In the first article of this series, I discussed how I see feminism fitting in with both the BDSM community and submission.
Moving to a personal level, I have identified with feminism since I could say the word. As I grew up, I would say that my ‘type’ of feminism was definitely more of a political viewpoint. I felt that I needed to be strong and in control. I had to be a partner with my spouse, and he felt I had to be independent and make my own decisions. While this helped me develop into the strong, independent woman I am today, it also created a vacuum in my personal life. I had to be in control all of the time, and eventually, I realized this had cost me much of my expression of sexuality and my feelings of femininity. I went into the exploration of the lifestyle looking to fill a need, to find out what was missing in my life.
Although freedom of choice is the ultimate feminist act, I did not so much ‘choose’ to be a sub, as I discovered that I was actually a natural submissive. The choice was made by my body’s response to play before I could even consider other options. The ‘let’s try this’ attitude quickly changed to ‘I need this to be completely whole’. It also led to a struggle with the question of how I, as a feminist, could choose to serve a Dom.
I tossed it off first rather blithely with the idea that I could have chosen to serve a female Domme. The gender was not as important as the service, but this still did not quite satisfy my questioning. However, viewing feminism as a drive for self-expression, a drive to be the most complete I can be as a woman, does seem to give me answers.
My journey as a submissive has been a drive for self-development, especially in an effort to be fully sexual. My inability to give up control led to a certain inhibition of sexual and emotional response. My chosen Dom began my training with sessions on giving up control. Serving Him coffee (using the proper 10 steps or so in making it in the first place), calling Him ‘Sir’ (and later ‘Master’), and even orgasm control were all designed to help me give up my rigid control of myself. Once I was able to give up control to Him, my emotional and physical responses blossomed. I no longer had to worry about making noise, or how my body looked, or what I should be doing. None of this was my concern. If I did not perform properly, that was my Dom’s problem in not producing the desired response. I was absolutely free to feel whatever I could feel.
Proof of this is obvious in my play. The first time that I played in public was my first time with the man who became my Dom. As He started to cane me I gradually became aware of feelings in my body that I’d never experienced before. My mind kept going, however, trying to stop my body from moving and never allowing me to make a sound. My future Dom was having none of this. He kept my mind occupied, making me count, touching me to make contact, and lightly taking control. It was not only exhilarating, it was an epiphany. In my play now, my body moves freely, I am uninhibited about noise. From the quiet smile of the first play, my play now ends with an exhilarated grin or outright laughter.
Other aspects of self-development have followed. I began exercising to feel fit and sexy, I’ve learned new ways to walk and dress and basically learned through my Master how to express my femininity. While this is, on the surface, in order to serve Him more fully, it is also to help me be the best woman I can be in, in my own image of who I feel I should be as a woman. My Master is also concerned about developing other aspects of myself, such as encouraging my writing and other interests. The happier I am with my self-image, the stronger I am in my relationship with Him. And a strong sub complements a strong Dom and allows for the best possibilities in a D/s relationship.
I believe that in the BDSM community, we should search for the Dom or sub who would allow us to best express ourselves. This strong and equal partnership, based on the needs and fulfillment of both sides, truly fits my definition of feminism as ‘the search for equality’.
I welcome your own views on the sometimes contentious issue of feminism and BDSM.