E. Winter Tashlin

Subs & Bottoms [Picture Tells a Story]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | December 20, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: BDSM, bottoms, kink, submissive sex position


The pansexual kink/BDSM community has a tendency at once predictable and problematic, of ranking various fetishes and roles according to an imaginary hierarchy. For instance, being known as an intense needle sadist tended to lend a kind of cachet to my teaching work in the scene, because needleplay is considered more "hardcore" somehow than many other forms of play. And because I was an educator and someone who taught a variety of intense play modalities, it was assumed by many that I was a Dom, while in fact I am a "switch," which is to kink roles what "versatile" is to sexual roles in the gay men's community.

This is a relatively common position for kink educators to find themselves in, and it's something quite of number of presenters I've spoken with in my career have privately lamented while publicly maintaining that precise illusion. There is a fear that being open about submission or submissive desire would somehow de-legitimize their authority as educators.

Gay men have a similar phenomena: bottom shame. That is to say, a feeling of shame or embarrassment felt in regards to being the receptive partner for anal sex. It's a common topic of conversation and advice in some of the online gay men's communities that I frequent, with men trying to understand why they have the feelings that they do, particularly around something that they find pleasurable and meaningful.

The root of both sub-shame and bottom-shame is almost certainly intertwined with cultural misogyny. There is perhaps a tendency to see the receptive or submissive role as being inherently feminine, and therefor lesser or emasculating. Even when we know that it's an unhealthy way to view things, a lifetime of cultural prejudices can have their hooks pretty deep in our brains.

And that is a waste, because there can be great meaning (and tons of fun) to be had, if we just let ourselves.

Note: I do not know how the model in this photo identifies in terms of sexual orientation or kink role. While it's an illustrative photo, the content of today's post does not necessarily reflect the model's personal views

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