Hey everyone! Today's blogtober entry is not going to be a Halloween or Autumn themed post, but instead about something that I'm passionate about, something that is fundamentally part of who I am. October is International Kink Month, something that was coined by popular adult toy and fetish gear company, Stockroom.com, as a month to spread awareness and educate people about BDSM and all things kinky. When I found out about International Kink Month, I thought it would be a great excuse for me to discuss something that is surrounded by a lot of controversy, especially amongst the feminist community. Today, I'm going to share with you all my thoughts on being both a feminist and a submissive in the bedroom. I hope that you enjoy reading!
What is BDSM?
I thought I should kick off this post by telling you all what BDSM basically is, although I'm sure most of you will know something about it, especially with the popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey novels (which was actually dreadful in my opinion, haha! Who agrees?). BDSM stands for Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission & Sadism/Masochism. It is a form of sexual preference, a set of specfic fetishes that fall within the categories mentioned above, made up by a massive array of different kinks, erotism and interests. It involves a power exchange between sexual partners, with someone typically feeling more content in a dominant role and another in a submissive role (although 'switches' enjoy elements of partaking in both).
BDSM is one of those things that is a taboo, something that people think is 'wrong', 'deviant' or 'weird'. Even though mainstream media and the release of The Fifty Shades of Grey movie has bought mild BDSM to the public's attention, there are still a lot of the kink world that is looked upon with stigma. International Kink Month is one of many initiatives set up to help change people's perceptions and opinions. I have known that I was into things that were less than conventional since my teens, and because of the way the media painted BDSM, I was embarrassed, even ashamed at times, and was uncomfortable being open about what I liked. Another thing that made me feel bad as I got older was my feminist beliefs and values and how they conflicted with my preference for sexual submission. I'd read posts online about how being submissive to a man meant that you were not a true feminist, and it caused me to want to suppress my preferences more. As a adult, my thoughts and feelings on the topic have definitely changed. I am a passionate, proud feminist and I am an equally proud submissive woman in the bedroom. What I am into with regards to sex does not impact on my values, and I am going to share with you all my thoughts with you on this.
(1) Being able to express myself sexually is empowering
When it comes to women embacing and taking full control over their sex lives, society in general seems to have a problem and women are looked down upon. Women who are sexually active and confident are shamed and labelled with derogatory and offensive terms, and there is a stigma around women being open about what they like in the bedroom. If women discussing 'vanilla' sex (vanilla is a term within the BDSM community to describe people who are not into kinky things) is stigmatised, when it comes to women embacing their kinky sides, it's even more of a taboo! Lots of fabulous feminists are smashing the patriarchy and unapologetically sharing about their sex lives and preferences, and this is absolutely amazing! I feel empowered by my sexuality, by my kinky side and being unafraid to seek what I want sexually makes me feel like a strong person, despite the fact that I prefer to take on a submissive role. Women have fought for years for sexual liberation and by expressing my kinky side, I feel like I am embracing feminism and the right for women to be unashamed about their sexual preferences and activity.
(2) Stop telling women what they should and shouldn't do!
The whole arguement about submissive women not being 'true' feminists just reminds me of a similar arguement that women who want to be housewives, stay at home looking after their houses and having children whilst their husbands work are not feminists. This is a ridiculous argument, as is the argument that you are any less of a feminist because you enjoy BDSM. Feminism is the belief that women have the right to choose, the right to decide what they want to do with their lives without being stigmatised or critised for those decisions, and by trying to tell other women what they should and should not be doing, and policing what it means to be a feminist, is literally the opposite of feminism. Sometimes, these opposing opinions are routed in a lack of understanding about the dynamics of BDSM relationships. Some of the fetishes that people enjoy can be misunderstood or due to the nature of these fetishes, people see them as detrimental to the well-being of the submissive. Lots of people are not personally into these kinky activities and therefore they may view them with negative connotations. Kinkphobia and kink-shaming is also a problem in society. It's important to remember that these things are partaken by two consenting adults and for them, what they are doing is fun and pleasurable, as long as they are not affecting anyone else, then leave them to it :)
(3) Babe with The Power
When people think of a Dominant/submissive relationship dynamic, they can often picture the Dominant being fully in control and the submissive being subjected to whatever the Dominant pleases. This is probably what contributes to the arguements about women submitting to a man, and how this is un-feminist of them, because they likely view this relationship dynamic as oppressive to the submissive woman. However, BDSM relationships are founded on communication. Both partners will discuss their 'hard limits', the fetishes that they are not interested in or things that they personally don't like beforehand. One of the fundamental elements of a BDSM relationship is the establishment of a 'safe word', which is basically a code word that a submissive can use if they want to stop a scene. This may seem like a strange concept for those who are not into BDSM, but many of the fetishes within this kinky world can be very intense and since many people prefer to get into a certain mindset or almost character role during a scene, it's important that they have a safe word. The safe word gives the submissive full control of the situation, so in reality the submissive is the one in control of the power dynamic.
(4) It's a bedroom dynamic
Although there are couples who choose to live a 24/7 Dominant/submissive relationship, for lots of kinksters, this is just something that they enjoy to do in the bedroom. Being able to experience a specific power exchange can be a very stress-relieving and enjoyable experience and for many people, they can act differently in the bedroom than they do in their everyday lives. For many people, BDSM is a element of their lives that stays in the comfort of their bedrooms. When it comes to my own preferences, I am very much a submissive through and through in my sex life, however in my everyday life and in my relationships, I have strong feminist values and opinions that mean that it will do my bit to fight the partriarchy and smash the gender roles society attempts to make people yield to. Just because I choose to submit to men in the bedroom does not mean that I submit to men in other areas of my life. I am a feminist and a submissive, and proud of it!
I hope that you all enjoyed reading today's post. I was quite nervous about writing it because no matter how much I embrace my preference for BDSM, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding it and that makes discussing it openly a pretty daunting thing. My anxiety makes me worried that people will judge me or see me differently, etc, but I wanted to contribute to International Kink Month and talking more openly about sex can help towards ending kink-shaming. For the few years, I have been on a journey of learning more about myself with regards to my sexuality and I am a much more confident person because of it, so I would like to encourage others to do the same. No matter how society has made you feel, there is nothing wrong with being into BDSM :)
Thankyou for reading!
What are your thoughts on the topic?
Are you personally into BDSM or just mild kink?
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