By Liz Everly
Submission. The word intrigues me.
The act of submission and how it relates to sex provides much fodder for my feminist erotic-romance writer mind. I don’t pretend to understand it with any kind of depth—maybe sensitivity and imagination, yes. And I always say to each his or her own between consensual adults in any discussion of preferences or orientation. I can see the sexiness in submission, in giving yourself over to someone else completely, and trusting them, sometimes literally, with your life. I also get that this kind of thing takes place in many bedrooms without even calling it submission or BDSM—in a subtle sort of way.
It also must be said, of course, that it could be VERY interesting for a lover to submit to you. Even if for just one night.
I’ve read a lot about BDSM, talked with a lot of practitioners, and I can say that if it’s done right, with respect and honor, I have no qualms about it—even from a feminist perspective. Women submissives are powerful. If you don’t understand that, you should probably read more about it. But in any case, as long as it’s the choice of healthy individuals (men and women), I don’t think it’s a feminist issue at all. Where I take issue is with folks using the lifestyle to abuse and manipulate—but that’s not only in the BDSM community, is it? It can be anywhere.
In my guise as an erotic romance writer, I have met many swingers and BDSM practitioners—mostly online. While I don’t want to brush any one person with a broad stroke of generalization here, I’d say that many of them live around their sex lives. While that sounds interesting and pleasing to most of us, realistically speaking, I could not give it that kind of attention. (More power to those who can.) But the people I know in these lifestyles spend all of their extra money on toys, outfits, conference, clubs, and so on. That’s interesting, but not for me, at this point in my life.
But I will say that I’ve learned a lot about BDSM by reading about it and most recently I read “The Big Book of Submission” because CM Kempe’s writing is included and that’s always a treat.
What I found interesting about the book was the different views of submission it took on. It reminded me of this faceted gemstone of story. One view enlightened me about how some people really get off on pain. Another view offered a playful look into it, where married folks are just sort of experimenting with submission. And the book delved into the different forms of it—even choking. What hooks me, of course, is the story, not just the different kinds of submission the book explores.
I thought it was a fabulous collection—well worth a read and not just from the sort of ogling perspective (what DO these folks do in their playrooms or bedrooms?), but also from a story perspective. One story was told mostly through a letter from a submissive to her dom, who had asked for a description of how she felt during one of their sessions. Another story was told from the perspective of a submissive woman training her dom. Yes—you read that right. It was any interesting collection of short stories and I read through it in no time. Check it out. You won’t be sorry. While you’re at it, subscribe to Lady Smut. You don’t want to miss a thing, do you?