There came a point when I stopped blushing away the slyly ventured notion of promiscuity. Before, my body was a fleshy fortress of faux-chastity, with every brave knight that scaled its walls greeted as if he were the first to penetrate its interior. I thought that this was what was expected, what was desired, this virginal veneer. So I presented myself as a guarded territory ripe for conquest, its battlements resounding with stifled giggles and breathy objections.
But this practiced persona wasn’t solely for the benefit of my body’s would-be conquerors. I wanted something from them, too; I wanted to be dominated, to disappear under the weight of their forcibly exercised will. To ask for this, however, would have been wholly counterproductive to the end of essentially divesting myself of a voice. In doing so, I would only have succeeded in turning my sexual experience into a farce of an adult bookstore board game, a self-consciously consensual “role play” activity made for the pages of Cosmo magazine. I could do well without the furry handcuffs and satin blindfolds. I just wanted to be fucked. Brutally.
To ask for this, too, would naturally have prompted questions as to why I was asking, both for myself and he to whom the request was posed. Why did my sexual satisfaction necessitate a submissive stance? Though seeming to fall under the broad umbrella of “daddy issues,” I found the indiscriminate hoisting of my desires on the shoulders of my absent father to be an insultingly simplistic reduction of what I had come to recognize as a much more complex issue. I resented the preponderance of pop psychology as it tried to wrest the emotional responsibility for my perversions away from me.
But why, then? Why did I want to be held down, choked, taken against my will? Though my desires still amounted to little more than a regurgitated version of the standard, porn-propagated rape fantasy, I nonetheless persisted in the excavation of what I imagined to be a deeply entrenched, subterranean world of perversion. Maybe I could carve out an inroad in considering my approach to relationships in general. After all, wasn’t this approach problematically colored by an anachronistic pursuit of a comforting gender binary? Wasn’t I most at ease when masculine and feminine roles were safely sequestered in opposite poles? Maybe, then, my search for a dominant partner to counterbalance my submissive self was more symptomatic of a general deficiency than an acutely focused, psychologically embedded fixation.
Though beginning to dust the edges of my desire’s roots, I still wasn’t wholly satisfied with what they revealed. So it was that I began to consider the issue from a yet broader angle. Why was I even asking these questions in the first place? Why this persistent need to rationalize impulses which, by their very nature, defy rationality? It was shame. I felt ashamed of my desires. I felt ashamed of my body. Most of all, I felt ashamed of the nascent apprehension of myself as a sexual being.
Having been reared under the watchful eye of the Catholic Church, Our Father, who art in heaven, and Holy Mary, mother of God, I should have been quicker to turn my head to acknowledge this constant bedfellow of humanity. But all along I was pretending that I had nothing to be ashamed of; that I had never been touched, a passive, nubile body cowering at the approach of its ready conqueror. And, I realized, it was only in shirking the weight of this deception, and in facing the shame which had, for better or worse, nestled its incessantly interrogatory head onto the pillow beside me, that I could assume any sort of agency in the exercise of my sexuality.
So I let myself be ashamed. I let myself be punished. It feels good to have a pair of hands clasped around my neck while a hulking body pounds itself into me. A blush might still creep onto my cheeks, but it’s not because there’s something I’m trying to hide.