November 11th, 2010
Last week, after making my post here about drop, I found a new blog called Fearless Press and posted a few comments on a couple posts dealing with labels: The Beginning and What Did You Call Me? I last posted on labels in June of 2009. So, that’s the topic I want to make my own post on today. Labels in the kink community.
Most of my dealings with labels lately have been in reference to defining relationships as opposed to defining self. Who am I to my partner and what does that mean to us? The difficulty, as pointed out by Amethyst Wonder’s post is “that like most language, labels don’t mean the exact same thing in different people’s minds.” This is why communication is so important in relationships, to define the labels for yourselves. None of my relationships can be explained by a single word and truly be understood. We have to decide and discuss what it means to us personally, and to our other partners, as well.
Personal labels have become even more situational as I have grown and expanded my horizons in the kink community. They have become a way to explain what I’m doing, instead of who I am. I label as service top at the club where I do violet wand scenes. I label as a rope slut when talking about my love for and experience with rope. I label as a pain slut when I talk about physically intense scenes. I am all of these things, but none of them define me completely.
Submissive is the label I use most often, because it is the word I associate with my overall kinky nature. However, my submissiveness manifests in different ways with my different partners. I often find myself explaining these differences, the word is not a simple definition, but a starting place for discussion. I do not let other people tell me how a submissive should act, or that it is wrong to show different kinds of submission or different levels of submission to different partners.
Mako Allen commented that “Lao-tzu had it right. When you stop worrying about the kind of kinky person you should be, you can fully embrace the kinky person you actually are.” I enjoy what I do far too much to worry about what others think I should do. I also enjoy teaching and sharing, so labels give me a framework to start from. Then I expand that out, to share the richness of my life and my journey, to those who ask and are willing to listen.