Male Submission Art
Art and visual erotica that depicts masculine submission.
We showcase beautiful imagery where men and other male-identified people are submissive subjects. We aim to challenge stereotypes of the "pathetic" submissive man. Learn more….
Your steward is maymay. Want to collaborate with me? It's easy: visit MaleSubmissionArt.com/submit or tag your Delicious.com bookmarks as for:MaleSubmissionArt! More ways to contribute….
Original work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. We make a concerted effort to attribute works properly please show us, and the artists whose work we feature, the same courtesy. Please redistribute this work you are not stealing.
Did you know? Premium content that you “have to” pay for to watch on FetLife can actually be viewed by anyone, even if they never log in to a FetLife account (because FetLife “privacy” and "security" is piss poor). This means people who paid for a FetLife subscription to watch videos can share those videos with others using free, direct links that never expire.
The FetLife Video Sharer script:
Lets you share videos on FetLife with anyone for free. Gives you a direct, free link to bookmark so you can watch FetLife videos even when you are not logged in to your account. Send the link to someone without a paid FetLife membership account to make it possible for them to watch the video for free, too.
Learn more at maybemaimed.com/fetlife-video-sharer.
An easily searchable interface to all reports in the Predator Alert Tool for FetLife. In addition to FetLife, hacktivists have created Predator Alert Tools for sites like Facebook and OkCupid.
REMINDER: Predator Alert Tools for Facebook, OkCupid, FetLife, and other websites exist. Read about how you can use Predator Alert Tool to help you and your friends resist rape culture.
Report abusers on Facebook with the Predator Alert Tool
There’s a great Facebook app that lets you report people as predator.
What to do: Log your experiences with the app, and they appear in a database of consent violators. The disclosure settings are super-good e.g. you can log comments anonymously, set it to “only show to other people affected by the same person”, etc.
If someone’s being a massive creep, or if you just want to flag up a known predator/abuser, then you may really like this.
The Facebook app: https://apps.facebook.com/predator-alert-tool/
How-to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T-t-wzKahg
How to add red boxes around known abusers on Facebook: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/177813
Other information: http://maybemaimed.com/playground/predator-alert-tool-for-facebook/
Note: it also exists for OKCupid, Fetlife, and some other sites.
Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid:
Predator Alert Tool for FetLife:
And other sites.
Tons more info about this:
Okay kids, let’s try this one more time:
I’ve said it before and, if I have to, I’ll say it again: Rolequeerness is not about BDSM. It’s not a word for BDSM’ers.
My two favorite tigers. ^_^
"Wait, should I tag this? I mean, I assume people know what you look like, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people actually think you’re just an angry all-caps Internet monster who doesn’t like hugs."
"But I wrote ‘hugs are great’ on my blog!!!”
Original photo’s text: “A Dominant needs to be needed. A Submissive needs to feel wanted. Without each other, they are nothing. Together they are complete.”
Look, I fixed it.
New version reads: “A Dominant needs to be needed. A Submissive needs to feel wanted. Submissives need dominants like lesbians need men. Think about it.”
Fucking heteronormative shitwads make binaries for EVERYTHING.
Dominants are rapists.
This is a screenshot of the first working prototype of the Predator Alert Tool for Facebook, the next in my series of social justice technology projects aiming to graft anti-rape culture tools into the architecture of major Internet social networking and online dating websites.
I need alpha testers who are willing to help me refine the Predator Alert Tool for Facebook before it is generally available to the public. If this interests you, please leave a comment on this public Facebook post and let me know you’re interested. There are instructions describing the process of reporting bugs and other issues in the thread itself.
There is already a Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid (PAT-OKC) and a Predator Alert Tool for FetLife (PAT-FetLife). If you use either of those sites, check those other tools out. I have been working on this culture hacking project for some time and am deeply committed to taking anti-rape activism beyond simple “awareness raising,” which I have long believed is necessary but insufficient for ensuring long-lasting, systemic change.
The Predator Alert Tool for Facebook is by far the most ambitious of the three. Where PAT-OKC functionally says, “Hey, these strangers you were thinking of hookin’ up with might be rapists,” PAT-Facebook functionally says, “Hey, these people who are your friends might be rapists.”
Sadly, this isn’t a far-fetched proposition. The mythos of the rapist who jumps out of the shadows is just that: a myth. The reality is that most rape survivors know their rapists for months or even years before they survive the trauma.
Each of the Predator Alert Tools focuses on combating rape culture by attacking its most structurally-supported aspect: the isolation of rape survivors. By de-siloing information and allowing rape survivors to share their experiences, we actively create an environment that is hostile to predators and abusers.
Most systems that claim to do this are fundamentally flawed because they rely on instituting hierarchical “vetting processes” that puts the flow of information in the control of a select few, high-status individuals. These individuals are typically people with some kind of social, institutional, or financial power. Time and again, we see the people who are supposed to police behavior behave in the most corrupt manner.
The Predator Alert Tools attack this abuse by creating peer-to-peer networks among survivors themselves. No oversight. No censorship.
Watch this space for updates. With your help, I hope to have the Predator Alert Tool for Facebook available for public use shortly. (If you’re a developer, the code for Predator Alert Tool for Facebook, which is released to the public domain, is available on GitHub.)
It turns out that if you ask the right questions in just the right way, some men will actually tell you that they're rapists. They'll just…admit it.
The key is, don't use the word rape. Just ask them what they've done.
Researchers asked 1,882 men: "Have you ever tried to have oral sex with someone by using (or threatening to use) physical force—twisting their arm, holding them down, etc.—if they did not cooperate?"
and: "Have you ever had sexual intercourse with someone, even though they didn't want to, because they were too intoxicated to resist your advances?"
120 answered yes.
They admitted to a total of 483 rapes and attempted rapes. 483!
None of the rapists were ever caught.
Of the 120 admitted rapists,
44 did it once.
The remaining 76 committed 90% of the assaults.
Of those 76, 50 did it 2-4 times.
And 26 did it 5-50 times.
This little group was responsible for 314 sexual assaults.
An average of 12 each.
How do they get away with it, over and over?
Help us stop them: http://maybemaimed.com/predator-alert-tool-for-okcupid
TLDR: Since his company is ignoring questions from reporters about the Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid, I asked the CTO of OkCupid out on Facebook. Reblog this to help me get a date! )
Weeks ago, in one of my flurry of meetings about the new Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid I’d written (a free browser script that “red flags” OkCupid profiles based on their own concerning answers to Match Questions), a reporter told me that OkCupid is not responding to questions about it. In case you’re wondering, the tool looks like this rowanazra:
You can think of the Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid as your own personalized “Nice Guys of OkCupid,” or an early warning system for rape culture. You can learn how to install and use PAT-OKC by following this visual guide.
There’s been a lot of discussion about PAT-OKC across the Internet. Simple searches for “okcupid predator alert” and the like will find you bunches of it, but here’s a sampling of some of the best-of-the-best that I know of:
Many people are rightly asking the simple question, “if OkCupid has these kinds of questions, why the hell aren’t they already set up to trigger red flags? ivyadrena” I think that’s a good question, too. And since I currently happen to be in the same city as OkCupid’s CTO, Tom Quisel, I went to his Facebook profile and asked him out on a date on his wall. Screenshot above.
Tom and I have had drinks together before. And I think I remember promising not to kiss-and-tell, so…*zips lips*.
Think he’ll go out with me again? )
Please reblog this to help make sure he knows I’m interested! :D
black and white bondage solo submission
A rough man wearing only a cloak stands with his arms above his head, where they’re tied with rope. His thighs are similarly tied, causing his knees to brace together and his erect penis to protrude even more prominently.
This beautiful sketch by darkefey was sent to me a while ago but I’ve not had the emotional resources to withstand this blog’s inbox (which is often full of truly pathetic cock shots or else images so off-point I question the author’s ability to read Male Submission Art’s very simple mission statement) until now. Along with this sketch was a note:
seeing your blog got me inspired as an artist and i drew this for you. it’s still a bit sketchy but i intend to colour it at some point. as a dominant woman i understand where this site is coming from. i don’t wanna see over sexualised images of other women, there is far too much of that as it is… please do not post my name just call me darkefey as i am only 19 and still internet shy… either way use as you want, toss if you don’t want i don’t mind, as long as you don’t sell because then i would feel like a silly fish :) this is my own work and yeah
so many good pics! thanks heaps
ps… i accept terms of submission… eheheheheh :D … T.T sorry bad joke over 9000…
It’s very nice to hear that people are (still!) finding this simple website inspiring—even, not especially, people who are “only” nineteen. I began this blog in 2008, when I was twenty-four years old. Today, I am twenty-eight. But age is just a number, for as Henry David Thoreau once said when he was close to the age I am today:
Age is no better, hardly so well, qualified for an instructor as youth, for it has not profited so much as it has lost. One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living. Practically, the old have no very important advice to give the young[…] it may be that they have some faith left which belies that experience, and they are only less young than they were. I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose. Here is life, an experiment to a great extent untried by me but it does not avail me that they have tried it. If I have any experience which I think valuable, I am sure to reflect that this my Mentors said nothing about.
I still receive praise for Male Submission Art on a sporadic basis. I don’t know what’s going to come of this space in the future, but I also know that while perhaps it’s served its purpose for me, it’s still serving a purpose for others.
And for me, that serves both as a good reminder of how big the world is, and also as continued motivation to keep paying it forward. Sharing darkefey’s sketch is, perhaps, another start. After all, everything is circles.
The FetLife Alleged Abusers Database Engine, or FAADE, is a tool that alerts you of profiles on FetLife belonging to people who have reportedly violated others’ consent, such as through sexual assault or rape. This tool is a response to what is, as of this writing, one of the most popular suggestions in the FetLife suggestion box:
Let us name abusers.
“You agree that, while using BitLove Inc.’s Products and Services, you will not:
Personally attack, make fun of, troll, flame, bully, stalk or otherwise harass another member.
Make criminal accusations against another member in a public forum. […]“
While these conditions may be invoked to stop harassment and to shield Fetlife from liability, they also prevent members of our community from publicly naming and speaking out against abusers, rapists, and other predators. Given Fetlife’s prominence and the role it plays in supporting and expanding kink community – particularly its role as a point of entry into the community for young, inexperienced, or otherwise vulnerable people – we feel that Fetlife’s current policy is irresponsible and tantamount to enabling abuse. PLEASE CHANGE IT.
FAADE empowers Internet users like you to anonymously report harassment, rape, and other abuses they have experienced at the hands of a person with a FetLife account. Your report is then automatically disemminated to other FAADE users, as well as being published on the open Internet. While browsing FetLife, FAADE will also highlight any user profile you encounter that has allegedly violated another person’s consent. Click through to the user’s profile for a complete listing of reported consent violations.
To use the FetLife Alleged Abusers Datase Engine, you must be running Mozilla Firefox (version 12.0 or higher), with the Greasemonkey extension installed (at version 1.0 or higher).
Sorry, FAADE is currently incompatible with other Web browsers. (Please help me fix that!)
To install the FetLife Alleged Abusers Database Engine, go to http://maybemaimed.com/playground/fetlife-alleged-abusers-database-engine/ and click the “Download and install” near the middle of the page:
Download and install FetLife Alleged Abusers Database Engine
If you enjoy this script, please consider tossing a few metaphorical coins in my cyberbusking hat. :) Your donations are sincerely appreciated! Can’t afford to part with any coin? It’s cool. Tweet your appreciation, instead.
If maybemaimed.com is censored where you are, you can alternatively go to the Userscripts.org page for FetLife Alleged Abusers Database Engine and click on “Install“. If the tool is also unavailable there, you can alternatively download FAADE from GitHub.com.
To use the FetLife Alleged Abusers Database Engine (FAADE), log in to your FetLife.com account and click the “(report a consent violation by username)” link next to the FetLife username of the user who you wish to report for an alleged assault, rape, or other violation of your consent.
When you click a “report a consent violation” link, you will be presented with a form asking you for pertinent information related to the violation you would like to report. Follow the instructions on the form and click “Submit” to complete your report.
Once you have filed your report, it will be displayed to other FAADE users near the top of the alleged abuser’s FetLife profile, as shown in the example below:
Please be patient. It may take up to 24 hours for your report to be visible on FetLife pages to other FAADE users, but it will be immediately available on the open Internet. The entire database of alleged abuses is also available for download to anyone, regardless of whether they use FAADE or not, in multiple formats:
Additionally, you can also subscribe to receive updates of alleged abuses:
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you report a new issue with the FetLife Alleged Abusers Database Engine (FAADE), please check to ensure your question is not already addressed in the list below.
Can I report a consent violation anonymously?
Yes. FAADE will never require the use of your personally identifying information to be reported, nor will it ever collect your personal information. When you file a report of abuse, you are welcome to include as much or as little information about yourself as you feel comfortable doing.
Can I report a consent violation if I don’t have a FetLife account?
Yes. Anyone can file a report, regardles of whether they, themselves, have a FetLife account. However, allegations can only be made against users of FetLife.
If you don’t have a FetLife account, you can still access and submit the report form. However, some fields, such as the person’s numeric FetLife user ID and profile name, will not be be automatically filled in. Follow the instructions on the report form to help you complete any fields not already pre-filled.
Can I remove myself from the database?
No. There will never be an option for removing anyone from the database. And no, I’m not sorry about that.
What can I do if I’ve been falsely accused?
You can update your FetLife profile to address the allegation. Be sure to respond to the allegation at the very beginning of your “About me” section so that it is displayed close to the report you believe is false. Each report filed against you is numbered, so if you believe there are multiple false accusations, you can refer to them by number.
Where can I learn more about this issue?
The following articles are important reads that offer additional background and context for this issue:
Each of the pages listed above also contain numerous additional links. Take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
I know a lot of you follow this blog for the very sexy porn but, frankly, this is more important. I implore you: care about submissive men as people, if only because that’s a humane way to get more porn. So if you’ve wondered why there wasn’t a steady stream of male submissive sex objects on this feed over the past year, consider the possibility that those of us who would curate such a thing (like me) are often emotionally deadened to the possibility of enjoying the results…and ask yourself why that might be.
Clearly domspace inspired domspace by my BDSM Workshop Bingo, a self-described “young, sexually dominant, Adult” made a BDSM Meetup Bingo domspace board:
I made a new Bingo, for meetups ~
Cute. I like it. More interesting, however, are this person’s reflections upon attending a BDSM Scene event recently domspace. Here’s what they had to say:
So I went to my first bdsm meet up. The prospect was simple:
If you like bdsm and want to talk to others, come to this place. A few obvious rules are stated (dress normally, don’t hit on everything that moves, be nice) -
I expected a bunch of “old” people (40+) and… found that. Let me go into detail
The typical “Old man with money, younger wife that struggles with the fact that she is old and now looks like her skin is leather from all the things she tries to hide her age with”
The “40- something, husband and totally out of place looking guy” that never talks about bdsm, but a lot about politics and economics
The “35+ and desperate” guy that … basically acts like quagmire from Family Guy - Giggdy - shamelessly bothering anything that looks like a sub.
The “Passive Sub” - that simply never says anything, barley keeping herself from clinging to her husband.
Notice the gendered language. At the first reference to a submissive person, the “she” gender pronoun is used. And BDSM’ers wonder why I feel invisible?
The fat girl(s) - Lets be honest, they do tend to be into bdsm, god bless em. Quite nice to chat with actually~
The Painslut - the youngest person after me, 27 years old - takes great joy from the older people basically fighting over her. Very open, wanted me to play with her after a disturbingly short amount of time.
Note, again, “The Painslut” is referred to as “she.” Note, even more importantly, the unabashed promiscuity, who displayed it, and how. I have greater issues with this due to the fact that people who behave in the way described here tend to rarely, if ever, acknowledge that their ability to be socially supported in doing so is a privilege bestowed upon them by the BDSM Scene-State’s work-play economy. For those that don’t know, the BDSM Scene-State’s work-play economy works like this:
Click through for a full description. Anyway, continuing with the original poster’s reflections:
The male Sub - Talks a lot, loved by everyone, caters to any and every opinion - actually quite nice.
I’ve seen this person, too. Hell, for a couple years, I was this person. Note the final characteristic listed: caters to any and every opinion. Male submissives are totally welcome in the BDSM Scene, as long as we behave, in Matt Groening’s words, like “devious little weasels”:
On the other hand, if we don’t play nice with every privileged shit we meet, if we actually speak for ourselves, if we actually hold dissenting views and speak the fuck up about them, we’re not so well-treated.
The King & Queen “We’ve been here for 48 years, let us state that regularly and clearly”
Also known as “the Puny Kings of Puny Hills.”
The Old Guard “We are old. Therefore we know bdsm well. When you ask for tips and stories, we change topic though - very afraid of losing there position of “knows the most” and will quite rudely interrupt anyone else giving tips with pointless statements/jokes.
The young Dom (like me!) - Looks like a designer/hipster/programmer - they obviously read some books, they clearly enjoy hurting and playing people and answer your questions willingly - as long as you never doubt them.
Really just smalltalk most of the night, getting used to each other, naturally finding some comfort before the more kinky topics start up late at night - sadly they also are quite drunk at this time and the desperate fellas lose all limits, leading to a lot of awkward moment of subs trying to escape them.
I’m going to emphasize that last bit just because it deserves to be repeated: “a lot of awkward moments of subs trying to escape [doms].”
At first blush, it’s easy to gloss right over this sentence, to not realize the massive intrusion of rape culture into the BDSM Scene that this sentence illustrates. But that’s what it is: this is what rape culture looks like in the BDSM Scene.
Overall the preference was really limited to “receiving and inflicting pain”, with a foot-fetish and electro play as the only escapees i found.
And that is because most people in the semi-public BDSM Scene are brainwashed to adhere to a hierarchy of play that puts pain at the top. I call this “The Kink Culture of Fear.” It’s stupid, but it’s everywhere.
The crew was mostly men, but the ratio wasn’t to bad (2.5 guys to 1 female) - but I wouldn’t recommend there if you want to find the partner for your life. You can certainly get laid, thou~
While the ratio of humans at a BDSM Scene event is generally more evenly gender-balanced than is expected, a far more telling measure is the ratio of images (porn, photographs, etc.) present on the BDSM venue’s walls.
The community feeling is rather thick and you have to work your way in during the small talk, trying to ignore the inside jokes and reference to events you can’t know.
Yup. Clique clique clique clique clique.
What did I learn?
- BDSM communities can be pretty much like a swinger club.
- If you are young, people don’t think you can do “the bdsm” - but they are nice about it
Not only are they nice about it, they practically treat you like you’re a humanoid version of the 8th Wonder of the World, citing your extreme exceptionalism as justification for their unadulterated adultism. Again, it’s stupid, but it’s everywhere.
- Some clichés are true.
- Talk to male subs, they are quite pleasant and easy to approach.
Hey, THANKS FOR SAYING SO.
Do you have any idea how many times I’ve read a sentence like this? Once. In my whole life. However, do you have any idea how many times I’ve read sentences that are very much the opposite? Here’s just a tiny fraction of the things I see written about male submissives every day without even having to go looking for them most of the time:
These are all real quotes. Click through for their sources. There’s a ton more, but frankly I don’t have the emotional stamina to copy-and-paste them. If you’re reading and you have some more examples, by all means, add your own—and do it with links if you have them so others can find out who these people are.
- Subs may not talk a lot, but they are still watching you.
- They all shared a lot of personal, intimate things in play partys and so on - you are not part of this, but you can be. Respect that you have to earn that trust first.
- It’s actually pretty chill.
- Talking Dom to Dom can be educating, a nice circle jerk off “oh yeah [Dat feel]”
- Trying to explain your kinks and why you like them is HARD!
- Showing up as single-male isn’t that horrible, as long as you behave.
As you see, there was no direct advise - and overall any definite statements are rare, because even more then in Internet communities, people avoid actually running the risk of saying something that someone else may disagree with - after all you see these people in person, you don’t want them to know about your daddy-daughter fetish - even in the kink friendly group.
Even in the “outsider” group of BDSM, there are outsiders.
Truth. As Matt Cornell wrote, “listen to…outsiders, those individuals who put their bodies in the frame to agitate for more diverse images and better ideas. […] Perhaps [they] can show us a way out. A way to feel whole.”
People often ask me, is the BDSM Scene really “universally…that bad?” And I answer yes, it is. By all means, go there yourself if you don’t believe me. I guarantee you’ll eventually come to realize that these things I’ve been saying and writing for almost a decade now, are not far-flung fictions.
What this person who reflected on their first BDSM Scene meetup described is not an anomaly. The BDSM Scene is a global subculture that has spread like a virus across the globe.
Think about it. At every corner of the BDSM Scene, you’ll hear the same tropes, you’ll see the same dress codes, and you’ll notice the same demographics of people are excluded, marginalized, and gleefully denigrated. You’ll find the same retailers selling the same equipment, the same celebrities presenting the same material, and the same people (sometimes literally) spewing the same bullshit rhetoric, over and over and over again.
This is not just some loose, informal happenstance. The lack of diversity in the BDSM Scene-State is a symptom of its globalized, industrialized, capitalist impulse. It is a system worth destroying.
Still not convinced? Here are a couple additional reactions to my BDSM Workshop Bingo board, just from here on Tumblr:
- “SNAP. I wish I’d had this back in February for Dark Odyssey! I would’ve gotten bingo at least three times for the two classes I went to. Also: this applies to every workshop I’ve ever been to ever.” —joceyofdoom.tumblr.com joceyofdoom
- “Ugh, I have heard almost all of those things over the years…” —rendclaw.tumblr.com rendclaw
BDSM Scene power brokers are doing everything they know how to silence discussions of the rampant rapes, sexual assaults, and violations of consent in their midst (especially by high-profile, VIP-status people), to censor postings linking to critique, and to prevent important safety and privacy information from spreading.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been sent more than five different Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices for videos I’ve made and posts I’ve written criticizing the “single largest online organ in the BDSM universe,” FetLife.com (aka BitLove, Inc.). Moreover, as of this writing, most of my counter-notices were allowed to proceed unchallenged, a tacit acknowledgement that FetLife is well aware their DMCA takedown notices were improper and that my material was all either non-infringing or fair use. The majority of my content is now back online.
As I recently wrote, the BDSM Scene is an abusive social institution. I believe its institutional structures ought be destroyed as quickly and as mercilessly as possible. No institution deserves loyalty, no demographic compassion, no organization trust, no culture respect. But every person is entitled to each of these.
Since the BDSM Scene’s powers that be have economic incentives to support rape culture, to perpetuate technical ignorance, and to erode Internet user privacy, I’ve begun writing computer code to provide users self-empowering tools. This is an effort to break through the “somebody else’s problem” mindset, and an attempt to show that, on the Internet, users—not institutions—can be in control of our own well-being if we work together.
Volunteers are needed to help write code, beta test new tools (such as those linked below), brainstorm new ideas, and generally disrupt the BDSM Scene-State’s abusive functioning. The game is cat-and-mouse the goal is to spread this information before Scene-State agents censor it, to implement as many tools empowering users as possible, with or without BDSM Scene permission or assistance. Every reblog counts. Every link shared matters.
The free FetLife Epic Thread user script gives FetLife.com threaded comments.
The FetLife Epic Thread user script makes reading long, passionate discussions on FetLife.com easier by adding comment threading for @-replies, a “previous/next” link for related comments, and visual highlights. Instead of needing to scroll past a bunch of unrelated comments, simply click the “Next in thread on page” link to go to the next comment in the thread. Rather than having to scroll up or copy-and-paste to see what a comment is replying to, click the “in reply to” link to see the original comment right under your cursor.
Download and install from maybemaimed.com.
Four lists, arranged in columns, describe traits commonly associated with “men,” “women,” “dominants” and “submissives,” respectively. The column labeled “Act like a man” bears striking similarities to the column “Act like a dominant,” while the column labeled “Act like a woman” closely resembles the items in the list marked “Act like a submissive.”
This image is the heart of a post called “The intersection of performative masculinity/femininity and dominance/submission,” published today by Dev. It’s a brilliant piece illustrating the hegemonic prejudices plaguing both the mainstream and the BDSM worlds. Reading it nearly brought me to tears:
As you can see, how to act like a man neatly maps onto how to act like a dom, and how to act like a woman neatly maps onto how to act like a sub. In this way, heterosexual M/f couples (male dominant, female submissive) wherein the man is a sadist (enjoys giving pain), and the female a masochist (enjoys receiving pain) can easily perform their two roles flawlessly at the same time. This is exemplified by the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey. This book is able to be so easily consumed because it doesn’t trample on anyone’s preconceived notions of what it means to be male or female, dominant or submissive. The M/f couple then, can be at the top of the BDSM hierarchy, with the male dominant on top of course because he’s dominant (and dominants are supposed to be superior).
Where do female dominants and male submissives land in this hierarchy? Female dominants get a higher place in the BDSM hierarchy than male submissives because even though they are stepping outside of the ‘act like a woman box’ 1) they too are dominants, which are intrinsically better than submissives according to our boxes, and 2) they are taking on masculine traits, which lifts their status rather than lowers it. Therefore, the hierarchy is topped by male dominants, then female dominants, then female submissives, and then male submissives. The latter group find themselves at the bottom of the heap because, like female dominants, they cannot reconcile their two roles, but unlike femdoms their new role takes them down a peg rather than boosting them up the ladder.
(Link in the quotation added by me.)
I rarely blog simply to say, “Go read this other thing,” but this is important enough to do exactly that. Please, please, please go read Dev’s post. It not only contains further analysis of the sexism inherent in mainstream BDSM culture (yes, even subcultures have a mainstream), it offers some generic advice for “throwing out the bad” and “keeping what works.” Just the other day, I published a "PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT for submissive men" (and other marginalized peoples) that I feel is equally important to associate with this post:
The BDSM Scene is an abusive social institution that provides structural cover for rapists, has economic incentives to silence survivors of sexual assault, and contains numerous for-profit businesses actively invested in the exploitation of its own members. Unfortunately, many assailants hold positions of power within the community, which makes it extremely difficult to talk about without being ostracized from the community.
No matter what they say, the BDSM community does NOT hold a monopoly on your sex life nor on your ability to play safely, or to find partners who you love and who will love you. The BDSM community is by and large only supportive of people who are white, heterosexual, class-privileged, cisgendered, conformant to hegemonic societal ideals of beauty, able-bodied, and so on.
The BDSM Scene’s whiteness is classism at work supporting sexism and racism. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. I strongly urge everyone interested in BDSM sexuality to AVOID AND DISASSOCIATE with any and all formal leather/kink/BDSM/fetish organizations in your area.
This is even more important for submissive men, trans people, old women, and fat women, all of whom are routinely used and discarded in both mainstream culture and the BDSM community as nothing more than a butt of a joke.
We deserve better. You deserve better. These people have no interest in doing right by you most of them are nothing more valuable than privileged shits.
I urge you, from the bottom of my heart and a deeply personal place of empathetic experience, let their world burn. They’re doing it already they don’t even need the media to make them look bad. Their behavior, abuse cover-ups, and rape apologism mimics the catholic Church, now.
None of this is hyperbole. As I said in a comment on Dev’s post, the “links […] provide details about each assertion made.”
I have been in an epistemically abusive relationship with the BDSM Scene for far too long. Enough. The BDSM Scene and its privileged shits can go frak themselves. And I hope they do.
The intersection of performative masculinity/femininity and dominance/submission, by Dev
Please read the whole post. Please.
A very old man closes his eyes as a tag and padlock are affixed to a wavy metal collar encircling his neck.
Today, I turned 27, and I am afraid. When I look to the future, I feel capable of seeing only the single stereotype of older submissive men that exists: alone, disgusting, and desperate. I like this picture because it offers an escape, however fleeting, from that catastrophizing.
Today, I turned 27, and I am angry. Everywhere I look in public, there are different discussions happening than everywhere I look in private. When I try to articulate this difference, it rarely receives public acknowledgement. So I lash out in barely-restrained anger at people I ought not. These comments 333images are another good illustration:
Before I ever wore a collar, I read about other submissives being collared on blogs, and I thought it sounded nice, but in a ritualistic way that seemed a little hokey to me. Still, it seemed meaningful for them.
I like to imagine the man in this picture has been a submissive all his life, but only now he’s been able to act on that and find a dominant lover. And here he is, being collared at last, when he’s 84. That seems very romantic….
Think, for a moment, how 84 years of unrequited submissive desire might feel. Only in as sick a world as ours could this be called “romantic.” It should be called epistemic abuse.
Today, I turned 27, and I am diffident. Ironically, my reputation as the author of this website could be turned into more opportunities to play and fuck the way I want than I ever imagined. But in that reality I can no longer honestly count myself among the men for whom I want my writings to speak.
Please understand that I feel as though I was the creepy old guy before he was either creepy or old. I was hurting because the community where I felt most at home was the same one that made me feel the most unattractive.
So as my youth—that other stereotype of sexual desirability—inevitably slips further away, I grow more afraid. And the more I’m told to “count my blessings,” the angrier I get, not because I’ve got nothing going for me, but because I cannot abide a world in which some of us are so love- and touch-starved that getting something back from sharing really personal fears with the Internet is considered a “blessing” in the first place.
I think we can do better. What’s stopping us?
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A man bound with his arms above his head bites his lip as a woman wearing a sunhat gropes him and smiles.
Shortly after I saw this contribution to Submissive Secrets, I reblogged it on my personal Tumblr to ask for more images featuring both male submission and body-positivity. Almost immediately after that, ireensarrows ireensarrows suggested this photograph. Then, after using that “secret” to announce Submissive Secrets on Male Submission Art, mswyrr mswyrr independently suggested the exact same photograph.
I could not have been more pleased. Not only is this picture a gorgeous contribution in its own right—look at her smile, his responsiveness, the bondage!—the models are none other than my friends Kitty Stryker kittystryker, a self-identified fat girl, and her partner (whose self-identification I am unaware of but who is certainly larger in size than I am) I recognized them immediately. Moreover, the image is sourced from the Filament Magazine blog, whose author, Suraya Singh, has been a repeat guest on the netcast I produce, Kink On Tap.
In one hand, the fact that there seems to be such a small group of Good People doing this Good Work is disquieting. In the other, I’m reminded how despite the fact that only 2% of Americans were actively involved in the civil rights movement, they had an enormous impact. (And while I cannot verify that statistic, I also don’t wish to see it debunked because it gives me hope.)
mswyrr had this to say:
In response to the secret you posted: submissive boys with body fat are fucking gorgeous, too. Sweet and touchable. I could cuddle up to a boy and stroke his soft tummy in quiet bliss for hours. There are no words!
I like skinny boys, too. But, among the minority of images portraying male submission, it is a sad fact that thin men and buff men are most widely represented. I’m submitting this image because it’s one of the few I’ve found of a big, beautiful fellow. Guh.
As I’ve said before, the sheer number of duplicate suggestions this blog gets evinces the paltry availability of quality erotic images featuring marginalized groups. Even the way "male submission" is often (mis)understood as "femdom" reveals a fractal pattern of categorical privilege flipped upside-down when it comes to sexuality. Though not always welcome attention, fat women are sometimes fetishized, while fat men are overwhelmingly portrayed as purely repulsive.
Kitty has written about the “rather weighty issue" of her size:
[I]f I’m just having a self-concious sort of day, I get a bit nervous stripping down. I make sure my panties are smoothed over my belly in a way that disguises the way it curves to my pubic hair. […] I wouldn’t say I don’t like [my body]—I do, we go through a lot together, it and I, and I have few complaints—I think I feel uncertain of it, more, unsure that it’s up to par.
Although written by a woman, these are sentiments I imagine many fat men can relate to. As with most issues regarding self-esteem, the discussion is dominated by women’s insecurities, leaving men trapped in the Man Box. As a result, fat men frequently face similar sexual erasure as other “other”-ed groups. Sadly, they have few places, if any, to experience being desired—as they are.
A “secret” shared via Submissive Secrets, a community art project based on the PostSecret concept and inspired by several contributions to the Queer Secrets Tumblr queersecrets regarding BDSM. The secret is:
[ Image: the Male Submission Art tumblr, with title changed to Male Submission Art With Over 15% Body Fat. The search box says “men who look like me” and the content column is blank. Text: I must have heard it over 100 times: “I like curvy women but skinny guys.” I know most guys aren’t supposed to be anxious about their bodies. But I wouldn’t be here in the first place if I was most guys. ]
I’m posting this here because, after years of sharing pieces of my story with you, I’d like to invite you to share a piece of your story with me.
As you may know, Male Submission Art was a website created in a fit of frustration. At its root, this website is a response to (epistemically abusive) pain. Specifically, it’s a response to the pain inflicted by the sometimes inescapable presumption of male dominance.
I maintain that although this pain is not a universal experience, it is an underreported, under-appreciated, and above all underrepresented manifestation of the abuse culture in which we live. Abuse culture spawns rape culture. But abuse culture also spawns transphobia. It spawns psychopathic “blinding macho” socialization. And, as this secret makes so beautifully clear, it spawns body-negativity.
I, for one, am sick and tired of being sick and tired—I am tired of feeling alone. And so, in a fit of frustration, like Male Submission Art before it, I recently made a spinoff website called Submissive Secrets as a response to this pain.
In his blog, Roger Ebert described the effect of loneliness like this:
When I was a child the mailman came once a day. Now the mail arrives every moment. I used to believe it was preposterous that people could fall in love online. Now I see that all relationships are virtual, even those that take place in person. Whether we use our bodies or a keyboard, it all comes down to two minds crying out from their solitude.
My experience blogging at Male Submission Art has been a remarkable education in the way one might use a keyboard to cry out from one’s solitude. It embodies, in cyberspace, my own desperate attempt to transform things that harm me into things that help me. But this website is largely still about me and so, at times, I have felt regret that my own pain sometimes prevented me from updating this site on a more regular basis because I know how much it has helped others.
Now that I know I’m not alone, this website is no longer enough. As I wrote on the Submissive Secrets about page:
I believe it is time to tell the stories and share the thoughts, feelings, desires, and fears submissive men and those who love them have in a way that offers solidarity, compassion, empathy, trust, sympathy, lust, and, of course, love.
Since storytelling is the foundation of any movement, I want to collect the stories of any male, male-identified, or masculine-of-center person who’s submissively inclined or curious. And I also want to collect the stories of everyone else who is attracted to, interested in, or supportive of such drives for personal fulfillment. And then, once we have all shared our stories about these experiences, we will have made the world a better place for it, and, together, we are going to show everyone that it is good to be the kind of people we are.
It’s true we are not all identical we have a variety of different tastes. But we are all human. And we all deserve to be happy. So if we can’t just snap our fingers and make everyone happy, the least we can do is make ourselves heard.
My hope is that with everyone sharing pieces of their story, we will weave a beautiful patchwork tapestry.
And so, from my mind to yours, I invite you: be heard.
photograph black and white
An opulently dressed man in Greek-inspired clothing and greaves leans backwards onto a ledge as a similarly-dressed woman holds him by the waist and grips his hair.
Here’s a complex picture whose layered meanings become more complex as one learns its context. Suggested independently by both Science Me Harder and Svollga, the image is a photograph from a 1932 stage production of The Warrior’s Husband (one year before it became a Hollywood screenplay) showing Katharine Hepburn in the role of Antiope, an Amazon royal, and Colin Keith-Johnston in the role of Theseus, leader of the Greek army. It’s a gorgeous picture for all the reasons Science Me Harder enumerates:
[T]his picture always strikes me as beautiful because of the way the woman holds the man’s hair and supports him with her other arm, and especially the way the man seems to be standing so still and willing to be held with his eyes closed.
Svollga svollga shared similar sentiments:
I was very attracted to this image, both because it’s beautiful (the lines! the poses! the dynamics!) and because to me, it speaks clearly of power exchange and female domination. The historical context only adds more layers to the feeling. (Not to mention that it hits a lot of my kinks, from gender role-reversal to hair-gripping.)
It looks like a reversal of roles for the bodice-ripper cover. Usually, it’s a man holding a woman around a waist, leaning her back, even gripping her hair. Here, the woman (and a very feminine one) does it all to a (big and strong) man—and he seems to like it. They are both very sensual and relaxed in this picture. It looks like a foreplay where people are either well-acquainted or just very comfortable with each other, and they are actually playing while being quite serious about it.
While I share Svollga’s enthrallment with this picture, overt role-reversal was intentionally comedic in the 1930s. The “historical context” is quite different than what one might hope. According to the 1933 screenplay’s description, The Warrior’s Husband is not a tale of female domination, but rather voluntary female subordination:
The Warrior’s Husband is a satire of the male and female roles in society set in 800 B.C. starring Elissa Landi as Antiope, an Amazonian beauty and sister to the queen of Pontus. Queen Hippolyta (Marjorie Rambeau) rules Pontus with masculine authority in fact, it is the women of Pontus who do all the laboring, fighting, and governing. Hippolyta’s husband Sapiens (Ernest Truex) is truly a sissy of the first order, and is not unlike most of Pontus’ male inhabitants. When the Greek army under Theseus (DM) invades in pursuit of the queen’s “magic girdle,” the appearance of real men on the scene is strange and unnerving to the women of Pontus. Struck by Antiope’s beauty Theseus woos her and, reluctantly at first, she falls in love with him. Realizing the value of male leadership, the Amazons willingly allow the men to assume control.
Lacking context, we can easily project our fantasies onto this image but when we factor in the story’s plot we see that gender roles were not actually reversed. Even before the story’s culmination in the patriarchy we’re familiar with, “masculine authority” was used to rule Pontus and its “sissy” male inhabitants were not “real men.” Reversing anatomy does not in fact reverse gender role because gender is not the same as sex in Pontus, women functioned as men only so long as “real men” were not present, while men functioned as women until they were replaced by abusive psychopaths wielding weapons who suffer from what Kathleen Barry calls “blinding macho” socialization.
In this way, The Warrior’s Husband is a useful parable explaining the contemporary BDSM community’s shared delusion. Although the community’s sycophants like to tout their “diversity,” most organized elements of “The Scene” essentially recreate Pontus by equating performances of masculinity with domination and performances of femininity with submission. In The Scene, things are only cursorily more complex since dominance is privileged while submission is devalued regardless of one’s genitalia.
While there is certainly space for gender role-reversal within BDSM, by ignorantly supplanting the overculture’s (man/woman) gender binary with their own (dominant/submissive) power binary, BDSM’ers sabotage the possibility for creative expression within their scenes and undercut whatever credibility they wish to claim on the matter.
Katharine Hepburn as Amazon warrior princess Antiope & Colin Keith-Johnston as Theseus in stage production of The Warrior’s Husband (1932) (via corbis)
tumblrize marks photograph
Lightly blindfolded and holding the handle of a flogger in hir mouth, a trans-male bottom is beaten by an enthusiastic top.
This photograph is part of a set in an album called Kinky Tea Party, although it arrived with a note titled “Reverse-tea scene,” which is perhaps a more accurate name. The set has numerous fantastic images, and I couldn’t easily decide which to feature here. Ultimately, I felt drawn to the emotional and physical exposure in this one both models are emotive and, despite the violent symbolism inherent in the sadomasochistic act, neither model embodies violence.
That said, I’d be remiss not to point you at the other photographs in the set I think are particularly beautiful, especially because they reveal a wider, even more fascinating context to the photo shoot, which Sadie, who contributed this image, explained:
I am Sadie, the grinning trans-womyn in the photos. My partner, the GQ [genderqueer] trans-male identified play-thing in the photos is Tanner Fierce. The femme GQ photographer is my dear friend Milo Ampersand.
The premise for this shoot was that there is an intentional and awkward disconnect between polite society and the sexual reality of all human interactions. Milo arranged a half-dozen of hir friends to have a well-dressed tea-party. Tanner and I had a flogging scene in their midst, and the party-goers were dis-allowed from looking at or acknowledging our presence in any way, as they sipped tea and spoke in faux British accents of the weather and local politics.
What was especially exciting about this scene was the tension between Tanner’s physical submission, and the party-goers psychological submission. In particular, the man in the grey suit (who is one of Tanner’s best friends) was exquisitely torn between the instruction to abstain from looking, and the irresistible desire to engage with the sexual reality of the space. This tension, and the power of dominating without any direct interaction was the primary appeal of the scene. The result was what I have come to think of as a reverse-tea scene, where everyone serves themselves tea, for one-domme’s pleasure.
That. Is. Awesome.
tumblrize marks solo
A young man, gagged with ribbon, clutches at the white sheets he’s resting on.
This image of a “submissive boy with a rosary” was suggested by Emily Marigold. I like it in part for the obvious talent in the drawing, the signs of anguish, evinced by lacerations on the man’s shoulder and the smudged eyeliner, and the fact that he’s wearing eyeliner in the first place. And, yes, I also like seeing the broken rosary, since it offers a narrative hook to imagine him as someone religiously persecuted—a martyr.
Martyrdom is a common narrative among BDSM players “I’ll take it for you.” Certainly sexy, but many utilize the script to abdicate personal agency rarely do these bottoms remember the more important words: “I want to take it for you.” As Dr. Staci Newmahr writes, “Martyrdom bottoming does not rely on the ultimate denial of pleasure, but in adherence to a martyr script.”
It’s unfair to levy blame on the bottoms who display such unthinking loyalty to this cultural script, though, especially the men. Other than martyrdom, common characterizations of men bottoming rely on archetypal feminization, whether implicitly (the meme of submissive men doing housework is a particularly sexist example) or explicitly (“sissified sissy maids who insist on talking about their sissy clitty”). These are obviously problematic formulations for any masculine-of-center individuals, not just men.
This may explain why I’ve seen what’s become a predictable uptick in suggestions to this site featuring Saint Sebastian, perhaps the most famous Christian martyr save Jesus himself. It’s not the abundance of the martyrdom script I find frustrating, but rather its omnipresence. This ubiquity has real (and, to me, troubling) consequences as Dr. Newmahr points out, “A self-identified male top who sometimes bottoms, for example, is more likely to claim identity as a top than as a switch. A woman with the same inclinations is likelier…to consider herself a switch.” (See Playing on the Edge: Sadomasochism, Risk, and Intimacy, p. 109, ¶2.)
In other words, this goes some distance towards explaining that “the number problem"—the assertion that there are simply not as many dominant women as there are dominant men—is an unfortunate cultural construction.
Attribution update: This piece is called Imprisoned and was created by feimo, originally published on DeviantArt.
Facing away from the camera while on all fours, a bald, naked man presents his ass to be caned by a woman smiling into the camera. She wears a T-shirt, jeans, and multi-colored socks.
This photo was brought to my attention by Molly Ren molly-ren, who simply wrote, “This photo sums up everything that Male Submission Art is about.” Well, perhaps at first. What Male Submission Art is about these days, however, is less the images and much more the wonderful responses to them. Thankfully, here, too, this image provides a fantastic showcase. To wit, here’s one thread of commentary this picture has received online:
I love it too! I have my domme moments, so far just in my head, but I think, geez, I need a new wardrobe before I can try any of this. Maybe not. Love her impish look, too—another encouraging sign, because I know I don’t have a bitch goddess in me.
I adore this pic. She is cute, she is smiling, and she holds a cane. I wish there were more D/s images where the Domme is not dressed in stereotypical atire (not that there’s anything wrong with that once in a while). This pic gives me hope that the cute, unassuming, woman at work or at the cafe is in reality a pervy Domme who might want me to crawl around for her.
Awwwa, look at the cute redheaded domme in comfy clothes preparing to cane her yummy bald fucktoy…
sigh of contentment.
This picture makes me so many kinds of happy. It reminds me of the one time a sub told me that I cannot possibly go about dominatrixing in my cute striped socks. Why yes, sweetheart, I think I can. (Not him, though. He got dumped.)
The BDSM community ghetto, which I argue has been a largely self-imposed social stricture of internalized exclusion, does seem to be betraying its frailty. I am at once unspeakably proud and enormously humbled to recognize whatever small part I’ve had in tearing down these walls.
A man rests naked in a fetal position, one foot cozily curled around the other, laying on the legs of his partner.
This is an adorable image, provided by T-anon, who had the following explanation for it:
This is a photo I took of my partner just after a rather fun bout of BDSM. Once I had untied him from the bedpost he curled into my thigh, shuddering and moaning that he loved me. I just about exploded with the rush of adoration. He was so beautiful in that position with the ruddy marks from my nails across his back, the blindfold and the medical restraints still tied to him. I simply had to take a photo.
It has since become a mutual favourite, commemorating our love and our trust. We thought it was worth putting on this site as a way of supporting safe and healthy sex along with the beauty that is submissive men.
Ordinarily, I try to have something especially witty or insightful to say when I post here. In this case, however, I feel adding too much of my own would merely be a shadow to the literal and emotional light emanating from this photograph.
I am sincerely thankful to T-anon and their partner for sharing a moment of such evident love with me, and I am sincerely grateful to have the privilege of sharing it more widely with others in the world we all share.
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This image was submitted by Jason C. Woodson jasoncwoodson, who’s also its creator. The artwork is part of a series called Bound (You Felons On Trial). I’ll leave analysis of the image itself in Jason’s words alone:
Bound (You Felons On Trial) was created in response to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, a bill introduced [in Britain] to ban extreme forms of pornography. In an article published on the Index for Censorship website, lawyer John Lovatt advised that
There are many books it would be safer to mutilate—or destroy altogether.
The idea of consenting adults burning books in their backyards to avoid an intrusive State was alarming to me. As a gay artist whose work is often sexual in nature and could be seen by some as of an obscene character as described under Section 63 of the Act, I was reminded of a poem by Walt Whitman. Entitled You Felons on Trial, it asks,
Who am I too that I am not on trial or in prison?
Many classes of people, such as the BDSM community, will be affected by this legislation. That’s why I chose to photograph a male nude in a BDSM act. The images are defaced but hidden inside them run lines from Whitman’s work, ending with the last line of the poem:
And henceforth I will not deny them—for how can I deny myself?
I’ve discussed §63 before. At best misguided and at worst malicious, the law criminalizes possession of sexual depictions the State finds objectionable. It is not hyperbole to explain that under this legislation, you are subject to pain of criminal prosecution even if someone else sends you the objectionable material.
Laws like this, frequently lobbied for by pro-censorship groups euphemistically calling themselves anti-pornography feminists (or, more frighteningly, anti-trafficking), are a clear and present danger to the citizenry—to you. They represent a (barely) pseudo-fascist moralism borne of the same virulent disease as rampant nationalism or religious doctrine, and corrupt the humanity of government with a two-faced appeal to an individual’s most humane ability: empathy. A form of security theater, it takes advantage of a demanding and ignorant public by using the lowest common denominator of reason and behavior to craft law and policy—but the lowest common denominator does not make for sound law.
Sexuality is a frequent scapegoat in attempts to justify power-grabbing laws, and you need to be concerned about that regardless of your sexuality or place of residence. Australia has recently seen the creation of a literal secret government Internet blacklist whose scope, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, “had been rapidly expanded from child porn to other material including political discussions.” Since it’s all on one list, I guess the Australian government considers child pornography and political discussion to be the same thing.
Americans enjoy precious First Amendment protection, but the anti-porn pseudo-fascist moralists are batting for the same pro-censorship team as the RIAA, who have recently introduced the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). A copy-cat law, COICA would mandate government-decreed Internet censorship of any site found to be infringing record and movie industry copyrights. Since copyright infringement is a relatively unpopular cause, mark my words: child porn will be a future excuse.
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A man’s back bears raised red marks that spell out the words, “I LOVE YOU.”
This photograph was submitted anonymously but arrived with a heartwarming note attached. So heartwarming, in fact, that despite my own current solitude I audibly responded to myself reading it:
I’ve had a rough few weeks. A series of setbacks in my career and social life have made me feel very isolated and alone. In a moment of weakness, I asked my Girlfriend to show me that I am needed, that I am worth something to someone.
This was her answer.
It couldn’t have been more perfect. Her willingness to mark me proves her ownership of me. Her authority and acceptance of me as her property makes me worthwhile.
I love you בעלה.
For the monolingual, בעלה is the Hebrew word for “Mistress,” which is relevant because it gives her two roles: Girlfriend, and בעלה. Far from unusual, many relationships between two people have more than two roles. The monolith of “husband” and “wife,” or “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” or even simply “partner,” is a dramatic oversimplification, one that too often obscures relationships like “supporter,” “sounding board,” “buddy,” or even “cheerleader,” all of which and more are crucial for relationships to thrive.
Further, this is not an unusual concept, or even one the mainstream rejects. Yet its application to the realm of relationship choice is bizarrely downright taboo. I’m reminded of a recent email chain letter I received the other day, which read, in part:
When I was little,
I used to believe in the concept of one best friend,
And then I started to become a woman.
And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up,
God would show you the best in many friends.
It may all be wrapped up in one woman, But for many, it’s wrapped up in several.
One from 7th grade,
One from high school,
Several from the college years,
A couple from old jobs…
Lots of people are so ready to accept the need for many friends. Why are they so eager to demonize the need for many loves, as a new Canadian law set to criminalize multi-partnered relationships with jail time up to 5 years seems to do? Similarly, many people readily accept that different people’s ideas of worth are different, often citing “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but then turn right around and decry BDSM’ers notions of what makes us feel worthy of love.
When it comes to self-worth, love is not different than friendship. Both must play by the same rules: yours.
Update (Dec. 27, 2010): Apparently someone thinks this post is anti-Semitic inbar--1423 because I got the translation wrong. They say the Hebrew word doesn’t mean “Mistress,” but rather “Husband.” What they may not have realized is that I looked the word up in the dictionary (as they’d have seen if they bothered to look at the link the word points to, so even if I’m wrong about its meaning, I’m not a primary source) and that I’m Jewish. Further, while I’m no longer fluent in it, Hebrew was my first language. It seems I’m not the only one who may be jumping to conclusions based on incomplete information.
tumblrize homosexual photograph
One man licks the stomach of another whose hands remain at his sides, near the back of unbuttoned jeans slipping down his hips.
The anonymous contributor who suggested this photograph offered a delightfully unexpected interpretation:
Despite the men not being my ‘type’, I find myself coming back to this photo again and again. I think it’s because the man whose face you can see seems like the top to me—there’s a stillness to the other man, with his hands on the backs of his thighs, like he was told not to move or touch and had to hold onto himself to make sure he didn’t do either. The look on the other man’s face is also beautiful to me he might be looking up (usually a submissive position in most porn) but he seems fierce and watchful.
It’s interesting to note that “watchful” can accurately describe both so-called submissive and dominant behavior. Can “fierce”? I think so the man on the right has what appears to be a scar on his side, and if that man is the submissive partner, then of the two, his body is showing more grit.
Reversing assumptions is a precious skill compassion and empathy are circumscribed without it. Although I first assumed submissiveness in the man whose face we can see because of the way he is licking the other model, once I understood the alternative possibility, I noticed that the man doing the licking is the active partner here. And, as our anonymous contributor correctly states, since the man doing the licking is in the stereotypically submissive position, if he is the submissive partner, then it’s his activeness itself that queers this image.
So much for a simple narrative.
In the glow of sunlight, a shirtless man on his back locks eyes with his clothed partner looking down at him.
Dylan sent in this photograph with the following note:
This is a photo of myself and my partner Cedar. A friend shot a series of photos for us on a winter morning in Cedar’s bedroom. I love the look on his face as he looks up at me: honest, willing, open, attentive and very turned on.
I am a genderqueer boy (ftm), and Cedar is cisgender. The degree to which C.’s being came through in the photos is remarkable to me—his expressiveness was encouraged, not restricted, by the presence of the camera.
While I presume a power dynamic was palpable for Dylan or Cedar in the moment, it’s extremely subtle for me as a viewer. Nevertheless, it’s there, in Cedar’s splayed arms, in his nakedness contrasted with Dylan’s being clothed, in their eyes and, especially, in their mouths. Even from this angle, Dylan’s lips seem sharp and piercing while Cedar’s seem flush and parting. (Also, wow, he has pretty lips.)
So the camera, as useful and remarkable a tool as it is, has its limits, because the photograph alone is extremely soft spoken about Cedar’s submissive stance here. That’s where Dylan’s note comes in: realizing Dylan is genderqueer adds a whole new layer of implication on an already somewhat ambiguously gendered photograph. Now we also see Dylan’s travel, begun where the hegemony says sexual power cannot exist—the female and the feminine—and ending in a place of sexual domination, which the hegemony says only men can obtain. Cedar’s submission, in that light, is all the more transgressive—and all the more accepting.
Thanks for sharing this with us.
tumblrize black and white photograph solo
Kneeling naked on the floor, a muscular man whose wrists and ankles are shackled bows his head.
This old photograph was suggested by Olga. One of the first things that I noticed were the man’s shackles and the fact that they were broken. What would perhaps imply resistance in a different context seems to accentuate acceptance and submission in this one.
Olga’s observations focused on the model himself, and are incredibly detailed:
There are two things that enchant me most in this photo. First, the lines of the figure: the perfectly round curve from neck to waist, another perfectly round curve of buttocks, smooth thighs, and then all the rest of the muscles. There’s a lot of attention paid to the female body in our culture, but I find the male body as enticing in all its living, breathing harmony, and this picture is a brilliant example.
Second, the pose. Of course, this kneeling pose with the curved back holds my eye: this is what I like to see as a dominant woman. This strong, big man, in a submissive pose, is a beautiful sight[…]. But the most enticing detail of this pose is the way his hands are turned palms up. He doesn’t lean on them, and it adds a lot of tension in the pose he holds. He offers them open and defenseless. I can’t help but think about what can be done with his hands, how they can be put to use in service, or how they can be tortured. His hands are his gift of service, as is his entire body and his entire self.
Curating imagery like this has taught me a lot, mostly because many of the images people suggest offer fascinating insights into their relationship with power, and especially how it interrelates with their understanding of gender. Here, Olga’s description clearly shows that other people’s dogmatic interpretations of what is or is not submissive, what is or is not dominant, and especially what is or is not manly, have no power over one’s own sexual desires unless one lets them. And frankly, yes, as a submissive man, I no longer see any reason to let anyone else dictate my sexuality to me.
A naked man stands before a clothed woman, holding her sides gently as she squeezes his ass with her hands and presses herself against him.
This photograph was suggested by Ranai, whose description I can only describe as incredibly sexy:
I admire the self-control it takes to be a submissive lover. To be alert for instructions, to listen to what the other wants in the throes of passion, and transform it into action. To keep going, and going, or change pace at a moment’s notice. To open up and offer one’s body to something painful or uncomfortable, when there’s a conflicting instinct to curl up and protect oneself. To be gentle even while the other is being rough, and to give it hard and fast when hard and fast is called for.
The picture tells a story of deliberately chosen inequality in action. She already digs her nails into his backside with abandon, enjoying it when she feels him flinch. He still touches her only lightly, as he has not yet been told to do more.
I love seeing the beautiful hair on this man’s legs and arms. I hope he has a hairy chest too. Hair, for me, is a joy to see and touch: it’s one aspect of my own physical preferences.
Ranai makes me wish I was better at emotive writing, however my skill lies in analytics and as such I often feel ill-equipped to discuss the emotionality of such pictures. Thankfully, Ranai perfectly describes not only the challenge but also the essential drive of submissive sexuality, for me: to open up when there’s a conflicting instinct to curl, to be gentle when confronted with force, and to treat others not as I would be treated but as they would have me treat them.
But to limit such things to sex play seems ludicrously wasteful, and one need not look hard to see applications of this in all sorts of places. This is unsurprising, as sexuality is ultimately a language, full of idioms and expressions, along with awkward moments of miscommunication when we’re still learning.
Anyway, Ranai also offered this really encouraging note:
P.S. Hi maymay, I’m seeing more and more Male Submission Art pictures used by people as journal icons and discussion forum avatars. This is a pleasant change in the making. Yay!
Yes, very much yay! I’ve been noticing this, too. I actually think this is incredibly important, because it begins to inch towards more equitable representation of men and women in the media, both social media and, hopefully one day, mainstream media.
Attribution update: I received a very nice note from the photographer of this image, Michael Berkowitz:
I’m happy to see people finding my work of interest and I appreciate the exposure…. Also, it’s good to see your site and what images you have in your archive, what your audience wants to see. I can try to include more of that type of image when I’m shooting. Also, to those who like my style and are in the NYC area, I am available for commissions. Thanks.
Michael can also be found as mjbw39 on DeviantArt.com.
Sometimes in my excitement and eagerness to take all of your body, offered so deliciously and temptingly, I pinch and squeeze, aroughness born of hunger.
Never for a second allow this to fool you into thinking you have similar license. UnlessI tell you I want it rough you better handle me like hand-woven silk, else you will regret it. Touch me gently or I’ll not let you touch me at all.
tumblrize black and white bondage photograph
Bound with rope at the wrists and ankles, a naked man lays limp in the arms of a larger woman who holds him by his waist and collar high above her head.
Here’s a captivating image, suggested by Pimmie, who wrote:
I have a picture for you by the Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf called Powerlifting.
I love the little details in this artwork, like the placing of the woman’s hands. She holds the man’s weight up on two very vulnerable spots on his body. Her dominance speaks from the look on her face alone. And I love her body shape in this context a powerful stance on delicate shoes. [I love t]he surrender in the man’s pose.
The overall impression of this picture, for me, is of a woman showing her prey or catch.
"Surrender" is so often linked with failure or loss, things that are in turn associated with negative connotations of "submission." But surrender is also, and simply, the cessation of resistance. It can be an act of acceptance or an embrace not a failure to assert, but an action motivated by the desire to explore or, sometimes, to relax.
Compositionally, I’m conflicted about posting this image here because the subject is ambiguous is the photo more about her, or him? Ultimately, of course, they both contribute to it. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia,
one of [Erwin Olaf’s] early photographs was once expelled from a show on the basis of not containing nudity. Clearly, any criteria may always cut both ways.
tumblrize bondage photograph solo
A naked man tied in full-body natural-colored hemp rope bondage lays among an assortment of earth-toned and red pillows.
I’m mildly colorblind and so images that use color as a primary means of expression are often difficult for me to understand or wholly appreciate. However, I enjoy this photograph because this man’s beard is colored similarly to my own, and while he seems to be shaven near his genitals I imagine the redness of his beard still reflects his natural coloring. My bright red pubic hair is the lightest hair on my body. Maybe that’s meaningful.
It’s so, so hard for me to look at pictures like this these days. They make me crave what I see and, like magic, they seem somehow possible for others and just out of my reach. That hurts so much. I wish I were a poet so I wouldn’t have to use so many words to describe how I feel.
Maybe I’ll just use less words and more trust from now on. All I’ve got left is hope.
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A large man smiles in obvious delight, enjoying the sensation of two clothespins on his nipples.
Peter suggested this awesome photograph, and wrote:
On the rare occasions that a submissive male is portrayed, he is usually depicted as skinny, young, effeminate and shy. I love this picture because it does not fit in any of those clichés.
I would add only one more cliché, perhaps the most important of all: that submission is portrayed as something undesired and undesireable. That cliché is the most insulting, dangerous, and untrue of all.
Submission is freedom, and can be healing if you let it be. It’s okay to want permission to be what, who, and how you are, connected with another or with yourself by a resonance of your own making. Like a tuning fork, loud and insistent but audible only once grounded with a force that you embrace.
It’s okay to want such permission, even if you don’t need it. Because, actually, you don’t need permission from anyone but yourself.
A British Prime Minister kneels to kiss the hand of the Queen of England.
When I first looked at this picture that Faelyn suggested, I didn’t really know what to make of it. I mean, from my irreverent perspective, the stuffy British government isn’t exactly good wank material. But context is important, and the note Faelyn sent along with the image is gripping:
On the surface, the femdom het aspect of things is pretty obvious. It goes deeper than mere appearances, though.
Arguably the most important relationship arc in The Queen is between the fictionalized characters of Tony Blair and Elizabeth II. The story begins with his election as a young and charming Prime Minister in the mid-90s. She’s unimpressed with his newer, touchy-feely approach to governance. He’s thrown off by the formalities of his position: he thinks of himself as an elected politician, and has to adjust to the idea that officially/symbolically he serves her.
There’s a magnificent scene early on where he learns to kneel to her and, rather than declaring himself PM or asking for it, wait for her to grant him the right to run what is officially her government. It’s uncomfortable and they both leave as soon as possible. As the story progresses, however, he comes to really want to serve her, and she learns to accept his service. The second kneeling scene is a thing of beauty—she’s upset, he’s conciliatory—and afterward they stay together to talk, having created a bond.
I spend a lot of time looking for crypto-femdom het relationships in media and this is by far one of my favorites (with Daniel Craig as Bond/Judy Dench as M coming in a close second…).
Narratives like this are everywhere, not because they are inherently part of the act, but because you—the viewer—imbue the act with your narrative. Wherever you go, you’ll see mirrors of your most authentic feelings. The tragedy is that you are so often told not to embrace them.
Faelyn also sent a kind note, for which I am very grateful:
Thank you so much for your web presence! This site and your blog have been an enormous help to me as I’ve been figuring out the nature of my own desires and trying to handle them ethically/sensibly.
Thanks, Faelyn. That really does mean a lot.
A shirtless man manually pleasures a naked woman as she scratches his back, raising long, red marks from his waist to his shoulders.
I like this image for so many reasons. Both his clear efforts to pleasure her and her openness to that (physically and otherwise), as well as her casual sadism scratching his back leap to mind. His partially dressed state, still wearing jeans, just amplifies the attractive disparity of her pleasure and his pain.
Of course, this image—like so many others—could easily be re-contextualized differently, and seen as an (unwanted) sexual brawl. Even without changing the image itself, changing the context changes the message, distorting original intent. Herein lies the danger of relying on promise or premise, rather than policy.
Last year, I wrote about the passage of Britain’s foolhardy ban of “extreme” images, Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, a law that all but guaranteed misuse because of its broad drafting. Although the
government assured Parliament that §63 was intended for cases where someone’s extreme porn habit raised serious cause for concern, this promise has already been broken multiple times. As Heresy Corner recounts:
Campaigners against §63 feared, not only that it would target consumers of consensual fetish porn, but that it was wide open to abuse. That it would give the police a handy weapon to use against anyone who comes to their attention, for whatever reason, and who just happens to have dodgy material on their mobile phone or computer. … This seems to be what happened to [two men, Andrew Holland and Michael Nelson].
The law was pushed through the legislature after a Mr. Coutt murdered a young girl and by way of explanation cited his “addiction” to pornography. But despite the fact that neither Holland or Nelson had any demonstrable “addiction” to pornography, they now have criminal records merely for possessing an image others deem obscene.
Meanwhile, in America, although the government can criminally prosecute many individuals under 2257 record keeping requirements, it “promised” not to. But with American anti-pornography groups drum-banging ever louder, how long do you think that promise will last? As Melissa Ditmore, Ph.D. says, “Sex law is often a front for ideology that constrains rather than liberates….”
killingbambi killingbambi:bunnicidal bunnicidal:masterpanda masterpanda:casanovafrankenstein casanovafrankenstein:atomised atomised:
(via poisoncrazylush poisoncrazylush)
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A clothed man is bound to a heavy chair with long locks of hair, his wrists pulled to the chair’s armrests and his ankles spread at the chair’s legs.
This unlikely image was sent in by Ashitaka, who had this to say:
I grabbed this frame from the trailer of an upcoming Disney movie titled, “Tangled.” This scene made me squirm in my seat. In it, the heroine uses her unusually long hair to bind the hero to a chair against his will. I’m sure Disney will claim that there is nothing inherently erotic about a scene in which a strapping hunk is restrained helplessly and forced to submit to a beautiful princess, but we all know better than that. This trailer reminds me of my fantasies of other Disney characters when I was a kid. Oh Ariel, you were so much sexier with legs….
Disney’s re-imagining of Rapunzel, on which Tangled is based, could certainly be interesting. The increasingly common notion of feminine protagonists who possess strength enough to overpower male leads is a welcome change from previous generations of Disney flicks in which women were largely helpless unless they, themselves, were villains. This fact has major implications for the future.
Recently, Ranat wrote:
I grew up on a lot of Disney movies. A lot. And me being the little unsuspecting sadist and dominant I was, you can probably guess which were my favorite parts. Yes, in Disney movies. […] Even though I’ve been aware of a lot of this my entire life, it was kind of shocking to add it all up. It’s been a surprising antidote for my residual sexual shame, because, dude, if I was three and getting off on this stuff, I ain’t corrupted.
As Ranat points out, imagery like this can offer people, including children, a healthy sexual self-affirmation. It’s not the case that children view this material as inherently sexual, but it’s also not the case that the material can be inherently sexual or not. The “sexual nature” of an image is itself subjective, following the same rules as the distinctions for beauty.
Any perceived dangers of an image like this has nothing to do with this image and everything to do with the context that it’s presented in. Change the context, and you can change the nature of the image without touching the picture itself. Concerns over sexualization frequently lack context grounded in reality, speciously suggesting that censorship is the only “appropriate” course of action.
tumblrize homosexual narrative
A young man is pressed against a wall by a larger man, who holds the smaller man’s head near his own.
This gripping photograph is from the Model Mayhem portfolio of Eri Nicholas Vohnson, and was suggested by ohmyfckity, who had this to say:
I came across this picture tonight and just had to share. I love how the younger male is utterly enjoying the dominating older man. There is no fear in his expression and he’s so willing.
This picture took my breath away because the juxtaposition of forcefulness with willingness is searingly sexy. I also like that, in a clearly dramatized scene, both models are wearing very plain clothing. Further, the androgynous look of the smaller man adds several dimensions of power to the narrative, including gender, age, and culture.
Finally, the shorter man’s untroubled expression is particularly interesting in contrast to the taller man’s aggressive stance. Coupled with his queered gender presentation, the image challenges a culture that indoctrinates many people—including men—with the belief that male lust is dangerous, and uncontrollable. Interestingly, homophobic men, like Mark Schwartz, Republican Senator Tom Coburn’s chief of staff, are arguably the group most afraid of male sexuality. According to Mark Schwartz:
Pornography is a blight. […It’s] my observation that boys…have less tolerance for homosexuality than just about any other class of people. They speak badly about homosexuality. And that’s because they don’t want to be that way. They don’t want to fall into it. […] All pornography is homosexual pornography, because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards.
Ignoring for a moment this statement’s supreme stupidity with regards to pornography, Schwartz’s internalized homophobia can be logically explained. As Figleaf points out:
It seems to me that if you’re sold on that view of men then homophobia is a twisted but logical outcome. Because if you’re raised to believe that you literally can’t resist sexual temptation of any sort but you’re not actually sexually oriented towards other men […] it makes sense that you’d be wildly intolerant of gay men. […If] one believes men are ravenously, uncontrollably sexually impulsive then one must live in mortal paranoia that not only might one inadvertently receive an aggressive sexual advance not only from perceptibly “homosexual” men (who are falsely presumed to be sexually interested in any possible opportunity for sex with any possible man) but equally uncontrollable straight men for whom, after all, must also believe “a hole is a hole.”
Put another way, the shorter man’s androgynous look allows homophobes to more easily view him as “less than” manly. They define masculine sexuality so narrowly, both his appearance and his serenity in this situation breaks the mold.
As for Schwartz, well, one does wonder if his hands are afraid of his penis since, by his logic, masturbation must be the most homosexual act of all.
Two men, each wearing collars, one naked save for a chest rope harness, the other in briefs, hold themselves against a wall with their hands above their heads. A woman stands between them, holding each possessively.
This picture was suggested by Halo, shown in the center of this image. Halo’s account of the scene this photograph’s from is quite absorbing. Thanks to everyone involved for sharing your experience with us.
This is a photo (from left to right) of Jack, Halo [myself] and Chris, taken by our friend Smalls (rope work also by Smalls). They’ve all granted permission for this photo to be shared.
I’ve chosen to share it because it captures submission as an act of strength, tenderness, and trust. Chris is butch, straight, and adheres to a patriarchal definition of masculinity: as a former Korean soldier, he’s been raised in a very conservative environment. Because of this, he was quite homophobic, but he trusted me enough as his Domme to participate in a scene side by side with Jack, a queer man with long hair, lovely curves, and a handsome red beard—a man who Chris had seen sucking cock earlier in the evening.
Chris wasn’t happy about being next to Jack and had told me so, but he knew it pleased me to play with both of them and so was willing to take part. He clenched every muscle that he could and bore the scene in silence.
I commanded both men to put their hands against the wall, then began spanking and flogging them until Jack was sweating, moaning, and crying out. Chris merely tightened up and took it. Afterwards, to show them how pleased I was with both of them, I covered them with red lipstick kisses.
The next morning, while I cooked breakfast, a shirtless Chris happily chatted with Jack. “Do you want to see how many push-ups I can do?” Chris asked. “Usually I do 500.” He knelt before Jack and began doing push-ups with perfect form until his breath came in pants and a sheen of sweat built up on his skin.
Although Chris and I no longer play, we learned a lot from each other.
As Halo’s story shows, trust is a prerequisite not only for good sex, but for learning trust in oneself and in one’s partner to feel safe enough to do something potentially uncomfortable, but moreover trust that you have something to gain from it. That’s what’s so obviously lacking from those who willfully fail to acknowledge the validity of consensual sexual behavior.
I also think it’s quite telling to hear about Chris’s stoicism during his in-scene discomfort in contrast to Jack’s expressiveness, and how Chris’s stonewalling (no pun intended) seems to have dissipated the next morning, perhaps along with some of his homophobia.
tumblrize homosexual photograph
Two men embrace outdoors, one who’s shirtless and presents masculinely kneeling in front of the other, who’s dressed femininely.
This photograph was suggested by safeword.tumblr.com safeword, but it’s the context that makes the image truly interesting:
Both the people in this photo are men and male-indentified. I think a tender, beautiful representation of the truth that masculinity and femininity are not only tied to sex, but are also not tied to dominance and submission. The kink community likes to act as if a man putting on heels or lipstick makes him submissive and humiliated (think of sissies or forced-fem), as if wearing lipstick and heels is something to be ashamed of, something that makes you weak. I see both people represented here as very strong.
This image would be very different if the man with the long hair (Izzy Hilton) was kneeling at Kris Kidd’s feet—that would tie femininity to submissiveness. Instead, the image is of masculinity submitting regardless of gender, regardless of cultural concepts of weakness and strength, but out of a desire to be nurtured and cared for, since this picture also does not seem expressly sexual. He looks almost childlike, like the way the top is cradling his head is soothing him.
I deeply appreciate that “safeword” sees both men in this image “as very strong” because it acknowledges how submission can engender power. Tangentially, I take issue with the use of the phrase “the kink community” because, as used in this context, I’d argue it misconstrues kink to equal BDSM when, in fact, it does not. With that said, I like the rest of “safeword“‘s analysis of this picture, and I agree wholeheartedly.
The commentary on diverse masculinity is particularly apt as a recent Gallup poll revealed that
for the first time, the percentage of Americans who perceive ‘gay and lesbian relations’ as morally acceptable has crossed the 50 percent mark. The most interesting part of the survey results is the fact that the numbers were punctuated
by a dramatic change in attitudes among younger men aged 18 to 49, whose acceptance of gays rose by a stunning 48% in the last four years. This, to me, proves the value in being visibly proud of who you are.
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A pale-skinned man with striking blue eyes looks up at the camera, holding himself above the space between two walls. He’s dressed in a black leather buckling chest harness.
This photograph was (most recently) suggested by Allie Coquelicot, who wrote:
This is one of the first images I saw of a submissive man, about two years ago now. It immediately struck a chord with me. I wasn’t sure at first why I desired this man so much, but over the years it has become much clearer that BDSM is an integral part of my life.
His position, the intensity of his gaze and the outdoor setting makes this a really stunning photograph. […] It’s an image which I feels portrays a beautiful, sexy submissive man. I now want him peering up at me with those expectant—perhaps slightly fearful—eyes.
Oddly, I like the man’s relatively plain earring most of all, since this image doesn’t impress much else on me. I may simply be too strongly averse to the stereotype of BDSM and leathers (a fact too many BDSM’ers think is “ironic,” which is a sign of their ignorance more than anything else). Nevertheless, I do find the fact that the picture was a formative catalyst for Allie noteworthy precisely because it does little for me.
Of course, my aversion to the common presentation of submission is the entire basis for this website. My agenda is no less hidden: to showcase the diversity of submissive masculinity in the hopes of catalyzing authentic sexual awareness in others (and curating admirable beauty along the way). In a world where men are allowed to look at women, but women are not allowed to look at men, we have no hope of living sexually unencumbered. I aim for nothing less than sexual freedom, and neither need you.
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A naked man straddles the lap of a woman in her underwear as she leans in to kiss him.
This touching photograph was suggested by amantes-amentes amantes-amentes. It is, as amantes notes, very sensuous:
This photo […] immediately struck me as beautiful. Most photos of lovers in this position have the woman in this man’s position. In this photo, the woman is cradling her lover delicately, protectively, and sensuously. I especially love that we can see her right hand on his back, and the way he is grasping her upper arm.
I often feel a sense of guardianship and protection over the men with whom I have any sort of relationship, but especially with my sexual partners, and I think this embodies that aspect of the dominant-submissive relationship. (Not that submissive men need protection, of course! Just a personal inclination!)
The position of the models is particularly arresting because it’s one in which, perhaps due to their genders, a brief glance can give you the wrong impression, whereas a closer look will reveal details painting a very different picture. For instance, without even diving into the power implications, the slight angle at which the man is leaning back, not forward, the fact that the woman is still wearing her bra, and the arrangement of her arms as though they are enveloping his body all indicate tenderness, not aggression. Wait…tenderness? In porn?
Many who spout sex-negativity eagerly lump all pornography together into one (censored) pile with outrageous claims like viewing pornography creates rapists, but the variability in reality refutes this conflation. Of course, far be it from anti-porn activists and “researchers” like Dr. Gail Dines, Founder and Board Director of Stop Porn Culture, to let mere reality stop their crusade.
Dines and her organization are convening in Boston on June 12th for an upsetting conference called Feminists Against Pornography (aka. FAP seriously, “FAP”). Headlining at the conference is character assassin and University of Rhode Island Women’s Studies professor, Donna M. Hughes, a well-known right-wing wingnut most famous for her Coalition Against Pleasure and Health, responsible for delaying Megan Andelloux’s non-profit sex education Center from opening for half a year.
While I’m thrilled to see the Internet abuzz with people discussing the merits and demerits of pornography, I feel much of that discussion misses the point. Both Stop Porn Culture and the Feminists Against Pornography conference are red herrings. To borrow from Jessica Valenti, their tactics are
part of a larger conservative move to woo women by appropriating feminist language. […C]onservatives are trying to sell anti-women policies shrouded in pro-women rhetoric.
Thankfully, June 12th is the same day as the sex-positive, free KinkForAll Washington DC 2 unconference. As developmental psychology post-grad and researcher Jason G. Goldman put it,
I will suggest that given the ubiquity of pornographic content available to children and adults, and given the ease at which it can be acquired, and given the high amount of sexual content in mainstream media (e.g. primetime TV), the people who are meeting in Boston next week to denounce pornography might redirect their efforts at improving the quality of sex education in our schools.
tumblrize bondage photograph
A man strains against bonds as he lays naked on a padded table, while a casually dressed young woman holds his erect penis in one hand and a small plastic-looking tool between his legs with her other.
As others have mentioned, the most definingâand enjoyableâcharacteristic of this photograph is the woman’s attire: a blue, oversized “Abercrombie” sweater. His nakedness and frenetic energy is far more striking because of the contrast her nonchalant appearance provides. Couple this with the not merely unconcerned, but downright gleeful expression on her face and the strips of tape serving as a blindfold and gag on his face, and, well, I’m sold.
That being said, concluding that this man is necessarily in pain is a mistake. It’s more likely that she’s pleasuring him, not hurting him, because no matter its genre, the tired narrative in pornography is that men receive (physical) pleasure and women provide itâregardless of who’s touching who and how. What would, instead, be most compelling to me is if this scene was one in which an overabundance of sexual pleasure was itself the instrument of pain.
In so doing, and only thanks to the woman’s obvious blitheness, it could help redefine several porn “pleasure narratives” (if not its gender or power narratives). It would more clearly show pleasure’s true diversity, that joy is possible through pleasure, pain, or both, that both “receiving” and "giving" physical sensation can be pleasurable, and that the “giving” may be most satisfying for the “giver” when the act is performed on her terms. Therein lies the missing “last mile" of porn’s potential honesty.
As an aside, I’m pretty sure he’s not in pain because, what is that she’s holding, a toothbrush? (No, seriously, is it a toothbrush?)
I love this. I love that he’s properly tied down, and he’s in real pain, and he’s clenching his knees together but it won’t do him any good. I love that she’s wearing a fucking hoodie and she’s just delighted with herself. Where is all the femdom like this?
(via fempower fempower)
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Laying on his stomach naked on a bed, a man with long hair strikes a pose tilting his head, while holding onto the footboard.
This photograph of drummer Brian Viglione was suggested by dardrian dardrian, who wrote:
I love this photograph of him. The arch of his back, his closed eyes, the way he has tilted his head, the fierce grip he has on the foot-board, all seem to indicate to me that he is waiting for something. Perhaps a smack, perhaps simply to be ravished.
There’s an austere yet sensual beauty in every part of this image, including the man, that I really enjoy. That, and the awesomely pervertible bed frame on which his hands could easily be bound. I think part of the intrigue this photograph provides is Brian’s own serenity seems he would be equally comfortable being admired as he would being alone—and that confidence is what I find to be the sexiest thing about him in this photograph.
tumblrize black and white bondage photograph
Holding a bouquet of roses in his lap, a shirtless man is strapped to a vintage armchair and blindfolded.
This photograph is from a series called Decadence by Alberto Rugolotto, and was suggested by Aida subtlecluster. I like the iconoclastic mismatch of bondage and luxury in this image, and the ambiguity of the scene. Is he gifting those roses to someone, or are they intended to decorate him?
Sexuality has had a long and controversial relationship with luxury throughout history. Many see widespread self-indulgence as a symptom of societal decay, pointing to the apparent decadence of the Roman Empire as historical evidence. Fewer seem to critique austerity outright, as even the Victorians—those remarkable people who shunned pleasure to the point of boiling the nutrients out of their childrens’ food in order to achieve blandness—have many fans for many reasons even today.
Sex and sexual pleasure is contradictorily viewed as both a luxury and a necessity. Although the mainstream needlessly flip-flops on this according to the morality du jour, I think the paradoxical view is correct. Sexual self-expression is a human necessity (and a right) sex occupies both the base and higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Like good nutrition, fulfilling sex (at least with oneself) is required for health. Like gourmet food, fantastical sex might be a luxury, currently available only to those financially or emotionally wealthy enough to indulge in it. Seen in this light, the crusade against sexual freedom is revealed for what it is: systemic emotional starvation.
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While wearing a head harness and a ball gag, a man rests his head in his partner’s hand.
This photograph was taken and suggested by Vode, who also sent this lovely description of the image:
I would like to share a picture I have made with my boyfriend. We both are into BDSM, he was a switch, I submissive. But he longed to be dominated and I liked the idea although I never dominated anyone before. But with him, it was like we were made for each other, and it went so easy. He loves it when I make him wear gags, it’s almost insta-submisson for him and you can see it from the look of his face.
This picture was taken when I wanted to have a little photoshoot and while taking pictures trying to dominate him a bit and let his submission shine through in his pictures. I think it did. I love this picture especially because of my hand holding his face and his facial expression. I hope you like it too.
I do like it, too. The delicateness with which his head is held, evident through the position and gentleness of the thumb, guides my eyes to his. This is in sharp contrast to what we often see in erotica, and I’ve written before about how distasteful I find porn that covers up mens’ faces to be, and how beautiful and joyous shamelessness can be.
Vode also wrote me an encouraging note:
Thank you for the website, it made me more attracted to male submission, and keep up the lovely work.
Particularly as it came from a self-described submissive, her note reminds me why MaleSubmissionArt.com exists: We cannot be what we cannot see.
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Chains wrap a young man’s wrists as he holds his hands together, bowing his head.
I love the way the lighting in this photograph almost seems to drape itself over the model’s hands and the chain around his wrists. The limited view we get lends itself to many possible narratives. Psychoadept, who sent this picture in, had this to say about the image:
Hard to tell what the subject is wearing, but it’s not hard to imagine he could be in a religious setting, maybe even a young monk. And yet there’s nothing explicitly religious about it, and it makes me think about how many parallels there are between sexual submission and religious “submission,” right down to the control of sexual urges and sexual behavior.
As this picture suggests, constraints often foster creativity. Strict rules of meter inspired some of the world’s most powerful poetry, just as Twitter’s 140-character rule made it a breeding ground for innovation. In an ideal world, I’d only face restrictions (religious or otherwise) I chose to challenge myself with. But in the real world, influence is too often sought via imposition or intimidation, turning constraints that could be opportunities if you were to choose them for yourself into obstacles because they were chosen for you.
Equally horrifying, I think, is the hypocrisy spawned by self-righteous sanctimony. It’s amusing (to say the least) that devout Catholics appear to be the group most easily stimulated by Donna M. Hughes and Margaret Brooks to bandy baseless accusations of child molestation at me, especially when the media is afire with evidence of decades-long coverups by the Catholic Church of that exact crime. Just as the Catholic Church continues to conflate homosexuality with pedophilia, so-called
prominent feminist Donna M. Hughes and Margaret Brooks are conflating speaking about sex with child sex trafficking.
As Thomas has suggested on numerous occasions,
I think [Donna M. Hughes and Margaret Brooks are] not really interested in protecting children. I think they’re interested in shutting down the conferences and silencing kinksters. Is it any wonder, then, that those who try to impose their own sexual morality on others find such fertile ground for their disingenuous crusades among the religiously zealous?
Among all the parallels between sexual submission and religious “submission” is this one, as well: consent is moral, oppression is not.