I came across this really thought-provoking post the other day that kind of sent me into a downward spiral of questioning my sexual preference. I’m a shameless navel-gazer/self-absorbed only child so I spend a lot of time re-evaluating who I am anyway, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about porn and its ramifications. I’ve generally had a somewhat laissez-faire attitude about it. I pretty much assume everyone has watched it and/or gotten off to porn in one way or another at some point and that thought didn’t really make me uncomfortable until recently. Even though I don’t really find porn arousing and I’ve probably spent less than two hours in my whole life viewing it, it would be so naive of me to pretend that it hasn’t had an influence on my preferences, let alone the preferences of men who watch porn fairly regularly.
My sexual submissiveness has always sat well with me because it totally makes sense given my general proclivity towards deferring to other people and being kind of passive. But at the same time, I’m not one to be down for degradation or being actively subjugated, and the fact that I’ve never really felt uncomfortable navigating that cognitive dissonance makes me feel squeamish. The fact that being a “naughty girl who needs to be tamed by a dominant penis” is so normalized and acceptable. I mean, even Phoebe Buffay was low-key promoting the submissive life back in the day. Let alone the fact that most mainstream women’s media encourage us to put so much emphasis on what men are into, and men are often into things that they learned from porn. I don’t want to imply that porn necessarily breaks new ground – I’m pretty sure facials, restraints, abrasive dirty talk, spanking, and more have all been practiced in sexual contexts since the dawn of time. But porn has definitely made a lot of formerly taboo things seem like run of the mill behavior. And now I can’t help but wonder how brainwashed I’ve been and whether or not my preferences are really my preferences or if I’ve just mindlessly accepted things because it was easy.
Even in a lot of feminist circles, there’s a lack of critical dialogue about women’s relationships with sex. Slut-shaming is bad and consent is awesome tend to be two biggest rhetorical narratives I encounter. While those are really important to put out there, it would be great if there were more examination of the way our relationships with sex are created and reinforced. I know so many feminist women who identify as submissive and enjoy porny bedroom activities and it’s not considered kosher to question it because they chose their choice and that’s the end of that. I totally embraced that point of view because honestly, it’s a lot easier/lazier to do that than it is to admit that sometimes you’re not nearly as evolved as you think you are.
I don’t actively intend to erase submissiveness from my bedroom, but as of late, I am definitely interested in exploring a more egalitarian, loving, yet still passionate way of getting intimate with my beau. So ultimately, I’m glad that something inspired me to really look at my preferences and start evolving as a sexual being again.