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dominant man + submissive woman in bed = patriarchy?

topic posted Sat, September 29, 2007 - 6:56 PM by 
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so, let's get into more sticky territory. sexual styles, and power in the bedroom. can it be fun play? is it always the "reinscription of male power in patriarchy" for a male to be sexually dominant? what if a woman wants this, and is vocal about advocating for her own desires? do we believe her, or has she been brainwashed by The Man? can one play like this sexually without compromising power relations outside of sex?
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  • My thoughts are that any time we engage in mutually agreeable play with each other, whether it is in the bedroom or over drinks at the local bar, or in the grocery store, there is an understanding of "playtime". When one is subjected to unsolicited power plays, and the rules are not made clear, this is an entirely different situation. Patriarchy, as I view it ,is the unspoken belief that men are superior to women. This is a way of life that goes unexamined for the most part in our society. Engaging with each other in an open and honest way, while trying on different power positions can be fun, exciting, and perhaps healing and eye-opening.
  • When "feminists" start making claims such as "is it always the "reinscription of male power in patriarchy" for a male to be sexually dominant? " is when I want to tell them to just shut the fuck up. At that point they are more concerned with demonizing men that discerning, rooting out, evaluating, and addressing the root causes of behavior where those causes are harmful or immoral.


    I hazard a guess that the real motivation behind a male mandating or wanting a woman to be submissive has more to do with his own feelings of inadequacies than an expectation of gender roles.
    • my word, krampus, you seem uncharacteristically irritated by this line of questioning! and that's okay. i want this to be safe forum for men and women to speak their minds about these issues, to be right, to be wrong, to be whatever, and then let's talk about it.

      first, i have to disagree that people asking the very question of how dominance and submission in bed relates to dominance and submission outside of the bed is absurd or begins to demonize men. i think it's actually highly likely that you find it absurd because you are equating dominance with assertive or active? i am intending here to discuss capital "D" dominance, as in role playing, rough sex, bondagey stuff. not simply who initiates or whatnot. does that change your attitude at all, or no? it's not as though the different kinds of "dominance" aren't related either. so... how are they related?

      also, you feel that men are attracted to being dominant to make up for a feeling of inadequacy. i think this does give us part of the likely picture. but i don't think you mean that this point somehow detracts from connecting gender power and sexual power, does it? the fact that a person can enact power because they feel inadequate is an act of power itself!! some people just feel inadequate, act inadequate, and that's the end of the story.

      and of course we can also talk about dominant women and submissive men as well.
      • <<<first, i have to disagree that people asking the very question of how dominance and submission in bed relates to dominance and submission outside of the bed is absurd or begins to demonize men.>>>>

        That is not what I was really concentrating on. I understood the question to be the other way round--how attitudes , gender roles etc. outside of bed influence behavior in bed. I was focusing on the use of "always". Such a categorical claim is most likely patently false and it is the use of the categorical when it is unsupported that indicates a motivation to demonize men. I agree that attitudes outside the bed can influence behaviors within the bed. Sometimes a dominate (or domineering) or patriarchal male may be that way not because of a belief regarding "proper" gender roles but because of his own insecurities.


        I was not referring to S&M or bondage type sex. Sex can be submissive without engaging in those types of behaviors. From what I have read those types of behaviors are reflections (literally mirrored--inverted) of a person's typical personality--e.g. a dominatrix is submissive in public life.


        <<<but i don't think you mean that this point somehow detracts from connecting gender power and sexual power, does it? the fact that a person can enact power because they feel inadequate is an act of power itself!!>>>>

        I agree here but to reiterate, it was the categorical nature of the specific question I cited that I vehemently object to.
  • For myself, i take whatever role/position i'm told to. Dominance in the bedroom isn't about whose on top, its about who takes on that role. In our case that's Master. If He orders me up top so i can do all the work and He can lay back and watch my boobs jiggle, does that make me dominant? Not in the least.

    With regard to women being the aggressor when it comes to sex, it again depends on the power dynamics of the two. In my vanilla life, i stalked my prey and i bedded them. Now, you wouldn't see me doing that. However, if a woman is a Dominant, why not she take charge there too?

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