Reading through some thoughts on other blogs over the past few days, I noted that a number of individuals equate dominance and submission with a specific gender, an oft-repeated mindset that I find perplexing.
I had to really muse on why it irritated me and realized that it tweaks my feminist bone in that it is such a traditionalist and hidebound interpretation of the dynamic, not to say incorrect (there are many instances of female-dominated societies in nature). I also believe that many people cling to the CREATED myth of the stalwart breadwinner and stay at home mum which really only existed in the minds of mid-20th century television writers.
I am not a believer in the “me Tarzan, you Jane” school of thought. The reality is that I do not perceive dominance or submission as gender-specific. The assumption that because a human being has a penis dangling between his legs somehow makes him authoritative, capable, commanding and possessing that special something that makes an individual dominant is simplistic and simply trite.
To clarify, if for the individual, male dominance is what turns their crank, then more power to you. Each of us is entitled to create a dynamic which works for the needs of our own psyches. But what I object to is a wholesale assumption that ALL males are innately dominant and ALL females are innately submissive.
I’ve speculated before about the ethereal nature of dominance and submission and struggled with describing whether it is a need, a bred in the bone habit, or an intrinsic part of our psychological makeup. While I still don’t have a definitive answer, I know that my own personal journey has revealed my submission as an integral part of the complicated facets of what makes me, me. Not a choice in the sense that I ‘choose’ to be submissive but a compelling urge and one, when matched with the commensurate need of a dominant who ‘calls’ to me, provides an all encompassing, to the soul kind of comforting rightness.
Truth be told, there are times in my life I wish I COULD be dominant; the whole submission mindset sucks the big one at times and recently, I have realized how much it can permeate my outlook in its entirety – apart and separate from any sexual or BDSM-related issues.
I’m not speaking specifically of general actions – i.e. how I comport myself in work-related situations or in the public at large; I continue to be assertive, organized and capable and have no problem with establishing autonomy outside my personal relationship. However, there is no question that the submissive core of me is reactive – extraordinarily and at times, frustratingly so – to a certain dynamic.
I’ve never been entirely able to decode or describe why it is that a certain personality strikes sparks in the submissive part of me. I do know it is not gender-specific and it is HIGHLY unusual (in that, there aren’t a lot of people who “pull” me). While I learned a very long time ago, I was submissive and learned early on to laugh at those who denigrate, belittle or otherwise attempt to malign those of us who don’t immediately grovel before their Almighty Masculine (sorry, it is ALWAYS masculine) Dominance, I find myself intrigued and often frustrated at my inability to truly understand WHY a certain personality ‘calls’ to my submission.
I don’t even have a proper label for that.
But it is as if something awakens inside, something stirs deep within my soul, a resonance and vibrating awareness, a hyper clarity of thought and need, a yearning which sets the hair on the back of my neck quivering, which creates moisture between my thighs, hardens my nipples and creates a mindset that is uniquely different to the workaday face I show to the world at large.
Sexuality and submission are inextricably entwined in my psyche and I cannot experience one without the other. Where I submit, I desire, and I cannot desire without a commensurate need to submit. And the sex of the Dominant just is not an issue – it is the nature of the individual, the resonance that vibrates between us, the inexplicable tug created by the meshing of certain personalities.
The older I get the I begin to understand that our sexuality is simply another facet of the complicated creatures that we are. The gender we present as is not always the one we internalize and because of the intricacy of the human species I truly believe how we react to each individual is unique to that dynamic and as such, cannot be dependent on something as simplistic as genitalia.
I also truly believe that that there are levels and degrees of dominance, of submission and of a blending of the two. Thus, we have those who see themselves as dominant – entirely; those who perceive themselves as submissive – entirely; and others who see themselves as a blending of the two. Further, there are individuals in the world who simply do not present as either sex – that are in essence asexual.
I know that I have struggled at times to understand why I am the way I am; I have looked at upbringing, basic nature, nurturing and experience and have yet to completely comprehend the nature of the beast. But what I did ascertain is that even in the nature of what I am, there are degrees of intensity and intricacy.
On a former blogging site, some of the BDSMers were fond of using the term “alpha” submissive; often used in the context of a poly relationship wherein the Master had a number of submissives but the “alpha” remained his primary and was generally perceived to have greater status, to have strength of character beyond the others and an assertive and determined personality.
Truth be told, I’m not terribly fond of the term as I find it somewhat misleading and exclusionary. Perhaps without the intention of being so, it somehow delineates (in my mind) a “greater” or “lesser” than status that I find problematic and off-putting.
However, for lack of a better term, I do understand the context of the term... and would claim it for myself for lack of a better one.
For in truth, I’ve often thought that in the right situation, I could conceivably dominate another, less forceful submissive but ONLY under the hands of a strong Master. The gender of either would again be not dependent on what was between their thighs but on the essence of their personalities.
The point I guess is that in the end, simplistically dividing our BDSM world into Dominant OR Submissive simply doesn’t work in reality. It is, when all is said and done, the core values, abilities and nature of the individual who decides their orientation, not their gender.