Labels

June 3rd, 2009

Society is obsessed with labeling things, and the community is no exception. Dom, sub, Master, slave, Top, bottom, switch and on and on into more and more specific terms. But do any of these words really describe who we are? Or are they just what we happen to be doing at the time, or even just how we are feeling? People change, grow and learn constantly and are different things to different people.

One of the biggest challenges I see with labels, comes when people have different definitions. Not a problem in and of itself, defining yourself is a great thing, but when one person tells another they are wrong to label or define themselves in a certain way it becomes ridiculous. I have heard new members of the scene ask When can I start calling myself a Dominant, or When can I start calling myself a Master? I would answer, when you feel you are one. I am all for defining oneself by one’s own standards and not letting other people tell you who you are. That is not to say that apprenticeships, or learning from your elders and accepting labels or ranks from the community is a negative thing, there is a lot to be said for tradition and learning. I just feel it should not be the only way to define yourself, confidence and self-worth are important, no matter what your role.

When I am asked how I define myself, I usually answer submissive. I have a lot of other labels I identify with, but they all depend on the situation and the person I am interacting with. In the community setting, I am nearly always in what I call a submissive state of mind and body, and the other states of being follow from there.

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