I began this community to gain better knowledge on a subject that has always been fascinating to me. It is a multi-dimensional, rarely discussed, yet significant part of human culture, particulary in a country that thrives off of corporate power hunger.
The idea to pursue this topic came to me while watching my cats interact. The moment I first picked up the kittens from my sister’s place I could tell the difference in their personalities. Mucha, my male, was the extrovert. He had no problem getting close to me to see what I was all about. He was communicative and animated. He was trusting and social. Sappho, the female, was a bit more guarded and hesitant. She took much more time to warm up to me and consider me family. Mostly, she hid shyly behind her adopted big brother and let Mucha make all the decisions. When the two were brought home, Mucha took the initiative to scout out the realm, while Sappho followed him with blind loyalty. And when the two would play or fight Mucha, with all his strength and weight, was the one to pin Sappho down, biting her neck and expressing his masculinity. As Sappho got bigger she began to fight back, but Mucha would continue to win, and Sappho would end up screeching at him and laying motionless beneath his powerful, lean feline body. Though, the two were quite fond of each other, and enjoyed an amount of aggressive play, my cats Mucha and Sappho had specific roles that they conformed to. Mucha was the dominant while Sappho was the submissive counterpart. I wondered if this was testosterone influenced, but even after my male cat was neutered, the couple still complied with their agreed arrangement of positions.
Society and relationships consist of hierarchies. This hierarchy is not necessarily a matter of importance, but is a matter of power. He or she who runs the show has the most power. This can be said for any business in the work force. However, a hierarchy requires an ensemble, a multitude of persons that determine social status. So in a duo who holds the reigns? Who takes the lead and who lays as motionless as my female cat?
I wish to stress that I do not mean to place a negative connotation on the role of submissive. If subs out there would like to defend themselves, feel absolutely free. I, myself, am a submissive by nature, but I am just learning the unfortunate consequences to this position. To further explain why I am intrigued by this issue, I must relay the fact that I am the youngest sister in a family consisting primarily of women. By most accounts my parents have a typical marriage of heteronormativity. Meaning my father is the bread-winner and my mother is a financial dependant. Though my father is by no means John Wayne macho, he is a Taurus sun sign, with Leo rising, and as overbearing a control freak as one would expect a father to be. It is nearly impossible to argue my father and to let him down is not an option. My father is not a violent man, but he is one of the greatest psychological manipulators I have ever known. Therefore, as a shaped and disciplined daddy's girl I found myself within the arms of men whose personalities resemble his. As much as I despise it, I have fallen victim to emotional abuse and been suppressed by men who disapproved of my need to break free of gender restrictions.
Of course, I do not hold my father responsible for my disastrous relationships. There are many reasons, and many factors contribute to the dom/sub dynamic in contemporary America. We shall explore them here.