Gangsta Boo and I were downtown at some bar the other night. He was outside talking to the door guy, and I was inside talking to the bartender, whom I can only describe as one of my feminist trench mates. I was enjoying a cocktail, chatting away, when Gangsta Boo came in and with that deep, guttural growl of his said, “Come on, we’re leaving. Now.” I downed one last sip of my cocktail and hopped up when my friend said, “Woah, why is he talking to you like that?”
“Oh, it’s, uh…a dominant-submissive thing,” I said, feeling a bit flustered as I was torn between being obedient and realizing: oh, shit – the world might not be ready for this.
“Oh, okay,” my friend said as I dashed out the door.
It occurred to me as we made our way to the next bar that this might be…risky. Most recently, I’ve attached myself to the #metoo movement and even over the course of the last blog established myself as a feminist who was loosely associated with the slightly misandrist branch of feminism. It’s an image that I’ve reveled in; I like to remind people: I sued Charlie Hallowell! I’ve written lots of pieces about how to play dudes! I’m a man eater!
But something got lost in the shuffle, namely: my love of kink. Sure, everyone knows I love fucking – I put that out there on the Internet in a pretty intense way. I guess given my history of screaming on the Internet about every au courant feminist issue, it would make sense that people would assume that my sexuality is similar to many of my other feminist comrades, most of whom are dominant, strong willed, and forceful, or, to put it another way, a lot of them are dominatrices, sex workers, and alpha females.
I, however, am not that. I’m submissive. I’m aware that this might seem at odds with my otherwise strong, feminist facade. I just want to get spanked, fucked and told what to do, in the bedroom but apparently now also beyond it. I know, I know – it’s kinda weird because basically my kink is role playing a traditional, submissive wife role, which is antithetical to all the feminist bullshit I like to spout off all the time. But, you know what? I was raised in that culture. I was raised to be a wife, a home maker, a child rearer. Clearly, I have strayed pretty far from my roots, but that’s why I like submissive role play. It helps me cope with the guilt I feel over being an independent woman by allowing me to play out those things that I was always trained to do.
I realize that’s too much to explain to my friend as I’m walking out the door, and I also realize, oh, fuck, is this one of those problematic things that I do and now I’m going to try to act like it’s revolutionary? Yeah. It is. Pretty much every philosophy I have ever attached myself to has been radical and controversial on some level, and I guess now that feminism has become pretty pedestrian, I need a new thrill. I’ve always been into kink, basically for as long as I’ve been sexual (side note: I was raised Catholic, so that should explain it all). But in the era of #metoo, kink, with all its problematic violence and grotesque role playing, has been shoved to the back burner. Probably because #metoo has helped us better understand that a lot of the time kink is just the mask that abuse wears, but, hey! What about when kink is just kink? Can’t we get back to that?
Of course, there’s two sides to this story, and while I’m fluent in my emotions, it’s also worth mentioning: what about the other person? First off, I’ll admit: given my outspoken position on feminism, I’ve always found that my partners are uncomfortable with my yen for BDSM, be it explicit discomfort or a sense of confusion and insecurity about how to proceed when it comes to sexually domming a socially dominant woman. Most recently, I’ve had partners express unease around sleeping with me because they know that I sued my boss for sexual harassment. It’s annoying!
So, now that I have found a partner who is not only comfortable with BDSM but also really fucking good at it, I’ve found that a surprising new issue in the relationship is: what about him? Or, to put it another way, I’m starting to suspect that my master is…taking more of a risk than I am when we go lifestyle.
I guess I should contextualize this by saying that I feel very safe in my d/s relationship.
Also, having been a Bay Area denizen my whole life, I’ve floated around the SF BDSM scene, and several of my friends are pro dommes. That being said, I think we can all admit: the SF kink scene is pretty fucking white. Sure, it’s normalized in some parts of the city, but I’m not a city girl, and neither is master. We’re Oakland people, and, well, to make the stark contrast: Oakland is the home of Too $hort, and we all know what $hort’s about. Which is why, being in a relationship that is outside of the racial norm of the SF kink scene, I think we’re getting “the look” from some people. As stupid as this sounds, if you look like you’re from Oakland and you’re dragging some woman around, people assume it’s pimping not kink.
Which is why I think the world isn’t read for this. I’m living in North Berkeley, a historically white and cop-loving community, and when we go lifestyle in my neighborhood I’m struck by a sense of dread that has nothing to do with kink and more to do with the vicarious “don’t give these people a reason to call the cops” sentiment. That is not the thrill I’m seeking, and while I don’t feel like writing another 1500 words on my experiences in interracial relationships, let me put it this way: I’m familiar with racism, I’ve seen it before, I know I’ll never have that experience first hand, but, ultimately, this intersection of gender and violence and race is a lot more than I bargained for when I signed up to get choked and slapped during sex.
But that’s not going to stop us. It’s just too much fun! And, what can I say – I’ve always enjoyed doing outlandish stuff and seeing people’s reactions. This experience is just…well, the stakes are higher. I don’t think that taking this into the streets is going to be the next great social movement or have a deep moral impact on society, but, well, it’s a fucking fascinating conversation, isn’t it?