The Vagenda

Does Liking BDSM Make Me a Bad Feminist?

spankWe’ve all played that game in our heads where we imagine our own tragic but lavish funeral where people throw themselves at our coffins whilst sobbing uncontrollably into fancy hankies, and think up the various things they might say about us during drawn-out, emotional speeches. Or maybe that’s just me? (it isn’t – Ed.)

I’d like to think that people would describe me as a resolute, driven person. They might say I was an independent, free-thinking lady. They might even throw in ‘she was the perfect combination of beauty and brains and badassdom’ for good measure (a girl can always dream, right?) So basically, in my funeral fantasy, they’d be likening me to a goddess-like creature, while sobbing A LOT.

All of the above sound like great qualities for a feminist to have, but then here comes the tricky part; not only am I a feminist, but a feminist who acts out her fantasies of submission on a regular basis. When I say submission I mean choking, slapping, biting, restraining, spanking, being called a dirty slut – the whole shebang. Some people seem to think that it is impossible to call yourself a feminist and enjoy BDSM play, but I beg to differ. Either I am the exception to the rule or we need new rules – or  - here’s a thought – no rules.

I discovered my slightly deviating urges at the tender age of fourteen. There was nothing tender, however, about my dazed daydreams. I found myself inexplicably fascinated and excited by the idea of being dominated.

Growing up, as my friends and I conquered new territories in relationships and sex, I would listen to my girlfriends chatter excitedly about the thrill of having their hair pulled by their boyfriends, and often wondered if I was somehow twisted for harbouring urges that went far beyond a fistful of hair.

I cannot claim that identifying with both the feminist ideology and BDSM lifestyle has been a completely easy process. I, much like several other fellow BDSM-friendly feminists, feel the need to explain myself and my desires. It seems a given that as a feminist you are not supposed to like being dominated by a man, not to mention have them inflict pain on you, call you names and toss you around like a rag doll. Hence, whenever talk turns to sex and feminism, people either call me out on what they see as two conflicting things or politely try to hide their amazement. It seems that the following ingenious mathematical equation buzzes through their brain whenever the topic comes up: submissive in bed equals submissive in everything. No, no, NO! Or perhaps more appropriately: red, red, RED goddamn it!

I wish I could blame this reasoning on Fifty Shades of Grey, where a virginal (no, sorry, an actual virgin) wallflower of a girl discovers that, OMG, she’s into all sorts of kinky shit, all of which  perfectly compliments her shy, submissive nature. Of course, I can’t draw such hasty conclusions seen as Fifty Shades only happened a few years back, and the prejudice against pro-BDSM feminists has been around for much longer than that. Let’s return to my funeral for a moment. I am certain, 100% sure that no-one, not a soul, would describe me as submissive or a shy wallflower (or virginal for that matter). Why can’t I be just as independent, clever and driven even if I like being spanked and tied up?

It is easy to pigeonhole a person based on practically anything they enjoy or don’t enjoy; we don’t often spend a lot of time trying to understand things we find unappealing. What people outside the BDSM lifestyle struggle to comprehend is how different the in-the-bedroom me is from the person I am outside the bedroom. Even I have been surprised by how dirty we can get between the covers without it filtering into our everyday lives as a couple; we chat about normal stuff, we go to the cinema, we exchange tender kisses – all the things you’d expect an average couple to do. My partner respects me and I respect him. End of. The dominant/submissive play stays within the confines of the bedroom, and I am just as fiercely goddess-like outside it as usual.

I suppose what makes fellow-feminists wary is the violence and control wielded by a man on a woman (naturally, this also occurs the other way around but in my situation I am always the submissive one). What I’d like for people to realise is that this power and dominance only exists in a single moment, in a role playing situation, and is not ‘real’. For me pain is an aphrodisiac and submitting my body under someone else’s will a thrill. For someone who is not into such things, it can sound sinister and condemnable. The perceived loss of power is an imagined one; we enter a fantasy situation where I am free to envision myself completely helpless. However, in reality I could stop the scene anytime I wished. You could even argue that I, the submissive, hold the true power of the situation – imagined or not – in my hands. In my current relationship I have been able to be completely honest about my desires, and have never felt quite this liberated, accepted and EQUAL. That’s right, being able to ask for what I specifically want (and there have been men who have been uncomfortable to provide me with that), makes me feel like the power is in fact equally distributed. Things aren’t being done to me, they are done for me.

I often also wonder if it all just boils down to the man vs. woman power struggle. With me being bisexual and all, were I to kink out to this extent with another woman, would it be seen as a similar issue? I can’t imagine anyone suggesting me being antithetical to feminism then.

Ultimately, I don’t want anyone telling me what I am supposed to and not supposed to enjoy as a feminist or as a woman. Those who condemn female subs from the get-go offer a lopsided view on BDSM – how could they possibly appreciate the lifestyle if they’re not in it themselves? I will never understand women who feel the need to criticise other women based on their sexual preferences; I feel that it goes against the very essence of feminism. I know that for me, looking from the inside out, I am no less feminist or more submissive because of BDSM. So no, to answer my own question, liking a good spanking every now and then does not make me a bad feminist. In fact, it just means that I know what I like, am not afraid to ask for it and know where to get it. And there is nothing sinister about that.

- Nora S

53 thoughts on “Does Liking BDSM Make Me a Bad Feminist?

  1. Thanks for writing this. I’m feminist, sexually submissive, and just fine with that. I left a longer comment on the previous post (What I think about porn) so I won’t repeat myself here.

    • It was a really great piece with one exception, you somehow insinuated that being submissive in the bedroom is ok for a feminist , but not outside of it. Why should I not allow a man to dominate me 24/7 ? Why would tat make me a bad feminist ? He is the only one who gets to dominate me , and it is of my own choosing that he does so.
      Now here comes the kicker : becoming his submissive , his personal sub to do with 24/7 as he pleases , changed me from a wall flower with little confidence, to very confident , outgoing and open person. He taught me to be strong and to fight for myself in m life , by submitting to him. He showed me my true strengths , my true power as a woman and as a human being. In a very real sense my submission helped me to become truly emancipated , to become a truly free person !!!

      • “Why should I not allow a man to dominate me 24/7 ? Why would that make me a bad feminist ? He is the only one who gets to dominate me , and it is of my own choosing that he does so.”

        Yes! Totally agree! There is no more empowering feeling than knowing you are priceless to a chosen Master. It is about so much more than just sex for me. It is about trusting someone with the power to destroy me and knowing he won’t.

  2. This piece just made me feel a lot better about myself. Previously I felt ashamed and embarrassed about being into BDSM. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  3. I enjoy BDSM.
    I enjoy it muchly.
    Two of the three most lovely, feminist men I have had relationships with had been sexually dominating. And this is in the bedroom, outside they are lovely and sweet.
    A good dom in an attentive dom. I don’t understand why feminism and BDSM apparently cannot go together.

  4. Another feminist sub here, and I too find it frustrating when people not only judge, but fundamentally misunderstand the power dynamics of BDSM.

    I think the point about “these aren’t things being done TO me, they’re being done FOR me” needs to be repeated loudly and often. I *like* the stuff my partners do to me, I actually ask them to do it, godamnit!

    • “Things aren’t being done to me, they are done for me.”

      Wow, different strokes for different folks! Isn’t it interesting how we all approach sex differently? In my relationship everything is done for Master’s pleasure. It is not about my needs, it his about serving His needs. My happiness and enjoyment come from being the perfect slave/LG for him. Sometimes that means doing things I don’t like. Like I don’t love anal and I don’t love gagging, but I DO love the sound Master makes when he gets to do those things to me because I know I am giving him so much pleasure. Does that make sense?

  5. Love this- it applies to me exactly. My situation is actually compounded because my boyfriend is nearly a decade older than me, so I’ve been seen as a bad feminist, a gold digger, and someone with daddy issues by multiple people.

    I’ve actually found that there’s a stereotype that the type of person who likes to be dominated in a sexual context is someone usually in control in the rest of their life- not necessarily true, but another side of the coin of BDSM stereotypes.

  6. Here’s another unlooked-for legacy of post-sixties openness: How about we HAVE NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT YOUR DESIRES BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT THEM? Discretion and privacy get kicked to the curb, and suddenly our genitals and what we do with them become not just acceptable, but insistent, topics of conversation.

    I no more want to know about a stranger’s sexual proclivities than I want to know about her last yeast infection. Our hectic insistence that we “talk” about everything means that people may call you out on perceived inconsistencies between public stands and private urges. It’s not right–but it’s hardly surprising.

  7. “The dominant/submissive play stays within the confines of the bedroom, and I am just as fiercely goddess-like outside it as usual.”

    What about women in BDSM relationships where the dominance is outside of the bedroom too? Where one partner tells the other what to do in all aspects of their life (who to be friends with, how to dress, what to eat, when to wash…..)

    Not trolling. Genuinely curious about opinions. Thinking about a very specific circumstance a friend is in.

    • It sounds like your friend might be in an abusive relationship, and I would question whether they really want the BDSM that goes on in the bedroom. I’ve been in a relationship that was both emotionally and physically abusive, and it’s the emotional stuff and building back up of self esteem which is taking longer to recover from. It’s so easy to put up with stuff from your partner or even to believe that you want it if you love them and (as is often the case) your self esteem is bound up with them. Watch out for friend. I personally can’t imagine someone genuinely wanting to be directed in all those aspects of their life

      • This is what’s called a micromanaged Total Power Exchange. It is a completely valid choice within the BDSM lifestyle. I understand your concerns, but I think it comes back to what this post is about — we need to respect women’s rights to express themselves sexually, even if we find their choices troubling. We should not judge them or try to protect them like concerned parents.

  8. Love this! In the bedroom I love being submissive. Outside the bedroom, I’m a gobby feminist. Does it really matter what happens in the bedroom? (Obviously with consent etc)

  9. It sounds like you are very much in touch with your sexuality, you know what you like in the bedroom (or anywhere else, for that matter) and you’re not afraid to make your preferences known with a partner. I’d say that’s pretty healthy behaviour for a feminist, to be honest, so get out there (or stay in, whatever is preferred) and keep on enjoying yourself.

  10. I’ll admit up front to being a BDSM-skeptical feminist. What I notice about a lot of pieces that celebrate the lifestyle and beg feminists not to judge is that they almost always are written from the perspective of the submissive partner (most of the time a woman) and ignore the dominant partner (most of the time a man). When you say that these things aren’t done ‘to’ you, they are done ‘for’ you, doesn’t that erase the very real person who is doing these things? I understand completely that pain can be pleasurable, but what about giving pain? As a survivor of sexual violence I personally wouldn’t take pleasure in inflicting violence on anyone, no matter how much they enjoyed it. In fact I’d question the trustworthiness of someone who did. And I think that if it were really just about the fine line between pleasure and pain I would expect to see a lot more equality in the BDSM scene (that is, more female doms and male subs).

    • I can’t speak about all men/doms/tops, but with my boyfriend whenever he has done anything that I didn’t enjoy, because we were experimenting or he accidentally crossed a line (very rare), he has taken no pleasure in that. If he did, then obviously I’d be worried, but I know he doesn’t and -if anything- he has been more concerned about that happening than me! His pleasure in hurting me / dominating me comes 100% from knowing how much I love it, how great this bond we have is, how amazing it is we can share this mutually enjoyable experience, and is 100% dependent upon my enjoyment and desire. He doesn’t want to do anything I don’t like – he wants to do things that are sensual and exciting and which turn me on, like any good sexual partner. And it just happens that the things which I enjoy most involve pain or domination.

      Worth noting that really mild types of pain, like being in an uncomfortable position, I really don’t like! And so he doesn’t put me in situations like that. And I hate being tickled – so he has never once tickled me, even though that seems less bad than…. whipping me for example, and even though he has many opportunities when I could have done nothing to stop him!

      I would be far more wary of a guy who refused to accept that I really enjoyed the sex I have, and wanted to “protect” me – I would find that insulting and patronising and a clear indicator that they do not respect women, their desires and their ability to decide for themselves.

      I have also occasionally been on the other side of things – inflicting pain, mainly because my boyfriend wanted that. It wasn’t something I initiated, but seeing how much he enjoyed it was an eye-opener to that side of things, and perhaps makes it easier to understand his enjoyment in hurting me. It was so fun and hot to see his physical enjoyment. But also, perhaps even more important to me, was that I could tell he felt so… accepted, knowing that I hadn’t rejected him for these things, knowing that he could share this with me and trust me and know that I respected him. And that’s exactly how I feel when I can ask him for all kinds of things that other guys might judge me for, or exploit, or assume meant they could treat me badly. I have never been in as equal or healthy a relationship.

      Don’t know if that helps give a different perspective?

      Last point -
      I think it can be dangerous to equate violence and non-consensual sex. “Vanilla” sex that doesn’t cause any injury or physical pain can be non-consensual and traumatic and should be outright condemned, while kinky sex that is rough or painful or whatever is completely fine, if consensual. I don’t mean to deny the personal relevance of violence to you or any other survivors, and don’t mean for a second that you need to learn to be comfortable with violence! I just mean to make the point that consent is the consistently relevant core to everything, IMO, and most everything else comes down to personal wants. So any indicator of a lack of respect for consent, in any context, however small, is the big red flag for me – ordering for me at a restaurant or trying to convince me to… go to some event I didn’t want to would put me off far more than suggesting kinky sex!

    • First of all, the lack of equality in BDSM is due to a lack of dominant women , plain and simple. There are enough male subs , in fact so many that on average there are 6 male subs for each Dominant women.

      Secondly, what do you mean being violent ? BDSM neither has anything to o with violence , nor with abuse. I am guessing you meant inflicting pain here , for example through a spanking ? That is not violent at all, it is a very controlled act, to inflict a distinct amount of pain to a very distinct part of the body. It is a bit like playing an instrument , as my Dom likes to compare it, and I believe it fits very well.
      What he does is control me through the pain and send me to a place called subspace. Basically that is a trancelike state , enhanced by adrenaline and endorphines the body floods the blood with due to the pain. Through a meassured amount of hard and soft hits he slowly sends me deeper and deeper. It is something that requires knowledge and training, plus someone who teaches you this artform. There is nothing violent about it at all, quite the opposite ! Violence is uncontrolled beating, this is extremely controlled hitting. It is about hurting me in a good way , not about harming me , like violence is.

      Why would you question the trustworthiness of such a person ? I simply don’t get it. He creates pleasure in me , and takes care of me when I am in subspace and can’t take care of myself. It can get so strong I even lose the ability to speak , but he is there from me from square one till the end, and after it he does aftercare , getting me down softly and safely. What does he get out of it ? Sexual pleasure mostly , he simply enjoys this , but only as far as it is enjoyable to me . He would not enjoy inflicting too much pain, or inflicting on someone against their will.

  11. Thank you for writing this. I’ve been waiting for this article for ages- and you have explained it like I never could. Thank you for helping me to reconcile my fantasies and my realities!

  12. I wrestle with this often. I’m not into BDSM in particular, but I have a minor impregnation fetish. I never ever want children in real life, but something about the thought of a man forcing the risk upon me really gets me going. As a feminist this worries me a whole damn lot :/

  13. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The best domme I ever had once explained to me that, for her, the sub has all the real power – s/he can safe word, dictate the limits, etc. People rarely seem to understand that when they are outsiders peering at BDSM. What happens between any dom/me and me is something I consent to, and consent to for that moment, for that experience; it doesn’t define the power dynamics of the whole relationship. Like you, I am a sub in bed and certainly not one outside of it (barring some kinkiness in the kitchen, perhaps). Being told that my sexual preferences are unhealthy by self-proclaimed feminists just makes me sad, because isn’t the ideal world imagined by feminists (at least by my favorite brand of feminists) one in which everyone is true to their sexual appetites and free from judgement?
    Fun fact – I’ve never met a female sub (or really any sub) who wasn’t an adamant feminist. Perhaps knowing the difference, knowing ourselves, and knowing the boundaries gives us a unique insight into such dynamics and means that we can’t possibly be anything BUT feminists!

    Again, thanks for the awesome piece, it made me very happy to read!

  14. Yet another female sub here, still not sure to what extent. I had actually really struggled in the past with balancing this with my feminism, as I did believe there was some kind of issue. I also had a tendency to go for guys who have control obsessions in real life, who would make my life a misery- how else could I find someone who would satisfy what I wanted in bed? Now, thanks to this, I believe otherwise, and will get looking for a nice attentive man who is ALSO dominant in bed … (Out of interest, how CAN you tell before you sleep with them? What if they are a Dom but afraid to show it? ) Also, I am reminded of a BDSM lecture I went to at SGP festival- a man – who said he was a CEO of a big company- explained all about BDSM, while his sub was bound and gagged next to him. He also beat her in front of us. I think this contributed greatly to my worries, and I’m now thinking, had it been the SUB giving the talk and explaining, (like in this article) I wouldn’t feel so worried!

  15. Hi Julie, thanks for your comment!

    Obviously there is no way of telling what people like in bed straight off the bat, and the best thing to do is to discuss these things beforehand. With my current partner, we went on a couple of dates and then had a full-blown makeout session during which we talked about the things we liked in bed (so it can be fun and sexy instead of ‘let’s sit down and discuss spanking’) and planned out the things we wanted to do together on our next date. I think we were both really thrilled to find that we were such a good match in bed.

    There are as many types of BDSM relationships as there are couples. Some couples live in 24/7 master/slave relationships (sounds like this is what you witnessed at the lecture), but obviously if this is not your thing, then you need to find a man whose desires match yours and you can work out what kinds of things you want to explore together.

    And yes, there are definitely men out there who dominant in bed and lovely, respectful and attentive outside the bedroom, so don’t despair (and definitely stay away from the control freaks!)

    NS

  16. Women being free top enjoy whatever kind of sex they want without fear of judgement or shame is definitely feminist – we should ignore anyone who tries to tell us otherwise!

  17. YesyesYES. I am both a feminist and a submissive in the bedroom too.

    “The perceived loss of power is an imagined one; we enter a fantasy situation where I am free to envision myself completely helpless. However, in reality I could stop the scene anytime I wished. You could even argue that I, the submissive, hold the true power of the situation – imagined or not – in my hands. In my current relationship I have been able to be completely honest about my desires, and have never felt quite this liberated, accepted and EQUAL. That’s right, being able to ask for what I specifically want (and there have been men who have been uncomfortable to provide me with that), makes me feel like the power is in fact equally distributed. Things aren’t being done to me, they are done for me. ”

    What a perfect summing up of what the situation really is.

  18. To follow indirectly on from another post, maybe it is that some women (and men) are drawn to submissive sex because they are dominant, powerful or feel (too much?) responsibility in other/all areas in their life. I can only speak for myself, but sometimes after a difficult day of managing/organising/advocating for myself/others with myself/others, the thrill of being at the pseudo-mercy of another, feeling that I can quite literally lie back and good things will happen, is just the most liberating thing.

  19. My fellow writer and I discuss feminism and BDSM regularly in our blog http://www.threeletterblog.com (another link below for anyone interested). We love this article because it says exactly what we’ve been trying to get out into the webspace, that BDSM is not about a loss of power or control, in fact it’s the complete inverse of that. Both of our kinky relationships with our man friends are pretty much the most honest, open and trusting relationships we’ve ever had, and that’s in part down to the clear lines of communication that you need to have in these types of sexual situations.

    Love what you said about “Things aren’t being done to me, they are done for me,” hit the nail on the head – it’s about mutual enjoyment and pleasure. Sex should be exciting and liberating and fun. Ultimately feminists shouldn’t be afraid to enjoy sex in whichever form it comes in. I can quite happily read my feminist theory, write my PhD on feminist literature and still enjoy being spanked without losing any of my ideals or moral positions.
    Great piece!
    http://threeletterblog.com/2013/12/02/introducing-mj/

  20. I come at this from a different angle being a young woman who has a lot of fantasies around BDSM but wants to be dominant. I find this is seen as being odd by a lot of people (not in feminist circles but generally), that it’s assumed women must fantasise about being submissive. All the talk about BDSM in the ‘mainstream’ seems to centre on women being submissive to men. I think it gets into the heads of girls and makes many think we should fantasise about being submissive to men when it comes to sex. It’s certainly made me almost ashamed of my desires. Unfortunately I’m a bit nervous of bringing this up to partners because I feel like they’d think it was somehow wrong that a woman wants to be dominant, as barely anything seems said about women who are into BDSM but who want to be dominant, and men who are but want to be submissive. Garbled message but it frustrates me that it always seems assumed if you’re into BDSM it’s woman as sub, man as dom.

    • I am a female sub, but I’ve met a lot of female doms at munches- I guess it’s much more recognised there than in the public view, so if you don’t already you might want to consider going to one of them!

  21. I think it’s great that you’ve actually gone and written this!! You are so cool

    Buuuut, I just wanted to bring another thought into the discussion:

    Do you think that if men and women were truly equal, and sex was not a taboo subject, then anybody would get these urges in the first place? Maybe the desire to be sexually submissive or dominant develops within us as we grow up from something that is wrong in the world.

    • I think this might have some truth in it, But I also think it’s impossible to know until we reach a post patriarchal society. And until then, it’s something that two people mutually enjoy, if it’s done the way most people practice it there’s no harm to gender roles of those involved. A lot of things I enjoy could be found to root back to a societal pressure, but it would be quite difficult to distance oneself from all of it.

      I also reckon that if sex was less taboo, there’d actually be more similar situations, just because people feel more free or less guilty to express it.

      The best way forwards may be to keep those issues in mind, but not let society (or societal pressures- in either direction) stop you from doing what you enjoy. If later generations enjoy different things, that’s fine.

  22. Sexual preferences are something that’s developed when we are young – a mixture of influences, memories and conditioning (as opposed to logic!)

    As any psychologist would tell you, we have little control over what turns us on in the bedroom. As long as whatever it is is practised in a safe, consenting environment, others shouldn’t be judgemental.

  23. An excellent piece, so great to hear someone share something that’s troubled my thoughts for a long time now. Thank you!!

  24. I’m a feminist domme and I’ve never looked down on submissives of any gender. I think it takes a lot of strength to be a submissive and I always have a lot of respect for people who are open and honest with themselves.

  25. I wonder if the author has ever thought of the psychological reasons behind her want for BDSM … Maybe because she has an outspoken, confident and in control personality the idea of being submissive in the bedroom is a turn on as it is acting out a fantasy role that is very different from her everyday reality. It’s like when you sometimes want to do something naughty because you know you’re not supposed to do it…it sort of makes it more attractive.

  26. I needed to read this. I am sexuality submissive with my male partner about 95% of the time, but sometimes he is in a sub mood so I top for him. We don’t take ourselves too seriously which makes it clumsy and fun. He actually was the one that made me feel better about my feminist/submissive “conflict”. It’s important to remember that limits go both ways, I for example am masochistic and have rape play fantasies. My partner however is uncomfortable with more intense beatings, and absolutely does not want to participate in rape play. As such those are hard limits for us, so please don’t assume male doms are constantly trying to push submissives further. It’s all about communication and finding a dynamic you are BOTH happy with.

  27. This article is great and touches upon something I’ve been wondering about, given recent events that brought up the issue of rape culture and how (in my view) BDSM is unfairly targeted by some feminists in their (otherwise very justified) attacks on rape culture.

    Mostly this relates not so much to targeting the practicing of BDSM privately in the bedroom, but the expression of BDSM in photography, art, fiction, particularly online, whether those expression are purely for entertainment and enjoyment, or some more broadly genuine artistic expression (if such a thing can ever be satisfactorily defined) or informational.

    A section of the feminist movement has been targeting bondage porn since the 1970′s. More recently, a campaign against Facebook pages promoting violence against women also resulted in some BDSM informational pages that focussed on sub women/dom men relationships also getting taken down.

    Certainly any attempts to censor BDSM expression are ultimately an attack on the BDSM community as they attempt to limit the ability of BDSM community to express themselves and share information, and there is a part of the feminist movement that would want to censor BDSM material, and even go as far as trying to shame people who are interested in BDSM.

    Of course what makes this even more problematic is that BDSM isn’t just something enjoyed by privileged white heterosexual men, indeed far from it. Fetlife (a fetish version of Facebook, for those who don’t know what it is) has 12 different options for gender and another 12 for sexual orientation. The BDSM group is very diverse and advocates a strong culture of informed consent.

  28. To me, true feminists are those who let woman make their own choice and I fully support any choice that a woman makes: She wants to be a prostitute fine. She wants to be submissive in a relationship you go girl! She wants to be a dominatrix go right ahead. She wants to be CEO of a large company. Then go right ahead.

  29. BDSM attracts too many people with mental issues, who think this activity replaces a therapy and heavy medication.
    Outsourcing self harm for those who think they are submissives, or finding a willing victim for those who think they are dominant.

    I’ve been a dom for 15 years, and all I can say is that the people I meet nowadays in the “scene” disgust me more and more, and I’m on the verge of giving up, as I am neither a psychiatrist, nor a psychopath.

    So to come back on topic… Feminists who are submissive ? lol.
    So basically, you want to be equal to men so you can decide to submit to them, and not endure your submission ?
    So you’re just looking for an excuse to be socially acceptable ?
    Yes I am a feminist, so I can choose to give up my equality. LOL, that’s grand.
    Contradictions analysis 101 is where you should go.
    To the one who said “I had a domme who told me the sub had the real power”. Oh god, I’ve read idiocies… No, both the dom and the sub have the same power. A healthy relationship can only stem from balance, be it vanilla or bdsm.

    It’s funny, because the more I know about women, the less I respect them. Sadly.

  30. People in the BDSM community are a respectful and kind group of people on the whole. It entails immense amounts of trust, openess and understanding from both parties, sub and dom. I feel only someone truly comfortable with themselves and their sexuality (sounds a bit like a feminist!!) is able to fully enjoy sub/dom sex. It’s roleplaying – a submissive is submissive because they CHOSE to be

  31. It’s nice of you to “kind of” stand up for us involved in the lifestyle, but I have to admit I found this a bit offensive. I’m in a 24/7 master/slave relationship and my Master loves and respects and cares for me inside the bedroom and out. Yet another piece that makes it seem like those of us who choose to be who we feel we are full time – there must be something wrong with us. BDSM can be just about sex, for many it is, but it can be so much more.

    Feminism and BDSM (specifically submission since it seems to be the focus here) compliment each other well, if you define feminism as choice. I chose to submit, I chose to give myself body, mind, and soul, and I trust my Master to not abuse that. What makes me a feminist? That I ignored how others might judge me and made the choice that is right for me, and that I believe that everyone else should have that same right as well.

  32. Love the post. Fifty Shades gave people a bad view of bdsm. I find Cherise Sinclair to be much better and more accurate. In one of her books the Dom teaching a class even states that an independent and strong woman can be a submissive in the bedroom, but it should be remembered that they aren’t that way out of the bedroom (unless your type of partnership goes beyond the bedroom). Anyway, reading this made me feel more secure that I can be both. Though I question why what happens in the bedroom and outside it can’t just automatically be kept separate? I mean, I know one of my friends is in a master/slave relationship, but she’s such a fierce and independent woman that’s great to work with. Not to mention a strong feminist who wishes for nothing more than equality, especially in the workplace.

  33. Sensational article. I am a male and in full support of feminism. Your article was insightful and liberating. Also the many articulate responses were a treasure as well. Sexuality expresses itself in a myriad of ways. Beyond our logic as we grapple with trying to justify why pain and pleasure can go together beautifuly in BDSM for example. We are at the beginning of understanding ourselves. Great article.

  34. I used to be a seriously angry feminist before I discovered BDSM. Now I have fully embraced that I’m a sexual submissive, and I love to be objectified, abused, used, exploited, violated and humiliated by a dominant partner. It turns me on just writing it! I honestly think that a lot of the angriest feminists out there are the ones who deny this in themselves. I am now in a 24/7 relationship and my Daddy/Master has complete access to my body whenever and however he wants it and I wouldn’t have it any other way. :) I don’t like everything we do, but knowing that I’m special to him and that I’m his most valuable possession makes it all worthwhile. Just hearing him call me his property makes me all snuggly inside. :)

  35. This is so accurately my situation that i had to briefly check that i hadn’t written it. My boyfriend and I are the soppiest clingiest people around when we’re alone at home. However, as soon as we’re having sex we both enjoy the rough role play, and then afterwards we have a cuddle. This is just my personal situation this is what i like and i find it very frustrating when people act as if this must mean I’m not a feminist. Like for god sake my boyfriend is a feminist we both know this isn’t real, and I’m almost positive that if i was a huge slut sleeping with everyone and anyone he’d be very upset.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>