Feminism in BDSM

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Feminism in the BDSM community is a confusing issue. Of course, feminism means being able to do whatever you want regardless of your gender. So, being a stay-at-home-mom is fine if you chose it, and being a career woman is fine if you chose it. Because the point is the freedom to have your own opinion and make your own decisions, regardless of gender stereotypes.

That being said, the majority of the couples in the BDSM community here in Portland (and other places I have been) seem to be male Doms and female submissives. And I KNOW those women are choosing to be submissive so it shouldn’t bother me (as long as it’s a choice it’s okay, right?). Yet somehow, it really does bother me sometimes.

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I mean, I’m not the only one having these issues. The internet is full of women debating this. So I tried to narrow down what exactly it is that bothers me about all the men and women playing out “traditional gender roles” in the bedroom. (Traditional gender roles as per society throughout history; i.e. women being submissive to men.)

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Now, as you know, I worked for several years as a Dominatrix. I spent a lot of time dominating men. So, unlike most women who have written about this issue, I don’t fall on the submissive side of things.

Some have suggested that being mostly a Domme means I’ll just never “get it.” But, I have switched before, and I do sometimes take a more submissive role. I’d like to think I have a well-rounded perspective on the subject. Or at least, enough all-around experience to have a decent idea of the various opinion involved.

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So here’s the deal:

Men in lots of countries in the world still buy and sell women. Women are still exploited in many ways. My friend in Pakistan posts awful stories about girls being forced to marry men older than their fathers. The sex trade in places like the Philippines is disturbing. In Iran, women are stoned to death for the crime of being raped.

And even in countries that think they are progressive like the USA, studies show that women still make less money than men, and are still pushed into secretary and teaching positions, while being pushed away from engineering and science.

We have a lot of work to do all over the world to reach equality.

And when you realize that, you have to accept that women were submissive socially to men until very recently; and for most of recorded history in most countries around the world. Men have nearly always been in charge of the government and the courts in societies, and as such, they have almost always controlled the destinies of women.

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I know this is why it bothers me to see so many women acting as submissives. I want women to be equal to men socially, in every society on Earth. And because they are not, I sometimes get frustrated that so many women choose to be submissive.

So I’d like to apologize to any female subs I have offended over the years. I am trying very hard to be accepting of your choice. Just remember to make sure it IS always your choice, and let’s keep it safe, sane, and consensual.

They’re all tied up. Now what?

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*Note, because it’s usually a guy asking this question, I’m writing this as a guide for a guy as the Dom. That doesn’t mean this is always the case, as of course, I am usually the Domme in my relationships with both men and women. But look; I had to choose pronouns because that is how English works. 

I’ve noticed that a re-occurring question when it comes to BDSM and beginners is: “Okay, I have her tied up. Now what do I do?”

I’ve also noticed that a very common response in kink forums is “strap a vibrator to her and wait for her to cum.”

I have so many problems with all of that. So let’s take it in two parts.

Part One: Why you do not strap a vibrator to her and “wait for her to cum.”

Okay, I know that vibrators work on a lot of girls. I also know that Kink.com features this scenario often, and so that contributes to guys getting the wrong idea.

However, not all girls like vibrators. They also do NOT work on all of them. In fact, they are very unpleasant for some girls. Remember to discuss with your partner what she likes and what toys she is okay with BEFORE applying them to any part of her body. Scene negotiation before play is SO important!

Even if a vibrator does work as a way to get her off, it’s not the only way and it is far too overused in kink porn and in kink couples.

Main tips: Don’t use a vibrator unless she’s okay with it, and even then don’t be lazy and always use it. Also, if you use your finger be gentle and use lube. Or better yet, use your tongue and be gentle.

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Part Two: What to do once she’s tied up…

Some people really freeze up once they have their girl tied and ready to play with. This is understandable when you are new, and thankfully it’s easy to deal with.

Remember that you can still do all the things you would have done if you hadn’t tied her up. Standard vanilla sex stand-by stuff like ear biting and licking, neck kisses and nibbles, playing with nipples, licking her pussy, fucking her, etc…. are still okay things to do when she’s tied up. Those things aren’t off limits once you get some rope on her.

But if you need kinky ideas remember that there are zillions and zillions available on the basic BDSM checklist.

Remember that BDSM is not just about pulling her hair, choking her, or spanking her. It’s about control. It’s about playing roles. If you are being Dominant, then tease her with that fact. Say things like “You’re all tied up now. That means you’re my toy and toy and I can do whatever I want….” (That’s just an example. Please be creative.)

And also remember that you can do nice things for your submissive. You can rub her feet, suck on her toes, kiss all of her skin, rub her back, or wash her hair. You don’t always have to be mean. In fact, a good Dom takes time to appreciate their toys. So keep that in mind, too.

If you are still looking for ideas after going through a BDSM checklist, another good place to look is in erotic fiction. This is because men are more drawn to visual stimulation and so usually watch porn. But in general, women are less visual and more conceptual about sexual stimulation. So, they often read and write erotic fiction.

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Now, it’s good to know when you take advice who it’s coming from. So, I am mostly a Domme. Nearly every person that I sleep with subs for me. It’s not even a discussion. It’s just more of an assumption since I have the more dominate personality and I mostly only attract submissives.

However, I do sometimes sub if just the right person comes along. It has to be a very specific sort of person with very specific attitudes about sex. I rarely find this type of person.

Still, I DO have experience on both sides of the whip.

One last closing thought: It pissed me off when I Googled “Master and Sub” and got nothing but pictures of women subbing for men. I hate that the community is so dominated with that. It feels somehow anti-feminist, even though I know that the whole point of feminism is supposed to be having a choice about what role you play in society. I am a switch, but mostly I am a Dominatrix. We are out there. A BDSM couple is NOT just a Dom male and Sub female, and I think it’s important that we all remember that.

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