Richard had a post lately titled “Submissive Men As Prey” which contains the following lines:
It is sad to think of men whose desperation may drive them to marry such a low specimen of womanhood.
And in general one often runs across this idea that men (and specifically, in this context, submissive-oriented men) are “desperate” and that this is what drives the market for prodoms and, in a vanilla context, other women (wannabe trophy wives, etc.) who exploit this weakness.
While finding suitable partners can be vexing for anyone, I’m getting really sick of this idea that men are helpless when it comes to their sexual desires. Hugo Schwyzer has written a lot about what he calls the “myth of male weakness,” and here’s a pithy summary (from this post):
The myth makes clear that men, particularly younger men, are simply too weak, too vulnerable to testosterone surges and the imperious demands of the Y chromosome to exercise self-control. It’s a degrading understanding of what it means to be male, and it ought to make more men angry and indignant.
Just because men buy dominance from pro doms, internet money doms, doms who will post a picture of your “tiny penis” for a fee, etc., doesn’t mean they are acting out of desperation or that they are being “preyed upon.” I buy things all the time myself – some wise, some not – and it’s not because I’m helpless.
When I stopped at Wendy’s last night and paid $6 for some unhealthy food despite having perfectly good food I could have warmed up at home, were they exploiting me? Were they preying on my weakness in desiring their products? Or was I exploiting those minimum wage workers’ need to live and support their families, using my superior income to force them to slave over a deep fryer? (My answer: neither. You may come to a different conclusion.)
And if I wanted to indulge myself in the fantasy that the wage slaves at Wendy’s cared, and made that food especially for me out of loving and nurturing impulses, does that make me a victim? If there were another fast food chain that explicitly sold that fantasy, and I was willing to pay more money to eat there, would I not be acting as a free agent?
And why is it submissive men who are assumed to be desperate? Even if you think men really are sexually desperate (which I refuse to buy into), why don’t we talk about the desperation of dominant men? I’m sure there are plenty out there who haven’t succeeded in finding someone to play with. But no, doms can’t be desperate. (And if a dom guy hired a woman to submit to him sexually, I think our view of who was exploiting whom would be a total switcheroo from the pro-dom model.)
I’m not talking about feelings here. If you feel desperate, fine - I have felt desperate before. It’s part of life. I’m talking about a model that begs us to excuse, coddle, feel sorry for, and view you as fundamentally pathetic and weak. Don’t encourage that bullshit.