My friend turned to me and asked point blank, “are you a slave?” The context of this was something fierce, coming as she does from a Caribbean background. I cannot dissociate the negative connotations from the word ‘slave’ and the appropriation of it into kink circles.
“Yes, I think I am,” I replied. And our conversation flowed to her own relationship and how her partner shows slave tendencies, and her gentle probing of my own feelings.
As a man, or at least someone seen as a man, I felt enormous guilt for my existence. You see, wanting to be female, wanting it my entire life, has tuned and turned my thoughts to the challenges women face in society. This is not a recent thing. My major had a significant component of Gender Studies as core to the curriculum. Far more importantly, how I engaged romantically with women was informed by this crushing weight.
Even if I looked like a man, God forbid would I behave like one.
At times it was difficult. Growing up and wanting to date, so many girls, then women, wanted something fiercer, more animal, more macho, more dangerous than my lithe and wholly androgynous affect could muster. Settling into maturity, my body puffed out, and I was better able to fake it—not by intent, simply by looking more the part. I might develop a crush on someone only to find she wanted something more manly.
How much of her desire was a social construct is now called into question, as I find more and more women, of any age, are far more willing and desirous of expressing their power, stepping into their ferocity and strength. It is beautiful.
As a man, I couldn’t bring myself to engage on the terms dictated by society. Not once in my life have I ever “stolen” a kiss. Oh gosh, how I have wanted to. To do so, however, would be to play into a trope of man as conqueror. The social narrative that as a male, one must do the asking, be the predator, aack, where does sexy end and inappropriate begin? My code has been never do, unless asked.
Indeed, most adored Mistress once practiced the zen art of Shibari on me, trussing me motionless before proceeding to place her lips not one millimetre from mine, making me ache with desire, perhaps testing me, who knows, but certainly relishing the restraint—there was no way I was going to move even one hair-breadth, every fibre of my being was in tension at that moment, the total bliss of erotic passion and desire, and the incredible power of respect for her energy and what she represented both combined to make the air shimmer around us. That was over a year ago, and I can still feel its power when I close my eyes and remember.
Please don’t misunderstand. I am capable of rough, if that is what is desired. Most adored Mistress has spoken eloquently not about consent, but about enthusiastic consent. I love this concept, and it has become a very helpful guide system to me in my dealings in the romantic sphere, whether paid or otherwise. It applies for everything, not just bedroom hijinks.
Over dinner with a group of domina’s, only one of whom was mine (she has given me explicit permission to use the possessive in her case—“Yes, I am your domina”), I was asked to explain this, to explain where my submission came from. In the end, as a man, I could not engage with a woman unless I did so as a submissive, because as a man, I felt I had to apologize, not for me, but for what I represented.
Perception v. Reality
You know what? It is not enough to not be like other men. It is not enough to be virtuous and still be part of the group. This is a form of silent complicity. In war crimes we have a stark reminder of just how pernicious this is. We needn’t look far to find the parallels in the toxic masculine.
How many sensitive men laugh at their friend’s sexist jokes, or make rude comments about women? I get plenty of this on another platform, where self-described “sensitive” or “supportive” or even “feminist” men come back at me with the most absurdly entitled positions and lack of awareness of the pervasive sexism and ongoing violence perpetrated on women and their agency that is rampant in even the most highly evolved societies, let alone the rest.
What I am saying is that unless you formally step out of the group of men, formally declare your opposition to these traits, you cannot be said to be part of the solution. And sadly, simply existing in a male shell, no matter the intent, makes us guilty by association.
How is that possible?
As a male person, walking alone on the street at night, I have encountered the occasional lone female. She processes me as male and exhibits those protective mechanisms that all women everywhere adopt to stay safe. Can I ask you what it might feel like for you, those readers who are not women, to fear walking alone on the street at night, to fear rape or other violence simply because of your sex? To know that underlying this very real danger is misogyny, rage, jealousy, and a whole cocktail of toxicity? Is any man, no matter who they are or how they are, not also guilty if they provoke fear?
Could we imagine a society, a world where the strong did not take advantage of the weak? I don’t think so. We might aspire to it, and certainly the purpose of civilisation if nothing else is to find ways to live in respect and harmony with the world around us, and our fellow citizens.
It’s funny. Of all the criteria that someone might use to choose a professional companion with whom to pass an evening, to lose one’s “virginity” with, you might think that looks would be first on the list. After all, that’s what the marketing usually consists of, and it is through the marketing that one meets these people. In my case, I chose her for her politics. It was a tweet that she once sent perhaps a year ago. I can’t remember the exact words, but it was a provocative tweet that said she was looking for men to give up the patriarchy. That has been the story of my life. Of course I had to meet her.
One of the greatest gifts of being a trans woman is that women who see me don’t process me as male anymore. Sure, I can rock boy mode, but there is a change in my energy field and a new softness in my features that doesn’t seem to provoke the same reaction. I get way more smiles than I ever used to…perhaps because they know it is safe to smile at me.
Walking home late at night in London recently, I found myself gaining on a woman who was alone, perhaps pretending to talk on her phone. When she me, she consciously slowed her pace to let me catch her and then started to sync with me, so that we might walk together. Not a word passed between us, we just walked in silent communion. When we got to my street and I had to turn, I asked if she would be all right, and she smiled and nodded yes. Could that have ever happened to me had I not been wearing a skirt? I don’t think so. To think of that as the ultimate prize for coming out might strike one as absurd. But I can think of no greater joy. Right there is the end of dysphoria.
Common to the transgender experience is dysphoria, an acute mismatch between gender and biological sex. This phenomenon is the root cause of the 100x higher probability of suicidal ideation* felt in the transgender community to the population at large.
It appears that most trans women felt that they were born in the wrong bodies. That somehow God made a mistake. They regard themselves as female and may resort to surgery to correct this mistake. It is in this crucible which is forged a good deal of the political debate.
Although I am a spiritual person, and I do believe in God, a power, an energy, something divine, magic, I do not define this as I was raised to do steeped thoroughly in the Judeo-Christian tradition. I do not believe that “God” made a mistake with me, or even that I was born in the wrong body.
But I also don’t believe in accidents. Our soul is capable of consent. I was given this body for a reason. I felt it as a punishment. That I was given this body to be forced to learn something. I have always wondered what it was, what I might have done wrong in a past life to have to live this way—what it is that I was sent here to learn.
As gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) has fully taken hold, I have shed my dysphoria, and believe that I am beginning to learn or to step inside what that lesson is.
Porpoise in the Waves
In reply to a lively online debate about men, women, and sexual relations, I waded in. The Original Poster (OP) made the point that men were missing out on so much of the richness of what women had to offer by the way they approached with a sense of entitlement. Predictably, there were the usual responses from men which were either tone deaf or macho posturing, and a tone of affirmations from other women.
And as I read through the thread, it occurred to me that female sexual desire as I have experienced it is so utterly different from male desire as I have felt it or have ever understood it. In particular, there is a curiosity to it, and a little bit of a shyness. There isn’t a need to dominate, or conquer, but when a woman is interested in you, wishes to play with you, is willing, an enthusiastic participant, she is both curious and indulgent. She comes out to play.
Based on the thread and countless others, you might conclude that most men do not notice this or ever experience it…and certainly the wham, bam, thank you ma’am of hetero-normative sex almost certainly excludes it. There is another way. Female desire is powerful and mysterious, capable of both fury and tenderness. It reminds me of the ocean, seemingly infinite and deep, at times as smooth as a mirror, at others pounding. In this context, I see myself as a porpoise, playing in the waves of her desire, her femininity, her power. If you let it be so, she is the medium through which incredible joy can be felt and perceived.
Slavery to the Self; Slavery to the Divine Feminine
Every aspect of our lives holds the chance to learn. Our interactions, our friends, loved ones, all hold meaning for us—chance is absurd, everything has meaning and significance if we only listen.
There is a profound lesson for me in the dynamic experienced in service to most-adored-Mistress. It has nothing to do with what we do. It has everything to do with who and how she is. How she conducts herself, how she treats me. I have written completely unrelatedly about the “how” of our existence being the most important thing any of us can master on a road to enlightenment and in living well. She continually inspires me for this. I can’t think of someone who has made me feel more respected and cared for in my life. Awareness of the good fortune of being within her stable is never far from my heart.
And when I think of the importance of the lesson of enthusiastic consent within the context of this post, you must understand that her desire, her ocean is what enables me to be a porpoise at all, dancing, prancing, living my best self, loving, striving to be the best I can be. In other words, the expression of her own femininity, her own desire, her own power is an act of consent. Her “how-ness” lies in the confidence she has in just being, of living on her terms, of being herself. And mine? Responding to that.
I have no doubt that the quality of the experience felt with her is a direct result of this. It is also a universal truth. Even so, it is one to learn.
What is slavery to me? As an aspiration it is ego death. It has little to do with kink, even if kink may at times facilitate access to it. I have no interest in being humiliated. I am not lesser. My submission is not subservience. I have no less agency than you or anyone else. What I do have is energy. Magic. Healing power. Love. Creativity. Life force. Slavery is to give that to someone else without expectation of return. To give it because they can use it, appreciate it, feel it, enjoy it.
In a spiritual sense, I worship the divine feminine. The wounded feminine. The angry feminine. The seductive feminine. The jealous, angry, joyful, passionate, chaotic, wild, hungry, delicious feminine. When it is around me, I feel joy. It is the mother’s embrace.
Serving this, being a slave to it, means listening. It means feeling with all of me, listening with all of me, being attentive, supportive, warm, caring, healing, tender, gentle, and generous. This is what slavery is. An expression of the higher self, of this self.
I feel as if I am teetering on the edge of discovering something really big. Stepping into my femininity is allowing me to experience being with women in ways that would have been impossible as a male-bodied person—after all, how we feel only takes us so far. The presence and tyranny of the pxnxs is not just driven by its owner…the weight of social conditioning crushes all of us.
Being trans female has made it possible for me to experience women in ways that I had always wished for, but which eluded us. It is possible to step inside a woman’s energy field now without the trepidation, anticipation, and expectation of masculine energy and to experience her divinity. Every woman possesses the Goddess in some form and to varying degrees. I am not sure that until now I ever really got to see it, even if I knew it was there, or really wanted to see it.
But now I can. When some people say that God is all around us, now I know She is. And I can see her face for the first time in my life. What is the loss of male privilege in the face of the divine? A distant memory.
Bless you all.
*Our best estimates from the research I have read over the years is that suicidal ideation (have seriously contemplated or have attempted to take one’s own life) in the cis population is 0.5% whereas in the transgender community this is a terrifyingly high 50%. Despite all the beauty and joy that has always surrounded me, I am part of the 50% for having this peculiar affliction of dysphoria.
Thank you for sharing this very thoughtful post, my beautiful friend! I greatly enjoyed reading about some of the experiences you’ve had on this journey, such as encountering a lone woman walking in the dark of night, and the two of you syncing your pace for safety. When I reflect on my childhood, I see now that my parents worked hard to instill the same self-confidence in me that they did my brothers. My father always told me that I could be or do whatever I wanted, and I believed him. I’ve lived my life that way. I am educated and I have taken all the classes and read the books on patriarchy and I know that what you write about, the way that women have suffered throughout the ages and even today is all true…but it has never been MY experience. I feel free to embrace my place in this world as someone equal to all others…man, woman, and any other way people want to identify. What I find interesting about myself that as a strong, capable woman, I have this burning desire to learn to submit to another. Submission does not come easy to me, and yet, I long for it more than I’ve ever longed for anything in my life. Smiles. Well, I have rambled enough on your post, my dear friend. AS always, thank you for lighting up my life with your well-written and intriguing posts! XOXO
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Hello dear friend. Thank you so much for writing. I know that you must have a lot on your mind, but I saw two posts from you in my inbox which I look forward to tucking into shortly. I have been hella busy, on the road, and living life as it should be. Free and carefree, and it has been beautiful and rewarding.
This opening into slavery and submission has been one that has illuminated my life. Like you, I am not really submissive at all, anywhere. Except that when someone who is dominant in the way that we understand it, I can’t help but respond. But it has to be uplifting. Surrender is delicious, and it can be a gift, provided the person to whom we submit treats it thus. For others, it is waste.
I do have an owner in an informal sense, and to whom I am much better suited…not least because she is solid in herself. She has become a big sister to me, which is all I ever wanted, and in truth is what I truly need.
I hope that you are well, and especially your Daddy is on the mend. Whilst I am enjoying the single life, and need to feel it for a while, I am likely to find a new partner at some point and settle down. Its a pity we can’t live forever.
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Hello, gorgeous! First, I had to chuckle at your use of “hella”, as that is often considered northern California speak (where I am from). I am very intrigued to hear that you have an owner (in an informal sense)… I do hope we get to hear more on this. And… I have no doubt you will find a new partner! You are emotionally intelligent and have the most beautiful soul…there will be many women who will feel lucky to be with you. Especially a dominant one! XOXO
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Hi…despite my children’s admonitions not to do so, I have signed up on a kink-positive dating app. I am in the middle of nowhere so we will see what kind of results, but even where I am is turning up an amazing number of fellow kinksters. And my frequent visits to New York and London are fuelling the fun.
I do have a Mistress. I have been seeing her for about 18 months. I started to see her when something didn’t quite feel right with the last one…and I wanted someone to talk me through it. I posted about it when it happened. She’s an amazing domme, and unlike the previous one, is public, unashamed, and doing this because she loves it, and it is an expression of who she is, not just for the money. There isn’t a day that goes by with her that I don’t appreciate how down to earth she is and how inspiring.
If I were to take one single measure of her impact on me, is that with the last one, I lost the desire to write. With this one, I feel inspiration all the time (not just in the kink world)…she is truly energising. I don’t write about her because she is special to me in different ways, and also because she is much higher profile than the last one. I am very lucky to be allowed to serve her, for she is one of the greats.
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Thank you for sharing more about your Mistress! I was curious about your relationship with her. I am glad that she inspires you 🙂
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I hear you, and I think you are quite fortunate. I posted a long time ago about this topic, about the number of women who pretend to talk on their mobile phones when walking alone at night, that place their keys in their hands a certain way to be able to scratch if needed…When I first read about, it was such an alien idea to me, and so depressing. You feel as if we have made advances and then find the truth is far from that.
Submission is a very strange thing. I don’t get it anymore. I really don’t fancy being submissive. But devoted, yes. My new Mistress doesn’t dominate me in an active sense. She is who she is as a woman, and I am invited to serve. It is totally different as an experience, but even more powerful. It is as if I am invited to present myself at her feet. At the same time, I have felt the steel when watching her with others, or even in little glimpses when she states something. But most of the time, I feel cared for by her. Respected. Honoured. She is playing a very important role in my life by inspiring me in many ways. She does play the full range as any pro-Domme, but with me, she has accepted my true desire as a slave–to serve her and not to be catered to, and in this, I have found the perfect foil. I never ask her to do anything to me. She tells me how she feels, what she wants to do, whether that is in play session or in life generally, and I am offered the opportunity to serve that. In other words, I am out, it feels natural, and very, very healthy and sublime.
Submission used to be easy within a sexual context, but that feeling is gone on oestrogen. I feel more and more outspoken and empowered, more and more desiring to assert my boundaries, speak up for myself, make things happen. And yet, what I can’t figure, is how this is coming at the same time as I feel more explicitly a slave. I have had a glimpse into life that way, when I was introduced into a world of Dommes and their slaves in a social context, and this led to some very interesting experiences in my life, where I met a ton of people in the kink community because I was the slave of so-and-so. It was pretty wonderful.
I hope you are well, and that your partner is getting better, feeling strong, and wish you a wonderful holiday season.
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love the post and the convo betewwen You , and NN. love the insight
Peace and Love always
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Readers like you and NN are what make blogging fun! Thanks for being out there in the kinkiverse!
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