In a /r/Anarchism discussion of Liberating Ourselves in the Boudoir: An Anarcha-Feminist Perspective Against BDSM, user ErnieMaclan put together this fabulous overview of some key ideas in rolequeer theory, with excerpts and everything
I’ve already covered how the ideas in one of our earliest essays, consent as a felt sense, have already worked their way into avenues of progressive discourse that you wouldn’t necessarily expect it to, like music fan forums. This kind of fast, memetic spread of ideas speaks to the immediate value, importance, and resonance of what we’ve been saying. Also, spreading ideas in plain language outside of activist circles is what’s required for any actual social change to happen. Most Social Justice Warriors™ aren’t serious about actually enacting social change, though, so the focus of their efforts is to bounce ideas around in a filter bubble, an echo chamber, where they can accrue reputation points (popularity) without the hassle of actually, y’know, doing or saying anything significant, meaningful, or important. (*cough*ozy*cough*)
Meanwhile, what other rolequeers and I have been theorizing and documenting and sharing and writing about and doing in our personal lives and our work has continued to spread beyond the narrow confines of the Internet social justice circle-jerk in-crowd. In addition to the music forums mentioned earlier, the anarchist discussion spaces R. Foxtale mentions, and many kinds of sex advice forums, rolequeerness and consent as a felt sense are both now being discussed (and supported!) on parenting boards, particularly among mothers. The latest citing is on Mumsnet, a site “for parents by parents” where user almondcakes drops some knowledge in an advice thread:
I mean, we can all hum and ha about why people might be sexually interested in the subordination of women. Surely the most likely reason is that women are subordinated and we all grow up and see that every day. People are also often interested in the subordination of black people.
So it could be quite difficult to suddenly become the dominant person in bed when that is totally at odds with the group you are in in society, and why would you want to pretend to be part of the dominant group or play at equality if it isn’t real to you?
You are currently eroticising the power and oppression that exists in society. If you are now thinking about liberation in society, can you eroticise liberation from subordination instead?
And read up on rolequeer for a far better explanation.
And then later, in response to some of the more predictable derailments that come from the pro-rape brainwashing most people are still conditioned with, namely the “bedroom fallacy,” almondcakes responded:
The whole point of subdom is that it is political. That is entirely what it is.
Politics is about how power operates in society.
Sub dom is the eroticisation of power, and it is a specific form of the eroticisation of power in that it recreates oppressive situations without eroticising liberation from them.
Very many people are to some extent submissive and subordinate, and there is absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong with that.
The problem is that our society, and BDSM culture in particular, has put together a set of cultural conventions about what people with sub tendencies should and should not be doing to be emotionally and sexually satisfied, and what dominant people should be doing to them.
So there are all these sayings put out there about how in BDSM the power is all with the sub, that a sub needs a dom, that subs’ boundaries should be pushed and so on. Many subs disagree with all of this.
I would say that anyone who is a sub and is uncomfortable with the kind of sex they are having should go and get/read advice written by subs who have exited BDSM and found ways of exploring being a sub in other ways. And that involves thinking about the precise specifics of what you like and just making tiny shifts in the dynamic so that you are comfortable with yourself.
And you can’t get that from people who are invested in that BDSM mindset, particularly if they are doms, because they have a vested interest in making you believe there is only one way of being a sub – acting out BDSM scenarios that mimic abuse.
When I first started writing about rolequeerness publicly, the immediacy of BDSM’ers’s attempts to shut us up made it clear to me that we were on to something really important. Now, the relevance and importance of rolequeerness, and its felt-consent ethos is even clearer—especially now that the white cis L and G betrayal of queer B and T resistance to marriage and its shitty heteronormativity is complete. We are the next wave queer resistance.
Meanwhile, I’m confident that the rape apologetic delusions festering at the core of pro-BDSM and sex-positive/liberal feminists (*cough*ozy*cough*)—delusions like “BDSM is not abuse!!!1!eleventy!!!“—will spur those SJW morons to continue constructing rolequeer strawpeople in an effort designed to make themselves appear and feel relevant, even though they’re obviously not. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the conversation expand even further. It is so awesome to see our ideas about rolequeerness and its application to personal liberation really resonate, and resonate so strongly that its escaped the strangling filter bubble of the social justice world lunatic fringe into so many other forums of discussion. :)