Aleistair Crowley has been largely forgotten (internet fame not being quite the same thing as fame). He was a supposed black magician in the early twentieth century, who the newspapers called “the wickedest man in the world”. He did his best to play up to the reputation.
Crowley was essentially an amusing charlatan, who harmed a few people more by carelessness rather than malice, and perhaps made up for that by showing some people an exciting time while entertaining millions more.
One of the interesting things about him was his version of bdsm. When he was domming men, he’d give his male submissives a good thrashing to help them find the properly submissive state of mind. Since his male lovers had gone to English public schools they’d already been well trained for him: presenting themselves for their floggings and holding position for the master. They’d have been right at home. Crowley even used the titles (Magister, Dominus, Meister, Master) their flogging teachers would have used.
What strikes me as odd is that after the thrashing Crowley would present himself and order his submissives to bugger him.
It reminds me how conventional I am, really. If I let a submissive hitch on a strap-on, since people who have real penes aren’t part of my sex life, and shove it up my bum, I’d assume that while I was being anally penetrated I’d be doing something submissive.
That wouldn’t be a reason for not doing it. People should do what they want, with consent, and not worry what other people think, or what category it seems to fit into. I’m not going to worry about doing something I feel like doing because someone could read it as submissive. I’m only saying that’s the meaning I ascribe to anal sex: the penetrating partner seems to be dominant, and the ass-fucked partner seems more submissive.
Disclosure: I did once let a girl try to get a dildo up my bum, because being buggered by a girl seemed amusingly complicated, symbolically. But in practice it just hurt: there was nothing good about the feeling at all. Gay friends tell me it’s great, and I should give it another go. But I gave it a fair try, and it’s not for me. I pulled the plug, as it were, and I haven’t repeated the experiment. Well, there’s no law that says everybody has to like everything. I’m glad that women, and especially submissive women, mostly like different things than me.
But when Crowley had his submissive’s cock up his arse, he presumably felt that he was in charge. Perhaps he shouted commands: “Faster, you fool. Now slower. Don’t you dare come.” That sort of thing.
When I bugger a woman, I feel and she feels that she’s being submissive, and that I’m in charge, riding and ruling her. Anal sex can be wonderfully, beautifully deep. I mean emotionally deep: the depth of the woman’s submission and surrender. It seems to be spmething very intense, between a dominant and a submissive. I like taking that surrender.
Still, in bdsm it seems that any meaning can be ascribed to any action. It’s the ascribed meaning that matters, not the action itself.
I’m still in Glasgow. I turned out 80 pages yesterday, and I’ve got a concentration headache. I’m still working.