The Making Of A Dominant

I think The Black Leather Belt is quickly becoming a new favorite, and I am still reading posts (like this one) with a July date on them:

Every 37 seconds, someone starts a thread on Fetlife like this:

“I’ve discovered I enjoy submitting. Can I teach my partner to be dominant?”

And lo, do you hear those horns in the distance? It’s the Pompous Dom Brigade! They are riding into the fray!

Make no mistakes: Pompous Doms are born, not made. They were dominating in their diapers. “It’s not like the army ever trains privates to be officers — that’d be foolish! And everybody knows that they create generals in a secret location under a grassy hillside in the mountains of West Virginia!”

What makes this ranty fun even funner (take that, my second grade teacher!) is the historical blurb that follows, sure to discomfit hetero-nervous male doms everywhere:

And it’s just this kind of thinking — both ignorant of history and dismissive of human endeavor — that creates and perpetuates the imbalance within the BDSM community, one where there are more submissives than dominants.

It’s ignorant of history, because most of what we know as BDSM came from gay male postwar leather culture — a culture where men had to earn their status as a dominant. They weren’t born that way — they worked their way up to being a top by starting as a bottom or a boy.

No surprise, the people who find this news about the history of their kinks the most appalling are generally heterosexual dominant men: “Learn to be dominant? What, do I have to learn to suck a dick to get mine sucked?” (Actual quote from a Fetlife thread where someone asked if male switches could be “real” dominants).

I’m thinking “Son, it certainly wouldn’t hurt your chances!”

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7 comments on “The Making Of A Dominant”:

Fritz commented on July 21st, 2012 at 1:09 pm:

This is a direct parallel to how, traditionally (or perhaps mostly in myth — the difference between history and myth is notoriously small in Argantina) a hundred years ago, tango leads were trained in Buenos Aires. There were few women and so new young men started as follows. After they learned well enough how to dance they started practicing leading by leading new young men. Only after rising through those ranks could they lead women.

Den commented on July 21st, 2012 at 7:05 pm:

I always love the fantasy that because a tiny group of people founded a group ethic 60 years ago, that should be followed now. I generally ask, “You know about that same time, women stayed home and had babies, kept house, raised the kids, and supported their husbands, who, in turn went out and worked, earned the money, and were the leader of the family. If the old gay-boy BDSM was that good, maybe we should go back to the 50s family too.

That generally stops the first conversation. (and starts a second one) <>

Rope Guy commented on July 22nd, 2012 at 8:18 am:

It’s a historical example offered to disprove a current assertion — not a recommendation about how to live.

TeaMan commented on July 23rd, 2012 at 12:56 am:

What aspects exactly came from gay men? I can’t assume Dom/Sub relationships actually started strictly from gay men? So what aspects specifically are attributed to them? All I get from this is that they started an actual group/hierarchy where you started on the bottom and had to serve before you could be a top.

Rope Guy commented on July 23rd, 2012 at 7:24 am:

TeaMan, do some googling? It’s a big subject.

Pat Powers commented on July 24th, 2012 at 8:31 pm:

Gay guys can do as they like, I’ll do as I like.

LukeWM commented on August 1st, 2012 at 10:04 am:

Gay men popularized BDSM, but they didn’t create it. Marquis de Sade, the namesake for the word sadism, was hetero. Also, there are not more submissives in BDSM than dominants. There may be more male submissives than female dominants, but that’s just because there is more men. There is also more male dominants than female submissives. I agree that being a dom takes some study and diplomacy, but a lot of the above post just isn’t true.

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