In 2012 I started my research on BDSM by typing “Can a submissive initiate a BDSM relationship?” into Google. I found nothing. In fact, I didn’t find much about BDSM online at all. I didn’t know at the time that BDSM was about to explode into mainstream media with the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey. I don’t like to admit it, but the poorly written fanfic brought what used to be the underground of sexual playgrounds into the spotlight. It also brought about insightful, understanding research and the opposing bullhorn remarks from uneducated fellows claiming BDSM was just another form of abuse.
And if they’re building their idea of BDSM based on that book, then I’d agree with them. But Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t my BDSM. Honestly, traditional BDSM isn’t my BDSM. I mean, here I was sitting at a computer searching for information on whether bringing up BDSM to my husband first would be disrespectful to the practice. I didn’t find anything, so I figured “Why not?”
I read a lot of books and web articles, I practiced rope ties and knots, and I talked to people who were Old Guard, New Guard, Poly, Queer, Transgender, members of leather families or who preferred to mentor. I went to munches, events, workshops and reached out to my own community by fighting the stigma that Fifty Shades of Grey brought with its admiration. I did all of this pretty much on my own accord. Daddy didn’t ask me to do any of it. He only asked that I respected him and followed our rules. That’s right OUR rules.
Even though I knew I was sexually submissive and found great pride in taking care of Daddy, I had always had a strong opinions and a need to make a positive impact on the world. I didn’t grow up in a feminist household. It wasn’t until my parents’ second divorce that I saw how powerful and resilient a woman could be. As my mother survived her own hardships, I began to see that a woman could be strong, sexual, happy, smart and so much more. And that’s when I started fighting to be who I was. By the time I dove into my BDSM research I had already gone to a liberal arts college, started my own business and planned for two of my children to be born at home. I had no intentions of losing that strong person by honing into my submissive identity.
But I wasn’t quite sure I could reconcile my feminist values with being gagged and tied to a bed. It never felt wrong, but for a while I felt I wasn’t being true to the lifestyle while standing up for my values. I wondered how I could be both at the same time. Until I figured out what being a feminist meant to me and how that fit into the world of BDSM.
The dictionary definition of “Feminism” is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes”. To me, being a feminist means being unapologetically me without fear of being degraded because of my choices. It means not being ashamed of having sex the way I want to and it also means being proud of my gender identity as well as my sexual orientation. Through BDSM and Feminism I was able to merge all of these wandering parts of myself into the person I am today.
Over the years I’ve realized that most heterosexual men have no problem being sexual people, so why should I? I had to reprogram everything I learned from school about sex, everything my peers had taught me about being born with a vagina and everything the media had told me was “normal”. Feminism gives me the shield I feel that I need to stand up and say “I enjoy this. This is my choice. You cannot take this away from me.” It has allowed me to discover a sense of pride, confidence and safety in being who I am and not having to apologize for it.
Because I am now a fuller person I can take my time and enjoy my sex life, with BDSM being a large part of that. I can say to my partners “I don’t like that” or “I really like it when you….” I can be actively engaged without shame because I deserve to. I can choose to do something other people might find degrading, like being at the tail end of a whip, because I made that decision. I’m never forced, coerced or bribed into participating in my own sex life and that is how it should be for everyone. Only you can decide what is ok for you and fuck anyone else who wants to tell you otherwise.