Under Her Thumb: Erotic Stories of Female Domination, edited by D. L. King, is an anthology that I really enjoy. For one, it is refreshing to read about dominating women in sex scenes, especially since I often read and write from the submissive perspective. It’s really nice to switch (pun intended) it up for a change; I find the dominant approach to be fascinating, and this book is very thoughtful about the power play. As we all (should) know: “There is also nothing humiliating about submission. It is a gift and all the finer when given selectively,” as Andrea Zanin writes in her piece, “Quiet.”


These authors address several sexuality topics within their tantalizing stories. From gender roles and what props might go with them, to the myth that submission is not only a feminine role, but that it is effeminate too. Female dominants are those women who have surpassed the often limiting, harming societal expectations of women and have voiced their wants through their realm of influential power. Midori, author of the foreword, stated it beautifully:

Women are rewarded for sublimating primary wants into providing for others. Want to be adored? You’re adored only after you adore another. Want to enjoy power? You access power by enabling others to be powerful. Want an orgasm? You better know how to create a great orgasm in another. Her pleasures are then reduced to the currency of erotic bartering, or maybe just an afterthought, like a tip, for which she should be grateful. Her true hungers, if voiced or demanded, are scolded as selfish and cruel. A woman stating her wants makes others intensely uncomfortable. We are taught to live a lie for the sake of others’ comfort. Being honest can be profoundly difficult for many women.

Women’s desires are complex, and they can involve submission and dominance in a wide variety of ways. Perhaps a female dominant is a strict disciplinarian, perhaps she is sweet and quiet in her leadership. It is important for her to be true to herself and her desires as she dominates others and explores aspects of her sexuality with them. The femme’s dominance varies in its expression. There is no cookie-cutter mold of what a femme dom looks like, how she behaves, what she desires, and so on. 

What I’ve loved about this book has been the aspect of gender-bending that has taken place. One tale involved a guy who dressed as a girl as part of his submission, and having this be not only supported by the author but also depicted as something really, really sexy does it justice. I think challenging and pushing gender roles is an important task within society. In that same vein, I think sharing the experiences that those gender roles can involve with people of other genders can be really rewarding and eye-opening to all involved. Plus it can be so erotic.

While I found this erotic anthology to be informative and thoughtful, I also found it incredibly sexy and inspirational. The authors’ tales provided me with new scenarios that I wouldn’t typically experience and showed me how erotic they can be. Of course, erotica can be filled with fantastical scenarios, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? Here are two of my favorite quotes from this book:

From Rachel Kramer Bussel’s piece, “Subdar:” Her bladder was full, but she took her time peeing, as the sound and smell filled the room, making sure Roger was fully aware of her power…She thought briefly of squatting over him, letting loose with a rush of fluids straight onto his body, and couldn’t resist the moan that left her lips.

From Ann Grip’s story, “The Dinner Party:” “Take my come, boyslut. You’ve earned it.” Ma’am’s hot jism flowed across the side of my face and down my chest. My body shuddered in an abrupt orgasm from being filled, used, owned. I hadn’t asked permission to come. I would pay for that later.


Thank you Cleis Press for giving me this book in exchange for my review! xoxo

This seductive new anthology, Under Her Thumb, edited by acclaimed erotica author D. L. King is studded with tales of bad little boys and girls who live to please the powerful women they serve. So, lace up that corset, slip into some handcuffs, and prepare to be enthralled by 21 of the kinkiest femdom stories you’ll ever read.
D. L. King is the author of two novels, The Melinoe Project and The Art of Melinoe, and she most recently edited the anthologies Carnal Machines and The Harder She Comes. Her work can be found in The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Girl Crazy, Frenzy, Yes, Ma’am and Yes, Sir. King lives in New York City.