What’s more I find her somewhat lacking in self knowledge. Her claim not to be a domme? She likes being in charge of many aspects of their life including their sex life. She is in most peoples vernacular a domme, albeit not a full blown control everything one. Her husband is submissive. Maybe not in all areas or even most but handing over power to your cock and sex life is an inherently submissive act. Regardless of how macho he is elsewhere in his life in that respect he is in most peoples definition submissive. Her dislike of the image of sub and Dom in her mind blinds her badly and that comes across in her writing.
And I agree with him, to a point. I also think that Sarah and John are in a D/s relationship and her steadfast refusal to acknowledge that is based on her particular definition of “male submissive” which is, in turn, based on her apparently limited exposure to all the various types out there. Mind you, I also have limited experience. I’ve just been into this stuff for about the past two years and have only met, in person, a few people like myself. My entire worldview on the subject is based on the internet and personal communication via email and the like.
That said, I think Sarah and I have a similar point of view with regard to what’s “good” male submission versus what’s “bad” (all the usual disclaimers about not judging others and only wanting consenting adults to find happiness apply – if what your’e doing floats your boat, screw what I think). To me, there is no value in submission if it’s being given by someone who feels they’re inferior to their partner. It’s only because I am not inferior to Belle that subjugating my sexual expression to her is sexy. The same thing could be said, I’m sure, for Sarah and John. She describes him as “strong, assertive, confident” etc., and she has no attraction to the he-slime-not-worthy type. Me either. How different, really, is what I’ve given to Belle when compared to what John’s given Sarah?
In her newsletter from today, Sarah said this in response to what I said yesterday:
I’d also say we might have different definitions or models of what we see submission as actually being. My control of John is strictly confined to the bedroom.
Does that make him submissive, sexually submissive, or sexually surrendering?
I’d say the last of these, especially as when we make love he’s as aggressive and lead-taking as ever, unless I’ve taken it into my head to be. The only difference is he doesn’t orgasm – EVER – unless and until I say he can. He’s not forever asking me if he can do “this” or “that”. He’s just like he always was, but sans orgasm.
That sounds a lot like what Belle and I have. Yes, we’ve played around with taking it to a higher level, but we seem to have settle not much further along than Sarah and John. Belle gets to boss me around a bit more than Sarah does with John and she controls when I’m sexually agressive, but not that I am. Otherwise I’d say we’re 87% the same.
I find it interesting that she makes a distinction between “sexually submissive” and “sexually surrendering”. To me, that sounds like semantics. They’re the same. Later on, she says, “It’s just that I don’t find submissive men attractive sexually. And that’s about all we can say about it, really.” I think she doesn’t find the idea of a sexually submissive man attractive. In fact, she finds John plenty hot. If a thing runs like a horse, sounds like a horse, and in all other ways resembles a horse, it’s probably not a zebra.
She finishes up by saying:
I suppose it all comes down to labels and they’re never very useful when you try to examine a continuum. We can see the extremes easily enough, but at which point does one become the other?
I agree! My only wish would be for her to stop using one big label – “submissive men” – to describe one subset of that group.
Lastly, I want to say this disagreement I have with Sarah doesn’t mean I still don’t wholeheartedly recommend her book (and blog and newsletter). I have lots of friends with whom I share significant disagreements (mostly political) but I’m still able to appreciate the rest of them. We may never see eye-to-eye on what constitutes submission, but the fact remains that she’s produced one of the best resources available on the subject of male chastity.