Masculine Submission

No greater love has a man than to live his life for the one he loves

And on the other hand…

I couldn’t think of another dick-related pun to get to this post by Peroxide. The whole post is worth a read – and the comments are, too – but the point (or dangle) of it is this: Peroxide is a straight guy and yet there appears to be some sort of penis, real or artificial, in some of his fantasies…and he’s pretty sure this doesn’t make him gay – sure enough that he wants to stress that.

So, before I go further, hat’s off to Peroxide for starting a discussion that he was obviously uncomfortable having.

I want to start with the joke (I’m pretty sure it’s a joke) he closes with: “Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to go do something manly for a bit.” It is such an accepted myth in our Western culture that it is all too easily missed. That myth is that masculinity is expressed primarily through penetrating a sexual partner. This means, conversely, that being penetrated is feminine. (There is also a power-play at work here, and I hope I can remember to come back to that.)

I hope I’m not projecting too much onto Peroxide, but he seems like a rather “normal” American male. This means he’s steeped in our cultural assumptions about what it means to be a man (gender) and what it means to be male (sex) – and not so steeped on how to separate the two. I think if we can unravel those two threads, then Peroxide might not feel so…uneasy (and his potential mates might be better able to understand his desires).

So let’s start with the male-female she-sucks-him type of oral. It’s a sexual act (even for Bill Clinton). As such, the performance of a typical blowjob tends to reinforce gender/sex standard assumptions. We could also toss in a power-play – because it reinforces standard gender/sex roles, it also reinforces standard patriarchy power structures. At least, it can, and some would say that it must. I think this is why some dominant women don’t like giving BJ’s and some submissive men don’t enjoy receiving – at least, it’s one reason.

The next most common way to think of a BJ is man-to-man. As stated before, Western culture views gayness as being less masculine than non-gayness. Part of the hyper-masculinity seen in gay culture can be explained as a reaction against this very idea. My understanding of gay culture (which is far from complete) is that the guy who is giving a BJ (being penetrated) is viewed as the more feminine partner, as well. In this, gay culture doesn’t seem to deviate far from straight culture.

Again, there is also a power-play, but because both partners are male, it is less easily discerned. At least, it would appear to me (with my incomplete understanding of what it means to be gay).

So let’s move on to Peroxide’s smokescreen: the Futanari (stylized depictions of hermaphroditic women who possess penises). Peroxide offers an interesting view of why straight men enjoy Futanari – that giving a woman a penis demystifies the female orgasm into something that men can understand on a visceral level. On one level, it kind of makes sense…until one realizes that men are generally able to enjoy a woman’s orgasm even if she doesn’t possess a dick.

I’ve watched my share of porn. I’ve known a lot of guys who watched their share of porn. I’ve never known a guy who spent much time wondering what it was like for a woman to have an orgasm from the woman’s perspective. A lot of guys are worried about “making her cum” but that’s a separate issue.

Here’s something to consider: with adequate lubrication, being penetrated (orally or anally) is a pleasant sensation (or it can be). What the Futanari do is allow a straight guy to ponder the feeling of being penetrated. But because it is a woman who is doing it, and because the woman is pleased, any masculinity lost through the penetrating action is restored ultimately through the woman’s pleasure.

Think about it, Futanari viewers: Which is more arousing, see a Futanari penetrate a guy and enjoy it, or just watching the Futanari ejaculate? Since I am not included in that group, I can only surmise that it is the former. Otherwise, it would simply be an endless stream of bukakki (and there would be no need to specifically use Futanari if that was the draw).

I think this ties into the discussion of forced-bi fantasies, as well. Again, I don’t qualify for that group, but from what I’ve seen of forced-bi porn, the emphasis is on the guy being penetrated. At least to my eyes, it seems like the “forced” part is generally on the guy who is either sucking cock or taking it in the keister. The other guy – the one doing the giving – is just kind of there to make it work. (I’m sure there are exceptions, I’m taking about the dominant ideology of this thing.)

In forced-bi situations, the man is forced to act as if he is gay – which is to say, his masculinity is stripped. But it is okay, you see, because it is actually a woman who is directing him and, in some way, deriving pleasure from it. So his masculinity can be restored – perhaps in a slightly humiliated fashion – through her pleasure and/or praise for being a good cocksucker.

The final scenario is where a woman wears a strap-on to penetrate a man. Peroxide admits that he sees no reason for a woman to enjoy this, since she can’t feel the strap-on, but if she enjoys it, then, by-cracky, he’s fer it! (Sorry, too many bad Western movies as a child.) Again, there is the loss of masculinity through receiving the penis/phallus, but it is restored through a woman’s pleasure.

The power-play is similar in all three situations. First, by reversing the typical gender/sex relationship, the patriarchy is up-ended and set on its, um, ear. Plus there is the physical power manifestation of pushing one’s hips into another’s face or putting a hand on the back of their head (or in their hair) to urge them (force them) faster, harder, deeper.

So let me get back to the first promise of this post – to unravel the gender and sex issues.

First, the sex – the purely physical aspect of it. Is it anti-male to want/enjoy receiving a partner’s penis (real or fake) into one’s mouth? In the absence of cultural cues, I would argue that it isn’t anti-male at all. In fact, oral stimulation can be seen in all manner of animals.

Second, the gender – the cultural aspect of it. Is it anti-man to want/enjoy receiving a partner’s penis (real or fake) into one’s mouth? The answer is an obvious “Yes,” if one simply looks at culture as the way it is. But if we reject the rigid gender boundaries that we have been taught, and define our manliness as something other than sticking our dicks into people; then we should be able to define our manliness in a way that allows us to have dicks stuck into us without being unmanly. In other words, it’s only unmanly (gay/feminine) if we accept it as being so.

Third, the power – both the gender-derived and the mechanically-derived. Is is submissive to want/enjoy receiving a partner’s penis (real or fake) into one’s mouth? Then answer to both, I believe, is “Yes, it can be.” There are ways to counteract the mechanical power and gender-derived power tends to dissipate when individuals agree that it isn’t valid. So I can’t say it is always a submissive act, but I know damn well that it can be.

I wanted to be taken anally for a very long time before I ever had the chance to experience. A lot of the cultural baggage I’m describing above made me spend years wondering if I was gay or possibly wrong-gendered. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I was just submissive, and that being penetrated anally was one way to embody that. What I found out is that I love the sensation of it.

It was a while longer before I could openly admit that I wanted to be taken orally, too. The sensations are different. I enjoy the physical sensation less, but there is an even greater feeling of submission and powerlessness.

I want to emphasize, as well, that sometimes the same act – being taken anally or orally – can be either an act of submission or an act of love. In more “manly” terms, there’s “fuckin'” and there’s “making-love.” Either one of those actions, with the right person, can be in either category. Believe me, it’s a wonderful experience.

Since I projected so much into Peroxide’s post, I feel compelled to go ahead and address some of the same issues. Obviously, I do not feel gay or feminine when I am taken either anally or orally – and for the record, only Mistress Delila has done either one. I have never in my life felt sexually aroused by another male, but if She wanted to watch me either give or receive with another male, I would do it willingly (sorry, guys – She isn’t into that at all). And, even though it would obviously be gay sex, I wouldn’t feel the least gay, or less masculine, or less manly (trust me, guys – she isn’t into it at all).

Here’s another thing, just because Peroxide brought it up – when I am sucking Mistress Delila’s cock – by which I mean Her strap-on – I honestly don’t feel silly at all. First of all, I don’t think of it as Her dildo or Her strap-on – it’s Her cock. When She takes me anally, I take Her cock in my ass. When She takes me orally, I suck Her cock. Secondly, even if the silicone/whatever isn’t enervated and she doesn’t experience penetration the same way I do with my penis…it doesn’t matter at all. I can tell that She enjoys it, and I throw myself into it with gusto.

With Her, I’ve reached a point where the gender-based power stuff really doesn’t apply. I don’t see any of this as being anything less than masculine, and She has told me that She sees it the same way. The mechanical-based power, obviously, is still there, and I love when She leverages Her body so that it is maximized and I am ever more powerless. At those times, my masculinity, my manliness, and my submission are always in perfect alignment.

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7 thoughts on “And on the other hand…

  1. Peroxide on said:

    This is really swell, thanks for reading and dissecting that post.

    I just want to say that, I am fairly heavy handed when it comes to humorous deflection when talking about my *Cough* cock-related fantasies because although essentially I realize that, penetration doesn’t make a person gay (or submissive for that matter) in my daily life, I constantly encounter messages that reinforce unnecessarily restrictive ideas about masculinity.

    The people I know in real life do not share (or at least they have the good sense not to express) the opinion that our cultural assumptions about sexuality are comprised mainly from irrational bullshit.

    Those are the sorts of people for whom I included the many clarifications and assertions of my heterosexuality and masculinity.

    Honestly thought, part of me believes, that thinking about the “man-box is un-masculine, and that digs at my subconscious.

    • Tomio Black on said:

      Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the comment.

      From reading your post, I really FIGURED what was comedy and what wasn’t, and I guessed at the reasons – which you have made clear. I teach sociology (including gender roles and constructs) to 18-20 year olds, so I am well-versed in the art of issuing dozens of contingent warnings because otherwise, it just gets too real and frightening.

      I don’t think our gender assumptions are total bullshit. I think they probably made sense at one time. However, our culture has evolved and our gender assumptions have not. Hence the current state of bullshit.

      It’s interesting that you bring up the Act Like a Man box – it’s a concept I used back when I was working as a counselor and also an exercise I do in sociology to help demonstrate what gender roles are. I’m not sure what you mean by it being un-masculine, other than the fact that it actually allows us to step out of what we normally reflexively consider to be manly and possibly, just possibly, expose that it ain’t exactly so.

      • Peroxide on said:

        “I don’t think our gender assumptions are total bullshit. I think they probably made sense at one time.”

        Ok, maybe not Total bullshit, but no less than 68% bullshit by volume.

        “It’s interesting that you bring up the Act Like a Man box…I’m not sure what you mean by it being un-masculine”

        The post I linked mentioned that the very act of considering ideas like the man-box is in itself considered un-manly. A phenomenon that I have verified by bringing the topic up with my housemates to their vigorous disapproval. So I mention that to illustrate that, while I’m aware of the influence our culture has, simply being conscious of it does not free me from it’s influence.

  2. Tomio Black on said:

    Okay, I got ya. I thought you were saying that you personally found it un-masculine. I have the advantage of requiring the discussion to take place for credit.

  3. Ah, yes – the man box.

    I’m not much of a sports fan, but in my younger days I was sometimes embarrassed to admit it — especially on Monday morning when everyone was saying things like “So, did ya see the big game last night?” So as not to seem “unmanly” to whatever groups of guys I was hanging with, I used to come up with alternative answers, like “Naw, I was rebuilding the tranny in my buddy’s Shelby,” or “I had a date with one of the strippers from that new club, and believe me, we weren’t thinking about the TV [wink wink, nudge nudge]”

    Now that I’m older, I could just say “No, I had a date with Shelby, the tranny stripper.” * That would probably stop the conversation.

    *Except that “tranny” is not preferred terminology – that would be “trans-woman” or “trans-girl” or sometimes “t-girl.” I only mention this for informational purposes.

  4. So here I am, butting into a manly man conversation…
    but
    I want to, so I am.
    :p

    One of the reasons for some of this confusion, I think, is because of the potential bleed over from not just homosexuality but also sissification stuff.

    There are some of us who think pegging a guy is incredibly hot but then we are also going to want to ride his cock (at some point, when it suits us) and we absolutely revel in the fact that he is masculine.

    There is however, a very vocal and visually present group who associate locking up a cock, or pegging a man’s ass, and all that with putting him in pink panties and lipstick. And then there’s the cuckold crowd.

    So I think you touched on some very key elements but I do think that sometimes the water gets cloudy because there are associations made that are unhelpful and inaccurate.

    • Tomio Black on said:

      I think these are (potentially) reflections of the same issues. I think, at some level, sissification is an attempt to both give up and retain masculinity. Ditto for cuckolding. I think it is also important, however, to remember that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Sometimes things just turn you on because they are hawt!

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