Saturday, 24 May 2008

Kink Week: The Brutal Honesty Edition

(xposted from my personal blog)

Since Ren christened this week kink week, I wanted to talk a little bit about my own. I've spent a lot of time over the past few years getting deeply involved with feminism and writing academically, and a lot of that has involved defending BDSM as healthy and harmless. But I'm going to talk about stuff that, well, might just "come from patriarchy," and holy shit! Not care.

For as long as I can remember, the kind of sex that attracted me the most is the kind that felt like use. I want to penetrate people because I want to get inside them, possess them, claim them from the inside out. And there's plenty of theory that says that seeing penetration that way is all about patriarchy. Maybe it is. I have to say I really don't know, even after years of "examination", of reading MacKinnon and Dworkin, of listening to other female tops, like Bitchy Jones, talk about how penetration of the submissive partner is sold to us as the one true way of doing dominance, and how that's not "really" what "women" want.

But, and this is where I'm going to get in trouble with the people who don't like people who go with what feels "natural" rather than examining why things feel "natural" in fucked up cultures (or the people who think fucked up dynamics feel natural to survivors because they associate abuse with love):

I never really experienced it that way. I experienced the idea of me penetrating people as what seemed natural, what seemed right, what flowed easiest for my personal feelings. To try and think of myself getting penetrated meant thinking of myself distantly, disconnected from my body. It meant thinking abstractly, using my mind to reason about what certain bodies were "intended for."

And I'm a geek, but puzzling out body-purpose-thingies? SO NOT HOT.

It's not even that being penetrated is unpleasant for me. When done right it feels GOOD. It just also feels like being turned inside out -- like wearing your shirt backwards all day because that particular shirt looks cool that way, strangely enough, and then having people notice and get rabid about telling you you're supposed to do this all the time, because you have the sort of skin that goes with backward shirts, and everyone knows it. Even though wearing your shirt backwards feels wrongish because the damn thing is ON BACKWARDS.

It's not really that I'm uncomfortable with being female. It's that my clit's not big enough to fuck people with, and I don't like that. I don't care that it's a clit. I care that it's TINY. Autoandrophilia? Penis envy?

Sure, but I'm getting tired of almost all of the words for that sort of thing being demeaning ones.

I've wondered for a long time whether it had to do with something like testosterone levels. I remember in some years ago about freemartins, and having the thought "Everything makes sense now. Some female organisms are just like this. I'm not a mistake."

Granted, as far as I know freemartins are only interested in females, so it's not a one to one mapping, but it's, well… "Hey, that's me!" I'm not a "woman" in Bitchy's sense, so even if she's right about them (and I'd say she isn't, anyway) whatever they want has nothing to do with me anyway, even though my gender identity isn't "man" either.

Culture? Sure, the culture has told me what males are "supposed" to do in sex. But I really don't think it's the culture that told me I was supposed to be what a girl isn't. I always thought I was crazy, because I knew what girls were supposed to do: get fucked. Submit. Be sweet and soft.

And it really is something that can easily conform to that stereotypical idea of masculine and feminine roles in sex, just with the genders reversed. I strongly suspect that one reason I'm more attracted to men than to women is just because it's more exciting to dominate (including to feminize; yes, [info]weepingcock members, I am that supposedly mythical person who likes the word "boycunt") a man.

It may also be I'm just genetically "more straight" (if straight even has any meaning given how weird I am anyway…), but it may be just that it's more like use. It's taking someone who, given the culture, claims that I'm a usurper and I don't belong, and turning that on its head in a sexy, forceful, emotional and obvious way. It's more humiliating. It's more intense. It turns more on its head.

Tell that to the people who think women are desperate to please men.

If I'm a woman in any robust sense at all, that is.

But I like that. I like physically overpowering someone. I like ramming into them. I like digging into their skin with nails and teeth until it hurts. I like feeling their body open, hearing them gasp because I'm hurting them and they like it.

Funny how, while I totally see how that looks like patriarchy to some, it looks different from the dynamic they always pick on to fuss about.

And I like other things too, that don't make nearly as much sense. I like knives. I like hurting people with sharp things because, well, the blood is the life. I like the idea of digging in their body for treasure, bringing what they are out of the depths of them and into the light. Seeing it, claiming it, tasting it -- I don't much do these things in the era of HIV (though Monkey and I have been together a while so perhaps we will), but I certainly do things that mean the same thing to me symbolically.

And that's the idea. Digging through the prison of the body for the spirit, and making it mine.

No, it's not fair. It's not supposed to be.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, this doesn't have anything to do with your post, but you always struck me as pretty wise in these affairs, so I've come to you for advice.

I'm a submissive in my older teens. I just recently met a guy online, and we've been meeting in person almost daily since I came back home from college. We'll only have the opportunity to do so for, well, tomorrow, as I will soon be returning to the city where I'm in college. This was our third meeting. The first was a pretty mundane affairs; some cuffs to the wall, some light flogging, me attempting to give him a blowjob and failing, him giving me one (an odd thing for a dom, but I gathered he wanted me to remember my first time well. The second time, we escalated it: the restraints got a bit more elaborate, he tried some candle wax, still pretty light pain but more than the previous night, and fucked me in the ass, quite slow and gently. Truth be told, I was ecstatic; I'd never been happier to be alive. Tonight...

He pushed me just a little farther than I was willing to go. Odd that it was from something almost completely vanilla in nature; but he fucked me harder- well, a lot harder- than I was capable of handling. I don't doubt that his intentions were benign; he merely thought I could take it. In retrospect, I should have done a better job of communicating my discomfort- maybe invoked my safeword. He's no mind-reader; mistakes are going to be made; both of us will miscommunicate and push not enough or too hard. Then again, I hear here "It's partially my fault," and, "these sorts of things happen in an S&M relationship" - the calling cards of an abused sub. Then again, to his credit, as soon as I made it known that I was in rough shape and that things had strayed into the unenjoyable for me, he stopped, without me using my safeword- he didn't even come tonight.

Then, later that night, as I was tossing and turning in bed, it hit me, and I felt fairly guilty. In my reticence to do so, I had deprived him of his property- and what right had I to do so? It was his, not mine, and a revolt against all that was....natural? that he had not got to come that night.

That I had no right to my own body.

Needless to say, this scared the shit of me. I'm coming perilously close to enjoying the sort of abuse- unintentional as it may have been- last night, at losing my ability to say no, and becoming less and less likely that I will communicate my state to him, feeling that he ought to take whatever he can.

But it feels so good. At the same time, I'm in a pretty dark place right now.

I'm only fortunate that I have a partner who I can trust here, and I know that he will never harm me in that way willingly.

What do I do?

Anonymous said...

First, I'm not associated with this blog in any way, other than that I love reading it.

But I can say, as a submissive myself, that I've felt the very same feelings you've felt. The "oh my god, how could I have backed down" sort of feelings.

It boils down to this: your number one priority as a submissive is to keep healthy and safe. Nothing comes before that. Another way to say that is, "It is my repsonsibility to take care of my owner's property" -- which you can modify for however you describe your relationship.

If you fail to do what it takes to take care of yourself, you're going to be a nervous wreck. You're going to be clingy and cringy and scaredy, and that's no fun to dominate. I don't know about you, but I'd rather present my dom with proud, confident, loving submission, not nervous insecurity.

Perhaps I misread, but it sounds like you've only played with him three times now. Good submission is a rare gift, especially from someone as thoughtful and intelligent as your comment reveals that you are. You deserve to have your submission be earned through conscientious, careful, loving dominance. What I'm trying to say is that I'm a lot less compromising on my limits for someone I've played with three times versus someone I've been playing with for a year, and I think that's prudent.

Sounds like the guy backed off. Awesome. That means he respects you. I respect him for that. So now that you've both demonstrated that you're reasonable people, why not show him this blog comment and ask him for his thoughts?

Finally, long distance relationships suck. Damn. Good luck on that one.

Trinity said...


I hadn't seen your comment, and am terribly sorry I didn't respond sooner. (I am going to assume "older teens" means eighteen or nineteen.)

First: have you talked to him? It sounds from what you say like you have, and know for sure that he didn't mean to go too far. If that really is the case, he should be able to understand that he went too far, and should be willing to do anything he can to fix this (if there is anything.)

If he's not, however, get out of there. Quickly.

Second: as Joscelin says, it's your responsibility to look out for your own safety. The fantasy is that the dominant person can and will always do so; the reality is that not all dominant people are scrupulous, and even the most scrupulous of us may not know when something goes wrong, or not know how to fix something if it does.

The fantasy for you is complete submission; the reality, though, has to be something healthy. If you needed to say "Sir, stop right now, I'm not OK," you denied him his orgasm not because you wanted to defy him, but because your psychological health is infinitely more important than his orgasm. He can have one of those another time. You can't rebuild your emotional safety anywhere near that easily.

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