A brief note on sex

I don’t have a lot of time to write today, but I wanted to make sure to say: if you haven’t read this piece by Pervocracy, drop everything you’re doing and read it now.

It’s a couple of years old, but it’s still wonderful and accurate and perfect, I think. The points are spot-on. It discusses sex, consent, poly, kink, BDSM, and relationships. It’s well worth the time to read and ponder and store away and utilize.

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But I didn’t want a Daddy

When I started exploring the world of kink, I adamantly denied wanting a Daddy. Freshly out of undergrad, I’d explored Philosophy of Woman and other such world-expanding courses (I grew up Fundamentalist Christian), and I was afraid having a Daddy would keep me or pull me back into an inescapable cesspit of patriarchal crap.

{I apologize now to all the Daddy/little pairings out there; really, to all the Big/little pairings out there, and Big/middle, and etc. I didn’t know as much then as I do now. And of course I don’t know as much now as I will ten more years from now.}

As I explored, I found myself wanting to submit and craving praise. I found a lot of people craving to dominate and to punish, for various reasons. And I found a lot of people who wanted to Daddy or Mommy me, and who also wanted to punish me. Additionally, almost all sources on Daddy Dominants I’ve come across have included some element of punishment/discipline as a ‘must’ for Daddies.

The thing is, I’m a self-punisher, somewhat like Rory Gilmore:

Punishing me would be redundant, and, given a particularly not-fun childhood, potentially harmful.

So I actively stayed as far away from Daddy/Mommy/Big types as I could, even as I looked for a Dominant.

When Zyn and I started dating, neither of us put ourselves into a kinky context. We joked that he was my experiment in vanilla. Over time, we began dabbling with exhibition/voyeurism, threesomes and moresomes online, etc.

When we kissed and I took a selfie of it for the first time, he lovingly called me a brat. Surprised and intrigued, I waited to see if I could provoke that reaction in other ways. It turned out that playful things would elicit such a reaction.

I’d never thought of myself in brat-like terms. The brats I knew of in the kink world did things like glittering their Dominants’ crops and sass-talking. If I did something like that, I would probably also cry while presenting whatever thing it was to my Dominant (not a crop–I’m not a masochist, but whatever thing) and already have a shiny new one on the way from Amazon Prime.

When he moved in, he began to ‘care’ for me more, for two reasons: 1) my chronic illness began ramping up; 2) his nature began to show through more. My spouse already took care of me to the extent that she could, but she was going through her own transition and desperately needed to take care of herself.

The more Zyn cared for me, the more  I began to tease him about being my Daddy, and the more he would laughingly call me brat. He told me he calls me that because he knows I’m not a brat.

In between the teasing, we discussed it. He doesn’t punish me, ever. It’s not in him to punish, and it’s not in me to be punished. He’s sparing in his words of praise, so when he hands them out they feel worth receiving. He remembers the treats–I love Toblerone and KitKats and My Little Pony. He started randomly buying me My Little Pony plushes, and when he can he buys little gifts (how he shows his love). On the roughest days, I want to curl up in his arms. To me, he feels like a safe wall of warm strength and calm, with big pillowy arms. I know he won’t lash out unreasonably. I know I can seek his advice and it will be well-reasoned.

By the same token, he never treats me as anything less than a person with a brain. He’s proud of my accomplishments and cannot wait for me to do more. He’s patient with me as I work through my illness(es) and mental issues. He’ll expect more from me as I get back on my feet.

At some point in my life, I might not need for our relationship to be like it is now. He might not, either. We’ve talked about that, too.

But for right now–I feel like he’s my Daddy. And he calls me his girl. And even without the punishment part, that works for us.

A look at 50 Shades

Fifty Shades has a lot of elements to it that I want to explore. Most of those are external cultural elements.

On the one hand, there’s the ‘porn’ aspect of it–that it’s just trashy entertainment that ultimately doesn’t harm anyone. For a certain part of the population, this can hold true. Those lucky enough never to have been through rape, sexual assault, and stalking at the hands of a partner or prospective partner probably aren’t terribly triggered by a trilogy that is, at its best, poorly-written porn.

As well, because of its quick rise to popularity and the ease of getting it in digital format early on, it has been and continues to be an introduction to BDSM–which can be good, as long as it serves as only an introduction and not the complete manual on What It Is We Do (not that there is any one complete manual–but this would be a pretty poor one). For those who get turned on by some of the sexier play bits in the books and movies–awesome.

But on another hand, I think it’s irresponsible to ignore the massive culture into which these trilogies come, as well as those things they enable in their wake. Not only are the books and movies heteronormative and cisnormative both in characters and in the roles they take on, but they promote rape and stalking and ignoring safe words as sexy. They equate Dominance with stalking and rape (not rape play, not consensual nonconsent, but actual rape), equate submission/submissiveness with being vapid/devoid of self, and sensationalizethe violent aspects of BDSM without giving any nuance or context to the types of play we consensually desire and do.

I can’t see these books and movies as ‘harmless entertainment,’ because too many of us, across gender lines, have experienced stalking, rape, sexual assault, harassment, and more. Too many of our communities still protect predators at the expense of victims and survivors. Too many are disbelieved when we try to report our rapists and assailants, and few of us ever see any support or justice for experiences of domestic violence, assault, rape, stalking, and harassment. These books and movies play into a culture that prefers to see BDSM as harmful and the stuff of severely damaged people, rather than something that is a play preference that may lead to better mental health. They play into the cultural stereotypes that men know women’s bodies better than women, that female Dominants are evil, that female submissives are lost vessels just waiting to be broken and remade in the male Dominant’s image (and heaven forbid there be same-sex or same-gender pairings, or pairings involving sexes and genders other than binary genders and sexes), that BDSM is the same as sexual assault/rape/harassment/stalking, that ignoring safewords is just fine, that ‘the rules’ set in advance don’t apply to one half of the slash, that rape isn’t rape if it doesn’t fit a certain mold….

So, sure. On the one hand, there’s trashy entertainment that will probably help some people broaden their sexual horizons. But on the other, far weightier hand, there are huge issues with these books and movies that we cannot safely ignore. We need to be ready to have these conversations with people just as much as the ‘Hi, welcome, come on in!’ types of conversations, or the ‘What’s your kink?’ conversations, the comparisons of marks and paddles and costumes and collars. We need to see the harm in these ‘entertainment’ pieces and look to our own communities to make them better, to roust out predators and support survivors, to work to make it as difficult as possible for abusers to hide behind the mask of kink.


Edited to add: This made me laugh a bit. What a reimagining.

Previously posted on my FetLife profile.