The Spectrum of Desire

15 03 2009

I joined FetLife yesterday, as part of my exploration of BDSM to help me discover what other people do and to see if different fetishes may, or may not, fit into my life. The experience left me wondering if I really had a right to be there.

Those of you who’ve completed a profile on FetLife know that there are two fields which are designed to classify your primary behaviors: General Info and Role. I chose “submissive” and “Bottom” respectively, and was comfortable with my selection until I joined a couple of groups and started reading the posts. Then, woah! Did I ever feel out of my zone.

I thought joining “Submissive Women” would have been a natural fit. You know I’m submissive, I’m a woman, how could I miss? The group is only for women who describe themselves as submissive or bottoms – no Doms allowed. Though I’m sure many read over the shoulders of their devoted. When I read the posts, I realized that I wasn’t in Kansas any more!

With no disrespect to those who choose to live the BDSM lifestyle, I became really upset reading about the caning of nipples for punishment, the absolute word of the Master and about women subs being beaten for “disrespect” in their day-to-day lives. When it came to women disparaging themselves for being inadequate subs, I became even more disturbed. One woman jokingly called her Master a dumbass in a household conversation and then endured a severe beating, after which she proclaimed it made her feel closer to Him.

I just can’t wrap my head around this mindset.

Every fiber in my womanly body wants to scream and shake them out of this trance. Subjugating yourself to give up so much control over every aspect of your life just doesn’t sit well with me. It reminds me of a cult.

How does this type of 24/7 domination outside of the bedroom differ from “normal” relationships that are cited as abusive? When it comes to extending the word of Master over all things in the household (including the rearing of children) rather than approaching domesticity as a team effort with a balance of power, you’ve lost me. I can’t help thinking of 1950’s households or Bountiful, with a sadistic bent.

Again, no disrespect meant, and I’m trying very hard not to judge, but this is way beyond what my own personal boundaries would allow – no matter what label it’s given.

And suddenly, I felt that if this is the community of submissives at FetLife, perhaps I didn’t have the right to call myself a sub after all. I am never going to call my man Master (nope, not ever going to happen.) And I have no desire to have him dominate me outside of our sex life, and even then, that submission is not absolute. There are many pain and subjugation areas I am just not willing to experiment with, and all of that has left me feeling rather vanilla.

Just like GirlFriskey wrote last month, I know, in relation to the mainstream, I’m willing to do more than most. Fuck on a train? Yup, I’m down with that. Walk around the market with a dildo in my pussy with my breasts disheveled underneath my jacket? Sign me up! Tie me up and spank me? Oh yes please! In the bedroom (or wherever), I’ll be filthy and love what my husband doles out. Be beaten in punishment and controlled throughout my life? Without a doubt: I. Would. Be. Gone.

That end of the spectrum of desire is just not for me.

So is there room for me at FetLife? After changing my primary descriptive from submissive to bottom and back again, I found solace in visiting BadBadGirl’s profile.  She chose to describe herself as submissive, but it was this line that made me feel there may still be a place for someone like me:

“I’ll let you pull my hair and toss me around but if I don’t like the ball gag- can I stay??

(Thanks Diva and The Best Sex Bloggers for including this post in The Week in Kink.)




9 responses

15 03 2009

Nice post. Very much my feelings on the matter. If that’s vanilla, I’m quite happy with it. The only problem is, if we’re vanilla, what should we call the people who describe us as pervy for shagging outside the bedroom or with the light on?

Love Twittilate xxx

15 03 2009

I think you repulsion to what you saw there is natural, and really quite common. Mina and I both often feel sadness as we see submissive struggling with their emotions as they try to resolve the naked ABUSE they are receiving. They talk of how upset they get when their Master’s fuck other girls, they devastate pronouns with W/we constructions…it does get exhausting, and it is fundamentally ridiculous. I see a lot of Dominants who enter D/s relationships as a way to structure their relationships to accommodate their selfish, abusive nature.

That said, realizing the where the center of gravity on FetLife is, there is a lot of range around that center, and a lot of people who are more like you. Understand that groups like this will tend to self-polarize (see: FreeRepublic, Democratic Underground), but that doesn’t mean they are wholly representative of the community.

In a bigger sense, don’t let the fact that people take a concept you a possibly interested in to an unhealthy extreme deter you from exploring exactly what you do and don’t like. Clearly you have defined some of the DON’Ts now. 🙂 It’s your life, and yours only, and it shouldn’t be shaped by people who don’t know you from Eve.

15 03 2009

Ah you have fallen into that hole of having to define your submission. You can’t do that. Submission is defined in many ways. There is even a section in your profile that you can select “only in the bedroom”. There are lots of different people on fetlife. Some don’t even know what they are yet. Some are hard core. Some are just kinky in the bedroom. You like to be topped in the bedroom right? You like it when he takes charge and has his way with you? Well, that means you like being submissive in the bedroom.

Like I said, submission and dominance comes in many many forms. Some men and women live it 24/7. And they chose to be that way. Sylvanus never wants to control every aspect of my life and that is fine with me, I don’t want him to. He would not do well with a submissive who needed 24/7 control nor would I do well with a Dom who wanted things that way.

It may seem like everyone on fetlife is doing it this way, but they are not. You do not need to define yourself the way others do. You are what you are and you are happy. You are a submissive in the bedroom. There was once a discussion on fetlife that reminded us all that submission does not go hand in hand with pain. There are many D/s couples that do not engage in pain play but that does not make them any less of a D/s couple.

15 03 2009

Thank you Twittilate for commenting. I feel much less like the oddity I did at FetLife after considering your words.

Sylvanus, thank you so much for affirming some of what I had been feeling. Coming from a Dom, moreover from a man I respect, it really helped to put my feelings in context. I hope that I will encounter more moderates on FetLife to balance the rather extreme introduction I received.

Mina, I so appreciate you reminding me not to define myself by other people’s standards. My first experience on FetLife was, by and large, negative because I felt like I was way too moderate to have my voice welcomed. Seeing an overwhelming number of posts from people living the 24/7 lifestyle made me feel like that was the norm of the community at large.

Yes, I spotted the “in the bedroom” at the beginning and selected it straight away. I guess I’d just expected to see more from people who’d also chosen that option.

And, thank you, Mina, for the inspiration for the opening to my profile. Indeed, I am certainly not there to amass huge numbers off friends, but I hope to count you among them there soon.

18 03 2009

Wow. A perfect post. I wrote a very similar one last night only to delete it after reading it and not being sure it made much sense. And here you are perfectly publishing my thoughts. Bravo.

I’ve got my kinks and interests, but sometimes wonder if I’m a bit of an imposter at FetLife. Of course, I’ll keep my profile and try to make some friends all the same, but there’s a lot there that just doesn’t do a thing for me. The best I can do is just be honest and if I fit, I fit, and if I don’t, then I don’t. And I’m at peace with whatever works.

Thanks so much for your post. Now to explore the rest of your blog. 🙂

19 03 2009

Oh, Mr. 13, I’m glad to find more people who feel like I do when it comes to FetLife. I’m starting to feel that there are likely lots of moderates there but perhaps we’re quieter than those on the heavy end of the spectrum. Thanks for your comments, and I hope you find something else you like here. 🙂

22 03 2009
The Best Sex Bloggers » The Week In Kink (WinK#25)

[…] The Spectrum of Desire […]

2 04 2009


Your reaction is not uncommon to most who venture into that kind of site for the first time. Fetlife and, to name a few, are a result of exactly their intended creation. In their most basic form they are a hook up, a source of knowledge, a sounding board for emotion or just a social interaction with like minded individuals. It is the latter that can be somewhat of a challenging as you are forced to sift through all of the others that dwell within. You will come to discover that there are as many facets to this lifestyle as there are varying degrees to which they are played out.

You seem to be at a point of self discovery and although these sites can prove to be a bastion of knowledge where you will meet well intentioned, knowledgeable individuals there will also be those who are solely looking to meet. As I have spent some time on and know that Fetlife is more or less the same idea I have seen what they have to offer both good and bad. It is most important that you find yourself and in doing so do not allow another to mold you into what they want you to be. You are just now finding your legs and I would hate to think that a bad experience through the unfortunate words of a mental midget in one of those rooms would sway you in your discovery.

I wish you the best of luck on your voyage and remember to always stay true to yourself. You will discover that there may be a few things about yourself you have yet to realize and this is all part of the discovery process. I hope to look back at your blog to see how you are progressing.

Take care

2 04 2009

canuck1867 – Thank you very much for your considered words. I very much appreciate that you’ve taken the time to respond here, and I agree that I won’t let my initial experience deter me. In fact, the post I made today ( demonstrates that the exploration is continuing in my own unique way. Thank you again.

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