Ask a Pleasure Professional // Can Being Submissive Be Feminist?

Hello – it’s time for round two of Ask a Pleasure Professional!

This column is brought to you by O.school, a new shame-free place online for learning about sex and pleasure for folks of diverse identities. Each month, O.school’s Pleasure Professionals will answer Catalyst readers’ questions about everything from unlearning personal shame to bringing your sex life to the next level.


We have a juicy question this month from a Catalyst reader:

“I'm in a hetero relationship, and I love playing the submissive — handcuffs, blindfolds, the works — and while I really enjoy it in the moment, it always leaves me feeling questionable about the feminism of hetero bondage play. I seriously need help resolving these things in my head!”

Definitely a complicated thing to work through! Thank you for asking, and remember to submit your (anonymous!) burning questions by Friday, August 18, for the chance to get them answered next month.

Our Pleasure Professionals are here to resoundingly say that yes, it is possible to be both submissive and feminist at the same time:


Luna Matatas talks about “f*cking like a goddess:”

Luna Matatas is a sexuality educator, feminist artist, and aspiring burlesque performer in Toronto, Canada. She is a woman of colour, Queer femme, and a person of size. Luna says, “I'm a curious sexual explorer, so if there's a new way to get turned on, I want to know about it! My workshops are a space to unpack barriers to pleasure, celebrate our uniqueness, and pursue our creative desires in a shame-free way. I'm playful, open-minded, and practice empathy in my workshops. I'm excited to join you on this sexy learning adventure!” You can learn more about Luna at her website.


Kate McCombs reminds us that feminism is about choice:

Kate McCombs is a speaker, writer, and empathy educator. Ultimately, all of her work is about helping people feel more comfortable talking about sex and feelings. She takes her signature Tea & Empathy workshop on the road, training doctors, activists, and other professionals in how to avoid burnout and increase their empathic communication skills in the process. Originally from California, she’s now based in Melbourne, Australia and frequently travels internationally to speak. You can find out more about Kate at KateMcCombs.com, connect with her on Twitter (@katecom), or Instagram (@kateanswers).


Goddess Cecilia on the pleasures of letting go:

Goddess Cecilia believes that pleasure and self-care go hand in hand, and how they manifest is as varied as the individuals who practice them. As a sexual assault survivor, the pleasures of dance, movement, and sexual connection helped her reclaim and love her body. Cecilia now loves to learn and geek out about sex, bodies, and relationships, while dismantling messages of shame and oppression. She currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, with her perfect-pancake-making and ever-supportive partner and their tortie cat, Yoni. In her free time she enjoys listening to podcasts, private car karaoke, Middle Eastern dance, and practicing being a mermaid with feet check her out at GoddessCecilia.com.


Thanks so much for reading, y’all! We were excited to get more questions from the community this month and hope you keep them coming.

Submit your questions for next time by Friday, August 18, at the anonymous submission form.

If you are loving O.school’s amazing Pleasure Professionals, sign up to get notified about how you can join the first safe, intimate community for learning about sex and pleasure online.

As Luna said, “Happy, happy, happy sexy!”