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Sat Jan 24, 2015, 01:56 PM

Fucking with Feministing: BDSM Subbing (And Feminism)

(New advice column brought to you from the folks at Feministing--should be veeery interesting)

Welcome back to Fucking with Feministing! This is Feministing’s new monthly sex advice column where we answer questions from you. I’m Sesali and I’ll be your resident sexpert with the help of our friends at the Center for Sex & Culture (CSC) who have partnered with us to make sure that we have smart and safe with our sexy. We’re looking forward to helping you stay informed (and hopefully have great sex, because my feminism wouldn’t be complete without it). Send your questions to sesali@feministing.com – each month we’ll pick a question to talk about here. Questions will remain anonymous. We’re so glad that you’re Fucking with Feministing!

Q: Assuming you’re familiar with the Dominant/submissive dynamic of the BDSM culture, how do you feel about a feminist being sexually submissive?

In exploring the world of kink, I find that I lean toward the submissive role in the bedroom. But sometimes those sexual feelings contradict my socio-political feelings, and I’m just trying to consolidate it all in my head. It’s weird to feel so strongly about gender equality while I also really love being tied up and told what to do and sometimes even called degrading names, but only within the context of the bedroom and with total consent and communication and everything.

Can you help me figure this out?

With the film adaptation of the controversial and extremely problematic “50 Shades of Grey” set to hit theaters next month, the time is ripe to dig into the topic of kink and its feminist implications. Like feminism, sexuality, identity politics, or, in my case, my hair working out, kink is just a part of life. But at least the Feministing team is here to help you do it in the bedroom. Kink, or consensual power play, can really transform how you understand and practice sex. It’s a healthy way to explore sensation limits, build stronger bonds with a partner, reach your erotic potential, and explore your desires in a new way. For some people – though certainly not all people, perhaps not even most people – kink can be a practice of dealing with and healing from trauma.

Let the record state that some of my kinkiest submissive friends have been complex, trill, and inspiring feminists. Something that stood out to both Carol Queen and I in this reader’s question is that they explicitly state that they “love” their submissive role. Feminists support people playing safe and consensually at all costs, and any feminism that doesn’t isn’t one that I support. Feminism has facilitated a space for many people to feel comfortable enough to explore alternative fantasies – and realities. A movement committed to critically dissecting gender and sexuality leaves room for people to define pleasure on their own terms. This includes having your ass spanked until your partner’s handprint is a new tattoo if you so choose. For those of you wanting to explore BDSM and other forms of kink, don’t count on feminism representing a barrier.

If you need a primer on exactly what BDSM is or some of the terms used in this post, Carol was gracious enough to explain:

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Reply Fucking with Feministing: BDSM Subbing (And Feminism) (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 OP
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2015 #1
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #2
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2015 #3

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat Jan 24, 2015, 02:04 PM

1. wanting to explore BDSM and other forms of kink? don’t count on feminism representing a barrier.

the way I see it, feminism in the purest form, is pro individual choice/human rights.

it is for women making choices and informed decisions.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 24, 2015, 02:07 PM

2. Agree

A lot of The people I know who are into it usually are working out issues. I have to say One of the most sexually responsible people be ever met was a a gay female Dom. I adore her just for being who she is, but also for being the ultimate survivor.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 24, 2015, 02:28 PM

3. as I understand the BDSM community/relationship-There are contracts/safe words and nothing should

happen without the consent of both partners. From what I have read about 50 Shades of Gray this is where issue took place within the BDSM community because Christian would not adhere to the contract that Anna had signed and was constantly ignoring her use of the safe word.

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