50 shades of WTF???

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When 50 Shades of Gray came out, it made something of a sensation – among women, interestingly enough. While it may be true that men think of sex more often, they don’t seem to think about it very deeply . Women, it seems, if the sales of 50 Shades are any indication, do think about it deeply – and in some of the strangest terms!

Ask any woman her greatest fear: rape and sexual battery are near the top of that list, and with good reason. Despite this – or perhaps because of it – 62% of women in a recent study at North Texas University † admitted to having had at least one such fantasy. There were certain subtleties of language, of course:  52% said they’d had a fantasy about being ‘over-powered’ by a man – but only 32% would admit to such a fantasy if the term ‘rape’ was used.

The women aren’t alone, to be sure: even some of the sweetest-natured men have occasionally fantasized having their way with a woman – though they’d be indignant if you applied the word ‘rape’ to that, however close their fantasies might come to the legal definition of the crime.

And then there are the actual rapists:  ranging from teen-agers who think it’s ok to do want they want if the chick is passed-out, to career serial rapists, to sexual sadist serial killers. For the purposes of this discussion, I’m going to assume that no woman, however violent her fantasies, ever fantasize about being the victim of one of these predators!

What I want to talk about is the harmless sort of fantasies that 50 Shades – or pretty much any romance novel – inspires.

It’s a slippery slope – which is why women are reluctant to admit to such fantasies. No woman wants to give a man permission to rape her, bind her, or torture her – and yet, that’s exactly what these sorts of fantasy require, if they’re to lead to actual sex! When you get right down to it, it becomes a matter of trust.  “Who do I trust enough to discuss this with? Who can I trust to explore this with? Who can I trust to stop if I say so?”

Look, I’m not into BDSM: I have a freaking monstrous temper, and an absolute horror of loosing it … as a result, I’ve lived my entire life trying to avoid hurting anyone!  I have zero assertiveness, and, while I’ll admit to violent fantasies, they involve neither sex, nor women. MY violent fantasy involves beating the shit out of some bullying asshole who thinks domestic violence is the right way to keep his wife and kids in line! (You’re free to imagine what my motivations would be.) The idea of tying a woman up, putting clamps on her nipples, smacking her ass, gagging her, or forcing myself upon her, just makes me freaking limp!

Nevertheless, I don’t have to enjoy this sort of sex to understand it. BDSM play requires a woman to absolutely trust her partner – and it requires a man to be worthy of that trust! When all is said and done, there’s a certain logic to it – many women search all their lives for a man they can really, truly trust – and loads of men absolutely yearn to be trusted to that degree! If you want to play at BDSM, there are some things that will make your exploration a little safer.

A) Have dinner with your partner, have some wine, and discuss your fantasies – if you really intend to try some of this, make a rule:  nothing in this discussion is taboo! (Obviously, if there is something you really can’t handle the thought of your partner admitting to, you might consider saying so, e.g.  “Nothing is taboo – but I don’t want to hear anything about scat!”  I have to point out, though, that if you really can’t handle something, and your partner does fantasize about it, maybe it’s just as well that you find out, dump his sorry ass, and move on to a more compatible partner! Just saying.) The point of the chat is to determine what you both are curious about – or what either of you might be curious about that the other doesn’t object to trying. You might think such a discussion will quash spontaneity – but you’ve been having the same fantasy over and over again, and it just doesn’t get old! All you’re doing is including your lover in this very private realm of forbidden thoughts – and that’s the beginning of trust, isn’t it?

B) Use a safe word: maybe part of your fantasy is having someone continue even when you’re saying “No! Don’t! Please, stop!” –  believe me it’s very common! For many women, it’s an essential part of the fantasy – “My mouth is saying ‘no’, but my body’s saying ‘yes’!”  And, for ordinarily gentle men who have a fantasy of being forceful, that fantasy involves not listening to what the woman says, but paying attention instead to the cues her body gives – so for him as well, “No” needs to be redefined.  A safe word is a substitute for “no” – it leaves both partners their fundamental right to refuse, while allowing for play that involves ignoring the more conventional terms.  Choose your word carefully:  it should be something that simply wouldn’t be said in the midst of passion – ‘iceberg’, for example. If either party uses that word, the other immediately ceases what he or she was doing.  You should discuss all this well in advance:  some players have several safe words, meaning such things as “Stop at once!”, or “That’s uncomfortable; do something else”, or “Not so hard!”  The latter two examples allow the mood to be preserved, and the play to continue. If you only have one safe word, all activity must stop at once, and the mood will definitely be broken – but at least no charges need be filed!

C) Until you are absolutely dead certain you can trust your partner, never allow yourself to be restrained in a manner that you can’t get out of! If your fantasy involves restraint, use some fake cuffs that you’ve practiced releasing. The typical cheap cuffs out there will be a disappointment, I’m afraid:  they’re easily broken in the heat of passion.  A better solution  involves a simple loop of rope (cotton is more comfortable than hemp, but hey, maybe your fantasy involves itchy bindings!)  Take a length of rope and tie it into a loop. Insert your hands, then twist your hands a couple of times, twisting the loop into a figure eight: enough twists and the result is strong enough to take some major strain, is easy to imagine unbreakable – but is also very easy to get out of. More elaborate restraints can be purchased in online sex shops – as a general rule, the higher the price, the better the quality. To my mind, though, such an investment should only be made when you’re certain that bondage really excites you.  Tons of women, made nearly rabid with passion from the novels, went to see 50 Shades in the theatre only to return, distinctly disappointed.

D) As I pointed out in an earlier blog entry, there are tons  of things that make for sizzling red-hot reading, and are absolutely no fun at all in reality.  If you want to give some of this stuff a try, by all means do so – but be prepared for some disappointment. If your partner isn’t as excited about something as you are, it’s likely not going to go well! In that event, you have a choice:  dump your partner for one more like-minded, or put that fantasy back on your mental bookshelf. In the end, it depends on how important your sex life is to you. For some people, really hot sex is part of the passion of love – for plenty of others, the comfort of companionship is way more important.

In the end, I’m still mystified by all this – but I’ve talked to loads of women, and the trend certainly seems to be there! Just remember: no matter what she fantasizes about, she still has every right to say ‘no’ (or the safe word equivalent thereof) – and if you’re the man she’s honored with her trust, you damned well should honor her wishes!

 

† Bivona, J. and J. Critelli. “The Nature of Women’s Rape Fantasies: An Analysis of Prevalence, Frequency, and Contents,” Journal of Sex Research (2009) 46:33

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~ by dourscot on January 19, 2016.

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