Many men who turn to submissive fantasies do so for precisely the sort of vacation from responsibility that Roiphe suggests women are seeking. Olivia Severine, a transsexual dominatrix living in San Francisco, says most of her clients were “very high-powered” men weighed down by responsibility. “They came to see me as a brief escape when no one was looking at them for direction or leadership,” she says. “The time with me is when they were told what to do, what to feel and how to act … and all the weight of their careers, families, lives, is lifted from them for a cherished few hours.”
Mistress Shae Flanigan, a Los Angeles dominatrix, says her clients are “CEOs, high-ranking managers, lawyers and wonderfully brilliant men from all over the business spectrum.” What they have in common is “that they come to me to create an environment where they don’t need to think,” she says. “Where they can trust me to keep them safe while I weave together an enticing, thrilling, euphoric and painful world where it is literally impossible to think.”
It isn’t that these guys wish they had less real-world power — it’s just, power is stressful, and submission provides a release. “BDSM is a hell of a lot more affordable of a vacation than the Bahamas, I promise you,” says Flanigan.
Melissa Febos, author of “Whip Smart,” a book about her time as a pro-domme, tells me, “As someone who spent nearly four years catering to the submissive fantasies of men, and who eventually had to acknowledge her own submissive fantasies, I can say with some certainty that I think all people experience anxiety about power,” she says. “Aren’t our objects of eroticization often the things we feel unreconciled about?”
Most of Febos’ clients “experienced an imbalance of power in their lives,” she says. For some it was “extreme disempowerment,” like child abuse, racism or poverty; for others, it was “an overwhelming burden of power,” related to everything from wealth to politics. (“During the Republican convention, business at the dungeon boomed,” she says.) All of that is to say that “eroticization stemming from anxiety is not gender-specific,” Febos explains — nor is it specific to the relative power one has in the real world.
“Everyone, regardless of career choice or level of importance, is saddled with the burden of making important decisions about their own lives and the lives of the people around them,” Domina Nyx of New York City points out.
While Natasha Strange, who has worked as a domme for almost 20 years, has had plenty of “men who are powerful and want to give up control for a bit,” she’s also had tons of “musicians, cab drivers, pharmacy reps, teachers and your basic blue-collar workers who are just kinky and want to feel desired for an hour or three.” Interestingly enough, she says, “The very first female client I had was a housewife and a mother of two.”
All of my creative written works up until this point have been focused on human sacrifice. It is a topic I have long been obsessed over. When I realized that becoming an archaeologist would not answer the questions I was asking I turned to comparative religion and philosophy to understand. In my 1997 screenplay The Lost Cannibals of Cahokia I directly explored the horror of this topic and the work bounced around Hollywood for a number of years. When I showed apprehension in joining the Writers Guild when directed by a Wilshire Blvd agent—the story died because with the promise of developing the script was a reworking of the sacrifice plotline and a refocus on the horror aspects. Well, the point of the story for me was to understand why human beings felt they needed to sacrifice themselves to other people. So I continue to retain the rights, but development died on the vine. My 2004 novel The Symposium of Justice was essentially about a vigilante who protects people from the desire of an “evil system” to sacrifice the good for the many at the expense of the individual. My 2012 novel Tail of the Dragon was essentially about a man who refused to allow himself to be sacrificed in any manner at all socially. His refusal caused the greatest car chase in American history—it became a kind of Vanishing Point type story except much more intense. But the central thesis was on sacrifice. I have had many publishers, agents, actors, financiers and the like convey their appreciation of my works, but there is always something left out of our dialogue which goes unsaid and prevents further interaction and development.
From 2006 to 2009 I conducted a number of onsite visits to areas known for their human sacrifice to understand better the cause. I visited the site of Cahokia outside of St. Louis and the subject of my 1997 screenplay. Based on some new information from that visit The Lost Cannibals of Cahokia screenplay won an award at the Indie Gathering Film Festival in the horror category. Shortly after my wife and I visited the Chichen Itza archaeological site in the Yucatan Peninsula to study the actual location of many human sacrifice examples. I had thought that the Mel Gibson film Apocalypto was actually one of the best Anthropological/Archaeological films done on the Mayan culture and on human sacrifice. So out of all the world’s sacrificial sites—Chichen Itza held the best example of the practice that was the most fully preserved. I had my thesis which was put into my books and screenplays and ironically, Mel Gibson was destroyed as a filmmaker after that film which came out during this period. There was something about the subject matter of sacrifice which made people feel uncomfortable. On one level they agreed—the Mayan practice of human sacrifice was terrible, and barbaric. On the other, human sacrifice still occurs; it is just much slower and doesn’t necessarily mean that a person must be killed—literally. Just metaphorically—the cause of most BDSM is to reconcile that metaphorical death within an individual life.
While helping Doc Thompson promote the first Atlas Shrugged film over AM radio, I discovered Ayn Rand and read all her books and found that she had already been down the road I was going in regard to human sacrifice. She had approached the problem philosophically where mine was archaeological, but the conclusions were similar. This helped me refine the argument from a big general thesis against sacrifice to a more pointed one backed by her previous work in Objectivism. So this lead me to establish the proper background in declaring that I have spent a lot of time on this notion of sacrifice and explored its nature as a corrosive social element and am fully capable to speak on the matter with authority.
The reason that men desire to “not think” and to surrender themselves to a dominatrix is because they have been taught that not everyone is a superman—that not everyone can support the world—and that weaknesses are virtuous. It is inconceivable to me that a “powerful” man responsible for the jobs of many people and the fiscal merits of a company he works for—or owns, would desire to have his pants pulled down like a child and be spanked—harassed, and dominated by another human being because they want a vacation from making hard decisions. The cause is a failed philosophy at the heart of their very minds. But the cause of the belief that not everyone can be a superman is that the notion of self-sacrifice has been embedded into such men from the time that they were children. If a man is too successful, he feels guilt about it and seeks to reconcile that guilt by being dominated—the way he dominates others. It’s a silly belief that a social balance must be maintained and that it can only be found through masochistic pain. That is the start, and like Larry Wachowski who went from zero to a 1000 after the success of his Matrix film—he did not have the mental capacity to deal with the success other than his instruction of self-sacrifice by a society still functioning like the now extinct Mayans.
When the actress asked me to beat her with one of my whips, I understood what she wanted. She sat with me at the catering truck talking about how tough it was to get roles in Hollywood, how relationships were tough to maintain, that everyone expected you to be one way or another and that if you didn’t fit those molds—you didn’t get parts. She went on and on about her father’s expectations, her mother’s feminist declarations—her agents typecasting—I don’t think I said a word during the entire lunch hour on set. It was like nobody had listened to this girl for a decade and for whatever reason she felt she could talk to me. At the end she put a stack of ten $100 dollar bills on the table and asked me to hit her with my whip the way I had been doing on set—only privately. She talked about the culture of Los Angeles and how much money I could make providing such a service to the frustrated actresses in Beverley Hills, the confused house wives of the studio executives up in the hills around Burbank and the cultural immigrants of Glendale looking for the kind of abuse they received in the countries they came from in the safety of a person they could trust would not hurt them permanently. She told me about places like the Dungeon where Larry Wachowski lost his mind and manhood. Apparently this nice clean-cut girl who was married to one of the producers with several of her children on the set spent a lot of time in those kinds of places. I told her I didn’t do that kind of thing—that my interest in bullwhips was inspired by Douglas Fairbanks and the old serials of the 30s, 40s and 50s. I hoped that by mentioning old Hollywood, we would find common ground—but instead she went cold and got up embarrassed from feeling so vulnerable in what she revealed to someone who wouldn’t jump to the dark side with her. “Fu** Douglas Fairbanks” she said as she took her tray back to the truck. She left the bills on the table, angrily dispensed her tray, then came back to retrieve the money and sat down next to her husband who had been doing his best to avoid my gaze—until his wife sat back down next to him.
Chances are dear reader you have these same thoughts and feelings and they were given to you by a failed society and its ridiculous philosophies built upon crumbled civilizations from the past. If you desire to be spanked, slapped around, have your hair pulled—to be called disgraceful names, to be handcuffed, raped, or have things clipped to your skin by someone else until it hurts—you are messed up. You are broken and need to be fixed. What you are feeling are ancient thoughts that should be eradicated. They are not healthy thoughts given to you outside of your control by some deity living in the hereafter. They are screwed up philosophies given to mankind by the past which always lead to failed societies. In the case of Larry Wachowski he destroyed his life and is seeking justification in the form of being a woman to excuse his mistakes. It is only because he is a progressive that the studio bosses keep him employed hoping that one of his films will be the next Matrix—which was a fluke—a one shot wonder. But the entire nation of America is seeking a similar punishment through self-sacrifice and under such a belief system nothing can endure.
Consider the absolutely stupid notion that we are supposed to thank our troops for their service to their country. The popular phrase—“some gave all” implies that giving one’s life to the freedom of everyone in the country is the noblest thing anyone can do—and that is just stupid. The sudden appreciation of our troops over the last decade of treacherous debt (nearly $18 trillion and counting) only confirms to individuals everywhere that the state is the highest authority and its continued preservation must be endured at any cost—even if it means death. Therefore, with that basic premise intact success is believed to be reconciled through pain and suffering. And because sex is a major part of every adult life, punishment has entered the bedroom to align the minds of warped individuals with the insanity they are being forced to contend with due to massive mismanagement and poor philosophical choices of the world’s governments—particularly America. It is worse in America not because it is a bad nation, but because there is a pretense of freedom which is assumed, but the old diabolical need for abuse still persists in the human mind forcing the behavior underground on a massive level. This duality causes many of the problems we are seeing.
Rich Hoffman www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com