OK, I will submit for candy this ONE time, Santa.
I think about Various & Sundry Things and Stuff all of the time. And I question pretty much everything. This includes a great deal of thought about kinky stuff. Since my first explorations of Leather and BDSM via books and online bulletin boards, I’ve read and listened to a great many ideas. And there are some ideas that hit me and resonate. And others that hit it and quit it. There are concepts, like the necessity of consent, and the “Prime Directive”‡ that remain core anchors, and with them I do not fuck. I’m done mulling whether or not they work for me. Then there are things that fall into gray areas: stuff that makes sense but always nagged me.
Over the course of time, some fell into the realm of “Shit I get, but ain’t workin’ for me personally.” “Safe, Sane & Consensual” being one of them. I get it, and its fine. But there is too much relativity to make it truly useful beyond its intended purpose: to have a quick shorthand for the Default World so that they could separate us kinky types from abusive maniacs.
“The submissive is always in charge!” was another one that niggled my headbone. I do not want to be in charge. I realized that this touchstone works very well for people who engage with submission as something that they do rather than a personal identity. And in my identity of a slave AND submissive, it fell apart entirely. If I swap out “bottom” for “submissive” it works better for me.
Then there’s shit that bothers me outright. “Topping from the bottom.” It is a sneaky pejorative used to smack down a bottom who is clear about insisting on getting what they want. Its a lazy phrase, too: what is MEANT is probably something more like…fuck, I dunno… “Dominating from your knees.” because, yeah, trying to run the engine when you are ostensibly assuming a submissive posture? Passive aggressive. But “top” and “bottom” don’t specify a power exchange: it is a “giver” and “receiver” dynamic. I can bottom to people, tell them how I want the scene to go, make adjustments to it in the course of the scene, and expect them to cater to my desires because topping and bottoming are about mutual satisfaction. D/S and M/S are explicitly about power exchange, and I feel controlling the dynamic as a submissive or slave is less acceptable in terms of fostering and nurturing a healthy and functional imbalance.
Another point of aggrievement? I’ve run across some who say that they do not not permit their slave to refer to them as “their master” because that implies the master belongs to the slave. Or they take it further and mandate that the slave reject the use of grammatically standard self-identifying pronouns instead shoving them in to awkward third person discourse. (i.e. “This slave begs permission to use the restroom, master.”)
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