Dom fems are huge on lesbian TikTok, and rightly so – but what does the term mean?

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If you’ve stumbled onto lesbian TikTok, or intended to reach it all along, first of all, welcome. Second of all, there’s a chance that you may be a bit confused by the lesbian lingo that users are posting. 

Consulting a lesbian dictionary, terms like ‘U-Haul lesbian’, ‘pillow princess’, ‘golden retriever lesbian’ and ‘Hey Mamas’ are used to differentiate lesbian identities and relationships. 

Within this queer lingo, ‘dom fem’ (or dom femme) is a term that has been increasingly circulating on social media, but what does it mean?

What does ‘dom fem’ mean?

‘Dom fem’ is a phrase that reverses ‘femdom’, which is a label describing a woman performing the dominant role. This could also be referred to as a female dominatrix.

Similarly, ‘dom fems’ are femme lesbians who possess a dominant energy.

TikTok user Zoe is a self-described ‘dom fem.’ She explains: “I wouldn’t say that I’m masculine in any way… I’m more dominant in my personality. 

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“I like assertiveness and I like having control, in a healthy way… I the boss roll. I like having that masculine energy.

“People I meet don’t think I’m gay, ever! They all assume I’m straight which means I’m more likely femme… obviously everyone has masculine and feminine energy and I like someone taking initiative with me as well.”

TikTok user Zoe elaborates on the ‘dom fem’ term and puts it in context for gay sex: “A dom and a sub [in BDSM] is about power and control.”

Another user refers to the ‘femdom’ experience – comparable to ‘dom fem’ – as “channeling your dark feminine energy instead of the little girly bright white energy.”

“You do not beg, chase, plead or argue with anyone […] You may asks your subs if they have limits or boundaries, that is ok. However, you have the reins to everything.”

Where does the term ‘dom fem’ come from?

Dom fem, we can therefore establish, is a form of femdom.

Femdom, meaning female dominance, can trace its origins back to the BDSM community and is most usually used to describe the act of a woman dominating a man, reversing ‘traditional’ gender roles.

queer dominatrix Mistress Severin. (Mistress Severin)
A queer dominatrix named Mistress Severin. (Mistress Severin)

The label acts as a descriptor for the partner who is more dominant in sex acts, and has become an increasingly common slang term.

The term has a long history entangled with the history of dominatrix. However, the wider application of dom fem used in lesbian subcultures is not restricted to the bedroom, or necessarily even about sex acts.

As many online have pointed out, a ‘dom fem’ can be about the one in charge and the energy that a person radiates. 

How is ‘dom fem’ different from other lesbian terms?

Naturally, TikTok has now got a hold of the term ‘dom fem’ and it’s become a regular occurrence on the lesbian corners of the platform, but how does it differ from other lesbian identifiers?

Butch refers to a lesbian who displays a masculine gender presentation. Similarly, a stud is an individual who is a dominant lesbian. 

Comparably, a ‘dom fem’ is seperate from butch and stud lesbians as the label refers to someone who is femme in appearance but dominant in energy.

So ultimately, ‘dom fem’ can be a visual aspect of identity, but is more in reference to an energy someone possesses. Hope that clears it up!

Want more lesbian terminology articles? We’ve got you covered:

Everything you need to know about the Lesbian Witchtok trend

What exactly is a ‘golden retriever lesbian’?

What is a ‘chapstick lesbian’, and why are they all on TikTok?

Are you actually a ‘U-Haul Lesbian’? Everything you need to know about the term

What does ‘Gold Star Lesbian’ mean, and is it offensive?

What is a ‘Hey Mamas Lesbian’ on TikTok?

What is a Black Cat lesbian?

Lesbian Masterdoc: can this PDF really tell if you’re gay?

Dom fems are huge on lesbian TikTok, and rightly so – but what does the term mean?

The fascinating history of the lesbian slang terms ‘stud’ and ‘stem’

What, exactly, is a gender non-conforming (GNC) lesbian?

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