FRIEND: Reading the blog posts [about rolequeerness] have also given me a glimpse into the problem I have with so much of the BDSM Scene. Like when I hear one submissive say they couldn’t play with another submissive because they wouldn’t take the lead. I always asked myself, “wait, what? Why?”

ME: Oh that was totally me for ages. The answer to “why?” tho is because we’re conditioned to be done-to as Submissives and as a result the doing-to becomes Not-Hot. But even beyond that, we don’t have a clear idea of how to do-to in ways that aren’t Dominant, and for me at least, acting Dominant feels awful. It really is about a process of mental space-making. I’m just now getting rudimentary reframings sticking in my fantasy life, but shit’s stuck in there real good, ya know?

FRIEND: Totally! The woman I’m talking to about this is stuck there too. She believes that she “can’t ever be Dominant” and I’m like sure you can! You do it more than you realize.

ME: I think my point is that an act always has a meaning (because humans do that) but the same act also always and already has multiple other meanings, too. Rolequeering sex for me started by taking Dominants and domination out of the picture entirely and coming up with ways to feel the same physical sensations anyway.

FRIEND: Got it.

ME: What I noticed was that even in my fantasies wherein I was by myself there was always some D-type force, “off camera.” So then it became a “Why?” game. Why is there a D-type in this fantasy in which I’m tied up attached to some sex bot machine? Obviously it was always some variation on “they’re doing this to me!” Hot (cuz tropes) but limiting. So then I was like, “Okay, in what other scenario might I find myself experiencing this fantasy sex bot gizmo that DOESN’T involve a D-type?”

FRIEND: Right.

ME: Which, after the amount of cultural brainwashing I have, is FUCKING HARD, man.

FRIEND: Yeah, I hear ya.

ME: The simplest example fantasy I ended up with and have these days is basically a “sex gym” fantasy. I’m attached to a sex machine but the context is I’m “working out.”

FRIEND: Okay.

ME: I came up with bunches: it’s a sex SPA!

FRIEND: Lol!

ME: But the point was to come up with stories that were not about coercion and didn’t require a D-type’s force. Then, over time I add back another player, but still not a D-type. So now it’s “What would someone who’s watching me be fucked by/fucking this sex gizmo in a sex gym be doing, that isn’t about coercion/overpowering me?” And again, FUCKING HARD TO THINK THROUGH for a long time.

FRIEND: I see.

ME: But with my partner’s help, we started just coming up with wacky ideas that no longer seem so wacky. So, like, in a “sex gym” one easy possibility is a gym buddy/spotter. Two submissives could totally have the hots for cheering one another on in the same way dudes often encourage their bro to lift just a bit more weight.

FRIEND: So it’s about finding out what’s hot about a certain scene to you. Find out where the oppressive elements are and trying to find ways of removing those or changing them?

ME: Right, that was the process for me. The point is that there turns out to be MANY scenarios that just never occurred to me because I was unnecessarily fetishizing domination. So it’s not like domination isn’t a thing I want in my sex life, it’s fucking hot, I get that. It’s just A) not a central component of all my fantasies and desires anymore, B) not a thing I feel like I can only get from “Dominants,” and C) this other thing I call “clinky solidarity” is a shiny new yummy thing! “Clinky” is a reference to the sound chains make when you rub ’em together, solidarity is self-explanatory, so the term basically means “playing without dominants.”

FRIEND: Yeah, that’s awesome. Okay, yeah, I feel like I got this now. So, if someone really liked rope/bondage, the idea is to find ways in which the tieing up process is changed or eliminated? Or is bondage itself just too much of a coercive element that it’s better to just leave it out entirely?

ME: I wouldn’t presume to tell someone else what their process should be, though I would suggest removing coercive influences outright is a good start. The point is not that Thing X IS COERCIVE, it’s that what coercion is for different people is defined by their relationship to that element. For me, bondage was both comforting and coercive so I removed it for a while, missed the comforting parts, interrogated the whole shebang, and ultimately told myself new stories about WHY I was tied up and what relationship I had to the person tying me. It went from stuff like, “They tied me down to keep me captive” to stuff like, “They are helping me break a record at the sex gym by making sure I can’t bail too early,” for instance.

FRIEND: Okay, got it.

ME: People read some of my recent stuff and they get all like, “But bondage and chastity devices but but but!” and it’s like, yeah, I still want and do all of those things, I’m not having missionary sex with the lights off for fuck’s sake.

FRIEND: Like!

ME: It’s just that now Submissiveness isn’t linked to being MADE to do anything, it’s about constructing situations and relationships with others in which my own desire to, say, be locked in a chastity device is nurtured and supported. The result is (not oddly) that I’m hella “more” submissive now than I ever was when I was focusing on domination for every fantasy. 20/20 hindsight, ya know.

FRIEND: Yeah, I can totally see that. Well, I asked that because my friend asked how do you rolequeer getting tied up and my brain just stalled. But after hearing you describe your process, I understand it much better now and can explain it better.

ME: It’s like, if what you want is to be a champion weight lifter, you could hang out with a bunch of runners for a while and you’ll become a slightly better lifter. But if you hang out with a bunch of weight lifters, then you’ll get a lot better at lifting weights a lot faster *iff* you can all help each other do that. What BDSM culture knows is what hetero culture knows: men aren’t required for women’s sexual satisfaction, so you have to use all kinds of force to keep women away from each other and dependent on men. Ditto with Doms/Subs. We don’t need doms, so they insist on telling us that we do.

FRIEND: Yeah, totally. I’m gonna think on this for a bit. I gotta hit the hay (I have to be up in a few hours). You’ve been a big help, thanks again!

ME: Glad I could help. :)

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