A comment on my last post led to an exchange where I feel like I uncovered something relatively important. I will try to keep this as neat and clean as possible.
I’ve written a lot in the past about the struggles of the submissive male with self-acceptance and society’s bias against them, even in the face of an ever-expanding mainstream acceptance of BDSM as a whole. While the social relevance of Fifty Shades has fallen off quite a bit, it pretty much allowed millions of people to embrace the M/f side of the spectrum without feeling ashamed or deviant. On the other side, most of society has also embraced the idea of the strong woman both in reality and idealized in fiction. By comparison, the idea of the submissive male has lagged sadly behind, with no one really championing this cause and very few people portraying it as a positive or attractive thing to be.
In the past year I have encountered more switches than I had in my previous 16 years in the lifestyle. While I am aware that I do not share a similar view of BDSM as many of them do, as I meet them, I am finding that most of them are very open-minded and are less likely to be judgmental about someone’s role or their kinks. In a lot of ways this is entirely refreshing. If you’ve ever been stuck mingling within groups or around individuals that look down upon male subs as being “not real men” and see female dominants as women who “haven’t met the right male dominant yet,” it’s extremely refreshing.
What I am finding is that within the groups that are the most open and accepting, there are often a lot of switches (frequently ones that are poly, queer/gay/bi-sexual, trans, or non-binary). If I had to summarize the philosophy that many of them have, it’s something like this: Whatever you are is okay. Whatever you like is okay. Whatever you need is okay. Be true to yourself and don’t stifle who you are.
If there is ever going to be a future where the male submissive is accepted, I believe this is where it will come from. I can imagine a future, say 30 or 40 years down the line, where people enter a local BDSM group to find several generations worth of people who entered into a scene where this philosophy was the norm. Honestly, I have to believe that this is probably the most likely outcome with ever having submissive men being accepted in the mainstream. Even if society as a whole manages to outgrow toxic masculinity, it still doesn’t clear the hurdle of pushing forward the idea of the submissive male as something good and positive.
I find this interesting to think about.