Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bad boy appeal

I have some suspicions that my ex wanted to be chased and taken. Chased in the sense of rather predatory and persistent wooing; taken in the sense of someone breathlessly saying "take me" except without actually saying anything. It's not hard to understand. Someone might want to feel they are so attractive that they overcame their partner's scruples. And very commonly people feel like their personal likes are also the limits of decency (as Ozymandias was just writing about.) So a desire to be chased makes considerable sense. Being chased can be considered an enormous compliment. I suspect this is fairly integral to the appeal of "bad boys"; the idea that he'll do what you want, without the need to tell him; and stop at the limit of your likes, again without a need to explain. Note that the chasing and taking I'm talking about is distinct from an agreed-upon form of play, or even an implied kind of play. If one's spouse says "You can't catch me" and runs away, that's obviously implied play. What I'm talking about is the situation where the chase is expected to replace such obvious communication.

There are a bunch of reasons this does not work for me.

I've talked about the first one before. Although I believe in a Christian marriage the partners give ownership of their bodies to each other in a very real sense, particularly a sexual sense, we are to love our spouses and they're still the ones living in that body. We should never harm them and even slightly unwanted sexual activity is a harm. The ownership is a concept to guide the way each spouse should give their body to the other, not the way a spouse may take the other's body. In other words, as a married Christian I would always think of my wife's ownership of my body, but not of my ownership of hers; likewise she should think of my ownership of hers, not of her ownership of mine. If I'm always thinking she owns my body, her sexual use of it will be welcome. But I should not be thinking that I can take hers whenever I want, only she should think that.

The second thing is that it tends to be one-sided in a way I can't handle. One person runs, the other chases. One person gets the compliment. I'm not aware that I've heard of anyone alternating this; if they did I'd expect a case where it's a pretty obvious form of play. I think a man running away from a woman who wanted sex with him would be too insulting a form of play for most people. If you turn that around, that is why I could only handle it if my partner made it obvious from the start that she wanted to be caught; otherwise I find it unbearably wounding.

The third is that I'm just not a bad boy. Maybe with the martial arts and guns and hair I could be mistaken for one. Nope. I'm more Boy Scout and hopeless romantic. If you run away from me I will cry and ask you for one last kiss. (Yes, I did that a few days before the divorce notice came.) If you want me to take you with strength you must discuss it with me first. I aspire to a very different ideal than the bad boy.
"Thou wert the meekest man," says Sir Ector to the dead Launcelot. "Thou were the meekest man that ever ate in hall among ladies; and thou wert the sternest knight to thy mortal foe that ever put spear in the rest."

The important thing about this ideal is, of course, the double demand it makes on human nature. The knight is a man of blood and iron, a man familiar with the sight of smashed faces and the ragged stumps of lopped-off limbs; he is also a demure, almost maidenlike, guest in a hall, a gentle, modest, unobtrusive man. He is not compromise or happy mean between ferocity and meekness; he is fierce to the nth and meek to the nth. When Launcelot heard himself pronounced the best knight in the world, "he wept as he had been a child that had been beaten."
(Excerpts from C.S. Lewis's excellent essay on the topic of the modern need for knightly chivalry can be found here; I'd like everyone who carries a gun to read it. And everyone who doesn't to read it too.)


  1. I sometimes think the core of my sexuality is "being desired so much I overcome their scruples." Of course, I enact this in a very different way ("I am so hot they'll endure pain and humiliation for me") but I understand the impulse.

    I do not understand the attraction of bad boys at ALL. On an intellectual level, I just don't get it. He's cruel and he violates your boundaries! That is not attractive!

  2. "I am so hot they'll endure pain and humiliation for me"

    I agree, but my kinks go the other way even more strongly: "You are so hot I'll endure pain and humiliation for you". That's what my foot fetish, pee fetish, fetish for begging for the chance to perform cunnilingus, are all for. My brain means them to show how much I love and admire and desire my partner. But I've probably written enough about that that people are tired of hearing it now. (Did you read the Her Birthday story though? It seems to be an exact match for this.)

    On an intellectual level, I just don't get it.

    I don't think the appeal is on an intellectual level at all.

  3. Her Birthday is a really good story, but it involves much too happy and functional a couple to be my kink. (eyeroll at brain) I much prefer the self-hatred and the I-shouldn't-be-doing-this-but-it's-so-hot.

    Yes but normally I can at least understand why peopel have a turnon, even if I don't have it myself, and the appeal of bad boys is annoyingly intransigent. I suppose some of it is that you feel special because they're mean to everyone but you...?

  4. I want a man that is physically and mentally able to take whatever he wants from me by force and yet has the respect for me (an himself) to only use that strength to protect me. I reward this by giving myself to him and telling him exactly how I want him to take me. Hard and aggressive. I want him to try and break me, with my permission of course. I can trust that he will never dominate me more than I allow. It's a balance where we each hold the power, ownership of the others body, but in full respect of the other. In being the Biblical owner of my husband's body, I can also dictate how he uses it with mine. But again, it's trust. He could ravage me by force if he so desired. But without my consent he would damage the very fabric of the relationship.
    Oh, and we each carry guns too.

  5. Ozymandias, since you are a rare person that actually has skill at developing new kinks, I strongly suggest you work on happy and functional. Self-hatred and I-shouldn't-be-doing-this-but-it's-so-hot do not have happy endings.

  6. Penny, just a few days before I saw your site at Quizzical Pussy's I posted on my rebirth of interest in domination and topping, so I didn't repeat that here. The condensed form of of what I've talked about is that since my ex really did not communicate how she wanted it, I really could not dom her; I am not doing that by sheer guesswork. And I lost interest for a while.

    mentally able to take whatever he wants from me by force

    I'm not sure quite what you mean. I don't think I can be mentally able in the sense I can think of. With enthusiastic consent and a safeword I can pretend, sure. But there is just nothing in my brain that corresponds to an ability to take sex by force from a woman I love. (Physically I'm 6'3", 240 pounds and have been practicing various martial arts for about 12 years total, so, yeah.)

    Oh, and we each carry guns too.

    Yay! It's nice to hear so many sex-positive women carrying. You, LabRat, Heroditus Huxley. Is carrying the ticket to a happy sex-positive marriage or is marriage the key to carrying? My ex started carrying while she was with me, and has since stopped.

  7. Not in real life, Mousie! In porn! In real life I am interested in hyperactive nerds who are also interested in me, which I feel is much more likely to result in happy endings.

    Oh, and I would totally carry a gun except that I am 99% sure I'd end up shooting my foot.

  8. Not in real life, Mousie! In porn!

    Oh, good.

    Oh, and I would totally carry a gun except that I am 99% sure I'd end up shooting my foot.

    If you'd like to give shooting a try, check out this collection of volunteer mentors.

    If you'd like to carry except you'll shoot your foot, take some classes and carry a semi-auto with the magazine loaded and the chamber empty. Keep the chamber empty and you will not shoot your foot. That's how I carried for the first five years or so. If you need to use it, you just rack the slide when you draw it.

    Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction
    Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you want to shoot
    Always treat the gun as if it were loaded
    Know your target and what is behind it

  9. I do not have a submissive personality. I do not like the idea of being chased. Nor do I like the idea of being the pursuer. I'd rather have what I've got: an equal partner with a lot of give and take.

    As a rape survivor, I don't think I'd be nearly as open about being sex-positive without my guns. I don't think I'd feel safe enough to _be_ sex positive, married or not, did I not have the equalizer (I'm under 5' tall, and would have no chance to get away or defend myself from pretty much any adult male).

  10. In the spirit of confessing my deep dark secrets on this blog, I am extremely tempted to write a specific "self-hatred and I-shouldn't-be-doing-this-but-it's-so-hot" story for Ozymandias. 'Cause while being 41 I am not about to really do anything with a woman who's in college, it is certainly easy for me to imagine the "self-hatred and I-shouldn't-be-doing-this-but-it's-so-hot" in graphic fdom/msub detail.

    I suppose with 84-year-old Hugh Hefner actually engaged to a 24-year-old, it's not really a surprising confession.

  11. Which is not meant to imply, Ozymandias, that you'd really want a 41-year old either, just saying I could write those kinks.

  12. Heroditus, it's always good to hear from someone who doesn't want something I can't give. Makes me optimistic.

  13. Eh. I spent much of my adolescence writing porn for straight ladies, often specifically requested porn (I am addicted to kink memes). I don't actually regard writing porn for someone else as a sexual act.

  14. Eh confession is eh.

    Ozymandias, I don't regard writing porn for someone as a sexual act either. Where I felt it was a dark secret is that the sense I can imagine the self-hatred &c. is specifically in terms of a 41-year-old guy very much like me who does not think he should be with a 19yo very much like you but is totally overwhelmed by the so hot. Also I am neurotic enough to fear that the very notion that some old guy thinks you're so hot will offend you.

    Considering the ages of most women who appear in porn, this is perhaps unremarkable to anyone but me.

  15. If a woman my age hits on a woman Ozymandias's age, I don't bat an eyelash. If I do it even in a context where it clearly means nothing, I expect a crowd with pitchforks and torches. Oh well, not one of my most problematic problems.

  16. I think a big part of the bad-boy chase-me-don't-talk thing is that, for women who are uncomfortable with their sexuality, it's like a fantasy where you don't have to face and articulate your desires because he'll do what you want for you and you can pretend it was all his tumultuous masculinity that thrilled you so.

    Of course, in reality he's not actually psychic and a genuine bad boy will do what he wants, not what you want. Nice if you're married to someone who knows you well enough to fulfill those desires without being an actual bad boy, as Penny evidently is.

    I'm not in that camp though. Chase-me-chase-you is fun in total play, aggravating without that context. No fun at all if only one part is an option, too.

  17. LabRat, I think you're spot-on with your analysis of bad-boy appeal.

    I think you missed a part of Penny's comment though: "and telling him exactly how I want him to take me". Penny's husband Clinton has actual words and I bet even sentences to work with, the lucky guy.

    Chasing is awesome when it's obviously communicated play.

  18. By mentally, I just mean knowledge and skill. I'd never want someone that truly wished to overpower me without my consent. Funny, in dom/sub-I think to do it right, the sub really holds the power in a lot of ways.

    And don't carry chamber empty. Get training. You'll be just fine.

  19. And Labrat, we've had more than a decade to figure that out. Talk is sexy. As is the chase. He knows because we've had dialog. I don't think that is really out of reach for many couples if they will just take the risk and talk about it.

  20. Yeah, I didn't mean "guess without ever talking about it", I meant "make some good guesses without having to make a checklist for each scene". So "more spontaneity and fluidity", not "no communication".

    Virus no leave me clear.

  21. I've been friends with a lot of "bad boy" types. I never wanted to date one, because with maybe one exception, they've all been assholes.

    Like women with rape fantasies, I've always thought there was something wrong with women who liked "bad boys." I think LabRat put her finger on exactly what it was--basically not quite a rape fantasy, but not far from it, and based in discomfort with communicating one's own desires.

    On the other hand, I tend to like badasses--powerful, alpha male types that can definitely take care of themselves (and their women and children), are secure enough in their masculinity to not be assholes, and live up to their responsibilities--basically, the type of real men that my husband is (and that you happen to be, Mousie). Bad boys always struck me as badass wannabes.

  22. Penny said, By mentally, I just mean knowledge and skill.

    OK. That's not a problem.

    Funny, in dom/sub-I think to do it right, the sub really holds the power in a lot of ways.

    Yeah. I see two factors that are different than vanilla sex, both of which can be there at the same time;
    1) the sub is giving the dom their willingness to take pain and humiliation as a gift, to elevate the dom;
    2) the dom is working with the sub's kinks and receiving the sub's pleasure as a gift.
    In both factors the sub's limits are generally the more important ones.

  23. Heroditus, thank you! In talking so openly about my problems and insecurities on this blog I've been afraid I don't come across as particularly manly. I did it anyway because I'm going to show the blog to anyone I'm thinking of marrying and I want them to know exactly what they're getting.

  24. I'm not into the whole master/slave thing unless it's just a temporary game. I like for Penny and I to both be masters. I want for us to both be doms with no subs at all. I'd like to think that we have sex like Olympian gods rather than like mere mortals. There's a sense of security in knowing that nobody could possibly compare to you. Sure it takes great sex to get there but much more of it happens out of the bed. How do you convince someone that they're IT? We're getting there I think. Although a foot fetish would be a whole lot less work actually.

  25. Welcome, Clint! That's the same sort of goal I want.

    My methods are different, and I suppose they are probably less work. I pursue it through alternating who plays the submissive and who the dominant (always as a temporary game), and through the style of submission and domination. The goal is not to put the submissive down, but to elevate the dominant. The submissive is telling the dominant how extraordinary and wonderful the dominant is. The way I pursue it it's a little like saying "I love you;" only one person can speak at a time and have it be clear, so they must take turns. There's some more on that here.

  26. The story for Ozymandias sounds hot. I have definitely had that fantasy. It's weird, because I don't like being hit on by older men; I got tons of it when I was about 19, and it was usually disrespectful. Even the cases that weren't obviously disrespectful bothered me, because they felt like they were on a continuum with the cases that were disrespectful from the start, or that started out polite but then got nasty when I said no. That said, I'm not bothered by the idea of an older person who is attracted to me and doesn't try to push my boundaries. I've had crushes on much older people who weren't pursuing me, and while I've always thought it was a bad idea to act on that in real life, I like the theoretical idea of an older-younger pairing where the younger person is in control.

  27. Well thanks Rae! If you have an email address you don't mind me having, or feel like signing up for a new free one for this, send me some information you'd like to see in the story; what are the girl's features that the guy will most fixate on? Any particular kinks you'd like besides what shows up in my other stories? Do you like the heavily conflicted emotions of "I shouldn't be doing this but she's so hot I can't help myself"? I'll write it when I have time (pretty soon) and send it back. My email address is in my profile, my name at gmail . com.

    I like all my public stories to be about happy LTR relationships, so it won't show up on the blog. But frankly I think the idea of writing a story on request is really fun.