S/M

OPI has drunk the KoolAid. I went with Estee Lauder. I like my hands free, thank you.

I’ve read one too many negative reviews of the 50SOG book and film to not weigh in. I am enjoying the backlash against this jaundiced mass marketed bullocks. I got to chapter six and I did not like it. But this is not a book review. It is social commentary. I’m nervous when certain themes become part of the normal social discourse.

I think women jump through enough hoops to please men and encourage them to stay interested. Why does a relationship need homework and chores? Gaaawd. I already have a job.

One person told me, before we’d even held hands, that “we need to spice things up in the bedroom.” I said to him, laughing, we haven’t kissed, what are you talking about? His brilliant ideas included pulling my hair in the shower. I’m busy in the shower. There’s the moringa scented shower gel, then the Lush soap bar that smells like bubblegum, and of course I have to try the rose scented one and finally, the chocolate sugar scrub. I only allow hair stylists to pull my hair when they’re flat ironing it, and they’re gentlemen and tall and cute.

After I’d tied up and queued this post, I read this statement from Twin Flames Revolt:

In defence of Fifty Shades, the people who enter into passionless and boring relationships just for MONEY and LUST while bypassing LOVE: These people will end up flogging each other. Love is never so boring that someone may need sex toys or games of the brutal type to flavour up things. It has its own electricity, it’s own fire. So, nice to know, stupidity is a self-flogging mechanism.

A few days after reading the statement from Twin Flames Revolt, I read an essay about submission in marriage. I find it scary that Christian women may have already been caught up in this. Is there no escaping the tyrannical rule of men with low self esteem? It is no wonder we need to have a Human Rights Act, because some church leaders are using The Bible to suborn the will of their congregations. This is an excerpt…

Our husbands are all sinners, just like us, and to be ruled over by a sinner is not a pleasant way to live. However, when we submit to our husband we are showing him Christ through our actions and bringing him closer to God … Submission is a way for a wife to honor God’s commandments and show respect for her husband so that he will be induced to love her and Christ more.

She said it herself, that “to be ruled over by a sinner is not a pleasant way to live.” These are the words of an oppressed person. Christ was a champion for freedom, humaneness and liberation from oppressive overlords. That’s why he was crucified. How do we not get this after reading the New Testament? Women like these do not understand why women in Saudi cannot drive their own cars. You are not free, so why are you campaigning for the liberation of others? First, educate yourself about your rights and work towards living a life of quality. Be that light that shines before men.

Can’t we just love each other without the ropes and pulleys? I understand the argument that submission is giving unconditional respect to your husband, but what if he doesn’t pay the mortgage? What if he decides that your child’s terminal illness can be cured with warm vegetable soup? I cannot imagine why two human beings can’t just negotiate their way through the day. People who respect each other can do that.

Submissive Christian women, in my opinion, have already told themselves that being abused is alright. As for the rest of us? One woman, Vanity Entity, is clear that she’s not being coerced.

I am a submissive woman. I find pleasure, joy, and fulfillment from being submissive to another in a loving relationship. I am not weak, or stupid. I am a strong woman… I do not serve out of shame or weakness, but out of pride and strength. I look to my loving Master for guidance and protection…

Michael Kirby, Jr (obviously an alias) thirstily lapped it up:

I am overly excited about this progression! Free of self imprisonent due to society’s fear of self expression. Women lack the art of submission in this era of life! They frown upon the act because many men, in return, lack the worthiness! Please educate while fulfilling your innermost desires, as well as mine!! I’m excited about your future!
-Kirby

I am not going to argue with a woman saying she wants to be chained up and whipped but Kirby, her admirer, now wants the rest of us to join in. And this brings me to my point about 50SOG. I think men like Kirby who want a non prosecutable excuse to hit a woman or draw blood will use 50SOG, the sadomasochism theme and the implied mainstream mandate for coolness and bedroom spice to do it.

Men like Kirby will tell you spanking is necessary for them to commit. They’re too lazy to ask you what you want and too entitled to offer it to you. They’ll get away with this because a lot of women will do anything to win a boyfriend.

You know the disappointment you feel? When you just meet a guy and you think he’s decent, then out of the blue, he has a laundry list of arguments as to why you should degrade yourself for his (viewing) pleasure. He will not have a ready excuse when he declines to return your calls.

It’s tricky when you’re already attached to him and you’re all morning chats and in each other’s business. One clever dude thought he’d send me photos of himself in his briefs so I would send him nude photos of myself. He’d taken his brief pix in the bathroom mirror as an enticement. Fifty shades of gross.

Please be aware that he felt exposed, nervous, insecure about his body and scared after he sent them. Then he spent the rest of the day sending texts begging for compliments. Hmmm…

It was mid winter. I was in bed with a high fever and on prescription cold meds. Did my illness and his apprehensiveness stop him from demanding to see photos of my bottom? Of course, no means no. So he stopped talking to me because according to him, I came down with a cold so I could avoid sending him bottom pix. Good riddance. When I called his bluff and didn’t chase him, he called back to find that his number was already blocked. Hot mess.

US Border Security. Courtesty Wikipedia.

Know your boundaries and protect them like border security. If he gets upset and freezes you out, ignore him. Rejoice. You already have things to occupy your time. If you have no hobbies, ask me for suggestions.

Here’s advice I received from a man who was into me, years ago, before Twitter, Google + and Instagram: “If you like the man, tell him. If he’s not paying you any attention, leave him alone.” For the social media age, I’ll add that if he has too many conditions for giving you his undivided attention, just stop talking to him. Because…

HE DOESN’T LIKE YOU.

You need to make a decision. Do you want that guy to like you so much you will agree to be yanked, squeezed, disrespected, called names and passed around like Graham’s Crackers? I enjoy the aesthetic mystique of S&M but I tell myself that when a guy comes along, it’s better to be S/M: Savvy and mysterious; serious and mature. If, among other things, he happens to be a neck squeezing, hair pulling dirtbag, he’ll find me unattractive and stay away.

108 thoughts on “S/M

  1. Very intelligent piece and bang on the money…I am completely mystified by the main-streaming of the S/M subculture and cannot believe that people and women especially cannot see the personal political implications…they obviously haven’t read Sade or The Story of O which is far superior artistically but has a dubious afterword by the writer’s husband stating that slaves love their slavery. As for Christian women taking to this scene Sade which is one half of equation was one of the most ferocious atheists that ever trod the earth.

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    1. Thank you so much for responding to this. My reaction to these cray cray phenomena is always a personal one. If people read that as fiction and dropped it, I would have been fine as I don’t do mainstream hype anyway. But when a father of three girls, who has two daughters proclaims that physically assaulting a woman is funny and spicy (he gets to do the hurting but receives none) that’s when I understood the meaning of latent misogyny and low self esteem. Who hates themselves that much to use intimate partner, a person to offer care, love and support, as a punching bag? Of course, I asked him to get help. I was called a pain in the ass for not “going with it.” There’s an essay in Vanity Fair making it a component of polite society. I couldn’t finish it because of a weak stomach and immense boredom. Of course, I’m familiar with the Story of O but have never read it. Thanks for the references. I like to read things that I’m not into philosophically to really know what I’m up against.

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      1. Well the Story of O is very well written by a women as a gift to her husband who was a Sadeian scholar. It has two beginnings and two endings. The husband wrote an afterword explaining that freedom lies in submission. The book is referenced in Houllebecq’s recent novel also called Submission. Philosophically repugnant all of it, even if artistically very good. I am sorry for your ordeals, I was taught that any man who mistreated a women was no man at all. Now that may smack of partonage(excuse the pun) but I cannot fathom why we have gone so far in the other direction.

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      2. You made me laugh. I admire your ability to grapple with these themes and distance yourself from them, ideologically. (I loved that word “smack”.) But you make a good point about going in the other direction. We certainly have. xo

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      3. That’s the key to staying clean, I think. Awareness and an analytical framework. Thank you for the reading recommendations. And for contributing your brilliant analysis. I wish you all the best with your current projects.

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      4. And you too…I don’t really have a project I just write about stuff…thank you for liking my story The Interview. My blog is mainly about Surrealism, but it does have a lot about desire, images of desire, identity etc, wow I sound really pretentious..but it isn’t really. Please feel free to have a look and take me to task

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      5. Thank you for your kind comments…the trouble with writing stories that have a strong dream and/or fantasy element is that they either work (but not in a logical/realistic way, only in their own way) or theyfail, and fail badly. So its nice to know that it makes sense to someone else about from me. There is one more story on my blog which is quite abstract called ‘To Come Up Here First You Have To Go Down Below’ you know that i have a taste for puns

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      6. I’m looking it up. Thanks for that. Best of luck. I call them projects because our minds are like a factory, pumping out creative elements. Warm hugs as well. xo

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  2. Amazing post SB! I love it!!! Justifying submissiveness just adds ‘stupid’ to the label. What are your thoughts on prostitution? I always feel extremely uneasy reading articles where sex workers are interviewed and amongst the frank stories of abuse and a clear path that led the (usually) woman to that ‘career’ is a ‘together’ and ’empowered’ woman who says it is a choice etc etc I just can’t buy it as being an empowered choice- something, somewhere in that woman’s life allowed her to think she didn’t deserve better. Now to clarify- I’m not judging the choice, just what I perceive to be a self deluding justification for it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it…

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    1. I hosted a commentary about that a while ago. I’ll link it later. A man who came to the post to defend sex workers used the same judgmental language my guest author was saying was the reason she doesn’t date men who consume porn. Another man attacked her for having sex outside of marriage. I am able to set aside the exchange of cash for sex from the woman’s motivations. I feel compassion for any woman who has endured so much pain she feels she deserves to be mistreated.

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      1. Yes, please link. I feel compassion too, but refuse to believe there isn’t a history there that has made the woman feel it’s ok. And actually, no need to limit it to sex workers- the submissive christian you quoted is in the same boat.

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