Take it, bitch!

Dev posted an interesting picture, cribbed from Male Submission Art that depicted an angel sodomizing Satan (or possibly another demon). That led to a discussion about the cultural perception that whoever is penetrated is somehow identified with submission.

The flip side of that perception, of course, is that whoever is doing the penetrating is in a position of dominance. A side issue is that nobody wants to be penetrated unless they have a reason to be submissive. Not surprisingly, these types of issues are often discussed in those groups in which people — men and women — have an interest in strap-on play, specifically, men who enjoy being penetrated by their women partners.

500x_misogynyhigh

Take it, bi... er, cheerleader!

With that fresh in mind, I was startled by this picture from one of my new faves, Sociological Images. Apparently, fans of a Texas high school football team — that’s a high school, not college, mind you — had a small number of these shirts printed up to show their support of the home team against some long-standing rivals. Note that despite the blatant images of two stallions violating the cheerleader (because that’s what this, in context, most certainly represents), they chose not to make the shirt too offensive by abbreviating the word “Fucking” so as not to be too obvious.

We should all be proud of such sensitivity.

This picture pretty much sums up the “take it, bitch!” attitude that is so prevalent among the sexual hoi-polloi — and indeed, even among those who really should know better.

Recently I was watching some “reality” tv show (actually, Mrs. Edge was watching it while I was net surfing on the laptop), a scene with a groups of 20-something guys happened to catch my attention; they were identified as “players” and made comments about how they a) made a point to have sex with as many women as possible, and b) decided that women who gave in (i.e., decided to have sex) were no longer worthy of their respect. What kind of convoluted logic is that? More irritating is that these idiots talked about the women in terms of hunting and conquest, and not in terms of enjoyment.

But let’s take this a step farther.

Some people enjoy the subjugation aspect of BDSM play. I’ve read of women getting so wet that they actually drip their lubrication when they think about past or upcoming scenes. I’ve read about men who go weak in the knees when thinking about being forced to serve under cruel, dominating women. Some men — and some women — become sexually excited when told by their partner to “take it, bitch!” while being fucked; their turn on is their own subjugation and submission by someone more powerful.

And yes, this is fantasy, not real life. That should make it different, right?

Yeah, sure. But if you consider that fantasies play out in the context of the culture of the the partners, isn’t it possible that those of us who enjoy sexual subjugation can only do so when the concept of real subjugation is extant in society? That is, in a culture in which “Fuck you!” never had the connotation of penetrative violence, could such fantasies arise?

~ by Tom Allen on October 25, 2009.

29 Responses to “Take it, bitch!”

  1. I think that all fantasies have a cultural basis, and as a result fantasies of being subjugated can only have their power in a culture that has a historical record of subjugation.

    “Take it bitch!” can only be a hot fantasy when the broader culture defines penetration as a submissive act, penetrating as a dominant act.

    • I disagree, and believe that such fantasies very well could exist despite the culture being what it is. Although they certainly don’t exist in a vacuum, fantasies are distinctly unreal, otherwise they would be reality, not fantasy, and thus I don’t think it is accurate to draw a chick-and-egg conclusion about the source of these fantasies. It is, however, logical to draw a chicken-and-egg conclusion about the manifestation of these fantasies, as Tom has done in this (very good) blog post.

  2. [...] Take it, bitch! « The Edge of Vanilla a few seconds ago from web [...]

  3. But if you consider that fantasies play out in the context of the culture of the the partners, isn’t it possible that those of us who enjoy sexual subjugation can only do so when the concept of real subjugation is extant in society? in a culture in which “Fuck you!” never had the connotation of penetrative violence, could such fantasies arise?

    I’m inclined to think as MayMay does, that such fantasies/ desires would still exist but they would find different manifestations. I don’t think the end of sexist tropes like ‘take it bitch’ or ‘being penetrated = submission” would mean that kinky people stopped existing… though with the end of such tropes there would hopefully be a great reduction in feelings of sexual shame for everybody kinky or not.

    I also have to say that’s it bloody great to read this kind of discussion on a kinky blog- I’m used to seeing this type of question asked in spaces where it is not safe for the kinky to tread…

  4. Having spent the morning being spanked and taking it like a bitch, yes, I do find it very arousing. However, Im pretty sure I wouldnt find it anywhere near so exciting if it happened every time… or if there was actually real fear involved.

    I can remember as a child, I used to play with myself and imagine scenes where bad guys had captured and restrained me and were going to do ‘things’ to my nether regions. At that time, I had no real knowledge of sex other than for procreation and I dont think I linked my excitement with that type of act since I believed that in the middle of the night, whilst both were asleep, the man’s penis grew like a hosepipe and entered the woman to deposit the seed for a baby. But there was something very arousing about the idea of being captured and used in a very undefined way… and I had no knowledge then of penetration as dominance. Just that there was an idea which made me very excited.

    • since I believed that in the middle of the night, whilst both were asleep, the man’s penis grew like a hosepipe and entered the woman to deposit the seed for a baby

      LOL! It doesn’t?

    • This. Actually, I had fantasies about being dominated long before I knew such a thing as sex existed (the earliest I remember were at age three). I’m pretty sure my submissiveness is as much a part of my individual “wiring” as my introversion or creativity (and just as little a part of other peoples’ wiring, of course. Nothing is quite so disturbing as a submissive woman who promotes misogyny on the grounds that her own submissiveness represents the universal “true desires” of women… not going to name names, but ICK.)

  5. I’m trying to imagine how such a kink would manifest in a culture that did not have this kind of subjugation (or what Lissy might call “degradation“). One of the things that makes degradation hot is that we can play at being humiliated or objectified, without worrying about it affecting us in “real” life.

    That said, do we kinksters inadvertently promote such attitudes when we accept one’s kink of that nature? IOW, if I blogged about my desires to be quasi-raped and subjugated, and if I had hundreds of visitors each day, reading my stories, leaving positive comments, etc., are we actually promoting the legitimacy of this behavior in real life?

    • No, Tom, we wouldn’t. I have done exactly this on numerous occasions on my blog because I am intensely aroused by the idea of fantasy rape but in no way desire the reality. See, for example, Don’t Be Nice, and Safely fucking anonymous johns with inspiration from TCP/IP. Actions and information are inherently meaningless. Humans, however, are meaning-making machines, and so it’s not the information itself but what we do with that information that matters. In this light, context is everything and I believe that by framing our discussions of our fantasies in the appropriate context (i.e. consensual relationships and fantasies), we are not doing harm but rather doing good.

    • That degradation post wasn’t actually in response to this post- I was just cleaning up my drafts folder! Thanks for the link.

      Humans, however, are meaning-making machines, and so it’s not the information itself but what we do with that information that matters. In this light, context is everything and I believe that by framing our discussions of our fantasies in the appropriate context (i.e. consensual relationships and fantasies), we are not doing harm but rather doing good.

      Again have to agree with MayMay: context is so important. And this is where kinksters could/ can/ should/ are make valuable contributions in a wider discussion about sexuality. I keep thinking time and again that non-kinky peoples could so benefit from the way kinky peoples try to approach things… for example, the ways in which kinksters emphasise informed and enthusiastic consent, knowing your own desires/ limits and communicating those to your partner/s honestly with expectation that they will be respected…

      I know this is an ideal and kinksters can be assholes just like other people and I’ve read plenty of online bilge by kinksters that just reflects all the bullshit thinking you exampled in your post.

      Kinksters having conversations such as these about the difference between the socially constructed meanings of sexual acts and the context in which those of us who may kink that way do them, and understand them, can hopefully go some, even small way, to breaking down the wider cultural tropes that underpin some really negative and harmful thinking about sex and sexuality.

      I’ll stop pontificating now…

    • I’m inclined to chime in right now. Take violence as a parallel. I love boxing, but I don’t like being punched without consent by random passers-by. I don’t like domestic violence. I’m not fond of vulnerable children and weak people being physically bullied. Yet for enjoyment and entertainment I engage in what could be constrewed as violent. It’s controlled, practised, artful (well, still a bit clumsy in my case!) and enjoyed with equals. Kinky sex with its often violent or psychologically power trippy tendencies acts similarly: with consent, with skill, with art and with mutual enjoyment. Regular sexual brutality in real life? That’s crime. The thoughtless violence in our world? Crime.

      As for the idea of fantasy promoting subjugation in reality – it’s a question of attitude and intelligence. Kink and fantasy are a tool: they are mostly used for mutual fulfilment. When they are used for negative purposes, negative attitudes and acts performed without consent, that means some intelligence has gone haywire along the way, and someone’s judgement got ridiculously fucked up. That’s not kink’s fault: it’s the fault of an education system which did not teach adequate critical thinking, nor instil respect from the get-go.

  6. I watched Mel Gibbson’s Passion Of The Christ, for the first time, recently. The passion (sufferring) scenes made me wince. To see such torture, even when one knows it’s a movie special effect still did not diminish the experience. I’m not ashamed to say that the emotion of the injustice of it did overwhelm me. I cried. Even when one ignores the religious relevance of this passion, for the moment, man’s cruelty to man is stunningly well documented, through the millennia. I don’t think it’s possible to imagine what we would be like, as a species, without such cruelties.

    We love to scare ourselves. Even as a kid, we hide behind the sofa, when the Darleks came on screen. I had to sleep with the light on, after a Patrick Troughton Yeti episode, but I wouldn’t miss the next one!

    I think our fantasies are our way of trying to understand ourselves. We can fantasise about being whipped to within an inch of our lives by the leather-clad dominatrix, with the three inch spikey spurs on her thigh-high stiletto boots, but it’s safe in our heads. (As long as it stays there, we’ll be fine.)

    We kid ourselves that we’re civilised, but we don’t even fully understand ourselves. A major step backwards would be being told not to think about such ‘nasty’ things. If we don’t think about it, even look forward to a fantasy about it, how are we ever going to explore it, and *understand* it?

    Understanding is a long way off, but – tiny steps. Tiny steps!

    ptathuk

  7. I’m a bit surprised. The shirt makes me wonder whether Zoophilia/Bestiality fantasies are much more mainstream material in the USA than I thought?

    I’m asking because in fiction, stories with a Zoophilia scene or two in them usually come with squick warnings plastered all over the front page, including if the author is from the US. For me it’s not a fetish, but I don’t mind reading interspecies sex fantasies either (fiction only). So I generally assumed that the emphatic squick content warnings were written for the majority, who would be likely to choose not to read fiction with this niche fetish. Or is this different because this is a drawn fantasy image on a shirt, (sidenote: possibly drawn by someone who has never seen a real horse – let alone an aroused stallion – in their entire life) not a written erotica scene?

    Now that I think about it… literally, ‘bitch’ is a word for an animal too. Is the connotation still there when people use it, or do they not even think of a female dog/fox/wolf any more?

  8. By the way, sorry about not actually responding to the text you used the illustration for, Tom. It’s because even though I’m wired sadomasochistic, my first associations with this image aren’t around dominance or submission or such feelings and concepts at all. I see it and think: ‘Huh. That’s 2 horses and 1 human’ because that’s what my brain finds conspicous.

  9. No, that’s okay. What would teh internetz be without people getting off the track?
    But to reel it back a bit, it’s not necessary to look at those pictures too literally; obviously it’s a cartoon, the point of which being to offer up some visual taunting. But here’s something to think about: The Memorial Mustangs used images of horses because, while being the school mascot, they also represent strength and virility. “Hung like a horse” is still a common literary way of giving a sexual compliment, as is “going at it like a stallion.” The image taken in context is simply meant to represent degradation. “We’re so strong that we’re going to f’ you up” (or perhaps “f’ yer wimmen up.”)

    It’s an accident of circumstance that the team mascot is equine. I wonder how this would have manifested if the mascot were another animal, say, an owl or a Minute Man (a US term for a Revolutionary War soldier)?

    Actually, I think that’s another good question. What if the school mascot were something that had a a connotation far removed from sexuality? Minute Men represent the “good” Founding Fathers of the American Revolution. I can’t imagine Patrick Henry and Paul Revere doing the Eiffel Tower over a cheerleader. Or a Knight?

  10. I am intensely aroused by the idea of fantasy rape but in no way desire the reality.

    Humans, however, are meaning-making machines, and so it’s not the information itself but what we do with that information that matters.

    Here’s where I’m having trouble in my thinking. You can fantasize about rape, or even play out a rape scene because you can apply a meta-situation over it: You know it’s not actual rape; you’re simply adopting the attitudes of what you perceive would be appropriate to the situation. But the meta-sitch is tangentially present: it’s not actually real, no matter how real it seems (or rather, how real you make it seem to yourself).

    But in a culture in which non-con or similar degradation is rare, would such fantasies carry the same weight? If the connotation (i.e., the “meaning”) of the act is not understood, then how does that play out in your head?

    • in a culture in which non-con or similar degradation is rare, would such fantasies carry the same weight? If the connotation (i.e., the “meaning”) of the act is not understood, then how does that play out in your head?

      The fantasy of rape is manifested as the fantasy of non-consensual control, but the underlying element is more atomic: power. Power imbalances exists even where non-consensual power exchanges do not. Therefore, while the language we use to attribute the act we now call a “rape fantasy” might be different, the act and the desire would likely be the same precisely because participating in a rape fantasy is a consensual activity.

    • As a sometime Drama Teacher, all of these words are telling … “play” and “act”. The role of theatre is to create a simulation of an experience. As humans we follow our imaginations to where they will take us: of course we would never want to marry our mother and kll our father and go horribly blind, but Oedipus did it for us just so we could test out what might happen if it did.

      Meta is better!

  11. The answer may be in turning the question around: What fantasy arises from an uncommon connotation? I think the answer is, not much of one.

    The themes mentioned in this post are all very common in every culture and throughout history – rape, domination (of women or a different ‘group’), bestiality, etc. These are themes that for better or worse, are part of the human condition. Asking about the meaning of references that are beyond the context of our shared culture are difficult to comprehend.

    Because sex is a penetrative event that usually requires aggression (not to be equated with ‘force’), it’s no surprise that the themes in this post are common and easily understood. Going beyond that requires a stretch that does not come easily. It may be meaningless, if not difficult.

  12. But in a culture in which non-con or similar degradation is rare, would such fantasies carry the same weight?

    I have no idea. I have no experience of a culture in which there’s no or hardly any sexual violence. How can anyone answer hypothetical questions about unknown cultural contexts? Ok, my hypothesis would be that sadomasochism as a sexual minority would still exist. In what forms people would express it? Who knows.

    Let’s reduce the violence in our cultures and find out.

    Humans as meaning-making machines: I can gather from the context that the intended meaning is symbolic degradation of an opposing team. In my case, I don’t ‘see’ that much of that meaning when I look at this pic. I add it consciously from cultural context knowledge. It pales behind what I do see: a physically impossible act. (Because I’ve seen a stallion fucking a mare. The erect penis is huge.)

    Ok, maybe their mascots aren’t stallions but classmates in fursuits. :) Since by people outside furry communities, theirs is sometimes unfortunately sometimes regarded as a not very hip fetish – does this reduce the perceived prestige?

  13. “We love to scare ourselves.”

    ptathuk — I think you have something there. In other words, whatever that “thrill” is for each of us, we NEED it. So I’m adding my two or three cents to this convo.

    Once upon a time I was a little girl masturbating to very vivid and dirty fantasies (and maybe I still do). Being a Catholic girl, there was always much guilt once I was spent. This pattern continued into my preteens, teens, and then my college years where — lucky for me — I found a therapist who put it like this …

    “We ALL think of things when we fantasize that give us something outside of the actual fantasy which we need but can rarely isolate and/or identify. It is the “feeling” we experience from these fantasies that is inextricably bound to our personal sexual identities. It’s not bad, not good. It just is.”

    (She also cautioned that “figuring it all out” might give me answers, but — nonetheless — the need for that “feeling” would always be with me. And she was right.)

    This makes a lot of sense if you consider both Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (where sex is categorized as a basic need — along with food, shelter, oxygen) and Erikson’s Eight Stages of Development (wherein if each childhood crisis is not solved … uh oh! … we’ll try that again and again and again and again in adulthood).

    So what I’m saying here is … maybe our personal fantasies are related more to the business of being human, rather than being a cultural thing. Our need for that “feeling,” that is our very own and specialized to the minute detail to fulfill our human hunger.

    It could be a need for approval, shock, humiliation, fear … or anything else our psycho-sexual ids come up and require of us.
    ______

    One more thing which I think is interesting in the context of this discourse:

    I read a short Sci-Fi story last year in which earthlings were moved to this new planet post some apocalyptic occurrence on Earth. The Species of that planet were very octopus-like, having multiple arms with suckers along each one.

    It was many years after the migration and guess what? Things had progressed to the point that these Octopi had sexual-ized humans — they would corner them and “feely” them with their suckers.

    Although it was against the law, the Octupi would haunt the ghettos where the humans still lived looking for women who would prostitute themselves to their “vile” needs. The story vividly described the alien’s “thrill” of it all, during these encounters.

    Maybe everyone just needs to be dirty? Whatever that means to them?

  14. me. ewww.

  15. I keep thinking about this post and wanting to express some of the deep thoughts it provokes but every time I come back to comment, I am stopped in my tracks by that appalling T-shirt. Repeated exposure is NOT numbing the horror.
    And then you go and distract me with tentacle porn…
    *shakes head*

    I give up. I’ll come back later… ;-)

  16. Crikey! What a challenging t-shirt! I really like it because it’s about dirty sexy things that go on in my neck of the woods, but the thought of it being sported about by beer-swilling jocks is a tad disturbing. Still, they gotta share in the filthy kink love too, surely?

    And besides. there’s no saying that the women’s hockey team or whatever can’t get some mares with strap-ons molesting a quarterback stripped bare. Actually, make that one mare with strap-on and her girlfriend with a very wet, hairy marey mound.

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,032 other followers

%d bloggers like this: