As sometimes happens, the Internet sends me alerts of things I’ve told it I might find interesting. Tonight, Delilah Wood’s post, Questioning Desires: A place for sissies and worms? splashed onto my radar. Reading the post, I found it heartening to find that there are people, like Delilah, who have been reading me and, even better, actually thinking about what I’m saying.

In her post, Delilah poses a seriously good question:

[I]f we decide that (as Tom Allen puts it) “sissified sissy maids who insist on talking about their sissy clitty,” men who want to be treated like dirt, and even men who want to have their money taken from them and to be ignored by the object of their worship are all suffering from the delusion that their sexuality is not okay and so they are punishing themselves for it, then are we not invalidating what may be their true desires just as cavalierly as the radfems invalidate the desires and agency of submissive women?

She then goes on to suggest a direction for finding an answer:

I think the answer lies in how one separates a kink from a pathology. If you are, say, an insensitive prick at work and you treat women like shit, and you go to a dominatrix who treats you like shit for an hour, and then you go back to work and at least for a while you’re a little nicer…well, maybe that kind of domination is doing some good in the world, and maybe those desires are healing. If instead, however, you’re that same prick and you pay a dominatrix to expunge your prickitude so you can go back and be a prick some more, then that seems control-freaky and pathological to me.

There’s even more, and I suggest you read her thoughts along with the fantastic discussion in the ensuing comments, in full. One of those comments is mine, cross-posted here for my own archival purposes and, hell, because it’s a damn thoughtful comment.

This was a fantastic post, and a wonderful subject matter. Thank you also for bringing this discussion to your own blog, which is precisely what MaleSubmissionArt.com is intended to incite.

I want to be clear that while I personally despise the societal tropes of male submissive imagery as discussed on my own blog, I proudly support anyone, especially submissive men, who make a self-aware choice to do what they love, even if that which they love is the most personally distasteful form of “sissification” for me. That is precisely why I am constantly speaking about creating diversity and new spaces where more than just the mainstream—or even just the subculture’s dominant paradigm—can exist. How frustrating it is to be a minority within a minority….

Furthermore, I’ll admit that I kink on being “financially dominated”. I also love kneeling at the feet of women wearing leather boots. Devoid of emotional context, both of these are pretty distasteful things for me. My anger comes from the fact that it is difficult for me to enjoy these things because, and I face this daily, while some may have painted me as the poster-boy for railing against stereotypical male submissive iconography (and hey, I helped them do that), I am not free of “societal programming,” just as no one else is, either.

However, it does me only so much good to question my desires, regardless of where they come from. I would much rather question my reactions to such desires, rather than the desires themselves because (“despite” my submission) I’m actually all about getting what I want.

I have been tempted to go to pro-dommes and ask for sessions. I have been friends with more than I can count, and even close to several, yet I never participated in the commerce. I even had a number of pro-domme friends who offered to include me in sessions. I would be inhuman if I said I never thought twice to reject them. It is unspeakably painful to feel so alone, as I often did, and to be offered such things and yet to force oneself to say no to them because of how grating saying yes would have been. Despite the temptation for something, for anything that might resemble the activities I so wholeheartedly desire, I knew then as I do now that saying yes to that disingenuous action would have been even more painful in the end.

It is, frankly, incredibly difficult to distinguish between the lesser of these pains in a society that provides absolutely no preparation for dealing with one’s sexual desires. No where in our lives, and especially not when such desires are forming as we are young, is this sort of emotional awareness taught by the world at large. People, submissive men included, end up having to stumble through their own realizations of all of this on their own. And frankly, much of the time they get it wrong.

Anyway, basically I am writing to say thank you for this post. It was a pleasure to read others’ ideas on all of this for a change. :)

Anyway, it’s true: I kink on the stereotypes just like the majority of submissive men, even the ones I don’t like. Is this my own societal programming, or this is my free will? The kicker is this: in the end, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to want what I want and I’m damn well going to try to get it, come hell or high water. I may come across as a harsh elitist to some people some of the time, and this makes sense to me. I don’t believe in a world without distinctions, and by that very nature I need to draw distinctions between what I want and what you want, what I like and what I don’t. So do you—so fucking draw them!

But for goodness sake, when I say something that hurts you, don’t respond with blind anger toward me; look inside yourself instead and ask yourself why the things I’ve said are resonating so deeply. God knows that’s what I do when your sexuality is hurting me.