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 Don't look at me.

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jul 31, 2001
You might look at me and not notice. Eyes slide off me. I think I glisten, but when I'm down I feel like a pariah, some pustuled pauper people don't have time to shun; they just don't see.

It is strange for me to contemplate, but once these people would have looked twice at me. Not because I was handsome, or unusual, or especially ugly. It was my manner; I used to be a Man.

Now? Well, I haven't had a sex change, but I have lost that arrogance, that self confidence, that honor. My father wouldn't have called what I have become a Man, and I agree.

It all started in 1979.


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In the spring of '79 I had just become a Man. My girlfriend, an obliging high school girl whose name now escapes me, had sucked me off in a fit of giving after a Woody Allen film (Hannah and Her Sisters, I think). A few months later I entered college, brimming with confidence and a natural and manly desire to nail as many girls as I could get my grubby little hands on.

This was where I was stupid. Desperation and desire are powerful forces, and it isn't hard for a woman to use them to undo you. When I met a bisexual BDSM-obsessed girl by the name of Mary, I was intrigued. She had sophistication and intelligence, was a tiresome feminist, and adored Art. These qualities used to put off men, but the reputation for sexual adventure of such specimens had me gagging at the reins. Her qualities are by the by though - what's important is that it wasn't too hard to get her into bed, even though she strung me along a little.

When I finally did manage this, she was somewhat put out by my brute, selfish approach to the craft of love making. In fact, she was very vocal about being unsatisfied, which quite badly affected my sense of self-worth. She had a solution, though. Perhaps the more astute readers can guess what it was. She started urging that I `go down` on her, that I use various toys and `techniques` she wanted to experiment with.

Like a fucking fool, I agreed.

That night in 1980, when I went down on her, I finally became a passive prick. My mouth was just a cunt for her cunt, and I was fucked. Disgracefully, though, I enjoyed my new status as sexual spastic and human dildo for a woman. I even hungered for more - and Mary took advantage of this, as you might expect.

I was led knowingly into a new world. Sex for me wasn't about fun, anymore, it was about power - taking it and giving it, dominating and submitting, trading it calculatingly for gain and loss with the nous of the egomonger I was later to become. I was exhilarated, brought to a new `spiritual plane` (I was assured), being stretched on racks, la shed on tables, having various body parts put in vices and clamps, discovering a world of sex play undreamt of even in my most obscene adolescent fantasies some years before.

So, thanks to Mary I lost my balls, leaving only a dick that needed to feel threatened to flourish. I craved humiliation from sex, not humanization from making love.

What happened then? A life on the sidelines. Ambition needs self-respect, and I had none. I drifted into New York's club scene, attended parties, made money on the side toting insurance door-to-door to bored housewives.

I lost myself. I now try to rebuild; I am trying to find a woman to have a family with, one who will treat me like a human being, and furthermore like a Man, however much I don't feel like one. But women are spoiled by the attentions of men who won't let any sense of self-respect stop them prostrating themselves before their newly masculine idols.

Like today. I wander from one front door to another, here in the suburb of Pittsford, trying to sell crapped out insurance to bored housewives, playing on whatever small feelings of insecurity they have left. These women, they seem dead to possibility. My job is to make them see possibility for a second, but only negative possibilities that can be insured against.

I think this is the difference with Men. Men are open to possibilities, and women are not. The trade is that where women are in Heaven, men are merely in purgatory, though in purgatory you have a choice between heaven and hell, damnation and salvation. These housewives are like that; I can't blame them for their selfishness, their inability to see consequences.

These wives, they have husbands who are pathetic. They choose men dead to possibility, men who have chosen to reject purgatory and ascend to the security of heaven, a wife, children, no ideas and no fun, and worst of all, no possibilities. The terrible thing is, I want that too. Possibility is a terrible thing, nothing kills like an unknown option. How can I resist stepping into a world of safety?

But I will forever be rejected, because I am laid low by my knowing worship of women, and my self inflicted desire to be dominated by them, to be their slave. I am in torture because I am a slave to women and I know it. I know there are other ways of life, of social interaction, which involve self respect and a level footing. I hate because I know this is not for me. I may be despicable, but unlike all the other despicable men, I know I am despicable, and this knowledge amplifies my despair and my wretched damnation.

When you look at me on the train, or the bus, or the subway, you won't notice me because I am much like any other bum - just another pathetic remnant of a once great sex, sneered at by those who can recognize my failings and eschewed by those few men who still know how to play the game.

Why can't I have my own feminism, my own natural lust for power on behalf of my sex? Why can't I have self-control, and self-respect? I just want to have the chance to be treated normally, to find a girl who doesn't demand I behave like a male whore, an object. However, I want to be treated a whore too, I do want to be commanded to lick and suck, to bow my head into a bed of self hatred, and lie there wallowing. But it is so hard to resist, and in resisting I feel less human, perhaps more so than if I give in.

Is this what it means to be a Man?


Your problem isn't BDSM, dude. (4.66 / 3) (#5)
by localroger on Tue Jul 31st, 2001 at 05:39:24 PM PST
Your problem is that you let reality get confused with a fantasy. You need to read something by Pat Califia, who despite also being a Lesbian is one of the most eloquent writers out there on the topic. Sexual fetishes can be innocent playtimes or they can be emotional dynamite, especially S&M because it allows extremes of feeling to be created artificially.

The ultimate purpose of S&M, despite a lot of the crap written about it, is not to destroy the submissive. It is to create extremes of feeling which cannot be experienced through more normal means. (One researcher actually found an example of a woman who was originally uninterested and "seduced" into submission by her husband. This would not have been possible if her husband had been a terrifying ogre.) A lot of writers on the subject feel "topping" is a sort of art form, and it is the responsibility of the top to live up to the submissive's expectations.

Researchers have found at least a 9:1 preference for people to be submissive among:
  • gay men
  • gay women, and
  • male submissive/female submissive partnerships
(You can't find many studies of male top/female bottom relationships, because as the guy I mentioned above lamented, they blend in too well with normal society and don't have to join groups or subcultures to be noticed and find mates.)

This must suck for submissives, and makes the Marys of the world possible. You were not the victim of a fetish, you were the victim of an abusive partner who abused your fetish. (See particularly Pat Califia's essay on this in Coming to Power.) You must now decide whether to embrace your fetish or reject it, which may in the end may mean rejecting sex altogether -- as you seem to be doing now.

Look on the bright side. At least you're not a paedophile. There is hope that you can find a partner who is both kind and satisfying. There are people in jails all over the place (and more who should be) who are not so lucky.

Try not to take him seriously (0.00 / 4) (#7)
by SpaceGhoti on Wed Aug 1st, 2001 at 09:02:21 AM PST
He's just trying to explain to us his obsessive need to overcompensate as an Editor here.

A troll's true colors.

Thanks man (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by bc on Wed Aug 1st, 2001 at 09:36:02 AM PST
I suppose I have started to reject my feelings on this. The problem is that I feel guilty about my, umm, predilections. I was brought up to believe in some very stereotypical interpretations of what it means to be a man, and I am, unfortunately, unable to shake them off.

Yeah, I can see that it is crap for submissive (in the context of relationships) people alright, because we tend to choose the wrong people for the wrong reasons, and get sorely used.

I dunno what I'm going to do but I'll work it out. Thanks.

♥, bc.

Strong Submissive (5.00 / 1) (#10)
by Seithman on Wed Aug 1st, 2001 at 10:59:08 AM PST
The whole trick is to learn to be submissive in the bedroom, but on equal footing in the rest of the world. I myself am a submissive gay male. But when my boyfriend and I are not involved in actual sexual play, I am easily his equal. In fact, socially speaking, I'm probably the mor aggressive of the two of us.

The "sub/dom" paradigm is only one paradigm, and it doesn't always have to be a complete split.

A few more comments (5.00 / 1) (#11)
by localroger on Wed Aug 1st, 2001 at 05:41:46 PM PST
Just flipped through my library to "bone up" on your problem (localroger ducks as the tomatoes fly) :-)

I highly recommend you read Public Sex, a collection of essays by Pat Califia, especially her seminal essay A Secret Side of Lesbian Sexuality which frankly blew me away when I read it back in 1983. Since you are into such things you might also find enjoyable her fiction collection Macho Sluts. Even though they are Lesbian-oriented, they offer unique perspective on S&M. Also the volume Coming to Power by Samois. All of these should be conveniently and anonymously available at the local Barnes & Noble.

It seems to me that many S&Mers frame their relationship in the context that submission is a gift which must be earned through skill, devotion, and competence. You may find it possible to approach neutral parties through hint-dropping, exploring their familiarity with the literature (not a problem, I assume, for one who quotes the Divine Marquis in his .sig). You may find a potential partner who is really submissive but you may be willing to take turns doing the "hard work" for each other.

After reading dead-tree sources on this and other sexual topics for a couple of decades I was shocked at some of the crap I found on the Internet. Power does not have to be about degradation even during a scene. Instead of a partner who berates your performance no matter what you do, you could find (or train!) one who will praise you when you do please, but then punish you anyway because *sniff* how dare you witness their royal personage in the indignant throes of an orgasm, etc.

You can also approach it from a technical aspect. Instead of the whole S&M scene thing bring up the chapter on slow masturbation in Dr. Alex Comfort's Joy of Sex. Do like the guy in the Weinberg paper and show some normal girl the possibilities. I'm sure a lot of women would jump at the chance to push your buttons as long as you give them a chance to avoid feeling like "flaming perverts." (You can get to that stage later, eh?)

The point I am trying to make is that you have specific possibilities open to you which affirm both your dignity and your right to pleasure. As for what your old man would think, well, you can't fuck for your Dad and he can't fuck for you. Your parents do not live on a marble pedestal; think for a moment of what they likely were doing just before your conception.

I don't think we can pretend sex is dignified no matter how "normal" it is. So as long as nobody is hurt, why should their antics really seem any less ridiculous than yours?

Thanks again (none / 0) (#12)
by bc on Wed Aug 1st, 2001 at 07:06:42 PM PST
I highly recommend you read Public Sex, a collection of essays by Pat Califia, especially her seminal essay A Secret Side of Lesbian Sexuality which frankly blew me away when I read it back in 1983.

I will certainly look into all these options. I am greatly interested in the whole theme of submission/domination, and I devour any interesting literature on the topic I come across.

You may find a potential partner who is really submissive but you may be willing to take turns doing the "hard work" for each other.

That is an option, but the only problem with it is the lack of natural, spontaneous behaviour. I mean, deep down I'd know that my partner is not really dominant, that it is a fantasy. But hey, the whole thing is a fantasy anyway :) And you are right, the motherload is a partner "who will praise you when you do please, but then punish you anyway because *sniff* how dare you witness their royal personage in the indignant throes of an orgasm, etc." Damn, if only!

I don't think we can pretend sex is dignified no matter how "normal" it is. So as long as nobody is hurt, why should their antics really seem any less ridiculous than yours?

Yes, exactly! Sex is inherently, well, absurd. It is an earthy thing, with many variations, and because for us humans it is a very mental pursuit, the possibilities are insanely varied.

My problem mainly is a traditional upbringing and ingrained ideas and moralities that I need to rethink and extinguish. I think I have come a long way, but I have much further to travel before the guilt goes away.

I have indeed written a slightly absurdist article on masochism for this site which should hopefully be posted at some point over the next few days. It is a topic & pursuit which at once fascinates and is still, somehow, not quite acceptable to some primitive part of my brain.

Most of all, thanks for the info :)

♥, bc.


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