Earlier this morning, a conversation on Twitter got my mind going. A friend was saying how hard it is to let go, to admit that she needs/wants to be taken care of, that her strong, independent and take-charge personality won’t allow it. How many bottoms — women and men — have struggled with this? We work. We function. We struggle and juggle. We make decisions. We pay bills and take care of others. We are responsible. And yet… for many of us, there’s that tiny inner vulnerable person who just wants to give up the control and hand it over to someone stronger.
(For the sake of simplicity and my own viewpoint, I’m going to assume the strong female/stronger male dynamic, but please feel free to substitute whatever works for you.)
How do women reconcile their strength, their feminism and independence with that inner need to be taken down, spanked, held and comforted? I’ve heard that question for years and years, and I still don’t know the answer to it. I only know the need is real.
I am fiercely independent to a fault. I am a loner. I have lived alone since I was seventeen years old. And I hate needing people. That is one hell of a clash with the part of me who wants to lie over a man’s lap, feel his strong hand spanking me, and then disappear into his arms. Who wants to hear his voice in my ear, softly crooning, “Shhh. Good girl. That’s my girl. I’ve got you.” Who wants to sob until his shirt is soaked with my tears… knowing he won’t think my crying is ugly.
An old (and honestly, really sexist) song from the movie “Funny Girl” comes to mind, in particular the lyric, “You are woman, I am man. You are smaller, so I can be taller than.” I’m not a small woman; I’m 5′ 7″ flat-footed. I accepted years ago that a lot of men (and play partners) aren’t going to be taller/bigger than I am, and that’s fine. But guess what… yup. There’s still that part of me that yearns to be tiny, that loves the fact that John is 6′ 2″. When I’m barefooted and he’s hugging me, he likes to say, “What are you doing down there?” My answer is always the same: “Looking up at you.”
Does that make me weak? A traitor to the feminist cause? I don’t think so. I’m not looking for a caretaker or a protector. I don’t want to be absolved of all responsibility, to be permanently removed from adulthood. I just want the chance now and then to be vulnerable, to let go and know I have a safety net. To know that if I crack my hard exterior and let the softer, inner me show, that side will be cherished, not crushed.
This is an old picture of a former play partner. Sadly, he showed himself to be someone with whom I can no longer share my vulnerability. But I still love this picture. And I want this — not him, but this — back in my life again regularly, in my home, in my moments of softness. So, so, so damn much.
I hope I find it again.
Have a great weekend, y’all.