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Saturday, August 04, 2007

What sexuality might taste like if you were a submissive man in 2007

I've been really, really pissed off the last couple of days weeks months years. I thought it was getting better and I was beginning to get out of my bitter and jealous funk, but it's just not happening. Might even be getting worse; instead of ranting on my own blog, now I'm ranting in the comments on Elizabeth's blog (sorry about that, by the way). Pretty sad, really.

I had a long converastion with Lady Lubyanka today, whom I am almost certain thinks I am a very angry and very smart troubled young boy. (She would not be entirely incorrect either; but I did have to look up the word erudite when she called me that today. She's such a sweet charmer.) Then, later, instead of spending dinner with friends I became too upset to be social and wanted to leave early, and this ended up as a very long conversation with Eileen about what was wrong.

So what is wrong? A lot of things are wrong and were never right; these things have hurt me from the first moment I interacted even remotely sexually with another person, but they are especially painful right now because of a few personal experiences that I'd much rather not go into on such a public forum. I mention that now to tell you, dearest reader, that these things are not solely the belidgerant words of an angsty youth. These things do happen. They happen all the time.

Even though there's no help in this post, I ultimately thought that writing about how to make things better without also showing the hurt may not actually be that effective. So here is the bitter taste of reality submissive men drink day in and day out:

I wanted to write about the incredibly aggravating notion that regardless of orientation, dominant or submisive, men are expected to be the pursuers while women, dominant or submissive, are expected to be the pursued.

I wanted to write about why many submissive men are just as responsible for debasing their own sexuality as the many pro- (and so obviously not-so-pro-)dommes who take delight in squashing them down while lifting them of that burdensome weight in their wallets. ("Thank you for stealing my money, Mistress, would you like another dollar?")

I wanted to write about the lack of empathy so prevalent in the public BDSM scenes where more often than you'd probably think (more times than I can count and over the course of two relationships) people of all sexes befriend you if you're a guy for the purposes of getting closer to your girlfriends, both significant other(s) and otherwise. After all, you're a guy: you're just a dime a dozen anyway and another twenty like you will walk through the door in the next two minutes. But oh my god, is that a breast standing next to you? Is there a photographer in the house? Someone must capture this moment and make it last a lifetime! (I still remember the near stampede bee line that was made towards my then-girlfriend when we came out to our first public BDSM meeting. It's happened lots of times since then, too; mostly I'm just used to it now.)

I wanted to write about how most people assume that if you're a guy you're probably controlled by nothing more than that little blood-shot rod of tissue called a penis, and how incredibly shameful I feel to be male because so many times these people are actually correct in their accusations of men. (See above. 'Nuff said.)

I wanted to write about how submissive men will pretty much always, without fail, lose a race for sexual satisfaction out of any gender/sex/orientation combination you can come up with. Always. I've had a sex life that any submissive man you point at would kill to have, yet stick me in a room with other orientations and I'm still the first one sidelined, the last one standing by the fruit punch and chips, so to speak. It's not like it hasn't happened before, and it's certainly going to happen again.

I wanted to write about how if you're a submissive guy you're treated with near-fear if not written off if you don't call youself worthless or think you're only value comes from how much money you make. My god, he's submissive but he likes himself. He's gotta be like the unabomber or one of those kids from Columbine—he's clearly fucked up in the head. No self-respecting male would actually be submissive. I mean, he's submissive? Doesn't he not want to be respected? (Yeah, keep talking Einstein.)

If you are a man and you have had any experience at all interacting with almost any sexually oriented community (including non-kinky contexts), maybe you're pretty pissed off, too. Worst of all, maybe a lot of people are telling you that you don't have a lot of reason to be upset. After all, you're a man, and the world handed you an easier time of things than, say, if you were a woman or if you were living in a third-world country. Shut up and be grateful, you selfish little prick.

I'm not ungrateful, you should tell them, I'm very grateful for the things I have. But that does not negate the unjust, oppressive, systematic starvation of my sexual identity, the hurt caused by the intentional and the unintential assumptions made about who I am and what I should enjoy based on it, or the pain from seeing how excruciatingly invasive all of this has become in my bedroom.

That's what I wanted to write about, but I'm clearly in no state to be writing such things. I'm way too angry about it to make any kind of coherent sense. So like I said, move along, keep channel surfing. There's nothing to see here that you haven't seen a million times before.

25 comments:

Bitchy Jones said...

Have you ever seen that episode of The Simpsons where they don't have any photos of Maggie? And they tell the story of how when Marge got pregnant with Maggie Homer had to go back and work at the nuclear power plant.

And at the end you find that Homer has all the pictures of Maggie all over his desk and a big sign saying 'I'm doing it for her'.

I'm going to stick this post on my wall.

Eileen said...

Thank you for the conversation, my love.

Anonymous said...

Walking the very fine line between humility and pride, submission and aggression, vulnerability and might, doubt and confidence, privacy and transparency, fear and peace,insanity and awareness, ... where one must have BALANCE, for a slight missed step can be critically fatal... truth is, most walk that line in this world, but few choose to do so. Fewer yet know that they walk that line. And ultimately, ALL end someday, for this is the line between life and death. A very fine line. Note that FINE denotes an end. You are very special.

tom allen said...

If you are a man and you have had any experience at all interacting with almost any sexually oriented community (including non-kinky contexts), maybe you're pretty pissed off, too.

I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!

Damn, that felt good! Thanks, May.

m.t. said...

Maymay, I want to say that I feel your pain. It's full of shit - as a currently-dominant but who-the-hell-knows-what-deep-down woman, I really don't. I have pains of my own but they're not the same. But reading this put a pang in my heart anyway. It doesn't help (hurt?) that you remind me of my own boyfriend - both in your strength and self-respect and in your anger. I feel an incredible fondness and respect for you that I get partly from reading your writing (here and elsewhere) but partly just by association.

Before I was seduced by my now-boyfriend, I really did not understand submissive men. For that matter, I didn't really understand submissive women even though, on some level, I probably am one. Why wouldn't you have more self-respect than that? etc.

It's a kink. It has fuck-all to do with strength or respect (self- or otherwise). Your strength, responsibility, and other qualities are what you bring to the table for your partner. You can be a pathetic waste of time and still be a submissive. You can be a classical hero and still be a submissive. They're just not (IMO) related.

I don't like people of either sex who speak of themselves without respect. Either they really think they are dirt - in which case they are probably too much heartache and trouble for me to take on - or they think that's how to attract people, which is just sad. Sad but not my problem.

Men and women are just people.

I wish I could say something more reassuring, but all I have to offer you is my admiration from a distance.

maymay said...

Bitchy,

I'm going to stick this post on my wall.

We both know more people listen to women when they complain about sex than when men do. :) If this post convinced everybody else to never listen to me again but convinced you that you're right and keeps you motivated to complain loud and clear about what you see wrong with this culture in that way I love that you do, then I'll consider this post a resounding success.

Eileen,

Thank you for the conversation

Thanks for listening. Can't have a conversation without both parties listening. You're the first dominant woman who's ever actually stopped to hear this (it's not like you were the first one I tried speaking to about it). Thank you.

Anonymous:

You are very special.

Thank you, but no, I'm not. That's kind of my whole point here. I am not so unique as to be this much of an anomaly in the world. Not in sex, not in education, and not in emotions.

M.T.

you remind me of my own boyfriend - both in your strength and self-respect and in your anger.

This is exactly the kind of evidence that I keep seeing that shows me how typical, as opposed to different, I really am. (See above paragraph in response to anonymous.)

And let's look at it this way: if I've had the submissive male sex life most submissive men would kill for, let's take just one moment to imagine just how truly awful this culture is for the guys who haven't been as lucky to live in New York City as me, or who aren't as masochistically attractive as "the boy who heals like Wolverine" might be.

When I look around at all the things that are good about my kinky lifestyle, they shine a spotlight on everything that is so bad for everyone else. That's why I had such a hard time hitting the publish button on this entry.

maymay said...

:) I love your comments, Tom. They always make me smile. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anomaly is not necessarily "very special", but your point is taken. You are very special, then, in MY EYES, because what you express in written words, and between the lines, provides insights, comfort, hope and identity. You are a healer, and your presence is a blessing.

Elizabeth said...

Hey you -

My comment section is all the better for having your presence,whenever, whatever it is you have to say.

Internet blogging friendships are an unusual blessing. I can't fix or even impact a single one of the things that are troubling you at the moment, but I can *care*, and that I do, care very much....which provides some kind of connection in a disconnected world.

I started out calling my blog "Alternative Journey", which was an overly precious name, but was born of a fraction of the isolation that you express here.

So, I don't *know* how you feel, but I *understand* pieces of the feeling, and I care.

hugs, E

maymay said...

Elizabeth: I can't fix or even impact a single one of the things that are troubling you at the moment, but I can *care*, and that I do

Yeah, I know; that was kind of the point of this entry, to make people aware on a more significant level than just having these things be a given that this stuff does goes on. A friend of mine told me this entry was hard to read because it sounded like a call to action with no action getting named and she's right. But before you can call people to action, you need to tell them why.

m.t. said...

I really hate what some feminists call 'the myth of male weakness' - the idea (common and almost universally accepted in our culture) that men are ruled by their cocks. It is anti-male and yet also used by men to excuse a lot of jackass behavior. It's why women in some Muslim countries have to cover up from head to toe - because otherwise they'll provide unavoidable temptation to hapless males.

It has as its corollary the idea that women are not so interested in the sex stuff. I mean, while guys will do all kinds of stupid things if their penis tells them to, I'm never moved by any messages coming from my pussy. Right?

It's hard to integrate with the kink stuff. None of us (I'd guess) chose kink freely because of some kind of moral principle. Each of us is moved by a sexuality we were born with, or acquired somehow, beyond our control. So on some level it's correct to say, "I do this because it turns me on."

I think the gay community started to do better as people started to realize that it wasn't about fucking - it was about loving. Being gay, or kinky, isn't about who or how you want to fuck - it's about who or how you want to love.

Having sexual desires does not excuse acting like a jackass.

m.t. said...

Sorry, this - "Being gay, or kinky, isn't about who or how you want to fuck - it's about who or how you want to love" - was an overgeneralization. People are interested in kink for all kinds of reasons and to all kinds of "depths," and I have nothing bad to say about that.

What I wish I'd said is that we're not driven here inexorably by our sex organs. We retain free choice.

BJ said...

I really hate what some feminists call 'the myth of male weakness'(...) I mean, while guys will do all kinds of stupid things if their penis tells them to, I'm never moved by any messages coming from my pussy. Right?

Oh fuck, yes!

I'm so glad you said this. I feel like I've just found one of my missing pieces.

maymay said...

I really hate what some feminists call 'the myth of male weakness'(...) I mean, while guys will do all kinds of stupid things if their penis tells them to, I'm never moved by any messages coming from my pussy. Right?

Exactly. Doing things because your genitals tell you to do them is not a bad thing so long as there is at least a modicum of thought behind the action, and ideally total awareness of what that action is and what you're intending to have happen by it. That's sexy.

Crown Vic said...

maymay I consider you the most successful male submissive I know. I admire you very much. Somehow I imagined that because you are so "out" that you don't have any problems. Thanks for sharing the reality. Maybe you should start a submissive man's support group. I'm a switch but when I've tried to explore my submissive side it has sucked big time. Too bad I love it so much.

maymay said...

maymay … I admire you very much. Somehow I imagined that because you are so "out" that you don't have any problems.

Thanks. It is very hard to talk about one's own problems (and as I said in this post, I haven't even actually written about them yet) without also sounding greedy, selfish, petty, vain, and shallow, especially when so much of what you see and hear every day is telling you that you would be these things if you complain about your so-called "blessings."

Thanks for sharing the reality. Maybe you should start a submissive man's support group. I'm a switch but when I've tried to explore my submissive side it has sucked big time.

Instead of starting (or joining) a support group why don't you share a little more about why your experience trying to explore your submissive side sucked?

EthylBenzene said...

"I really hate what some feminists call 'the myth of male weakness' - the idea (common and almost universally accepted in our culture) that men are ruled by their cocks."

Oh god yes. My boyfriend and I get so mad when we watch tv -- poor men, they're really like children, you know, they can't do anything for themselves, they're clueless slobs ruled by their dicks.

Yeah, sorry, I expect more from people than that. Gr.

And may, just wated to second the "I can care" bit. And I'll do everything I can (admittedly not much) to try to destry the stereotype of the shiny PVC dominatrix in unsuitable shoes :)

maymay said...

Ethyl, I stopped watching television about the same time when I started downloading lots of free porn. It's just as entertaining and has the same exact dialogue most of the time but with more skin. I figure if I'm going to watch crap from the media it might as well be free crap that at least sometimes gets me off.

Crown Vic said...

Hi May,

I'd be happy to share why exploring my submission has sucked. It's pretty obvious that every message from society is that as a man you must avoid powerlessness at all costs. It was a huge struggle to be honest with myself and admit that submitting sexually was exciting and gratifying.

I didn't feel I could talk about this with friends or family. How much easier it would have been if I were simply gay. My family would have accepted that, I'd be able to date openly, and easily find like-minded people.

I carefully opened up to selected women that I was dating. They would often run in the other direction. This was in such contrast to relationships in which I was dominant. In those I got plenty of approval and was thought of as "the man". In reality it takes so much more courage to tell a woman that you want to submit to her than it does to be "the man".

Sometimes women's rejection would send me into spirals of self-loathing. Why was I like this? Everyone thought I was so privileged as a straight man but I ended up feeling rejected, lonely and doomed. I would get into vanilla relationships just to be close to someone and in the hope that my kinky feelings might go away. This never worked.

I did some internet dating and met a few self-proclaimed dommes, but found them to be as BJ describes, ass-hats. Angry, self-involved, and rigid. One had hepatitis but didn't tell me until we had done some heavy kissing. Another would say "coat" and expect me to gather up her coat and help her put it on. I'm not a lifestyle submissive, I'm a switch. I have enough trouble forming relationships without that kind of immediate theater. I was looking for someone to laugh with, to enjoy life with, and this routine felt dour and heavy. Admittedly I only dated a few dominant women so this may not be representative.

I don't go to pro-dommes. I can never tell if a woman has domme tendencies from simply talking or flirting. Approaching the "normals" has not worked so far. I went to TES once and, I'm sorry to say, the people I met there seemed to be self-referential misfits who were overly-invested in identifying as their kink. I admired them for being open, I just couldn't relate to the scene. I'm not denying that my kink is an integral part of me. But it's just not all of me. Often it feels that I am not able to imagine a future where it is a happy part of my life.

I don't know if I'm typical. I have no desire to sit chained somewhere(sounds boring), to do all the chores (I'd get resentful), to be chaste (sounds hot but don't know if I could take it for long). I don't think women are superior. I'm just turned on by power disparity, and don't know why the only situation where that ever seems to be acceptable is when I'm the one in power.

maymay said...

Crown Vic, thanks for writing a bit about your experiences here. I can't say I'm surprised (obviously), but I can say I'm appreciative that you've said what you have said publicly.

"Another [self-proclaimed domme] would say "coat" and expect me to gather up her coat and help her put it on. I'm not a lifestyle submissive, I'm a switch. I have enough trouble forming relationships without that kind of immediate theater. I was looking for someone to laugh with, to enjoy life with, and this routine felt dour and heavy. Admittedly I only dated a few dominant women so this may not be representative."

I would describe myself as a lifestyle submissive, and I don't find any of that particularly hot, either. It does sound decidedly dour and heavy—because it is. That is not to say that I don't fetch Eileen a drink when she tells me to (or, more likely, before she tells me to), but it does mean I do not expect to never hear "thank you" or "please" like other normal human beings.

I've dated one dominant woman to date, Eileen, but sadly, this is because Eileen isn't representative of most of the dommes out there either. I've encountered literally dozens if not hundreds of the kind that Bitchy writes about. Eileen was instantly interesting because in our first conversation she actually asked me questions and wanted to hear my opinions. Sometimes I wish I could clone her and share her with other submissive men (and women).

"I went to TES once and, I'm sorry to say, the people I met there seemed to be self-referential misfits who were overly-invested in identifying as their kink. I admired them for being open, I just couldn't relate to the scene. I'm not denying that my kink is an integral part of me. But it's just not all of me."

This was my experience as well. Nevertheless, having no other outlet and being extremely stubborn, I stuck it out at TES for several years, becoming quite a fixture for a while. I mean, after all, how many other young, curly-haired submissive men had the masochistic persistence to keep talking to such, as you said, self-referential misfits for years?

Although in fairness, it's not like I fit anywhere else any better.

"I don't know if I'm typical."

In many instances I would say that describing yourself as typical versus atypical is Not Useful, but in this instance I would have to say the opposite. Your particular sexual fantasies or desires may not be typical, but your experiences certainly are. Additionally, and I'm willing to bet the farm on this, more people have had this experience than anyone is currently willing to voice. And that's wrong, and might hopefully change soon.

devastatingyet said...

The first night I met my lovely submissive now-boyfriend, he was carrying around a list of questions (not annoying ones, btw) for a potential domme. I wasn't a potential domme (in my own estimation) but I had such a great time going over the questions.

I don't understand this thing of dominant women being stern and humorless. (To be fair, only one domme I know of seems to be this way. I know three others, not including myself, who are not.) Is it a strategy? Or are some women dominant because they really are humorless and have to have their own way all the time? Or do they get spoiled by the attentions of submissive men?

I don't know. Sometimes I feel like the whole F/m scene is people putting on different acts trying, in vain, to attrach someone for whatever it is they really want. If somehow we could all drop the acts and just be open about what we're looking for, and maybe then get in role (whatever that role might be - whatever is fun for the people involved), it would be a lot easier.

Joscelin and I do a lot more talking and hammering things out than we do playing or having sex, and I think that's the only way it could work for us.

maymay said...

Devastating,

"Joscelin and I do a lot more talking and hammering things out than we do playing or having sex, and I think that's the only way it could work for us."

That's exactly what happens between Eileen and I as well. I think a lot of the acts people put on a) don't just happen in the femdom arena and b) are a sign of misunderstanding, insecurity, or ignorance.

Crown Vic said...

That is not to say that I don't fetch Eileen a drink when she tells me to (or, more likely, before she tells me to)...

I can see that as being hot, the problem I had was that there was no warm-up, no flirting, none of the normal things couples do to. I was insecure enough in my identity and then felt this pressure to act as a sort of helper monkey. I suppose I wanted to be recognized as Eileen recognized you.

Sara said...

This is an old post, and I'm a new reader, but it moved me to comment.

As a who-knows-where-I-sit-on-the-vanilla-to-kink-spectrum-and-that's-okay woman (there was a mouthful!) I'm absolutely boggled by what you're writing here. Then again, judging anyone by anything but themselves has always been completely mind-boggling to me, so it's no surprise that this is.

I'm sorry this is the state of things.

maymay said...

Hey Sara,

Thanks for stopping by. Judgment is a fascinating topic. One for another blog post, no doubt.

To keep up with my writings, if you're interested, you may want to head on over to the current blog address: MaybeMaimed.com.

Thanks for reading.