As Mrs. Lion will tell you, I tend to worry a subject to death until I find the answers I am seeking. Most recently, I have been trying to understand exactly why enforced chastity is so compelling to the men who practice it. I know, I know, the mythology surrounding enforced chastity is that it is a female-initiated practice to “control” male sexual proclivities. The evidence clearly shows that isn’t the case at all. The male partner discovers and initiates the practice and more often than not, he has to convince a skeptical partner to hold his key. That certainly was the case for Mrs. Lion and I.
Digging a little deeper, I decided that in my case what attracted me to enforced chastity was the “bondage” and loss of control wearing a chastity device would give me. As I’ve recently written, I was also very attracted to the fact that I would no longer be expected to initiate sex. That assumption turned out to be incorrect. One of Mrs. Lion’s first rules was for me to initiate. It didn’t work, but it provided us with a lot of information we would have never gotten without forcing me to try.
I don’t think I am that different from other guys who are turned on by enforced chastity. But these initial turn on’s don’t feel like they would be enough to support the level of involvement that we have now. There must be more; much more. That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out.
Yesterday, in a comment, Mrs. Fever made an interesting observation about inconsistencies in the perceived male role:
“I think societal expectations influence us all on levels we’ve yet to fully comprehend, but I think the “men take charge” stereotype is still pervasive, and in interpersonal relationships between the sexes, it leads to confusion. Especially when so many mixed messages are having to be deciphered, in terms of what it means to Be A Man. (Be cautious but adventurous, take the lead but listen to her, discipline the children but be soft-hearted, work hard but be home often, be a meat & potatoes man but make sure you’re a gourmet cook, etc, etc, ad infinitum.)”
Her suggestion that sexual initiation is just a part of a much bigger issue makes a lot of sense to me. In the 1960’s and 70’s there was a seismic shift in how we think about traditional male roles. At the same time, women began questioning what their mothers taught them. It seems that the entire social infrastructure of male/female relationships was brought into question. The assumption was that this would free both sexes to define and follow their own views of how relationships should work.
This seems perfect; a world where everyone can be exactly who he or she wants to be. What wasn’t considered was how much work this would be. It turned out that in addition to all the thinking and redefining, a lot of stress would result from the ambiguity of expectations men and women would have of themselves or their partners.
When it comes to sex, things get much worse. Many of us tend to blame ourselves when things don’t go right. “He’s not really attracted to me,” is one assumption a woman can make when her partner isn’t ravishing her. “What am I doing wrong?” is the male equivalent of that. This all translates to one simple state: anxiety. There are lots of assumptions but no questions or answers.
Enter enforced male chastity. This practice is anything but ambiguous. Sexual control is physically taken from the caged male. His sexual pleasure requires the active help of his partner. At the very least she has to unlock him and let him play with himself. How she reacts to her sexual power varies widely of course. Mrs. Lion needed a lot of time to decide how she would use it.
Some women buy in to the male fantasies of a cruel dominatrix who requires the poor, caged male to provide her with endless orgasms while he remains sexually unsatisfied locked in his cage. Most guys will encourage this fantasy since they truly love giving orgasms to their partners. Now that they are free of the need to initiate, they can just enjoy giving pleasure without the anxiety of starting the action.
I think that all this sexual activity hides what may be the real basis that makes enforced chastity a viable lifestyle change for a couple. In our case, I think the root cause of the positive changes we have made is the requirement that we clearly define our roles. We both learned to communicate about very scary, fundamental feelings in order to manage my sexual surrender. We were unable to run away when the going got tough because my penis remained locked securely out of my reach.
Even if we stopped communicating for a while, we both knew we had to work things out. That cage and its key carry a lot of emotional weight. I’m sure that without this physical reminder, we would have lapsed back into being less communicative about the hard stuff.
While we are still not fully aware of why it works, the cage on my penis has also opened other emotional doors for us. We’ve both become accustomed to talking and writing about things that matter to us. Even though it is often very difficult to manage, we have worked toward very specific role definitions for one another. We agree on what is expected and then work to make that a reality.
It turns out that it isn’t very important if our agreement is realistic or not. A lot of what we try is abandoned after a while. The important thing is that we are learning not to let sleeping dogs, or lions in this case, lie. We work for clarity. More importantly, we communicate about our feelings and our progress and adjust things to better fitr who we are.
Even if what we are doing has nothing at all to do with sex, that ever-present cage is an unmistakable reminder that we have to keep talking and keep working on clarity. Who’d of guessed that would happen just by locking up my penis?