The most recent episode of the podcast was about Female Led Relationships (FLRs). The author of the three books reviewed, Nookie a.k.a. MsNN, was careful to instruct men not to treat the women they wanted to be in charge of their lives only as fantasy/fetish providers.
Then, this week, this post arrived on Fet and I had to asked permission to repost it. ShadowN7 graciously agreed. So here we are.
The post is about how men who claim to want to give up control turn Dominant women into fetish objects rather than allowing them to be people and the many ways that manifests.
Don’t be that guy.
A Primer on How Submissive Men Objectify and Dehumanize Dominant Women
(I told a friend recently that I could write a book about all the ways submissive men fuck up their attempts at bdsm by thinking they are being pro-women or feminists by wanting a dominant woman to hit and fuck them. Instead of writing a book, I’ll just leave this here.)
Fet dating got you down? All those dominant women in your groups, and none of them biting at your well worded, and completely clear ads? Fear not! Help is on the way!
Here are some of the most common failures you may be unaware of in your search for a dom:
1. You identify primarily as a submissive when you only have masochistic desires
In California kink circles, there are significant distinctions between bottom/masochist/submissive desires in our nomenclature:
• A bottom negotiates scenes with tops. The role primarily focuses on physical aspects of what is desired for a short period of time in a scene. Pain may or may not be a sensation involved in the scene.
• A masochist is a lot like a bottom, but will want to include what might be normally be considered painful physical or mental sensations caused by a sadist in their scenes.
• A submissive desires a power exchange with a dominant partner. The primary playing grounds for D/s is in the mind.
These desires or roles are not static (bottoms can be doms, submissives can be masochists, etc.), but generally identifying with any one of these roles gives your play partner a little definition and jumping off point as to what to expect from you in the role, and what you’ll expect as their play partner.
Now, identifying with more than one of these roles is fine, but do mind the distinctions; I can’t tell you how many times I hear guys say “I want a domme to hit me. Why can’t I find one to do that?” Using the nomenclature we just put together, can we see how wrong this sentence is, in terms of discussing desires with a partner?
Hint: D/s does not have to lay a damn finger on anyone to prove the dynamic is real.
So if you all you want is to get hit, what you’re likely looking for is a sadist. If you want to get hit & fucked, but can’t imagine what it’s like to really give a woman power over you–or why she would be interested in power after you were done pretending to let her have it–you probably need to step away from pursuing your D/s desires and think a lot about your preconceived notions of gender roles and power.
I suspect something that adds to this problem is that people often say submissive when they mean masochist, but that’s a collective problem we need to address in our communities. Being less casual about the nomenclature could help all of us find more of what we’re actually looking for in our bdsm relationships.
2. You confuse bdsm pornography with a D/s relationship
Pornography’s main function is to give you the erotic image–not to explain how things got to that point. So for example, what you don’t see in rope pictures is how much work the photographer put into scouting locations, choosing lighting, camera equipment, model positioning–or the rigger’s and model’s years of rope and physical training it took to create and capture that hot moment.
If you think getting into a D/s dynamic is as easy as telling a dominant woman she should hit you and fuck you (like you’ve seen in porn!), then…I don’t even know where to begin with how wrong this idea is. Go back to enjoying your porn: it was meant for easy, voyeuristic consumption. A relationship with a partner isn’t.
3. You make no effort besides creating a Fet profile and putting out an ad for a dom
FetLife is not a dating site; it’s a social networking site for kinky people (again, definitions will get in your way). The developers have said and reiterated this point very often.
If you get frustrated that women are not falling all over your dick pic or swooning over the sexy curves of the white question mark and black background on your non-existent profile picture–as an emotional sadist, I encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing, knowing some day you may just luck out and a porn star will stop in the middle of her satisfying, professional career of exhibitionism and fucking big-dicked porn star dudes JUST to take pity on you and fulfill every desire you’ve ever dreamed of.
Or none of that will happen and you’ll die alone. I think it’s best to try and do everything possible to live your life at the extremities of consequence, don’t you?
4. You demean pro-dommes and sex workers for providing the very services you desire
So here’s the reasoning I usually hear when Submissive Internet Guy shoots down the idea of paying a pro-domme:
Submissive Internet Guy: I want a woman to hit me and fuck me!
Reasonable FetLife Person: Okay, you should probably look into a pro-domme. They’ll do that for you.
SIG: Fuck that, I’m not spending my money on a pro-domme.
RFP: But you want to get hit and fucked. And you don’t want to make any effort to build a relationship with a woman. You can do that with a pro-domme.
SIG: No pro-domme! Aren’t women awful for not giving me what I want?
This point in itself demeans so many reasons why a woman might choose to be dominant: because she likes the power, because it turns her on, because she adores the dynamic she has with her partners, or because she can, and enjoys playing the game of capitalism well in the role, to name a few. When you say she doesn’t deserve to have the time and effort it takes to build emotional security and trust with her play partners, or she doesn’t deserve capital for her skills at providing a service, you are saying she does not deserve anything in her relationships–but you should get everything you want.
The good thing about this particular issue is that it weeds out douchebags who have no experience or enough good sense to know how to build paying or private relationships. Dominant women will read your comments, and will move on to find partners who make efforts to care about them. Pro-dommes don’t need to deal with SIGs who have such petty, male-dominated views about sex and capital. Everyone wins! Well, everyone important, that is.
5. Your view of gender roles is toxic, and dehumanizes your desired partner and relationship
Do you think only two genders exist, and women are nurturing and men are providers?
You are wrong. And chances are, you’ve likely been in relationships with terrible dynamics if you’re a bottom/masochist male, because your partner expected you to be something that you are not.
Socially stratified gender values placed on our superficial observations of differences are toxic to everyone. So try and remember how badly it feels to have people expect you to be sexually dominant, and then think of what it might be like to be a woman who is expected to be sexually and socially submissive–when she is, in fact, neither of those things, and has absolutely no desire to ever be any of those things. But she lives in a world that keeps telling her she cannot have, nor ever expect to be respected for those parts of her identity.
The world is shit to a lot of people (dominant women included) who will not sit down, shut up, and do as they’re told or face the consequences. So a good way to not reinforce that demeaning behavior is to treat a person as a person before treating them as a gender or a fetish. Even if you think they want the same fetishes you want, that still does not give you the right to treat them as a fetish before a person. Their agency matters in any relationship they choose to pursue.
(And that doesn’t even begin to start the conversation on why not all doms are into every fucking stereotypical fetish you can imagine. But that’s for another post.)
6. You are afraid of failed efforts, and failed relationships
Finding compatible relationships takes a lot of effort–and in my opinion, it should. If you want to be with someone who you like, and who treats you well, and who you treat well, and you both have really fun sex and bdsm stuff together–that’s a LOT to ask of someone(s). It should be a long vetting process, and people should be picky, and not settle for things that make them incredibly unhappy. And we should be grateful and feel lucky if we live in places where we’re allowed to pursue our desires with willing partners.
So if you do nothing to risk yourself, you should expect no reward.
If you get angry at women for making no effort to supercede your lack of effort, again, you need to look at the toxic ways you expect women to compensate for your shortcomings (see emotional labor). If the only reward of saving Submissive Internet Guy is preventing him from being a shit about not getting other women to hit him and fuck him–it’s better for us to start laughing now, and save ourselves the trouble of making an effort, isn’t it?
7. You learn nothing from your mistakes, or from adverse reactions to your poor behavior
Ignore this and the rest of what you’ve just read. You will anyway.
Updates: Hi everyone! Many thanks for reading this and making it a K&P writing. A few things of note:
- I have had many really fantastic people explain in the comments my shortcomings in addressing the work of pro-dommes. For instance sex work is illegal in most U.S. states, and many pro-dommes are aware of this. As a reader, you should be too.
- Please feel free to link this post in your Fet groups or on your profile with a credit to me as the writer. If you want to share the post outside of FetLife, please message me to talk about that.
- I’m really happy that this writing has caused so much chatter. I genuinely hope these conversations lead to more writings and other conversations about becoming more empathetic people in our play and our relationships.