Don’t Fear The 50Shades Newbies

50screamWith the long promised movie coming up, internet BDSM communities are continuing the ongoing tizzy about how terribly awful bad this phenomena is for kink, particularly how we are going to expect a barrage of innocents any day now, who will totter in all starry eyed and come into some sort of unspecified calamity based on something they read or saw.

I’m going to bracket this by saying 50shades is not my cup of tea, and indeed is Bad Writing. Then again I can’t say I’m a fan of a lot of things- cheerleading, miracle whip or pastel magical unicorns are also going to draw out a bah humbug (and indeed given the injury rate, cheerleading is probably a lot more dangerous than recreational spanking). And for that matter the books have never claimed to have aspirations to high art.But this doesn’t mean the supposed tide of 50shades newbies we’re supposed to get (who have yet to present themselves, btw) are somehow this big problem we needed to plan for.

True, Christian Grey is fucked in the head, Anastasia is next door to some sort of combination social anxiety and eating disorder, as well as weird jealousy issues and poor decision making. But BDSM literature as a whole is a zone of emotionally unhealthy characters- not in the least of which because we are a bunch of by and large sane people fetishizing horrible things. (I mean come on, depending on which version you read Story of O ends in her suicide.) There are millions of terrible harlequin romances extant and somehow heterosexuality as a whole has survived all sorts of silliness.

Let’s take a look at some of the common worries, shall we?

BDSM is a super special dangerous thing you need training to do. Newbies are going to get hurt if they enter into kink thinking this is easy and safe. The books never get more intense than a beating scene with a prison strap, which is further addressed as being something it is both okay and understandable for the dippy heroine to not want. Hell, the first book ends with a break up because she decides she is not comfortable- and the middle book is about coming to a compromise that balances their respective crazy. But, more to the point, this is kinky sex, not rocket science. You are not part of the special sexual elite- 99% of what we do, while highly enjoyable, doesn’t exactly take annual certification and an OSHA inspector. And no judgement, but triple razor wire flaming suspension bondage is not a common activity for most of us, even scene veterans.

The other implication here is also that the 50Shades fanbase is somehow dumber, more naive and less inclined to do their homework than the person making that claim. Now you might point to how stupid you think the books are, but then again BDSM is not known for our high quality pornography. As Wildcard observed to me on the subject, I don’t think most of us were initially sexually inspired by high art.

The books sell an overtly controlling person as a super magical dom, and will lead to newbies not knowing that they could find kinky abusers.. Over the course of the three books its repeatedly addressed that BDSM itself is not the weird thing, but rather that the male lead is literally crazy. The implication about worrying about risk of abuse is that 50shades newbies are ripe picking for our resident predators. You know what that says? If you are so utterly sure there are enough abusers in the scene that you have to actively protect everyone who comes in you are acknowledging one hell of a missing stair problem. That is to say if you really think the community you are part of has more risk than the rest of the humans who are not part of your special sexual subculture, the problem is that your subculture is fucked up.

Maybe instead of trying to focus on some sort of welcoming committee, as many people seem to think needs doing, that energy should be used to clean house?

People who get into kink through 50shades are annoying dabblers not REAL kinksters. I’m sorry, you’re a snob if you think this. I am as peeved as anyone else that the bottom tier of cheap toys has taken on a distinct colour palette and branding. But, no matter how you feel about tacky satin blindfolds and rhinestone handled paddles, you do not get to make the distinction of sincerity versus weekenders. And if you try you are going to sound like a huge hipster trying to keep your exclusive hobbies from the poseurs. This also goes to people who think there is some sort of unbroken legacy that’s been handed down but will now be neglected- sorry guys, BDSM is an activity practiced in the private bedrooms of couples all around the world. You don’t get a monopoly to define and control kink and you never had one.

The problem with 50shades is mostly that it’s in the midst of a moral panic the like of which is typically found among suburban parents worrying about jelly bracelets and rainbow parties, but most people who don’t think its worth the flap are generally not invested in protecting ridiculously popular things. It hits just in the sweet spot between containing enough sex to make conservative prudes squawk, but not enough self awareness to make anyone who would normally be all liberal and sex positive happy. And yet, maybe its time to admit the franchise didn’t create any problems that weren’t already there to start?

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19 Replies To Every Online Femdom Discussion Ever

thump1) Femdom? Okay, I want to get into this, can you dominate me over skype? Please?! MISTRESS SLAV ME NAOW

2) Well, its not the natural order of things- everyone knows women are inherently submissive, that’s how heterosexuality works. I guess some women don’t like sex though.

3) I believe in teh superior female and men are made to worship because they are inferior because thinking this about all women everywhere makes my pants tight. All women are goddesses.

4) There is no such thing as a real female dominant. Believe me, I’ve looked, all there are is women who are paid to do it or do it for attention and they are all fat and ugly or insane money grubbing whores who won’t do the highly specific thing that gets me off. I don’t understand it, why can’t I get a femdom to notice me?

5) All female dominants are at least switches. Its a fact, you know. Just like all the bi lesbians.

6) Feisty! I like that… ever considered subbing? I promise I won’t tell.

7) You can’t make me/a real man submit because he would just beat you. What if someone raped you, where would all your precious dominance be then? Male dom doesn’t actually involve consent, its based on the real thrill of domestic violence, which is how our ancestors lived.

8) For the love of GOD dominate me now. At least frown disapprovingly?

9) I’m usually a dominant but I thought I wanted to try switching. So when do you want to do it?

10) You mentioned you were into X kink. I am also into X kink. Despite the fact that you are in a relationship and I am in a completely different country, do you think we could do our fetish together?

11) Let me tell you, as a domme, all male subs are disrespectful horny morons! It totally hasn’t occurred to me that the guys who read my posts are not the same guys who are in my inbox, so fuck all of you guys.

12) I love being pampered by my clien… I mean slave boys and am always looking to add to my stable if you are worthy and generous. If you think you have the budget, I have poor quality pictures of my feet in my profile and message me at cashnowpiggy@unprofessional.com No, I’m not a pro! True dominants deserve being pampered. My time is valuable so money!

13) Why are all you dominants so fucking old? How DARE you be over the age of 35? My penis demands a nubile dominant.

14) Do female dominants like men who wear dresses? Okay, red heads? Do they like left handed men? Err.. reassure me that you might find me attractive please.

15) Worthless worm here who just copy pasted my 1000 word profile!

16) Femdom is a solution to my social anxiety, right? If she just does all the work it’ll be perfect.

17) Do you believe, like me, that all men should be taught to submit? This would clearly end all gender imbalance problems over night.

18) I have an online femdom relationship where she collared me. But its been over a month since she messaged me, how do I show her I’m a true slave and ready to take it to the next level?

19) My husband doesn’t want to have penetrative intercourse anymore, as he says it’s not properly submissive to me. If I miss dick does that make me not a real femdom? I’m trying really hard to do this right.

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Do Dominants Have All the Power in BDSM?

hailthequeenOne of the most common questions in kink, particularly when you are trying to convey the concepts to newbies or people outside of kink, is who really has the power in a D/s relationship.

There’s differing opinions on that. The default people tend to go to is “The dom, duh, that’s their job!” but it’s matched by a now classic argument that the sub usually has all the power because they can withdraw consent at any time. One safeword or a serious no, and the dom is back to being Ms. Normalpants, right?

Some male subs argue femdoms have all the power by virtue of scarcity. On the other hand other, (clever) writers have pointed out a collective tendency to domism in kink society at large and in popular perception uninvolved vanillas, the idea that the more dominant you are the more weight and value your experience and opinions have. To a degree this is true- I have shiny dominant privilege that people tend to treat me like what makes me wriggle in me seat somehow comes with an extra helping of smart in my head. People generally believe that dominant sexuality is like an automatic mantle of leadership, or paradoxically expect that leader traits must match dominant leanings. This is something I can’t help bringing with me into all my relationships.

On the other hand, as I’ve complained about at length, femdom as a genre of porn is particularly weighted towards getting straight dudes off. There is very little stuff out there for femdoms, but a giant buffet of wank for male subs. It’s true that femdom is in such demand you can charge for it, but paradoxically professional dominants work hard for their money. If you are at all into identity politics, you can point out the big awkward sausage fingers of the patriarchy jammed up in my archetype expectations- indeed a lot of classic male sub requests are to hold up a twisted mirror of sexism- asking to be hurt by denying them or humiliating them with reminders of a code of conduct that penalizes femininity or failures to be conventionally masculine. And as Dee pointed out, there is a tendency to treat all dominants like our consent is set to “Yes”. Certainly stealth submission is offered more freely than anyone would suggest a dom should stealth take charge to get their jollies.

(At this point the non-gender equality obsessed persons eyeballs kinda crossed, while some MRA type is now posed with fingers over their keyboard to make sure I get told what I said wrong. Have at it- there’s a comment section for a reason. Oh yeah and if you just came here for the sexy femdom stories… sorry.)

We female dominants cope with it in different ways. Some, particularly the feminist professionals, point out they are doing what they want, and is probably pretty sexist to say there’s a right way to be female.  Others, like me, devote our scowly faces to being treated as a category niche fetish as opposed to being just a dominant, regardless of the contents of my pants. Meanwhile male subs often get all sad that a poor distinction is made between marketing copy of professional femdoms and the fact that male subs are just people like everyone else.

So nobody gets to go into their relationships without baggage, personal or otherwise. But what about power exchange?

The reality of asking who has the power is that you’re going to hit that age old frustrator of every duality ever, which is that it depends. While it’s true that subs can withdraw consent at any time, so can doms, who are just as capable of having limits. BDSM relationships don’t exist in a vacuum- as much as we like to imagine we all have sooper sekret chateaux where we host the most sophisticated sex parties, nobody stops being themselves just because they twig for something collectively presumed to fall under the kink umbrella.

Whatever power is the amount you bring into the relationship with you. It never really goes away- it just gets moved around. Doms, femdom or otherwise, are not all just filling the fantasy of the sub, but neither, to the protests of some, is submission diminished by considering the desires of the submissive. The power is just as much with the dom to indulge or not.

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Femdom Life: Happy 2015

new-year1

Whee! January already, how did that happen?

I’m celebrating the new year with a new website look- a blue colour pallet that takes this site from the 2010 default template and into something at least a little bit contemporary. Last year was pretty big for the site- I increased general traffic by about 300%, from a trickle to a  steady flow. I also dabbled a bit in ebooks (Mistress Plays For Keeps) and it appears to be pretty popular for something I have put no effort into selling other than throwing it on Amazon. I made $7. Wooo! That wouldn’t be possible without you guys coming by here.

On the femdom life (and general life) front, Wildcard and I are co-habing it up in a lovely inexpensive apartment with a Victorian look, which is pleasing my Lady fantasies. For reasons unrelated to my relationship, it was a rocky summer, with an unexpected illness sapping my productivity. Although I’ve shown definite improvement. still, I’m very much looking forward to this year with renewed health.

On the other hand, I’ve made an increased commitment to what I do in the offline/in person BDSM scene- reserving the 18-35 munches until June (hey are you in Montreal, young and kinky? I can hook you up!) as well as taking the time to get outside my bubble and see a bit more of the older person scene.

This is connected to the organizer of the Montreal Fetish Weekend, who asked me to pop into some of his events and consult. That’s been incredibly interesting, and surprisingly challenging. Giving useful feedback that takes into account the limits of a small business means really getting a feel for how something like this gets off the ground and its clear the organizer works his butt off to see it happen.

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