Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dominance and Submission

I'm just having so much fun on my day off!

So, I came across this post at the Blowfish Blog. Gods, I just love it when I come across something that articulates an issue that has been swimming around in the back of my mind for a while trying to form! And this one has been on the burners for quite a while. Really ever since my watching of Buffy the Vampire Slayer all the way through, and re-watching "Smashed" since the first time, when I accidentally clicked it on the night it broadcast on the WB and was transfixed to the screen for Spuffy's first sex scene (shown below).

That is just so hot.

And yet, I mean, look at me! Hey man, I'm a radical, socialist feminist with separatist sympathies! Shouldn't be criticizing basically the entire Spuffy relationship and every bloody interaction they have?

But I can't. That is just SO HOT (though the scene my bottom banner comes from might rival it). And maybe this post explains why. It certainly resonated with me.

I think that we fantasize about what we don’t have. Stressed-out city folks dream of tropical paradises and bucolic rural getaways; bored small-town folks dream of the excitement and glamour of the big city. Unhappy single people dream of true love; unhappy married people dream of being footloose and fancy-free. Etc., etc., etc. That’s the whole point of a fantasy, isn’t it? Even if your life is generally good, you’re still not going to fantasize about the things you already have.
It’s the constant vigilance against the stupid sexist indoctrination that’s been sunk into my head since I was an infant. It’s the constant struggle to be assertive when I’ve been taught to be compliant, to speak up when I’ve been taught to be a good listener, to argue when I’ve been taught to be agreeable . . . all without turning into an asshole. It’s the constant half-second arguments I have in my head every time a guy says or does something sexist—is this particular battle worth fighting? Do I respond, or let it go?

It gets exhausting. Not just for women, but for men as well, who’re contending with the flip side of gender indoctrination and changing roles and expectations. And I think a big part of the appeal of the male-dom female-sub fantasy is that it offers a break from the fight. It offers an opportunity—whether in a role-play scene in real life or a masturbation fantasy in your head—to take a vacation from the battle, to briefly wallow in the familiar roles, in a safe place that’s separate from your everyday life.

And like most vacation spots, for most people it isn’t the place where you’d really want to live. Sure, there are people who do 24/7 male-dom female-sub relationships, just like there are people who sell their houses and move to Tahiti. But for most people, part of the pleasure of a good vacation is how happy you are to come home from it, the fresh perspective it gives you on everything you love about your everyday life. The indulgence in a fantasy of a masterful man and a compliant or helpless woman gives you a break from the struggle against sexism in your everyday life . . . so you can emerge rested and refreshed and ready to do battle once more.


  1. Definitely one of the best tv on-stage sex scenes ever ever.

  2. There is a strange relationship between what we fantasize about and what we can tolerate in reality. The current rage for slasher movies is a case in point: the audience experiences the terror and disgust together, much like the Greek chorus, and leaves the theater purged by the "thrill," much like riding a roller coaster with your friends.

  3. So true. Suzie, so true!

    Tom, quite so, although that particular indulgence I have a hard time understanding. I hate horror movies!

  4. How much of my time do I spend justifying my pro-spuffy stance to other feminsits! Too much. Though I would say there's a complex interplay going on here; I wouldn't have said this was all about dominance or submission.
    But yeah, hot.

  5. Oh no it's definitely not the only thing going on there, but it certainly is a dominant (no puns!) theme in their relationship.


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