People could (and do) write volumes on language and terminology, and on how we use language to define ourselves.  In my four months in the scene, I have thought about what words get used in places quite a bit.

One thing I’ve always found interesting about content of a sexual nature is the use of “naughty words” over plainer language.  For instance, the rear end is usually referred to as “ass”, and not as “behind”, “backside”, or even “butt”.  Likewise, I’ve noticed that the penis is usually referred to as “cock”.  I’ve always found it interesting, mostly because I find such terms to be uncouth, even when used sexually.  Maybe it’s just me. I wonder if others feel similarly about the use of “foul language” as the normal term.  However, the use of foul language is more just a pet peeve of mine than anything else.  I’m not fond of it, but whatever. If it makes people tick, then more power to them, I suppose.

The terms that I think about most are the terms “dominant”, “submissive”, “top”, and “bottom”.  That thinking usually centers around how I identify myself in that concept set as I learn more about my own style and behaviors in scene settings.  Going in back in January, I thought that dominant = top and top = dominant, and likewise I thought that submissive = bottom and bottom = submissive.  In other words, I thought that the terms were exactly equivalent.  Now I know that the terms are not necessarily the same.

Thus it makes me start to think about how I define myself in terms of D/s situations, and whether or not a label is even important.  I know that if given the choice, I will almost always choose to be the one who is getting tied up and flogged than the one doing the tying and the flogging.  Just saying.  So obviously I have some bottom tendencies going on.  When I joined FetLife, I chose “sub” as my D/s role.  But I’m really starting to wonder whether that’s the most apt descriptor, or whether “bottom” is more apt.

One thing that made me think about this is a scene that I was recently did with Hope at DCDungeon last weekend.  We were doing a thuddy flogging scene, and it started as these things usually do: me tied to something, ballgag in my mouth, and ready to receive some pain.  Midway through the scene, I gave my safeword for “yellow” (i.e. slow down).  My gag came out at that time as well.  And then I believe I surprised everyone including myself with what I started doing. Specifically, I was trying to direct the scene from the bottom.  Here I am, bound hand and foot to a table, and I’m acting like I’m in charge or something.  Obviously, however, I was at someone else’s mercy, but it led me to really question what my role is.  I’d been thinking about this for a while, but this sort of brought it to the forefront, and it needs to be talked through.

Ultimately, I want to be me.  I was never much of an actor, and so I don’t want to be something I’m not.  Thus I don’t want to try to become a label (i.e. by trying to live up to the meaning of the label), nor do I want to feel constrained by a label (i.e. “that’s not a very subby thing to do”).  I am myself.  Of course, having only been in the scene for four months, there’s the other question: who am I, anyway?  Seriously – I still am not entirely sure of where I fall on the continuum of kink roles.  And that I believe is the key: everything falls somewhere along a line.  I’ll bet that very few people are entirely dominant, entirely submissive, or entirely switch.  It’s all a bit of a continuum.

In other words, it’s this:

Scene roles lie on a continuum - a little bit of everything in there

And not this:

I don't think this is how it is

And so in talking through this, I guess what I’m learning is… forget the label, because it’s not the end-all.  Discover who you are, discuss with play partners and other kinksters, and have fun.  That’s why we came onto the scene in the first place, right?  To have a good time and explore ourselves.