Being a new-comer to the realm of BDSM is an exciting time. Yet a wave of overwhelming can hit you too. There is so much to know, explore, see and do and the titles is the first thing that you think of. What am I? What do I like? Am I in the spectrum of taking charge? Or is it the letting go spectrum? Maybe I’m not a CIS, a CIS? What could they mean?
While I agree with some of the principals of labels; they are important to make you feel like you are not alone in the world, belonging and a sense of normalcy to your life. I truly think people put too much weight on them. In a culture of instant gratification how is it that as soon as I find a label that suits me I am instantly that.
We are given roles right from birth and some form of label as a way or a place to start. Yes it is true that at birth we are assigned boy or girl based on how our bodies form in the womb. I think its am important step to identify a male and female as two pieces of a puzzle that need to come together to produce life. But that is all I see if that label is male, it has the sperm and female, the ova needed to create life. Why must those labels impact the toys they play with as children, or the clothes they wear? The answer is they shouldn’t.
Society and recent society has placed a color on gender. Why? It all comes down to the need to sell more things. A color identity was formed not that long ago for the consumer. It was a way for companies to sell more products. All little girls need pink and that doll, flowers and butterflies. All little boys need blue and cars and trucks and dinosaurs. It means clothes for genders, separate items for nurseries, separate toys and it all comes down to money for a corporation. Not too long ago blue was a girl color as it was seen as soft and gentle and all babies wore white dresses for convenience of the parents. What happened? A label.
Well it works like that within any community, labels are dangerous. If we don’t fit a certain label or proper ways to speak to people that find a label, we can find ourselves ostracized, belittled and often subjected to bad behavior. I myself have lost employment because one of my workshops said male and female within the context of advertising. I lost work to an LGBTQ community because they could not accept that social media sites as well as web search engines do not allow me to advertise events if they contain words like penis and vagina. I however, explain always that male and female to me are not something I use as personal identifiers. I use them to identify a person with a penis and person with a vagina. This is how those terms were created in science to identify to pieces of a puzzle. They were not created to form a person’s personality and identity.
The terms within the BDSM community have expanded only recently to fit the public demand of terms being created for people to label themselves. It’s all over whelming, to an old hand like me or the new person coming into the community. If I was to look at labels the way society does I would be:
Heteroflexible – I am sexually attracted to and prefer the opposite sex for relationships but could find a potential partner in the same sex.
CIS Female- I was born with a vagina and identify as my gender.
Femdom – Males should be a lower cast then females and should bow to a woman.
Monogamous- A one partner at a time person. You are committed to that person sexually and often emotionally.
Bottom – The term for someone that likes to be sexually dominated.
Swinger – The desire for a person or couple to share intimate, often sexual encounters with outside people.
Mistress – A sexually dominant woman. Often taking sexual control over others.
Confused?!? – Not at all. I don’t use labels the way they are expected. I see myself only as a human being that is sexual and indulges in sex for pleasure.
What we need to do is not use any labels to identify as, but with. We need to understand culture likes to group us. It’s easier for people to relate and understand. However we should not become that label. We need to understand that the person using that term sees some truth in it for themselves, that it should not, and may not define who they are at all.
Your first perception of a person should be just simply this; they are a human being. That alone should allow you to relate. We all breathe and our hearts all beat and we all have thoughts. So even in exploring BDSM start at the beginning, a sexual person. How that takes shape does not matter. Your title should not matter at all either. What needs to really happen is learning. Learn what you like, learn all the faceted sides, adapt and experience what you like from all angles. You cannot call yourself a devotee of a skill if you have not immersed yourself within it. Experience that flogger wholly, for example:
Learn how to care for it. This includes cleaning and possibly repairs.
Learn how to hold it.
Learn how to wield it. Soft and gentle, firm and even forcefully.
Immerse yourself in the feel of the impact on a pillow, wall, couch, tall human, short human, well defined human, muscular human, curvy human, over abundant human.
Learn what it feels like to be struck by that same flogger.
Spend time learning how they are made. Even if you have no desire for the craft. There is always a need to understand how one flogger made one way and another in a different way can factor into how they handle and feel.
After you have understood flogging in this way can you now call yourself a Master or Mistress of flogging. That label can now apply in a term that relates to you. Even if you have found you do not like be flogged (struck by). You now have the knowledge to wield the flogger with the right amount of sincerity for the person you are with. You will be able to judge how it feels because you have felt it.
Labels should only apply to a person, yourself included once you have experienced that situation. Even if the experience is having a conversation with that person and asking questions. You are allowing yourself to learn, instead of just sending a group of words or letters your way to understand. There are always exceptions to this, things like the label “Doctor or M.D” after ones name. That is a label that is well earned. You know that if they have that title, they have worked very hard and immersed their own self into a space to learn and accomplish it. So we understand that label carries a weight to it. But it was still that persons own choice to become what they are.
In the end, we as a group of people need to take the weight and pressure off of what we call ourselves and figure out who we are. Maybe then we can be accepting of our own person but also the people around us. So in BDSM and in life start at the beginning – UNSURE and grow from there.
Start with: I am a human being and I am a sexual person.