Tuesday, May 18

I may as well be a virgin

It's been an interesting journey through Rachel Kramer Bussel's Please, Sir. A journey helping me to challenge my definition of what sex can mean; a growing awareness of acceptance and understanding. And definitely broadening my own personal anthology of Sex.

Going into this book I was blind. I had no real preconceived expectations based on fact, rather, assumption. My naivete carried me through each story, eliciting a new sometimes physical, sometimes emotional reaction with every word. While otherwise enjoying something so organic, personally, I cannot fathom being pushed around physically by a partner. Crying? Same thing. Feelings of fear leading to tears does not a heated roll in the hay make. For me. Leading me about by a leash? Like I do my dog? No thanks. Urinating on your partner? I'd rather watch Two Girls One Cup. Or rather Stewie's reaction.

Wait. Have you guys met? Allow me to introduced you to 14-year-old, male, Emily.

On a personal level, my vast collection of honest reactions are just that. Reactions. The idea of engaging in BDSM is not really for me. In case you haven't yet noticed, I'm not exactly into the subject. Or am I? I'm human. I appreciate the intimate connection between two consensual participants. One of the many things I've learned by reading this compilation of stories on female submission is how intrinsic trust, understanding, mutual respect, and open communication are for both partners individually and collectively. Values in any healthy relationship; BDSM or otherwise.

Power Over Power by Emerald was an interesting recount of what I would consider a lopsided encounter. Or was it? Clearly this couple had not demarcated their sexual expectations. This was one of lust. Want. Desire. Yet both partners appeared to have different interpretations of what to anticipate. As an observer, this author's descriptive of what "power" is comes from within. This does not involve two people; only one. "That's what power is. It doesn't have anything to do with force or subjugation."

Professionally? It's difficult to separate my awareness of women survivors of domestic violence from the heat of passionate exchange. Elizabeth Coldwell's Because He Can successfully outlines this difference. A submissive woman next to a dominant male as he eats his meal at the dining room table, feeding her scraps as she kneels naked at his side. Although my professional brain jumps to: Is this woman aware of the power she too has in this relationship? How satisfying is this exchange for the woman so obviously submissive to a dominant and powerful male? How did this interchange begin? On what grounds have these two outlined their "rules?", my observant self witnesses this woman complying obediently while experiencing sexual satisfaction unlike anything I've ever known.

What is the line between violence and consensual sexual deviance? What if the definitions hadn't been outlined and the woman, or man for that matter, is left feeling disparaged and taken advantage of? Exploited? Maybe the partners aren't aware of the labels available for the feelings they're potentially having. This, then, is not true BDSM. This would be violence in a relationship.

Lucky for you, dear reader, I am objective. Having read other tour participants' reviews, I found myself surrounded by what appear to be experts on the subject of female submission. At first I thought all of the stories were submitted. By females.

The stories in Please, Sir range from hardcore to soft. Illustrating a scene for an observer is helpful. But some of these authors chose to really, I mean REALLY, describe the setting with far more adjectives than necessary, which I find irritating. In any story. In erotica I find it difficult to keep it in my pants, so to speak, while anticipating the "good" parts. Kind of like fast forwarding through a porno movie on your VCR with your girlfriends in junior high.

This exposure to erotica through Please, Sir has left me enlightened on the subject of BDSM. While I have little intention to experiencing BDSM personally, as one of my friends said, "Tying someone up is fun." Continuing to dust myself off after sluggishly climbing out from under the oppressive rock of a ten year marriage, perhaps I have a lot to look forward to. Or perhaps not. Accompanied by loads of unanswered questions, what I am personally taking from this literary experience is to be open. To trust first myself. Challenge myself. Feel the feelings I am having and not fight them. I suppose this is something I can potentially long for between shuttling my three kids to various activities, going to work, and tending to our home. Until then, as I've said before, Now kindly shut mommy's door so she can continue her stories.

I respect each and every one of these authors, the characters, and the stories they share depicting what might be their own personal experience or pure fantasy. While I outline my own personal reactions often overshadowed by my professional self, I fully respect the art of erotica. As editor Rachel Kramer Bussel states in the introduction to the book, "Submission is an artform. It requires dedication, focus, commitment, and desire - and there's no single way of doing it. It's about unlocking something within yourself so you can reach beyond your normal limits, exposing your body and soul in order to somewhere you cannot go alone."


Mercy Loomis said...

Just remember: if at any time it stops being fun for one of the participants, that person can stop the festivities. In fact, they should, because their partner is going on the assumption that they are bringing satisfaction to the other person.

That goes for either party. Sometimes the dom needs to tap out too.

It's great to read the reaction of someone inexperienced in the scene. Thanks for the open mind! It's very refreshing. :)

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