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Rediscovering and Modernizing The Geisha : New Submissive Perspectives In Contemporary BDSM

Author: Pantheris

Filed in: submission, service, geisha

The geisha is a potential site for exploration and experimentation in the world of BDSM today. As the world undergoes a shrinkage, globalization allows cultural crossovers; this not only pervades into the economic world, it also diversifies sensual experience. Currently, the majority of "roles" that submissives play are of Western conception and development. Let us go then, you and I (ooops, shades of Eliot), go through a brief range of some mainstream submissive stereotypes. There is the repentant, who undergoes redemption under pain. The one who misbehaves intentionally in order to invite discipline - a discipline that is associated with sexual pleasure. The passive one lets the other party take full control in all aspects. There are numerous types.

Shy, bold, sensuous, chaste, blatant, secretive - there is a whole gamut of classifications we can ascribe to submissive individuals. Often, these subscriptions shift, altering and developing the sub as he/she matures and learns. Sometimes, too, they remain constant to a particular image as every individual finds an apt image and aligns herself with it (I will use the female gender in place, as a collective for ALL subs)

There is no need to return to the issues of the power exchange, yet a reiteration is vital. The transfers of power in bdsm situations occur, ranging from casual contact (within a D/S context) to a slave collaring. It is a mark of trust, a rescinding of a submissibe's right over the self up to a degree specified by mutual contract, be it written, verbal or silent, to the dominant.

This brings us to the concept of the geisha submissive. Cultural studies have indicated that ths private, highly rigid yet highly exotic sorrority is considered one of the most distinguishing characteristics of Japanese culture. Ethnic snobbery, though, is undercut by documentations of the existence of similar feminine roles of the kisaeng of Korea and the xiaoshu of China. The conception of a subculture of women comes from feusal times, this particular version unique to the Orient. The members of this sisterhood exist not only to serve men (as superiors), they also incorporate a regime of self-discipline into their lives.

The power transfer is symbolic in denoting and defining who is the sub, who is the dom. Feminism and individual rights are a way of life, most prominently in the West. THe role of the geisha falls under attack as they lack the self-distinguishing features of such mainstream trends. However, the geisha invites a different discourse in the world of BDSM. AFter the power exchange, the geisha loses her authority, but experiences empowerment. She becomes elevated, as the fundamental decision to serve is made by her. (crappy sentence)

The aspect of taming, wooing, and consciously tempting does not exist on the geisha's part. She is meant to be seductive without seeming to be seductive. The most important aspect of geisha activities centre around serving and entertaining - cultural geishas sing, converse, etc. It should be noted that the traditional geisha did NOT have sex with their patrons. These other duties were reserved for the occupants of the brothels. As we transcend these roles into D/S, modifications are needed in order to fulfill certain connotative requirements. This is where the geisha undergoes modernization to accomodate both the needs of the dominant and the submissive.

Therefore, in this chosen lifestyle, geishas may be of any sex, serving any sex. Each D/S contract permits different levels of freedom for this, in terms of what to do, how far to go. BDSM is sexual in its roots, therefore the largest modification of a traditional feminine figure, of course, lies in the transfer from the realm of the social to the sexual. Sexual relations between the geisha and her dom/domme, therefore, are of vital importance to the operation of this role. However, this is not a constant necessity in a relationshipt as the primary function of a geisha is to serve, not to service.

The basis of this type of treatment towards the dominant lies in the submissive initiative. This is an area, which remains unexplored to its full potential, if not sadly neglected as well. A geisha's performance rises to its full potential in a serious, intense D/S relationship. Both parties share an unspoken bond in which one can almost second guess the other's thoughts. From association and gradual familiarity, she meets her Master's/Mistress' needs almost before He/She anticipates them.

In casual D/S play, however, this role is faced with many limits. A rapport is needed for personalized service. This does not deter from simple things, such as serving food, massages, etc etc. Feeding by hand is a particularly delightful experience for both the dom and sub. The approval that is given by the dom is unlike any other that has been given before, likewise, the approval received by the geisha is an experience in itself.

A geisha may be flirtatious or outspoken, but she is never assertive in sex. Taking charge is paradoxical to the connotations of her name. Blatant exposure, rough and ready antics have no place in this realm of sexual discourse. Instead, the geisha operates on a level of one that undresses with modesty, in fact, does everything with delicacy. We speak of silk screens, disrobing with blushes. This mood may be hard to emulate, but we are concerned with the role of the player, not the player itself. Pillowing is taken over by the dominant's initiative, hence, this aspect depends purely on his decision to copulate/ whatever.

Sadomasochism does not play a strong role in this type of relationship, although it can be added according to individual tastes. The emphasis faithfully remains on submissive service. THere are many parts to this role that resists sexualization. But one must remember that BDSM is not only about sex. To be a good geisha does not take constant horniness, the crux of the role lies in constant self-discipline. The emulation of this role, too is impossible to achieve 24/7/365. Ther are too many constraints and demands from the outside world to permit constant exploration.

GEisha submission, therefore, is done through forays, experiments, not on a lifestyle basis. This paper confronts the tip of the iceberg, and hopefully "practical research" (har har) in this new submissive field will yield new discoveries.


Afternote: on the practicality of geishas. The best effect is achieved by role playing (on the sub's part) done gradually and in moderation. It is the subtlety of the role that is the engine of the consciousness of the power exchange, not immediate blatant role playing (which comes across as fake). For a more cultural taste, robes are difficult to find and expensive, so substitutes are a good choice. Sushi tastes as good as it looks (assuming you have no allergies to raw meat). Sake is an acquired taste.

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