Recently I got a nice message from a reader about self acceptance and figured that’s as good an excuse as any to write about something I’ve been thinking about anyway. Unlike some sadists, I’ve never worried very much about whether I’m evil or profoundly disturbed or going to end up a serial killer or something. I do sometimes get a little anxious after scenes and need to be reassured that the specific person I played with had a good time and still likes me, but I’ve never had that “shit, am I evil?” fear that isn’t exactly unknown among sadists.
So like I’ve said earlier, I had a shitty childhood. And weirdly, I think that’s connected to my lack of fear that being a sadist means I’m evil. My theory is that experience, as shitty as it was, gave me a clearer picture of what an actually seriously bad person looks like than most people get.
It seems pretty clear to me that I only want to play with people who want to go there with me. That’s where the magic happens for me – I think it’s a sweet gesture and very meaningful if someone who doesn’t like pain chooses to endure it for me, but what I really love is flogging someone who does the happy masochist dance and asks for more. I care a whole lot about whether they have a good time and if they got to go where they wanted to emotionally and if they want to play with me again. I ask people what kind of aftercare they like and tell them what kind of aftercare I like. That just doesn’t match up at all with my experiences of actually bad people.
If you’re worried about whether you’re a bad person, well a) you’re probably not because serious assholes do not, in my experience, ever consider the possibility they could be assholes, and b) read about actual bad people in the news. You’re not like them if you care at all about your play partners.
While I’m at it, nobody fucking cares what kind of fucked up shit you fantasize about. There is no such thing as a thought crime! You’ve got to be fucking careful if you try to act out, say, an abduction fantasy, but just jerking off to that idea or thinking about doing it (carefully!) for real doesn’t make you a bad person. I’d also prefer that people into problematic kinks like forced feminization just fucking admit that those kinks are problematic and prove they actually do respect women by treating them like actual people whose needs, wants, likes, and dislikes actually matter, but simply fantasizing about something does not make you a bad person. It may mean I personally have no patience for you, but it doesn’t mean you’re irredeemably terrible. Just don’t fucking tell me about how you’re sure that forced femme isn’t misgynistic because a) it is and b) fuck off.
It’s true you can effectively be a bad person without having any bad intentions by being a thoughtless dumbass, but if you’re worrying about whether or not you’re a good person then being thoughtless is probably not the problem you’re having 🙂
And for submissive people in particular, especially submissive men, how on earth are you harming anyone by being submissive? You can certainly be harmful by being a dick to people who don’t dominate you the way you want to be dominated and blaming them for it, but if you’re not actually being a jerk to anyone then what the fuck is the harm in being submissive?
I know society in general (and many people in it) says submissive men that you’re bad men and failures and nobody will ever love you. If you’re not hurting anyone, the people judging you can fuck right off. You are the grownup now, you get to decide what manliness means to you (link goes to obligatory XKCD comic, which you should really read because that one is especially great). Not giving a shit what haters think of you is super manly by any definition, so you do you. Being submissive is also pretty fucking badass: it means you’re attracted (assuming you’re straight) to the kind of women that average guys would run away from crying. Plenty of men like the idea of a “dominatrix” in the sense of a woman who will dress up in leather or latex and get on top. Far fewer men can deal with a woman who has ideas of her own and won’t do what he tells her just because he’s a man.
But even aside from that, if you’re feeling shitty about yourself, just think about what you learned about what it means to be a good person when you were little. Do you treat people well? Even in situations where you could get away with being a jerk to the barista? Do you try to do good in the world? Are you kind to animals? Do you give to charity if you have something to spare? Do you try not to be an asshole if you can avoid it? Then anyone judging you needs to spend more time worrying about whether they are a good person and less time getting up in your business.