Warning: Explicit themes and sexy talk in this post!
Ever since the Mad Men Season 5 premiere, this scene has been running through my mind.
I find that it is a perfect example of healthy power and D/s (Domination/submission) dynamics that aren't necessarily about leather and chains. It seems that at first Meagan is trying to pick a fight, and Don looks confused. When she takes off her robe in a huff, at first it is hard to gauge whether she really is angry, or if she is trying to mess with his head a little bit.
However he quickly catches on, and the energy of their interaction becomes sexually charged very fast. I think no matter who you are, you can recognize that she is not really talking about 'a messy apartment'. She is playing with him, and he finally has an 'ah-haaa' moment when she gets down on her knees and staring pointedly at him over her shoulder.
"You don't get to have this. You just get to watch."
"You want it so badly."
She is purposefully acting out, and yet there is that moment of recognition on his part that she is choosing to take it over the top. You can't help but smile at her OTT bratty-bottomness.*
I think it is so powerful that she is the one who initiates this kind of play with Don. As a femme bottom, I feel there are very few examples of women who enjoy being submissive in the bedroom and who clearly feel healthy and happy and fulfilled by this. I rarely see the kind of sexuality I identify with portrayed in a clear consensual light, outside of queer or kinky subcultures.
This moment between Don and Meaghan is a great example of a 24/7 kink dynamic, where the lines between a 'scene' and everyday life become more and more blurry. When I am with someone for a long time and we build up trust together, 'safe words' and negotiation and constant 'checking in' eventually go out the window. I love getting to a point where I know what pushes my partner's buttons, and I know that they can push mine. I love those unspoken moments that are sometimes hard to pinpoint. When I am getting submissive, my voice gets breathy and high. I begin to have trouble making eye contact. My body language changes drastically. When I enjoy being spanked or hit, I lean into my partner. When it starts to become too much sensation, I sometimes flinch or arch my back away. I don't have to tell my partner 'harder, please, too much, not enough'. That is the awesome thing about belonging to someone. You learn their body language, you learn when to push them, when to back down.
When I trust someone and we engage in power play, I often can't wipe off a huge Cheshire grin off my face.
Being 24/7 means that we can pick up the thread of D/s anywhere at anytime. I know that if my partner puts their hand on the back of my neck forcefully, and I lower my eyes, for us, that is the equivalent of a negotiation. We are both in tune to each other.
For me, our power dynamics don't begin and end in the bedroom, they seep into all our interactions. I try to honor them on a daily basis. We do this when my partner orders my meal for me in a restaurant, or I make the bed perfect before they come home from work. From the outside looking in, this isn't what comes to mind when people think of S/M. Us kinky folk, we know how to spot it.
That Cheshire grin that Meaghan flashes at the very end of the episode, when she walks into the office on Don's arm? Oh goodness, I felt so much kinship and femme bottom recognition. Get it girl!
That petite sex kitten wants a collar.
*What so many people often seem to misunderstand about the difference between consensual kink and assault. While rough play make look from the outside to be very similar to assault or rape, the difference in the emotions are night and day. When I trust someone and we engage in power play, I often can't wipe off a huge Cheshire grin off my face. When I have been in situations where I felt pressured or assaulted, I felt like my chest was being ripped into pieces. My body language, my voice, everything is steady and calm and deliberate when I am in a happy, healthy, kinky relationship. I don't want to give the impression that I feel like kinky folk should always have to defend our sexuality in this way. I just want to acknowledge that the difference between consensual kink and sexual assault is a big misunderstanding that can be a stumbling block in mainstream discussions of BDSM.