August 25, 2012

The Humbled Females Primer and Other Updates

By Marc Esadrian

It has been a long time coming, but the primer is finally here. When I announced it this past May, I had no idea it would take this long to set up credit card processing. The verification and compliance hoops a merchant has to go through and the money one needs to put forward in getting set up for this is a little obscene, but we did it! The Humbled Females Primer On Ethos is at last available for access for a very reasonable cost.

Additionally, the Subscribers area will provide a slowly growing collection of imagery, video, and audio media content. Those who sign up will have access to this material for one full month. The sign-ups are non-recurring for the moment, as the content is pretty sparse. That will change in the future, of course.

To purchase our recently published primer and access our media area, click here.

With all that said, I want to make it very clear to everyone that everything but the private subscribers area will be 100% free. We still have an endless amount of articles to write and a limitless amount of subjects to discuss in the forums. Our site does have to find a way of supporting itself, however, and having a subscription area is the best way to achieve that. When we’ve raised enough money, Humbled Females will be moving to a dedicated server, meaning we’ll have a hosting system in place running strictly for Humbled Females. Things will be faster and more responsive on the site. Download speeds will increase and social functions will be instant.

We are gradually making little improvements to the forums as well and a new profile design is in the works. All things considered, we have been pretty busy behind the scenes to make this site more stable and solid. We’ve slowly been getting more members, too, and that’s always encouraging to see. Please tell your friends (of like-mind) about this community and encourage them to join and participate in the conversations. Unlike many of the popular social pools surrounding the acts of fetish, our site is solely devoted to the subject of authentic female submission and male dominance without the usual hyper-inclusivity and politically correct nonsense one finds in the larger networks. As long as we stay true to that goal—and we plan to—I think we’ve cut out a very unique space on the web for those who take relationships such as these seriously and I hope that your support continues in the years to come!


May 25, 2012

50 Shades of Grey

By Marc Esadrian

“If I do this thing, will he be my boyfriend?”

Well, someone has finally done it, as you probably know by now: BDSM erotica has been brought out of the shadows and into the garish light of mainstream “mommy porn” publishing. Indeed, there is still a buzz going on about the book, 50 Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.  After a thorough review of the books (yes, it’s a trilogy, for those of you who have been living under a rock and still haven’t had the details of this book crammed down your throat yet), there isn’t much to be excited about for those with a lick of real-world experience.

We’ve read such things before and in various iterations with far greater intensities, aside of having lived the commonly described scenarios out in real flesh. Delve into the history of erotic literature and you’ll find the legacy of shady erotic fiction present with us since the days of De Sade and beyond. Delve into human history and you’ll find the practice of bondage and discipline during sex isn’t exactly new. But for a very wide swath of impressionable readers, these subjects might as well have come from Mars—sexy Mars, that is.

50 Shades of Grey may not be such a revolution to the erotic literature world or those who practice master-slave and dominant-submissive relationships, but it may very well be a great example of the viral power of e-publishing and the practical use of writing fan fiction. Perhaps all those Harry Potter and Twilight fan fiction writers now feel just a little more justified with their keyboard hobbies? As a tale that is apparently interwoven with “shades” of domination-submission and what some might naively label darker sexual themes, the result, ultimately, is still a typical romance story pattern dressed up in saucier threads. Good woman Anastasia Steele meets Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome, Christian Grey, who is a bit shady, but she gradually tames him as he obsessively courts her under the enigmatic guise of reserve. Of course he’s terribly young and handsome. Of course he is a billionaire with his own private helicopters, and a man who buys mansions upon a whim. Of course he speaks fluent French, is well-endowed, and incredible in bed. Of course he treated all the other women like servants and deviant paramours—until the female protagonist steps into his life. Then he’s smitten, but tells her nonetheless to keep her distance—such delicious conflict. And, of course (spoiler alert), they eventually live happily ever after and—ta da!—married with children in a palatial home dripping with wealth. A perfect teen vision, perhaps?

Banality aside, the books are amusing reads…for guilty pleasure reading, that is. It’s clear Ms. James is an entertaining writer, if not a little repetitive. The slanted subtexts in the story leave much to be desired, however, and as much as I’m happy to see the mainstream bestsellers list contain a book associated with the pariah that is BDSM (that is, the pariah it tends to be when Rhianna or Brittany Spears aren’t singing about it), I’m not entirely thrilled about the stereotypes it portrays about those who are partial to these practices—playtime or otherwise. For instance, we learn that Christian Grey, the dominant male character in the story, is the way he is, for the most part, due to severe childhood abuse. Well, of course he’s that way; his mother was a crack whore. And now the fact that he’s an eccentric deviant with a penchant for dominating women makes perfect sense! I’m sure the American Psychological Association would agree, as well as what remains of Kraft-Ebing’s cliff notes.

Little gems like these in the story are pretty toxic to the idea of accepting the practice of domination-submission positively and looking at it as thus. We learn as the tale progresses that Christian Grey is basically a freak tormented by demons of his terrible past, where his mother’s pimp would put cigarettes out on his chest, for instance. He’s taken in by rich foster parents and by the time he’s a grown young man in his late twenties he is the head of a multibillion dollar enterprise. The protagonist, Anastasia, is required to sign a “contract” that gives Grey complete control of her life—including her sex life (they haggle over the details by email—an enchanting discourse, without a doubt). Grey, being the eccentric, control-mad pervert that he is from his childhood of abuse, introduces our virgin 21 year-old flower (why are virgins always more attractive as romantic heroines in these stories?) to bondage and Sadism, and for her, it’s oh so very overwhelming, but exciting, and it’s not long before she’s rattling off orgasm after orgasm and listening to her “inner goddess” as she navigates the path of submission. Excuse me?

I could go on, but I won’t, as that might prove to be rather boring. The plot, stretched over three books, serves as little more than staging for the next sex scene—but this is par for the course with romance novels, is it not? Needless to say, this trilogy is enjoying popularity because it somehow found its way into the mainstream, and we all know the topics in these books are seldom explored in the mainstream. In that light, the 50 Shades series of books successfully exploited an interestingly untapped niche. But does it truly deserve to sit pretty there, enjoying all this hype? Is it possible a better series of books could be sitting in its place? I doubt I have to explain my obvious position on either of those questions.

Without a doubt, 50 Shades has its flaws. My primary contention is how silly—and toxic—the story casts the practice of dominance and submission. Readers are aligned to view these practices as a result of damage, emotional instability, and an inability to properly seek intimacy. In that sense, how far along have we come in this book compared to such wonderful television shows as CSI or Law & Order, which chronically pathologize master-slave and BDSM relationships for the sake of entertainment? The crumby reality is it hasn’t really come too far at all, and that’s a shame, for the opportunity to present male dominance as something positive and natural and female submission as something actualized and informed has been lost once again. I have no doubt these books have helped a large demographic of people to find interest in such practices, though I tend to wonder what preconceptions will need to be debunked and outright smashed as they proceed to explore the reality of dominance and submission. In this sense, 50 Shades Of Grey has conspired to support the mainstream’s perfect cognitive dissonance on the subject of personal subjugation, which is to say, a distanced love-hate relationship with it all. I hope you’re ready, ladies and gentlemen: the next wave of the kinky and slightly confused are already among us.


 


May 17, 2012

The Humbled Females Primer

By Marc Esadrian

I’m happy to announce that the Humbled Female’s media area will be up and running soon. Along with an initial offering of images, we are providing a small booklet outlining the overall premise of our community and its core philosophies. It’s not an incredibly large body of work (just under fifty pages), but it does officially make the founding principles and convictions of the Humbled Females community clear. A dissertation on the sexes follows a brief overview of the Humbled Females effort since its inception, after which attention will be given to describing, more than in previous efforts, what constitutes the dominant male and submissive female, as idealized in this small but particular world of ours. In reflection, the virtues of the female which make her a natural servant are explored, too.

Obviously, the primer discusses male/female behavior and interaction, relationship philosophy, and, as it goes perhaps without saying, feminism and sexual politics in society. Why do we cover all that ground in this publication? Simply, because it’s time to start dispatching some myths that have built up over the years about Humbled Females. There are some people—most from the BDSM community itself, interestingly enough—who believe we represent nothing but thinly veiled misogyny, that we are a community based upon hate, sexism, and non-consensuality.

In truth, Humbled Females is many things, but some lines had to be drawn somewhere for those all too eager to paint us with a particular brush. First and foremost, Humbled Females is about identifying, harnessing and fostering submission in females and encouraging authentic dominance in males—it’s not about simply despising women. If that were the case, we’d have much less to say on our site, without a doubt. In fact, we wouldn’t have much of a site at all, as the message would be pretty repetitive. Are we sexist? Apparently, but it’s not so much a prejudice as it is a passion and heartfelt belief that drives our philosophy and way of life. Prejudice—the heart of sexism—is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. Our practices and beliefs are quite the contrary: we have thought about male/female relationships, to put it as succinctly as possible, a lot. Our convictions, as shocking and upsetting as they may be to many, are certainly based upon some pretty good reasoning, not fantasy, disinformation, or wishful thinking. Desite claims to the contrary, there’s plenty of truth behind the convictions, goals, and overall expressed direction of the Humbled Females community. That direction has zilch to do with raw hatred and ignorance.

While we’re at it, it’s time to tackle the absurd non-consensuality canard as well. Let me be very, very clear: Humbled Females does not condone non-consensual acts perpetrated against females. Cyber snarks and self-important leather celebrities can insinuate such things until they’re blue in the face, but Humbled Females will always advocate consensual acts and relationships between male and female. We may not quite dig the “SSC” thing, or subscribe to the “100 Rules of Responsibility for Masters,” but all relationships we advocate and envision are consensual. They have to be. Submission is always far better by choice, not mindless tyranny.

With that all out of the way, look for our primer soon. It will be available for download at the price of $8.95, and your purchase will go toward helping us maintain and continue to build the Humbled Females website and community—the bulk of which will always be free of cost.