Fantasies are great. They’re hot and fun and what drew many of us into kink in the first place. But they’re not reality. Clinging to a fantasy in the face of real life evidence to the contrary requires ignoring that evidence. Lack of evidence makes it just a little bit difficult to figure out what’s going wrong, let alone how to fix it. Kink is kind of a high-risk sport, and to do it reasonably safely you need all the information you can get.
One of the many things that irritate me is how common it seems to be for people in the scene to mix up fantasy and reality. We’ve all seen otherwise reasonable people assume the scene works just like their fantasies, alienate everyone they come in to contact with, and end up bitter about how hard it is to find a partner or even make friends in the scene.
There are an abundance of fantasies I see over and over in the scene that cause people to hurt themselves, hurt each other, and generally poison the greater kink community. I’m going to do my part to debunk them in the faint, faint hope that someone who needs to will read this and stop being such an asshat.
To start, one of the fantasies I most hate being taken for reality is the idea that ‘my gender is naturally superior and absolutely all members of it are meant to be dominant, no exceptions! Your gender is obviously naturally submissive, no exceptions!’. As something to think about while you get yourself off, that one can be a lot of fun. I certainly don’t mind spending a little while in a world where all men are just my physical type and they universally crave being tied up and slapped around. As a worldview, it leaves a few things to be desired. In particular, any resemblance to reality.
People can, and often do, argue that in general men are more likely to take charge, more likely to be listened to, than women and that makes them superior. Those people are stupid. Anyone who’s bright enough to be allowed outside without adult supervision would attribute that to the fact that despite the great strides feminism has made, women are still trained from birth to deny their own wants and needs to keep the peace.
In case it needs to be said, I like men quite a lot. I find female supremacists just as ridiculous as male supremacists, but I take them less personally because they don’t directly tell me that my knowledge about my own dominance and sadism doesn’t count because I have boobs.
Given that this fantasy is so ridiculous no reasonable person would take it for reality, why does anyone cling to it? My theory is that it’s insecurity. People who are basically okay with being kinky have no reason to justify their desires with some bullshit about the contents of their underwear meaning they have a divine right to be in charge. On the other hand, people who aren’t comfortable with their kinks have a vested interested in both justifying their particular kink, and in browbeating other people into going along with their fantasy so they won’t be faced with any inconvenient examples of people doing things differently and enjoying it. That might cause them to wonder if they’re really doing it the right way after all, and that’s just too scary to deal with.
Now, you might think that a dominant man and a submissive woman who both believe that men are naturally superior/dominant and women are naturally inferior/submissive would do just fine in a relationship together. Maybe they would. As long as the woman is never better than the man at anything. As long as the man never needs a break from being in charge of everything absolutely all of the time. As long as the words ‘submissive’ and ‘dominant’ mean *exactly* the same thing to each of them. As long as they even think to talk about what exactly submission and domination mean to each of them when it’s so much easier not to question their assumptions.
And that’s assuming that both of them know themselves well enough to know that they really do want a d/s relationship, not just to role-play for a few hours now and then (role-playing now and then is just as valid a choice as having a full time d/s relationship, but that’s another rant entirely).
Once anything happens to challenge your assumptions, you have a choice to either reconsider your assumptions, or clap your hands over your ears and shout ‘La la la I can’t hear you!’ until the thing that challenged you goes away. If you’re not mature enough to do the former, you have no business engaging in any risky activities, be they kink or mountain biking.
Edited to add: Dishevelled Domina has an excellent post on a similar topic that you should read too.
Edited again to add: Ferns has also written a really interesting post on the same general subject. This one includes the first explanation I’ve read of why someone would want a female-led relationship that actually makes sense to me.