I was asked not too long how could I be an erotica writer, a BDSM enthusiast and a feminist at the same time. I actually get this question a lot and I always have to break it down in the same way.
First, I’m not so much a feminist as I am a womanist. Alice Walker first coined the term Womanist in 1983. I dipped my toes into the writings of Walker as a teen but I don’t think my brain could comprehend and truly appreciate her works at that age. Last year I began re-reading and examining her writings. I reignited my love of Walker and it solidified a term I couldn’t form on my own. I am a Womanist.
From good ‘ol Wikipedia
Womanism is a social theory deeply rooted in the racial and gender-based oppression of black women. There are varying interpretations on what the term womanist means and efforts to provide a concise and all-encompassing definition have only been marginally successful. The ambiguity within the theory allows for its continuous expansion of its basic tenets, though this ambiguity is also widely considered its greatest weakness. At its core, womanism is a social change perspective based upon the everyday problems and experiences of black women and other women of minority demographics, but more broadly seeks methods to eradicate inequalities not just for black women, but for all people.
Did you get it? Was it too confusing? I know, it can be. Many find this term offensive because they feel it is divisive; it’s not actually but it allows for fights to be fought on all fronts and for our personal causes. I want women to have equality,point-blank, but the fight women of color have verses the fight white women have is so much different. As a woman if color I have to fight for my skin color, hair texture, my facial and body features to be seen as equal to white women on top of my being a woman being equal to a man. I have fights with my own cultures patriarchy that many feminist have not had to personally face. My fight gets lost in the feminist fight. WOC are told to wait our turn in order for feminism to be heard but why wait my turn when I can discuss and promote my issues in another forum?
I think feminism is great, but it’s not my only fight, so in the end womanism encompasses me more for me.
So, to answer the first question. No, I’m not strictly a feminist, I’m a womanist and it plays a big role in my erotica and my knowledge of BDSM.
Second, in the BDSM world you will find a high dominating percentage of women are the submissives. Stop thinking what you are thinking. Contrary to vanilla beliefs the submissives hold the true power in a real and true BDSM relationship. A true dominant gets to know their sub, they know their limits and while they may experiment in pushing those limits, a trained true dominant must and will stop ALL activity if the sub requests. The sub is in control, they have the power, in many relationships subs become empowered by this position. Believe it or not, submissives have a lot of control over their own well-being as well as control over their dominant’s pleasure.
Women are sexual beings, point blank. We
like love sex, and are still finding ourselves pushing not be ashamed of it and not being forced to have it when we don’t. Erotica, BDSM, feminism, womanism, equality…it all goes hand in hand. Do you have to be apart of the BDSM life to want equality? No, of course not but being in the life doesn’t hinder you from demanding it and respect either.
As for being an erotic writer I try to have my characters and subjects become realistic fluid entities. I don’t want characters of a feminist or a patriarchal man. I don’t want my characters falling into misandrist tendencies. They don’t need to throw up the fist at every turn. I like my characters flawed, teachable, and relatable.
We live in a society that lays out how we should think and move. Our minds are still shaped by the patriarchal ideal and it has stifled many of us and blinded others into believing we can only live and love one way. The term freak is so synonymous with different that it hard to find individuality and the drive to break the mold and live free. Let you freak flag fly people, be a beautiful contradiction of societal thought, and dare to challenge all things suffocating.