Hello there, readers. For those of you who read my last column, you may remember that I stated an intention to take 2014 as my year to get more in touch with my sexuality through the exploration of self-love (complete with a reading list on female pleasure, auto- and otherwise, and the acquisition of my first high-quality sex toys), BDSM (specifically my relatively newly-revealed extremely submissive tendencies), and a general pact with myself to seek out more and better orgasms of all types. January was going to be my springboard to success, and I set out, new vibrator in hand, to reach new heights of pleasure! HOORAY! HUZZAH! SALLY FOR- Oh no. You see, The Sickest Winter Our City Ever Saw and the death of a loved one kind of threw me from the path, and now it’s the end of January and I have made so little progress. While the year is young yet, my first forays into toyland haven’t been thorough enough to make a proper report (although I am definitely improving!) and not nearly enough orgasms have been had to cry victory just yet, so I’ll have to leave the update on The Year of the O for another time, and instead go back to a topic I had mused on in my introductory column.
Without further ado, I bring you: The Discovery of My Inner Submissive, or, As I Now Understand It, My Sexual Self. (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Flogger?)
I’ve been sex positive since long before I was actually sexually active, and have had a nearly insatiable sex drive since the moment I first saw a man I loved unclothed. It’s easy therefore to think I’m pretty in touch with myself and have a good knowledge of my preferences and desires, but again and again some new thing comes along and proves me wrong. Or, in the case of my absolute love of BDSM, a bunch of things come along and bang me over the head with new information until I finally figure out that I’m being proven wrong. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Last year I went through a breakup with someone who was by far my most long-standing sexual partner. He is a really good guy, and lovely and attractive and lots of great things. He also has very vanilla tastes and didn’t care for toys or exploratory play. We all have our preferences, and it’s not like my wishing for it could have made him intrinsically Dominant, but somewhere along the line I lost track of the desires not yet understood but simmering under my skin. In retrospect, my submissiveness had been showing up since long before I even knew what arousal was, evidenced in everything from the fictional characters that I obsessed over in my youth to the first time a piece of writing actually turned me on (a friend’s mother’s romance novel that I never forgot but only recently recognized as very clearly about D/s with a female submissive protagonist; subsequent stolen moments with erotica didn’t work and I never knew why) to the sex most fondly remembered with previous lovers, every single case of which had BDSM overtones. The boyfriend who pinned me to the ground, helpless, and ravished me till an area of skin the size of a silver dollar had been rubbed away along my spine, leaving a discolored circle that I cherished for years as a mark of his having taken me, until it finally faded away. The foreign lover on the beach in Greece who told me what to do, picked me up like a ragdoll when he wanted to move me, and told me that what he was going to do next he only did for really special girls, but that if I made a sound he would stop, so I had to make sure to be good. In both of these cases, consent had been given for rough sex/the guy to be in control, although somehow I wasn’t aware on a conscious level either time of how much of the enjoyment of it came from having given up that control.
The few times I actually approached BDSM head on were either undertaken with incompatible men (i.e. they were open to it but not naturally or convincingly dominant) or were met with shame-inducing contempt, and I ended up putting it out of my mind for several years. In the meantime, I continued to be spellbound by relatively low-key things with D/s aspects. The movie Secretary. Having a wrist pinned down by a lover. The way I changed in the bedroom, from a very headstrong and outspoken woman to a girl who would without thinking start to beg in a voice higher than her own (not even for specific things, just the word “Please!” over and over and over) when pleasure got heady and overwhelmed her senses. And then there were the fantasies. Every single fantasy I have had that I can remember involves power exchange, be it voluntary or non-consensual. They span a wide range of scenarios, but in every single one, there comes a point where the will or strength or nature of the man I’m engaging with overcomes my own.
Looking back on it all now, I find it very strange; I have helped a lot of people have better sex and orgasms over the years, and on paper I should have immediately been able to connect all the dots above into a giant flashing sign that said “SUBMISSIVE HERE! NOW WITH EVEN MORE SUBMISSION!” Somehow, though, my mind only ever skirted about the edges. Maybe it was that I knew a real D/s relationship (or even a bit of BDSM in the bedroom) wasn’t in my immediate future, and I was subconsciously avoiding the frustration that is now lurking behind whatever else I think about all day long (“These miscellaneous tasks sure would be easier to complete if someone ordered me to do them and I knew I’d be rewarded or punished accordingly afterwards…”). Maybe it was that I struggled to reconcile my view of feminism (at the time) with the idea of giving a man complete control over me, let alone toying with non-consent roleplay. Whatever it was, the blinding flash of the obvious that was being thrown at me in literally every facet of my sexuality was deflected, and I never pursued it in any meaningful way. That is, until last year…
Will our heroine find the Dom she’s been waiting for? Will her fantasies turn out to be as super sexy in real life as they are in her head? Will she ever figure out a fast way to untangle strappy bondage-invoking lingerie? Tune in next time for the pivotal experience that changed everything.
This post was written by RWL columnist Allice Darke – Allice is a heterosexual, mostly monogamous, cis-gender woman and believes fiercely in sex-positivity for all; whether they are fabulous kinky pansexual polyamourous people or absolutely terrific and lovely transgender abstinence-practitioners, or however else they choose to identify (or not). This column is all about the readers, and as such, Allice encourages openness and honesty and promises that responses will be judgement-free. Images via Hans van den Berg‘s Flickr photostream