Eris Martinet wrote a manifesto of sorts, and I have a disagreement.
It’s one of the biggest ethical nonos for a professional mental health care provider, and a pithy piece of good advice for everyone looking at setting boundaries in their relationship in the appropriate level of care to give a partner.
But there’s so little space to love on the perverts or give sex workers a space to speak that I feel like I need to start my disagreement response to Eris Martinet with a disclaimer- this is a “Yes, and…” not a “Fuck no”.
And if you use my participation in a conversation to turn this into a diatribe on realness or anti-sexworker, I will look on you with disdain so severe you can’t even get off on it.
Eris’s true, raw piece about her very valuable career, as something between performance artist and therapist, is a very good way to make a lifestyle femdom real miserable. This is speaking as someone with a pretty serious caretaker kink, who wanders around unzipping boy’s baggage sorting through it with a reflexive talent.
But the dichotomy of broken and healer, while it can make for some powerful chemistry, is one that can only be dipped into not immersed in if you are building a relationship without a pile of (professional or other) distance, and I think female dominants in particular should be aware that the giving urge is particularly tempting to us.
I can’t really know where Eris is coming from regarding the professional side push back particularly on findoms, although the evil puritan gremlins who control the credit system on which all modern finance rests do their busy work implying that hypnosis is a bridge too far. I am not a prodom and I can’t speak for the nuance of culture- I’ve spent the last decade of sexual activity and public writing chasing away men trying to hire me with various levels of politeness.
She is right that we rank against each other too much in a world that casts us all out, with equal scorn. But…
If you are a female dominant and simply trying to date and find lovers, as writers like Ava have noticed, there is one hell of a bad tendency to use you as an outlet. Beyond this, it’s very easy to mistake the relationship of nurturing control for the power that makes you zing. Sadism and empathy are not two opposing forces, it is my observation that if your thing is vulnerable or tormented men, this compliments intensely with loving them and helping them.
But there is the cosmic joke, the one poor old Sacher Masoch teased out in his porn philosophy, when he wasn’t leaving protein stains on his wife’s ermine coat, the situation is all too much not opposite but opposing sexes, and this polarity on a binary fucks a lot up. With the framing of things as weird power dynamics in the vanilla that don’t seem to help anyone but nonetheless exist, everything is messy.
While Eris is pouring hot gold into the fissures of men’s psyches, I am over here slamming the door on a life spent setting myself on fire to keep someone else warm.
Two easy things go wrong- his fractures are actually the roots of his submission, not his nature, and your glue seals your power away, as satisfied, thence goes your heart. Or you exhaust yourself on an endless quest to mend and soothe, addicted to his need to heal. I am inherently a caretaker, and that won’t change, but I am more careful now.
It’s a familiar habit in our blogs- the happy couples are there, but most of the words are still frustrated, still seeking and suffocating under piles and piles of performance and incompatible need.
We break our hearts, over and over again to the point I stopped writing for a while because the world didn’t need another frustrated femdom crying into her keyboard about how nobody actually loves her properly. That it was my lot in life to inherit men who somehow broke under the pressure of the supposedly mirror kinks to mine, that I had to become either an unshakable self promoting pedestal or a deep well of patience to the exploring interest of emotionally stunted survivors, while they got to sulk about having the choice and economic position to buy a skilled professional.
Now perhaps my tone is not entirely fair, because men’s pain in their circumstances are valid, and it is extremely self evident in examining the pile of trope that is femdom that the whole thing has all sorts of pockets of internalized pain pressed into pearls, particularly some of the worst injuries we do to guys in policing them.
But oh hell, boys! I didn’t make that snarl of masculinity you get yourself so tangled up in. I just want to be loved without being a therapy tool, an outlet or an idol.
And if there is one thing I have learned since I started being sexually active over half my lifetime ago, it’s that it needs to be better. That I have specifically watched too many dominant women mistake helpless and wounded for something else, as a lifestyle choice.
I guess the other part is it never feels like anyone cares about our pain. Our alienation, disempowerment, and so on. Eris says nobody blinks at a Daddy Dom, but the reality of boundaries on your power as a Mother is one girl children learn from a young age when the first adult decides you should babysit.
And there is a glory in the traditional tools of womanhood- I have come to respect that perhaps I do not think femdom must look like maledom (perhaps the latter should aspire more the other way sometimes). I will not cast away the metaphorical spindle as a shackle, nor douse the hearth/home my ancestors-in-sex tended.
But, though I will spin a rope to bind him before tending to his pain, I will snip those threads when they become a barrier to the whole person. And I think my life has too often mistaken prior damage for enthusiastic surrender.
And I do recognize that I don’t think this is going to be a popular position, since people are bigger on sentiment and big declarations that if you care about the broken are reassuring. We are all a little shattered, and sub guys are intimately aware something is askew.
But there Eris and I part company- for I love where there is the perception of good surrender, but where she has the distance to mend the shards herself, I know that it will cut us, very deeply if we let a pretty broken thing be held to us the wrong way.
So take in a man whose body or his psyche is a map of scars, for that is beautiful to me and that may be your passion as well. I know I love and have loved such. But, beware the imbalances of energy and space to be whole yourself, you, my sister in kink who may be reading, and guard for the easy way you can fall into the breaks in him at your expense.