One of the geeky things I enjoy is TED: Ideas Worth Sharing - a really neat site with the tagline:
Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.I like that a lot of the presentations, the so called "talks", get me to think. I do enjoy a good think.
So I was delighted to learn that recent TED presenter (Ask & Tell: Alyssa Speaks at TEDx) Alyssa Royse is into BDSM. She's written a great piece called Tie Me Up & Worship Me that I enjoyed so much that I felt motivated to share and discuss a few excerpts.
Whenever I speak – or write – about women’s sexuality in the context of empowerment, some very well-meaning person (usually a woman) will want to chat, with that knowing wink-wink nod-nod that assumes we will agree, about BDSM play. Invariably, they want me to agree with them that images of women tied up, bound, gagged and slapped are demeaning to women. They are waiting for me to validate their pent up indignation that anyone could do that to a woman.
And I can’t do that. Because lots of women, myself included, are hard-wired to be submissive sexually. I am one of those women that likes a man who can man-handle me right up to the edge of my boundaries. And I can almost explain why.I almost want to stand up and cry out - Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!
Lest you think Ms Royse is some kind of pushover, let's look at the continuation of her piece:
I am a strong woman, no doubt about it. I demand to be treated as an equal, to be respected, to be heard and valued in all of my relationships. In general, I will only form relationships of any kind with people who I trust to always act with integrity and respect. All of those things go double (at least) in my romantic and sexual relationships.Well said! She describes herself the same way I see my slave/wife Serafina.
Sera's also a lady who by nature demands respect and integrity, to be treated with equality, and to be valued within her submission. I have to admit watching a proud woman who is my equal kiss my boots is a far greater charge of excitement for me than were it done by a woman who was kissing them not out of honor, respect and devotion, but instead was slavishly attending my boots because she felt inferior.
Meh, sorry, being served by the downtrodden is no charge at all. Nobody can give me proper respect if they have none for themselves. I can't have any fun reducing someone to writhing like an animal, begging for pleasure, and then begging for the same pleasure to stop, if they are already surviving like an animal.
If a slave is somebody who has been totally devalued, I'd not want to command them, I'd want to shelter and protect them until they felt valued and human. My style of domination isn't depersonalizing, in fact quite the opposite, it's expressed by continually pushing for growth, empowerment, and enlightenment within the rituals and devotions of submission.
In all of those things, with all of my heart, Alyssa Royse's essay struck a chord. It's a wonderful piece, and I can't suggest strongly enough that you go check it out for yourself.
She concludes the essay by saying:
My tastes are quite vanilla in the grand spectrum of things. But I will still stand strong and proud with the legions of people who bravely explore their own boundaries and the strength of true intimacy between lovers. And I will do it as an empowered feminist who believes that people are their most powerful when they are not bound by external expectations, rather they are unbound by true intimacy.And, with that as her conclusion, I will myself stand up and shout - Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah! For she's a jolly good fellow!
BTW - Alyssa writes some interesting stuff about porn too - Why Porn Sucks (And Not Well.) I too once suggested folks simply turn off the volume when watching most porn, or watch something like Andrew Blake where there's often little dialogue, just kinky beautiful sex in lush settings with slightly above average soundtrack music rather than layers of overdubbed fake moans.
I have my own issues with most porn productions. Even if my complaints don't perfectly mirror Alyssa's sentiments, I too know there's a vast gulf between what I'd like to see, and what's actually available.
At least that was the case until I discovered Kink.com - now I'm in fetish heaven. I don't know if the work I enjoy over at Kink.com would meet Ms Royse's standards, probably not. But it's the best porn I've ever watched, at least so far . . .