Sometimes, it's just a cigar

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Leaving a club I never really joined

I am, according to some who know me, a dominant. A dom. Someone whose opinion I value calls me master, or sir. All of this because of how I like to have sex, or because of the things I like to do in a sexualized context.

If you’re writing a profile for yourself on a sex related website you’re expected to categorize yourself. Male or female, gay or straight or bi, dom or sub, top or bottom. It’s a useful kind of shorthand if what you expect to do is have lots of sex with lots of people who are window shopping for sex with more enthusiasm than care.

When I started recognizing my own sexuality submissive was an adjective, not a noun. Part of my struggle was to understand that the role I enjoyed and understood was also recognizable to others.

That struggle to understand that my sexuality was comprehensible to others was a lengthy process. It was made harder, not easier, by the desire of others to fit my sexuality into their frames of reference. If I had sex with other men I must be gay. Except I didn’t conceive of it in that way, and didn’t fit their framework. My sex life began with me discovering sex as a way of being alive, connecting with people; their gender was, frankly, irrelevant. As I made sense of what my preferences were they coalesced not around gender but around behaviour; I wished to have sex with those who would let me lead, and who would help me comprehend the sensuality of pain.

How do I make sense of that? Simple. My experience of violent or painful sport was that it was deeply sensuous, that I was physically aroused by the memory and experience of it. I would finish a ten mile run and climb in the bath and experience an overwhelming desire to masturbate, to link the physical and the sexual.I discovered, along the way, that others wanted to explore that space, those places where your mind goes when your body is experiencing physical extremes of effort and pain.

Do I ever ponder if my early experiences of sex, when I was not in charge, but grateful enough to ignore that it was not exactly what I wanted, coloured my later preference for being in charge? Not seriously. I’m not sure what purpose that knowledge would serve; I have no desire to be other than I am, and no desire to change the path I’ve walked.

I do ponder though about the way in which I refused to join the clubs that were open to me. I had sex with men, but was not gay. I had sex with women, but didn’t entirely fit in with the straight lifestyle. Looking back I realize that there was a certain arrogance in refusing to subordinate my sexual identity to other people’s labels. I didn’t stop being gay – I simply stopped having sex with men as I reached a point in my life where women could be found who would also fit into my way of having sex.

When I discovered the online BDSM communities I found it easy to play on their edges, to meet people and to talk to them about sex. And, frankly, I got sick of having to explain that yes, I was a dom, but no, I had nothing but contempt for Gorean strutures or Old Guard protocols. Just as, when I was younger, I preferred straight acting men who cross dressed in secret to the beautifully turned out submissive men who hung around with the leather and denim set. Even the straightest of bank managers could turn into a rebel with his wife’s knickers under his suit in a way that a clone with a credit card worth of leather and toys could never, to me, understand.

Mainly though I was having sex with those men in my younger life because they would submit, not because they were men. In the process though they could be who and whatever they wanted to be, provided that person submitted and enjoyed whatever happened. And we are talking about a time when intelligent women who dissented from feminism and were willing to test the boundaries of sex were rarer than hens teeth.

Now though I’m less and less convinced that I want to be a dom. Not just because of Christian Grey and Fifty Shades of Shite, and not just because every man who wants to can call himself a dom, and shout the newly self baptized doms’ mantra of ‘On Your Knees Bitch’. I want to leave this club I’ve never really joined because it takes too much time to keep telling people ‘I’m not that kind of dom’, or to keep explaining what’s different about what I do compared to all the other doms who aren’t like me.

I plan on continuing to whip, beat and bind anyone who wants me to, and who I find physically and mentally attractive. Right now one person fills that role. If I wanted someone else to fill that role though, it would not be by advertising my membership of a club where I don’t feel comfortable.

There is no greater arrogance than the claim that we are unique, that we have some special factor that makes us different to all the others. If I’m right, and I’m not that unique, then if I ever need to find someone else to have sex with, they’ll just as likely not be in an online community, trying to make space for themselves within the framework, since the kind of people I like are likely to not want to join that club either..

In my file of stories that could be novels if I had the time is one about a D/S relationship between two members of the Communist Party in the 1920s. It’s a story that is hard to move from concept to narrative because it demands a domme female, and a submissive male, roles I find less easy to write about, and because I fear that the metaphor of the CP as a fixed framework in which people can’t easily make their own lives is too obvious, and too clumsy. Perhaps too, it’s too hard to write because I hope the CP would have been just another club I would have refused to join.

So, after this lengthy gaze at my navel, here is the news. I’m not a dom. I am not a member of the BDSM community. Now pass me that whip and the ball gag – I have a desire to beat someone I really, really like…

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10 comments on “Leaving a club I never really joined

  1. Freya Watson
    June 9, 2014

    I loved this! I know labels and categories can help us to understand and find others, but it seems like we’ve forgotten how to just allow ourselves and others to just be what we are and have got caught up in having to put everyone in some kind of box. The box never fits. Or it only fits if you shave off the edges that make you really interesting. Or it only fits for a while, and they your tastes change. No matter how different, comfortable, edgy, cool or whatever the box is, it’s still a box and it still limits understanding. I want the freedom to be dom, sub, single, poly, whatever, whenever. Is there a club for that?

    Like

    • jemima2013
      June 9, 2014

      I think you might be a member of the Cigar, we dont belong to any club, club 🙂 thank ypu so much for your comment, the idea of having to shave of the interesting edges to fit in the box resonates a lot with me

      Like

  2. redpesto
    June 9, 2014

    “Mainly though I was having sex with those men in my younger life because they would submit, not because they were men. ”

    There’s a great quote by Pat (now Patrick) Califia that goes something like ‘If I had a choice between a hot male masochist and a vanilla lesbian, I’d pick the boy’ which made a lot of sense to me. Your experience does the same.

    Like

    • jemima2013
      June 9, 2014

      I love that quote! I find I react differently to male and female doms, but something about it has always struck as quote with me too

      Like

  3. Wickedjulia
    June 9, 2014

    Like you, I’ve had to say “I’m not that kind of Domme” on numerous occasions. I usually add a line about how my sexuality is not defined by the porn industry. Which is why I urge you to not give up on the BDSM community. It desperately needs voices like ours, redefining its Easy-Bake Oven categories and showing that it is possible to be a dominant on your own terms.

    Like

    • jemima2013
      June 9, 2014

      In many ways thats what this, and the old blog were and are, our kind of if we build it they will come foray into expressing our views of BDSM (among other things) I think the thing that put me off the established fet community was when i posted in a group i really liked for advice and they were all pretty much, OMG Carter isnt following the rules of Poly, burn him. That kind of didatic thinking is never helpful

      Like

  4. Pingback: Hankies, Hats and Social Anxiety | Valery North - Writer

  5. Marie Rebelle
    June 19, 2014

    I am happy to say that from the beginning we did things our way. Yes, we seek contact with others in the community, but we never tried to fit in the way many people does. What we are is what we are. what we have works for us. We are not part of any club, but I like to be able to talk to like-minded people, hence reason we wanted contact with others.

    Rebel xox

    Like

  6. Mia Sinclair
    June 20, 2014

    My partner is not the atypical Dom/sub (we both switch) either and we do our things our way also. We like things that way. Love your post!

    ~Mia~ xx

    Like

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This entry was posted on June 9, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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