Very recently I was telling someone that I felt there was a difference between kinky and submissive.
This was my thought process:
A submissive is someone who wants to please someone in the realm of BDSM. A kinky guy doesn’t care if the other person likes it or not, just as long as he gets his rocks off.
I always felt that those kinds of guys give submissive men a bad name. I know a handful of women who have been turned of off submissive men entirely because of guys who just wanted what they wanted and didn’t care if she was pleased.
Then I realize that it’s not my place to judge who’s submissive and who’s not. It’s silly for me to even have an opinion on the matter. Isn’t it?
It’s like those women who say I’m not a true submissive because I’m not willing to submit to anyone who claims to be dominant. Or those who say I’m not a true submissive because I don’t do the lowercase “i” when I send an email to her.
Fine, sure. To them, I’m not submissive. They’re right.
I do find myself giving a pep talk to some dominant friends when they tell me about experiences they’ve had with guys who claimed to be submissive. Assuring them that not all guys are just looking to get their kinks off with no regard for their desires.
Someone very dear to me hates labels. Hate’s them, yet anyone who meets her thinks she’s one of the most dominant people they’ve ever met. The only explanation I can give is that it’s a way for people to identify themselves and what they’re looking for.
A very common phrase that some women put on their profiles is “I want a submissive, not a slave”. To me, this means that they don’t want to live a 24/7 D/s lifestyle but want the control to always default to them.
I’ve met a number of women who really liked the idea of a guy who would bend over backwards for them sexually but the second they got the vibe that there would be more than physical submission they ran the other way. They didn’t want a submissive, they wanted a kinky guy. Or as one woman put it “A man outside the bedroom and my bitch inside the bedroom…..once in a while”.
It gets even more confusing. Sometimes a woman will say slave when what she wants would be my definition of “just kinky”.
What good is a label when it’s not universal?
I’m starting to think my friend is right when she says labels hold people back more than they help.
So what does that make me? Am I submissive? A slave? It takes too long to say everything I’m into. That’s a damn long list as I found out while filling out a profile here.
Labels are prisons. You are what you are and you want what you want… when you find someone who wants something similar, you click.
I tried FetLife and found the list a little intimidating and, in a way, limiting. I had a couple of nice conversations, but maybe it just isn’t the right place for me. How have you found it so far?
“A kinky guy doesn’t care if the other person likes it or not, just as long as he gets his rocks off.”
That’s an asshole, not a kinky guy.
The problem with labels, and words in general really, is that one person’s perception is different than another’s, and there is no way to standardize perception. What you might call a slave, I might call a submissive, what another person might see as nothing but fun and games. Its like that everywhere, in every culture and subculture. I’ve been in long debates as to what people consider bisexuality. I’ve been told that I’m not bisexual because I don’t date women/slightly prefer men, yada yada yada.
Its not just in sex and kink. I consider my self a witch. I call my self a witch. Other people don’t, because I’m not in a coven, and wasn’t initiated, I don’t do it the way they do, or a hundred other reasons.
But, when I say to someone I’m a witch, or I’m a top, or I’m bi, someone gets a general idea of what that is. THATS what labels should be used for. A general idea. Then, once you get to know a person, you can find out what that word means to them, and in relation to them. So, one is what they say they are, what ever that means to them.
Would you like to play a game? You’ve been tagged to create your own six word memoir. Head back to my blog for the rules.
I think you’re completely right to see a difference between kinky and submissive. Kink is, for the most part, a set of behaviors. Submission is a state of mind. Humans being the wildly varying creatures that we are, not all submissive men are into kink and not all kinky bottoms are truly submissive.
I am forever being told I am not a true this or a true that because I don’t fit expectations. I have found, though, that at the end of the day I can only be true to myself. Follow *your* brand of submissiveness until it makes you (and your partner) happy.
IMHO, I think some of your frustration with dominant women and their expectations would be eased if you focused on the fact that they are not Cylon-like reiterations of the same intelligence. Every (dominant) woman is different with her own preferences and desires, and hearing something from one (dominant) woman doesn’t make it true for all.
What good is a label when it’s not universal?
There is nothing wrong with labels: don’t you want people to know if you are heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual?
But some labels need qualification and elaboration so that people know what you mean by them. Labels are often personal, not universal – despite what the BDSM language police like to pretend.
I used to k now this guy whose tagline was “If I don’t seem submissive to you, it may be because I’m not submissive to you.”
Always loved that.
The truth is, that the English language has yet to catch up to kink. I don’t think we have a sufficiently rich vocabulary to address these nuances. I reckon that if a person isn’t prepared to ask you what you mean right at the start, then communication is likely to be messy later on. I wrote something about this issue in a few posts. Check out especially the One True Way post. 🙂
I consider my sub to be submissive, but he’s only submissive to me and not all the time. I have never considered him to be anything but a man (feminisation is not for me) and we take part in a very successful vanilla sexlife aswell as very successful ‘sessions’.
Labels give you strength when you need it, when you need something to cling to, but ultimately they limit your possibilities.
just a thought