Capitalize this.

Capitalization’s a tricky thing.


What gets caps and what does not when it comes to titles and people we have to address outside of their given names?


The shit’s Byzantine, man.


(I grabbed this from some grammar site where there was discussion about when pronouns are capitalized.)

Names of relationships only when they are a part of or a substitute for a person’s name. (Often this means that when there is a modifier, such as a possessive pronoun, in front of such a word, we do not capitalize it.)

  • Let’s go visit Grandmother today.
  • Let’s go visit my grandmother today.
  • I remember Uncle Arthur.
  • I remember my Uncle Arthur.
  • My uncle is unforgettable.

This also means that we don’t normally capitalize the name of a “vocative” or term of endearment:

  • Can you get the paper for me, hon?
  • Drop the gun, sweetie. I didn’t mean it. (I love this example)


All this is to say I find the creative fucking flouting of this already convoluted practice fucking annoying. From the stuttery fuckery of “T/those W/who type any pronoun with a capital and a lowercase to separate the Dominant from the submissive. We are not, it seems, readily enough identified by being called dominants and submissives, masters and slaves: no. Some perverts are so freakish about perceived status that They want to make sure Y/you don’t miss the Almighty L/label. And don’t get me started on dominants who cap “Me” and “My” in the middle of sentences or submissives who lowercase “i” in the same way. If you are going to bumrush the beautiful rules of our beautiful language please, for fuck’s sake, do it artfully and make it something clever and engaging.


Speaking as one with a brain that vocalizes everything it reads, seeing that shit hurts. I skip over posts, articles and writings of those who express themselves that way. I simply cannot do it. There are some people I like and respect very much who address the public in this manner, and that’s cool for them. But I just. Cannot. Read. It.


Some make the point that the upper and lowercase conveys status and “reinforces” the power roles. OK, maybe that works and maybe it doesn’t. But that reveals the core problem. A blog post or a reply to a thread on a mailing list or on FetLife shouldn’t be about you reinforcing your dynamic all up in my mandibles. It is about your experience, your opinions. Why should my identifying as a slave be something reflected in every pronoun? So that my opinions can be weighed by my role? Being a slave sure as fuck doesn’t reduce my standing in the bloody community. And for those who think it does? Kiss my dimply black ass. The only person under whose jurisdiction my will is lessened and my rights and privileges shifted is the person to whom I would submit. No one else gets to default diminutize me.


Despite the fact that I can agree to politely disagree with people who follow rules I think are goofy, there’s always that point where you first discover a friend’s habits and you kinda involuntarily apply your judgement to them. Like when you find out your new crush is a Republican. Or a militant vegan. As hard as you try, as much as you might dig them, it torques your opinion, I think. So when I started reading some of the stuff The Dominant Guy was posting hither and yon, on FetLife, on the site that he and his wife maintain, I was relieved to see the standard capitalization applied throughout. That was a relief! Then I came across an interesting anomaly on the site in one of the articles he’d written. This was something one almost never fucking sees in BDSM and Leather writings: a matched case for the titles master and slave. It was akin to stubbing one’s toe in the midst of a spin across the dance floor. I stopped, re-read, and then went to retrieve my eyebrows from the ceiling.


Yep, dude had referred to a certain type of power-exchange relationship as “M/S” and my first thought was “If this shit ain’t a typo, dude’s about to score some major points.”


So I asked, next we caught up with one another online, about the article in which I’d seen the sacrilegious capitalization. As we were talking about it, I mentioned the “M/S” reference.


Me: Hey you know you have an instance where you refer to master slave relationships as “M/S” and capitalize both letters.


TDG: And?


Me: Well…is that a typo?


TDG: No, it is not a typo.


Me: :-D


Yeah, that shit turns me on. I am weary of the broader community’s willingness to let your role dictate your standing in the community. Not that we don’t do this to ourselves. When I first joined almost 15 years ago, I was quickly advised that my handle was misleading and that not only was it too dominant sounding, that by capitalizing it, I was sending the wrong message. My assertion was that if someone couldn’t even read down ONE PARAGRAPH to the little check-boxes that indicated I was submissive and slave-identified then I had little interest in them anyway.


Laziness is the driver for this dependance on symbols, signs, poor grammar and freakish sentence structure. And arrogance is the driver for a newer, yet no less pet peevish move: the “under consideration” indication that appears on FetLife, almost unilaterally applied to slaves or submissives being “considered” worthy of service by a dominant or owner.


I recall something like this back in the days of BBS and IRC: people would surround their [nicknames] with various {indicators} that let people know, without the hassle of actually asking, if someone was single or (Collared.) OK whatever. One can argue it is all bullshit and who cares about online fuckery. I suggest it colours and shapes our early explorations, and if one runs around FetLife seeing a buncha dominants “Considering” subs and a a buncha subs and slaves “under consideration” by them there doms and masters, it makes an impression.


And in my opinion? The impression it makes is that slaves and submissives are required to submit even before they Submit.


I think part of figuring out whether or not the power exchange rate for you and your potential partner is an equitable one is testing those waters within a more egalitarian exploration of the dynamic. I do NOT believe that I am best served with a one-way street that leaves me on the auction block awaiting a raised paddle from the dominant I hope to serve or the master whose ownership I seek. And frankly, in my slavish militancy, I have, for years, thought it sure as fuck should best be the dominant /master / owner under consideration. Yeah I fucking said it. The slave is the one relinquishing their will to the greater power. And greater power, when judiciously and compassionately administered, permits the servant to approach, assess, then acquiesce to the dynamic.


Yeah it ain’t the most popular POV and I am sure plenty of my M/S identified friends are shaking their heads at my hubris. But there it is.


Recently, The Dominant Guy… aka the-dominant-with-whom-I’ve-been-doing-some-explorations…you know, the married poly one who doesn’t live near me? Yeah, that one. And yes, I do still identify as monogamous. And stop that snickering. Keerist.




After weeks stumbling awkwardly trying to figure out how to refer to him, I came up with “The Dominant Guy” as his nickname. He thought it was amusing too, and the name stuck. Subsequently, he created Twitter as well as FetLife accounts under that moniker. His identity is not widely broadcast for now, but he has enough of a sense of humor to provide me alter-egos with whom I might play.


So, once he made the profile on FetLife and began posting with it, I was wigglyexcited in the way that social media whores like me get when we have yet another vector for self-evisceration. I was squeeping, reading a comment he’d made on one of my photos, and was seized by the sudden urge to wave my teeny flag in this virtual pervy world.


Me: I SO wanna add that I’m “Considering” you. That’d fuck with people.


TDG: Go ahead.


Me: ♥squee♥


And there it went. This is pretty much the kink version of when you were in school and would draw little flowers and unicorns and shit around the name of someone you liked. Several times a day I would pull up my profile just to look at this indication, extremely chuffed that I was in negotiations with someone who got where I was coming from on this particular position. I wondered if he’d any thought on adding me onto his profile, but I figured if he wanted to, he would have done so. I thought it would be cool to have this example of the mutuality of this process, this consideration.


Then a week ago, after a couple of extremely busy days, I did my bi-weekly scrub of the feeds and posts of my Family and my close peeps and saw that he had a new status update. I was consumed by a fierce surge of fierceness when I saw that



TheDominantGuy is under consideration by Mollena


was at the top of his activity feed.


Fuck yeah.


I cannot say how validating it is to have someone in my life who not only gets who I am, and who I desire to be, but who also  has an ethos that aligns with mine. Especially when this synchronicity moves the dynamic simply and sweetly into place.


Yes, I am considering. I am considering how wonderful this journey is in these beginning stages, how powerful it is to have someone before whom I would kneel acknowledge the exchange aspect of power exchange in a way that respects my power. Someone who sees me.


Consideration flows both ways.  Sure, he could well have listed that he, too, is considering me.


But now that I think about it, perhaps his choice of labels speaks volumes about where he is in this process.




And in the interest of transparency? The “consideration” now is not about yes or no…it is heartbeat-inevitable. It is about the process.


But sssh, don’t tell. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

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  1. Benny on December 4, 2010 at 10:17 PM

    I love this post, and agree with the vast majority of it.

    I like the idea of subs and slaves putting dominants under consideration, but I actually think part of the reason why consideration of subs is more common is that subs are more common. Many dominants who are good at what they do and such really do have their pick of subs. When Jinx and I were looking for a houseboy several years ago there were no shortage of possibilities. So for us to put THEM under consideration made sense: we were doing the picking. Now these days I’m on the other end of that, and some daddy who’s looking for a boy could possibly consider me. There are about a thousand boys out there for every daddy looking for us though, so it’s a dom’s market.

    I think you’re in an unusual situation: you have so much to offer that you CAN put a dom under consideration. But most of us aren’t nearly as amazing as you.

    • TheDominantGuy on December 5, 2010 at 9:30 AM

      @Benny – “I think you’re in an unusual situation: you have so much to offer that you CAN put a dom under consideration. But most of us aren’t nearly as amazing as you.”

      Her situation is unusual, but in a different way than you think. While she is Jet setting about the planet, we have to make a significant plan, and don’t get to see each other often. We don’t have a lot of physical access. It can lend to a longing that is not so much fun. Yes, she does have a lot to offer. She has all of who she is as a person, as a sacred and beautiful shining human being. So to be honest? While she is amazing? Everyone is amazing in their own right. I am not interested in her because she is “Mollena the Great and Powerful International Superstar.” I could care less about that. (Another reason for this sockpuppet.) I am really not interested in her public persona.

      What I am interested in? I am interested in the totality of her being. I am much more interested in the gorgeous woman who reflexively responds to me. I am interested in seeing the depths of her soul when she looks up at me and offers me her personal power, her will, her chi. I am interested in her because we shared and I liked what I found. We sat across from each other, talked, looked into each other’s eyes and determined that we had a real and powerful connection. When we played and touched each other, the energy was palpable and very compatible.

      What I am trying to say is this: If you believe someone to be more than you? You are doing yourself and your shining a great disservice. Be the powerful, sexy, lovely, attractive, exciting person you are, and those with complimentary energy will discover you.

      For Mollena and me? That’s about what happened, and continues to happen. Our connection grows and strengthens because we foster and nurture it. Even though we have our own lives? We still make time for one another, to reach out, comment, commiserate, and energetically cuddle.

      just my two cents.

      • mollena on December 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM

        @Benny Yep, what he said. :-D

        @TDG you continue to delight and uplift my heart. Thank you for the reminder, thank you for the fierce validation. Thank you for your energy and time, and for seeing me.

      • Benny on December 5, 2010 at 10:48 AM

        I actually wasn’t referring to Mollena’s titles – I thought she was amazing before them.

        • mollena on December 7, 2010 at 8:39 AM

          I don’t think he was referring to ’em either, homes. He was referring to your intrinsic awesomeness :-)

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Coyote Too and j dead, Mommy Fiercest . Mommy Fiercest said: Amazing post. RT @Mollena Mollena The Negress natters…: Capitalize this. […]

  3. Molly Ren on December 5, 2010 at 1:28 AM

    “This is pretty much the kink version of when you were in school and would draw little flowers and unicorns and shit around the name of someone you liked. ”

    Oh, lordy, yes! Don’t send me flowers, just let me stick your name next to mine on several prominent social media websites. ;)

    • mollena on December 5, 2010 at 10:34 AM

      Isn’t it hilarious! Stuff like the Facebook Relationship status and the FetLife D/S status are now a bellwethers for relationship depth…and I can’t help but LOL!!

  4. Rmd1024 on December 5, 2010 at 6:55 AM

    Oh fuck yeah. Hooray for respect for both grammar and each other!

    • mollena on December 5, 2010 at 10:35 AM

      What’s sexier than that?! Not fucking much, yo.

      Thanks for reading!


  5. Jack on December 6, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    My personal favorite example of how capitalization can change meaning:

    Helping your Uncle Jack off a horse


    Helping your uncle jack off a horse.

    Isn’t this really a question of values? There are those who put power dynamics above their desire to communicate in a reasonable and efficient ways. Those who put labels and grammar flagging ahead of respecting the beauty of the English language.

    That is certainly not my kink.

    • mollena on December 7, 2010 at 8:42 AM

      Hear, here.

      I am tickled that the example you cited was also cited on the FetLife iteration of this blog post. And an effective one it is!



  6. Becca on March 3, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    I *just* wrote a thing on Fet about under consideration and considering! Your brain is sexy!