Monday, 8 October 2012

Is erotic submission a gift?

Margo Adler, ethusiastic kinkster, says in her blog:
...sadomasochism is embarassing enough without adding an additional layer of cheese and canned corn over it.  Jesus Christ. Are we going to a Renaissance Faire next?  I don't know about you, but I am absolutely terrified that a filmmaker out there is planning to make a Trekkies-style documentary about us.  When that happens--and it will--we will never, ever live it down.  
Who is giving who the gift?
She's talking about subs who loudly tout their submission as a "gift".

I tend to agree.

In Femdom, the only gifts that count are the ones that aren't your (the sub's!) idea.

Suppose your dominatrix wants more than you would normally give for fun: she wants more service, or more suffering, or more of both. If it's her idea, and you give it because you want to please her, then that is a gift. However, it's the kind of gift you can't offer up front, especially to strangers. (Perhaps it's also the kind of gift you shouldn't give. Would it not be better for the rest of the relationship to ask for a trade?)

There is one other kind of genuine gift you can give a dominatrix. If you truly serve - e.g. polishing the boots, not licking them - then you are making a gift of yourself as a slave. However, in return she gives you the precious gift of experiencing being a slave.  This is the kind of gift that cancels itself out in the giving! 

So, either you can't offer it up front, or else your gift is really one side of an exchange of gifts. In either case, it's not really something you should rush to mention, let alone get any kind of advantage from. To do so reeks of emotional blackmail, of trying to be special like the Mary Sue of a million episodes of one-handed slash fiction, or grasping at a figleaf of dignity, when shedding dignity is the whole point.

Most of all, it's making a fuss! If you have followed this blog or read any of my Femdom how-to guides for semi-vanilla couples, you'll know I'm big on Not Making a Fuss Over Your kink: stick to specifics, don't unburden or expect to draw your partner into fantasy land.


  1. Hi there, Mr. English!

    Thanks so much for the reference--I'm flattered!

    "The only gifts are the ones that aren't your idea." This is an accurate and concise summary of my (primary) argument. In fact, it's so good that I think I'll appropriate it for my own use, if you don't mind. You know what they say about imitation!

    Your blog is new to me and I look forward to reading it.


    Miss Margo

  2. Thanks. Go ahead and appropriate!


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