Thursday, August 7, 2014

That Tricky Label Thing

This is cross-posted from my FetLife page after some recent musings about the labels we use in TTWD.

Welcome to Fetlife! Now set up this profile!

Gender- Female (I realize that this very first option is just as difficult as the rest of these for some.)

Sexual Orientation- Straight. Usually. Straight but sometimes enjoying female fun with the right
female? Heteroflexible. Is that what that means? Urban Dictionary is down. Shit. Fluctuating/Evolving? That leaves too big of a question mark. I'll just go with straight.

Role- Administrative secretary. Oh, this means role in a scene. This one is easy. Bottom. What are the other options? I'm definitely not a Domme. I don't top anyone so switch wouldn't apply. Unless that counts in the bedroom where I sometimes enjoy being in control. Hmm. Masochist? Hell no! I'm a pain wuss. But does it only mean in the physical sense? I have stayed in a job I hate for 9 years.

Submissive or slave? Ehh... With certain people those traits are stronger. I don't want to open the door to the "Oh you're a sub? Then do as I say!" Domly Dom internet strangers. kajira/kajirus? Fucking Urban Dictionary is still down. Brat? Sometimes. Primal? I don't like steak. Vanilla? Only with chocolate syrup added. Fetishist, yes. Kinkster, yes. Let's go back to bottom.

How Active Are You- This is getting kind of personal, isn't it? I mean yeah, I spend a lot of time on the couch. But who doesn't enjoy marathoning seasons of their current obsession on Netflix? I Live The Lifestyle When I Can. Sure, that can apply to exercise and to kink.

Looking For- Someone to play with, check. Friendship, check. Events, check. A relationship? Maybe if the right person came along. But is advertising that opening the door to more douchebaggery in my inbox? Let's skip that. A Master? Mentor? Ehh. Same as above.

Location- I'm not in a tiny town where I'm concerned that internet creepers could stalk me so will go with my actual city.

Age- Still young enough not to lie about it.

Done! Wait, now I have to write about myself? I suck at that! Okay, think. A short summary that will catch the attention of those whose attention I want to catch. Not many people read these things so short is key. Can I tell everything somewhat interesting and/or important about myself in 4 paragraphs? Of course not. But I need to move on to the next section.

Relationships In- There aren't many so that's easy. And throw Peeps in a few times because I find it funny. Done. Websites- Included the blog address. Upload a new picture- About 100 of my ass and 1 of my breasts for good measure.
I'm finished!

Well, not really. That was just a basic setup of a Fetlife profile. We've all had to fit ourselves into labels for our entire lives. Pick an orientation, a political party, a college major, a career title, a religion. Don't have one? You'll be given one. Now you're an atheist and probably an asshole about it. Pick up your T-shirt at the next meeting.

Relationship status? That's a deep pool to swim in. If you don't fit the M/F monogamous relationship mold then get used to over-explaining those dynamics for the rest of your life. Even if you do fit that, someone is bound to stick their nose in your business of what you do in your bedroom and why.

Role in the kink scene? That's a tricky one. You may play different roles with different people. This is something I contemplate a lot and got me thinking about this whole subject of labels. From the beginning of becoming involved in the scene I was firm about saying I'm a bottom. Just a bottom. Bottom vs submissive was a label struggle that only really existed in my own mind.

Why? Partly because I don't like the negative stereotypes that too often come with the label of submissive, and even slave. That it means you can't think for yourself so need someone to tell you what to do. That you're weak or less than. Do I think those things are true? Absolutely not. I know many very strong people in the community and in life who identify as an s type. So why do I even care what the naysayers think about it?

A friend recently asked me how I felt about being in service to someone. I replied that I'm not sure I completely know what that even means. What I got from the ensuing conversation is that it means whatever you want it to mean. If you poll 10 kinky people about the definition of just about anything, you are likely to get 10 different definitions back. None are particularly right or wrong except to those individuals.

I understand the purpose of having labels. They can help narrow things down from a zillion options. But most of us don't fit into one box. And that's perfectly fine. I still have more questions than answers. Do I always know what to call myself? No. I can explain it but it may take a while. I do know how I feel and who I love. I know who/what they are to me and who/what I am to them. That's the part that I think matters. Labels are for soup cans, after all.


Marne said...

Lea, I love this! Labels are so limiting and open to individual interpretation. Hopefully, people who may be interested will ask questions.

Anonymous said...


Brilliant post. Brilliant and clever and witty.


Lea said...

@Marne, You can definitely find out much more by actually talking to someone. Though not everyone these days is great at the art of in person conversation. The downside of technology.

@Joey, Thank you. Can't wait to see you soon!