Yes. Yes they do!
While it may be hard for others to imagine how power-play fits into a respectful relationship among equals, or it may be easy for some to assume a feminist would only take one role in BDSM sexual intimacy, you couldn’t be more wrong.
What is BDSM? It’s a blanket term used to refer to the various kinks encompassed in bondage and sado-masochist sex. BDSM includes power-play (dominant and submissive roleplay or lifestyle commital, i.e. 24/7 master/slave kinda deal.) I will discuss a few different areas of BDSM sex and lifestyle and how well it all jives with promoting women’s equality.
FIRST: If you have ANY history of sexual abuse, rape, assault, or sexual trauma PLEASE talk with someone trained to deal with victims of sexual abuse before exploring the world of BDSM. Often, kinks can actually be a way of your brain reliving trauma, a weird coping mechanism. Please, please PLEASE get help. Sadly, the extremists in the BDSM culture have capitalized on women reliving past abuses and this is very much NOT COOL with this feminist! If you would like help finding resources in your area just send me a email at FeministsDIB@gmail.com
Now that is out of the way…
Lifestyle Domination & Submission; A slippery slope of sexism and mysogyny.
Lifestyle domination and submission involves one party in the relationship becoming the “master” or dominant partner and the other becoming the “slave” or submissive. Lifestyle d&s involves a complete dedication to the roles of dominant and submissive, 24/7. Often, women are the ones subjugated to the “slavery” but sometimes men become the submissives in these relationships. But one theme remains the same: Demeaning, demoralizing, and degrading the submissive party. In the case of male submissives an extra emphasis is placed on feminizing the man, or sissifying. The underlying message is clear: Femininity is weak, masculinity is strong. Often, the submissives in these relationships are victims of sexual traumas in their youth.
Bondage: “Sorry, i’m a bit tied up at the moment.”
To some, bondage (especially the kind I am so fond of, woman tied up bondage) could seem a very anti-feminist, violent sex act. As a bondage enthusiast, let me assure you, you couldn’t be more wrong. First, bondage is about trust. I 100% agree that bondage between two untrusted partners, or any non-consensual bondage, is a big no-no for feminists everywhere. But for a woman who is being tied up, the reality is she is 100% in control. The safe word is in place (Mine is Blue!), the rules are understood. The man typing her up knows where he can take things and what things are strictly taboo. The entire act is loving: The ritual of binding, the tying of knots, the kisses and strokes from your approving lover. While bondage is a sexual kink not designed for all lovers, for those who enjoy it, it works out well. Warning: Ease yourself into bondage. Going all out your first go can put you in a place where you feel out of control and it will ruin the act for you. Start small. Work your way up to hog tying :P
Rough Sex: The thin line.
There is a razor thin line between rough sex, and violent sex. Kinky rough sex talk, and down right disrespectful abusive sex talk. Luckily, the line is easily seen. Ask yourself this: DO I ENJOY THIS? Do the words your partner uses excite you, or hurt you? Is the point to sound erotic and x-rated or to demean and humiliate? In addition to bondage, I am a fan of rough sex, but this is also something my boyfriend and I discussed at length before really exploring. We agreed on spanking being fun, but agreed as well that our spanking would never be about punishment or humiliation, but sexual exhilaration. We both adore the kinky pillow talk, but never ever are our words meant to demean or humiliate the other. The main point is the rough sex becomes anti-woman when the woman ceases to really truly enjoy it.
Power play: Who’s on top this time?
True feminist power-play goes both ways. No woman or man is a BORN submissive just as no woman or man is a BORN dominant. Fact is we all have our submissive and our dominant moments. If you enjoy power play, does it go both ways? If not you may want to re-examine the roots of your interest in power play, especially why you prefer the role you prefer. Dominant and submissive power play can be damaging if it isnt balanced. History can show us all that human beings do not like to feel oppressed and owned. If one part of the couple is always the submissive and one is always the dominant, both are denying themselves essential psychological needs. While, in our hetero-normitive world, it may seem natural for a man to be the sexual panther seeking his “prey” the fact is many men may want to relax and enjoy a night where they are told exactly how to please their partner. Just as many women would enjoy the same luxury in being in charge, seducing, and enticing. (I speak mainly from the hetero point of view simply for the fact I am a hetero feminist woman, and I don’t know much about BDSM from the homosexual, pansexual, bisexual standpoints :) )
Thoughts? Concerns? Did I leave something out? FeministsDIB@gmail.com