I’ve been thinking a lot about BDSM in general, as well as the way gender plays out within BDSM roles, and I’ve come to some discoveries. I’ve been thinking about writing Eros in Leather as I mentioned earlier which would be a M/f spinoff of Venus in Furs, which is F/m. However, there arises a problem, which is partly where my discoveries came from. Venus in Furs (VIF) has very servant-centered submission within it, and this is more difficult to create in a M/f relationship in some ways. The obvious choices are cooking and cleaning and otherwise tending to the Master for the fem submissive, but I’m not sure if they are comparable… though perhaps they are, as they are highly gendered just like Severin’s boy servant position in VIF is.
One discovery: submissives often are given directives which go against cultural gender expectations in regards to sex, that is, (in my experience) many more males than females are put into chastity, and chastity is rather a huge topic, while many more females than males are thought of as sex slaves or desired to be sexual nearly all the time. While both males and females engage in orgasm control to an extent, I would wager that the amount and frequency each is allowed to cum is vastly different. This isn’t true for everyone, of course, this is a general statement. I think a lot of this is due to our cultural expectations and stereotypes, and going beyond or the opposite of them adds to the taboo of the situation in general, but I’m sure there is more to this.
Back to VIF (in some ways): Secretary is in some ways the M/f VIF, though with distinct differences. VIF is completely lead by the masochist, Severin, with Wanda going along with it as per his wishes, and not the other way around. While Edward is the first to initiate, Lee ends up being the one to initiate an ongoing relationship past the one they had at work, so there are similarities, but it’s not exact, though I don’t expect it to be. Although, Secretary fixes my issue of how to make the woman more servant-centered, bringing in roles of labor, as VIF had in a very different way.
My Queer Theory Prof. has mentioned many times about her idea that labor and masochism/submission are related somehow, though she has yet to go into detail, and I think this is part of it. A large part of submission is labor, as doing for the Other is part of submission, which can extend to chores and other such things, like doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, tending the garden, fetching drinks, etc. etc. etc. There is a tie between labor and submission, and I may have just hit it on the head, though, again, I think there’s more to it, and there’s more that can be said and explored regarding it.
A side note: I was talking with someone today who mentioned that, regardless of consent, many people think that BDSM is wrong. I also mentioned the sex-positive movement, and he said that he didn’t think it was very widespread. I know that people think both of these things logically, and I know that they vary depending on your circles and such, but I often forget this. I tend to live in a land where I’m accepted for who I am (a big factor of this is probably because I choose to not associate with many people, and this may also be why I don’t feel like venturing out into the land of Utah to make new friends). Sometimes it’s a harsh wakeup call to remember that there are still bigoted, racist, homophobic, sex-negative, anti-feminist, anti-poly, anti-bdsm, anti-queer, anti-genderfucking people out there who would probably hate me on principle if they got to know me. I feel pretty blessed by the people I have in my life, but I also realize a little more where my aversion to new people comes from. I need some sort of formal interviewing process to figure out new friends.