What’s in a Name? (How D/s Labels Can Help Us Find Ourselves)

This post is #3 in my 30 Days of D/s series. If you’d like to read more, please visit my 30 Days of D/s page for the complete inventory of posts.  I totally get how negative labels can be, and I’m not about to say that labels can or should define us. But, labels can help us find and learn about things that we like or feel an affinity toward. Imagine how hard it would be to find out about our kinks if we just went out there on the internet searching for “kinks” and EVERYTHING came up. No. We need labels and categories to help us narrow things down, find information, and discuss our kinks with others. And once we’ve found them, we can wear them for awhile, and grow into or out of them (as the case may be), getting comfortable in our own skin. If you are one of those “I cannot be categorized” people, I applaud you, and I’ll tell you right up front…this post is likely not for you. It’ll probably just piss you off, and then you’ll leave me an unfortunately angry comment telling me that I’ve got it all wrong and I shouldn’t let labels define me. Please don’t. I’m not an idiot, and I don’t live my life by labels. That’s not the point of this post. the point is to find and share information in a way that allows me (and others) to make sense of it and decide what is best for me. Alright…with those disclaimers out of the way, let’s get to business. The funny thing is, I sort of jumped the gun and went through this in yesterday’s post, “What Submission Means to Me,” but I suppose I’ll go into a bit greater detail today. Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s post: (ignore it if you already read it, and skip to the next section) There are as many types of submission as their are people who call themselves submissive, however, there are a few main “types” that most people involved in D/s know about. For the sake of shared terminology, I’ve linked to a few great posts that define these types below: 9 Different Types of Submission Role Call: What are the Different Kinds of Dominants & Submissives? What Kind of Submissive are You? QUIZ Dominant and Submissive Tests/Results Behind Closed Doors Part-time 24/7 365 Service Brat “Forced”/Smart-assed Masochist Pain Slut/Dungeon Slave/Sex Slave Pet Little/Babygirl/Princess Warrior Princess (this one seems fairly new, but I’m intrigued) Online only Financial 1950’s Head of Household I would say that most people are on some sort of spectrum here. Rather than being contained within one classification, any submissive may be a combination of the above types (or some other type not listed). When new, I would wager that some subs could easily say which type they are NOT more easily than they could say which type they ARE. That was the case with me. For me, the list would look something like this, if I did that (I’ve crossed of the ones that I do not identify with and have put in italics the ones that I’m not so sure…there might be some elements of that type that charm me, but others that put me off): Behind Closed Doors Part-time 24/7 365 Service Brat “Forced”/Smart-assed Masochist Pain Slut/Dungeon Slave/Sex Slave Pet Little/Babygirl/Princess Warrior Princess Online only Financial 1950’s Head of Household (though this one REALLY intrigues me, and I can see elements of this in my fantasies and even in our marriage, I’m far too lazy to be a 1950’s housewife) That left me with a more manageable list: Behind Closed Doors Part-time 24/7 365 Brat “Forced”/Smart-assed Masochist Little/Babygirl Warrior Princess This process may take a bit of time, if you’re new to D/s. But, things change over time, and even if you’ve been submissive for some time, you may feel a need to re-evaluate or do a bit of new research to see if things have changed. Maybe a new partner brings something new out in you? Or maybe you’ve grown deeper in to a role or further away? The thing to be aware of is, these roles are not stagnant. What “type” of submissive am I? Right now…not a very good one…or at least, not an active one. But, that’s simply because I’m out of practice and Mr. D isn’t really “playing along” right now. We haven’t discussed things, haven’t negotiated rules or expectations, and haven’t re-committed to a life of D/s. We’ve had a few conversations, and Mr. D requested a few weeks ago that I figure out what I want from D/s and what I’m willing to give. It led to this post here, and somehow I got lucky enough to stumble across LovingBDSM’s 30 Days of D/s. If I look at the in the prior section, it tells me quite a bit. I expect that 24/7 365 D/s is what’s in store for us. That “just under the surface” type of D/s that weaves its way into everything we do. I’m pretty good at deference in most marital situations…I get his coffee, I ask if I can spend money, I serve him first, etc. In fact, if I could just redo my entire wardrobe and stay at home all day, that 1950’s Head of Household thing might just be my gig! Unfortunately, we need my paycheck, which means we need to be a bit more egalitarian about housework and other obligations and responsibilities. The Behind-Closed-Doors or Part Time submission is pretty much what we have now, and it’s confusing…because it’s hard for us to know when it begins and when it ends. I suppose that should be negotiated if you truly are going to commit to this style of D/s, but for us, D/s is so natural to us that is sort of pops up and surprises us. I’m not a dungeon submissive or a pain slut, and I’m not partial to torture or intense pain. We have nowhere like that to play in our area anyway. I’m not saying I’d never go there, for a play scene or two, but it doesn’t appeal to me all that much. I’ll admit I’ve had some fantasies about, but knowing myself, in an actual dungeon situation, I’d probably be a mess. Besides, my fantasies, at foundation, are more about control and force and humiliation more than pain or torture. I can be a brat/SAM sometimes, either naturally (without trying) or on purpose to get a rise out of Mr. D, sometimes to entice him into putting me in my place and displaying his power. It’s playful, and I’m not trying to control how or if he punishes me. In fact, I’m most likely to back down if he threatens punishment. Because of this, I wouldn’t claim these labels as part of my description to others. It’s more like an added spice. I don’t really identify with the definitions of a little/babygirl, mainly because I do not engage in any sort of age play, and I do not feel “young” or “small.” I don’t like toys or stuffed animals, though I do love pink and purple, cuddling, coloring, receiving gifts, and feeling protected and cared for. I don’t really see those as age-specific qualities, necessarily (though I can act rather childish from time to time, get a bit overly emotional, and throw tantrums when it comes to discipline). But I do feel “right” calling Mr. D “Daddy.” It rolls off the tongue so much more easily that “Sir” and feels like it gets at the essence of our relationship more accurately, which is why, in the past, I’ve tended to feel most closely associated with the term “princess.” I just stumbled across the term “Warrior Princess,” which, from what I can tell, is just a new term for “alpha-personality sub” (but, I must say, I like it better!). I had some trouble looking up information for this submissive type…but here are a couple of good ones that I found: Alpha Female & Submissive Vixen: Two Sides of One Coin The Alpha Submissive Explained “The Queen” or “Warrior Princess” There seems to be a lot of controversy about this label of “alpha submissive” (as with any, I suppose – as we all have our own interpretation), but here are the parts of the definition that draw me (I’m using pronouns as they apply to my own situation, but feel free to change those up to apply to yours): 1.‘alpha’ is a personality trait and not a role (good to remember) 2.An “alpha submissive” is often in a position of control in her vanilla life. She can find it hard to relinquish this position when she comes home, but she craves “letting go” of the responsibilities of making decisions and being in charge, looking to find freedom in someone else’s control. Being dominated by someone else gives her the “permission” to clear her mind and escape the “real” world. It’s like mindfulness training with a few added bells and whistles. 3.An “alpha submissive” wants to be owned, but only by the right dominant, one that knows exactly how to handle her, how to push the right buttons and how to use control. This may take more effort than for other submissives, because she wants/needs to be “tamed” (I’m thinking of Shakespeare’s “Shrew” here) by someone she deem to be worthy: a strong, powerful, confident alpha-personality. Men that she perceives as weak do not fulfill her, and she will have a hard time respecting signs of “weakness.” She may even challenge a Dominant on occasion to “test” his resolve and ability. 4.An alpha needs a Dominant to challenge her intellectually and discipline her if she steps out of line. She don’t want to be asked; she needs to be told. She is used to taking control, and if signs of weakness arise, she may do so naturally (even unintentionally)…which is disappointing for everyone involved. 5.An alpha is capable of looking after herself and the Dominant’s “property,” and her dominant will need to trust her to do so when it is necessary (think “viking woman left to defend the home and children while her big, strong, hairy husband is off pillaging across the water”). I see the alpha submissive as a queen to her king. They are equal by all rights, both powerful and strong. But the queen defers to the king, by choice, because it empowers her to do so. She is turned on by his strength and power…his ability to control her and bend her to his will. And he, in turn, is turned on by the knowledge that she would not defer to anyone else. He values her opinion and intellect, and he comes to her for support and comfort.  I guess I’m a bit of a bratty “warrior princess” who can be somewhat tantrum-y about punishment and discipline…though I strive to be a wise, emotionally-controlled queen some day. So, once again, I have written myself into an epiphany, which is oh-so-fulfilling. If you are interesting in starting your own journey to understanding D/s a bit more, you can sign up for 30 Days of D/s by clicking on the badge below! And you can read more of my posts for this challenge by clicking the badge below: (Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are simply that…opinions. These are my personal feelings on issues of D/s. It is important to note that I am and always have been in a consensual relationship, and any activities I partake of, I have done so with full consciousness and willingness. Also, on the issue of pronoun usage, I use HE/she pronouns, with the Dominant being the He and the submissive being the she. This is for ease of writing and because it is what I identify with. Pronouns are interchangeable, so feel free to fill in with those that work best for your situation. Be nice in the comments. I’m not here to be berated or argue the issues, I’m just here to explore … Continue reading What’s in a Name? (How D/s Labels Can Help Us Find Ourselves)