How Dominance & submission (D/s) Leads to More Sex. A Lot More.

Everybody Loves Raymond

Since discovering my sexual submissive self over two years ago, it is almost impossible not to see relationships through that lens as they play out in popular culture or in the news.  For example, I recently saw a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond, in which poor Raymond is desperate to get laid but can’t get his wife to agree to sex.  He feels angry and resentful, she feels pushed and resentful… Well of course, I couldn’t help but think they both would be soooo much happier if she’d just submit to her horny husband already.  My wonderfully horny husband is never desperate to get laid.  And we are never angry and resentful toward each other.

On Tuesday of this week, I stumbled across an article in the New York Times that announced, “Americans are having less sex.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08).  A recent study found that in the last twenty years, sexual frequency of sex has declined for all Americans, but especially married couples (from an average of 67 times per year in 1989, to average of 56 times per year in 2014).  Meanwhile, young people are not getting it on as much as older generations did at the same age.  Millennials, says the article, “are having less sex than any other generation previously.”

The authors of the study could not say why sexual frequency had declined, but guessed it could have something to do with technology intruding into our lives and stealing our attention away from each other.  However, I suspect it is more likely because young women today have been brought up in a feminist era that allows them to feel fine about saying “no” to sex.  In fact, they are pretty much obligated to say no if they don’t feel like it.

Just Do It Anyway

I once suggested to a 20-something family member, worried that her boyfriend would leave her because she hadn’t wanted sex in months, that if she wanted to keep the relationship she might want to “just go ahead and do it anyway.”  She was horrified at the suggestion, and said her boyfriend would never agree to it anyway.  “He would never want me to have sex with him if I wasn’t really into it.”  Okay, then.

I run across feminist advice daily on the internet to girls on resisting the “cultural brainwashing” that tells women they should feel obligated to sexually satisfy boys, and focus on what they really want.  I have seen so many version of this – especially lately in response to the Trump ‘pussy-grabbing’ political flash fire – that the advice has now become its own form of cultural brainwashing.  I have even read essays that suggest sex that happens without our full arousal is basically a traumatic event.

It is one thing to point out that women have the right to determine what happens to their own bodies, but we also need to look beyond that point.  We need to ask what happens to our relationships when we listen only to our own moods, satisfy only our own needs?  Are women really happier people when they have sex only when they feel like it, regardless of their partner’s needs?  My family member did not seem happy; rather, she felt her entire relationship in jeopardy, and felt something was “wrong” with her that she didn’t want sex often enough.

I quickly find another article on CNN about a study that explores couples who buck the trend of less sex and actually have more sex. So what is it that determines how often a couple has sex?  The study concluded that it is the personality of the woman, and whether she is “agreeable.” (http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/25)

The study’s authors say that because men want, and initiate, sex more often than women, women are by default “the ‘gatekeepers’ of sex within relationships.”  The higher a wife rated on openness to experience or agreeableness (my translation: submissiveness), the more often the couple had sex.  The husband’s personality, on the other hand, was not a predictor of sexual frequency.

My experience of the world (and numerous marriages) tells me that a woman who says “yes” to her husband’s sexual needs, despite her own level of desire, is going to have a happier more peaceful relationship, not to mention she will feel better due to the many health benefits of sex (https://www.alternet.org/sex-amp-relationships).  The result is that she will be happier herself.

Of course, I’m not the only one who’s figured this out.  A quick Google search confirms that in the past few years, more articles are popping up advising women to ignore our feminist cultural conditioning and go ahead and have sex with our partners whether we feel like it or not.  In Prevention Magazine, there is Why You Should Have Sex Even When You’re Not Feeling it.  At YourTango, there is For a Good Marriage, Have Sex Even if You Aren’t in the Mood.  And CafeMom came up with 11 Reasons to Have Sex When You’re Not in the Mood. (http://www.prevention.com/sex), (http://www.yourtango.com/2014228914)

Sometimes these articles point out that merely by saying yes and getting going, we are likely to find ourselves in the mood after all.  They don’t really say why that is so.  But sexually submissive wives know: submission is hot.  Thanks to the laws of sexual polarity, D/s releases a huge amount of sexual energy.  Beyond that, D/s increases trust and intimacy between two people, and grows love.  In this warm, loving conflict-free state, sex will naturally follow… and follow again and again and again.

Rhett Tames Scarlett; Or, the Desire to Be Dominated

The Ecstacy of Surrender

One of the most iconic love scenes in movie history is in Gone With the Wind, when Rhett Butler overcomes the resistance of Scarlett O’Hara, scoops her up into his arms and carries her up to bed… to presumably force her to submit to his sexual lust.  Cut to the next morning, Scarlett waking up smiling and happy and even singing in bed.  Finally!  After watching their power struggle over the years, now we are hopeful two star-crossed lovers can finally be together in peace.  Then Rhett enters the room, and instead of kissing her and sealing their truce, he expresses regret for his crude behavior.  Scarlett’s happy bubble pops, and they once again fall back to battling each other for the upper hand.

This scene is much loved by romantics – and often reviled by feminists. If I do a Google search for “Rhett Butler” and “dominance,” I find numerous feminist screeds – some vehement, some more vaguely scolding – against what is considered an obvious example of our cultural glamorizing rape.  For example, the author of a book called Love Does No Harm, says this scene presents a “dilemma” to people of moral conscience in the way it eroticizes male dominance and female submission.  It is a patriarchal choice to “portray” the power dynamic this way, says the author.  As if the movie-makers had imposed a perverse frame around what happened between Rhett and Scarlett.

That is, in fact, the feminist argument, that we are culturally conditioned to believe male dominant behavior is sexually exciting.  “In a million books, movies and perfume ads,” says the author of Love, Honor and Negotiate, we are inundated with images of “a powerful and passionate man, bent over a woman who, weak with rapture, is arched back in his arms…”  As if such images have nothing to do with women’s true longings, or how sex might naturally unfold between a man and woman.

These authors are suggesting that a woman who does not recognize that Scarlett was raped by Rhett has been brainwashed by our culture.  But did Rhett really rape Scarlett?  Scarlett clearly didn’t think so.  In the movie, we see her smiling and luxuriating in what happened the night before.  In the novel, Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell describes Scarlett’s feelings about it:

He had humbled her, hurt her, used her brutally through a wild mad night and she had gloried in it.  Oh, she should be ashamed, should shrink from the very memory of the hot swirling darkness! A lady, a real lady, could never hold up her head after such a night. But, stronger than shame, was the memory of rapture, of the ecstasy of surrender. For the first time in her life she had felt alive…

Ah yes, the ecstasy of surrender.

Clearly, Scarlett was not raped, and most women instinctively know this, despite what might be considered the cultural counter-programming of feminism.  We, like Scarlett, might feel we should be “ashamed” to admit it, but Clark Gable as Rhett Butler can still send us into a swoon of longing for a man to sweep us off into a “wild, mad night.”  Well, Clark Gable not just as Rhett, but as any of the dominating males he embodied so well.  I’ve watched him throw Claudette Colbert over his shoulder and whack her on the ass, or pick up Joan Crawford and spank her with a hairbrush while holding her mid-air, without even having to sit down.  (Later in the movie, Joan Crawford shows him she is ready to be with him by actually handing him a hairbrush.)  Same goes for Cary Grant.  Remember how he face-palmed Katherine Hepburn and pushed her onto her ass in Philadelphia Story?

Or, think about Burt Lancaster chasing Deborah Kerr up the beach in From Here to Eternity.  She falls onto the blanket, lies submissively waiting as he looms over her, then he falls on top of her, gives her a ravishing kiss.  She lies there as if in a trance, sighs and says, “I never knew it could be like this.”  Oh yes, the glory days of Hollywood were full of dominating males, and you knew once a hero spanked the heroine, with her kicking and hollering to the playful music, they were destined to reach their happily-ever-after. Even all the way through the early 80’s, the macho men of the silver screen, epitomized by actors like Jack Nicholson, would take charge of their women in a hands-on way.

Meanwhile, on the print side, Kathleen Woodiwiss practically invented the historical romance in 1972 with her “bodice ripper” novel The Flame and the Flower, and it’s dominating hero.  I read it as a teenager, not knowing how controversial the first sex scene in the book (in which the hero forces himself on his soon-to-be-love) would eventually become.  I only knew it thrilled me, and throughout my teenage years, I devoured romance novels just like it, one after the other after the other.

But feminism has in many ways won the argument, at least on the female side.  While action movies, video games and ads directed at men still push images of submissive women, no mainstream romance intended for women – whether in print or on the screen – now celebrates a dominant man in the bedroom.  Only jerks or villains treat women in such a way.  Female sexual submission has been shoved from the mainstream to the fringe, and is now reserved for BDSM porn, or naughty erotic novels.  Although, once in awhile, some of those naughty erotic novels, like 50 Shades of Grey, explode in popularity and hit the mainstream anyway.

It is definitely a conundrum to feminists that, despite decades of female empowerment and consciousness-raising, so many women still become aroused at the idea of sexual male dominance.  And it is now a conundrum to me, the first time I get down on my knees before my husband in response to his sexual command.  However thrilled I am in this moment, I am not oblivious to the harm done by the sexual objectification of women in our culture.  And in the months to come I will often have to beat back the disapproving feminist voice in my head, and give myself permission to do what my body tells me it wants.  Cultural conditioning cuts both ways, and feminism is sometimes as guilty as patriarchy in telling us that we cannot trust ourselves or our desires.

Feeling Electrified

At this moment though, kneeling in front of Michael as he unzips his jeans, I am experiencing a thrill unlike anything I’ve known before.  I feel electrified.  I feel alive. How wonderful to discover that all the rapturous language in movies and romance novels is not just reserved for fantasy, but can made real.  
And not made real by the arrival of some impossible, fictional hero, but made real with my own sweet husband.  As Scarlett O’Hara realizes about Rhett Butler the morning after he ravished her, a man she’d been married to for years: “The man who carried her up the dark stairs was a stranger whose existence she had not dreamed.”

Right now, I know how Scarlett felt, because the man sitting in the easy chair with the drink in his hand, watching me with his smoldering gaze as I take his cock into my mouth is now new to me.  And he’s reminding me very much of Rhett Butler – unpredictable, powerful, irresistible.  I don’t know what will happen between us next.  But like Scarlett, I know I am going to glory in it.