I received an interesting response from one of my submissives about my last post "Why I Keep It All Behind Closed Doors." He wrote about how in meeting outside the dungeon it would be impossible either to fully acknowledge or completely ignore the D/s nature of the relationship, making for an awkward and ultimately unfulfilling exchange.
I think what makes it particularly challenging is the fact that, for better or worse, we do not live in a femme domme world.
In public, or even in a private setting that is purely vanilla, there is a strong pull towards conventional male-female dynamics. These patterns are so deeply engrained in all of us that they can be hard to escape. When one is surrounded by the manifestations of male dominance, interacting with others who are working on this assumption (e.g. in a dinner setting, the waiter may automatically confer with the man when taking the order), it can be a struggle to preserve the integrity and dignity of a true femme domme experience.
Obviously, a case can be made for attempting to break some of these patterns and illuminate another template for gender power dynamics. Yet I think there is a time and place for such things -- not necessarily when Mistress is attempting to enjoy her dinner or engage in a scene!
I see the dungeon as a refuge from the male-dominated world. A place where my power as a woman is not questioned, but rather assumed as my birth right and cherished as such. We create an alternate reality and revel in it.
It reminds me of how I feel during Pride week in San Francisco. Though I do not identify primarily as queer, I am always overwhelmed with feelings of hope, joy and love when I am in the middle of these festivities. Because for one weekend, it's OK to be sexually different. And everywhere you look, us freaks are getting it on! The outside world is turned on its head, and for a few days you can vividly imagine what it would be like to have an alternate reality be the predominant way of life.