On Easter weekend, Berlin notoriously becomes a fetish mecca (moreso) and from Schöneberg to Berghain’s Lab.oratory leather, studs and muscles abound. But not all kinksters fulfil that stereotype. Meet Marie*, a 22-year-old college student and former hippie, has given up her peace sign for a new hobby: hitting men. As told to John Riceburg.
“I still have my t-shirt with a peace sign. I still like to walk barefoot. But I wouldn’t call myself a hippie anymore. I’ve had kinky thoughts since puberty. I was drawn to fantasy and science fiction stories that involved women being enslaved.
My first interest was as a submissive – at the time, that role just felt right for me as a woman: passivity, not being in control, not having responsibility. I remember that when I saw dominant women or submissive men, I didn’t like the aesthetic. I started going to KitKat Club, which isn’t really an SM club, and then to more hardcore places like DarkSide and Quälgeist.
I believe it’s possible to be submissive in bed and still be a feminist. Domination didn’t feel like the “genuine me”. But even if something feels genuine, we should still ask if there are external factors that have affected us our whole lives. Looking back, I think my previous aversion to domination was because of my own internalised sexism.
So how did I switch roles? I was playing with a heterosexual couple who were both “switches”, i.e. they were open to both roles. The man did a lot of truly evil things with me – he came up with well-planned scenes full of malicious ideas. I slowly developed a desire for revenge – especially revenge together with his female partner, who had also suffered under his games. It was like joining up with another women to oppress the oppressor.
After some convincing, we did torture him together. When the other woman put the whip in my hand, I felt myself struggle a little inside, but all of a sudden I saw myself as a sadist too. I was euphoric, giggling, and I kept shocking my former torturer with an electric zapper. I really couldn’t hold back. I don’t yet have a feeling for slowly testing someone’s boundaries – I get a bit too excited. It’s kind of like playful revenge against the patriarchy.
And then the floodgates opened. A guy wrote to me on OKCupid and offered €40 for me and my best friend to spit in his face. We met in a park and started with awkward small talk. But within five minutes we were both spitting . (We had brought along a water bottle.) This young man was a business student and a capitalist pig in general – his unpleasantness made the whole thing easier.
Now I had a cleaning slave who will come by to scrub my floors in a latex maid outfit. The first time I had to plan out everything in advance. But now it feels natural to slap him in the face. Or even, in a club, making him lick up his own come from my boot while other people are watching. Having him, almost ten years older, whimper and beg in front of me – that makes me see myself differently.
My experiences made me realise much more how mainstream male fantasies are full of sexism, with women painted as uncertain and clumsy, just waiting to be penetrated.
I also feel more empowered outside the bedroom. Once I was walking with a group of six girls outside the Hamburg train station at night when a woman came up to us because a stranger had been following and harassing her. We went up to this guy and really puffed ourselves up. We were threatening – and he left. I got the same kick: girl power. I don’t know if I would have been able to do that before.
But being kinky is also all about learning to communicate. I think that non-kinky people would benefit a lot from verbally agreeing on exactly what they are going to do in bed. Lots of guys just try to guess what a female partner will like. For women especially it can be difficult to talk about what we want – both in terms of our own taoos, but also our preferences. And that means lots of women are having unsatisfying sex.
Hitting men is not for everyone. But trying it out can’t hurt. Because ultimately, everyone benefits from talking clearly about what they like.