Submissive in Seattle

Realism

Realism

Who wants to be an Alpha male, which is already in my top five most viewed posts of all time, was referenced a few days ago by paltego of Femdomresource.com. He and I have had words before, as we have rather different perspectives and opinions on Femdom, and the associated culture.

Our discussion over there runs long because, there are half a dozen topics that are all interrelated and we try to address each of them. Rather than bogart that thread with this little rabbit trail I wanted to give it it’s own post here.

I made the comment

“I’m looking for what I consider to be a fairly simple and realistic dynamic, and I am not seeing it discussed many places, and I find it in fiction in even fewer.”

To which, he replied

“As for a ‘realistic’ dynamic, who is it supposed to be realistic for? For Suzanne or for MissH where sissy and chastity play are a daily part of life? For Vanessa who enjoys cuckolding?”

   What do I mean when I say I’m looking for a realistic dynamic? I see of course that one could get the idea that I feel certain things are unrealistic, and that I am denying the “realness” of the people who enjoy them. That is not my intent. What I mean to say, is that I am looking for a dynamic that is realistic for me, and my unique circumstances. In real life, and when I look for fiction/erotica/porn even discussion of femdom I tend to want the dynamic there to be something that feels achievable. Though, I have entertained impossible fantasies on occasion, I don’t even consider trying to make the a reality, nor would I discuss them as “something I would like to do.”

Lets just say that this image represents the shallow end of my pool of darker fantasies.

   So, I’m a Christian as you may have picked up. My family and friends for the most part are also, many of them are more conservative than I. My faith is important to me, so a romantic partner would need to share it. I’m abstinent, I’d like for my significant other to be as well, because it is very difficult to maintain that when you’re romantically involved with someone who doesn’t value it.
   These things take precedence over my kinks. I think sex is important, I think having the kind of sex you enjoy is important, but not so much that I can throw everything else my life is built on out the window to get it.
   That’s what I’m working with while I look  for a dominant partner. Christianity comes with baggage, and a lot of it relates to gender roles. Finding someone who values her faith, but is also interested in being the leader in a relationship seems impossibly difficult. So I am trying to keep my expectations, even my hopes realistic.
   Taking all that into account, what I think of as realistic for me is a relationship, boyfriend/girlfriend>engagement>husband/wife, like any other couple. Except, with a clearly defined power structure in her favor, and some kinky play.
  It’s hard to say exactly what I want, when I haven’t experienced it yet. I think I would like to give as much authority as possible to her (my hypothetical future domme.) I do know that I’m masochistic, that I kink on ownership, that really as long as we didn’t involve anyone else my blacklist is pretty short.

Like, I don't really find the idea of being a footstool exciting, unless I know that she does, then it's pretty hot.

   I feel like that is not a ton to ask of a GGG partner, that a good deal of what I want should be acceptable to someone who loves me even if they don’t identify as dominant. So that’s what I mean when I talk about realistic for me in real life.
   Additionally the extremely female worship oriented Femdom feels “unrealistic.” For one, with my religiousness, “worshiping” anyone feels blasphemous and two, it seems like it’d be hard to maintain the sort of almost sycophantic adoration of anyone that you were living with. People are flawed, that goes for dominants the same as anyone else, prolonged exposure to anyone’s company will expose their shortcomings, soone or later you’ll be forced to confront the fact that your goddess is mortal, right?  I’d rather acknowledge that from the beginning, and decide to submit anyway. To me that is a realistic fantasy.
   Beyond that however, there is a certain way people write occasionally online while presenting what they’re discussing as actual events, or plausible relationship ideas, that strikes me as unrealistic not just for me, but something about the tone or perhaps vocabulary used makes me suspicious that it is in fact a fabrication.
   In these cases it seems that more often than not they are interested in certain kinks or more extreme play. I might not be particularly interested in some things, but as I said I would like to give my  domme all the authority that she wants, So play that doesn’t quite make my list of things I want, could be very hot if it was what she wanted. So despite my less than favorable opinion of, for example, sissification play, it isn’t off limits so long as it stays between the two of us. 
  Still, I tend to think of sissification as being a less realistic fantasy, it seems to me that a lot more people are making porn about it, and are talking about on forums, than actually are in relationships where the dominant female partner is “forcibly” feminizing the submissive male partner. And this is simply conjecture, I have no numbers on it, as far as I know there are no numbers on it to be found. It is really just a gut feeling that many of the people talking about that kink in particular are be less than truthful about their real life experiences.
  Fiction can be much the same, even if I’m looking for a fantasy I generally want to find something that makes it feel real. So often Femdom erotica (which is often my go to for special alone time) just gives me that same feeling of they can’t be serious, often certain kinks crop up and are treated by the author as a given for female dominants and male submissives.
  The one that bothers me the most is cuckolding, when I encounter it in a story, or on a captioned image it’s often treated as the default outcome of a femdom relationship. That She is going to need a real man, a dominant man to satisfy her, since the submissive man obviously can’t. This straight up squicks me like nothing else
  I have serious issues with infidelity and I’m not wired to be non-monogamous, I can understand that other people like this, but I can’t handle it and hate being told, even by someone telling a story that this is how it should be if you’re a submissive. So I react against it. Beyond the fact that it just bothers me, I feel like more people are interested in monogamy than are interested in ongoing non-monogamy, and that suggesting that in any dynamic non-monogamy is likely to be the default outcome feels unrealistic to me.
   Conversely I have on occasion seen some unrealistic kinks written pretty well, so that I can “enjoy” the story even though the main kink isn’t one of mine. For example I remember enjoying a story (it was a while ago, so I’m not giving it my full recommendation) that had a strong female supremacy theme. Normally I wouldn’t dig that, but it was set in a plausible alternate universe with rigid gender roles and was an enjoyable read at the time.
   I suppose I only care about realism in fiction when it is written in such a way as to suggest that it is realistic. I care about seeing the dynamic that I feel is realistic for me being under-represented in pornography and erotica because I have heard from dominant women that what they perceived Femdom as was not appealing to them, and I worry that my hypothetical future domme may get the the same impression. So if I say that we need more portrayals of smiling and laughing female dominants wearing comfortable clothing and tying up their subs with whatever they happen to have handy, it doesn’t mean I think that leather and latex, whips and chains, or heavy pain play are bad, but for some of us it’s not realistic. And I think we need to be shown a realistic way to embrace our desires.

This isn't how I want my love life to look, but this is how it is portrayed, and I think that is a problem.

37 thoughts on “Realism

  1. lipstickandligature

    Great post! I completely agree with you on two points in particular; firstly, the way femdom is depicted in fiction -if at all – is usually the stereotyped variety. I could never find kinky stories that weren’t about prodoms or degradation. There were hardly ever stories about hetero couples who loved each other and just happened to be kinky. It’s why I started writing kinky stories myself. Everyone is so preoccupied with elaborate sexual gymnastics and fetishes that the normality of most relationships is ignored and/or lost in fiction and often in non fiction discussions on kink too. It’s something I’m sure that more people would like to see represented.

    Also, you said that;

    “People are flawed, that goes for dominants the same as anyone else, prolonged exposure to anyone’s company will expose their shortcomings, soone or later you’ll be forced to confront the fact that your goddess is mortal, right? I’d rather acknowledge that from the beginning, and decide to submit anyway.”

    and this is SO great to see because that is exactly what makes submission sexy for me.

    I’m glad that you’ve brought this up.

    1. Peroxide

      I occasionally manage to find some femdom erotica that works for me, but usually have to read around kinks that don’t work for me. I don’t mind sexual gymnastics so long as the story feels achievable. That said I would totally read about domination that takes place on the sofa, wearing sweat pants, with reruns of CSI in the background.

      It just makes more sense to me to submit because I’m in love, rather than because I’ve convinced myself that my SO is somehow so much better than I that I have no recourse.

      1. lipstickandligature

        Hmm. I still find it crazy to think that this has to be made obvious; that people would submit/dominate because they were in love and that it is an act of love and not because they believe they are less/more than their partner. But it’s true.

      2. Peroxide

        I feel like that is just an extension of people being stupid about sex in general, I know D/s isn’t sex related for everyone, but I’d be that it is for the people who have the most trouble finding a healthy balance.

  2. Tomio Black

    Every time I read something you’ve written, I’m struck by how similar our backgrounds are – and how similar many of our desires are. It’s nice not to feel like an oddball – so thanks for that.

    What I’ve said many times is that the only “realistic” or “right” way to do…whatever you want to call this…is the way that is right for you and the one you are with. What is realistic for one person is not for the other – for example, it just isn’t realistic for me to be with someone who spends a lot of time in fetish clubs or even munches. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen for others, but it isn’t me.

    As far as faith goes, mine is pretty important to me, too. But it isn’t something I share with Mistress Delila. HOWEVER, She respects my faith and if I don’t go to church, She cares enough to ask why not. She doesn’t understand my faith, but She understands me enough to know that it is an integral part of who I am. She supports me, so She supports it.

    I don’t think it is unrealistic to look for a Christian Domme, though. Nor is it too much to ask for one who is mono-amorous.

    I will write about the Goddess/worship thing on my own blog, because I think I have too much to say to do it pithily. For now, I’ll say that its use does not denote any claim to divinity, but rather a level of devotion and love towards Her that nothing else seems to convey (for me).

    I have to agree and disagree with your comments on cuckolding. It doesn’t bother me for Her to be with another guy (in fact, it kind of turns me on…although I will admit there may be some emotional issues with sharing). What bothers me is the idea that She needs another guy because my submissiveness means I’m not “man enough” for Her. Basically, it isn’t the act that bothers me, but the judgment.

    I agree totally with the problem of how male submission is portrayed. I have no problem with those who find it fulfilling (like you, I think there is probably an exaggeration about the numbers that do). But it isn’t me, and I hate that, should the topic come up, this is where everyone’s mind will initially go. But, honestly, we can’t get MaleDom fiction (which is much more socially acceptable) that portrays both participants as happy, healthy, and actively using their willful agency. We are lightyears away from FemDom being seen as a legitimate lifestyle for happy and healthy adults.

    As far as a Christian based example of submission, I think we have to look no further than Christ Himself. He gave himself to, and for, his disciples without holding back. Yes, it was not a sexual relationship, but in another relationship, I think it would include sexuality. This is especially if sex proceeds from love and devotion, rather than vice versa.

    1. Peroxide

      You’re welcome, it’s comforting to feel some solidarity, and hear that other people are managing with this atypical mix of values and interests.

      Perhaps what I should have said, was what I “meant by realistic” or “what I think of as realistic.” I agree with your statement since it certainly wouldn’t be realistic for me to ask a partner who doesn’t share my values beliefs to engage in the type of relationship I want. Shared faith has got to be a deal breaker for me. I had a relationship with a “christian” girl, who wasn’t terribly interested in the whole abstinence thing and it was… difficult. I really enjoy the company of non religious folks, but I couldn’t date one. So I’m always happy to hear encouragement that finding a Christian Domme sounds like a possible goal.

      Maybe I just read too much old testament growing up, but goddess/worship just weird me out and seems like it’s going end poorly, maybe not plague of locusts poorly but still. And as for cuckolding, it’s like I said, it squicks me, hard. Dwelling on it for any length of time makes me heartsick, so regardless of how it’s practiced or portrayed I dislike hearing about it.

      I mentioned way back on my first guest post for DD, that a good deal of `straight otherwise vanilla pornography could be repackaged and sold as MaleDom. And people accept that as the way it is. I would be so thrilled to find something, anything that simply flips that on it’s head. In the meantime I make do with what I can get.

      I like the idea that sex can/should proceed from love and devotion. I’m of course familiar with hearing about Christ’s loving submission, and how we should strive to emulate it in our lives and relationships. However it seems that as soon as The Church starts talking about marriage, submission on the husband’s part is tossed out the window so he can be the servant leader to his wife’s submissive follower. It’s frustrating, to like so much of how the church promotes relationships, except this one niggling detail that is so often made out to be the most important.

      1. Tomio Hall-Black

        A lot of what any church teaches doesn’t strictly come from the Bible – and they leave out a LOT that does. For instance, no church tries to implement the communistic approach as described in the book of Acts where everyone gave everything to the church and took only what they wanted. Plus, the whole idea of saving for retirement is pretty much un-Biblical.

        Marriage is a big thing for Christianity (I think it is because they semi-adopted the idea of matrilineality from the Jewish). But I look at it this way – Paul writes that the man is the SPIRITUAL leader of the household the way that Christ is the spiritual leader of the church. Again, I think this is perfectly compatible with BDSM. If you want to have family Bible study, for example, she could suggest which book to look at and you take over from there. Or perhaps you lead the family prayers. Or whatever works. The point is, it isn’t incompatible. It’s your life, and you can adapt things so that they fit.

      2. Peroxide

        Indeed, though I was actually a member of a small church that was pretty community oriented, not quite on an Acts 2 level, but they did a better job than many churches.

        If you want to have family Bible study, for example, she could suggest which book to look at and you take over from there. Or perhaps you lead the family prayers. Or whatever works. The point is, it isn’t incompatible. It’s your life, and you can adapt things so that they fit.

        Thanks for this, I think that sounds like a workable plan, or at least the beginning of a workable idea on how to make these two things mesh.

  3. dumbdomme

    “but goddess/worship just weird me out and seems like it’s going end poorly.”

    Speaking from the other side of the slash, I don’t like “goddess either,” for some of the reasons you suggested. It suggests infallibility, and I’m far too flawed for that. Being a goddess feels like it might be a heck of a lot to live up to.

    I suspect, too, that being called “goddess” when I’m not feeling or being so ethereal might feel hollow and insincere to me, and I’m not into hollow and insincere.

    “It just makes more sense to me to submit because I’m in love, rather than because I’ve convinced myself that my SO is somehow so much better than I that I have no recourse.”

    Yes! Yes! What you said! I don’t want someone to submit because he has to, I want him to want to, because he loves me (me, not because he loves dominance or even my dominance… me, me, me.)

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  5. paltego

    I kind of feel I should comment, given I got referenced at the top, but I actually nodded my through most of this post. Seems a very reasonable approach. In my original response post (http://www.femdom-resource.com/2012/04/03/alpha-to-omega/ ) I was picking up on what seemed to me broader comments about femdom culture, where the approach of “Here’s what I want or desire…” is always pretty unarguable.

    I’d say that ‘Meaningful to me’ would possibly be a better phrase than ‘realistic’. The first can never be disputed where the second is a judgement about the world, which certainly can be argued.

    To advance an alternative perspective on porn I would suggest that a lot of what people are looking for is deliberately unrealistic scenarios. If I want realism (or at least an approximation) I go to blogs. For something to push my buttons and get me off I really don’t care if it’s believable, or even physically possible in some cases. Anyone who has done any significant amount of bondage will quickly realize that 99.9% of bondage in porn stories is completely unbelievable. Everyone always has an Olympic gymnasts flexibility, never gets cramps, never has circulation issues, gets left alone for hours, can stand it for days when necessary and can immediately move normally once it’s removed. And those are the stories where it’s even physically possible to do what’s described. But that doesn’t stop me enjoying them, provided they give me enough to work with that I can suspend my disbelief. Similarly ‘goddess’ type situations are never going to fly 24/7 or even a significant fraction of that time. But they can work for a few hours, or for the time it takes to read an fun erotic story.

    Note that I’m not saying it’s wrong to look for other things in your fiction. Just suggesting where some people are coming from.

    I also have to comment on your images, because all three made me smile…

    The first makes me wonder – were you a fan of vamp Willow? I watched one of the episodes with her in last night, so it came to mind when I saw that picture.

    The second amused me because it’s the exact picture I almost used to illustrate my original response post. I had three I was debating and eventually I used the other two. So it was apt to see it turn up here.

    The final one, the google image search, is an interesting illustration of how people see things different. Aside from the three very random handjob pictures, which are just like whatever (excuse the valley girl speak from Englishman), my thoughts were things like: “Ooh zippering. I like doing that. And upside nipple torture. That’s fun. Nice strap-on shot. I think that’s January Seraph getting her ass licked, I must set-up session time with her when I get to LA next. I think that’s Bobbi Star grabbing that lucky guys trousers. I like the combo of face sitting and CBT the blonde woman has going on……”

    Sure, if you wanted to explain femdom to a vanilla friend, those image results would suck. But I can’t think of a single complex concept that you couldn’t say the same thing for. However, as a random selection of fun things to do that can be a part of femdom, then I’d say there’s a 50%+ strike rate there (for me). Which isn’t bad for such a general and non-specific search term.

    -paltego

    1. Peroxide

      I’ll keep this brief, since I just got off a double and must get too sleep.

      “I’d say that ‘Meaningful to me’ would possibly be a better phrase than ‘realistic’. The first can never be disputed where the second is a judgement about the world, which certainly can be argued.”

      I don’t disagree, realistic was simply the word that first came to mind.

      “To advance an alternative perspective on porn I would suggest that a lot of what people are looking for is deliberately unrealistic scenarios.”

      As I said I certainly have some unrealistic fantasies as well. Often even when indulging these, I want the tone or feel of whatever I’m consuming to still have what I think of as realism, I want the dialogue and interactions to feel natural. But again, that’s just me.

      I do like Vamp Willow (The scene with the matches in The Wish…stunning) Jessica Hamby (the character in the picture there) seems like she was engineered from the ground up to appeal to me. Nice Christian girl, gone all bad and gothy, with the fangs and the biting, She’s really the only reason I’ll be watching the next season of True Blood.

      I tend to write first and then find pictures that word later, I hate leaving too much white space.

      In the final image not one of the pictures really appeals to me, and none of them really look like what I’m hoping to find, but mostly I just wanted to illustrate the cultural assumption about what Femdom is. The results aren’t absolutely awful, but I wouldn’t say they’re all that great either.

  6. LoveIsPainInnit

    “The one that bothers me the most is cuckolding, when I encounter it in a story, or on a captioned image it’s often treated as the default outcome of a femdom relationship.”

    I’m monogamous too. I don’t mind stories/wank fodder that might have people being with different partners, but that trope of the domme needing a “real” (dominant) man squicks me out too. Basically, I don’t want mandoms (yes, even switches) in my erotica. Or femsubs (of any kind). It’s that simple. I am straight too, but I have no problem with bi/gay male subs or bi/lesbian female dommes. But make any of the women in the story submissive or the men dominant, and that kills it for me.

    And it’s most unpleasant when this is sprung upon you without warning. I pay a lot of attention to the tags or synopsis of the stories to ensure that I don’t run into any unpleasant surprises.

    “For example I remember enjoying a story (it was a while ago, so I’m not giving it my full recommendation) that had a strong female supremacy theme.”

    I remember that one. It was one of the best stories I’ve read. It had some flaws but they were minor. Shame the author never finished the story.

    I don’t care for female supremacy in the real world. It won’t be better than any other kind of supremacy and I don’t want to deny other non-f/m kinksters their jollies either. But in a fantasy world? Hells yes! I’m a sucker for sci-fi/alt. universe type stories with female supremacy.

    1. Peroxide

      “Basically, I don’t want mandoms (yes, even switches) in my erotica. Or femsubs (of any kind)… make any of the women in the story submissive or the men dominant, and that kills it for me.”

      Interestingly I can enjoy some maledom/femsub or femdom/femsub materials. I’ve both Tales of MU and Kushiel’s Dart here before, and both are focused on femsubs but the writing is good, and some of the scenes are exceedingly hot.

      “I don’t care for female supremacy in the real world. It won’t be better than any other kind of supremacy and I don’t want to deny other non-f/m kinksters their jollies either. But in a fantasy world? Hells yes! I’m a sucker for sci-fi/alt. universe type stories with female supremacy.”

      An entire fictional world that caters to my fantasies? Yeah I can dig that.

  7. Stabbity

    That She is going to need a real man, a dominant man to satisfy her, since the submissive man obviously can’t.

    I’m not so much squicked by this, although I understand why someone deeply monogamous would be, so much as I am baffled and offended. This is for a number of reasons:

    1. I’m personally kind of fixated on sex and can’t conceive of having a ‘partner’ who I didn’t have sex with. Isn’t the word for ‘person you’re very close to but don’t have sex with’ friend?

    2. What kind of weirdo would get a delicious submissive man all to herself and then not have sex with him? To me, being dominant means ‘sexually attracted to submissive people’ as much as it does ‘drawn to dominating people’.

    3. Like many of the previous commenters, I’m thoroughly offended by the idea that all women can only be sexually satisfied by ‘real’ (read, dominant) men. Also, if you need both dominant and submissive men in your life, I’m pretty sure that means you’re a switch. Is tagging female switch porn correctly so much to ask?

    I care about seeing the dynamic that I feel is realistic for me being under-represented in pornography and erotica because I have heard from dominant women that what they perceived Femdom as was not appealing to them, and I worry that my hypothetical future domme may get the the same impression.

    That’s pretty much why I do all the ranting I do on my own blog. I want to provide a counterpoint to the stereotype that femdom is nothing but leather, whips, and misogyny.

    1. Peroxide

      1. Well, yeah I guess. Though I’m abstinent, and intend to remain so until marriage, so there will likely be a period in my life where I am not having sex with my romantic partner. e.g. from when we start dating till a few minutes after we leave the wedding reception.

      2. Yeah, I think the titles people claim and are saddled with aren’t accurate a great deal of the time.

      3. I’ve postulated before that perhaps a great many misconceptions about femdom, and even BDSM in general can be traced to idiots watching from mislabeled porn and thinking that the woman called a domme in whatever the first video they were watching when they became interested in BDSM is the true definition of a domme. But then I look at the world and think everyone but me must be an idiot.

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  9. maymay

    I’m really pleased to see that I can no longer keep up with (mostly) thoughtful discussion about male submission on the blogosphere these days. 🙂

    There’s a lot of good stuff in this post, Peroxide, and some of the previous comments expand on that a fair bit, but one glaring thing is still missing: the entire “goddess” trope is sexist bullshit. And I’m not just saying that because I think God, as a religious figure, is actually downright evil (although I do believe that), I’m saying this because the “Goddess” trope is simply a reformulation of the virgin/whore dichotomy we all (I hope) know so well and (rightfully) hate so much.

    Think about it. Firstly, the famous feminist phrase, “A pedestal is as much a prison as any small space,” certainly applies here—and speaks exactly to this notion of not wanting to be seen as “infallible,” to use dumbdomme’s word—but so does the fact that there is no cultural equivalent of a man as a “God.” That discursive hole is an indicator of the “Goddess” trope’s support of women as what Figleaf has long called “the no-sex class.”

    Let’s stop beating around the bush and call this shit out for being the same shit as all the rest of these thinly-veiled ‘kinks’: the eroticization of sexism.

    Also, I was disappointed to read numerous remarks in this comment thread that are frustratingly vapid, especially as they came from such an otherwise consistently on-point writer. Stabbity said:

    I’m personally kind of fixated on sex and can’t conceive of having a ‘partner’ who I didn’t have sex with. Isn’t the word for ‘person you’re very close to but don’t have sex with’ friend?

    No, Stabbity, the term for someone you’re not having a sexual relationship with is “non-sexual relationship.” Not “platonic relationship” and not “friend“.

    Why? Because “friend” invokes any of a number of cultural scripts (what I call “relationship drag“) that reference how people interact, some of which include sexual acts (see, for instance, “friend with benefits”) and some of which don’t. Moreover, dichotomizing relationships based on the presence or absence of sexual behavior is founded on sexual privilege (i.e., “the assumption that you will engage in sexual activity at some point in your life”) and is deeply problematic. Now you can’t say no one ever told you.

    Your language here, which I understand is coming from a place of being “kind of fixed on sex,” is nonetheless deeply off-putting, even to me, a sexual person, for a few reasons:

    What kind of weirdo would get a delicious submissive man all to herself and then not have sex with him? To me, being dominant means ‘sexually attracted to submissive people’ as much as it does ‘drawn to dominating people’.

    First, it’s off-putting for the same reason as the above, as it very clearly denies asexual experience—even BDSM-oriented asexual experience. And, no, that’s not a contradiction in terms.

    Second, it’s off-putting because the implicit presumption that a dominant’s desire to have sex is all that’s required for sex to occur is a domist contribution to rape culture. Just because a dominant partner wants to have sex with a submissive person (of any gender, regardless of their degree of “deliciousness”) obviously does not necessarily result in a consensual sexual encounter. And while I know you well enough to believe you wrote what you did in good faith, it’s nonetheless pretty jarring for me to read and I wish you’d be more careful with how you phrase such things.

    Finally, you said:

    Also, if you need both dominant and submissive men in your life, I’m pretty sure that means you’re a switch.

    Actually, no, it doesn’t, and this idea of defining oneself as reciprocal to one’s partner’s sexual orientation is, again, an artifact of sexual privilege supporting the fallacious belief that “sexual relationships are the most important,” which is bullshit. Just because someone might want a certain kind of person in their life does not mean they identify in any particular way. As a common example, I personally know dominant women who are married to dominant men and have submissive sexual partners. These women make it abundantly clear that they want both dominant and submissive men in their lives and that in no way makes them anything other than dominant women.

    Huh. Looking back on my this comment and seeing so much bullshit in the world in so many places, it’s no wonder I so rarely enjoy reading blogs. Ah well.

    Anywho. Good post and, for the most part, good comment thread. Carry on.

    1. Peroxide

      Hey there Maymay,

      Thanks for the kind words and for the bump on twitter. I’m just going to address the parts of your comment directed at me as there is a lot here.

      I didn’t really give much thought to the nature of the “goddess trope,” I just know it’s not for me. I’m not sure how comfortable I am calling other people out on their kinks being sexist bullshit, or otherwise harmful. I feel like most of what turns us on is beyond our control.

      If a couple gets off on eroticized sexism I think that ought to be alright (right?) I only have a problem with it once it begins to color the cultural perception of anyone into femdom.

      1. Peroxide

        So… Love the Kinkster, hate the kink?

        You know I’m not used to thinking this way, I’m just getting started examining my preconceived notions and deciding which ones are harmful, my environment isn’t exactly helpful either.

        Even if I get that you’re making a point (that we agree on) about aggregates, if I call it out the individuals are the ones who are going to be hurt by me making a point, Right? (just because they are in the wrong doesn’t mean they won’t be hurt by being told that they’re perpetuating sexism.)

        I appreciate the work you’re doing and I’m trying to change the way I think and speak based on some of it. I just don’t know about being comrades in arms. I’ve seen some of the conflict you have to deal with and to be honest, it scares me in a way.

        I’m just here to talk things out of my head, while I go about trying to find somebody to love, who wants to have the same sort of sex that I want to have. I’m not prepared just yet to become a sexual revolutionary, I don’t want my blog to change from a safe space for expressing myself to a battleground in an ideological war. (otherwise I would have addressed your thoughts on God.)

      2. Stabbity

        just because they are in the wrong doesn’t mean they won’t be hurt by being told that they’re perpetuating sexism.

        I share your reluctance to call people out individually, but I think that if someone doesn’t want to get called out for doing something sexist, well, there’s a very simple solution. Don’t do sexist things!

    2. Stabbity

      Now you can’t say no one ever told you.

      Actually, I do know better than to ignore the existence of asexual people like I just did. Now I get to figure out why I forgot they existed while I was writing that comment. It doesn’t paint me in a very flattering light, but I think I just wasn’t being mindful when I wrote that comment.

      I would, however, argue that ‘friend’ is a large enough concept to encompass casual friends and non-sexual life partners (which we just don’t have a particularly good word for), despite how it’s been sullied by the social media idea of ‘friending’ people you hardly know.

      Second, it’s off-putting because the implicit presumption that a dominant’s desire to have sex is all that’s required for sex to occur is a domist contribution to rape culture.

      Good point. I’ve been sloppy with my language in that comment. What I was trying to get at was my bafflement at the concept of cuckolding as it’s generally portrayed. That is, a woman who is sexually attracted to men choosing not to have sex with the submissive male partner she was once attracted to but has since decided is unattractive purely because he’s submissive, and submitting to a dominant man because only he can satisfy her. If the dominant is a sexual person, and sex is important to her, wouldn’t it be simpler just to date someone she’s attracted to? If she’s not sexual, then of course the whole argument is moot, but I thought that in the context of this blog post we were talking about sexual people.

      Second, it’s off-putting because the implicit presumption that a dominant’s desire to have sex is all that’s required for sex to occur is a domist contribution to rape culture.

      I assumed the consent of the submissive partner went without saying. In the context of cuckolding, the woman having sex with men besides her partner doesn’t carry much of an emotional charge if her partner isn’t interested in sex with her.

      As a common example, I personally know dominant women who are married to dominant men and have submissive sexual partners.

      I’d argue that if these women submit to their husbands then they’re switches, not dominants. They may be very selective switches, and may indeed be dominant to absolutely everyone besides their husbands, but I believe there’s a difference between saying “I’m not going to submit to you” and “I’m not submissive at all”. Of course, it’s entirely possible for two dominant people to have sex without involving power exchange. I’ve done it myself. I was trying, however sloppily, to get at the idea of needing to both submit and dominate to be satisfied.

      there is no cultural equivalent of a man as a “God.”

      No argument there. I firmly believe the reason female dominants get called ‘Goddess’ but male dominants don’t get called ‘God’ is because the word Goddess simply means less in Western culture. If female gods counted, we wouldn’t blithely call regular human beings ‘Goddess’.

      1. maymay

        What I was trying to get at was my bafflement at the concept of cuckolding as it’s generally portrayed. That is, a woman who is sexually attracted to men choosing not to have sex with the submissive male partner she was once attracted to but has since decided is unattractive purely because he’s submissive, and submitting to a dominant man because only he can satisfy her.

        Really, Stabbity? This isn’t baffling to me at all; it’s the embodiment of gender role essentialism coupled with sexism. This cuckolding stereotype exactly parallels the story of Pontus, even down to the behavioral detail of “real men” and all.

        I can’t recall ever speaking with someone whom I felt had a solid grasp on either of these things who also enjoyed this particular kind of play, which leads me to believe that most people who enjoy this particular kind of play are ignorant of their problematic nature and thus not people with whom I’d feel comfortable playing these roles (or “putting on that particular kind of relationship drag”) with. That actually makes me sad, because I think this kind of role play might, under some circumstances, be very hot for me, personally. However, I’d only want to try it out after creating a relational context where I felt safe, and, frustratingly, that context isn’t “realistic” (to borrow Peroxide’s word) given the aforementioned fact that no one I’ve spoken with who says they enjoy this seems to have an IQ above that of a tadpole. A good case-in-point is the stupidity displayed by Scott from Mrs. Kelly’s Playhouse.

        I’d argue that if these women submit to their husbands then they’re switches, not dominants.

        Well, firstly, I wasn’t referring to dominant-identified women who bottom to their husbands. But, secondly, even if I was, identity is not activity. For instance, I was bisexual even before I started having sex with men, and many men who have sex with men are not necessarily gay.

        If female gods counted, we wouldn’t blithely call regular human beings ‘Goddess’.

        /me nods.

        Exactly. 🙂

      2. LoveIsPainInnit

        @maymay
        “Well, firstly, I wasn’t referring to dominant-identified women who bottom to their husbands. But, secondly, even if I was, identity is not activity. For instance, I was bisexual even before I started having sex with men, and many men who have sex with men are not necessarily gay.”

        It has more to do with desire than activity. Having sex with a man doesn’t make you gay. But, desiring sex with a man and being attracted to the idea of having sex with a man does make you gay (or bisexual). Yes, even if you never act on that desire.
        So, if a dominant woman wishes to submit to a dominant man or woman, then according to me, she is a switch. Same goes for anyone else who desires to both dominate and submit. They are also a switch.

        I want to draw this line because I’ve met a few people who go “oh I like to submit once in a blue moon, but I am completely dominant” or “I submit to this one special person but otherwise I am a dom”. Well, no. That you like to dominate as well as submit makes you a switch, by definition. Regardless of how you might want to identify yourself. And I don’t understand why people do it. There’s no shame in identifying as a switch.

  10. maymay

    So… Love the Kinkster, hate the kink?

    That’s not what I mean at all, Peroxide. I get off on eroticizing sexism, and if you’ve been honest in your writing on this blog to date, so do you. But just as you are very clearly cognizant of the importance of making a distinction between fantasy and realty as well as capable of actually making that distinction, it’s equally important to be aware of the importance of making a distinction between culturally pervasive patterns of behavior we have little individual control over (like, y’know, the existence of rampant sexism) and how our individual acts contribute to or resist those systems, such as using slut-shaming language or confronting a street harasser, respectively. BDSM sexuality is fundamentally about eroticizing systemically abusive patterns of behavior, which is, for example, the whole reason why a “female supremacy” sci-fi story would be hot to submissive men like you and me (and, oh, it is!).

    But unlike the shitheads who tout the “naturalness” of this, that, or the other thing based on essentialist conceptions of what this gender or that “are like” in the style of men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus absurdity, you seem to grok the reasons why such fantasies should stay in the realm of fantasy, even when it comes to your personal relationships.

    That’s the kernel of your ability to make distinctions between systems (of oppression) and people (who endure those oppressions, such as you and me and the people we love, and those shitheads I hate). Put another way, you understand the importance of scoping BDSM to a specific, individual context rather than universalizing those patterns of behavior onto any social norm. As soon as BDSM escapes the individual context and breaches a systemic one, such as what The Scene is entirely about, as well as what the hegemonic culture in which dominance is coupled with masculinity is about, BDSM’s inherent violence ceases to be consensual and becomes epistemic abuse because we cannot safeword a culture.

    And that is why the cultural “Goddess” trope is sexist bullshit, while having orgasms to enactments of Goddess tropes in consensual, negotiated, and context-bounded scenes can be hot, even healing, for some people.

    You know I’m not used to thinking this way, I’m just getting started examining my preconceived notions and deciding which ones are harmful, my environment isn’t exactly helpful either.

    Yeah, I know. And I’m not here to be a teacher. And even if I were, I doubt I’d be very good. This shit is hard—for everyone. For what it’s worth, you seem to me to be doing pretty well figuring stuff out.

    Even if I get that you’re making a point (that we agree on) about aggregates, if I call it out the individuals are the ones who are going to be hurt by me making a point, Right? (just because they are in the wrong doesn’t mean they won’t be hurt by being told that they’re perpetuating sexism.)

    Yeah. So? Exactly who’s rule is it that says hurting people’s feelings is bad and wrong and must be avoided? I’m not saying your goal should be to hurt people’s feelings, just that, of all demographics who should fucking know better than to think pain or discomfort are not worthwhile things, BDSM’ers should.

    I appreciate the work you’re doing and I’m trying to change the way I think and speak based on some of it. I just don’t know about being comrades in arms. I’ve seen some of the conflict you have to deal with and to be honest, it scares me in a way.

    You’re welcome to think yourself a “comrade in arms” if you want to, and you’re welcome not to if you don’t want to. I’m going to use anything you do that I have access to and find valuable for the purpose of furthering my own goals anyway. Like I told Tomio Black a while ago, I’m not in this to make “friends,” or find comrades, not with him and not with you. You do what you find valuable, and I’ll do what I find valuable. This one’s simple.

    I’m just here to talk things out of my head, while I go about trying to find somebody to love, who wants to have the same sort of sex that I want to have. I’m not prepared just yet to become a sexual revolutionary, I don’t want my blog to change from a safe space for expressing myself to a battleground in an ideological war. (otherwise I would have addressed your thoughts on God.)

    That’s cool. It’s your blog. But, to continue your (unfortunately militaristic) metaphor, the war is at your doorstep no matter what you do—you’re already under fire, you’re just now beginning to realize the extent to which you’ve already been fired at—and it’s up to you how you respond to that reality.

    This is what it’s like outside the Matrix. Welcome to the real world.

    1. Peroxide

      I think I get it, it’s just a lot more to hold in my head than I’m used to. Anyway, has anyone ever told you that sometimes (like in your comment to TB) you sound like the goddamn Batman? Which is kinda cool, but not exactly who I want to be. If I’m under fire, (the militaristic metaphor comes from breaking out Fallout 3 again by the way) Which I’m getting that I am and have been most of my life, I’m not just gonna stand up and fire back screaming like Rambo, I want pick my shots so to speak.

      I read that post when it was first published and really made me question whether it was worth it, Or would it be better to just stay inside and eat steak?

  11. Clarence in Baltimore

    Maymay thinks he’s outside the Matrix when he’s really just a slave to “the personal is political”.

    Consider that, Peroxide, before you let him guilt you into submission.

  12. Clarence in Baltimore

    Peroxide:
    I didn’t bring a fight here. I gave my advice, because I think you might be easily bullied.
    I don’t really think one can have a fight when MayMay over there basically prays for my death over one post of mine he misunderstood anyway, and then bans me from replying to even attempt to defend myself.
    I find myself agreeing with a lot of what MayMay says, but I also find him to be an ideologue pining for his own vision of perfection, which I can assure him he will never achieve and the tighter he pulls in his ideological reins the more pain he will inflict on himself and others. I wish him well nonetheless because I think some of what he has done is right and good and offer good faith, no strings attached help for some of his projects, he wishes me death even though he doesn’t know me from a hole in the head. Not a proud moment, but forgivable.

    Anyway, that’s my opinion.

  13. Tomio Hall-Black

    I’d like to get back to the idea of the “Goddess trope” and sexism.

    I agree without reservation that the way it is portrayed throughout both popular and BDSM culture is sexist. It first values a woman entirely and solely because of her sex and then proceeds to debase men for lacking that extra X chromosome. The idea that ANYONE could be infallible is offensive to me, and the “Female Supremacy” stuff, from what I can tell, is simply a derivative version of that (which is why I find it to be offensive).

    There CAN be, I believe, a redefinition of the word. As I wrote recently “Goddess” as an expression of divinity is only one definition, and I believe there is PLENTY of room to reclaim that word from its sexist usage, not unlike some feminists have done with the word “bitch.”

    To draw a parallel, I can enjoy being called “a dirty little whore” and associate it entirely with the wanton surrender to my partner’s pleasure…especially since I know I am: 1) clean; 2) 6’3″ and 250 – so not little at all; and 3) nothing I’m doing is in exchange for money or anything of monetary value.

    I know that words have power – and I have engaged in a lot of argumentation to that effect. But the wonderful thing with language is that it is malleable and we CAN change the sexist/racist/whatever-ist connotations that these words carry.

    As an ending, I will say – again – that I understand Peroxide’s personal objection to the use of “Goddess” (and I also understand the personal objection of maymay, which is not the same as his theoretical objection). I would never want to force people to use language they find objectionable. I want to remain sensitive to the way the language I’ve always been comfortable using offends – and to learn more about how and why it does. I believe, however, that it is possible to do so and still aim for a redefinition of the words in question.

    1. Peroxide

      I think what Maymay was saying is that the trope itself is sexist, but you can use it in your fantasy life without buying into the sexism, or perpetuating it. Which I think fits with what you describe.

  14. Pingback: Gay with Envy « Submissive in Seattle

  15. maymay

    Having sex with a man doesn’t make you gay. But, desiring sex with a man and being attracted to the idea of having sex with a man does make you gay (or bisexual). Yes, even if you never act on that desire.

    No, it doesn’t, LoveIsPainInnit and hopefully sooner rather than later you’ll understand why deciding someone else’s identity based on your perception of their desires is really oppressive bullshit. I hope you knock it off right quick.

  16. Pingback: Addressing Privilege for the first time « Submissive in Seattle

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