Submissive ecstasy, femininity and desire

La Maison du Rouge, former collaboration of NY dominatrices Dia Dynasty and Lucy Sweetkill did a series of interviews with a wide variety of kinky people—dominatrices of course, but also others within the sex positive universe, and a lovely interview with one of their slaves.

This isn’t a review of their content, though I do sincerely hope that they continue in this vein of education, as their guests are always worth a watch, and they do great interviews.

This particular slave said a number of things in discussion with them which got me thinking.  I thought it was a great interview because you got a sense of him as a complete person, a sense of their collective dynamic, and a kind of ease that they all felt with one another, themselves, and their dynamic.

The slave as a person

When most people think of a slave, what they are like, what they might do, how they might behave, they think of a weakling, a wimp, a “yes” man.  They might even snigger at the whole “yes Mistress” trope.  What I saw in this particular man was something quite different. 

First, there was nothing submissive about him.  At least outwardly.  He was a self-made man, reaching the top of his profession and industry despite all the disadvantages of birth and upbringing—he was obviously a fighter, and had that strength and defiance that comes with someone who is always underestimated and has to outperform to get noticed.

Whether his submission to various dominatrices over the course of his life (always one at a time) was a reaction to environmental challenges or whether he was born that way is hard to say.  I don’t buy the idea often trotted out that those who are in the BDSM/kink community suffered abuse as children, and that this is a way of processing it.  To generalise in this way feels like nonsense for me, and while it is not nonsense for many people, it has not been the case for people I have met in this world.  And lord knows there are plenty of people who have been abused, sexually or otherwise who are not kinky.

Why all of this?  Because what he conveyed through his words, his demeanour, and in their collective description of their play, was that submission for him was a choice.  I don’t mean a conscious, rational choice, but a choice of the heart.  It was a choice that he needed to make, and one he felt physically, emotionally, spiritually.  Perhaps the rational part in the equation might have existed in his selection of people who he submitted to.

One can only wonder.  Any dominatrix might appeal to one person and not to another.  The dominatrix that I saw appealed to me, appeals to me, deeply…and yet, I understand that there are others to whom she does not appeal.   And while that is hard for me to understand on many levels, rationally it makes sense.

In other words, choice in this sense is an illusion, it is fictive, or is based on trivial things…the need that underpins this is an irresistible force, a compulsion, a natural expression of who we are.

Sexual politics

We live in a patriarchal world.  How much this sucks has occupied a lot of my psychic energy since I was young.  I studied gender politics at university.  My wife teases me that I studied “Women’s Letters”, but it isn’t far from the truth…only the letters were not novels and diary entries, but the writings of feminists and their allies, which ranged from mild to militant.  Large parts of my life have been a temple to explore the meaning of gender and sex roles and sexuality.

I tend to sympathise with the more revolutionary elements of this narrative.  That fits neatly with my own discomfort with the masculine.  It also provides a political framework in which Female Led Relationships sit very comfortably.  I am more than okay with the revolutionary agenda for women—I believe that “equality” is not worth striving for as a process—that in order for us to achieve “equality” we need to overshoot, to redefine the boundaries…

As one domme put it to me recently, “Not all Men…” referring to male energy.

Equality is Patriarchal Thinking

But I think the entire concept of “equality” is wrong.  It is equity that matters in human relations said one lifestyle Dominatrix and educator who has graciously contributed her time to my own education.  She is right, even more right than was covered within the context of our discussion.  Men and women are different.  The narrative around equality is somehow that we are not, that our aspirations should be lined up, that there is a basis for comparison.  There is not.  Some people are better at some things than others, whether that is doing, seeing, feeling, thinking, being.  Full stop.  Whether there is a biological basis to that is a somewhat asinine line of thinking—on the one hand, who cares, and on the other, of course there is some genetic basis to everything related to personhood.

But when equality is touted as the goal of feminism, or that in truth, we all seek equality, we are accepting the rules that have already been established, and those rules, those structures, were written by men, for men, for a male-oriented world.  To pursue equality is to accept the patriarchy.  Equality only makes sense within the legal framework: “we are all equal under the law.”

Subs have better orgasms

The slave being interviewed made the argument that slaves have better orgasms.  He was relating his personal experience, and who knows how he might be able to make such a statement given that he is one, not both, not simultaneously slave and non-slave.  Speaking from the base of my own feelings, I do believe that those in the kink world have a tendency to be more sexually awake.  

For example, many dominatrices appear to have had very early sexual awakenings, and became aware of their bodies at a young age.  Take for example this interview with Mistress Faustine Cox, or this interview with sex witch Lenore Black.  Based on a non-statistical analysis of many domme’s origin stories, many were very active masturbators.  I am not a student of masturbation, my own or anyone else’s, but I do believe that I experience the erotic, the sexual as a constant presence…that I flirt with life, flirt with everyone, and that this is rooted in this exploration of gender and power that is the lens through which I slip through life.

While I disagree with the slave’s observation, there is a truism that sat inside his justification of the comment.  He described the intensity of his pleasure as stemming from his ability to experience a woman in ways that a normal, non kinky, non-submissive man can.  And in this I agree with him.

What is that je ne sais quoi?

The nugget in there is about how a submissive man approaches a woman.  And I don’t mean all submissive men.  

[The majority of submissive men are just like any other man, it just happens that something about submission is a turn on…maybe the fetish clothes, the visual of the whip-wielding dominatrix, who knows.  And if you doubt this, just take a look at how most pro-Dommes advertise themselves (in response to market demand).  They are positioning themselves as fetish-fulfillers.  That isn’t a criticism at all.  It is a job, and they need to make a living, and that in no way says a thing about their bona-fides.  Indeed, one of my favourite lifestyle Domme writers O Miss Pearl has often noted that “you can’t do this, whether lifestyle or pro, unless you really feel it.”

Nor do I criticise fetishists, or men who know what they want and go to see someone and ask for them to provide a particular service.  This is what most do.  This is consistent with male behaviour for 99% of the population.]

So, what is that special something anyway?  A man who approaches a woman in a genuine attitude of reverence, of listening, of trying to tune his male antenna into her radio frequency, is one who will understand this.  Women are more complex than men, more versatile, more mysterious.  Most men never experience this outside of being annoyed or frustrated if they even get that far.  A man who is consciously tuning in, even if his receptive equipment isn’t as powerful as a woman’s, or as a woman’s ability to transmit complexity, it still means he gets so much more out of interacting than he would if approaching with the “typical” male mindset of conquest, goal first, objectives driven interactions that characterise most men.  Particularly in the sexual sphere.

Male Sexual Energy

Men want something.  Whether straight or gay, they want something from their partner.  They have a goal to get off.  That might be in a million different ways to Sunday, but getting the big “O” in is typically the driver, putting their cxxks in.

And because men are wired this way, the process can be extraneous.  Anything that might distract or slow down attainment of the objective is interference.  Perfect example?  Dick pics.  A man who sends dick picks is just cutting right to it—and this lack of judgement (he can’t even reason the headspace of the recipient, but just assumes that the receiver will find it hot) is exactly consistent.  Same thing in talking about sex.  What you can see online is only a slightly less filtered version of how many men are and behave in real life.  Slide into any escort, or any domme, and you will see so many examples.  And I am not criticising…after all, men are half the population.  The mindset isn’t going to change.  They might become more polite about it, but the goal-oriented mindset, whether rooted in sexuality or elsewhere, manifests itself in this way.

Power and submission

Submission is a conscious act of parking your ego at the door.  Perhaps, some submissives are “genuine” as a domme I dined with not long ago remarked.  What she meant is that a true submissive for her is actually submitting to the will and desire of the domme, not coming to her with a request list.

And this takes me back to the point of the interview…when he said “slaves have better orgasms” in a tongue in cheek way, and even though the concept of orgasm is tied to goal-seeking behaviour, there is real truth in what he was saying.  Consider for a moment the man who was saying it.  He spends a good deal of his life locked in chastity.  Forcibly denied release. And when he is in session, he is experiencing an acute form of tease and denial, so acute that it is a part of who he is.  What he might be saying more accurately is that the slave has more anticipation, and that this anticipation makes it all better.

What I would add to that, is that it is the anticipation itself, born out of a response to the sexual energy of the female partner, that is what is arousing…and whether it leads anywhere is hardly the point.

Am I saying that I have more knowledge or more understanding or insight than anyone else?  Or that I understand a woman better than someone else?  No.  But relative to me, yes.  For as I have explored this world of female dominance, I have begun to understand the motivations, desires, eroticism better than I did before.  And isn’t that what listening is?

If you ask me what submission is, this is what it means to me.  Letting go of any desire to pursue an end, or having a goal or objective, and just allowing yourself to feel and respond to the other person.  Whether that is in conversation, in a power game, in touch, or in anything.  In this sense, a good boy is one who listens with all senses.

Feminine power

How we identify and understand female power has traditionally been seen through a male lens.  Even by women.  Take for example the popular comeback on male v. female strength and the idea of the pain of childbirth.  That men are “babies” when it comes to pain.  But strength in this sense is based on a male yardstick.  

What do we know?  Women are less likely to fall ill.  Is that power?  Women tend to live longer.  Is that power?  Women cope with and handle complexity better?  Girls outpace boys in terms of cognitive development until puberty kicks in along with some very debilitating social prejudices.  Is that social or is reversion to the mean a fact of life?

The relative richness of the female experience is power.  Women can have babies, give birth, get to experience the ultimate human bond.  What is more powerful than that.  Women’s ability to love in this way we have all experienced, we all have had mothers.  Women’s power to forgive, to listen, to understand—that is all power too.

Society places hard measures in place as they fit with the male narrative, the need to define, control, dominate.  The very essence of femininity, ambiguity, mystery, speaks to its opposite and is itself a form of power.

I begin to wonder what the world would be like if there was recognition that these qualities are the true sources of power.  If it is anything like what it feels like to be in submission to a dominatrix, then bring it on!

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