I recently found myself at a meeting in a slinky bar (where most meetings are held in LA). I was navigating the delicate line of flirtation and business and allowing my peer to take an inappropriate liberty or two (like Bill Clinton testing the waters, which is a normal part of the game).
Another sip of my Double Cross vodka on the rocks, a nod here, a head shake there, and then my adversary said, “You seem like a woman who needs a long leash.” I gasped silently, and I wondered if he’d morphed into Pill Cosby.
I imagined an Amy Schumer retort and my hand slapping his face, the remnants of my drink dripping down his cheeks in slow motion.
I’m not a pubescent virgin in "50 Shades of Grey," seeking a sexual experience and succumbing to the control of a sociopathic narcissist.
"Okay, breathe. Remember the goal, and calm down," I said to myself.
Then, suddenly and shockingly, I slipped into the rabbit hole.
"A long leash?" I considered it and pictured myself in a leather cat suit, my body the perfect replica of Halle Berry.
“Yes, you are right. I do need a long leash,” I responded.
After that meeting (and yes, I did close the business deal), his words continued to ring in my head.
I’ve always been the good girl, the college virgin, the loyal date, the consummate professional, the non-complainer and the here-to-please-but-not-on-my-knees negotiator.
Law school diploma in hand, I was demur, well dressed and conservative.
Somehow, I was born knowing how to be good. Then, good wasn’t good enough. Good became boring, suffocating, demeaning, judgmental and anesthetizing.
No one forced me to live the story I created, to accept a life of limitations, to marry someone who was no good for me, to take high-powered jobs that were exciting and simultaneously mind-numbing, lacking all measure of creativity.
So, I locked that black leather collar securely around my neck, got the longest leash I could find and snapped myself into reality, into a life of my choosing.
It’s time for all of us to take hold of our own chains once and for all.
So, without hesitation, I present to you, the top 5 ways to achieve The Art of Submission without Christian Grey or Quaaludes:
Women Need Direction.
Women are lost, insecure, sad, angry and confused. We’re born powerful and brilliant, knowing exactly who we are, what we want and how to get it.
As little girls, we’re outspoken, demanding, unafraid, and without an ounce of self-consciousness (like the women on Saturday Night Live, but not trying to be funny).
We climb, run, get dirty, paint, laugh without covering our mouths, say what we mean and mean what we say.
Then one day, someone, a parent, a teacher, an uncle says, “Act like a lady, sweetheart”. Ladies don’t scrape their knees, spit water to the furthest spot on the concrete, or jump in the pool with oblivion because it’s hot outside.
Ladies are pristine, well dressed, always have tissues in their purses, and speak when spoken to (Stepford Wives anyone?). Ladies hold back. Ladies are reserved. Boys have fun. Men run the world (Hillary, help us out here).
Women Need Protection
In the United States, a woman is raped every 6 minutes, every 2 minutes or is it 6.2 minutes and has Cosby single handedly changed the timing altogether? How many men - we know women are no good at math - does it take to calculate these figures worldwide?
We are posed, prodded and put on display like goods to be sold, dressed to kill and be killed. Every time we step outside of our home, where even that may not be safe, we put ourselves at risk.
We try to hold our heads up high during the catcalls as we make our way to the office, but not too high or the accolades will turn to bitches and whores (you saw that You Tube video in NYC right?).
We laugh at the jokes of our male co-workers when they ask why hurricanes are named after women – because when they come they’re wild and wet and when they go they take your house and your car with them.
We listen to the results of last night’s game where the name of the losing team is feminized. We all know girls can’t throw and don’t watch sports (unless they’re named Caitlyn). Know your place, ladies. Then, you’ll be safe.
Women Need to be Controlled He’s the man of your castle, the rhythm to your rhyme. Simply, follow what he tells you and all will be fine.
While the number of female-headed households sky rockets, equal pay is still a misnomer. We don’t work nearly as hard as men and our needs are so small.
How we wish for the time when politics and business were a man’s job. The poor Saudi women taking on all that responsibility now with voting rights… We need to warn them, have a bake sale (come on Martha Steward), start a coalition, and spread the word that a woman’s work is in the home under her husband’s caring supervision. Soon they’ll be driving cars! What then?
Women Need to be Fed
We’ve cut fat, carbs, sugar and meat. We do the master cleanse, the 4-minute diet and now we’re Veganese (thanks Beyoncé!). We sip air shots for breakfast (is that on Goop), use a standing desk and will spin the night into oblivion by candlelight, but we’re one doughnut lick away from obesity.
The perfect size is, well, let’s see, this year it’s Kardashian – I need that ass – last year it was, I can’t remember, but I could never get that thin – squat challenge on Facebook anyone?
Women Need to be Groomed
We have no idea what to choose when it comes to style. Thankfully, we have a slew of male designers laying in wait to dress us to perfection, to bind our breasts and slim our waists.
Where would we be without our male designers to make us look like pre-pubescent boys (seriously, wtf is that about?)? Anything above an Armani 4 is plus sized according to the newsstand images, the magazines that give us all the tools we need to get slimmer hips, plumper lips, and long lasting red fingertips.
In September, hair is flowing and long, flowers are in, must follow the trend. By winter, it’s short locks, casual tops, how can we keep up (Help me Anna Wintour)? We can never win.
By the way, that skirt was too short, that’s why he hurt you. You liked it and that’s why you got pregnant. Refer to number 2. I tried to alert you.
So, here’s the thing, women don’t need to be dissected, perfected or directed. We do need to be accepted, respected and, in some cases, protected.
We need to let go of the notion that we should be, look or feel like anything other than we are.
The Art of Submission™, let’s call it collaring just for fun, is a journey toward self-acceptance. A significant shift occurs once we love and accept ourselves fully, completely and honestly.
When our leash is limitless, satisfaction comes from within. When we acknowledge and then submit fully to who we truly are, the powers of the Universe conspire to match our deepest desires and submission has begun.
So, tighten your collar, put on your extra long leash, and run free!