Monday, June 7, 2010

The Courage to Break

This is an OOC post. I wrote this essay for Task 7 on the Elite Molesteri RP certification track in Dark Den. Since I've abandoned that track, this essay won't see broad IC circulation (i.e., it won't appear in the Dark Den blog, as planned). However, some copies are out there IC, so it's possible for you to read it IC.


The Courage to Break

What would cause a woman to place her long-term wellness in the hands of a man? More specifically, why would a woman join the Sisterhood of Eternal Love, and how should I honor a woman who earns the privilege?

Sex can be immensely pleasurable. Sex mixed with D/s can be deeply glorious, at least for those of us who enjoy power exchange. But deep submission is a long step farther: a commitment to be fully open and available, always ready to serve a man's whims and desires. That's a powerful choice. It's the choice a woman must make to join the Sisterhood.

Men leave. That's the gray truth, relayed to me by nearly every fertile woman I've met in Dark Den. Many Dominants and other seducers come to Dark Den, and the evidence of their virility is boldly writ on the swell of tummies. But there are few fathers here.

Perhaps it's enough for a woman, if she has only the memories of such focused attention and primal sex, in which a man gave his best to her. I say "best", because if the man's passions were only for her pussy, then the best of him is whatever she keeps after he roams onward. Does she hope to recognize something in her baby? His eyes? His hair? Or perhaps she wants to untangle the fading echoes of that passion and keep them separate, like in a scrapbook. Perhaps she wants to just immerse herself in the knowledge that a great joy is coming.

Can a feminist be a submissive? I cheerfully reject that hierarchies of power naturally follow gender. I have met strong women and weak men. I'm not easily dominated, but it's a continuum, and I'm not on the end. I believe my dominance is a mix of attitude, perspective, ability, and skill. My dominance is closely tied to my masculinity. But I don't see manhood as necessary or sufficient for dominance.

I realize that from my place of male privilege, my perspective on feminism is suspect. But please indulge me. Feminism is partly about freeing a woman to make her own choices, as a reaction to forces that narrow or remove a woman's choices through targeted or ubiquitous means (e.g., blatant, unquestionable patriarchal authority; subtle, misogynist cultural norms). A society can frame choices or make them inconsequential, by how it handles issues like reproductive freedom. But suppose a woman chooses to have her choices taken away? Does harm automatically follow?

I'll be specific. Can the D/s practiced by the Elite Molesteri and the Sisterhood of Eternal Love be repressive? Absolutely. It can also be liberating. No group, subculture, or protocol can perfectly and consistently cleave any abuse from what should only be hard love. Even two men using the same protocol can elicit wildly different responses from a woman. It always comes down to the relationship itself. At best, in a deliberate subculture like EM and the Sisterhood, we can more easily find chemistry and compatibility, and healthy, passionate enjoyment.

At best, the EM and Sisterhood can be a union greater than any two people. It can be a set of values for newcomers to explore and identify with. They can try on a role in D/s in a fresh way, free from the onerous or narrow definitions of other subcultures, books, or worlds. If the roles fit, then they can enjoy some of the same commitment and shared values of a Master-slave collar, but in a more communal way. Together, we can celebrate the beauty of submissive women, including the natural and glorious cycle of fertility and procreation, and the allure of round and soft feminine bodies.

At worst, the EM and Sisterhood are destructive to women. Soaring hopes can crash into bitter shards. You can throw a party and no one comes. You have a deep urge to serve a man's pleasure fully, and no man chooses you. Cynicism is always waiting for a new member, and even has active recruiters.

Still, women seek the Sisterhood. They display the courage to kneel, to serve, perhaps to break. They hope for men to take ownership of them and to care for them. As one Sister told me, they hope to be protected "so that we can focus only on you and not on our petty selves." They deeply yearn to be caught, to be for a time just female and sexual, and yet something more. Goddess-touched. With luck and the teasing play of light across her hair, a woman can take a man's breath away. She can be worthy of the best of him, or at least what remains after sunrise.

So I offer myself to the Elite Molesteri, and by extension, to the Sisterhood. I offer my passion, intelligence, creativity, sensuality, and virility. Furthermore, I offer my honor, as demonstrated in this essay, and in my conduct in Glint.

Why would a woman submit? I don't fully know. But I'm not done trying to learn.

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