Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A More Intimate War: Part 1

Ulrika sighed as the candle's flame whipped away from the wick to dance between her fingers. A small courtesy, that one candle, perhaps left only that she might examine the heavy, cast-iron chains containing her with in the tent. Wide bands of metal decorated her wrists and ankles, a line of fat links leading to a stout, but short, post that had been driven into the ground near the back of the triangular tent.

It was a fine tent. The crossed poles comprising the triangular frames on either end were sturdy and delicately carved. The cross beam that rested atop them and ran the length of the tent was also well made. She had seen the heavy canvas draped over it, which was dyed in wide blue and white stripes. The walls on the inside were draped with pelts to repel the chill of these northern lands.

Ulrika found herself somewhat amused at her presence in this tent, shackled to a veritable stump.  Not that she couldn't easily burn the stump with the tendril of flame she twirled around her finger tips, but the chains were still heavy, and she was not quite yet recovered from her injuries. In any case, her strength, while once great enough to wield a seax with formidable force, was still not great enough that thick iron shackles would not prove an impediment in escape. And it would take much more effort to melt the chain than to burn the stump. Effort she did not have to spare.

Slowly, carefully, she crawled to lean her back against the solid mass of the post and continued playing with the fire.

"I see the iron serves its purpose well."

Ulrika looked up at her captor as he entered the tent. "So it would seem," she said, letting the fire snake up her arm like a golden armlet.

"I am glad to see that my tent has not been reduced to ashes."

Ulrika tossed her head to throw a lock of dark blonde hair out of her face. "I am not overly fond of useless effort. A burned tent would not lend me escape. Besides," she said, letting the fire fall back into her palm, "despite what you think, I have never held any degree of malice toward you." She tilted her head. "Or your father, for that matter."

"Your actions would prove otherwise."

Ulrika regarded Sundar for a moment. He had grown, for sure. The slenderness of youth had abandoned him for the thickly muscled flesh of a northern warrior. His golden hair had been made paler by the sun, his skin reddened by frosty wind. Whiskers of a darker hue had finally deigned to adorn his jaw, now strongly squared with manhood. He was not an unattractive man, though covered in scars and a bearing a slightly crooked nose made so by a number of breaks. Ulrika imagined that he likely snored with great fervor.

"You have swallowed the boy you once were, but you still see with the ignorance of a child."

He stepped forward, catching the chain that ran between her manacles and hauled her to her feet before him. The flame fell from her hand to die on the floor of the tent. He gently pushed another tendril of hair away from her face, before threading his fingers through the honey-colored mass and giving it a sharp tug.

"Oh, I promise, little firefly, I see quite clearly with the eyes of a man. How long was I in that hole you abandoned me in?"

Ulrika paused for a moment, as if she had to struggle a bit to remember. "Three days. Your father took a bit longer than I anticipated, but, I suppose he was testing my resolve." She shrugged.

"Your resolve to let me rot?"

Ulrika rolled her eyes. "You are the son of a king. Surely you comprehend the political machinations of rulers."

His grip tightened on her hair. "You left me in a hole little bigger than myself without food or water."

"For three days. A paltry torture at best. If that is all you have ever suffered, count yourself among the fortunate. When you've had your leg broken by a war hammer, and then been raped and beaten by a camp of soldiers for more than a year, then your complaints might find a sympathetic ear. As it stands, three days in an oubliette means nothing."

His grip slackened. "It meant something to me."

She sighed. "It was a show for your father. Nothing more. He had to believe I would truly take your life."

"So I was a pawn."

Ulrika snorted. "We were all pawns. How do you think war works, princeling?"

He slapped her. Ulrika laughed.

He shook her a bit. "I know that this is a war that I have won."

Ulrika lifted a condescending brow. "You captured and chained a crippled woman. I would hardly call that a prestigious victory."

He turned away from her and began to shed the furs from his shoulders. "I see your sufferings have not served to humble you in any way."

She shrugged. "I have long since given up on concern for myself. Do what you will, Nord."

Sundar stared at her a moment. "You fear neither rape nor violence?"

Ulrika sat upon the stump, letting the chain of the manacles hang between her knees. "Fear has proven a rather useless emotion to me. Besides, I have served an empire that would call itself civilized. I much prefer the wild aggression of the Barbar."

He frowned. "So you enjoyed that violence?"

"Nein, but I find myself strangely accustomed to it." She sighed. "Men are disappointingly predicitable."

Sundar straightened, as if struck by some revelation. "Perhaps you will find me less so." He knelt before her and snapped open the chains with the key he took from around his neck. They fell to the floor in a heavy pile.

"Lost the appetite for revenge, Nord?" she said, rubbing her wrists.

He lifted her easily off of the post and planted her back on the furs that lined the floor of the tent. "Nein. You once held me prisoner. Made me feel vulnerable. I simply plan to do the same. Although, I anticipate that your captivity will last far longer than three days."

She laughed again. It was a bitter sound. "See? Predictable."

He reached for her and drew open the tie that held closed the shift she wore. Gently, he pushed the woolen fabric to the side, watching it fall from her shoulders. Her breasts were pale like the rest of her, neither large nor small, just as she was neither large nor small. Bluish bruises dappled her chest. He brushed them lightly with his fingertips.

"You like them?" she said, flippantly. "I have more."

He pushed on one. She closed her eyes for a brief moment, but didn't otherwise acknowledge the pain. Slowly, gradually, she felt a cold sensation leave his fingertip to nestle itself inside the bruise, numbing it. Then his hands were on her, smoothing over the bruises, filling them with ice from within. He lifted her, pulling the shift away to get at the ones still hidden by cloth. She looked up at him, a bit confused. She felt strangely cold, yet the soreness was gone.

"Still predictable, Saxon?" he said, drawing a hand down from her throat between her breasts to rest low on her belly.


His hand ventured lower to just brush her sex before he sat up suddenly and plucked a piece of cheese from the plate sitting on a chest near them. He held it out to her.

Perplexed, she took it.

"Eat." He commanded. "I intend to finish the war you started at that fort with the oubliette. And I intend to win."

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My (Likely Unhelpful) Answer to Sub vs. Slave

One of the most prevalent questions I see from noobs online is what is the difference between a submissive and a slave. This is a difficult question for anyone to answer, as, like with most things in this lifestyle, the possible distinctions are individual and infinitely variant. Ask 50 people how they distinguish between the two, you'll get 100 answers. Of course, some will say go for the dictionary, but I think even that is limited, since, so much of the BDSM jargon was adapted for use within a BDSM context and those contextual definitions are not present in the dictionary.

Slave for instance:

  • a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.
  • a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person: a slave to a drug.
  • a drudge: a housekeeping slave.

These are serviceable definitions, but when you ask people who participate in BDSM, you are likely to get an infinite amount of trappings and qualifications that make the issue more complicated.

Submissive as far as the dictionary goes is even more inadequate.

  • inclined or ready to submit; unresistingly or humbly obedient: submissive servants.
  • marked by or indicating submission: a submissive reply.

Submissive in the dictionary is exclusively described as an adjective. There are no definitions applying to the noun form used in BDSM contexts. The problem with this as well, is that submissiveness as a trait can be present in both a submissive and a slave, or absent in either. I personally believe that the act of submission is present in both identities (I really don't care what people say, I believe obedience is submitting to the will of another and thus an act of submission), but the submissive manner can be absent. Many of the slaves I have spoken to will adamantly proclaim that they are not submissive.

Some will say that submissives have dominants and slaves have masters, but that doesn't work as a distinction because master is often used as a title by submissives for their dominants just as it is for slaves.

Another distinction that many seem to offer is that slaves are owned and submissives or not. Alas, that distinction also fails the litmus test. Ownership is a popular concept and not the exclusive territory of the M/s crowd. While what constitutes being owned will vary from person to person, I have personally seen submissives as well as slaves claim to be owned by their respective d-types.

The idea of no limits doesn't quite work either. Many will say that a slave doesn't have limits. This is not true. Because there are so many schools of thought when it comes to BDSM, limits is a tricky issue. Some people believe if you get to set any limits on your master, you aren't a slave. However, the masters I've met in person insist upon limits. My Daddy is one of those who came up in the lifestyle with the idea that limits were a given. If one's master allows limits or insists upon them, I don't think that takes away from the M/s. If the master has the final say in everything, then they would certainly have the final say there. I will say that slaves will often have fewer limits than many submissives, but submissives may have fewer limits than some slaves.

I, personally, have identified as three different primary s-type labels. I still retain all three as part of my identity, but my primary label has evolved from submissive, to slave, and ultimately, to pet.

The way I have always seen submissive versus slave, a slave gives up more authority than a submissive. When I first started out, I was adamant that I was not a slave as I was not prepared to give up that degree of control. My first dom told me he eventually wanted a slave, and after a while, I started reconciling myself to the idea. After discussing the issue with a friend, he told me "You might as well go ahead and call yourself a slave. You do everything he says anyway."

Fuck you. I like cats. :P

It was true. Even when I shouldn't have, I did everything he said, so I changed my label and began to realize how my thought process differed from those who distanced themselves from the label of slave. I think that mindset is often what distinguishes a submissive from a slave. I don't often think in terms of choice. My ex would often say he was surprised I let him do whatever specific thing, and I would just respond that I didn't realize I had a choice. I went into this with the notion that there were certain things that were expected of me and that I couldn't say no. There wasn't really a concept of partial obedience for me.

Not to say that I've ever managed perfect obedience, but I also don't believe perfect obedience is required to be a slave.

I also find I am more open to, or more comfortable with the idea of certain extremes, such as no safe words, no limits, and consensual non-consent. I have found many submissives balk at the idea of no safe word. I even had a girl go all rage face on me in a forum because I said I allowed my owner to determine whether or not the use of a safe word warranted a full stop depending on his assessment of the situation.  I'm not sure if that was a distinction of the slave mindset on my part or the conditioning of the "community" or public kink groups in the emphasis the idea of SSC, but I have encountered the outrage against lack of safe words to be more prevalent in Non-M/s D/s schools of thought.

I'm not a no limits slave, but I can understand where a slave can make the choice not to impose limits on their owner (once one distinguishes between imposed limits and human limitations, but that's another post). No limits is definitely more popular and more tolerated in M/s circles, but those groups have their own heated debates about the issue. I find myself comfortable with the idea, even if I don't have any intention of practicing it myself.

I also am a fan of consensual non-consent (CNC). Many associate the idea of CNC with rape play (or force play), but, while I do enjoy that, it's a limited definition of it. With all the emphasis on consent, this can be a touchy subject as well, especially with the close association with rape play, which is upsetting for a lot of people. But CNC, when referred to by many slaves, is often referring to the idea of what I call "Original Consent" where a blanket consent is given at the beginning of a relationship for almost all potential future acts regardless of the slave's opinion at the moment of the act. For many, this is skirting too close to consent violations and I often find those that practice M/s to be more comfortable with this idea.

These viewpoints are why I feel comfortable with the label of slave and feel at home in the M/s groups. I eventually adopted the label of pet, as I feel it more accurate for me, but I still feel it is a type of slave as far as how I identify myself.

The distinction of giving up more authority and having a specific mindset is how I distinguish between submissive and slave for myself. This is by no means how everyone is going to define it. My views conflict with those of some of my friends of the same label.

So, basically, the conclusion is, it's something you have to really define for yourself, as there's no universal distinction that everyone is going to agree on. The next step would be finding a partner who defines it the way you do, or has a definition you jive with. I will say that, you will probably find that you gel with one group more than the other, and perhaps that's how you'll figure out what the difference is to you.

Then again, sub and slave aren't the only s-type labels out there. You might find that you are something completely separate.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wicked Wednesday: A Gift of Bread and Bells

The Kuu'maa, the great tent in the center of city of tents, seemed to contain the whole of the tribe beneath its canvase roof. Women with their golden skin and shining hair passed by in a flurry of brightly colored silks and glittering chain. Men sat laughing, their srinns gone from their torsos and replaced with great wide necklaces set with jewels draped over their shoulders. Slaves with their exquisitely crafted collars and delicate body chains danced in sparse silks bedecked with coins to the wild sounds of the bone flutes and hand drums.

The smell of lamb and spiced cream sauces filled my nose. I watched from my place on a cushion near the edge of the tent while people around me dipped their chunks of roasted goat into those sauces, or wrapped them in a bit of the flat raani bread made from the grains of the ra'an plants that grew near the waters of the nearby oasis. I closed my eyes, trying to shut out the delectable scents and the sights of the sweet round v'ii fruits filling bowls in the center of the low tables. The Kuu'maa was a place of food and dance, but I had not a single coin nor smallest bit of metal to buy even a pat of raani or a small bowl of that savory sauce.

So I sat in my corner, or as much of a corner as may be had in a round tent, and listened to the strangely deep tones of the bone flute as my heart leapt with the drum. I had danced to similar music in the city, but it was a pale imitation of what I heard now. The flutes in the city were not the bone flutes of metal men. The drummers in the city had neither the spirit nor the skill of those born to the caste of musicians that only existed among the desert-dwelling Y'Khla. I felt my hips involuntarily moving slightly to the trills of the flute. I gave my belly a luxurious roll beneath the loose fabric of my sriina.

"A coin to your master, girl, for a dance."

Slowly I opened my eyes to look up at the man who'd made the offer. I met his bronze eyes with more than a little annoyance.

"I am not a slave."

He smiled. It was not an unappealing expression. "That could be remedied. Your sikir then?"

"I have no sikir either."

The man frowned. "No sikir? Yet not a slave. How have you managed that?"

I looked away. "The gods are overly generous these days."

"Fine then, a coin for you. I would still like a dance."

"What makes you think I can dance, anyway?"

"I see how the music fills your belly and leads your hips like a leash."

At that moment, my belly decided to growl loudly. The bronze man lifted his eyebrows.

"I suppose music is of little substance when compared to meat." He held out a pat of raani wrapped around a bit of lamb. "For your good will. The coin will still cost you a dance."

I took the bread from his hand and lifted the veil covering the lower half of my face slightly to nibble at the edge of the bread beneath the cloth. It had been baked with some fragrant herb that gave it a richer taste. "I thank you for your generous gift, but I have no dancing silks, no bells, no chains. Only these rags I wear and the veil on my face."

"I like the veil. It adds intrigue. Keep it for the dance, if you wish. I'm sure the slaves or the Dancers would gladly lend a silk or two." He held out a small horse hide pouch. "A gift of metal for my previous insult."

Gingerly, I took the pouch and drew open the mouth of it. A set of silver dancing bells spilled into my hand. They were polished to a high sheen that glimmered in the firelight and their sound was light and pure. The metal was smooth against my palm. They were well made. I frowned at him.

"I make them," he said simply.

After I had finished my small meal, I stood and followed him to a group of dancers sitting on a pile of cushions watching their sisters perform. In short order, I had been stripped of my borrowed rags and wrapped in the luxuriant silks of a dancer. The fabric clung to my chest, hiding its secrets yet revealing the promise of each curve. A swathe of cerulean caressed my hips, leaving strips in front and back to tickle my calves. A belt of coins had been slung about me, hanging as if they might fall away at any second, yet felt securely in place. The bells jingled about my ankles with every step. I freed my silver hair but kept the veil where it had been.

"Well, I have paid for a dance!" The bronze-haired bell maker announced to the musicians. "Play me a rich man's tune."

The dance of the metal men is one of abandon. One must lose oneself in the music and follow it to whatever ends it leads. The dancer must not engage the audience, for acknowledging them means you are not truly lost in your moment. The exception is losing yourself in a single person, pulling them into the moment with you, the seduction of the soul.

I stepped onto the soft dancing rug, slowly deliberately, the light song of the bell the only sound. The first few notes of the bone flute fell into the air. Slow and deep and soft, they caressed me like the soft hands of a new lover, hesitant in his explorations. I pulled them into me, rolling my body slightly to the trill, slowing the roll of my belly when the note drew long. I swept my head forward, feeling my hair fall over my shoulders much as the silk kissed my calves. A sway of the hips forward and back, toward the bell-maker and back again with a smaller sway, as if resisting the leash.

The first dums of the drum erupted into the air, creeping along after the swirls of the flute, punctuating the meandering lines. I caught the dums with lift and drop of my hips, circled them with the flute and dropped again with the sharp accents of the drum.

The dums and the teks grew faster then, not much, but fell in a steadier rhythm. I moved with them. Drawing my belly in and forcing it out again in little bursts. I danced toward him and back again, almost unconsciously, never really looking at him. I simply reveled in the lush, fluid movement of my body as it mated with the music.

The drums and the flute gained in speed, filling the room with urgency. My hips shook as I stepped forward, then back, and forward again before spinning away once more. I could feel the swell of the flute and the drums as they rose gradually into a panic . I spun with them faster and faster, lifting my arms until it crashed to a halt.

I found myself standing before the bell-maker, who had stood somewhere in the midst of my dance, breathing heavily. He caught my raised wrists in one large hand pulled me into his chest. His bare chest. My own chest heaved, and perhaps not only with the effort of the dance. Slowly, he reached up and pulled the veil from my face, sliding his calloused fingers gently around my throat.

"I find I am yet hungry for another kind of dance," he said in a deep whisper. "One I would not insult with a mere coin."

I laughed a bit. "You may, however, insult it with more lamb first, if you wish it to have any duration."

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Rituals vs. Routine

Ritual seems to be a fairly common topic when discussing M/s or D/s relationships. It's understandable I suppose. I notice popular depictions of power exchange always involve some sort of ritual. For me, high protocol is a type of ritual. I've recently watched the entirety of The Tudors, and, my oh my, if protocol and ritual gets you hot, you should watch that show.

Okay, I'm mad they didn't make him fat at the end, but
seriously, those man necklaces are bitchin'.

One of the journal prompts from Submissive Guide, asks what's the different between ritual and routine?

I don't see my dynamic including lots of rituals. Rituals to me are special actions done to deliberately enforce or solicit a specific head space. Routine is something one does repeatedly because it is a necessary action or a habit one has developed. It's a deft action, without any express thought. It's not something one goes out of their way to do in order to cultivate certain emotions.

Rituals were never something I felt any compulsion for. I tend more towards habit. With Daddy, we have what I call games that I make him play with me. One is the "Mine" game, where I'll claim a body part as mine and he'll ask "whose?" or eventually say "my Rabbit," claiming the whole thing as his. I enjoy possessiveness, so this just makes me happy. The other one always occurs at the end of a phone call. He'll say he has to get off the phone soon, and I'll go "awwwwww" and basically refuse to get off the phone until he goes "d'awww" back. I've always been stubborn about getting off the phone and usually say either "nooooo!" or "awwww" several times before hanging up. At one point he started doing it back, now I won't hang up unless he does it. And if he hasn't after a couple times, I'll say "you have to play the game."

I wouldn't call them rituals, because they weren't developed for any specific purpose. They were just habits we developed over time. They don't enforce my "place" and he doesn't do them for any reason on his part. They are just things that make me happy. I initiate them always.

Rituals are part of that whole formality thing that kind of puts me off.  If it's not something I would do naturally, I feel awkward in its practice. I'm very much into routine in certain situations, comes with the OCD, but, again, that comes in the form of habit and ritual is not something one does out of habit.

And I think that's why I tend to favor more traditional styles of belly dance over tribal styles. Tribal styles look and feel like ritual dances. I believe it's the reason why tribal dance is often linked with the themes of "goddess" and "priestess." The traditional Middle Eastern styles feel more natural to me in how my body moves and feel more sensual.

 I think it would be easy to attribute this to my primal identity. I operate on the basis of action and reaction. What I do with a partner (with the exception of buying gifts) is not done in an overly calculated manner. It's more instinct and impulse, which is expressed in my dancing as I mostly do improvisation.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Entry Level Positions: Dominance is Not a Promotion

Countless newbie doms have popped up with the question of whether they should submit first to learn how to be a better dom. And there are numerous people who say that they should. It is also a common school of thought that a d-type should use all of their toys on themselves before using them on their s-types.

These are not really ideas that I wholeheartedly support, simply because it's one-sided and not really going to teach what it's intended to.  People don't tell s-types that they have to be d-types to learn to be submissive. People don't tell bottoms they need to learn to top first. I think this sort of implies that the s-type role is easier than the d-type one. It's also touted that a d-type who started as an s-type will always be a better d-type.


Allow me to speak from experience here. I've served three men. I've had two owners and one temporary dynamic with a play partner. Both of my owners began as s-types. The play partner was never anything but a dom.

My first owner started as a slave. He was not a good dominant. He had no regard for me at all. He had no real practical skill with impact play. He was very selfish when it came to sex, and he was extremely neglectful and passive aggressive. It later turned out he wasn't so much a dominant as a switch. It seemed that he only wanted to be dominant just so he could get his way on things.

My former play partner was never a sub. He was a bit of a noob when I was playing with him and his girl (non-sexually), but he was still by far a better dom than my first owner, because he actually gave a shit about the bottoms he played with.

Daddy started out as a sub when he was young, simply because that was his introduction to the lifestyle. He was a sub just long enough to realize he was not submissive and he's never submitted since then. He's very focused on the happiness of his partners. He's skilled with several types of play. He's only a sadist insofar as his partner enjoys. Much of his pleasure comes from being able to please his partner as well. I don't necessarily believe that this is a result of his once submitting to a woman. That's just his personality.

I've been an s-type my entire stint in the lifestyle. I feel no more equipped to be a dominant than I did before because I'm not dominant. I don't think that a dominant will get the full effect of submission if they are not submissive in some way or enjoy the act of submitting. I don't think a sadist is going to truly understand what a masochist feels when they are hit with a certain thing unless the sadist is also a masochist. Knowing the superficial basic sensation of at thing is not the same as the sensation felt by a person who gains pleasure from it. And not all masochists like the same sensations.

For instance, I hate canes. All canes can go die in a fire. Other people love canes. I love belts. Other people are terrified of belts.

Seriously, fuck these and whoever made them. :P

Submitting hasn't taught me how to dominate. It's taught me how I want to be dominated. Bottoming has given me some insight into topping, but it's insight into what I like as a bottom. Which is how I top. I top the way I would like it. I'm not a very good top for pain sluts, because I'm not a sadist.

I don't think it's good to tell every noob they should be a sub first. I feel it's a teensy bit condescending to s-types and it's not guaranteed to provide the type of knowledge people say it does. Everyone has a different learning style. Submitting first could help some people, and do nothing for others. It could also make someone a worse dom depending on how they process the experience.

I understand that some communities have a protocol of "starting from the bottom" and if that's the route you want to go, go for it. But, I would say, if you are a budding dominant, only try the submitting thing if it's something you want to do and you feel like you would get something out of it. Don't feel pressured into doing something that wouldn't benefit you just because others tell you that's what you have to do in order to be a good dominant. You can learn just as much from other d-types and s-types about dominance without ever submitting to anyone.

Submissive is not an entry level position into the lifestyle. Dominance and submission are two distinct things. You don't have to do one to be the other. Dominant is not a promotion you get when you've mastered submission. Some people are cut out for both. Others will only ever be proficient at one of the two and there's nothing wrong with that, because not everyone enjoys both.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: No "Sir" For You

Ah, respect, one of those lovely buzzwords bandied about in the lifestyle as one of the great virtues of the kinkster. You’ve seen all the net doms, and possibly even a few in real life, demand respect from all the submittives ‘cause they’s “Dominate.” You’ve read all the endless arguments about whether respect is given or earned, although, that mess is typically a semantics war in which each side is usually using a different definition of respect than the opposing side. 

There’s also this constant back and forth over the use of honorifics. Noobs will pop in and ask if they’re supposed to call all the doms sir or ma’am. Some say no. Others say yes. Some have been bullied in private interactions for not offering the “proper respect” by “addressing dominants properly.” I just love the d-types out there who bitch that a sub or a slave isn’t talking to a d-type appropriately. 

The pearl-clutchy expressions of horror when a person admonishes everyone else with a nice “my master would kill me if I ever dared speak to other masters in such a way!” 

No! What will the masters think of us lowly swabes?

Okay, I’ve already established I’m not a protocol person, but I’m not some ill-mannered slob either. The key point here for me is, aside from my owner, I see everyone else as an equal, as far as the lifestyle goes. I submit to him. Everyone else is a peer. Pet/slave/sub/whatever is not a social status for me. It’s what I am in relation to my partner. I do not adjust my speech for dominants or submissives. I’m going to say what I’m going to say the way I want to without regard for your position in your own dynamics. 

I’ve never liked the word “sir.” It feels awkward in my mouth. I’ve never liked using it with my own d-types. I’ve never been much for addressing people at all. It doesn’t feel natural linguistically. I don’t typically address people by name or honorific simply because it’s just not part of my natural speech pattern. 

Prior to starting my current job, I did not use sir or ma’am at all. Despite being from the South, it was not something I was raised to do. I was never forced to call any elder family member ma’am or sir. I don’t think I’ve ever done it with my own parents. I don’t think I ever hear my parents use them either. I am required to use these words as a part of my job, however, so it’s become a habitual part of my “fake telephone operator” voice. I also find myself saying it in response to the food service worker on the other end of the intercom at the drive-through. 

I'd call him sir. But he's adorable. 

I will say, now that I’ve adopted a context in which I use the words, I make a conscious effort not to use them in a lifestyle setting, say at a kink party. Kinksters attach all this baggage to the words. I don't believe dominants are deserving of some special respect above common courtesy given to everyone. I feel using it would imply that I see a social distinction between our roles as dominant or submissive, which I don’t. I also feel that with some people, it might seem like I’m acknowledging that they have some authority over me, or that I see them as dominant to me. 

So, I just find it easier to not even go there. If people see me as disrespectful, they can take it up with me. I will explain that I am firmly in the “respect is earned” camp, because respect and courtesy are not synonymous in my book. 

Respect is: 
  • esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.

Which I cannot have for someone I know nothing about beyond how they choose to participate in their relationships. 

Respect is also: 
  • deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges.

And I certainly don’t think dominants have special rights or privileges or enjoy a privileged position. At least, not in relation to me. 

Now, am I uncivil or rude to d-types? No. I treat them like I would anyone else. I try to be nice and not be a bitch, although I am often incredibly socially awkward. 

Every. Single. Time.

So, if honorifics are your thing? Cool. Just don’t expect me or others to use them. If you haven’t decided yet, don’t let others convince you they are required. Because they aren’t. Make your own choice. Or, if you have a d-type, I suppose they could make that choice for you.