This week’s Newsweek cover titillates with a blindfolded woman under the caption “Why Surrender is a Feminist Dream.” The ‘return of the submissive woman’ really doesn’t make any sense at all to many Christians.
It is hard to believe that ‘women want to be submissive’ when a well-made pair of thigh high boots with matching riding crop is on a three month backorder. One should be able to find a great sale if women really were suddenly embracing submissiveness. Really, does Newsweek’s Katie Roiphe think Christian women are that gullible? Apparently Miss Katie Roiphe thinks Christian women are just aching for bad prose and hipster talking lovers.
In fact, if I were a member of the Christian right, sitting on my front porch decrying the decadent morals of working American women, what would be most alarming about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena, what gives it its true edge of desperation, and end-of-the-world ambience, is that millions of otherwise intelligent women are willing to tolerate prose on this level. If you are willing to slog through sentences like “In spite of my poignant sadness, I laugh,” or “My world is crumbling around me into a sterile pile of ashes, all my hopes and dreams cruelly dashed,” you must really, really, want to get to the submissive sex scene. – “Working Women’s Fantasies”, by Katie Roiphe, Newsweek
(Thanks for the shout out, Katie Roiphe, but Christian women have more to think about than everyone else’s sin.)
Miss Roiphe is only partially correct. There are much better examples of domination / submissive literature and erotic films than those she cites like The Story of O and Girls on HBO. The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, written by Anne Rice under the name A. N. Roquelaure, has a far higher prose value than 50 Shades of Grey. (Personally, I couldn’t get past the second chapter on 50 Shades. The dialogue was just so brainless).
If you want a read-it-out-loud-to-your-ball-gagged-lover level of prose, many recommend Anaïs Nin’s work Little Birds and Delta of Venus. Of course it goes without saying that memorized verses from Song of Solomon, whispered deep and husky against the belly skin, is always a well-played intellectual game of Madonna and Whore for husbands raised in the Church and fond of Catholic uniforms.
As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. (KJV) Solomon 2:3
Mainstream or even scriptural erotic fantasy is not reality. If it were reality, it wouldn’t be fantasy. Sure it might be fun to role play a little fantasy here and there, but at some point the Husband isn’t going to do something quite right and then you have to stop and tell him exactly what puts air in the tires or endure having your toes covered in peanut butter. That might be great for the cuticles, but the dog will dig your socks out of the laundry. The point is it takes trust and knowledge to make a fantasy work. One won’t always get the dry spot in the conjugal bed, unless one knows how to lead by following.
Being Submissive isn’t about Powerlessness
Mister and I watched that movie “Nine and a Half Weeks” decades ago. I may have even read the novella it is based on. The first part looked pretty fun, all food and blindfolds, but I think the ‘submissive’ stuff became a darker fetishism toward the end as trust was lost. For those that have seen the film, remember by the time he demanded she start crawling to him the relationship was pretty much over. She called it off. I always thought in the end she was a little shaken by the understanding that she was always more in control than her OCD domineering lover with his array of grey sweaters. She could stop; he couldn’t help himself. It is a tragic tale of mismatched needs and mental illness amongst the unsaved.
“Secretary” is another interesting mainstream domination / submission movie, although it explores more of the empowering aspects of submission. The secretary, in the transitional scene of submission to empowerment, follows James Spader character’s instructions rather than marry a man she does not love. Once again, the submissive is in the decider’s position. If she was ‘just a submissive’ she wouldn’t stay at the desk for three days. She would just give in and marry the ‘sad loser man’ like mother wants or start cutting herself again. Spader is also empowered by the secretary’s willful submission and they marry. What Newsweek forgets in their cover story is the submissive is really the one with all the power. This is probably more evident when a man is the submissive.
We’ve all seen these men on those Sicko Profiles of Week shows on TLC. The diaper wearing “I’m the Bay-Bay Boi” grown men are true submissives. I don’t know where these stupid women come from, but they will change his hairy bottomed diaper and even breast feed him. Looking at this arrangement, clearly the dude in the diaper is calling the shots.
Men should be very weary of using trending erotic literature topics to gage a woman’s desire. I’m sure Miss Katie Roiphe investigated these thoroughly, but a real live woman isn’t a statistic. If you asked me today what my fantasy was I would tell you I would like for my husband to take on a couple more wives like they did in the Bible. Of course this is only to help spring clean this house and get all the laundry done so I can finish projects without distraction.
Would that be my fantasy tomorrow? No. Do I want extra wives sleeping with my husband? Heck no. He doesn’t have enough love for all of us, but telling him so is a tickly feather to his brain. Tomorrow the fantasy might be to sneak over to the office because he’s working late and play dirty UPS lady. The point is this: relationships, our self-perceptions, limitations and abilities change overtime. For these things to work, a couple needs to deeply understand and be invested in each other’s wants.
I used to meet Mister at the door and bite the buttons off his dress shirt before spitting them out and slow riding him to Bethlehem like Joseph’s ass, but times change. When it takes both of us fifteen minutes of concentrated effort to thread a needle just to sew on a button because of age related sight problems, as a couple you make adjustments.
A lot of young people don’t appreciate this kind of shared marital wisdom during Christian couples retreats. Everybody just wants to learn more about spankings. The body might feel the sweet kiss of leather, but it still gets processed in the brain. Humans are the creatures with a brain as a sex organ, ignore that at your own peril.
If today’s modern women really desire a more submissive relationship, good for them. I’ll be waiting for the sales on thigh high boots and thinking about what to do next. It takes a lot of work to get to the point where a Christian couple can release all cares and responsibilities to each other and just drink in the moments we have together.