Edgy June Cleaver is a “53 almost 54 omgwtf”-year-old self-identified feminist and sexual submissive. Her piece “Safety and the Submissive” is, hands-down, the best primer on how to choose a real Dom that I have ever read. It is also a brilliant explanation of what true BDSM is, and isn’t. Because I’m passionate about disrupting the insulting notion that any woman who wants to submit to a man is a Bad Feminist, I asked Edgy June to talk to me about the role of BDSM in her sexual and personal empowerment.
How do you self-identify sexually?
I am a bisexual submissive and I firmly believe in non-monogamous relationships.
Some feminists believe that women who enjoy being sexually submissive are being disempowered by misogynistic, abusive men. What is your response to this?
My vanilla marriage was the most disempowering relationship I’ve ever consented to. My ex-husband wasn’t verbally or physically abusive but he was very controlling and I was not allowed a voice in the marriage. That’s the key; in a healthy D/S relationship the Submissive has a very strong voice in setting boundaries for her physical and psychic safety. Are there abusive Dominants and Submissives playing out dysfunctional issues? Yes, of course. I’m very fortunate I’ve worked through all my baggage outside of the dungeon and the bedroom. I’m sensible to know when a Dom has not.
Some people believe that sexually submissive women are disempowered in other areas of their life, when, often, powerful women choose to be sexually submissive. Why do you think this is?
I am a nurse and sometimes I must walk people through difficult decisions. Sometimes, I am expected to juggle six balls in the air; it’s a relief to lay back and let someone be in charge of my body. It’s a relief to lay back and let someone tell me what to do with my body. Sub space is an adrenalin-fueled escape for me. I get to be held captive and pleased sexually until I can’t stand it any longer. I am told what to do to give pleasure to someone else. I make no decisions because they are made for me.
Tell me a little bit about your journey into sexual empowerment. Was there ever a time when you felt constrained by social sexual mores? If so, how did that impact you psychologically? What motivated you to own an alternative sexuality? How has this alternative preference empowered you in OTHER parts of your life, beyond sexual?
It’s not easy being a bisexual and I felt forced by both the gay and straight communities to choose my orientation until about eight years ago. Before I owned by sexuality I had open lesbian relationships and a couple of straight marriages. It was a relief to leave the bisexual closet. Opening up about my sexual preference made it easier to own my submissiveness. The full embrace of bisexuality and kink has tapped into my creativity and the confidence I once lacked to act upon them. Being in the absolute control of another person could be frightening and so I must trust my instincts when I’m dominated. Because of this I trust my instincts in every area of my life.
Any thoughts about why sexually traditional women have trouble supporting other women with kink preferences?
Sex is pretty scary for many people on a subconscious level. Violence is scary, too. I believe that women who cannot support another woman’s kink preferences are ultimately afraid of sex.