn more about my partner and take care of him in a way which brings us even closer together, and we’ve tried some really hot things along the way.

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Masturbation Monday: “On the Prowl”

A pair of black cat ears on a headband. For a Masturbation Monday post called On The Prowl

She is on the prowl tonight. The black latex clings to every inch of her perfect body, the heels of her boots are spikes to crush anyone who gets in her way. The cat ears could be considered cute on someone else, but she will eat you alive if you call her cute.

She’s in the mood to fuck tonight. Not to get fucked; no. Tonight she wields the cock and you will submit.

She’ll extend a long finger, her nail a perfect pointed claw the colour of blood, and from across the room you’ll feel that nail and her gaze pierce you. You. She has chosen you, and she knows you will follow. That finger beckons you, and you come. The heat of the bodies and the thump of the music swells as she draws you in, close enough to feel the heat of her breath on your lips, close enough to see yourself reflected back in those startling feline eyes. She’s assessing you; will you pass? You must choose, in this moment, to obey or not. If you don’t, she will have no hesitance in casting you aside with a flick of her tail and seeking a more suitable worshiper.

Satisfied, she grants you a single nod of approval. You lap it up as though you are starving. She will not allow you to touch her. You have not earned that right. Your hands must stay obediently at your sides, a test of your willpower and devotion.

Later, you will find yourself prostrate on her bed in submission as she slides in and out of you. You revel in the gentle hiss of her breath at the exertion. She revels in the sheen of sweat glistening upon your back as you take her in. She might reach beneath you to wrap her claws around your longing cock – if you’re lucky. More likely she will simply use you, take what she wants and ignore your aching need, and you will adore her all the more for it. You are here, after all, to serve her.

Tonight she is on the prowl, and her hunt will be rewarded.

Masturbation Monday is created and owned by Kayla Lords. Click the logo to see what’s getting everyone off this week.

Image is by me.

Masturbation Monday: “Take a Seat”

I didn’t know what I was going to write for today’s Masturbation Monday and was pretty much all out of inspiration. I usually ignore the photo prompts and just write what I want. This week, though, I clicked over to the page to see what the image prompt was, and… well, look at it! My mind started to spin, and this is what it came up with…

A glass butt plug on a white chair.I try not to squirm too much in my seat. She hates when I do that – she interprets it as complaining, which I’m not allowed to do. Across the table from me, my Mistress calmly eats her salad, occasionally looking up from her plate to flash me that devilish smile. Her strawberry-blonde curls tumble to half way down her back and her breasts look fucking incredible in that black dress she knows I love and, undoubtedly, her favourite push-up bra beneath it. Her fifties have been kind to her – in the thirty years I’ve known her, she’s got more beautiful with every passing year.

As for me, I’m wearing my best suit – it is our anniversary, after all, and this restaurant is very expensive. I’m sure to anyone observing we just look like a normal, middle-aged couple out for a special dinner. What no-one else knows is that under my trousers, I’ve got a glass butt-plug nestled deep in my ass.

She bent me over our bed before we left, lubed up the plug and slid it into my ass, telling me that I was going to be a good boy and wear it for her all night – without giving the game away in public, of course. And so here I am, feeling it inside me with every movement and trying not to let my face betray our secret.

She pops a forkful of food into her mouth and her eyes lock with mine. Her eyes smoulder with lust and I just know she’s wet and not wearing knickers under that dress. Tormenting me is her biggest turn-on. My cock twitches, unable to get hard in its prison but straining at the metal walls nonetheless. My ass tightens around the hard glass of the plug, sending a rush of pleasure through me.

She swallows her mouthful and mouths a single word at me. Her favourite word. “Mine“.

I am hers, every inch of me from the greying hairs on my head to my plugged ass to my caged cock. I only hope she will let me eat her beautiful cunt when we get home, while I get no pleasure at all.

Masturbation Monday is created and owned by Kayla Lords. Click the badge to see what’s getting everyone off this week.

Image is by the fabulous Exposing 40 and was originally published as Take A Seat.

Masturbation Monday: “Polish”

A filthy quickie for Masturbation Monday today, inspired by Sub Bee’s gorgeous pic, which just makes me want to get on my knees and polish a hot Dominant’s boots.

She likes me to polish her boots.

It’s one of the ways I show my service. We go to the club, and she lounges on one of the comfy leather couches chatting with her friends and drinking a glass of wine, while I kneel at her feet and use a soft cloth and the inky black polish to shine the leather so brightly I can almost see my face reflected in it.

Occasionally she’ll pet my hair while I work, tell me I’m a good boy. Sometimes, she’ll loan out my services to another Mistress – or a Master. I’m as straight as they come, sexually, but something about serving a well-dressed Dominant man just gets me hard as fuck. I think it’s feeling inferior, knowing they’re so much better than me… they get to walk around in their smart suits, drink their wine and fuck the beautiful women they’re surrounded by, while I’m only good enough to sit naked on the floor and polish their boots.

Tonight, I’m in my usual spot at her feet. My work is finished, her leather boots gleaming, but Mistress pays little attention to me, except to occasionally glance down to make sure I’m still in the correct position – hands clasped, kneeling with legs slightly parted, my erection sticking out embarrassingly for all to see. I am supposed to keep my eyes on the ground but I occasionally steal a quick look up at her, this beautiful goddess who owns me.

Without missing a beat in her conversation, she reaches the toe of her newly-polished boot towards me and strokes it up and down my hard cock. Once. Twice. Three times. She gets into a rhythm, absentmindedly rubbing her boot against me while I quiver and try to control my reactions.

The stroking of her booted foot against my cock, coupled with the sweet scent of leather and polish and the humiliation of being otherwise ignored, is almost unbearably erotic. I hear myself groaning. My cock strains towards her teasing foot of its own accord, so hard it aches. I can’t help but thrust my hips, trying to get more purchase for my throbbing cock against her boot. Fuck, it feels good!

I know I’m supposed to ask permission.

Mistress…”

Still she doesn’t even look at me, but it’s too late, too late. My cock has a mind of its own. With a loud, guttural moan, I release, my come splashing all over her beautiful boots.

At last she looks at me, first my red cheeks then my now limp cock, then she lifts her foot to inspect the sight of her boot covered in my jizz. “Oh dear, slave, look what a mess you’ve made of my boots. You’re going to have to polish them all over again.”

I retrieve my cleaning cloth, burning with embarrassment but glowing with happiness.

Masturbation Monday was created by Kayla Lords. Click the logo to see who else is writing about kinky boots this week.

Image is by Sub-Bee and used with permission.

Masturbation Monday: “Pinwheel”

Two firsts for me on the blog today: I’m taking part in my awesome friend Kayla‘s Masturbation Monday challenge for the first time (you can too! Click the link for details and to see everyone else’s smut.) I’m also writing erotica from the point of view of a person with a penis for the first time.

The prompt post is here.

Here’s my Masturbation Monday effort. It includes female dominance and male submission, tease/denial, and mild genital pain infliction. Usual disclaimers apply: all characters are consenting adults.

If you like this work and want to see more of it, buy me a coffee to say thanks!

“Pinwheel”

‘Do you want your cock touched?’ she asks, her fingers teasing the unyielding plastic of my cage as my dick strains against it, trying to get hard, trying to feel something.

“Please…” is all that comes out. She giggles, this woman I love, my wife of fifteen years and now also my Mistress of just over a year. She twirls a strawberry blonde curl with her left hand, while her right moves from my caged cock to my swollen balls.

“But it’d be such a shame. You’re so obedient when you’re frustrated and I’m worried that if I let you out now, you’ll just come and then all my hard work will be ruined.”

“I won’t come, Mistress,” I promise, even though there’s nothing I want more in the world. The traces a finger along the underside of my cock cage. I hear a whimper escape my lips.

“I’ll make you a deal,” she says. My breath catches. Her “deals” rarely end well for me. “I’ll let your cock out for a short while, but it’s going to be painful. You can accept the pain and thank me for it, or you can refuse. But if you refuse, you stay locked.”

Our eyes meet. Hers, sparkling wells of pure devilishness. Mine, pleading, pathetic.

“Well?” she prompts.

“Yes. I mean, yes please, Mistress. I’ll take the pain.”

She makes a show of fiddling with the key, on a long chain around her neck and usually buried somewhere in her spectacular cleavage. I get an amazing view of her tits as she leans forward to unlock me, but it just makes my dick harden even more, causing a squeezing pain. She eases the cage off me, so slowly that I just know she’s enjoying torturing me. Bitch. But God, I love her for it.

“Hands behind your back,” she orders. “Close your eyes. The moment you move your hands, open your eyes or ask for mercy, I’m locking you back up. Got it?”

I comply. “Yes, Mistress.”

I feel a hand cup my balls and squeeze. Not hard – she knows that intense ball torture is a hard limit for me – but enough to give me that delicious ache I both hate and crave. Then her fingers are on my cock, the feather light touch maddening, thirty seven days of pent up arousal all building at once. I screw my eyes closed and concentrate on not humping against her hand to get more stimulation. She hates that.

SLAP.

The stinging slap to my cock catches me by surprise, out of nowhere. I jump and cry out. She giggles. Then, the stern voice I know so well returns.

“You’re forgetting something.”

“Mistress?”

“You’re supposed to be thanking me for hurting your poor helpless cock.”

“Sorry Mistress. Thank you, Mistress. Please may I have more pain?”

“Good boy.” I am treated to perhaps five seconds of her gorgeous hand running up and down my shaft in just the way I like.

SLAP.

“Ahhh! Thank you, Mistress. Please may I have more?”

SLAP.

“Thank you, Mistress.”

SLAP SLAP SLAP.

I’m moaning in pleasure and pain, wondering if it’s possible to orgasm from cock slapping alone and if I would be punished if I do.

I hear her move away from me. The sound of the drawer opening. A rummaging. Oh, God, what is she looking for now? I hope it’s not that vicious little leather paddle she likes to use on my cock sometimes. That nearly brought me to tears last time.

Then her hand is on my cock again, stroking, tickling, teasing to the point that I think I might cry from this alone.

And then the sharp pain.

I jump. A squeak of surprise escapes my lips. I hear a soft laugh.

“Keep still, Sweetheart. I need to be very careful with this so I don’t hurt you… in a bad way,” she says wickedly. She runs the tool up my leg and I realise what it is – the Wartenburg pinwheel she found at the fetish market a few weeks back. She was so pleased with herself when I returned to her side after going to fetch her a glass of wine and she showed me her purchase. Her new instrument of torture.

She holds my cock firmly in one hand. With the other, the runs the pinwheel – slowly, so slowly – along the top length of my shaft. I am quivering. She does this a few more times, eliciting moans and whimpers from me as I fight to keep my hands behind my back and my eyes shut. No, she’ll lock me back up if I do that, and this delicious pain is much better than the frustration of that hated plastic device.

“God, you’re hard as a rock,” she murmurs, lifting my cock and running the pinwheel along the sensitive underside. “You love this, don’t you?”

I somehow know that this question is rhetorical. She knows I love it. I know I love it, this edge between agony and ecstasy.

The pinwheel is running once again along the underside of my cock shaft, pressed harder now, making me wince, though I know it won’t break my skin – the seller had assured her of that, she said. Designed to feel like it’s cutting you without actually doing any damage.

She pulls back my foreskin and I suck in my breath, knowing what’s coming. I screw my eyes more tightly shut and squeeze my hands together behind my back. I want to beg her not to do it. If I do, know she’ll stop, but then it’ll be back into the evil cage for my poor teased cock.

And then she does it. She drags that wicked, spiky wheel along the exposed head of my cock, which is already dripping pre-cum. My body betraying me. I squirm in place, my breathing coming in short, shuddering gasps. She does it again. Again. Traces the wheel all the way around my cock head in a circle. It hurts so bad. Hurts so good.

“My poor baby,” she murmurs. “Letting your Mistress torment your cock because you know it’s the only stimulation it’s going to get…”

“Yes… thank you, Mistress. Mistress, do you think…?” I let the question hang in the air.

“Do I think what?”

“You know what!”

“Maybe, but I want to hear you say it.” The wheel is back on the shaft of my cock again, running up and down, up and around the head, and then up and down on the other side.

“Will you please let me come today?”

She giggles. I hate that giggle. But I love it, and her, and the delicious pain she gives me. “No, sweetie. Not today.” The pinwheel is discarded on the bed. My cock aches, longing for more. “Let’s get you back into your cage. We’ll see about letting you come next week.”

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Masturbation Monday and associated logos and imagery are property of Kayla Lords. Click the pic to read everyone else’s smut this week… or to submit your own! Affiliate links appear in this post. Remember to read up on proper safety protocol if you want to try using a Wartenberg pinwheel yourself!