A bit of a rant about titles and honorifics
Sometimes, when I’m dealing with random passers-by on fetlife, I kind of feel like Carl from UP. (I AM NOT YOUR MASTER.)
I say right there at the bottom of my profile that I don’t like it when strangers address me as “Mistress” or “Ma’am” or “Miss” or “Goddess” or any other silly awkward title when they write to me. It’s even in bold. For, you know, emphasis. To show people that hey, if you’re contacting me out of the blue, here is something you might want to read first.
And yet people do it anyways.
When you write me a message out of the blue and address me as one of the former terms, it shows me that either:
a. You are too lazy to read my profile (in which case I have no use for you)
b. You are too stupid to understand simple instructions or basic courtesy (in which case I have no use for you)
c. You’re not actually interested in getting to know me. You have some libido-induced idea of what a dominant woman should be like, you see the sexy photo on my profile paired with “25 FEM DOM,” and suddenly the blood is rapidly diverted to your genitalia, the unfortunate side-effect of which being that that blood was, in fact, diverted from your brain, the result of which is that you mistake me for pornography and you are then surprised when I’m not, in fact, interested in fulfilling your fantasies and I turn out to be a real person with my own desires.
In which case?
I HAVE NO USE FOR YOU.
I’m not anyone’s Mistress. I like being called “ma’am” in the right situations, but only when I’ve earned it. Otherwise it just feels fake. And here’s the thing about honorifics–while they ostensibly confer respect or honor, using them when it hasn’t been warranted, completely devalues them and, in fact, negates the intended effect.
So unless I have you with your hands tied to my bed, making lovely and horrible noises, while I straddle you and whisper sweetly into your ear…
Don’t fucking call me ma’am.
Random people I don’t know calling me “ma’am” or “mistress” over the internet has almost completely killed the erocitism of those words for me. I don’t like it. It’s not consensual. It is the equivalent of taking a picture of a dominatrix stereotype and pasting a cut-out picture of my head on it. It’s people trying to submit to me without any domination.
I have other issues with these words too. They are way too gendered for my liking, and “mistress” has another meaning, one which is undeniably negative at that.
So hearing these words in reference to me, which used to send a little thrill down into my very core, is something I can no longer stomach.
But this has never been an issue. I mean, I’m the dominant, so I get to be the one making the decisions, right? I tell people what to call me, and that’s what they call me. It’s never been an issue, up until now.
For a few months now, I’ve been dating a submissive man who is relatively new to the scene. He has a surprisingly little amount of damage. He doesn’t feel the same way I do about those words. In fact, he likes them. And, I want to take his preferences into account when we play (not only because I want to be considerate but because I like being able to push his buttons.) And likewise, he wants to be the one to bend to my will, but at the same time, he cannot deny how much erotic power those words hold for him. His reasoning is that the words sound sexy and that their meaning and association shouldn’t be limiting, because words can mean anything you want them to mean.
It is a complicated struggle between me, and the words.
Thanks to the BDSM scene, I no longer like the things I used to. In certain ways, because of the BDSM scene that I can no longer enjoy this aspect of BDSM.
That is very sad.
There are some people who have such a strong aversion to the word “submissive” that they don’t even identify with it any more. That’s how the words that are supposed to connote respect and affection are starting to feel to me.
I’m dominant. It doesn’t mean I always know the right thing to do. I’m faced with a crossroads here. I feel I have two options. I can take the words back, reclaim them, use them with defiance. Or I can find new words to use instead. The latter appeals more to me. I enjoy creativity, and coming up with something new seems fun. But part of me wants to revel in them with my boy toy, and take enjoyment from his untarnished view of D/s, and see if I can learn to forget the stain of bitterness that the scene has left on mine.