What I learned in bed

By Hannah Wydeven

Dear Hannah,I’m a feminist-a strong independent woman who demands respect in every aspect of my life. That is, every aspect except for the bedroom. I love to be dominated. All I want is for a guy to flip me over and call me dirty names. I have no problem being politically progressive and sexually submissive. I don’t think who you are in the sheets is somehow your innate self. The problem is with all these great Macalester guys. Anyone who is attracted to me for my respectability is shocked by my naughty nature. (I had one guy convinced that I had repressed memories of abuse-not true-never do a psych major). I’m lucky to have found some great guys here, and I’ve done the slow, romantic, intense eye-contact “love making”-BORING! The only guys who will oblige my fantasies think that they can disrespect me and order me around outside of the bedroom as well. Not cool. I hate this trade off! Do I have to choose between a loveless sex life and a sexless love life?

No Man’s Land

You’re right that politically progressive and sexually submissive aren’t mutually exclusive, but also aren’t necessarily related. Your development as a woman in modern American society indicates that you have been shaped by most of the same forces the rest of us have. That means that you haven’t escaped the cultural and social pressures that have placed women in a certain position as sexual objects. There is much debate out there about whether or not these pressures have caused women to crave sexual dominance or if there are some inherent biological qualities controlling your sexual desires that cause dominance to appeal to you. It’s likely some of both. So, though it may seem to others like your political and social persona and your sexual desires can’t coexist, they are both shaped by the same factors.

That being said, you’ve clearly accepted your desire to be dominated, as you should. As much as your psych major booty-boy wants you to believe that your sexual desires are related to repressed histories of abuse, you know yourself and your needs. You also seem to understand the power and choice inherent in choosing sexual dominance versus being dominated against your will. If your desires are verging on the “rape-fantasy” scenario, some of those lines start to get a little more blurred, but I don’t have the tools to approach that one, so if that is the case, talk to someone who does.

So what is a nice girl to do when she wants to be naughty? I suggest finding a boy who you like and who treats you well, and teach him how to dominate you. Though Macalester kids are known more for being more awkward than sexual, there are plenty of men on campus who would be game to try new things. Once you find a guy that you’re interested in, ease him into your fantasies. He may not be ready to call you dirty names the first time you sleep together, but he may be willing to do something a little less scary, like a position that makes you feel dominated, or spanking. After you two have experimented with some tamer aspects of your desires, you can introduce him to some more exciting moves.

Even if you find the nicest guy in the world willing to oblige all of your darkest fantasies on the first date, you still need to communicate with him about what you want out of your relationship, both inside and outside the bedroom (or dominatrix dungeon). The guys you have been with before may not have understood what you wanted on either side because you weren’t telling them. Let him know that your need to be submissive in bed does not translate to the rest of your life. You need to be absolutely clear about when and where your that is allowed to happen.

Be sure that you are also fulfilling his needs in bed, NML, because if he ends up feeling neglected, things won’t last very long. If he needs to indulge in “slow, romantic, intense eye-contact love making” every once in a while then you should be happy to do that with him. If the two of you are open and supportive of both of your needs in the sack, then your relationship outside the bedroom will be all the better for it.

Dear Hannah,

When walking around campus, I’ve noticed that there not many Macalester couples who hold hands in public. What’s up with that?

Inquiring mind

It is much easier find someone to have random, meaningless sex with on this campus than it is to find someone to hold hands with. Holding hands also sends the message “we’re together, back off,” which many Macalester couples aren’t willing to make until after they have been hooking-up for months. This gesture also has commitment written all over it, something that Macalester students run from with the same intensity that they use to hide their trust-funds. Considering how small our school is, the likelihood of walking by someone else you have hooked-up with while holding hands with your lover is very high, and that can make for some awkward moments.

But for those who want to indulge in the art of hand-holding, there are benefits to it. Not only do you get to share a little bit of intimacy with your partner while you’re in public, but it’s also touted as a stress and anxiety reliever. So if you can convince your lover that it’s a good idea, holding hands might actually help you make it through the rest of this Minnesota winter.