A professional conversation today led me to realize that when it comes to sex where there is a clear dynamic of domination and submission, including bondage, S&M, etc. :*
A. Between males, I get it. I may not want to actually do it, but I get it. And depending on the participants, in porn, it can range from very erotic to eye-rollingly silly or worse. A lot of it is "plotted" on an age-grade, but two mature males, physically equal, entering that territory can be pretty compelling. When the men and their energies are right, it's hot stuff.
B. With a dominant female and a submissive male, I don't really get it. I don't find it stimulating. The kind of theatricality involved is outside my sexual grammar. (Although one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen on "film" was in the very untender care of two rather frumpy broads. So mysterious, sex.) And it seems to me that the level of apparent roughness of the dominatrix with the sub male is much higher than in male-male interactions. Are the women overcompensating? Is this the war between the sexes acted out?
C. With a dominant male and a submissive female, it makes me very uncomfortable. There's no reason why a female sub cannot enjoy her role as much as a male can, but I guess it's cultural conditioning that makes it hard for me to see it as anything but abusive. I find it almost impossible to watch.
*A civil servant employed by City College of SF pointed out the fragmentary nature of this section in an earlier edition and I corrected it by the addition of the full colon. Our CA State tax dollars at work.