Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cut Nails and Troublesome Mouth

In the car, driving Husband to the train station, looking over at his hands (cause he has sexy Man Hands):

"Oh, you've cut your nails."

"Yes." (Raises eyebrows.) "Does this give you ideas?"

"Nope. No ideas."

"No ideas—like my hand inside you?"


"You don't want my hand inside you? Fisting you? In and out, in and out—"


"I think my nails did give you ideas. I think you do want to get fisted tonight. I think that's why you said something."

"I think you should just keep your hands in your lap, over there, while I'm driving."

"That's not going to happen."

"Then I think from now on I should keep my mouth shut."

"You know that's not going to happen, either...especially not tonight."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fantasies and Vulnerabilities

Ready to hear something surprising?

After all these years, I'm still shy about sharing a lot of my kinks—even with Husband.

I know, I know, I should get over this. The guy knows me inside and out; he knows me better than I know myself. I should have zero shame in telling him about all my blooming fetishes and fantasies.

But it's hard.

It's hard to take that first step and tell him there's something on my mind I'd like to try. It's hard to lay the script fantasy running through my head at his feet, and wait for his reaction.
It's hard to state out loud to myself, let alone someone else, how perverse some of the erotic scenes in my mind really get.

As a submissive who identifies as prey, it's hard to articulate "I want you to force me to do this for you." After all, if I really wanted to do this for him, wouldn't I just do it? Why should I have to be forced? What kind of submissive does this make me, that I have to be forced into pleasing him?
Wait, if this is my fantasy, and about my pleasure—am I not now topping from the bottom?
That's bad, right?

It's not bad, of course. Fantasies are never bad. Sharing fantasies grants any relationship a new level of truth and vulnerability, which makes it even hotter.
Husband LOVES it when I share my fantasies with him. He loves my kinky little mind. He's told me many times over that my fantasies are more hot and steamy than the stuff that comes out of a teenage boy's wet dream.

He also...he kinda loves forcing me to share my fantasies with him in very great detail. I think he gets off on how embarrassed it makes me. That's one of his fetishes, forcing me to suffer through that kind of humiliation, even as he knows it excites me, too.

There's a certain thrill for me knowing that as soon as I say, "Husband, I have a scene on my mind"—or something to that extent—he's not going to let the matter drop until I've told him exactly what I'm envisioning in my head down to the very last detail. He wants to know the tone of voice I'm hearing him speak; which side of the bed I see him on; which hand I see him using for what kind of play; even where his eyes are looking as he's doing whatever he's doing to me.

Of course, everything that happens during our real scene is up to him.
But in a way, that "real" scene is actually the second scene. The first scene starts as soon as I open my mouth and say "I have a fantasy." I'm forced to present all my inhibitions at his feet, to do with as he will.

Last night Husband and I had an amazing time acting out one of my fantasies. I'm not going to tell you what it was, but I will say (with no small measure of pride) that Husband came twice in fifteen minutes, and he came so hard he had to lie down on the bed for a good long while before his legs were strong enough to walk.
I'm not usually one for post-sex cuddle time but I gotta say, I enjoyed it last night.

Afterward, he hugged me and kissed me over my eyebrow (God I love it when he does that) and reminded me, "You shouldn't hide your fantasies from me. I want to know all of them. I want to know everything that goes on inside your head."
"I know," I replied, burying my head in the crook of his arm. "But it's hard. I'm embarrassed."
"You shouldn't be too embarrassed to tell me," he said. "I love you. You are the hottest woman in the world, and I am so lucky to have you."

That's what it's really all about, isn't it? To be vulnerable in front of another human being, strip down our veneers and cover layers until we expose our most fragile and unguarded selves...and be told we are still precious and beautiful to behold.
We are still appreciated.
We are loved.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Single Word Command

There are few words that turn me on as much as this one.

Growing up in a religious home and going to a religious school, I was required to wear skirts all the time. The skirts had to be of "modest length," meaning that the hem had to fall below the knee; if the skirt had a slit in it, the slit could not travel above the knee cap.

Not only was I required to wear a skirt, the fashion in my school back then was to wear specific GAP long denim skirts, ones which were extremely narrow. They fell almost to the ankles, and had no slits. We girls did not walk; we shuffled. Opening our legs more than a foot wide was almost impossible.

This curtailed our mobility, obviously. But I think that was part of the point. If you look throughout history, one popular way of controlling women is to take away our ability to move.

In fact, we were taught specific ways on how to move—modestly, of course. We were not supposed to draw attention to ourselves, or do anything that might cause the boys to look upon us for too long; that was immodest. We were not supposed to roll up our skirts, not even in the summer months; that was immodest. We were not supposed to sit with our legs spread apart; that was immodest.

I will never forget the day the principal of the school gave the girls a lesson on how to bend down to pick something up off the floor. The trick, he said, was to bend at the knees, not at the waist. That way you're not presenting an attraction toward any male walking by.
Any woman who's ever tried to stand up from a kneeling position this way wearing a tight skirt knows there's a certain art form to it. It takes practice, and a certain amount of grace. Doing it right will make a woman look downright elegant; doing it wrong will see her planted on her face.

As the framework of my life changed and I began to wear pants more often, it took a surprisingly long time for the wicked thrill to wear off. I was doing something naughty, wearing pants; I could open my legs. 
Part of the pleasure was being able to just fucking walk.
But I still saw opening my legs too wide as something inappropriate and indecent. Girls just did not do that. They did not act that way. Not the good girls, at least.

I did not last as a good girl for very long.

Husband figured out very quickly what the word "open" does to me. He had to break down more than a few inhibitions first, of course. I was still very shy getting naked in front of a man.
I could take a dick down my throat, but parade around with no shirt on in front of a guy? Pfft. No way.
Once he got me naked before him, prone, vulnerable, and he would tell me to open my legs...then the sweet struggle would begin.

I used to refuse to open for him. My refusals were dealt with harshly back then. I was not punished so much as shown, time and again, that my refusals were futile. He would do what he wanted to do to me, and get me what he wanted me to do.
Full stop, the end.

But at the same time, he made me feel gorgeous when I overcame that struggle—even when he had to "help" me do it. He told me over and over again how beautiful I was, how attractive, how sexy, how womanly.
He made me feel comfortable with being proud of those parts of my body.

But the struggle has never really gone away. Neither has the delicious suffering—those moments of panic as I slowly ease my legs open for his stare, knowing I am revealing my most hidden parts, acting the perverse and wanton slut.

It is not just my body he finds attractive. It is the struggle he sees etched across my face, the inner fight waging behind my eyes.
It is a fight I am going to lose, and he is going to win.
With his triumph comes control.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Why I Won't Engage With Those Who Have An Anger Management Problem

Because I spent the first eighteen years of my life with such a person, and see no reason to put up with that bullshit anymore, not for one fucking minute.

Look, I know it's often hard, sometimes impossible, to control one's emotions. I know. But there is a difference between losing control of one's sadness, or frustration, or even happiness, and losing control of one's rage. 

Adults in general should be able to control their rage. You get angry? That's normal. You show your anger by going around punching walls, screaming and yelling, and having temper tantrums? That's a problem.
And let me be clear: that's your problem, no one else's.

And yeah, when it comes to kink, there's a double standard here between subs and Doms. Indulging in a display of rage now and again, especially under extreme circumstances, by a sub is more easily forgiven than when the same actions are taken by a Dom.

There's a reason for this: Doms are supposed to be the ones in control. In control of their sub(s), in control of their D/s relationship(s), in control of their lives. If they cannot control themselves, they cannot control anyone else, and should not be entrusted to do so.

I witnessed Husband give into a moment of rage twenty years ago—once. The action was trivial, and not directed at me. But I told him if he ever scared me like that again, we were done, over, finis. 
And he never has.

Emotions are a part of being a human being. There's no way to shut them off. But mastering them, at least to a point where you're not scaring the people around you, is a vital step of maturity.

I get the feeling that some people see no reason to control their rage.
Some people actually get off on their rage. They like scaring people. They like the attention they get, the fear they see in someone else's eyes. They say they have no control...but they do. The truth is, their rage gives them more control, because they have an excuse to act like assholes.
I didn't mean to lose control. 
I just got so angry. 

Fuck that. I don't put up with that bullshit in my life, not anymore.

I can take a lot of emotion thrown at me. I can handle anger, sadness, regret...even hate. I can handle tears. It's hard, because more often than not, when my friends come to me crying, I end up crying with them. But I will do my best to offer them an ear, and help them shoulder their pain.

What I cannot handle are acts of violence borne out of rage—no matter how small. I won't call this a trigger, but I will term it a "trauma button," and anyone who presses this button will see me walk away.

I didn't mean to lose control.
I just got so angry. 

That's too bad.
No, I'm not mad.
I'm just done.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Yeah It's Possible to Do The Whole "Dom" Thing Wrong, And Here's One Way

This is going to be short, quick, and to the point.
If you are a Dom, and you come on to Fetlife to find people who are into the same kinks as you are, or to educate yourself about all the different fetishes out there, or to find the next great party going on in your area...GREAT. Rock on.
If you are a Dom, and you are on Fetlife on a personal journey of self discovery, to see how kink can improve or enhance your life? You have come to a good place. (Not a great place, but a good place. A good place to start, at least.)
If you are a Dom, and you are perusing Fetlife to find submissives who might be a match for you? Have fun. I don't know how good your chances are, but they've got to be better than zero.
But if you list yourself as a Dom, and you are CLEARLY only on Fetlife looking to get laid? I'm sorry, but I don't think you're much of a Dom.
Yeah, I know, there's no such thing as a "real" Dom. People say this because there are a zillion ways to do the whole "Dom" thing right.
But you know what, homage must be paid to the simple truth that there are ways to do the "Dom" thing wrong.
Doms do not say whatever they think a sub wants to hear in their ongoing quest to get sex.
Doms do not neg to try to make a woman feel insecure about herself (and possibly give out the sexy).
Doms do not get pissed off when they get a NO.
Doms do not begin all their conversations with random strangers with sexual overtures.
Doms do not keep coming back to pester and nag at a woman after she's shot down his invitation for sex.
Doms have (gasp!) other interests besides getting laid.
You do not get a reward for joining fetlife: not a cookie, not a pair of woman's used underpants (or socks!*), and NO SEX.
So if you've listed yourself as a "Dom," but you're only here looking to get laid, knock it the fuck off. Either change your listing title, or grow the fuck up.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Degradation: YKINMK and That's Okay

Submission. Humiliation. Objectification. Degradation. These are words that get tossed around a lot in the kink scene, but they do not all mean the same thing.

This is my opinion on the matter:
Humiliation is about a Top getting off on a bottom's feelings of awkwardness, embarrassment, and shame. It is about a bottom being made to feel disconcerted, often mortified, and forced to endure a humbling scene for the Top's enjoyment. It is about the bottom providing entertainment through discomfort.

Me? I get off on humiliation.

Objectification is about the Top turning the bottom into an object—table, chair, artistic statue, whatever strikes his/her fancy. It is about the bottom being reduced to nothing more than that object, at least for a time. It is about the bottom being of service as something less than human.

Me? I get off on objectification.

Degradation is about the Top belittling and demeaning the bottom. It is about the bottom being made to feel inferior and disgraceful.

I do not get off on degradation.

The reason why is as simple as it is complicated.
Like many, I had a fucked up childhood. I don't like to get into details, or even talk about it—ever, with anyone—for a whole slew of reasons anyone who has suffered through a fucked up childhood will probably understand. But I will say that for far, far too long, I found life less than livable.

When I got older, I took control of my life, and things got better. But I still lived very...shall we say...fatalistically. I existed day to day, not quite sure when my last day would be, not quite believing the next day would come. I lived with what I considered lofty goals, and took hellish risks, because I wanted my death to mean something.
I wanted my death to be grand...because I didn't think my life meant very much.

It was around the time I met husband that my life began to really mean something. Will I give him all the credit for my improvements, the growth and recovery I went through? No, I will not. I was actively trying to get myself help, and fix myself up, for a fair amount of time before I ever met him. I don't think he ever would've even been interested in me if he hadn't see that strength (and stubbornness) of mine showing through.
But did he help? Hell yes.

He helped me start thinking about what I wanted out of life, what my goals were—because it was okay to make goals, it was okay to bank on a future.

He helped me understand I shouldn't be worrying so much about my grand death, it was my grand life I was supposed to be thinking about.

He made me realize my life had meaning, it had value and worth...and that value had nothing to do with what he thought of me, and everything to do with how I saw myself.

To this day, he reminds me all the time how important I am.
I am his priceless treasure.
I am beautiful beyond words.
He is so thankful he has me in his life.
It's as if I was made just for him.
He's so lucky...the luckiest man in the world.

I think I'm the lucky one. I'm a survivor, and I'm stronger because of it. I have no idea what kind of person I'd be if I hadn't gone through all the things I did...there's no point in wondering about it, because I'll never know. But I do know that everything I've ever been through has led me up to this point—and at this point, I got to say, my life is pretty fucking fantastic.

So no, I am not his worthless slut, or his useless slave, or his stupid cunt, or any of the other derogatory adjectives I hear other people use.

I am his slut, slave, cunt, hole, whipping post...whatever noun he decides strikes up his fancy. I am what he chooses me to be, because I am worthy of this privilege.
And my worth is not cheap.

I am NOT saying people who get off on degradation are doing ANYTHING wrong. This is the sort of thing that is completely subjective, and if you're the kind of person who gets off on it? Go for it.

I AM saying that as much as some people enjoy degradation, other people recoil from it; that it does not have to be an integral part of any power exchange dynamic or scene. That you can be a submissive, but being a submissive doesn't have to make you feel inferior in any way.

Not unless you want it to.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A String of Broken Stars

"You want me to be a tragic backdrop so you can appear to be illuminated, so that people can say 'wow, isn't he so terribly brave to love a girl who is so obviously sad?' You think I'll be the dark sky so you can be the star? I'll swallow you whole."— Warsan Shire

One of my favorite relatives of all time was my Uncle D. Uncle D was not really my uncle—he was my father's uncle, which would make him my great uncle. But back in the day, Uncle D was one of those people who always seemed to be "walking awesome." He had the best stories to tell, and he knew how to tell them well; he could keep his audience captivated for hours on the edge of their seats. He was well traveled, and had done a lot, but more than that, things always seemed to be happening to him—things that (usually) ended up having a happy ending, or at least a riveting one.

He was a good-natured guy, and was always volunteering for his synagogue and other charity groups. He often took the jobs no one else wanted and somehow, turned them into the funnest jobs in the world.

I remember watching a video of him one time of him playing the lead part in his synagogue's play. He had taken the leading lady's part, because nobody else had stepped up. The whole video had him wearing a dress and a wig, dancing around the stage like Peter Pan. You could hear the audience roaring with laughter in the background.

The thing about Uncle D was that he wasn't very good at relationships. I believe he was married four times—it might've been more, I don't know. (In my family, a marriage that lasted less than a year wasn't a "real" marriage, wasn't anything more than an embarrassment, and was best swept under the rug.) Every one of his breakups and divorces had been bad, filled with drama and horror.

Of course, since it was Uncle D telling us the stories of these breakups, he was always the Good Guy, and the exes were always the Crazies.

When I was little, I took his stories at face value. Of course Uncle D was a good partner; of course his exes were to blame for whatever had gone wrong. Uncle D was Walking Awesome. How could anyone not want that in a partner?

And yet...and yet, he broke up with all his girlfriends and divorced every woman he married, and not one of those divorces was amicable. They were messy, courtroom affairs, with stories of shouting matches in restaurants and TVs landing on sidewalks, dishes broken and police called.
All his exes seemed to wind up being Closet Crazy Women.

They didn't start out that way. They started out as nice women.
He couldn't say enough nice things about them, in fact. Every time we heard from him, the conversation would inevitably turn to how amazing the woman in his life was. It was sweet how he spoke about them; it certainly made him seem more endearing.
But eventually—sometimes it took months, and sometimes it took years—but always, the women turned into harpies and shrews, and Uncle D was left wondering what the fuck had happened.

The last time I went over to Uncle D's house, it was a short while after he married his latest wife, J. I had never met J before, but of course, I had heard great things about her; how caring she was, how soft spoken and gracious.
I went to visit him with my father, who keeps kosher. Uncle D knew this, and he asked J to plan the meal accordingly.

J bought my father a kosher dinner meal. She made sure to keep it double wrapped in the oven, as one is supposed to do, made sure to serve it to him still closed, so he could see she had not touched it, and gave it to him with plastic utensils, since hers were off limits.
The meal was great, with J serving and Uncle D regaling us with more stories that had us laughing off our asses.
Then J brought in dessert. My father immediately saw that the dessert, while kosher, was also dairy. Since my father had eaten meat during the meal, he could not eat the dessert—and politely told J and Uncle D the reason why he had to decline.

Uncle D started scolding J in a way I had never seen before. He turned to her and asked her what she was thinking, how could she not have known. She replied—softly—that she'd forgotten, and made a mistake. Uncle D continued to berate her in front of us, apologizing to my father for J's stupidity, telling him he should have seen to the matter himself instead of trusting her, and all the while, shaking his head at J like she was no more than an errant child.
Finally, J snapped.
"It was a mistake, OKAY?" She said. "I forgot, now can you please just LET IT GO."
Uncle D stared at her in amazement. An uncomfortable silence blanketed the room. Finally, Uncle D moved the topic of conversation onto something else...but the rest of the visit didn't seem so fun anymore.

Years later, I reminded my mother of what had happened that day. She just shook her head and sighed.
"It's amazing to me how Uncle D can take all these nice, wonderful women, and turn them into something so different," she said. "Living with him must be very hard."
I had never thought of it like that before, but immediately I realized the wisdom of her words.

Uncle D's ladies were not somehow hiding their crazy—or if they were, they were hiding the same crazy we all have, each and every one of us, when pushed hard enough. They had been fine, lovely women when he had met them.
It was Uncle D who had twisted these women around.

He had berated them, mocked them, made them think they were stupid, made them think he was doing them a favor by staying with them for as long as he did. They constantly had to walk on eggshells around him, always second guessing their words, always wondering how he would take what they said and how he would react in kind.
No woman can live like that forever—not without turning into a bitter, cynical fishwife.

Uncle D wasn't bad at picking women. But he was very good at picking the right women, and then turning them into exactly the type of women he couldn't stand.
I think there a lot of men like this out there.

These day I start to grow suspicious when I hear some guy's tale of woe  about how ALL his exes turned out to be crazy, how he's had such "bad luck" finding "good women."
All I want to say to him is, Dude, maybe it's not all your exes. Maybe it's YOU. 

They won't hear it of course. It sounds good to say "My wife/girlfriend/Significant Other pretended to be so nice, but once we were well established, man, did she become a total bitch, I put up with her for theees looong cause I'm such an awesome guy, but I just couldn't take it anymore and I decided I had to move on, and that's why I'm single."

That sounds a hell of a lot better than "I acted the great guy until I got my woman well established and man, once I had her in my grips I totally treated her like shit and made her think she was so worthless not another guy would have her and she was lucky to have me. She didn't put up with my crap for very long though, the bitch."
...Yeah, I've never heard a guy own up to this truth.

I'm not saying every guy out there with more than one "horrible ex" story is like this. Some people really do have bad luck.

I guess what I'm saying is...you can never really know what a person is like in a romantic relationship based on how good a friend they are, or even how good a person they are.
Some people are just very good at bad breakups.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Personal Views on Presenting and Expectations of Confidentiality

So, what did you do last weekend?

I broke my toe!

I also presented a class at a kink conference. The class was titled The Art of Begging; I'll let you figure out that one.
A demo was incorporated into the class. I was, of course, the bottom.
I had to fix my tear-stained makeup afterwards. I'll let you figure out that one, too.

Presenting a class is sometimes a delicate thing. You want your audience to learn something; you want them to walk away feeling like their time was well spent; but mainly, you don't want to embarrass yourself.
(At least not in a bad way. I embarrassed myself plenty at the last class I presented, and got resounding applause for it.)

You don't want your listeners to misinterpret or misunderstand what you're trying to say. You don't want to flub and say the wrong thing entirely.
Giving a class is often giving a first impression of yourself to a lot of people. You don't want to fuck that up.
But since it's a kink event, confidentiality also comes into play.

Class presentations are a different breed entirely from discussion groups, at least in my opinion.
Discussion groups typically have a moderator: someone who makes sure the meeting stays civil, on topic, and that everyone a chance to talk.
But the moderator is not there to impart their trained knowledge, or even speak more than anyone else; in fact, moderators often say the least of all. In a discussion group, everyone has equal right to speak, and nobody's opinion is held to higher regard than anyone else's.
We all have our own truth, and as long as we are speaking from our own truth, our words are well received.

But since we're all there on a level playing field, welcome to share our own truth, then holding those words confidential becomes vital. Nobody feels safe to speak when they have to worry later about their words being used against them—which is why discussion groups have rules about confidentiality.
I've discovered that the well-run groups have very strict rules...and very good enforcement.

But in class presentations, there is one teacher, one authority figure, imparting information to an audience. The audience may have the chance to ask questions, and offer up their own knowledge, but for the most part, the person talking is the one people came to see, and they expect to get some value for it.

At a kinky class, confidentiality rules still come into play. People expect that
1. No one who comes to the class will divulge to others whom they saw there
2. No one will share private information that they heard from another audience member

Of course these rules are often only loosely followed. In tight-knit kink communities where everyone knows each other, familiarity induces transgressions, some major, some minor. Breaches of confidentiality occur. When everyone is friends with each other by six degrees of separation or less, it's easy to forget that the rule of Keep Your Mouth Shut still applies.
Unfortunately, you never know when the information you share will end up in the wrong ears.

Many of us have horror stories. I know I have one. I shared information about someone's predatory behavior in a discussion group; I later found out a person in the group repeated everything I had said to the very wrong person.
It was messy, unnecessary...and said a lot about that person, frankly.
If you can't abide by the rules of confidentiality, don't go.

But in my opinion, the rules of confidentiality have nuance of exception when it comes to class presenters.

Class presenters are not just offering up their own truth; they're offering up a belief that they want you to incorporate into your own set a beliefs, to change your actions somehow, no matter how slight that change may be.
Class presenters are in a position of authority. When the audience enters that class, they walk in with the assumption the class presenter will present reliable information with credible knowledge—otherwise they never would have been allowed by the organizers to give the class in the first place. 
Again, this is my opinion: but I think this should hold them to a higher standard.

I think their words should be shared outside of the class. I think what they say through their place of privilege—because giving a class is a privilege—should be scrutinized and questioned. I do not think they should be able to hide behind the rules of confidentiality to conceal and belie their own words.

But I can't speak for other presenters, I can only speak for me.
So this is my rule as a presenter, clearly spelled out:

I expect everyone who attends one of my classes to keep confidential the identities of those who are there, the faces they see in the crowd. I expect everyone to keep confidential things that other audience members share.

I do not expect anyone to keep confidential the things I say as the class presenter. 

You don't like something I said, say so. You want to write a public review, write it. You want to drag me on the carpet for a statement I made, drag away.
As a class presenter, I am willing to take that on. I want it. I think it's one of the inherent responsibilities of any presenter, to be able to stand by their words—or apologize for them. If I can't do that, I shouldn't be presenting in the first place.

Like I said, giving classes is an honor and a privilege. It's a sign of the trust my community has in me, and I want to maintain that trust.
So if you ever hear me say something in one of my classes you think is wrong, or just somehow doesn't sit well with you? Ask me about it; disagree with me in the strongest terms you think are necessary. Public, private, I don't care. It would be nice if tell me when you've hit publish on something somewhere, so I have a chance to respond; but I'm not going to get mad if you don't.
For me, personally, there is no expectation of secrecy when it comes to what I say while presenting.

I just wanted to make that clear.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Anal Queen of Blogger

I love wiki commons. 
One of the best things about Blogger is the ease of setting up and running the blog; they really do make it simple for people like me, who do not get blog-tech at all, to maintain the blog.
On the other hand, one of the worst things about Blogger is the lack of control. I can't play around with the layout that much, I can't add in a bunch of widgets I want to...I'm kind of limited. I also can't check the IP addresses of the people who visit my blog.
But I can see what people search for to find my blog.
This was the top ten list last week...take a look:
1. "How to become an anal slut"
2. "1950's household"
3. "Anal sluts"
4. "Best anal slut"
5. "Blog about anal slut"
6. "Anal blogpost"
7. "I am an anal slut"
8. "I found out my wife is an anal slut"
9. "Most painful spanking implement"
10. "Sex video anal"
I don't know if I'm doing something right, or something wrong, but I am sure am laughing hard right now.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

More Thoughts On Labels

I've been giving a lot of thought to labels lately—more than usual. I don't know why.
Maybe it has something to do with the new Star Wars trailer coming out. Maybe it has something to do with the laundry pile sitting next to my washing machine that seems to be self-breeding through mitosis, which is scaring the living shit outa me.
But I digress.
Labels. Why do we get so caught up on labels? What difference do labels make?
Some people are vehemently, almost militantly anti-label. They make a point of keeping their Fetlife profiles completely vague, absent of titles, statuses, fetishes, anything that might dare to come across as a label. Their only fetish will be something along the lines of, "you want to know, fucking ask me."
I do believe that is a fetish on Fetlife.
So here's what I think about labels.
I think it's not just the label that's important. I think it's the intent behind the label, too.
When you think about it, labels serve as a courtesy not to the person who self-identifies, but to the rest of us looking in. People like structure and order; people like standardization. Laziness breeds efficiency, and people tend to be lazy; so if you can make their lives that much simpler by supplying a quick and easy label, they will reach out and take hold of it like a child to a grape-flavored popsicle on a hot day.
But the point of the label is supposed to be to make people understand something faster. Maybe they won't understand the fine points—maybe they won't see the small nuances right away—but they will get the general idea, quick and simple like, and they will be happier for it.
Labels are supposed to give knowledge to others, often so they can change their behaviors accordingly.
What labels are not supposed to do is confuse. This is what I think riles up people so much: when labels obscure and complicate matters instead of simplifying them. When people assume one thing about a person based upon their label, and then come to find out that person is the exact opposite of what their label typically stands for.
And yeah, I know, some of you are going to gripe now "But nobody should be making assumptions! You should be asking!"
And you'd be right.
But for a person to adopt one label, when it's pretty fucking obvious everyone else uses that label to mean something wholly different than the way they're using it, maybe even the complete opposite—that is deceptively ambiguous at best. That person are purposely misleading others into thinking something about them that is not true.
And then, you gotta ask why.
I am monogamous. I do not have sex with others. Men, women, doesn't matter: no sex for me or with me.
Does this mean I'm straight? No. But it does mean my sexual orientation becomes less relevant for others looking for prospective sex partners, because whatever I am, however I see myself in my own head, I'm still not available to them for sex.
And I want people to know that. I want to make that clear up front. Because I don't want to waste anyone else's time by making them wonder if (and hope that) they can sleep with me.
Now...if I labeled myself monogamous, but still had sex with other people? That would, I'm sure, raise a whole bunch of questions in other people's heads.
Why would I call myself monogamous if I'm sleeping around? Could it be I'm cheating on my husband? Could it be I don't want anyone to know about my other sexual partners? Why not? Why hide it?
Is there a consent violation going on in there somewhere?
Suspicion is raised. Uncertainty begins to form. And all because I choose to use a specific word to describe myself, when there are others out there capable of doing a much better job.
And maybe there's a good reason why I'm choosing to use the word monogamous. Maybe it means something special to me.
But then I'm using it with the full knowledge that I'm confusing everyone I give it to, everyone who ends up thinking I'm using that word in a deceitful way.
That is the choice I would be making.
There are general labels, old labels, new labels—the word "polyamorous" is relatively new—and what's ironic here is that for many, the deeper you pare down, the more specific you get, the more you need to think about personal nuance. You need to ask what special meaning, if any, people might have for using the labels they do.
"Poly" is pretty general. But when people start using phrases like "closed poly," "triad poly," "V poly"...that is when people typically feel the need to start asking questions.
But the point is always supposed to be transparency and clarity. Big Brother's Newspeak won't get you very far.
War is peace! Ignorance is strength! Cheating is fidelity! Lies are virtuous!
No. Doubleplusungood.
TL;DR? The new Star Wars trailer just came out.