Why do women eroticise subordination (and how to stop it)?(217 Posts)
I think the psychology behind enjoying being dominated (for men as well as women) is to do with letting someone else be in charge. If you're the sort of person who has a lot of responsibility in your life then I imagine it can be a bit of a release to have someone come & take over like that, like your brain just needs a bit of down time from trying to control everything.
Have you tried talking to your DP about your preferences? I'm not sure there's any need to change yourself, necessarily. I'm sure they said on a programme I watched a while ago that it's not uncommon for high-powered businessmen to enjoy being the subordinate in the bedroom because they want someone else to be in charge for a while.
I'm definitely not comfortable with being dominated sexually by my DP who is my equal in everything else.
That's an interesting statement. Do you know why you're uncomfortable with that? Is he a new DP - is it a trust thing? Embarrassment?
I think women eroticise domination because we're socialised to believe that there's something wrong and "dirty" about our sexual desire. By ceding control to a man, we can enjoy the sexual experience without having to "own" it.
Have you read Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden? There's loads in there about rape fantasies. Obviously they don't bear much relation to the horror of actual rape - they're about being forced into a sexual experience that turns out to be highly pleasurable.
I agree with AG, I think if you are a person with quite a lot of responsibility in "real" life then it can be a good change of gears.
For me personality I don't think it's at odds with your feminist ideals. Perhaps I'm massively wrong but I think the submissive in those types of relationships has a fair amount of influence/input. I don't want to say control.
Sexuality is only one part of what makes you you anyway
It's a tricky one isn't it.
OTone hand we like what we like and all sorts of people like all sorts of stuff and as long as you aren't hurting anyone etc
OTOH we express concern as adults & parents & humans about the effect that porn is / might be having on our young people in terms of presenting sex as something where the male is dominant the female is passive and it's all about his pleasure and actually it might hurt her but that's OK in fact good. So we worry that their sexualities are being warped.
So I dunno. Yes sure maybe it was formed by stuff when you were young, maybe it's just what you like, maybe it's a reaction to your responsibilities at work. But, it's fantasy isn't it, it's not real, actually you are in an equal relationship, it's pretend.
I am sure that humans have the capacity to be into all sorts it's just how we're built isn't it? I saw a documentary about people with unusual tastes and there was a man who had a thing for paperclips.
Anyway. Did you enjoy it with DP before this power struggle thing started? Is it more to do with him than the politics do you think?
I would google rolequeer and see if anything written about that helps you shift your interests.
I mean, we can all hum and ha about why people might be sexually interested in the subordination of women. Surely the most likely reason is that women are subordinated and we all grow up and see that every day. People are also often interested in the subordination of black people.
So it could be quite difficult to suddenly become the dominant person in bed when that is totally at odds with the group you are in in society, and why would you want to pretend to be part of the dominant group or play at equality if it isn't real to you?
You are currently eroticising the power and oppression that exists in society. If you are now thinking about liberation in society, can you eroticise liberation from subordination instead?
And read up on role queer for a far better explanation.
I don't think it is fair to say 'women eroticise subordination'
Some men too.
Probably for different reasons tbf but it is a bit of a sweeping generalisation to make.
Yes. I think that the "losing control when you have to be in control in your normal life" thing is a bit of a misnomer too. It's often trotted out but it's just somebody's idea, and it's pretty simplistic at that.
Almondcakes' posts are closer to the mark, I think, though I haven't heard of rolequeer before.
I relate to what you're saying OP and also felt the need to NC! Like you I strongly identify as feminist and many of my beliefs would also be more rad fem than anything.
I have a good career, am the main earner and although there are no doubt some niggles my relationship is basically an equal one.
However both DP and I like BDSM and my preferences are very much as the sub. DP is happy enough in either role but I dont get turned on by the dominant role at all.
I have a real difficulty squaring the contrast between my political beliefs and my sexual tastes.
Like you I think my feelings were set young and I also dont buy the idea its about release from a high powered or stressful job.
My conclusion is that it probably is as a result of socialisation - just as I also like many other 'female role' things and am not terribly interested in many traditionally 'male' activities. My liking for sewing and pink is not so jarring as they are minor aspects of female socialisation. To find I may have internalised an idea that women should enjoy rape is intellectually extremely disturbing to me - but I do feel that is what it is.
My other thought is that I would say I'm becoming more and more strongly feminist in my views and I have noticed that I am finding the cognitive dissonance more and more difficult - DP and I are considerably more vanilla than we were as a result.
Hello that worked! I found this article helpful.
I strongly think that you have to keep politics out of sex otherwise nobody will enjoy themselves. That means that if you don't feel likebeing submissive because you're secretly annoyed, you have to be completely honest about it and clear the air - especially if you actually can't be aroused otherwise.
I too would prefer not to find submissiveness sexy but I reckon sexual identity is created by conditioning so early on that it's almost impossible to alter and trying to will make you unhappy. Better to acknowledge that what turns people on is weird, and is separate from their everyday selves. And find a way to find that ok.
I can't help but think this is a more subtle form of trolling FWR. The OP seems to be saying that feminism should seek to control and alter the sexual feelings and acts conducted in private between two consenting adults.
I don't think the OP is saying that.
She is saying she is uncomfortable in her sexual relationship and is there a way of changing that.
She is asking for advice.
It doesn't mean feminists are advising women who don't want to change that they have to.
Well, it happens on here, a lot. Unknown posters pop up all the time. You seem to be insinuating that these sorts of sexual desires are things to be condemned and prevented. And I reiterate - we are talking about legal acts, in private, between two consenting adults. Who on earth's business is it?
It's a bit more subtle that 'Wah wah, feminists are anti-sex, anti-pleasure harridans...'. But not much.
Who is saying these acts are to be prevented or condemned?
Nobody has said that.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.