A young man leashed between the legs of a young woman kneels and looks up at her. The woman looks back at him, holding a hand on the back of his head.
Despite risking having a sole focus on the dominant woman, this picture, suggested by msa_10, somehow manages to pull my eyes between her and the submissive man. The difference in height and expression of each partner brings a surprisingly balanced visual weight to the total composition. I particularly like the way the man seems captivated in this situation; the woman is holding his leash short but not taut, and one of her legs is slung over his shoulder but they’re not tightly closed around him. Perhaps he’s just finished going down on her, and now she is taking care of him.
Care taking after playtime is called aftercare and in a recent blog post about aftercare, Saynine observes:
[T]here seemed to be a consensus from both Pro FemDommes and non-Pro that male bottom/subs do not require the same level of aftercare [as bottom/submissive women do] or any at all. This is fascinating to me and I do not even have a theory as to why. I do wonder if maybe FemDommes are less interested in providing aftercare.
Sadly, I’ve observed the same thing. While the idea that men—regardless of D/s orientation—don’t need or want aftercare is prevalent, it is wrong and very dangerous. Saynine quotes one dominant woman saying:
Call it stereotypical but I really would consider [a man who wants aftercare] a sissy and not want to play with him again.
I feel that this ignorant view, perpetuated not only by such women but also by many men, stems from a misinformed belief that desiring care somehow makes people not-men. But such fundamental desires don’t actually manifest as gendered dichotomies. As Eve Ensler has said:
Let’s think how compassion informs wisdom, and that vulnerability is our greatest strength, and that emotions have inherent logic[…]. And then let’s remember that we’ve been taught the exact opposite by the powers that be. That compassion clouds your thinking, that it gets in the way, that vulnerability is weakness, that emotions are not to be trusted[…].
I think the whole world has, essentially, been brought up not to be a girl. How do we bring up boys? What does it mean to be a boy? To be a boy really means not to be a girl. To be a man means not to be a girl. To be a woman means not to be a girl. To be strong means not to be a girl. To be a leader means not to be a girl.
I actually think that being a girl is so powerful that we’ve had to train everyone not to be that.
(Skip to 2:00 in the video.)
Ensler’s “girl” is not an actual person, but an acknowledgement of the multiplicity of wants and needs that exists within each of us, man and woman, dominant and submissive, adult and child. What saddens me most about the ignorant dominant woman's quote is that she doesn't even see how her lack of compassion not only devalues others in her own eyes, but also cuts herself off from having access to valuable others. Such dominant women are not powerful, and therefore not attractive to a submissive man like me.