The Bully and the Bitch

Given the subject matter that I write about, I am continually reminded of how many men out there have submissive sexual tendencies and are looking for a dominant woman. Which is natural, I know. There are various statistics out there, supported by studies of everything from schoolyards and fraternities to dance clubs and tribal societies, which basically state that a very small percentage of humans are leaders, and the rest follow them. I suppose it would be fair to say that humans are pack/herd animals. But what does this have to do with submissive sexuality?

People confuse power and sex all the time, probably because, from an evolutionary standpoint, those who are powerful are the ones who get sex. But in contemporary terms, powerful leaders are inspiring, charismatic. They have an energy that is infectious, that excites people to sign on with whatever the leader is turned on by, regardless of whether or not they understand, and this excitement is often experienced as sexual arousal. Such people are dominants, alphas, whatever word you like — they are natural leaders and people follow them without coercion, and with out the leader needing to be a bully or a bitch.

However, our social hierarchy implies that for male to be a ‘real man’ he must take charge, take control– in the workplace and the home– regardless of whether or not it comes naturally to him. And women have a lot of power. We are the sex-objects, the child-bearers. We are mysterious, enigmatic, encompassing, nurturing. And so, I think, it is inevitable that when a man is in the privacy of his own sexual space, one of three things happens. Most commonly, I think, is that men indulge in masturbatory fantasies that have power-exchange contexts. Some, perhaps those more self-aware, want to give up control and seek to do what comes more naturally to him–they seek to submit, to worship, and to be nurtured by Woman. And then there are those who, knowing themselves outclassed as a dominant ‘out there’, seek to prove to themselves that they can dominate others, usually the wife and children.

I’ve accumulated enough knowledge and experience to comfortably state that most men who think they are Doms are really just men who have issues with women or their own masculinity, and who think being abusive or demeaning others is an expression of their dominance. But in fact, its just a pathetic display of denial. Men who bully or abuse women aren’t dominant, they are submissives in denial. And they think I am a bitch. Which turns them on. And then they suddenly change their tunes, and roll over on their backs and show their bellies and beg me to take control of their pleasure. And in that moment, I am also reminded that so many women out there are incapable of playing a dominant role without being a bitch. Or rather, so many people out there, male and female, think that being bitchy equates to being dominant. And it just isn’t so. A woman who resorts to being a bitch in order to get her way is about as dominant as a man who as to be an asshole to get his way. Anyone who stands in that place does so quite precariously, fearful of losing that foothold, and thus their ‘dominance’ is illusory, existing only so long as those in their lives are in collusion with that bullying behavior, and tolerant of it.

What most people do not understand about dominance and submission is that the submissive is not in any way diminished by submitting, that submission is not a demeaning experience, in general, and that the submissive is really the one who has the power, not the Dom. The Dom gives structure and controls the flow of the power, but without the submissive’s energy and submission, the Dom is merely a man (or woman) with an itch to dominate/be in control. A real Dom doesn’t feel more of a ‘man’ when he is controlling a submissive. A real dominant feels more alive, fulfilled, more sensitized to the eroticism of power exchange, filled with a profound sense of the rightness of the moment. But a true dominant feels no more or less him or herself as a consequence of such encounters, because they are confident in and at peace with themselves, with their status and their sexuality, and D/s encounters are simply another example of the natural order of things, not a power-trip.

Submissive males approach me. Am I looking for an obedient boy, they ask? They would love to be humiliated and teased and used by me, they say. Females, too, begging to be controlled, objectified, made abject. There are those, male and female, who want to please and be pleased. They want to feel treasured and cared for and more than anything, they want to make a contribution to their dominant. And while I occasionally dabble in D/s, I’m not in the lifestyle and I don’t seek out submissives. But they find me. Oh they find me. And while some of them tempt me and I do engage them, most of them annoy me with their persistence, with their begging and pouting, but I do try to be kind in my firmness, rather than a bitch. Which, a friend of mine assures me, makes me all the more compelling.

I rarely consciously use my innate dominance, because I’ve noticed that if one steps up to shepherd, one is burdened with the sheep. I don’t like the tendency of people to unconsciously develop a dependency on alpha males and females to do their thinking for them. I know that our species is a pack/herd animal and I know that some of us are genetically predisposed to be leaders of the herd. But I also, as a woman, am highly conscious of the social responsibility and personal cost. Outside of the bedroom, I prefer not to use other’s submissive tendencies and energy, because am VERY aware that I then have a responsibility toward them in exchange. I think a lot of people playing at being Dominant miss this very important part–the ethics of power exchange. Which is why I don’t consider bullies and bitches dominants…and why I’m always sad to see a submissive mistaking them for such.