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.