Last night I ate six bowls of Rice Krispies. This represents half the number of orgasms I had 10 minutes prior, compliments of some stellar, dominant BDSM performances by my favorite male porn star James Deen on KinkOnDemand.com.
It’s obvious why a few bowls of snap, crackle and pop after a solid porno-watching fest would make this particular girl happy, but it’s not always so obvious why this particular girl would also enjoy some snapping, crackling and popping in her porn/sex life/fantasies. How can you combat violence against women by day and then ask your boyfriend to slap you around in the bedroom by night? How can you be a feminist, or, hell—even a woman—and enjoy rough sex?
You can because you know the difference between someone randomly hitting you and getting a sexy swat because you demanded it. Because rough sex is calculated, safe and consensual. And, most of all, it’s pleasurable, hot and gets you off! Different strokes…
I must confess that I’ve never read Fifty Shades of Grey. Call it professional burn-out on the subject or hipster rejection of the mainstream, but it just isn’t bending over and calling my name. But you were probably one of the 40 million people who did (read the book, not bend over and call my name). So, there’s something there ladies are liking. But it’s complicated. Rape culture and the never-ending violence and sexism against women in this world makes a woman getting off on submitting to a man a precarious situation. However, fantasies involving “being taken,” public humiliation and rough sex are all very common. And all very misunderstood.
Despite the popular dissenting opinion that all women who like it rough are sexual violence survivors, “messed up” or giving into the patriarchy, women who willingly submit sexually are usually very psychologically and emotionally involved in their sex acts. Playing with power dynamics in the bedroom is as stimulating mentally as it is physically. Borrowing classically degrading language, scenarios and acts from an age-old system of female oppression and ripping them apart for our own sexual consumption can be challenging, rewarding and downright therapeutic. Being in control of how/when/where these things happen to you can be empowering. Letting go of control can be a welcome break from your socially pressured, put-together, tough-girl brave-face. Or maybe you just like the way a hairbrush feels on your tush.
The point is, as a feminist, as a woman, as a sexually free person, it’s your choice. As sex blogger Lena Chen writes in response to negative comments she got likening her favorite sex acts to rape, “[Those] who decried my partner as ‘disgusting’ and my relationship as ‘demeaning’ were simultaneously refusing to recognize my agency in an interaction that took place between two people. Rough sex wasn’t anti-feminist; this was. I said that I had consented to all the activities, yet they refused to believe that could be true. Instead, they assumed that my partner must have somehow pressured me into it—that I couldn’t possibly have played an equal role in shaping our sexual interaction.”
It might even be argued that rough sex is actually safer than assuming the missionary position. When done mindfully and correctly, BDSM acts are thoroughly discussed, agreed upon and thought through before, while and after they happen. Boundaries are clearly delineated, consent rules all and communication is key. This, combined with stop-everything “safe words” means that the submissive partner is very much in control.
Can rough sex be mentally and physically dangerous? Definitely. Don’t mix rough sex with substances, amateurs or strangers. If they aren’t fit to meet the parents, they certainly shouldn’t hogtie you! Being a safe sexual submissive requires trust, respect, education and critical thinking. Start with Tristan Taormino’s female-empowering Rough Sex porn series and Dossie Easton’s The New Bottoming Book.
Then chose your partner wisely. As another spank-happy blogger, “Emily,” writes on xoJane.com, “If our men truly can’t tell the difference between hurting, abusing and degrading a woman and participating in consensual play utilizing some of these elements, then the problem lies with them and sexual education in our society…not with the women who enjoy it.”•