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Feminization or feminisation (see spelling differences), also known as sissification, is used to describe the practice, especially in female dominance, of switching the gender role of a male submissive. The male in such a process is sometimes and informally known as a sissy. Feminization is usually achieved via cross-dressing, where the male is dressed in female attire, ranging from just wearing female undergarments to being fully dressed in very feminine attire, including make-up, hairdress and nail polish. Some males take on tasks, behaviours and roles that are overtly feminine, and adopt female mannerisms and postures in tasks such as sitting, walking, and acting in a feminine manner. This emasculation may be coupled with punishments such as spanking or caning to gain cooperation and heighten submission of submissive male. Begging and pleading to stop the feminization may be part of the fantasy.
Costumes are sometimes very domestic, suggestive of servitude or ageplay. The clothes may be from those of a traditional submissive female role, such as schoolgirl, secretary or a "sissy" maid, or others, such as a princess.
Forced feminization may also include the male receiving anal sex from a female using a strap-on dildo (sometimes called pegging), or penetration from another male, or group of males. Butt plugs and other anal-penetrative toys may also be used. Anal sex is used because it may be perceived to be feminine due to its traditional use on women in heterosexual relationships, or due to the passive and submissive nature of being penetrated, whereas the typical male role may be judged to be more active/dominant. Alternatively, the feminized male may be "forced" to perform oral sex on another male.
Another common practice in feminization is orgasm control, often through the use of a chastity belt. Also encountered in feminization are the following: erotic humiliation, bondage, petticoating, cuckoldry, leather, latex/pvc, infantilism, corporal punishment, etc.
Feminization can also involve the conversion of a masculine name into a feminine name such as "Stephen" into "Stephanie", "Joseph" into "Josephine", or "Daniel" into "Danielle", as part of a constructed feminine persona. The submissive male may also be given feminine name that is different from his male name, referred to as "a good girl", or insulted and degraded with derogatory terms usually applied to women, such as "slut" or "whore".
In particular, a very common theme in feminization is "sissy maid" training. In a typical scenario, a male submissive, or sissy maid, is dressed in an often sexy and frilly maid uniform to help enhance the sexual thrill. The activities the sissy is made to perform range from mundane household tasks that a real maid would perform, to degrading tasks that invoke erotic humiliation. The "sissy maid" might also be instructed to perform sexual acts, however, these acts usually place the sissy in submissive or passive role.
- Sabrina P. Ramet (1996). Gender reversals and gender cultures: anthropological and historical perspectives. Routledge. pp. 12–14. ISBN 978-0-415-11482-0.
- Richard Ekins; Dave King (2006). The transgender phenomenon. SAGE. ISBN 978-0-7619-7163-4.
- Gloria G. Brame (2000). Come hither: a commonsense guide to kinky sex. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-85462-5.
- Helen Boyd (2003). My husband Betty: love, sex, and life with a crossdresser. Seal Press. ISBN 978-1-56025-515-4.