submissive? masochist? nah… Labels Shmabels

I’m generally not big on labels for myself, though I understand and appreciate how they help many people find community and acceptance for things they thought were freakish. Naming a thing is powerful, whether it’s a kink, an orientation, or a deep personal need. When people learn that this thing they believed they were the only person on the planet to feel that way about is actually common enough to be named, that can give them a huge sense of acceptance.

However, I dislike the way labels sometimes get used against people, even (especially?) by others who use those labels.

I dislike the way they sometimes become “prescriptive” rather than “descriptive.” They become a set of rules you must follow in order to be allowed to use that label, rather than a quick and easy way to recognise like-minded individuals. It’s sad that people try to change their behaviour in order to fit a label that either they’ve chosen or has been given to them. This is especially troublesome when the pressure to change that behaviour is external, from some social group refusing to accept you unless you follow their prescription — as though the label is some kind of club to which you have to gain membership. Sometimes you might not fit a label exactly perfectly, but it’s the closest thing you’ve found so far.

Too many people get so hung up on their label and what it means for them, that they assume they know everything about everyone who uses that label. And in reverse, some people become the “label police” and start dictating who may and may not use the labels, based on whether they fit some arbitrary criteria.

At the same time, I do understand and appreciate how much they give some people a sense of acceptance and identity. That’s how I felt about Polyamory, and this is probably the reason it’s the only label I consistently keep. I spent all my childhood assuming I would never get married, since that meant you had to be with just one person for the rest of your life, and even as a child that sounded absolutely preposterous to me. In adolescence, I learned about hippies and free love, and realised there were other options, but that still didn’t resonate fully as it seemed more about sex and casual relationships. It wasn’t until I heard the term “polyamory” and started researching it, that I realised I could have my cake and eat it too. I could have all the comforts and joys of a loving life partnership, along with the freedom of being able to explore relationship opportunities that happen to fall in my lap.

I’ve identified as polyamorous ever since I learned it was a thing, because having a word for it resolved my cognitive dissonance. But I didn’t grow up with fantasies of submission or pain, so I didn’t have any dissonance to resolve in those areas. Therefore I don’t consider myself “a submissive” but I submit to my husband, and I don’t consider myself “a masochist” but I love being spanked and bitten, sometimes pretty hard, and that hurts but I like it as long as there’s enough sensuality to go with it.

I enjoy submitting to my husband because… well… really it just happened by accident and it was fun and fulfilling, so we kept doing it. I have trouble imagining anyone else whose joy and happiness I would genuinely care about the way I do his, and that’s really what drives most of it. He’s done so much for me, given me so much, and all so selflessly and without expectation, and it just feels so good to be on the other end of that for a change. And for his part, Zeus doesn’t identify as “a Dominant,” although he does enjoy dominating. He’s firmly a switch. As much as he loves getting a reaction out of people, he loves bottoming, he loves subspace, and he loves letting go and being taken to places.

I have a strong tendency to jump into every new thing head first. Zeus is far more careful and cautious. Now that the sub-frenzy is starting to wear off, I’m starting to feel less frantic and desperate about being submissive. As a result, I’m feeling less of a need to identify with labels. I’m genuinely feeling more ready to be patient and follow Zeus as he guides the show. I’m going through the process of updating my kinks list, and I’m writing out my “Wants / Needs” document. I’m committed to getting better at communicating, especially learning when not to communicate! It’s good that I have my blog now, because I can work through a lot of my thoughts without dumping them on him, and he can read them whenever’s a good time for him.

A name for Sir

I’m a non-conformist. It’s just how I roll. So even though my husband always goes by “Sir” when he plays with others, and I’m more than happy to call him that in person, I didn’t want to use it on my blog. Everyone calls their Sir “Sir” on their blog. I hate being like everyone! I asked him if he would be willing to come up with another title I could use in my blog. He suggested I could come up with some options for the blog, and he could choose one that he liked.

I went through quite the gamut. I’m a big GoT fan, so most of my first ideas were LordStark or Khal. But he doesn’t watch GoT and thought those were stupid ideas. He likes Disney movies, so I suggested Mufasa or Simba, but shot down again.

Then I thought, what about other languages? I found a whole website that you can put any word in, and it will give you that word in about 80 different languages! Cool beans! German: Herr. Spanish: Señor. Romanian: Domn (lol!). I looked up several variants in Thai, since we’d like to move there one day so it seemed fitting. They have a lot! It’s one of those languages that uses honorifics every time you talk to anyone, and the honorifics denote gender, relative age, educational accomplishments, and of course whether or not you’re royalty. Syr is Welsh.

Sire is just old school English. It sounds funny, but it made my list because I was brainstorming. But it wasn’t my first pick by any means (which was Khal, but as I said, he kaboshed that big time. Oh, the life of a submissive blogger can be so hard sometimes).

Fuck it. Anything that sounds cool, he thinks is stupid, and anything he likes is basically just “Sir.” Besides, am I supposed to be the submissive or not? He said he prefers Sir. He understands my nonconformity and does support me to express myself, but at the end of the day, he said he doesn’t see anything wrong with it. So fiiine. I’ll stop fussing about it and just do the easy thing. But I’m doing it under protest! Oh, who am I kidding, that’s not true at all. It’s just a word and if Sir says he prefers Sir, and my only reason for not preferring it is that it’s not original, then I just need to suck it up buttercup, and get on the submissive bandwagon!


Updated October 20, 2017: I took to the habit of calling Sir “Zeus” in the SafeworD/s Club chatroom, and he agreed that it was acceptable. It’s motivated by the whole “Leda and the swan thing” and I also like how it plays into the poly thing. Ok, so technically Zeus is the swan not her husband, but c’mon, he’s also the King of the Gods. It just makes a way better Dom nickname. I mean, who’s ever heard of Tyndareus?