Dom/Sub Relationships and Feminism

This does discuss my preferences in the bedroom, having heard that my Dad might be reading this I’m putting a warning in.

This is a conversation that keeps on coming up, however what prompted me to write this was an MSN conversation with a man I’ve known for a while in the context of me being a cam girl and him being someone who has sent me a few rather nice presents over the years.

I suspect that this position will have some people rasing their eyebrows already.

He claimed that I could not still claim to call myself a feminist. Now, he claimed this, having fully accepted my position as a feminist whilst I was a cam-girl, flashing myself to the www at large and even having sex (a lot) on camera, (this is something that a number of my friends at the time and since have debated). So I was quite intrigued as to what made him change his mind. Apparently I cannot be a feminist whilst at the same time being a sub.

So for those of us on the outside of the BDSM community (and that includes myself, I flirt round the edges rather than being that organised) what do I mean when I say ‘sub’? I get off on being submissive, on other people telling me what to do both in a sexual and less obviously sexual setting. Another part of my very subby nature is an intense liking for being tied down and spanked, or just for being tied down.

I regard myself as a feminist, someone who fully believes that women are equal to men, that every member of society has a valid voice and should be heard and should contribute.

I have absolutely no problem with reconciling this with the games I like to play in bed. The two positions do not to me seem to be contradictory, without everyone having a voice and feeling confident enough to act on it then any real dom/sub play could not hope to exist. I’m not sure whether I’d feel this confident if I was straight or if I would feel that the gender of my dom somehow made a difference… but the fact remains that I leaped into sex and I’ve never felt unable to figure out and voice what I liked. And I like the subby side of things… so does this, as has been stated in the past suggest I have no backbone?
No, for exactly the same reason that I’m still a feminist even though I like my lovers to be dominant over me, I have a blindfold somewhere that states ‘freedom is choosing whose slave to be’ or something. I get to choose when and where I give the control over whichever situation to whoever it is. I also get to choose if I don’t. As an independant woman I have had the chance to play, to figure out what turns me on and I have a voice to ask for those things and find people who will play them with me. I find the two things incredibly complementary.

Course, just because my preference is for the subbier side of things doesn’t mean I don’t play other games, but apparently those other games don’t clash with being a feminist, mainly because until you look at power-play everything else in the bedroom is just fun and games – apparently.

9 thoughts on “Dom/Sub Relationships and Feminism

  1. Feminism, as with any ideology about claiming rights, is about having the ability to choose your course through life.

    Sub/dom tendencies aren’t about power, because the sub consents to be dommed.

  2. I disagree, sub/dom is exactly about power. The fact that it’s consensual doesn’t change the fact that the dom is in control of the situation, only that the sub is happy for the dom to be in control.

  3. Actually, I’d like to contest the statement of who is ultimately in control in a consensual sub/dom situation, but that’s a discussion for another time.

  4. I’d have to agree. The sub ultimately has the greater control of things, the ability to halt everything in a single word.

    It’s commonly the opinion.

  5. I have to disagree. The sub has the ultimate power in any scene and the ability to stop everything with a single word.

    It seems to be the common opinion and I agree with Archie that sub/dom is all about power.

  6. It seems to me so self-evident that anyone can be both a feminist and a sub that I am surprised anyone can get confused about it!

    As for d/s games, well, they *are* about power, but they are about exchanging power, and allowing it to flow, so that more power can be generated. The sub gives the dom most of his/her power and control (retaining only the control to end the session) in order that the dom can combine this with her/his own power to create something more intense than would otherwise be possible.

  7. Jez, the power to end a scene is not the only power a sub has… just think of consensual thing of agreeing what elements are acceptable to include. In many cases, though not necessarily always, a scene is a lot about what a *sub* needs, and a Dom/me’s ability to provide what’s needed.

  8. We’re just talking at cross-purposes here flower, due to the limits of the medium and the vagueness of our definitions! 😉

    After all, we know what we *do*, it’s just a whole lot less interesting to put it into technically precise language.

    *Of course* a game is often about what the sub needs, and *of course* the sub and dom work together beforehand to establish boundaries. I was referring to the flow of power (or perhaps better to call is dynamis), during the game.

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