Sex Escape: Why Do Men Go to Dominatrixes?
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But even in the worst-case, end-of-times scenario that Roiphe is right and “Fifty Shades of Grey” is so popular because of women’s current anxieties about equality (such as it is), that doesn’t mean that it’s “evidence of unhappiness, or an invalidation of feminism,” says Febos. In fact, she suggests that it’s “just the opposite” — it might actually be a sign of progress that millions of women are so hungrily pursuing sexual fantasies independent of men.
Contrary to Roiphe’s belief, there are plenty of feminists who are neither “perplexed,” as she puts it, by submissive desires nor find it contradictory to their politics. Febos, who considers herself a feminist and also has submissive fantasies, says, “I still live in a culture that floods my consciousness with instructions to be a passive, sexual object; that my only power rests in my sexuality as defined by men’s desire,” she says. “Mightn’t this create some anxiety in my own psyche? I think so. Have I eroticized those messages in order to locate them somewhere that won’t impede my progress as an empowered, independent woman in the rest of my life? Maybe so. But so what?”