A potato is a potato is a potato

How many times have you started reading a blog, talked with someone online or met someone in r/l and all you’ve wanted to know about them is ‘what’ they are? Are they sub, slave, switch, dom, domme, top, bottom, trans, bi, tri…?? The list goes on…

Generally ‘what’ someone is, is the first thing I want to know because it will *completely* change how I interact with them and the little voice I create in my head when I read their words will indelibly be different according to ‘what’ they are.

In general, I tend to interact with people not as people, but in terms of their role and my role. If you are not something to me, I will ignore you i.e. if you’re a random person on the bus, you may as well not exist. I will not talk to you just because you’re another human being if you are not something to me. For this reason, being able to organize everyone in their ‘place’ is almost as important to me as ear-cleaning…almost, but not quite 😉

In bdsm, where everyone tends not to be someone but something, I would find life a whole lot easier if there was some sort of ‘uniform’ as in, doms in black, slaves in pink, subs in purple, sort of a thing. I find it hard to talk to someone I don’t know if I don’t know what they are, and it’s almost impossible to ask someone what they are.

There’s also that tiny little problem of definitions. If you’re submitting 24/7, but have a safeword does that make you a sub or a slave? If you’re a dom now, but have submitted to someone in the past, does that make you a switch or a dom? I want a nice, clean label that I can stick on people and a definitive category I can put them in, so I can bring a little order to the chaos that is my mind, but it’s not always that easy.

I’d like some dichotomy charts for bdsm to help me with my labelling: sub vs slave, dom vs. top, bottom vs. sub etc., but does the fact that there aren’t any charts belie the fact that these things aren’t mutually exclusive? Perhaps these labels have no intrinsic differential meanings and are simply words we use to talk about the same thing – a ‘you say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to’ situation.

But we mustn’t forget the fact that names have no power of creation. Just because you call some thing something , doesn’t turn it into that thing. Also how many thousands of words in different languages are there for ‘potato’? And in some places there may not even be no word for ‘potato’, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Afterall, a potato is still a potato no matter what you call it.

This fact, of course, doesn’t help people like me who are all about the ‘labels’. Maybe I just need to start looking at people as people and think of anything else as simply a bonus.


23 thoughts on “A potato is a potato is a potato

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  1. Interesting. I have a safe word yet consider myself a slave for the simple fact that the only reason I have my safe word is because I’m A.) self destructive and would continue even beyond my safe point and B.) because Master doesn’t want to inflict perm damage and needs to figure out whats too much to protect me from myself.

    Once that’s sorted, the safe word will go away 🙂

    Oh and…no pink for this slave please! I wanna wear the black…or green!! can I has green?

    1. …the only reason I have my safe word is because I’m A.) self destructive and would continue even beyond my safe point…

      Ok, i’m confused… if you don’t really have the ability to distinguish the proper boundary, what good is the safeword?

      (i’m like that, too ~ very bad at determining if/when i’m in real danger, when in subspace ~ which is precisely why a safeword would do me no good whatsoever.)

    2. Slaves are definitely in pink!

      I don’t have a safe word per se, but when I’m about to pass out I generally say something along the lines of “I need to stop” or “I need my arms down” and Master knows he has about 3.5 seconds to comply because that’s the extent of the “generous” notice that my body gives me.

      I don’t /can’t say it when things are just getting too ouchie. Theoretically, it’s for him to decide when enough is enough, but he’ll often ask me if I’ve had enough or if I want more or if I’m ‘done’ and when I say ‘yes’ he will stop.

      And like solsine, I’m curious as to how you can decide what is enough if you are self-destructive. And, if it gets to a point where it does get harmful, won’t your master know it’s enough when he notices that he has opened a vein or something and decides he should stop -or is he into getting destructive on your ass too?

      1. I have a stubborn streak thats hard to rival, and i deal with the inability to ADMIT when things are beyond my boundaries. I don’t have a safeword, but my Sir knows this trait about me. He knows I can be self-destructive. Instead of a safeword, he’ll ask me if we’ve hit that “too much” point. I never want to admit when something is too much, so he’ll generally ask this question atleast a couple of times until he believes I am telling the truth. and well, it only takes a couple of times for this stubborn girl to admit when enough is enough when she’s been beaten and exhausted and pushed to her limits.

        when i did have a safeword, it was more about my training and learning to be more honest with my Sir about my state. There were times when he knew i could handle more and kept going despite having said the safeword. so is it still a safeword? Now i’m confusing myself lol.

  2. I started typing a reply but it got to be quite long lol so I think this is going to be my post topic tonight. I noticed it was leaping towards very personal so I think Master might want a read before I post.

  3. There are all kinds of potatoes.

    Like, some are better for mashing, some for baking, some for frying. I suppose they could all work in each dish, but certain ones work better.

    Just sayin’.

    AND- some people make mashed potatoes out of cauliflower. Seriously! Not a potato in the damn dish anywhere. But they serve it up and call it mashed potatoes. Pisses me right off, it does. Call it what it is, I say.


    1. I *heart* you.

      I agree, different types of potatoes are better for different things and you should always have the right type of potato for what you want to do.

      And no, cauliflower is definitely not mashed potato. You should never have one thing and call it something else entirely just because that’s what you want it to be 😉

    2. WHAT? What in the hell are you people taking about? I mash, bake, and fry all the SAME kind of potatoes. I think potato salad is the only place I make sure they are certain kinds.

      You’re all nuts. Totally insane. Loony.

      ~Chloe, a fan of the phrase “takes one to know one.”

  4. personally for me, its always been hard for me to wrap my head around how a person goes about being “switchy”… i can’t imagine how, if you’re into being submissive or dominant, the opposite could possibly work for you and not feel like its pretend. but that’s probably because of my personal experiences with trying to top and always feeling like i’m pretending in a kinky kindergarten play.
    I can understand you’re want to have a label and a name for people, for sure.

    1. Agreed! Personally I could never sub to a switch, ESPECIALLY if I ever saw them subbing for another. I think that would ruin any concept of them being dom for me. I think I would have an insane giggle fit if I ever had to see my Master in a sub light.

      Twice in my life I played top…the first time I said “So you have to do whatever I say, right?”

      he said, “yup, that;s how it works”

      my response? “ok…first order of business then…YOUR TURN!!”

      apparently that was cheating 😦

      (the second time I quite enjoyed but it was very D/s lite…he made such pretty noises!!!)

      1. I’ve cheated almost all the times I’ve ever had to top. and have gotten away with it at times!

        my Sir and I went through a time where he was being very switchy and it just about wracked my brain, I just didn’t fit into it anywhere I could see. I tried to top him and see it as a service to him, but it just didn’t work. Now I know that that is one of my limitations. I just do not understand it. But he’s been plain ole dominant and regular for a while so i’m getting my feet back on the ground.

        I wish all i had was a giggle fit though, it would have made coping with it alot easier if it all was just amusing. like bad porn where the guy strides in being all “give me sex bitch” and then 5 mintues later 5 girls have him tied up with fuzzy scarves and are painting his toenails pink kinda thing.

        1. ROFLMAO! *wipes a tear away* I was just imagining Master in a fuzzy boa, stockings, garters and toe nails painted…..stupid rocky horror show intruded lol!

          That is an interesting way of looking at it though…topping as a service to your domly one. I never thought of that…though I still stand by my giggle fest lol. Your much better than me in that regards because I just couldn’t do it.

          1. I find switchy types to be mind-boggling. I always remember that I totally lost all fear of a guy whom I had always known as a ‘hard-ass beater’ when I saw him getting his ass beaten. I cannot take anyone seriously once I’ve seen them being topped.

      2. oooh i’m so with you both, kitty & Sephanie, about the not being able to swtich thing, or not being able to submit to a switch. i’m totally all for people who are into it… yay for them… freedom of choice! But for me, i’ll go on record saying i am the WORST person you would ever want to dominate them. i had a guy once, before Daddy (BD), wanted me to dominate him, and omg was i almost sick to my stomach n feeling sooo awkward. It was made even worse by the fact that he was deaf in one ear, but wanted me to talk dirty to him… i’m all like, omg WHAT do i say? ummmm… and then i finally managed to mumble something… and he was all, “what??” Blech. Not good times.

        i didn’t think of cheating ~ if Daddy ever asks me to top Him (fat chance!) i’ll try Sephani’s out ~ “ok, i order You to give me a good sound lashing!” That’ll lern ‘im. 😉

    2. I don’t know… switching to me is a lot like being bisexual. A bisexual can have a relationship with either sex and it doesn’t lessen the love and attraction that happens between the two AND they don’t always crave the ‘other’ sex. So, a bisexual wouldn’t be pretending with one gender and not with the other. It’s all part of who they are.

      Which is probably why people who choose to be submissive or Dominant only can’t understand.

  5. I love that you said just because you name something, or label it such, does not mean it actually IS that thing. In the words of my late grandmother, “Just because a cat has kittens in the oven doesn’t make them biscuits”. (Sorry, got grandma on the brain today.) And since everyone knows me and PINK, I guess I will take the color pink regardless of what the hell it actually stands for. LOL. I know that for me personally, I occasionally relate to people according to their ‘standing/position/rank’ not necessarily exclusively within BDSM but everywhere in life. But I do not like to do that too often as I feel that if I can relate to someone just as who they actually ARE then I learn so much more and can see things that I would otherwise miss. Likewise, when I relate as just ME and not what I am in the BDSM arena, I allow then to see that their is vastly more to me than JUST being a sub/slave/bottom/ect. I try to relate to people as just people, not in any caste system…but that being said, sometimes it is impossible to relate in any other way than in the hierarchy of whatever situation you are in at that moment.

    1. I just love what your granny used to say!

      I find it really hard to relate to people as anything other than my bdsm ‘persona’ I think I’ve kind of lost ‘me’ somewhere along the way…

    1. Thanks for the link! I was expecting to do some wading through it when you mentioned mind-fuckery, but it was a nice, easy read 🙂

      I agree with the author where she says that labels create a certain expectation of what something will be. In a D/s sense we all have some ‘expectation’ of what a slave or a sub will be and when a person doesn’t adhere to our expectations we immediately assume that that person is not actually what they say they are.

      I think it would be easier if we had some modifiers for terms and not just the blanket label. To borrow again from the article, a blood orange is still an orange, but it’s red inside instead of orange. By calling it a blood orange we have an expectation that it will be different from a plain, old orange. Maybe we need labels like service slave, pain slave, slave just in it for the fetish gear 🙂

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