To submit or not to submit? That is my question.

“No one man should have all that power…” ~Kanye West (Image via Wikipedia)

I am starting this post by stating that I am not an expert on BDSM. (That’s a great way to start a post, isn’t it?) However, I am a little more knowledgeable today than I was a week ago, thanks to my having recently seen the Lifetime movie, “The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom.” (Thanks for the tutorial, Lifetime. And thank you, dear reader, for allowing me to the spoil the movie.)

According to IMDb, the movie is about a “divorced woman [who] finds sexual liberation through online dating.” According to me, the movie is about a divorced woman who learns that she’s an alpha wolf that’s been dressing in beta sheep’s clothing, and finally stops moseying with sheep in order to dance with wolves! (No, Kevin Costner does not appear in this film, though I wouldn’t mind seeing his ‘dancing’ skills featured in a sequel.) I also don’t mind revealing that while watching Ashley Jones’s character “Delaine” uncover her secret sex life, I realized a secret about myself: I, too, am an alpha wolf.

Then again, I don’t think it’s really a secret; more like a lost item I’ve been searching for that’s been staring me in the face the entire time. From the little amount of research that I conducted on the topic, it’s clear to me that I’ve known, for awhile, that I have alpha female tendencies. I may have even – at one time – declared to myself that I am an alpha woman. But I don’t think my alpha-ness has ever been as real to me as it is right now. For the Twihards that are reading this, I’m phasing.  (Confused? Ask a member of Team Jacob to clarify.)

As I stated in my re-introductory blog post for this website, I am a badass. And in much the same way that Jacob stole away from the ‘civilized’ world to nurture his badass wolf self, I, too, am on the lam from a sheepish mindset, given my receptiveness to BDSM.

Though “The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom” doesn’t cover all of the facets of BDSM, the movie does explore the themes of domination and submission. A dom (m.) or domme (f.) is the sexual “partner who controls the activity” and a sub is the sexual “partner who is controlled” (Wikipedia). Admittedly, when I first heard Alex Carter’s character “The Duke” – Delaine’s dom – talk about controlling her and her being submissive to him, I phased quickly into “Oh, hell no!” But, as I continued to listen to The Duke describe his parameters of domination and submission as those based on consent and shared power, as opposed to one partner surrendering his or her power to the other, I eventually cooled down.

Yet, I still found myself bothered by the concept of control–that is, until watching the movie “Grease” this week reminded me of control’s significance in partner dancing. (Yes, I do watch a fair amount of movies within a week’s time.)

When two partners are dancing together, one partner leads (or, is in control) and the other partner follows (or, is controlled). The control dynamics don’t take away from the fact that the submissive partner still has the power to dance (or not) and the power to consent to being led (or not); rather, the control dynamics are there as a strategy to help the dancing go smoothly.

Granted, because the lead position for partner dancing is viewed by many as being reserved for men, I can hear some women phase into “Oh, hell no!” with the argument that the control dynamics are also in place to fulfill some men’s desire to always be in control. To this point, ladies, I suggest we switch our view.

In addition to the roles of dom/domme and sub, there is also the BDSM role of a switch, a sexual partner “who can change between top/dominant and bottom/submissive roles…” (Wikipedia). So, what does this mean for an alpha woman who’s been cast in a beta role but wants to lead? Lead; you have the power to do so. What if your partner doesn’t consent to you leading? Leave; you have the power to do that too.

*holds hands up*

I know, I know. Like late-80’s Whitney, I wanna dance with somebody too. And to be honest with you, our dance cards aren’t actually as small as the two options above may make them out to be. Why? Because we have another option, in fact, we have many. Alpha men may not cross our paths every 15 minutes, but they do exist–in real life as well as on Lifetime.

The Duke, an alpha man, explains to Delaine that the key reason her marriage failed is because she, as an alpha woman, consented to be led by her ex-husband, a beta man. Now, don’t worry; I’m not going to start beta-bashing. (We all got, at least, a little beta in us anyhow.) Instead, I’ll continue with The Duke’s train of thought, which states that an alpha woman can only be comfortable in a relationship and/or as a domme, sub and switch if she’s matched with an alpha man. (And if Delaine was a lesbian, he may have told her that another alpha woman was best suited for her…although, he may not have been present to say anything at all because this would, then, become a different movie.)

In any case, I consent to The Duke’s reasoning. (Of course, I do, right? Good ole Lifetime logic.) But really, I do believe that this fictitious character makes a real point. While I have a dominant nature, I am also willing to submit to a man who I think is my equal because I believe that I will respect and trust him enough to be vulnerable with him. Additionally, I want to be with a man who also has a dominant nature – in an equal and complementary way to mine – respects me as his equal, and trusts me enough to be vulnerable with me and submit to me. (I also have some other desired specifications, but I’ll save those for another post.)

Copyright © 2014-2015 Stephanie Rochelle Redd. All rights reserved.

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