Earlier this week I said “I do love getting all subby sometimes and I was looking forward to being completely objectified.” The man I was referring to took offense.
Midori: On the Erotic Objectification of Women by Women
|Published 2008-06-26 on bondage.com|
She’s bound to the leather-topped table, her face and humanity obliterated by the smooth contours of a leather mask. I tear at her vulnerable flesh with implements of intense passions. A moment ago, she was my dear companion and equal. Now she is meat. My meat.
She is arching her back with strained grace through space defined by my web of ropes. I move her limb, just so, to accentuate the arc to please my aesthetics. She is beautiful. I make her comfortable. I am aware that I do this, not for her pleasure, but so that she may last longer and be more pliable as the means for me to express my erotic vision. A moment ago, she was my dearest consort and a fully complex human being. Now she is a raw canvas. My canvas.
I had a sexual secret. It’s not a secret anymore. It’s a desire that I now know to present cautiously to others, because it’s still very taboo. I am often turned-on by objectifying my partners. I like to objectify both women and men. But right now, my turn-on by the objectification of women is foremost on my mind. If I were younger, I’d feel more than a twinge of guilt as I admitted to this. I don’t feel that so much now. The discomfort in my own emotion has faded to a curiosity. I do, however, take pleasure in witnessing the uncomfortable squirming of others as I utter this truth that is part of my sexuality. I know they are squirming because they’ve felt what I’ve described, and they aren’t comfortable with it in themselves to admit, boldfaced, to such desires.
It’s pretty easy to explain why flogging, bondage and even heavier play such as piercings are such turn-ons. We blame it on the brain chemicals and other physiological effects. It seems biologically accountable, and this makes us feel comfortable. We find justification of sexual acts in theories about the organic predetermination of pleasure. Nonphysical taboos, such as sexual arousal from the objectification of others or from being objectified, still make us nervous, because we can’t explain them away. Because it’s still politically incorrect, even within the SM / Leather / Fetish community, to acknowledge that we enjoy stripping away the humanity from a person for pleasure and play.
It is even more socially incorrect, causing some serious discomfort in people, when the objectification is of a woman, and worse still, by another woman. If I’m really a feminist as I claim to be, how could I do such a thing to another woman?
Mustn’t I always respect another woman and cherish her complexity?
Isn’t my desire and action an outward expression of some internalized self-loathing and misogyny?
Do I have some sort of God complex?
No, not if the two of us don’t want to for a passing eveing of pleasure.
Yes, in some ways, yes.
Allow me to explain.
Sex is one of the few arenas left to us “civilized” citizens of “First World” nations where we are permitted to indulge in the performance of primal drives. We are allowed a slim portion of our existence in sex, to play out the fundamental human psychological dramas. Sports are the other sanctuary for expressing the profound honesty of our raw selves. In both worlds, we are permitted to show our teeth of aggression and bellies of subordination. We spit, hiss, growl, compete, moan, touch, embrace, shudder, cry and scream. We long to belong, we hunger to conquer and we are inexplicably driven to create beauty. We are all quite complex creatures with multilayered needs and desires, many of which are at times at odds with each other.
I want to be respected for my complexity, yet I wish to be adored for some singular aspect of myself. I wish for a full and busy life, yet I crave simplicity and focus. I want to share in the responsibility of pleasure, yet I want to just “get done” free of effort. I wish to honor equality, yet I feel a need for power and hierarchy. All these things apply to sex as well.
This is simply to illustrate that we are conflicted and complex creatures. If I am to be self actualized as a woman and a feminist, I must own the conflicted nature of the self and claim my sexual pleasure, complexity and all. To do that, I must be open to all my own social discomforts that my lusts bring forth. Then I must find another person whose desires and complexity dovetail with mine. If I wish to conquer to get off, then I must find another who gets off by being conquered. The matter of force then retreats into the sanctioned arena of consensual sexuality.
There is a huge difference between the erotic objectification we’re discussing and the everyday objectification of women by and in the world. That hurts. It hurts because women did not consent to or set up the situation. It hurts because the people objectifying her do not see the complexity and richness of who she is. Instead of starting from a place of compassion, love and understanding which is narrowed down to the simplicity of symbols, it is a brute force refusal of humanity with no room for seeing the whole person. It is a weapon used to attack others in order to protect the fragile offender. Instead of celebrating complexity, it comes from the fear of complexity.
But why the objectification of other women? There’s an inkling, deep inside me, that perhaps I seek this companionship in another woman because she might understand my needs better. Perhaps, in acting out the hunger to conquer, posses or create upon another’s flesh, I seek to express my own counter-part desire in the other woman, thus creating a fully balanced sphere of desire. Somewhere I become both her and I. The orgasm leaves me calmed, not simply because a physical need has been sated, but because I have created a moment of balance and harmony within my own complexity.
Then perhaps the dirty truth is that I am both the top and the bottom for a moment. I am creating a universe of two people where I determine the actions of both and my desire permeates both. I become, for a brief and fluttering instant omniscient. Then, for that one moment, in that small universe, am I not a god? I create a simplified and pure world reduced to lust and symbols. As a god, I have nothing else to worry about except to fulfill my desires. As part of god, she has nothing else to worry about except to surrender all worries.
Is this escapist? Yes, it is. But that’s what pleasure and entertainment is about, isn’t it? Sex and sports are, in the end, about pleasure and entertainment. When we have arenas within which we can focus on creating pleasure, play with our primal drives, and forget our obligations, we feel freer. It’s a mini-vacation from the additional complexity that the world thrusts upon us.
To give a few examples, my friend, AX, has a dirty little fantasy. She wants to be bound, blindfolded and used simply for her three holes by unknown number of people. This isn’t simply hot and nasty; it’s mini-vacation that’s freeing and self-celebratory. Objectifications take on many forms. Some people are the clay to the artist, others are the pure sexual victims for consenting perpetrators. Still others are transformed to pets or to furniture. Certain forms of Dominance/submimssive and Master/slave relationships take on qualities of objectification as well.
Do you get off on consensual erotic objectification? As a feminist, as a woman who claim my sexuality as my own, and as a complex and very human person, I do.
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(Want more Midori? www.PlanetMidori.com Send letters, responses and questions directly to her at Ask@PlanetMidori.com Midori is a globetrotting sexpert, who parties and teaches cool classes on fun sex and wild kink all over the world. Check out her books “Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink”, “Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage” and “Master Han’s Daughter.)
This story is fantasy. None of the characters, places, or activities depicted are real. Various Inc. does not advocate or promote any non-consensual or illegal activities, and they are strictly the fantasies of the author. Members on Various promotes safety and consent in all BDSM web publications. Bondage.com members agree not to participate in illegal activities on the site as part of the Terms of Service.