Saturday, May 31, 2008

Paying for Sex

In my previous post I mentioned the fact that “I have always considered paying for the services of one (professional dominatrix) to be on the same level of paying for sex.” By inference I am certain that readers were led to surmise I viewed that to be a negative thing. As a result two readers posed the same question in comments on the article, “What is wrong with the idea of paying for sex?”

First I wasn’t making a moral judgment about those who do pay for sex or those who offer sexual services for a fee. What consenting adults do that results in no harm to anyone should be no one’s business but that of the individuals involved. Certainly I have neither the right nor inclination to sit in judgment of them. In fact in my twenties I paid for sex a number of times simply because I wanted to have sex and there were times when that was the most utilitarian means of obtaining it. In part, those experiences are responsible for why I do view paying for sex in a somewhat negative sense for me as an individual. For me sex has always been much more than simply inserting tab A into tab B. Sex far transcends the simple notion of genital focused pleasure. In addition to the arousal and desire I also feel the need for connectedness and intimacy. Having sex with someone who makes herself available for it solely on the basis of turning a profit simply doesn’t offer the connectedness and intimacy of which I speak. It is a rather pale substitute for having sex with a woman who herself is also sharing with you the arousal and desire and is allowing you to share her body and passion because she feels attracted to you and wants to have sex with you.

Beyond those reasons, there are a few others that come to mind in response to the question, “What is wrong with the idea of paying for sex?” As we all learned from the recent highly publicized story of “Client 9” and “Kristen”, not all prostitutes are streetwalkers trolling dark corners for $20 encounters. Some very intelligent women choose this life and even find it empowering in some way. They surely knew what they are doing and are happy to rake in big bucks by spending time with and providing sex to wealthy, powerful men. They are classy, independent women, not victims of brutalizing pimps who drug them, rape and beat them, indeed, who own them. Surely the glamorous women sent to the best hotels in New York, Paris, and London or wherever their fat-wallet clientele travels, are nothing like those destitute girls from starving, distant villages sold by their families or lured by promises of a better life in America only to find themselves sex slaves.

Still if you followed the story at all that I mentioned above, you learned that from all available evidence, “Kristen” was abused in her youth, quit high school before her junior year, fled her troubled family, used drugs and spent time on the streets without a home. She fits the profile of any class of hooker, from streetwalker to high priced call girl. Abused as a child, homeless, undereducated and destitute, she was not an exception but actually quite typical. Given this I have to conclude that when a man pays a woman for sex he is in a very real sense trafficking in human misery for personal gratification and that is something in good conscience I could not do.

Another issue is the fact that when you pay money for sex, the woman is sexually objectified. If you doubt that clients willing and able to pay $5,000 for an hour of sex don't turn those women into objects, too, consider the marketing techniques employed by one well known high-priced call girl provider. Their web site rated the women they employed from one to seven diamonds, charging from $1,000 to $5,500 per hour according to rank. When men called in, one of the club's bookers asked what body type they preferred, the model look or a little curvier; a brunette or a blond. I suppose the rationale being that it makes perfect sense if you're paying for sex to select your favorite fantasy, right? It's like picking out a car or a suit. Women have been subjected to objectification for far too long and I for one am just not comfortable with extending the practice to any woman because it is just plain wrong.

"Women engaged in prostitution face the most dangerous occupational environment in the United States,'' concluded a study of prostitutes in Colorado Springs, Colorado, published in 2004 in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Prostitutes are far more likely to die at an early age than the average woman, mostly from drugs or violence. The average age a girl enters prostitution is 14. Not surprisingly, prostitutes are more prone to suicide. Even if he's not paying to ruin a teenager, to support a pimp who enslaved a drug addict, or to snatch a girl away from her family, a john is supporting the system that encourages all of that, and more.

So those are just a few reasons why I feel that the idea of paying for sex is wrong. As mentioned in the earlier post, I only see some slight similarities with the ideas of engaging a prostitute and paying a professional dominatrix, who are not prostitutes. Much of the negativity I feel is inherent in prostitution is of course not applicable to the pro domme – client relationship. Still I do have pause for thought when it comes to how meaningful I would find submitting to a woman who was accepting my submission from a purely economic motive. But recently I have read a good deal of information that suggests that even though professional dommes are paid for their services, many of them do in fact seem to genuinely understand and appreciate male submission and profit is not their only motive for offering the services that they do. This is primarily why I am attempting to evaluate the potential of this when I have been unwilling to do so in the past.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Case for the Professional Dominatrix

While it hasn’t been that long since my submissiveness was awakened and I began to seek a relationship with a dominant woman, at times I find myself admitting that the possibility of me landing in a real life, day to day relationship with such a woman is actually rather bleak. I base this not only my own personal experiences to date but also on the reports I read in the blogs of other submissive men. Perhaps finding a confident, assertive, dominant woman interested in having a relationship with me is something of a pipe dream. As one of those men who came to understand and embrace my submissiveness in the middle age part of my life, with each passing month, I feel less optimistic about my chances.

There was the point for me when I decided that I was not going to get involved in another relationship with a vanilla woman who subscribed to patriarchal societies’ norm that it is the woman who is expected to fill the submissive role sexually and relationally. I have had two such relationships since my divorce and neither turned out to be meaningful or sustainable for me. Regardless of how open the women were to kink, the absence of an outlet for my submissive nature simply made both relationships untenable. Yet now I find myself in that all too familiar circumstance where I am craving intimacy and desiring sexual expression beyond what I can provide myself in ex parte. Fortunately for men, we can experience through masturbation a degree of sexual gratification quite comparable to that we receive from copulation. Yet after a period of time of going solo, a man begins as I have to crave intimacy with a woman.

These feelings have made me start to seriously contemplate something I have never really seriously considered before. I have never experienced much of a problem with finding vanilla women to date and become involved with. Actually I already am acquainted with two such women at this very moment who have made no secret of their willingness to explore a possible romantic relationship with me. For whatever reason I have always seem to get on well with the female gender and women seem to like me and enjoy my company. And of course, there is so much about women that I find agreeable and interesting. What I have started to give consideration to is finding a vanilla woman to get involved with in the context of a traditional relationship so that I can experience the intimacy I crave and then address my need for a submissive outlet by finding a professional dominatrix. Conceptually I do understand that professional dominatrices are not prostitutes. Yet realistically I know I have always considered paying for the services of one to be on the same level of paying for sex. Perhaps this is something I need a new perspective on. On the one hand, I know I can’t find true contentment without an outlet for submissive expression while on the other hand I miss intimate involvement with a woman within the context of a committed relationship. Perhaps, at least for me there is simply no alternative to seeking what I need from more than a single source so to speak. Unlike a man who was fortunate enough to come to terms with and embrace his submissiveness in say his mid-twenties, I am not free to pick up and move to a location where there are women more D/s friendly and aware. To do so would require sacrifices that I am unwilling and actually unable to make at my age. Besides that based on the experiences of another submissive guy whose blog I read regularly who has done that, it hasn’t appeared that he has experienced much success as a result and he is a good number of years younger than I.

I do understand of course that seeking to have my cake and eat it too so to speak is not without obstacles. Finding a professional would I think be comparatively simple and I am at a place in my life where that would be easily affordable. But in the interest of the kind of honesty required for a committed relationship, this would not be an aspect of my life that I could in good conscience hide from the vanilla woman I might seek out for an intimate relationship partner. I do feel it would require an incredibly secure and open woman to accept me seeing a professional dominatrix on a regular basis while simultaneously being involved with her. Part of the problem is of course that vanilla people simply don’t have an accurate perspective of D/s. To them it seems purely sexual and they cannot understand that while the sexual is involved to a degree, it isn’t really about sex it’s about the need to submit. She may understand sexual submission from a lifetime of filling the traditional role of the passive sexual partner in the bedroom expected of women in our society. Yet I know that would do little towards helping her to understand submission as I speak of it. Still there is a possibility that I might find a woman willing to accept this arrangement and perhaps that is a much more realistic possibility than me finding a dominant woman with whom to have a female led relationship.

The part of this idea that bothers me the most I suppose is the fact that in no small way, I will still be engaging in a bit of deception and dishonesty. I can perform in the role of the “typical” male as society defines that gender role, and on the basis of past experience, I can successfully fill the role of a sexual top. Yet in my heart of hearts I know that masquerading as a typical dominant male is not at all something I find meaningful or fulfilling and so by doing what I propose I will simply be indulging in a role play to get my needs for intimacy met. The question that remains is whether or not I will be able to rationalize that over the long-term.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Breast Obsession

I've never really been a tit man. Admittedly I am appreciative of a pair of all natural nicely shaped breasts when given the opportunity to see them. During intimacy, I never skimp on giving them the attention they are due. Yet still I don’t consider myself to be overly obsessed with this part of a woman’s anatomy. So for example, I have no preference for large breasts appreciating smaller breasts just as much. Actually the breasts I found most satisfying from a purely aesthetic perspective and most sexually arousing to give my attentions to were the small "A cup" size breasts of a former girlfriend. Also I am not one of those men who a woman finds staring at her chest when she is talking with me, because it is generally considered rude. I know some women feel similarly about the size of their breasts as many men feel about the size of their penis so I do understand why some women have their breasts enhanced. But for me, mostly I suppose because I am not obsessed with breasts, I actually find the “enhanced” versions something of a turn-off, preferring the natural.

I think it was at about the age of nine that I saw my first photograph of an adult woman’s breasts when I stole a look inside a Playboy magazine from a convenience store rack. That was in the days before they started stocking them behind the counter to keep them out of the hands of kids. It did feel a little naughty and arousing looking at them but I think it had more to do with looking at something I knew wasn’t intended for juvenile consumption rather than the photograph itself. I saw my first set of naked adult breasts at the tender age of twelve when I accidentally walked in on an aunt during an unguarded moment while visiting in her home. I do still recall that because I was so completely embarrassed as I’m certain she was as well. She was in her forties as I recall and had very large breasts over which gravity had long since taken its toll and I remember that they hung almost level with her navel. Again that was not a terribly arousing experience. My first erotic experience with breasts was at the age of seventeen when I persuaded a girl I was dating regularly to remove her top and bra during an amorous encounter in my car while we were at a drive in movie. Looking at and touching them was my very first arousing experience involving female breasts. I liked very much the softness and was enamored with the nipples and the areolas. She wasn’t overly large but her breasts were quite attractive.

Still lots of men are obsessed with female breasts and I do understand that as I have my own favorite girl part. The part I find most compelling is simply not the breasts. The socially and intellectually accepted wisdom concerning breast obsession for some men is that a man's appreciation of the female breast is a social construct. It grows out of a media-generated ideal that shifts from decade to decade. There is another theory that men derive their sexual ideals from their mothers. They learn to sexually crave the breasts they suckled as infants. But there's a whole generation of men (and I'm one of them) who were primarily bottle fed yet I'm guessing that there are many men of my generation who are as breast obsessed as any other generation in history so I’m doubtful of the veracity of the particular theory.

There are lots of other theories about why many men are obsessed with female breasts. Some say men are drawn to the breasts because they're warm and soft and comforting. Still another theory suggests it is because breasts represent forbidden fruit. We tend to sexualize the parts of the female body that are hidden from view. There's some truth to this but it's far from the whole truth. Perhaps the most satisfying theory comes to us by way of evolutionary psychology. The reasoning here is that breasts, especially young nubile breasts, signal fertility. This makes a lot of sense and goes a long way to explaining why we're drawn to plump gravity defying breasts. Men who had a natural hankering for such breasts produced more surviving offspring. Evolutionary psychology may go a long way to explaining why men like young breasts, but it doesn't explain why so many men like big breasts. Personally my own theory is that men who are obsessed and sexually attracted to large breasts feel that way simply because they find them sexy. End of story.

I can appreciate a woman’s breasts and of course I always give them attentive focus during lovemaking because I know most women enjoy that. Yet I remain firmly in the camp of those men who most love a woman’s bottom. To me that is the sexiest part imaginable. I love the shape, the feel and actually everything about them. Breast obsessed? No. Ass obsessed? Yes, guilty as charged.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dare To Be Yourself

A sense of authenticity is one of our deepest psychological needs, and people are hungrier for it than ever. A hunger for authenticity guides us in every age and aspect of life. It drives our explorations of work, relationships, and play. In our teens and twenties we tried out friends, fashions, hobbies, jobs, lovers, locations, and living arrangements to see what fits and what's “just not me.” In mid-life many of us deepen our commitments to career, community, faith, and family that match our self-images, or we feel trapped in existences that seem not our own.

“Americans remain deeply invested in the notion of the authentic self,” says ethicist John Portmann of the University of Virginia. “It's part of the national consciousness.” It's also a cornerstone of mental health. Authenticity is correlated with many aspects of psychological well-being, including vitality, self-esteem, and coping skills. Acting in accordance with one's core self, a trait called self-determination is ranked by some experts as one of three basic psychological needs, along with competence and a sense of relatedness.

Just what is authenticity anyway? The first, and most fundamental, is self-awareness: knowledge of and trust in one's own motives, emotions, preferences, and abilities. Self-awareness encompasses an inventory of issues from the sublime to the profane, from knowing what food you like to knowing whether you're feeling anxious or sad. Self-awareness is necessary for clarity in evaluating your strengths and more importantly your weaknesses without resorting to denial or blame. Authenticity also turns up in behavior: It requires acting in ways congruent with your own values and needs, even at the risk of criticism or rejection. And it's necessary for close relationships, because intimacy cannot develop without openness and honesty.

Researchers have found that a sense of authenticity is accompanied by a multitude of benefits. People who score high on authenticity profiles are more likely to respond to difficulties experienced in life with effective coping strategies, rather than resorting to drugs, alcohol, or self-destructive habits. They are more likely to have satisfying relationships. They enjoy a strong sense of self-worth and purpose, confidence in mastering challenges, and the ability to follow through in pursuing goals.

Considering all the benefits poses the question, “Why, then, is not everybody authentic?” One reason we're not always true to ourselves is that authenticity is not for the faint of heart. There is a potential downside of authenticity. Accurate self-knowledge can be painful. Behaving in accordance with your true self may bring on the disfavor of others if your behavior is seen to be outside accepted norms. Opening yourself up to the possibility of criticism or rejection can be a scary thing. It can sometimes feel better to be embraced as an impostor than to be rejected for the person you really are.

This is especially true when it comes to things like gender identity. Many people find comfort in the feminine and masculine gender scripts dictated by social norms. Many other people are made uncomfortable by them. Many people accept their gender roles. Many people don't. They may become sexually inhibited by their conflict about gender identities. Each of us is so unique that we may feel conflict between the gender norms of our communities and some of our own sexual desires. For example, facing serious emotional struggles because of the sexual norms of our culture many women may not feel that it is okay to be dominant and sexually aggressive, and many men may not feel that it's okay to be submissive and sexually passive. These conflicts between our culture's gender norms and our desire to behave in accordance with our true self can result in us carrying around a heavy burden of not feeling authentic. Living our lives with a haunting sense of in-authenticity can be problematic. It can be very difficult for us to develop intimate relationships with our sex partners. It can also create such anxiety that they will go without sex or force ourselves to have frustrating and disappointing sexual relationships with others simply for the sake of fitting into societal sexual norms. This can lead not only to failed relationships but to feelings of depression and acute anxiety.

Perhaps it is time for a “coming out.” Coming out is the process of accepting and being open about one's gender identity. It is also the process of challenging and resisting social norms about sexuality when you realize those norms simply don’t square with your own self-awareness. I don’t suggest that it is necessary that you have to come out to your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers, but that you simply accept and embrace your own unique sexuality and embrace the fact that it is okay to be submissive if you are male or dominant if you are female. The coming-out process helps build self-esteem and a capacity for intimacy. Real fulfillment and real contentment comes from authentically grappling with the possibilities inside you, in a disciplined, concentrated, focused way. Dare to be yourself. Live life, express your sexuality and explore intimacy in keeping with the unique person you are.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chivalry and the Submissive Man

Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood. It is usually associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honor and courtly love. The word is derived from the French word chevalier, meaning one who rides a horse. Duties to women is probably the most familiar aspect of chivalry and contained what is referred to as courtly love, the idea that the knight is to serve a lady, and after her to treat all ladies with gentleness and graciousness. Today, the terms chivalry and chivalrous are still used to describe courteous behavior of men towards women. Once a radical change in mores, the code of chivalry now lingers in such common practices as men holding doors for women or rising when a woman enters the room. Many scholars trace the Western desire for an all-consuming passionate romance to chivalry.

With respect to the concept of chivalry as practiced in medieval times, courtly love is to me a most interesting aspect. Courtly love was an acknowledged relationship between a man and woman which involved a marriage-like ceremony with the gift of a ring to the man from the woman. In the poetry and romances inspired by this relationship we see the idea of love as a requisite to bonding. Courtly love was the beginning of women's liberation in the western world, at least insofar of women’s hearts and bodies, though not directly the economic and political status of women. Women were given the central role in the relationship and given freedom to express sexual feelings and ponder their own hopes and their destinies.

The courtly love relationship had certain rules, similar to the vows exchanged during a wedding ceremony. The knight pledged certain things to the lady and he was expected to woo, or pursue, her, which is the source of our modern courtship behavior. It evolved into such courtesies and gallantries as opening doors, writing poetry, observing formal manners, and asking for a lady's hand on bended knee. Women were treated with honor, not as property. The knight pledged always to be passionate but she controlled his “virtue,” that is, whether or not ejaculatory release was permitted. He underwent ritual testing to see if he had the discipline of restraint necessary to love. The woman was not required absolutely to forego her own pleasure, but she was in full control and could veto the advances of the man at any stage when then engaged in intimacy.

Women sought a man of passion, but with self-control and the ability to be unselfish. Under the rules of courtly love, the woman “gentled” the man and used his passion to create their bond, bonding that occurred as a result of the natural male biological response to delayed gratification. If the knight passed his tests and the lady accepted him as her lover, he pledged obedience to her rule in the realm of love. Such obedience sounds very much like the male submissive role of today. By submitting the man was acknowledging that men should not be in control of women or their sexuality. Chivalry freed the woman to assert herself in the realm of love, assuring her satisfaction. She set the pace and the mood, directing or redirecting the man's attention as he deferred to her.

While not expected to be passive in love, waiting on her every word, a knight was expected to offer complete obedience and his sexual advances were expected to be tempered by moderation. The relationship was fundamentally Tantric in sexual expression in the sense of sharing a spiritual connection and sustained intimacy.

Interestingly, men seem to have provided the original courtly love inspiration but it was women who later refined the inspiration into the practice of courtly love. Men were seeking their own liberation probably for spiritual reasons, influenced by the monks and the heretical cults steeped in older Gnostic traditions as spiritual quests fill the literature of courtly love, the search for the Holy Grail being one theme.

The concept of courtly love I think has relevance for men and women today as they seek to form new relationship paradigms. Courtly love seems to embody most clearly and fully a dominant female, submissive male archetype that over the ages has refused to die and now in modern times seems to be seeking rebirth.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sex Roles: A paradigm shift

In the fifties and sixties we definitely lived in a patriarchy and it is fair to say that it was a man’s world. The roles for men and women were relatively well-defined and non-changing, but the last 20-30 years have brought about dramatic changes in male and female sex roles. The changes have forced many men to reevaluate the traditional notions of manhood and masculinity. While many men welcome these changes, this redefinition of roles has caused confusion and frustration for others.

One approach to understanding what is going on is to recognize that whenever any issue heats up, when old beliefs and attitudes begin to be debated and challenged, it is a good bet that we are on the threshold of a paradigm shift. A paradigm shift occurs when there are fundamental changes in thought about some previously accepted aspect of society which comes under scrutiny and begins to be rejected. A paradigm shift is more than a change in thought; it also means a fundamental change in personal behavior. We can get some clues on where this paradigm shift is going by focusing in on the basic structure of the current paradigm.

Under the patriarchal paradigm, the masculine stereotype emphasized the importance of males being strong, independent, inflexible, and emotionless. In relationships the male roles were clear; be the provider, be the “boss” and don’t get too emotionally close to anyone. Not showing any vulnerability was central to this role. Male sexuality was characterized as genitally focused, detached from other parts and conditions of our lives, and performance oriented. For men sex was not so much a sharing of intimacy but a conquest to provide for our own gratification and to prove our manliness.

Patriarchy is under attack. The liberation of the sixties heightened the sexual contradictions of the typical Western view of sexuality and sparked debate about rigidly defined male and female sex roles. The Feminist movement has shaken the foundations. As one very perceptive bumper sticker states: “Feminism is the radical notion that males and females are equal.” This statement very nicely captures the present-day paradigm shift. Shifting sex roles in this country now encompass more equality for males and females. Whereas older, more traditional, notions of sex roles emphasized the superior power position of males, more recent formulations of sex roles emphasize equal power for males and females and even in some instances empower females to assume the dominant role. Gay liberation has also raised profound questions about sex roles and behaviors.

Like it or not, though scary and confusing at times for many sex role expectations are changing in this country. Newer definitions of being a man are much less rigid and clear. Males are now expected by their partners to be open emotionally and to be able to communicate effectively. New role models of masculinity stress both strength and vulnerability; the ability to be strong and the ability to be vulnerable. Simply put, we are in the process of redefining sex roles in our culture. Today’s culture requires males to expand the traditional notions of masculinity. It is important to know how to be strong and vulnerable, independent and dependent, logical and emotional. Clinging to old notions of what being male means will not solve the problem. New roles are evolving and it is important for males to experiment with these new notions.

More and more males are beginning to see the advantages of these new sex role expectations. Embracing the notion of equality with females or even the more “radical notion of submission to dominant females can actually be freeing for males. No longer having to be the “provider”, males now have more flexibility in their careers and work life. No longer having to be "strong and silent", men are seeing that their health improve and their relationships becoming more satisfying. In short, equality gives men options they didn’t have before. Are changing sex roles sometimes confusing? Yes. Are they freeing? Yes they are definitely freeing for both women and men. Improved health and less stress, more satisfying relationships, and more lifestyle options are but a few of the advantages.

Along with acceptance of the new sex role expectations, the basic structure of the way men think about sex must radically shift. First, men must learn that the new male sexuality engages the entire body in a diffused experience and is not just a genital experience. All forms of touch could be considered sexual in themselves, not just “foreplay.” Men could learn to have orgasms (no longer synonymous with ejaculation) that become a total body experience. Sexuality might be integrated into all other parts of men's lives. We could begin to see how a certain sexual glow can actually enhance our effectiveness at work and in our relationships, rather than be an impediment to healthy functioning. Sexuality might be pleasure-oriented rather than performance-oriented, a relaxing experience, energizing instead of depleting. Sexuality might become a multifaceted range of experiences, not just a single experience (intercourse) repeated over and over again, more or less successfully. This image, upon reflection, has many elements of a more feminine view of sexuality but it is also the new image of male sexuality.

Ultimately, the future of male sexuality and the dominant image of male sexuality will be the work of all of us men who decide to tackle this question in our own lives. We will start with what we have: our doubts, our fears, our sense of inadequacy, as well as our hopes and our best intentions. We will work towards gaining a sense of responsibility and integrity about sex that we may not feel now. We will learn about it together. What we need is a little courage to give up the old paradigm, to recognize that it doesn't fit in our lives anymore, and to start embracing a new one that fits us more comfortably.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Vision of a Mistress

Above all she would recognize my submission to her as something intrinsically valuable and desirable possess. A fair exchange or equivalent to the dominance she gives in return. She would be exacting, taking full advantage of the power given to her, but would be capable and willing to share the pleasure from my gift of submission. Submission is in a real sense a gift, not in the sense of something that is transferred by one person to another without any expectation of receiving something in return, but in the sense of something that is freely and willingly given. I choose to submit, it is not something that another can demand or take from me by force.

She would first and foremost, be firmly in control of her own life and emotions, otherwise how could she inspire confidence in me that she could control mine. She would possess the capacity to be stern and demanding when it was called for, even to the point of provoking me to cry real tears. But she would also have the capacity to act as the consummate lover, able to kiss those tears away, without stepping out of character. In times of trouble she could easily step outside the role of Mistress to be a supportive friend, lover and partner, never forgetting that above all else we were together joined in a loving relationship between two caring human beings. She would be quick to grasp the differences between fantasy and reality and would never demand that I put her before my career or family, simply to satisfy capricious needs.

To win my mind, body, spirit, and love she would understand that she must first win and then continually nurture my trust. She would manifest humor, intellect, kindness and warmth. She would demonstrate wisdom in her guidance and training inspiring confidence in me that she was knowledgeable, deserving of my devoted attention and that she is a woman I can learn from and whose direction I could always implicitly trust. She would be romantic and protective making me feel that our relationship was something she jealously safeguarded and considered precious. She would demonstrate to me that she is someone I can lean on and depend on.

She would nurture and nourish my submission by instructing me in her lessons of obedience and would be a strong and unyielding teacher. She would accept no flaw, nothing less than my very best efforts at attaining her ideal of submissive perfection. She would never discipline without good reason or in anger. When it was necessary she would always discipline with a knowledgeable and careful hand.

She would always be open to communication and discussion, always willing to hear my wants, needs and desires, even if ultimately she decided that they were not things she considered to be in my best interests. She would be patient, taking time to learn my limits, fully aware that as my trust in her grows, so would my willingness to have my limits stretched and challenged.

She would fully comprehend that I submit to her out of my deeply felt desires and need to please her. My compliance comes from the wanting to please, not the fear of punishment. She would understand the fragile nature of the mind and body and would never purposely violate the trust given to her. She would be secure enough to laugh at herself and the absurdities of life, open-minded enough to explore and learn new things, and strong enough to grow. Her tools would be mind, body, spirit, and love. She would understand that each partner in a relationship gains most from pleasuring the other and that in the final analysis trust and love are the only bindings that truly hold.

Artwork Credit: Paolo Grossi

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Clitoris: A Users guide for submissive men

Back in the early nineties, actress Margi Clarke, went out on the street for The Good Sex Guide and asked men to identify the clitoris on a diagram. Almost all of them failed, spawning a generation of jokes about men's ineptitude when faced with the female anatomy (What do a clitoris, an anniversary, and a toilet have in common? Men always miss them). I know that personally, I had been having sexual intercourse for many years armed with only the very vaguest understanding of what the clitoris was and where it was precisely located.

Dismissed and misunderstood for hundred of years, the clitoris is the one part of the female body whose sole purpose is pleasure. It is vitally important that men understand not only where the clitoris is located but fully understand the extent of the clitoris and how all of the parts of the clitoris work together to produce female orgasms. Armed with this knowledge a man will be in a much better position to help his partner explore and enhance her sexual response. In reading about female sexuality, it became clear to me that the reason that so many women are disappointed in sex is that their sexuality is defined according to male standards. By this I mean that sex is intercourse-focused, which works very well for men, but not reliably for women. Especially submissive men, whose prime directive is to focus on providing sexual pleasure to their dominant female partners, the challenge I believe is to help transform society’s male-centered model of sexuality and work towards the development of a more equitable ideal. Accomplishing this requires, in part, reclaiming information about women’s bodies and sexual response that has been lost or ignored under the antique phallyocentric model. It also demands a broader understanding on the part of men about female sexual plumbing and how a woman receives pleasure.

According to Rebecca Chalker, author of The Clitoral Truth: The Secret World at Your Fingertips, for 2,500 years the clitoris and the penis were considered equivalent in all respects expect their arrangement, but all that changed after the eighteenth century with the advent of the patriarchal posture when this knowledge was repressed, ignored and forgotten. It was not until 1559 that Real Colombo, M.D., re-discovered the clitoris and its role in female sexual response.

Even today, the clitoris is still very confusing to both men and women and largely misunderstood and that is why men would be well served to step back and take a broader view of sex than just to focus on the heterosexual intercourse obsessed version that’s so popular in our modern culture. Even many doctors and sex therapists, still think that the clitoris is a teeny pea-sized bump, and that women's sexual response is not as powerful as men's. What many people call the clitoris is just the tip (or glans), and is only one of many parts-that all have corresponding parts in the penis-and work in a similar way to produce orgasm.

The preface of Chalker’s book is that the clitoris is actually far more than that little nub of nerve endings above the entrance of the vagina. She contends that the clitoris is actually quite a large and complex organ and that the better understanding of its structure within the female sexual organs will bring better understanding to both men about the female sexual response. From the introduction Chalker writes: “The clitoris has 18 parts some of which you can see-like the glans or tip, inner lips (called labia minora in medicalese) and the hood, which is equivalent to the foreskin in men. Then there are parts that you can feel, such as the shaft a cord about an inch long that is attached to the glans, and the urethral sponge which you can feel through the roof of the vagina. Then there are muscles, blood vessels, and nerves which you cannot feel, but which are essential in causing orgasm.”

For centuries the clitoris was described as a nerve-rich nub about the size of a pea. And indeed, it is dense in nerves, with over 80,000 of them. But it wasn't until 1998, when Dr Helen O'Connell challenged the “pea-sized” theory with her study of the clitoris, reported in New Scientist. O'Connell discovered it was wishbone shaped, with erectile tissue surrounding the urethra on three sides. Rather than being the size and shape of a pea, O'Connell reported that the clitoris actually has two legs (or crura) which extend between five and nine centimeters into the pelvis, as well as two bulbs (called “the bulbs of the vestibule”) which lie to either side of the vaginal opening within the labia minora (inner labia). She followed up this research in 2005, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) rather than dissection to study the clitoris, and reported similar findings.

The visible portion of the clitoris, the glans clitoris closely resembles a little penis and both organs function in similar ways. Both are full of tiny cabernosal arteries lined with smooth muscle. During sexual arousal, that smooth muscle relaxes, allowing the arteries to fill up with blood. Unlike the male penis, the clitoris is the only organ in the human body built solely for pleasure, and that in some women it is up to 14 centimeters long. Different women have different textured clitori and like it played with differently. Often women who have the large hard rubber like clitoris like when the man bites it or sucks it forcefully. Other women with a more sensitive clitoris like when the man flicks it with medium force. Some women have an extremely sensitive clitoris and only enjoy very gentle play focused on it, so softly that the stimulation is barely touching it. In general, women find stimulation of the clitoris to be uncomfortable and unpleasant when the surface is dry. When stimulating a woman’s clitoris with his fingers, the male should ensure that his fingers are well lubricated, using either the woman’s own natural lubrication if she is aroused, or a lubricating product until she becomes wet. The need for lubrication makes the giving of oral sex an excellent choice for a method of stimulating a woman’s clitoris as the man’s own saliva provides the needed lubrication.

In vanilla encounters, the burden is often on the male to learn through experimentation exactly how his partner enjoys having her clitoris stimulated. Often dominant women are quite comfortable in telling the man exactly what she likes. But there are a few basic guidelines that can be followed by a man on his own which most women would find pleasurable.

  • Lick from the stem of the clitoris to the inner labia and back up again in soft sweeping strokes.

  • Slip a finger inside the vagina and press on her G-spot as you gently lick the tip of her clit.

  • Suck the whole of her clitoris and labia softly with your mouth, lapping in between her labia as you do so.

  • Some women enjoy getting onto all fours and sliding a finger or toy inside their vagina from behind teasing her G-spot while the man licks her clit from underneath.

Sexuality is a part of who we are as sentient human beings, and it varies from person to person, culture to culture. So what does this mean for you? Well, to start with, you can have a lot more fun if you explore a woman’s clitoris in all its glory discovering how to turn her on in new ways. Additionally, helping to construct a new sexual model requires a thorough evaluation of the psychological, social, and biological facets of sexuality. That is why I decided to write this article about what every submissive man should know about the clitoris.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Reader Comments

Recently I did a follow up piece to The Submissive Male Construct and Nice Guys after receiving a thoughtful comment from a reader. The follow up piece, Revisiting: The Submissive Male Construct and Nice Guys
also drew reader comments and today I would like to focus in on one of those comments.

“As a woman, I hear a lot of men whine about not being able to find partners. This rant sounds almost exactly the same, with just a couple words changed here and there. They are all self-described "nice guys" or "submissive guys". Then they attribute the single fact that prevents them from romantic success. They ignore their choices, their personality, their lifestyle, their emotional and mental state, their cock size, their hygiene, their hair color, their dating habits, their finances - everything. If he can't find a woman to date it's because he's so "nice/submissive" and women secretly want "dominant/macho/jerks" men. Isn't that pitiful?

I have also found that there is a species of "nice guy" who seems to be remarkably emotionally manipulative. I think men can find themselves self-identifying as nice, when the truth is they are unable to assert their needs and boundaries in an honest, direct, and healthy way. When their unspoken needs are unmet, they can become passive aggressive.

This is the single most common reason I choose not to enter into relationships with "nice guys". I *like* submissive men. I do *not* like whiny passive aggressive guys reeking of desperation. I'd often rather date an honest "jerk".

(I am not trying to say that all nice/submissive men are like this. Just that there are reasons women put "nice guy" in quotes.)”

This reader does make some very valid points, points which I touched on in the original essay and in the follow up and points that were brought up in comments by other readers. Certainly there are men who wish to project themselves as nice guys, who perhaps even sincerely believe that they are nice guys, but who are as this reader states are, “emotionally manipulative”, “…unable to assert their needs and boundaries in an honest, direct, and healthy way”, and “whiny passive aggressive guys”.

From the beginning, my intent for this blog has always been to offer a forum for the open and honest exchange of opinions and ideas free from censorship which is the reason I choose not to moderate comments. Every person is unique and a product of both unique world views and opinions. People are welcome to disagree with the ideas I present here as much as they want as someone disagreeing with my ideas is never taken as a personal attack on me. In fact I value the opinions and observations of others because quite often I feel I learn something and in some instances my own opinions are sometimes changed by a well thought out and intelligent argument that proposes an alternative view. Of course in return I do reserve the right to comment on the comments with which I find myself in disagreement, and that is the reason I have chosen to address this one. The one statement I take issue with from this comment is “As a woman, I hear a lot of men whine about not being able to find partners. This rant sounds almost exactly the same, with just a couple words changed here and there.” In fairness I don’t think either essay could be fairly categorized as a “rant”. A rant at least according to Merriam-Webster is “a long angry speech or scolding” and certainly that was not my intent in writing either article. By dismissing my opinions as a “rant” I suggest the reader missed the entire point of what I have written. While she tempered her initial comments with “I am not trying to say that all nice/submissive men are like this” at the end, it seems to me that “This is the single most common reason I choose not to enter into relationships with ‘nice guys’ ” makes it rather obvious that she does in fact view all nice/submissive men in the same negative way. This makes as much sense as the argument, whales are mammals and whales live in the sea, therefore all mammals live in the sea. In the parlance of logical argument construction, this is what is called building a valid argument from false premises, and arriving at a false conclusion. Yes, whales are mammals and whales do live in the sea but that of course does not mean that all mammals live in the sea. Only some mammals do. In the same way, the argument that some men who self-identify as “nice guys” are actually manipulative, relationally dysfunctional and prone to blame others for their own short-comings, all men who self-identify as “nice guys” are manipulative, relationally dysfunctional and prone to blame others for their own short-comings, is equally false.

The true facts are quite plain, some men who self-identify as “nice guys” have some or all of the negative traits listed by the commenter, but there are in fact legitimately nice guys who do not have any of those traits. Equally true is the fact that some women ignore nice guys as potential relationship partners simply on the basis that they have a decided preference for relationships with men who are bad boy types because they find this type more interesting or challenging. I doubt very much that I would ever convince women of that type to give consideration to exploring the possibilities of a relationship with a nice guy. My only issue with such women is that quite often nice guys are more than acceptable to them as friendship material; they simply aren’t interested in having a romantic relationship with them. My intent in writing the articles was simply to appeal to women who may have held negative opinions about nice guys but don’t have a decided preference for bad boy types, to keep an open mind about the possibilities of a relationship with an authentic nice guy.

Even though I found things to disagree with in this comment, I do appreciate that this person took the time to express her opinion and I respect that a great deal. If she finds meaning in dating “honest jerks” then I see nothing wrong with that as we all have our own unique proclivities when it comes to relationship preferences.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Poll Results

The Survey by Sex and D/s Orientation poll has concluded. I am very grateful to the 102 readers who took a moment to vote in the poll and having a modest background in statistical analysis, I feel that number gives a statistically significant result. In addition as I tracked the poll daily the percentages didn’t vary significantly which gives me further confidence in the results. Here are the final tallies:

Dominant Females – 20 (19%)
Submissive Females – 4 (4%)
Switch Females – 10 (10%)
Dominant Males – 3 (3%)
Switch Males – 7 (7%)
Submissive Males – 58 (57%)

While the poll results suggest that submissive men make up the largest percentage of the readers of this blog, I was very pleased with the diversity of the overall readership which reflects every category of Sex and D/s orientation. This demographic information provides me valuable insight and will I hope help me to understand the kinds of information readers might enjoy as I continue with the blog. To further refine the reader demographics, I have posted a new poll in which readers are asked to indicate their sexual orientation and hope that you will consider responding to the latest poll.

Self Takes a Holiday

Submissive men are some of the most misunderstood and invisible sexual creatures around. Our voices simply aren’t heard in popular culture, our expression largely relegated to bedrooms, the blogosphere, and fetish clubs. I am a submissive man. Not only do I receive meaning when allowed to express my submission but the way my head is wired, when I submit I get much more intense feelings of sexual arousal than I experience during vanilla sex.

What makes a man desire to submit to a powerful, dominant woman? I’m certain there are as many varied answers to that question as there are submissive men. I can’t speak for other men although I am pretty confident that there are similarities in us all when it comes to our motivation to submit. Men in many respects are given a privileged position in society, simply on the basis of our gender and as a result often enjoy positions with all sorts of power. Men often have respectably high-powered jobs. Often highly visible ones where they have the responsibility for regularly making difficult decisions that affect the lives of others, perhaps many others. They are required to maintain highly polished self-images and required to always feel in control. Constant attention must be devoted to advancing his independence, his responsibility, and his success.

But for many of us, our dirty little secret is that so many of us long to be stripped of power, to be tied down, gagged, spanked, taken, and owned, by an assertive, dominant woman. We want to be made to do a woman’s bidding, in whatever way she finds meaningful and satisfying. For me submission offers the ultimate break from the thoroughly modern stresses on the self. If only for a little while, submission allows me to escape the burdens of manliness while being “ordered” to serve in various ways and yes, at times made to do all the naughty things I often fantasize about. Succinctly put, submission allows me to escape an awareness of self.

Why would anyone want to escape awareness of the self? Because while a self is a handy, even a necessary thing to have, it's also very needy. It requires constant upkeep and maintenance. You have to work hard just to maintain a positive self-image or “to be in control.” Modern Western culture places enormous and unprecedented demands on individual selfhood. The self is an unending project, throughout life, that constantly needs to be built up and defended. It has to prove capable, autonomous and attractive, along with everything else. As such it is a source of stress, worry and pressure. So how does one take a break from self? How does self take a holiday?

For submissive men, we take a break from self whenever we act out our fantasies of sexual domination and submission. Often this involves turning to rituals of sadomasochism with our own partners or turning to specially hired ones (professional dominatrices) and we happily become “slaves” to our submissive desires. Men who crave the company of a dominant woman find her in wives, girlfriends, or in a professional dominatrix, sometimes bringing out the kinky tendencies of their partners and other times tapping into what’s already there and well developed. Some may desire to be tied up, handcuffed, gagged, or bound in uncomfortable positions. Others may desire to be whipped or tormented with droplets of hot wax on bare skin or may long to receive an old-fashioned, bare-bottom, over-the-knee spanking. And still others may desire to be embarrassed, verbally insulted, given commands, made to walk on all fours like a dog, or displayed naked in front of others who are fully clothed. All of these things share a common theme, escape from self. Self takes a holiday as men voluntarily relinquish the top spot, the tables are turned and men become for once the hunted rather than the hunter.

The flipside is that any woman who can lure a submissive man into her lair quickly learns just how valuable a prize she’s gotten and will surely want to keep him happy. Many already know they enjoy this reversal of roles and receive satisfaction in controlling every aspect of their man right down to his sexuality. By literally putting her foot down, upon him, she can demand his servitude and by so doing commands his sincere respect, adoration and worship of her assertive femininity, making him, molding him perfectly into everything she desires in a partner. I think there are many other women, who have yet to experience the inherent delights of commandeering the body of a man, ordering him to humiliate himself for her pleasure, leaving him tied up, helpless and horny, and leaving her mark upon him, both literally and figuratively, but who would find it very satisfying if only they would engage and embrace their dominant sides. If these words resonate with you, making you long for a man you can grab by the scruff of his neck, or order to his knees, or simply allow you to control him with one fierce, all-knowing look, then having a submissive man is for you. Go ahead, say the words out loud: “Yes, I’m a dominant woman.” Wherever your submissive man is, he will hear you.

Submissive men are not really out to ditch their selves. They simply want the fantasy of shedding their own identity, with its autonomy and responsibility, by submitting entirely to the will of another, with sexual pleasure thrown into the bargain, because it's a great reinforcer of submissive acts. There is no clearer way to shed an identity than by changing gender roles. When a man willingly engages in the power transfer with a woman and he assumes the submissive role while she assumes the dominant one, it permits them both to shed their normal selves. Self takes a holiday and this can be a delightful experience for both.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Spanking fetishism also colloquially termed spankophilia is characterized by a person becoming sexually aroused by the giving or receiving of spankings, or both. It seems to be related to, but not identical with other fetishes such as domination/submission play, bondage, sadomasochism and pygophilia (buttocks fetishism).

Generally fetishism is defined as a pathological assignment of sexual fixation, fantasies or behaviors toward an inanimate object such as an item of clothing (underclothing, high-heeled shoes, etc.) or to non-genital body parts such as the feet, but the definition also includes circumstances where a person experiences arousal from participating in activities not normally considered to be sexual in nature, like spanking.

According to psychology practitioners, there is a degree of fetishistic arousal in most “normal” individuals. Fetishistic arousal is generally considered a problem only when it interferes with normal sexual or social functioning or where sexual arousal is impossible without the object of the fetish.

While I have very limited experience with erotic spankings, I do find the concept very erotic and arousing. I have spanked two past vanilla female sexual partners both over-the-knee and in conjunction with “doggie style” sexual intercourse. Both of them later told me that they didn’t find the over-the-knee spankings particularly arousing but both did very much feel that it contributed a great deal to their arousal when experienced in conjunction with penetrative sex. From my perspective I did not find giving spankings to be arousing, beyond simply the act of touching their bare bottoms which is not surprising since I consider the female bottom to be the single most erotic female body part. Yet fantasizing about being spanked is something I do find very arousing. Since I do experience sexual arousal from any number of stimuli I would assume that spankophilia is a benign fetish for me since it is only one of many things that I find arousing. I have never received an erotic spanking but have spanked myself at the direction of a dominant woman and I did find that to be an arousing experience. I feel that for me personally, it was the domination/submission dynamics of the situations involved that was most responsible for the feelings of arousal since I am not at all very masochistic and do not generally seek out opportunities to experience pain.

There is an ongoing debate in psychology circles about why a person might enjoy and find the idea of being spanked to be arousing, either actually receiving a spanking or through fantasizing about it. Some believe it caused by the person receiving or witnessing spankings during childhood, especially around the age of puberty. This idea corresponds to classical psychology theories. According to Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, sexual deviations are developed in childhood. The basis of his theory was that children may cope with a painful or traumatic experience by “eroticizing” it. Interestingly enough, I recently read an article concerning a survey conducted in the UK where 35% of the respondents who identified themselves as persons who found spanking to be erotic and sexually arousing, stated that they had never been spanked or witnessed a spanking, which seems to indicate rather clearly, that the Freud’s theory doesn’t provide an all inclusive explanation.

Another theory is that some people find spanking to be arousing because of the fact that physical pain is known to cause an endorphin rush for some individuals which causes spanking to be a pleasant experience, comparable to the effects of certain drugs. If the person is spanked hard and frequently (resulting in frequent and intense endorphin rushes) they may become “addicted” to spankings. Over time they come to associate spankings with not only pleasant but erotic feelings. Again not all submissives are masochistic, and so this theory to has its inherent limitations.

Thus far we have considered only erotic spankings, spankings used for the purpose of sexual play. With regards to submissive men and female led relationships, there is also disciplinary spanking. As a submissive man I find the idea of being spanked by a dominant female partner to be a normal and beneficial part of a female led relationship. Like anyone else I am at time prone to make mistakes and need correction. I need to be held accountable and a spanking could provide that accountability. If I failed in some way towards her by say being inadvertently inconsiderate or disrespectful to her or by failing by design or neglect to perform some assigned task, then I feel I would be most deserving of a spanking which would be a very practical means of making amends. As the dominant partner, she certainly would have the right to choose the kind of amends based on the nature of my offense that she felt best addressed and corrected the problem and if she chose to spank me over say simply accepting my heartfelt and sincere apology, then of course I would willingly submit to her decision. While this kind of spanking would not be enjoyable or pleasurable I doubt it would be sexually arousing either. In fact I have read numerous accounts from dominant women who regularly spank their submissive male partners in which all agreed, when done correctly, it is not at all a pleasant experience for the man and is very effective in eliminating the offending behaviors that precipitated the spankings.

I think disciplinary spanking appeals to me with respect to female led relationships on two levels. First, submitting to being spanked would provide a very strong image of her dominance over me and my submission to her. Second, being spanked would allow me to pay for my transgression in a tangible way which would make me feel better about the situation and would allow us to put the affront behind us and in the past so that we could go forward with my behavior appropriately modified. I would also love to experience the erotic variety as well, just to learn what the effects were with regard to arousal.

Sugasm #132

The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #133? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form. Participants, repost the link list within a week and you’re all set.

This Week’s Picks
Fuck The Pope.
“The Church would have you believe that abstinence should be sufficient.”

Good Boy
“Despite my outward appearance, I still felt sexy as hell knowing what was underneath those misleading garments.”

May Masturbation Challenge: Progress Report day 10
“At the Dee & Apollo household, it’s early on Day 10 of the May Masturbation Challenge.”

Mr. Sugasm Himself (one from the vaults)
The US Constitution Erotic Coloring Book

Editor’s Choice
UK Criminal Justice Bill Clause 63 - but what is “extreme”? - A Beginners Guide

More Sugasm
Join the Sugasm

See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Submission: What's in it for the man?

In a word I think it’s the freedom! In modern, mostly patriarchal Western society, many men feel shackled and hindered by society's dictates and the double standards they must adhere to where relationships with women are concerned. In your average relationship all decisions must be either made by the male or at best things are decided mutually. The man's freedom is limited. Even at home he must continue to fill the same role and the same shoes he fills in the other aspects of his life. I think there are actually lots of men who wish they could live in submission to a female partner, yet they can't express this desire or express submissiveness for fear that it will attract their partner's ire. Men in ordinary modern relationships constantly come up against limits, boundaries, and constraints. A female led relationship sweeps all that away, freeing the man to act as he most wishes to do.

Being in a female led relationship would feel freeing for me. Letting go of the responsibility to make all the decisions, having to direct every event, is a concept I find liberating. I would of course like to have input and have my ideas, thoughts and feelings given serious consideration, but in the final analysis, I would covet a relationship where I’d have a partnership with a confident, dominant woman who would make the final decisions. I believe that lots of men who live in the modern world in “normal” male dominated relationships would find it freeing to trade all of that for a matriarchal type relationship. Going from ordinary relationships to a relationship in which you are allowed to submit and are freed of the responsibility to act as the head of the household I think would be incredibly liberating.

Being unable to express my submissiveness and having to keep it firmly in check and under wraps in accordance with society’s demands makes me feel stifled, shackled and feeling a real lack of contentment. Being in a situation where I could give free rein to behaving in the way to me that feels most natural would make me feel fully alive and free for the first time, as though I had finally arrived as a real and complete man.

To me having the freedom to focus completely on my partner, her needs, desires and wishes instead of being made to focus on making all the decisions affecting my life and hers, would offer profound feelings of freedom to pursue imaginative ways of making her feel special, adored, cherished and honored. I can easily imagine how such a relationship would make me feel eminently more effective as a relational partner and feel that nobody was holding me back, or preventing me from getting to where I truly wanted to be as a person.

With all the above said, there remains one other important aspect I can imagine about being in a female led relationship. I think it would make me feel supremely appreciated and loved by a woman. I would feel most accepted by the knowledge that she was willing to assume responsibility for the decision making and of being in control. I think women should never underestimate the importance of making a man feel accepted and appreciated and too often what men are made to feel is that their partner wants to change them. This is the antithesis of feeling acceptance as I think any person might agree that being made to feel that you aren’t accepted for who and what you are is very unsettling and upsetting. Should the day ever come when I meet a woman who can look me in the eye and acknowledge her willingness to lead our relationship, make the decisions, and hold me accountable to obey her every wish and desire, I am sure I’ll feel ten feet tall and feel a profound sense of peace and contentment. Such a circumstance would for the first time in my life, make me truly feel that someone was accepting and appreciating me for the man that I am.

Having a relationship such as I have described would to me be utterly fantastic. I would feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to a woman that gave me permission to worship at her feet, serve her in every imaginable way and pay continuous and sincere homage to her dominant femininity. In such a relationship I would feel truly free. I have to believe that somewhere on the planet there is a woman such as I’ve described who could love me enough to accept my submission to her and set me free. What more could any man ask for?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Revisiting: The Submissive Male Construct and Nice Guys

Several days ago I posted an essay The Submissive Male Construct and Nice Guys and recently received a very nice comment related to the essay that I felt was well worth sharing and discussing. The author of the comment, remained anonymous, so I felt comfortable posting the comment here in its entirety because I think the writer makes some excellent points.

“This is such an interesting post. I can definitely emphasize with your frustrations. But, I also understand where your friend is coming from.

I do think that women want nice men, but I also think that many men who describe themselves as nice are actually engaging in a form of emotional blackmail.

There is a difference between nice and codependent. A lot of the behaviors you describe (the sucking up, the insincere compliments, the clinginess) are really designed to put the other person in a sort of emotional debt, which the "nice" guy will later try to collect with interest.

It's a horrible situation to be in, because you either immediately have to reject the niceness and be a bitch, or later you are labeled as a user for not, say, sleeping with a guy after he has carried your groceries to your car. Is this really "nice" behavior?

Interestingly, women who go out with bad boys often play this "nice guy" role, and try to trap the bad boy with emotional debts.

Anyway, there's nice and there's "nice," just like there are sincere and insincere submissives.”

While I don’t know this for certain of course, I assume from the content of the comment that it was written by a female reader. But whether the writer was female or male, I found this comment to be very instructive and I very much appreciated being given insight, really for the first time that explained something I have never really been able to understand before. The writer did such a superb job in my estimation of explaining why some women are hesitant to engage in relationships with “nice guys” because past experience had shown them that sometimes at least, the “nice guys” are only nice in an illusionary way rather than a sincere way. Certainly it registers with me that a woman would not at all be enamored by a man who was clingy, and that sucked up by offering insincere flattery disguised as “emotional blackmail” with the intent of achieving satisfaction of his own agenda by making the woman feel that she was in his debt so to speak and owed him something in return.

When you get right down to the heart of the matter, no one owes anyone anything in a relationship beyond complete and total honesty. If that is given then everything else I think pretty easily and naturally falls into place. And what this writer described was an utter absence of emotional honesty on the part of men who would treat a woman in this rather distasteful manner. Certainly it is very easy for me to say this, but I will say it anyway, I do consider myself to be a “nice guy” and when I offer to do something for a woman, I do so with no expectation of getting something in return. And when I choose to offer her compliments, the compliments are always sincere and heartfelt. A part of this of course relates to the fact that I am a submissive man, and being a pleaser is an inherent and innate part of my submissive nature. The strokes, or benefits I take away from this are quite candidly the fact that pleasing a woman is what gives me pleasure. A very gifted woman who writes a blog I enjoy reading regularly, has recently written two very insightful essays on the topic of “entitlement”. I really think the thoughts shared by the person who posted this comment certainly do describe that very thing. Some men do of course have a sense of entitlement when it comes to women so much so in fact that there are lots of men who believe that if a woman is merely friendly towards them or smiles at them, they assume immediately that she wants to sleep with them. Also, as the writer pointed out, many men who project themselves as “nice guys” have expectations for having their own needs met in return for proffering a favor or compliment and when they don’t get it, they do put women in a difficult spot of being labeled either a bitch or a user. Still when you get right down to it, as correctly observed, these men aren’t “nice guys” at all. In the sense of being a nice guy, they are simply adopting and attempting to project the illusion of being nice to get what they want.

It isn’t any great mystery then why over time, exposure to these not so nice “nice guys” can cause women to feel a bit cynical about “nice guys” in general. But hopefully, being a sincere nice guy myself, I do hope that most women look at me as an individual and give me the benefit of the doubt as I think if they would do so, they would quickly come to see that this is my true nature. Initially any person may be able to fool another with regards to their personal agenda or nature by representing themselves as someone they are not, but at least in my own experience, it doesn’t take long before the true person emerges. I would think that in the case of the not so nice “nice guy” that would become apparent rather quickly.

I also very much appreciated what the writer had to say about how some women use the same “nice guy” tactic when they choose to engage in relationships with “bad boy” types and then use that tactic as a form of emotional manipulation. Those comments for the first time also gave me a bit of insight into that circumstance which I’ve never had exposure to previously. The downside of all of this illumination however is that now, relationships seem even more complicated to me than ever before! But then I suppose that is how life actually is. The more you learn the more you are required to learn. And after all I think that is what makes life such an interesting proposition. Thanks so much to the person who took the time to write this excellent and well thought out comment. I find myself a bit wistful thinking that not knowing you prevents me from the pleasure of some further very interesting discoveries that I am certain I would happily make if given the opportunity to discuss life with such an intelligent and insightful person as you appear to be.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The paradox of the strong and submissive man

Let me just start by saying that as a man who has over the past couple of months I think truly begun to emerge as a submissive man, it has been a real pleasure for me to learn that so many other men share this nature. I have found many wonderfully written and truly inspiring blogs written by other submissive men. Yet occasionally, I still find those from the “dark side” where I cringe while reading things like “The male is naturally the dominant partner, while the female is naturally submissive.” I often find myself wondering what my many wonderful dominant female friends would say to that idea. Actually, I think I probably already know the answer. It is not that I believe my perspective is the only right way to live and love. It's just the way I’d prefer to live and love. I know that there are dominant men and there are submissive females, who feel their respective natures just as intensely and want to express them just as much as I and of course there is nothing wrong with that. I just think it is important to understand and be honest about one's own nature and then to find a partner, who complements you in their own nature, needs and desires. For me of course, that would be a confident, assertive and dominant woman.

For me there is a paradox at play, a contradiction in truest sense of the word, in being a submissive man. I consider myself to be strong and firmly “masculine” with respect to my gender identification. While I myself am accepting of those men who view themselves as dominant and wish to fill that role in their relationships with submissive females, I ask only that they try to understand and respect my submissive male world view. Too often I read that submissive men are not behaving properly, that they are confused or living in denial by rejecting the notion that to be male means one is naturally dominant and should only seek relationships with submissive females so that he can assume the dominant role. I feel it is my inalienable right to choose to live and behave as a masculine male in other aspects of my life but choose to submit relationally. In so doing I am only being honest with myself and attempting to understand who I am as a person. This in no way means I am unmanly, weak, spineless, or abnormal. Yet perhaps it is the paradox that keeps some people from being able to understand and accept the fact that a man can be at the same time, both submissive and strong.

The nature of this paradox is this; it is my real nature to be a strong, independent and, at times, even commanding force in much of my life, while also possessing a genuine and expressive submissive side that I wish to share with a trusted dominant female partner. It is not that the strong, independent, commanding side of me is some kind of an act, or that I am just “acting masculine” for the outside world. It is simply who I am as a person and my submissive side does nothing to change that.

Both sides of me are equally me and each side I think makes positive contributions to the total person I am. The strong, independent side helps me to grow and gives me the courage to explore. But my submissive side, the part of me that will always be playful, loving and childlike to some degree needs the reassurance of having a stronger, dominant force there to nurture and guide me, helping to give the masculine, independent side of me strength.

Human nature being what it is I do not believe we were designed to be able to meet all of our own needs. However independent any of us may be, we are truly social animals, and it is important to understand and consider that. When two complimentary personalities join together in a relationship, the relationship helps make both stronger.

Now how does this play out for me? I certainly do have a vulnerable side and this I believe is the part of me that longs to be taken care of by a dominant female. It also I think explains my need to submit, to let go with someone I deeply trust and admire. By submitting relationally I can be even more fully the man that I am the rest of the time.

Though something of a cliché these days, I define that part of me that wishes to be vulnerable as my “inner child”. Just as is the case with actual children, no child responds positively to abuse, but I do I believe responds much more favorably to a hands-on, dominant parenting style than to a less involved, less dominating style. Although as a child I never really enjoyed being spanked by my parents, I responded very well to knowing that there was always a very firm hand to guide and discipline me whenever I stumbled and failed to live up to expectations. For me I believe that the spankings I endured were given out of love and concern for my well being and while I was firmly disciplined I was never abused. Those times of correction and discipline were always followed up with much parental love and affirmation. I was always made to understand that it wasn’t me who was being disapproved of, but only my behavior which provoked the correction. The discipline I experienced as a child, helped to provide boundaries for me, without which I would have felt lost and neglected. In many respects, the same sort of boundaries is what I desire and would benefit from in a relationship with a dominant woman.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

How about a little tolerance

While not what I was planning to write about today, a blog I happened to come across changed my mind. I won’t name it as there is really no point to that, and of course the owner has the same right as I or anyone else to express personal opinion. Suffice it to say, I found it to be the typical patriarchal stereotypical view of the “appropriate” female and male roles. There was the obligatory claims of course that the site neither promoted “patriarchal views” nor “stereotypical roles” but what I think was a fair sampling of the articles published, all neatly fit into the categories of…

  • Dominant males and submissive females is the “natural order.”

  • No woman really wants a passive (read that submissive) man.

  • All women “want” to be dominated by their male partner even if they don’t immediately realize it and simply need a little “reeducation”.

In other words, the typical patriarchal views that men have always been and always should be the dominant partners and the leaders of relationships and that any alternative is unnatural…blah…blah…blah.

Relationships should not be about the enactment and legalistic observance of stereotypical roles based solely on a person’s gender. If we are ever going to experience progress, growth and enlightenment in the human experience, at some point those antiquated ideas must be consigned to the rubbish bin where they belong. Relationships need to start being defined by the needs, desires, goals and dreams of the persons involved not by following some lock-step role expectation imposed by some arrogant, know-it-all group who is hell bent on maintaining the status quo. Personally I favor a more matriarchal society because it happens to fit my submissive male paradigm much more efficiently than the patriarchal alternative. Yet I can offer that as personal opinion without making a statement that anyone who disagrees is ignorant, lacks understanding, is abnormal or just plain wrong. Two people embarking on a relationship in my opinion are the only one’s with opinions that need to be considered as far as that relationship goes and should be able to decide on their own what they wish their relationship to look like without any fear of condemnation from those who don’t happen to see things from the same perspective.

It seems to me at least that when a relationship begins, in starts with two people being more or less on an equal footing. As time passes and they grow more deeply and intimately acquainted, learn each other’s strengths, weaknesses, needs and desires, a dominant personality emerges. It just seems to me common sense that the dominant personalities become the leader. I do think it normal and natural for one person to assume the leadership role in a relationship just as it is normal, natural and needful in any human endeavor. It seems impossible for a relationship to operate as a democracy with each person having an equal vote. Because if that be the case, what happens when each person has an opinion that is exactly the opposite of the other? The result is a tie and by definition inactivity. Even in a democracy, whether it is a government, a corporation or other collective entity, someone always has the power to cast a deciding vote, Otherwise you end up with the entity being ruled by committee and nothing gets accomplished.

How two individuals choose to interact inside a relationship is no one’s business but their own. Expectations that individuals must behave according to some preconceived, gender based, stereotypical role is simply ridiculous. You don't have to take any notice of someone else’s “rules for behavior” or definition of “femininity” or “masculinity” or anyone else's idea of what or how you should be. You don't have to feel abnormal or weird just because you choose not to surrender your freedom of choice to those who think it is their way or the highway. You are free to be your own unique person and to fashion a relationship with another unique person that makes sense for both partners.

My opinion is that we should distance ourselves from stereotypes such as “a feminine woman” or “a real man”, when those stereotypes do not fit our personal beliefs or lead us to a place of contentment. To do otherwise is simply a matter of denying our true natures. Our personalities and natures are complex, dynamic, evolving and anything but static or stereotypical. Allowing yourself to be forced into someone else's definition may result in them seeing it as a perfect fit but it may not feel that way for you. Be honest with yourself, resist pressure to fit inside someone else’s particular box and don’t feel compelled to be someone you’re not.

When a man claims and embraces his “submission”, he may be told that he is in denial and not submissive at all but dominant because that is what being a man means. He may be accused of not being a “real man” and told that he must be a wimp, a freak or weak. When a woman claims a dominant role, some may conclude that she is not feminine, but merely bossy or bitchy. Unfortunate as that is, it is just life. You have to live your own life the best way you can, maintaining your own dignity and choosing your own labels of definition.

If gender based stereotypes don’t fit you, then ignore them. In the final analysis what matters more? Subjecting yourself to someone else’s preconceived notions of how you should act to be regarded as “manly” or “feminine” or working out a committed, meaningful relationship with someone that allows you to find contentment and that meets your deeply felt needs? I wish others could show a bit more tolerance towards those with different world views and perspectives, especially with regards to gender roles. But until that day comes, ignore the nay sayers, be true to yourself. Be the person that you are and seek a partner who shares your views. For only then will you find yourself in a relationship that fosters happiness.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Can You Explain It?

Sometimes I ponder things just for the sake of pondering them I suppose. Today I was considering the question, “If I had to explain to someone why I was interested in kink, what would I say?” I know how I got interested in it. I know why or think I know why some things about it appeal to me. Yet I think I’d have a difficult time explaining all of that to someone if I found myself in the position of having to do so. Especially if it were a vanilla person who wasn’t at all into kink and was for some reason in the position of demanding that I explain myself. A part of that for me I think is the fact that before I really knew anything about BDSM, D/s and the activities involved in the lifestyle, I actually had only the typical and stereotypical notions about it. Not only did I have zero interest in it, I actually had a very negative opinion of it, and yes, I suppose of anyone who might be involved in it. Of course I didn’t know anyone involved it. At least I believed that then. Now I am not nearly so certain about that as there are many people in my life who would probably say that very thing, and yet they know me, they just don’t know of my involvement.

I think I have shared on several occasions that when I first heard of “submissiveness” and began to put two and two together, I ultimately realized that submissiveness was that part of me that I’d always been aware of but never really understood. I decided that there was no harm in investigating it further and trying to learn if this was something I needed to address. For whatever reason I seemed to be a crossroads of sort in my life where I felt I could neither deny nor suppress that aspect of my personality and nature any longer. Honestly, there were times when I struggled with that issue and wanted to believe it was just a manifestation of a mid-life crisis. But first, I had to admit whatever it was I had always been aware of it. I also didn’t really believe I was having a mid-life crisis because aging has never been something I have given any thought to. I just never had any fear about growing older and have always been comfortable with whatever age I might be. Also, I knew definitely I had not recently felt any overpowering urge to go out and purchase an expensive sports car. I mean isn’t that the unmistakable sign of a mid-life crisis for a man? I’m just kidding of course, I have never actually been a car guy. I like Jeeps and that is what I will always like.

Anyway, my first investigation into the submission issue was searching a well known online bookstore for books on the subject. Of course the word “submission” has several connotations and so I found books ranging from religion to books on female submission to fiction. Well none of that was what I was looking for or felt would be helpful. After pages and pages on the site I finally found something that looked like it might be promising. The book was Different Loving: The World of Sexual Domination and Submission by Gloria Brame. I ordered the book and after receiving it, I started to read and could barely put it down. What I found inside was a very balanced presentation of what dominance and submission is all about. One thing I really liked was that there was a wide variety of people represented in the interview sections, people from all walks of life. The author’s style was both articulate and insightful and belied a very intelligent person. She did a masterful job of presenting the reasons that people found dominance and submission a vitally important part of expressing their sexuality. On its own, this book really shattered a lot of the stereotypical views I had held about BDSM and I began to realize that there were apparently some pretty normal people involved in it. They weren’t just a bunch of nuts or pervs so to speak. Armed with a bit more knowledge, I went back to the online bookstore with a better idea of what to look for and found two more books, Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns : The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism by Philip Miller and Molly Devon, and SM 101 : A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman. After finishing these two books I admitted that some of the things were just not for me, but many others I did find intriguing and felt a definite interest in experiencing. I had an AOL account at the time and knew I had seen chat rooms referring to dominants and submissives so that was the next stop for me. Using the information learned from the book, I wrote up a profile and published it indicating my interest in learning more about domination and submission. Nothing happened immediately, but about a month later I received an email from a lady, identifying herself as a domme. She asked me a lot of questions which later I learned was her way of learning whether I was sincere or a poser looking for cyber sex. Fairly quickly she understood I was a sincere seeker and she told me that while she viewed the lifestyle as something done in real life, not online, she would be willing to mentor me and get me pointed in the right direction. I quickly took her up on the offer and she began to systematically teach me about the lifestyle. Mostly she provided me with book recommendations and Internet web sites to read and gave me writing assignments. This continued for several months. One day she told me she believed I had gotten as far as I could go with the knowledge part for now and what I should think about was getting some actual experience. I really didn’t feel ready to launch out into real life just yet and of course I had no clue how to go about finding people locally who were involved in the lifestyle anyway. She lived on the east coast so she really couldn’t offer me much help with that either, but she was able to find a few web sites of organizations that hold munches in my local area. A little while later, she took a new job and due to our schedules we lost touch and I was again on my own.

I continued to search and was rewarded by meeting people some online and some in real life and gradually I began to acquire some experience to go along with the knowledge. I was introduced to BDSM activities play, to the use of sex toys which I had never had any experience with, and again to just being able to talk with people with experience in the lifestyle. I met some very nice people, as nice as I’ve ever met in any other circumstances and they were all eager to help and were so affirming. I began to feel that I wasn’t some kind of freak and that many people, even many men were out there who shared the same feelings I did. I was introduced to submissive activity lists which included all of the possible activities that those in the lifestyle engage in. I learned about hard limits, soft limits and safe words. I learned the difference between a submissive and a slave. The more I learned the more comfortable I became and the more I was willing to experiment with new things that initially had seemed too far out there to contemplate. Many of the things I explored really produced very meaningful experiences for me and allowed me to experience my submissiveness beyond what I’d ever experienced before.

All of this I explain because it serves to illustrate that I came to know about submission in general and learn about my own submissiveness in particular from peering through the lens of BDSM. It is only natural therefore that as a result I came to be involved in kink and to learn that there were some rather kinky things that I enjoyed and that contributed to feelings of pleasurable submission. It seems that now that I have started this blog, more and more I meet people who define themselves as dominants and submissives and people who actually live in female led relationships, who have little if any involvement or interest in kink. Their approach or perspective is totally different, completely opposite in fact of my own. One dominant woman who is rapidly becoming a very valued friend tells me she is not kinky in the least and as far as sexual expression she is very traditional beyond wanting at times to be in charge and control in the bedroom. I’ve come to understand that I could find an outlet of expression for my submission even outside the realm of the lifestyle and that is something I think is a good thing. Not because I don’t enjoy kink but because it simply opens up lots of new possibilities. I like kink, but submissive expression, this sort of alternative sexuality is really the need that I must address so as far as kink, if I should end up with a woman who enjoys that then we’re good. But certainly the kink aspect is the minor consideration in comparison and I could be just as happy with a woman who wasn’t into kink but would appreciate and embrace my submission. There is nothing wrong with the kink in my opinion, but I know sexual expression is a very personal matter for everyone and we all differ on exactly how we choose to express that part of us. It seems rather odd sometime that I’d like kink because I’m not much of a masochist so I certainly am not one who could really appreciate a sadist. But along the way I’ve learned that there is much more to BDSM than just the SM.

For the longest time as I wrote this, I was feeling I was just rambling, but you know I guess there was a point to it because finally I can answer the question I pondered. I like kink because sometimes it just feels good to express my sexuality and my submissiveness that way and oftentimes kink provides a conduit through which I receive very meaningful and intense feelings of submission, something I’ve grown to enjoy very much. But that’s me, so tell me, how about you? Can you explain it? Why are you interested in kink?