Think First, Judge Later

People often post online about how they find forced feminization offensive.  I’ve already covered my thoughts on force in another post, so I won’t go into that aspect of it here.  This is about feminization as a kink.

Femininity is a quality I’m very much attracted to in a partner.  It’s why I tend to not be attracted to men, androgynous people, or those who identify as butch.  It’s simply a matter of personal taste, and not something I apologize for.  I have no problem with it if others aren’t attracted to white people, men, bald guys, etc.  I don’t take it personally.  It’s just how we’re wired.  You can’t un-gay someone or make them attracted to someone they’re not.

So how is it that femininity can be both humiliating and attractive?  For some men, yes, there are genuinely misogynistic feelings at play that you only discover after talking to them.   They find femininity in itself to be degrading and often imply (or outright state) that their gender makes them better than women.  And that’s not okay.

But it’s also not okay to assume that everyone who finds forced fem humiliating falls into that camp.  It’s actually rather insulting to say all sorts of nasty things about practitioners of this kink, assuming they’re all the same.  It’s a problem similar to that faced by lots of different groups in the community.  People think they know you just because they know a little bit about one thing you do.  They don’t dig into the why and how, but instead choose to make incorrect assumptions.  It’s similar to how those who do race play are automatically racist, people into the ageplay are pedophilies, etc.

From elementary school onward, we have to follow the Man Manual™.  Men face a ton of pressure to fit a certain mold.  It carries on from childhood to adolescence, and even to adulthood.  Some people take this mindset to the grave.  If that stereotype is not who we are, then there are repercussions.  Anything from simple mocking all the way up to violence.  While I present as masculine, I don’t fall into the traditional dudebro category.  I look very clearly masculine, but my behavior is all over the spectrum.  I’ve dealt with fallout from this for decades.  (Obviously it’s not nearly as bad as that faced by people who are gay, trans, etc., but that doesn’t make it any less real.)  As a result of the fact that I don’t toe the line, I’ve dealt with a lot of crap and grown thicker skin in the process.  This type of play is a way of playing through that pain and making a toy of it, taking something lousy and putting a positive spin on it.

It’s also a way of playing with some of the double standards our society carries.  Nearly everyone has privilege of some type.  One form of female privilege is that women can wear men’s clothes while being completely accepted for who they are.  It’s even considered sexy.  (The most common example being a woman in a man’s button-down shirt.)  But the opposite is not true at all; men don’t have the same freedom.  A man in women’s clothes is usually looked down on and ridiculed.  This type of play is a way of taking those fucked-up double standards and making fun of them.  It’s a way of thumbing our noses at what society tells us we have to do.

Femininity is also not who I am.  I don’t dress in women’s clothes on my own, so there’s a certain hotness in being pushed outside of where I’d normally go.  This also applies to a lot of other forms of play I really get into, not just this one.  Being pushed past my comfort zone can be really hot.  When I don’t want something but am forced/persuaded/threatened/etc. into it, it adds a certain edge to the play.  This is not unique to feminization.

Likewise, I’ve also seen feminization used among lesbian couples.  When the sub is more butch-identified, this type of play has the same effect as it does on submissive men.  Yet there is no big outcry or accusations of misogyny.  People understand that the sub doesn’t identify as feminine, so they find this humiliating.  Pretty simple.   Why is the exact same thing so hard to fathom when it comes to submissive men?

Even with hetero couples, I’ve occasionally seen dominant men masculinize their normally feminine subs as a form of humiliation.  There were no complaints of misandry because people understood that it was just play.  They interacted with these women on a regular basis and knew they weren’t sexist.  They understood that the subs found it humiliating because that’s not how they normally identified.  They didn’t instantly react with blanket assumptions.  Instead, they got to know the people behind the play and based their judgments on who the people are and how they act, not on one scene.

Much of the complaining against people who do this type of play is really nothing more than one more form of stereotyping within the community, just like how submissive men are all supposedly self-centered with no social skills, foot fetishists are creepy, rope people are snobs, and dominant men are only in this to get their dicks sucked.  The stereotypes do hold true for some, but why not dig a little deeper with each individual before making a judgment call?

7 Responses to “Think First, Judge Later”

  1. Grumpyoldswitch Says:

    Excellent piece.

    Here’s what feminist writer Lynne Segal has to say about the issues you raise. I think she’s got it in a nutshell.

    “…there are gentle, caring, celibate, submissive, unassertive, dependent and passive men, just as there are lusty, authoritative, aggressive, insensitive, dominating, independent and assertive women. We all criss-cross these supposedly gendered lines, displaying greater variation within our own sex than between sexes…”

  2. Cammies on the floor Says:

    Well, I would hate for squirrels to eat me face.
    And I agree, women can get away with dressing any way, really, and men cannot in our society. Perhaps pink being an acceptable color now for men is a tiny step in the right direction.

  3. Quietlisten Says:

    Great points, as usual. I do think that gender is still a “third rail” of kink, a place where our insecurities jump out and say “BOO, Motherf@#%er!” Oh, wait… that was sexist. Anyway, the comment about differences within being greater than differences between is right on the mark. And I hope brave people — particularly in the kink community — keep dropping stereotypes into the (gender) blender and pressing “puree” with satisfaction. I mean… I can’t be expected to deprive the world of me in heels for much longer.

  4. Stabbity Says:

    This type of play is a way of taking those fucked-up double standards and making fun of them. It’s a way of thumbing our noses at what society tells us we have to do.

    I really like that idea of intentionally thumbing your nose at society’s standards. The more I think about it, the more I think that I only have two real problems with forced feminization.

    1 – The idea that little boys learn that they aren’t supposed to wear girl’s clothing by magic, not by being shamed by a misogynistic culture. If you want to take the lemons life throws at you and make boner lemonade (I’m pretty sure I’m quoting or at least paraphrasing someone there, but damned if I remember who) that’s great, but it drives me fucking crazy when people pretend there weren’t any lemons in the first place.

    2 – How surprised some people are by the idea that a woman might have some feelings about her clothing being used to humiliate a man, and that she might then wonder if the guy who wants to be made to wear her panties is consciously playing with gender/societies expectations or if he just doesn’t care what she thinks as long as his dick gets hard.

    Feminisation of any sort is just not my kink, but as long as the people who do like it are willing to admit that misogyny is a thing and make an attempt to prove that they’re not misogynists then we’re cool. To be fair, in addition to believing that it’s the forced fem bottom’s job to convince me he’s not a misogynist, I also firmly believe that as a sadist it’s my job to convince people I’m not an abuser.

    • ejzplay Says:

      Stabbity-

      Straight subby switchy guy here.

      I also like thumbing my nose at society’s standards and turning lemons into boner-ade (I believe Dan Savage of IGBP and Savage Love fame came up with that one), and given some of the shit I got for being a skinny, semi androgynous straight kid, which instantly made a lot of assholes at my high school assume I was gay, it doesn’t entirely surprise me at all that being “required” to wear women’s undergarments when I’m serving my lady gets me hard.

      For me it’s not an all-the-time or all consuming fetish, just a flavor I like to taste from time to time. But while I think it’s important to acknowledge and discuss the lemons that exist, and at least some of the underlying reasons why our kinks turn us on (e.g., fucking with gender/society expectations, boner-ade, etc.), attacking someone for their particular fetish (NOT saying you are doing that here) doesn’t seem like the best approach. I recently read Jesse Bering’s Perv (great funny, clear, non jargon-y book btw), and given that current Biological Evolutionary understandings of sexual orientation and paraphilia development are that once they are fixed, and actually fixed fairly early, there is no changing them. In other words, we can shame people for their erotic desires all we want, but that will only drive all of us into our own tiny sad little closets.

      Keep up the good comments and comment on!

  5. pureliquidkink Says:

    “…being shamed by a misogynistic culture.”

    Precisely. Just as racism is a learned behavior, so is sexism. People don’t just pick up these attitudes and beliefs at random. It’s definitely one of those things that’s hammered into everyone’s heads early on.

    However, I think it’s pretty shitty of people to automatically assume I’m a misogynist simply because I do this type of play. It’s sort of like assuming all Christians are of the Westboro Baptist variety, all Muslims are terrorists, and all men are rapists. It’s a “guilty until proven innocent” mentality that I’m not a fan of. For example, if you see a lesbian couple doing this type of play, with the femme bottom being made to grow her armpit or leg hair as a form of humiliation, would people assume it’s misandry? Or would they think, “Oh, they’re playing with society’s expectation that women be perpetually hairless.”? Most people I know would go with the latter. People, without knowing me, incorrectly assume my motivations and feelings and then judge me based entirely on these assumptions they made up in their own heads.

    • Mykey Says:

      There is one other aspect of why it’s humiliating, certainly the one that applies to me. I know I look ridiculous dressed en femme. Where a woman makes the clothes look great, and the clothes make her look great, a hairy muscular man in panties or a dress takes away from that aesthetic. It’s not the clothes, nor the fact that they are inherently female that makes it humiliating. It’s the denial of a cool and stylish outward appearance to be replaced by one which just plain doesn’t look good.

      You could argue it doesn’t look good because it’s not what we are used to, and there is some truth to that. Nonetheless for me it’s less a statement of femininity and more a denial of my own vanity and it’s need for an attractive outward appearance.


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