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Male dominance (Maledom) describes any BDSM activities involving a dominant male partner. Male dominance scenarios can be observed in many BDSM-themed literary works, including "The Story of O," "Fifty Shades of Grey," and novels by science fiction author John Norman. Male dominance has also become recognized as an adult film genre.
Dominant men use their physicality to dominate their submissive female partners. Because of genetics, men are typically taller and stronger than women. Dominant men use these differences to their advantage. They also make gestures to remind their submissive partner of their status, including leading the sub through a crowd and placing a hand on their arm, shoulder, or the back of the neck. Dominant men may also assert their position verbally by speaking slowly, quietly, and deliberately while maintaining eye contact. In many cases, they lay the groundwork outside the bedroom before sealing the deal and dominating sexually behind closed doors.
Some feminists have criticized male dominance because they believe it to be demeaning to women. However, these criticisms do not consider the willingness of dominant men and their submissive partners to engage in BDSM activities. Supporters suggest that submissive women are simply choosing to engage in sex play that they personally enjoy. Others argue that they are giving in to a natural biological urge to respond sexually to the strongest, most powerful, most dominant mate. This view was supported by British writer and philosopher Colin Wilson, who deduced from the research of Abraham H. Maslow that women preferred men who were slightly more dominant than themselves. In turn, dominant men are also following their basic primitive urges to overpower women.