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Monday, 27 February 2017

Mistress Butterfly: A horrible thought about subs and dommes

Are dominant women trapped in the Victorian
fallen woman experience?
I read Ava's post on Things Subs Say and wanted to box some ears. Particularly over this bit (my cuts):
You thought this was something different than it was. You were a way to get it out of my system... You’re not relationship material. You’re part of my private life, not my real life. You were just a fantasy... You were someone I didn’t have to pay. You’re just one thing I wanted to try.
What if, I thought, men treated Romantic Love the same way?

What if only some women were considered available for Romantic Love? What if romantic and mainstream culture colluded to treat them as at least potential sex workers?

What if elaborate artificial courtship rituals were established, ones that loudly proclaimed the woman's romantic power while demonstrating the man's actual material power?

 What if her role were "performative"? Posturing, heightened emotional display and exaggerated costume mandatory, fuzzy slippers forbidden?

What if suitors entered a different headspace, over-promised, over-committed, then walked away and thought that was OK because: "Love is just a game, right? You shouldn't have taken me so seriously."

I was going to write a satire piece, only I realised: we've already seen this world in the great romantic operas of the 19th century.

Fuzzy slippers forbidden...

I've often said that our culture traps male subs in the 1950s gay male experience: the tyranny of traditional masculinity forces us into denial and compartmentalisation with inevitable blow back and collateral damage.

However, I now see that male subs are trapping dominant women in the Victorian fallen woman experience.

Go read Ava's whole post.  A few word substitutions and it could come from La Traviata or Madame Butterfly.

It's the same damn things at work.

The man operates outside his privileged respectable world, but carries practical and assumed male privilege with him.

Dominant woman's edition? Ugh.
The woman is the Other whether she likes it or not.

Her availability for the desired mode of relationship makes her special, but also an expendable, deniable, outsider, and a liability to male reputation.

Just like the 19th-century mistress, those things that make a dominant woman desirable are also those things that can be used to rationalise rejecting her.

I am seriously unimpressed by the state of male subs. And yet, I grieve for them. We really do need another round of sexual revolution, one that confronts and embraces the different dynamics people need. I'm damned if I know how to help this along.

In the mean time, I have a horrible feeling that dominant women might do well to adopt retro dating strategies to filter out the lightweights and the fantasists - a horrible retrograde thought. Ugh.


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