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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Archetypes Part 1

I've been thinking recently of doll archetypes, of how I can take socially constructed bastions of identity and use them as a stereotyped template for my creations. Stereotypes are always fun to play around with, particularly as they come with their own context, like accessories on a Barbie. You see one and instantly are put into a certain frame of mind, with set routines and speech patterns. Part of what I'm doing whilst adopting these roles is exploring their edges, seeing what they are made of as well as how they impact on myself and those I'm playing with. From going through a number of them I will be able to derive some commonly held doll appearances and behaviours, BDSM uses of the doll and finally links to more global gender theories and explorations on "forced" feminisation of a female body. I'll be picking up different archetypes as a I go along (suggestions welcome, as ever), but they generally will conform to the following rules:
  • They will be femme or feminine
  • They will be solid, easily recognisable identities that are different from my own involving outward changes of appearance and behaviour
  • They will be fictional caricatures drawn from primarily British social mores (that's my background)
  • They will be submissive in part or in whole - part of the playing the role will be to examine how they are submissive
Today, I'm exploring the secretary. I have my pencil skirt and shiny heeled shoes on to help with this. My movements are defined by my outfit. My tight skirt creates little steps, forcing my feet into a one-in-front-of-the-other pace that is entirely unnatural. Galumph would be a good description of my standard walking pace. There is no way of merely "walking" in heels, I have learnt. One struts, wiggles, wobbles, sashays or trots. I turned heads clicking my way along the street, There is insinuation in every leg movement. And bottom movement. My hips sway. I walk slowly, because I have to, and that gives me time to survey how people are responding. I appear to be telegraphing the phrase sexually available woman to everyone, getting smiles, wolf-whistles and people opening doors for me. I'm not sure how comfortable I am about this, I find it a bit funny, a bit curious - an effect of being a doll is to realise which bits of you and which bits of your appearance get what sorts of reactions. I'm good looking, so I normally get the odd bit of eye contact, but nothing like this. At work, I get plenty of compliments, and the assumption that I must be doing something "special" this evening. I feel rarified and out of the ordinary. On the downside, my feet hurt a little and I am limited in what I am able to do - being mostly desk-bound for the day whilst the real work is carried out by people in appropriate footwear. There's a little bit of power in being able to make others fetch and do, but mostly annoyance at my own inability to do so, however, strangely, no-one seems to mind that I am not doing things and take it for granted that, given the way I am dressed, I am incapable of doing certain things and that this is perfectly fine.

As well as live action research I have re-watched the eponymous film as well as Joan Harris and Miss Moneypenny alongside my own thoughts and opinions to give something of a summary on how the secretary functions as a doll.

The secretary is an interesting one because at first glance she is neither submissive nor a natural bottom. Her professional outlook, organisational capacity and role as gatekeeper to the "man in charge" give her a rather domineering attitude.
In respect to her clothing, she is most certainly a doll: presentation is vital to the secretary, her sexuality is in disclosure or lack there of. Tight, restrictive clothing that leave much to the imagination. Like the heels she wears, she implies sex rather than shouting about it. Feminine mystique. She also has an element of cool unflappability, always organised and with the right documents at her perfectly manicured fingertips. Certainly she separates the wheat from the chaff - only those with the right credentials can get passed her, so there is an element of cachet in possessing her. To others, she is the belle dame sans merci deflecting unwanted callers and protecting her boss from rough trade. In that sense, she also appeals to voyeurs - her untouchability makes her all the more desirable.

She does not belong to all-comers, but only those within an exclusive club. Generally, the more exclusive she is, the higher she is prized, a common trope within fetishised ownership. The submission is one-to-one, the secretary to her employer, which is concretised in the almost (and easily manufactured into) D/s interactions between the two. Some of these practices have become common office slang for affairs or sex - "taking dictation" as a cypher for giving head - which was a nice tweet sent to me today when I started today's archetype test drive. She is implicitly connected with office sexuality - the common worry of whether one's partner is sleeping with the secretary, as if she is automatically and by rights the sexual possession of her boss.

Another element of her submission comes precisely from her seeming untouchability, giving opportunity to be broken. A classic case of submission, where something valuable and important is handed over to be used in a contractual power exchange. This is the part I particularly enjoy - dressing up into something beautiful and strong to be made beautiful and weak. There is beauty in both, but they are of different sorts.

Sadly, I am not doing anything special this evening, so am lacking in a partner to entertain with my outfit, which means that the final part of trialling this archetype will have to wait. For now.

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