There’s another layer to my worries about how I will be perceived in calling myself submissive. I wasn’t able to verbalize this in my last post, but Rogue Barbie put it perfectly in a post about porn (yet another topic I hope to get to soon):
[…]There’s still the issue of wanting things that are deemed degrading to me … I am still not comfortable with porn showing exactly what I fantasize about. It’s usually not evident that this is not supposed to be the norm, this is a kink. Porn has essentially been one of the biggest reasons I never could give up and give myself away the way I always secretly wanted. I was afraid I would be taken seriously, I would be taken advantage of, I would enforce the image of women as the subclass of the world, only capable of submission. Yuck.
You know those moments where you read something someone else has written and you want to jump up and down and shout “Yes! This! I feel exactly this way!”? That was what I experienced when I read this. I think this is one of the biggest fears that kept me from admitting my desires and impulses – the fear that, when I said “I want to be objectified, degraded, used,” the person I said that to would believe me. And not understand that I also want to be valued and treasured for my unique qualities as a person. (I cringed a bit inwardly even writing the words “objectified, degraded, used” – feeling that old tug of “that can’t possibly be what I want” – but if I can’t be honest on an anonymous blog, then where can I be?) Of course, there’s the equal and opposite fear that I wouldn’t be taken seriously.
It’s not just porn. It’s the entire dominant narrative around sexuality, which normalizes unwilling objectification and makes it shameful to actually want this.
But you can only let that define you for so long. Remember back in 2001 and 2002, when people talked so much about “not letting the terrorists win” that it became a bit of a joke? Denying my sexuality because it’s been so denigrated by the patriarchy would be letting sexism win. And I’m done with that.