ok seriously if you look at his reaction faces every time a woman threatens or beats on him that boy has a fucking sub complex a mile wide.
#look i’m just saying that loki’s always been subby #stop trying to rule shit dollface #you can’t top your way out of a wet paper bag #and that’s okay #just accept it #your life will get easier (thefangirlhood)
I think the most hilarious thing about this is that when you read the notes everyone - no matter what their ship, even if they don’t have one - is pretty much unanimous in the idea that Loki’s a bit of a masochistic sub and he’s getting off on this.
So fanonically, all of Asgard’s reaction to him getting out of the cell must be like friggin’ christmas for him. Seriously, he must be rock hard at this point. It explains the expression.
Ugh, thank you. All the insistence after his appearance at Comic Con that Loki was totally a Dom was driving me nuts. The ability to stomp around and demand attention does not a Dominant make. Loki lacks the sense of responsibility and desire to caretake that actual (good) Doms possess. Like, he CAN BE responsible and is a decent caretaker for specific individuals (proven by how well he looks out for Thor and his friends during the fight with the Frost Giants on Jotunheim), but it’s not an innate desire for him: it would piss him off if he had to do it all the time. This is also why he would be a shit king. He may be a great strategist and diplomat, but having to deal with everybody’s problems all the time would wear on him really quickly until finally he’d just be like “YOU KNOW WHAT FUCK IT ROCKS FALL AND EVERYONE DIES HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES”
Loki is a submissive: he wants to be overwhelmed with attention (be it negative or positive) and adoration, and he wants desperately to please the Dominant figure(s) in his life - to the point that he goes to ridiculous, life-ruining lengths in hopes of doing so. He’s a masochist: deep down he wants to be punished for the terrible things he’s done and for the terrible thing he IS (in his opinion), but ideally he wants it to be done by someone he trusts and loves. He’s also really screwed up in the head because men aren’t supposed to be submissive in his culture: they’re supposed to be macho and domineering and totally in charge, and if you’re (sexually or socially) submissive then you’re womanly, and by the standards of any patriarchy, the worst thing a man could want to be is a woman. So he can act the part of the swaggering “Dominant” from time to time, because it’s expected of him. It’s probably part of the reason why he’s become so obsessed with ruling at all (besides wanting to be seen as Thor’s equal): he’s overcompensating for all the times he was likely called effeminate for using magic/preferring ranged attacks/using his brain instead of brawn. He’s trying to hide all the things about himself that would disgust the people he wants so much to impress … and in the end it’s only made things worse for him, which has just made him angrier and more willing to do increasingly terrible things to prove himself, to the point where I think he’s lost sight of exactly what it is he’s even trying to prove and who he’s trying to prove it to.
Normally I don’t join in bottom vs top conversations ‘cause they can get wanky, but this is actually one of those rare cases I do think there is canon grounds for a sexual reading of a character. I am used to arguing with myself when I read a character primarily as a bottom, usually for these reasons: for some reason, fandom frequently makes its favorites tops, and this only annoys me because (almost invariably) the writers will take an attention-seeking, selfish and in some way ‘femmey’ character (if we’re calling a cerebral nature femmey now), and give him stereotypically masculine ‘caretaker’ vibes in order to make him top/dommy sexually. This includes Draco Malfoy, BBC Sherlock and Loki. All these characters *can* top (gods, anyone can top), but they’re shortchanged and out-of-character by attaching these stereotypically performatively masculine behaviors in order to do so.
If I saw fics where Sherlock’s or Loki’s obvious desire for attention and affection, their vanity and selfishness was incorporated honestly rather than ‘dignified’ and air-brushed in order to make them perform traditional masculinity, I’d be for it. With Loki, his attention-whorishness and masochism is exaggerated in canon to the point where it’s painful to me to see him forced into the role of *paying* attention (to anyone, usually the person he’s supposed to be in love with though, especially considering his canonical strategy seems to be playing hard to get). It’s just so canonically obvious with Loki (way above anything canon in Sherlock or HP), the unhealthy (and subby) way Loki deals with love and/or objects of affection (ie, desire to please, desire to taunt/prod, desire to prove himself, desire to be the center of positive/negative attention— he couldn’t be more subby if he tried).
All that said, I’m actually more interested in a liminal/switch!Loki than straightforwardly submissive Loki… and I think for Loki in *particular*, this is at least in part because performance does become reality. As far as I know, that’s how long-term compulsive liars operate: they put on masks, but the performances blur the line with ‘truth’ after awhile; thus, while I agree he was always ‘performing’ traditional/dommy masculinity in the past, this has inevitably helped define his actual character. Plus, I think that it really is about submitting to someone he *trusts*, and Loki trusts no one. So it’d be quite an uphill struggle to get to the point he really allows himself to enjoy the pain without soon snapping into the compensatory persona he’s actually *displaying* in these gifs. There’s a serious difference between using his (I believe genuine) masochistic/subby tendencies to taunt and make light of the situation (thus maintaining control at that point), and genuinely giving up control in order to submit and go into that head-space.
That tension exists, and I just see it a lot more often addressed honestly in bottom!Loki fics, whereas top!Loki seems more concerned with proving he’s always in control. Which… boring, no matter *what* the character. I seriously find it problematic but also just dull that the so-called masculine top has to maintain the continuous emotional— and physical— control. Especially when MCU Loki makes a habit, pretty much, of losing that control around Thor. He pretends, that’s all; Thor sees through it, like with the prison cell illusion. Loki *wants* Thor to pay attention enough to see through it. Basically, if he can’t lose, he doesn’t really want to play, I think. And while this is Loki-centric and, say, BBC Sherlock does maintain emotional control in canon, this doesn’t make him ‘dommy’, since the control is so clearly performative as well as internally focused. Like, John is way more controlled/self-contained emotionally even though he emotes. Emoting vs not-emoting isn’t a measure of what your instinctive interpersonal power dynamic position is. Emoting honestly and directly (like Thor or John) is just as much a measure of strength and a position of potential control as repression is. In fact, ultimately, repression is brittle and the person’s psyche is easier to break if feelings aren’t consciously being processed… which is an issue near the heart of Loki’s actual breakdown in MCU canon. He’s always on the knife’s edge of bleeding out all over, and has coped with this by learning to love the knife at his throat.
Tasty, chewy meta.