Tomorrow, Stockroom U presents Up From the Bottom, a panel about the lives, desires, and realities of male submission. Men who submit to women are often ignored, dismissed, or mocked, even in kink communities, and we’re really looking forward to this weekend’s panel as an opportunity to talk about male submission in detail and with nuance. Jay Rosen, who set up the panel and is going to be moderating tomorrow, took a little time out to give us some insight on his feelings about submission.
Could you describe the panel that you’re going to be holding at Stockroom U this weekend?
It’s submissive male only, and it’s really going to be talking about our lives individually, how long we’ve been in the scene, what kind of service we’ve been partial to, and really discussing what goes on in a submissive male’s head, and really kind of showing a different perspective, because I think there’s so many great panels on dominant men or dominant women that submissive males kind of get overlooked a little bit. So, we wanted to show a side of people that have diverse lives and diverse likes and have served lifestyle women, professional women, maybe served couples. But show it from a perspective of “Hey, this isn’t all-defining of our lives, but it’s something that we’re into and that we love and that we have grown to throw into the mix of our everyday life along with our kink world.
Why do you think that the perspective of submissive men gets overlooked even within kink communities?
I think that it gets overlooked because so many of the communities started out with male dominants. Even femdoms have struggled for a long time to get noticed in a lot of areas. And so male submissives kind of get overlooked because there’s so many of them that kind of come and go in the scene. There’s not a lot of people that I’ve experienced who have been around for a long time.
So you’re saying that submissive men are overlooked because there’s so many of them?
I think that we get overlooked because — you see so many women wearing such incredible outfits and men are so visually driven that they think that they want to be submissive, and then they find out about it, and then they’re out. They’re gone.
I was at a panel at The Stockroom with beautiful femdoms that were all pros, and they were all dressed incredibly, so if you were a male, and you were like “Oh my god, I want to serve them,” and then find out what that actually means, it’s a different thing. When they find out what it really is to be a submissive male — that’s not really for everyone.
So what does it mean to be a submissive male? What’s the difference between the fantasy and the reality?
What it means for me is to really make sure that the female I’m with or that I’m serving or whatever our arrangement is — that she is extremely happy with whatever she needs. So if it’s sexual, I am there to please her. If she wants me to service her as far as getting her drinks, I am anticipating her moves, her wants, her needs. That makes me happy to see her extremely happy.
A submissive male — at least from my perspective — is that I’m anticipating the person I’m with. What they love, what they like, what the little things are. So, if they get home from work, I’ve got a cocktail waiting for them. If they want their feet massaged, they don’t need to come over and tell me, I’m just kind of ready to do it.
What do you think the expectations are that people have about submission, and how do they clash with reality?
For men, we have our insecurities about things, and a lot of us don’t want to talk about them because they’re scared that a female will not like that. I think it’s that people think that they should get something if they show up at a party or if they pay to go to an event. They have this idea that there’s going to be all these beautiful women that are going to want to use them for whatever they want, and that’s kind of the fantasy of it. It’s not always as easy as people think, so when they don’t get what they want, they get very discouraged, and they’re like, “Well, I’m not doing this again.”
Do you think that there’s a stigma to being a submissive man in kink communities?
I do — in certain groupings. When I started out in Los Angeles, it was a totally different scenario than it is now. There was a lot of male doms who really did not like male submissives being around. They looked down on us because they thought that we were weaker mentally. I ran into that a lot — I still run into it a little bit.
I think that a lot of femdoms even take advantage of some of the kind of people who are very pliable. You know, they want to please, they want to be there. I think some women really take advantage of that and kind of twist it up a little bit. So, they kind of look at male submissives like “Oh, whatever, they’re pathetic.” And then there’s the grouping of women who absolutely think submissive men are amazing. But there is definitely a small stigma against them in the fetish community still.
What’s the first piece of advice you’d give someone who was interested in becoming a submissive man?
I always tell people in the younger groups to be patient. Don’t let anybody treat you with disrespect because that’s not what this is about. Don’t let anybody treat you like a doormat. It’s really important, if you’re going to be a submissive male to really have a good sense of confidence and that’s not always instinctual for people coming into the scene. You learn it through experience.
And I tell them to be patient. If you go to a play party, don’t expect that you’re going to get played with. Be patient. Meet people, be cordial. You have to be able to show confidence, because that attracts women all the time, whether you’re a submissive man or not. The women that prey on [men] who have no confidence, well — they’re the ones that are dangerous to everybody in the community. It makes the community come off as bad and scary, and that’s why there’s such a stigma.
What do you hope people will get out of the panel tomorrow?
I really hope that people gain a better understanding of what male submissives go through, what we’ve experienced, what our mindset is, how we’ve had difficulties relating even to the femdoms that we know.
I’d hope the women can gain a little bit more understanding of “Oh, this is what makes them tick.” It’s not about showing up, putting them on a cross and beating them. That’s a great part of it, yeah, but it’s helping people understand that we come to these things because we want to, and we love doing it. We all have our own worlds that are separate from this, and we’ve blended them.