This weekend I will bury my father.
This is not said for sympathy or any reaction other than what it is, but it has brought up so many questions to me about defining being a man, who a man is, what is the right role, or do any of those things matter at all? It’s an odd reaction for someone over 50, but in some ways, for the first time, I feel like my own “manhood” needs to stand more than ever because I am now the one representing the legacy of the man who made and shaped me. I am now looking back at actions, conversations, and thoughts of my past to see if any merit a corrigendum, but I suspect that will really not have to be entered into my brain either. And that is a good thing in that no regrets type place.
For me, on the dom side of my switch-ness, I have been surprised at how my sexual thoughts have staged through the periods of grief. With my boy, I have found my dominance, or at least my feeling about it, has grown stronger. I feel more protective, more in charge and even more ready to be engaged in his daily life.
For my sub side of the switch-ness, I am craving control more than ever. It’s a feeling of that need to please someone, that need to be structured, that need to worry about crossing a line. If I didn’t have these feelings for most of my life in addition to the dom ones, I would swear this would just be called Daddy-issues or be relegated to some corner of a grieving mind, but deep down I know it is more than that. I think.
It is true that there is some of that in grief and in the fact that I no longer need “approval” for things that I actually didn’t need his approval on anyway – at least in the last 30 years. But, whenever it was time to buy a car, hire a repair person, make a life decision, I always asked – even when his mind wasn’t there any longer, I still asked, that’s what I did. That, I will miss but am careful not to confuse these things with the feelings of submission.
The one constant in these feelings is, oddly, the normalcy of domination and submission and the kinky play in general that is now in my mind. In fact, these feelings are positively pellucid in their clarity versus a few years ago and that makes me quite happy. As in all my other thoughts, none of these “what is a man” thoughts place a weaker man in a submissive spot, something I agree to disagree on with a few friends. This isn’t about that really. For me, this is just one new level of adulthood that didn’t arrive until after middle age.