When I went on my first date with Dale we both knew what the deal was. We’d talked at length how this would be a non-committal arrangement and almost certainly a one time thing. So thinking about it, a first date was more of a display of politeness than anything else. Nevertheless, he was charming, flirtatious, interesting and really fricking hot!
I was instantly attracted to Dale and it was clear he felt the same way. We chatted and exchanged pleasantries about our jobs and hobbies. It was all going very well as far as pre-sex-arrangement niceties go. Four pints later, he finished his drink, placed his glass calmly on the table and said four words; “Your place or mine?” I melted. I’d never had a man be so forward. It was all very exciting.
Well sh*t. We got back to my house and, oh-my-god. It was phenomenal. Dale took complete control of the situation. He wasn’t afraid to be a bit rougher with me and throw me around. He did all the things I love….I’ll leave at that for now…hey, you didn’t think I’d give you all the details did you? Additionally, I’m very conscious that I don’t want this to turn into some kind of E. L. James fan fiction *boke*. To put it bluntly, it was hands down, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had!
So..[after all that excitement]…my question is…does my preference to be submissive make me a bad feminist? Mary Beard talks a lot in her new book Women & Power about the history of women being silenced by men (if you haven’t read it yet, you really need to – stop reading this and go buy yourself a copy!)
It got me thinking, if women, like me, enjoy being choked/gagged/etc by men in the bedroom, are we subconsciously submitting to patriarchal standards and expectations? Women fought for years to not just ‘lie down and take it’ but here I am…literally doing just that, and even worse, enjoying it! I pride myself having the strength to feel confident in using my voice and speaking my mind; so why am I so willing to let a guy stop me from doing that [in the literal sense] in such an intimate setting?
My opinion? I might appear to give up all control to a man, but really, I say when, I say what is and isn’t ok. I allow him to take control. I always have the control tool of stopping. It’s an element of sharing and balance on both parts, I give my consent to be controlled (on my own terms) and he enjoys me fully submitting to him. Coming from a feminist view point they are both compatible surely?
I don’t think any of this actually makes me a bad feminist – or a bad person for that matter. I think it’s actually very liberating to know what I want and not be afraid to ask for it. Besides, playing around with power roles makes for much more interesting sex than a dull, missionary style, hump. AMIRITE? But I guess the deeper question I can’t help but wonder, is why? Why do so many women enjoy power play and enjoy being dominated? What is it that makes that idea so appealing?
So my fellow feministas, which is it? Is it that women are naturally engineered to enjoy being controlled and dominated by men? Or rather, is it that we create a safe, comfortable space in the bedroom in which we are willing to relinquish control? Answers on a postcard please!