After the Feminist Porn Conference I went straight home and ordered 50 Shades of Dylan Ryan. Feminist Pornographer Madison Young created the film to deconstruct the ‘50 shades phenomenon’ and offer a healthier, consent-based, communication-filled QUEER AS FUCK version of the BDSM fantasies introduced in the poorly-written and problematic erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey.
There is a shitty outdated brand of feminism that believes BDSM fantasies come from a desire for oppressed women to please their man, that we bear these painful experiences because it is demanded of us by our partners. This kind of oppressive feminism ignores my personal agency, my ability to choose for myself what feels good for my own body. It invalidates my own lived experience, my own desires. I don’t need a conference to tell me my kinks do not make me any less of a feminist, but the power of being in a room filled with other kinky feminists was overwhelming.
Listening to Madison Young and Dylan Ryan share their insights about being a feminist and a kinky masochistic submissive was so affirming.
"I am an aggressive sub," Madison said, explaining that she never identified with the ‘damsel in distress’ act she saw in BDSM porn. "I am absorbing all of the energy my scene partner is gifting me."
That resonated with me so much. If I am opening up and submitting to my partner I feel spoiled and cared for, even if they are hurting me. They’re hurting me because they want to give me the pleasure I need. They understand and accept and support my desires and sensory experiences. I bask in that energy.
"I swallow & engulf dominant energy and pain like I would a part of their body." Madison said, and half the room was grinning and the other half were nodding their heads.
There is something fucking visceral about sitting in a room full of women who validate the existence of your sexuality. Hearing these powerful, brilliant feminist pornographers and academics wax poetic on all of the reasons that their submission is informed and empowered and a learning experience (a journey!) ran through my body like a high, like a rush.
I am here. I am seen. I am not alone.
There is beauty in my submission.
There is power in my desire to feel.
(Image from 50 Shades of Dylan Ryan, Words by Heart)