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.

Is it all about me?

Sir has brought up this feeling that sometimes when we’re playing, he starts getting a feeling of it being all about me. This confuses me, because I was under the impression that he genuinely enjoys the experience of topping, for its own sake and for the reaction of the bottom. And he assures me this is true, and that this isn’t an all-the-time kind of thing, but that there are moments where he gets that feeling.

I don’t think this is unreasonable. We’re still finding our footing. The sensation of physical pain as being enjoyable is a new thing for me, and I’m really eager to explore it. It’s very intimate and sensual too, so it’s not like I’d want to go off and explore it with just anyone. I may be polyamorous, but as I’ve described elsewhere (possibly not posted yet, we’ll see about that), I’m focused on him right now. So that means that insofar as I want to explore pain, I basically require him to inflict it. And that’s a lot for him to take on, on several levels. There’s the obvious that I’m not just some random play party pickup, there’s the emotional investment. I’m also still not really a “masochist” per se. I can’t actually take a lot of pain (what I consider “pain” would be like a little kitten scratch for most masochists.) I’ve just discovered that some pain is fun, and with a good warmup, I can take increasing amounts of it and it creates certain enjoyable reactions in my body.

But honestly, that’s just a small part for me. I enjoy anything that feels good, and while the pain definitely increases the intensity of pretty much anything, there are lots of things that feel good.

And besides all that, one of the whole things I want to explore is making him feel good. But I’m not used to that, because I’m a classic sexual bottom. I never know what to do. I need to be topped from the bottom, big time. Tell me what to do and I’m happy to do it. At least I’m happy to try it. If you enjoy it, I’m sure to enjoy doing it. By “you” I’m obviously only talking to him because I’m usually not the “giver” type in the sack. Just another one of the things I blame on my only-child-syndrome. But I’m working on it, honest I am. I mean, this whole submissive thing is a pretty big example of working on not being selfish! Problem is, it just doesn’t come naturally for me. I have to be asked for things all the time.

I heard this one classification once: askers and guessers. You can google it, there are lots of articles. The gist of it is that askers will ask anyone for anything, and assume anyone can say No and are just pleased if you do say Yes. Guessers will try to only ask when they guess you’re going to say Yes, and are more disappointed if you say No. I’m an Asker, big time. Sir is a Guesser, big time. Sooo that’s a really interesting thing to work through in our Ds dynamic!! And honestly it’s probably something we both need to work on! I could probably stand to take responsibility for accomplishing more on my own, and he definitely needs to learn to ask for help more. That’s one thing he definitely recognises as a benefit of this exploration for him.

So back to sex. I would really like to explore basically being used for sex. But I’ve just never gotten the impression that it was something he was even interested in. But then of course if you assume your life partner isn’t herself interested in being used for sex, then what kind of loving partner (which he is, or I would never be considering any of this!) would ever do such a thing?

I also had this fantasy today of being used as a human dildo. You see, Sir has always been a big fisting aficionado. Top, bottom, and self. He loves fisting others, squirting too, but I’m not a huge fisting bottom (lol I honestly didn’t intend that pun), and my squirting skills leave something to be desired (although that might be something to pursue in the “forced orgasms” arena that I’m also interested in exploring). We’ve played a handful of time with me topping him, but it really needs all the pieces to align. There’s the physical preparation of course, all those good enemas to get nice and cleaned out. And then there’s the whole mental thing. I’d always struggle with the Top / Dom energy that he required for that headspace. And that’s certainly not going to get any better now!! But I wonder if it wouldn’t be possible for him to “use” me as just a human sex toy, like the closet-full of ones he has for self-exploration… but better, because it’s capable of responding to verbal commands! It moves and even has a second hand and what the hell, can also hold vibrating eggs and stuffitystuff. Oh, the possibilities are endless, but he would need to just use me like a warm toy.

And then there’s all the service. I’ve really enjoyed all the tasks I’ve been given so far. I like making the coffee in the morning, cooking supper, making pancakes on request, actually keeping the house tidy for once. I’ve become a bed maker. I’ve never been a bed maker in my life, but I mentioned it as a possibility in passing once and he picked it up and decided that would be a nice thing. Getting his beers, putting away the empties, washing his feet, putting lotion on them. I’m really enjoying all these little things, and I’d be more than happy to do whatever things like that he wants. So I’m struggling to see where the “all about me” part is coming in, other than in the “selfish altruism” sense that these also bring me joy. But I guess I just assumed that was a similar kind of joy to what he felt when we explored play activities. I suppose also, however, that everything has its limits.