A “secret” shared via Submissive Secrets, a community art project based on the PostSecret concept and inspired by several contributions to the Queer Secrets Tumblr regarding BDSM. The secret is:
[ Image: the Male Submission Art tumblr, with title changed to Male Submission Art With Over 15% Body Fat. The search box says “men who look like me” and the content column is blank. Text: I must have heard it over 100 times: “I like curvy women but skinny guys.” I know most guys aren’t supposed to be anxious about their bodies. But I wouldn’t be here in the first place if I was most guys. ]
I’m posting this here because, after years of sharing pieces of my story with you, I’d like to invite you to share a piece of your story with me.
As you may know, Male Submission Art was a website created in a fit of frustration. At its root, this website is a response to (epistemically abusive) pain. Specifically, it’s a response to the pain inflicted by the sometimes inescapable presumption of male dominance.
I maintain that although this pain is not a universal experience, it is an underreported, under-appreciated, and above all underrepresented manifestation of the abuse culture in which we live. Abuse culture spawns rape culture. But abuse culture also spawns transphobia. It spawns psychopathic “blinding macho” socialization. And, as this secret makes so beautifully clear, it spawns body-negativity.
I, for one, am sick and tired of being sick and tired—I am tired of feeling alone. And so, in a fit of frustration, like Male Submission Art before it, I recently made a spinoff website called Submissive Secrets as a response to this pain.
In his blog, Roger Ebert described the effect of loneliness like this:
When I was a child the mailman came once a day. Now the mail arrives every moment. I used to believe it was preposterous that people could fall in love online. Now I see that all relationships are virtual, even those that take place in person. Whether we use our bodies or a keyboard, it all comes down to two minds crying out from their solitude.
My experience blogging at Male Submission Art has been a remarkable education in the way one might use a keyboard to cry out from one’s solitude. It embodies, in cyberspace, my own desperate attempt to transform things that harm me into things that help me. But this website is largely still about me and so, at times, I have felt regret that my own pain sometimes prevented me from updating this site on a more regular basis because I know how much it has helped others.
Now that I know I’m not alone, this website is no longer enough. As I wrote on the Submissive Secrets about page:
I believe it is time to tell the stories and share the thoughts, feelings, desires, and fears submissive men and those who love them have in a way that offers solidarity, compassion, empathy, trust, sympathy, lust, and, of course, love.
Since storytelling is the foundation of any movement, I want to collect the stories of any male, male-identified, or masculine-of-center person who’s submissively inclined or curious. And I also want to collect the stories of everyone else who is attracted to, interested in, or supportive of such drives for personal fulfillment. And then, once we have all shared our stories about these experiences, we will have made the world a better place for it, and, together, we are going to show everyone that it is good to be the kind of people we are.
It’s true we are not all identical; we have a variety of different tastes. But we are all human. And we all deserve to be happy. So if we can’t just snap our fingers and make everyone happy, the least we can do is make ourselves heard.
My hope is that with everyone sharing pieces of their story, we will weave a beautiful patchwork tapestry.
And so, from my mind to yours, I invite you: be heard.