Friday, November 13, 2009

AskEveryoneElse: Do women prefer dominant mates?




Dear Everyone Else,

A debate has been sparked on my listserve about whether women prefer dominant mates or not. What do you think?


[Your answer here]

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

first i have to add that it does not shock me how little "everyone else" seems to know about womens' preferences :P

all i can say is i do prefer dominant mates. it gets me off. i find that if they take no control, the sex is somewhat bland, but when they do i also don't just sit back, i respond in kind and the sex enters a whole new level. definitely a turn on for me.

Anonymous said...

There's no one answer to that question. silly.

Edahn said...

Well, how about averages?

Anonymous said...

I would guess that most relatonships are dominant-submissive, but what the woman prefers depends on where she falls in those categories. I've also seen some dominant-dominant. Haven't seen so much submissive-submissive though.

Edahn said...

I tend to think of dominance and submissiveness as relative values. IOW, you can be pretty dominant, but still meet someone who's even more dominant and get treated like a submissive. In that case, would you say that women look for partners who are more dominant than they are, on average?

Anonymous said...

no! you're missing my point. i don't think that happens. I know dominant women that need someone more submissive, and I know submissive women that need someone that has more control. i would think a true dominant woman would want a submissive guy or an equally dominant guy, but if she preferred a guy that was dominant to her, then she wouldn't truly be a dominant personality in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Unless people like to separate that aspect of their personality in the other part of their lives versus the relationship. I suppose that is a possibility, but I haven't really seen it.

Edahn said...

There's a really obvious example of people with dominant and submissive roles: authoritarian personalities. Regardless, there's still a question of whether women tend to look for dominant or submissive counterparts, and whether they prefer playing dominant or submissive roles, on average.

Anonymous said...

But why would you generalize? It's not a given that women tend to prefer one over the other. I still maintain that it is dependent on the woman. It just seems like a question without an answer. Probably also depends on the cultural context of the particular woman. You can't just ask a question like that, EDAHN.

Edahn said...

Why generalize? Um... I dunno... BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME? DUUURR! Yeah, of course you're going to see some variation, but I'm still wondering if there's a tendency. I think there is, and I think women prefer to be submissive than to be dominant because women find security in protection while men find security in expansion. Simple.

Anonymous said...

i dunno. in the couples I know, the women seem to direct the relationship more...

Anonymous said...

I've seen some of those relationships as well, but at the end, it's always the male who's dominant and gets the final say.

Edahn said...

I've seen some of those relationships as well, but at the end, it's always the male who's dominant and gets the final say.

Anonymous said...

Disagree completely.

Edahn said...

Well I was only talking about the ones that *I* know. ;)

Laura V said...

1 vote for dominant mates right here, im still a fan of gender roles. sorry feminists. ♥

Adina said...

i like dominant+dominant, but i'm a feminist, sorry laura ♥ ;)

Lisa L said...

yes i do.

Jess S said...

I like both in one. My boyfriend and I fit will in that I am more dominant in some aspects and he is more dominant in some aspects. I don't want to be dominant all the time and the trade-off works well for us. I hate to be submerged into one role in terms of being "the dominant one" or "the submissive one"; its very limiting.

Kae D said...

I'm an Alpha chick myself... but have to date the Alpha male. Odd, huh?

Tressa said...

I don't know about dominant, but the ability to make a damn decision would be nice... of course, since he knows I am going to bitch at thim no matter what he does... sounds like some kind of cycle doesn't it???

Edahn said...

Tressa, yeah, there's no payoff for him.

Kae, totally make sense. People look for mates with comparable status/rank: http://www.askedahn.com/2009/09/guys-i-want-dont-want-me-guys-that-want.html.

Anonymous said...

glad i got the ball rolling lol

Edahn said...

LOL, actually, they were all on my Facebook account, but I was forgot to transfer them. :P Thanks for the reminder though. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous.


I'm surprised at you, Edahn. What a banal question! You might as well ask "do women prefer peach cobbler to apple"? It's all cobblers, right? :P


I have a question: why do men keep searching for some golden formula that will unlock the secret of all female desire, when to treat a woman as anything other than a unique and special individual is almost guaranteed to turn her off (unless she's into that...)?


Speaking personally, any overt display of dominance from a man, in any context, is the kiss of death for me. I lose respect, and therefore attraction, instantly.

Edahn said...

Maybe I'll use the cobbler question next week.

Interesting that you say you'll lose respect by OVERT displays. I still imagine that if you met someone who wasn't confident, you'd also lose respect for him. If he, for instance, kissed your ass and subordinated himself to you, almost looking desperate. Amirite?

I still believe that women search for guys who are just a bit more dominant than they are. Too far in either direction (MUCH too dominant or MUCH LESS) and they realize it won't work. I believe they want to find a guy who acknowledges their opinion and worth -- respects them -- but also seems independent and reliable. A slightly more dominant man fits the bill.

Anonymous said...

You still believe? Seems to me there are a range of opinions here but you are going to stick to your assumptions no matter what. There is no golden formula!

As it happens, you're wrong. I love humility in a man. I find it almost the most attractive thing. It's so rare. And when accompanied by intelligence and warmth, completely intoxicating. I don't equate confidence with dominance, why do you? Domineering types often lack confidence and feel out of control - which is why they seek to impose themselves on others.

Desperation is not appealing to anyone, but I'd rather have my ass kissed than my arm twisted. Dominant men turn me off. Period. If I
want to engage them at all, it's in battle. I will not be dominated!
I respond to vulnerability, honesty, humility and gentleness. I will happily submit/defer to such a man. But only because he doesn't want/
expect it.

Anonymous said...

"I am aware of my power, but my power is feminine; it demands a match, not a victory."

Edahn said...

Anonymous, there's a difference between dominant and domineering. Domineering people are controlling, while dominant people don't need to be controlling. Dominant people are self-sufficient. They are not needy and don't need your approval. That doesn't mean that they're inhumane or cold. That's how I would define dominant. If you define it differently, then so be it. Let's not get hung up on semantics.

In my experience, women get extremely attracted to men who are self-sufficient and don't need validation. The extreme version of this is the Jerk or Badboy persona who doesn't need then so much that he neglects them -- an archetype that women find irresistible (which certain exceptions, of course). In milder versions, it's the guy who is confident. Confidence grows out of not being needy, since if I don't need your approval, validation, or interest, then I'm not so worried about what I say or don't say. I have more power. You can find the same dynamics in business relationships with a party who is dependent and a party who's independent.

Obviously we're just talking about norms here and there will be exceptions. Maybe you're one of them, but from what you're saying, it sounds like you're more turned off by DOMINEERING men than DOMINANT men, the way I've defined them both.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to define your own terms then I don't see how anyone else can make an accurate comparison.
Someone who is more dominant implies someone who holds more power. That's really all it implies - maybe they are confident, maybe they just fake it. Plenty of powerful people do. Are abusive men dominant or submissive? Are they confident? Healthy?

I am self-sufficient and not needy (so you tell me) but I don't see myself as "dominant". That's because it only really matters relative to someone or something else. I don't define myself according to power dynamics or in relation to others. I don't think about status or power at all unless someone is trying to wield it over me, which makes me angry and resentful.

Someone gave me a book recently - "Why Men Love Bitches" (think they were trying to tell me something?) which pretty much says the same thing but from the male perspective. I.e. 'men are attracted to women who are self-sufficient and don't need validation'. Logically, a self-sufficient partner is a good thing for anyone. Unless you are a feeder or have Munchausens by proxy...
What does this have to do with women wanting to be dominated? That's just the oldest male fantasy in the book. IMO.

Edahn said...

Defining terms doesn't prevent us from making comparisons. It's only when terms aren't identified properly when confusion ensues. I've defined the terms so we shouldn't have a problem anymore. If you claim that you're self-sufficient and not needy, then I would say you have a fair amount of power when you enter into a relationship, and by extension, a huge dominance-potential. If your counterpart is needier than you are, then you'll acquire a dominant role in the relationship. Your partner will look to you for affirmation and reassurance and will expect you to lead the relationship. I am SURE you're familiar with being the leading partner and seeing guys unsure of themselves.

Abusive men or dominant when they're abusive and submissive when they're not. It's the submission -- the lack of power -- that prompts then to resort to abuse. The abuse is a way to claim power. We both agree that power isn't fixed just as personality isn't fixed, I think.

Your statement about women wanting to be dominated is equivocal at best and a strawman at worst, since you've resorted to the classic definition of dominance as overbearing and controlling. That's the "oldest male fantasy." But I'm not arguing that women want to be controlled and possessed. I'm merely arguing that they're attracted to men who are a bit more powerful than they are, who are capable of making decisions as well as taking a slightly leading role in the relationship. I believe it has to do with a desire to be protected which REQUIRES slightly more power. To see why, you can think about a relationship where the girl was more powerful than the guy. In a hostile situation, SHE would have to take the reigns. It's my hunch that on average, women are more comfortable being protected and men are more comfortable being protectors. I suspect it has to do our biological makeup and reproductive success.

Miss J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.