I’ve often heard that women are far less visual than men when it comes to sexual arousal. Popular opinion claims women don’t respond strongly to visual stimulus and we males do. In some interesting studies (” What Do Women Want?”New York Times) this isn’t true. Objective, physical measurements – vaginal blood flow and penile growth – showed that women responded physically to sexual images as much as men. However, the women’s subjective reporting frequently disagreed with their bodies. They reported little or no arousal while their vaginas strongly disagreed.
I was less interested in what turned them on than the disagreement between mind and vagina. Reporting lack of interest in sexual images may be cultural. Women are supposed to be unaroused by visual stimuli. Similarly, they are expected to allow men to take the lead and avoid hurting men (“The Female Price of Male Pleasure”,” The Week“), even it if hurts them.
This conditioned gap between male and female sexual perceptions and behaviors creates challenges to a woman who is asked to take charge sexually. She is asked to consider her own pleasure, or at least not consider his. He wants her to hurt him physically. He wants her to make him do things he doesn’t like.
That’s what it appears to be on the surface. The male submissive fantasies specify pain and denial. Obedience to a dominant woman is extremely arousing to a man who wants to be submissive. Even a very strong woman could easily have problems with this.
I won’t go into the obvious societal role models being a dominant woman violates. That much is obvious. Less obvious are the strong emotional values that were revealed in the disconnect between physical arousal and mental reactions to sexual situations (ibid: “NY Times”). Women are conditioned to accept pain as a part of sex (ibid: “The Week”). They find it difficult to accept that they can inflict pain as part of sex.
This discomfort with giving the male pain extends to other sexual activities as well, like locking a penis in a chastity device. If she knows he wants this discomfort, she may be willing to do it. But she will be uncomfortable if she feels he would be unhappy with his bondage under some conditions. I think this is one reason Mrs. Lion reacts negatively when I propose traveling in a chastity device. It’s just too much.
Inflicting pain is another difficult change. It took a long time for Mrs. Lion to get comfortable giving me painful spankings. She’s very good at that now. However, she still has limits. That’s a good thing, though her limits are currently below mine. I’m very sure that eventually she will test my boundaries and make me learn to take more. It just takes time to internalize that the pain, while real, is what I want and not wrong.
Another area of challenge is learning what is safe. I spent many years teaching BDSM safety. In all the time I was responsible for training and dungeon monitoring, I only had one case where the top, a woman, went too far for safety. Tops need to learn what activities are safe, but they are generally unwilling to even approach the point when an activity, like spanking, would inflict real damage.
Becoming a dominant woman is far more complex than role reversal. It requires her to get in touch with her own sexual boundaries. The second, more difficult challenge is to overcome the taboo of inflicting pain.
We males need to understand that if our partners are willing to make the changes needed to dominate us, that they will need time and understanding to do this.