For today’s entry, John and Kayla ask the following:
“Beyond the basic title of Dominant or submissive, are there other titles you prefer or are interested in exploring? Are there any that turn you off or don’t seem like a good fit for you?“
When I think of titles, for me at least, I don’t just think of the names I want to be called but also about my actual label. Am I a Dominant, a submissive, a little? The answer to this question may be easy for some people but for some, like me, it wasn’t as easy.
I still remember vividly the first time a person asked me if I was a Dominant or a submissive. It happened within 5 min of me arriving at the fetish club and I didn’t even know what those roles meant. So I just responded in the way I always do when I have no clue at a club: smile, pretend I didn’t hear a thing and walk away ( a bit rude, I admit it!)
Many years have passed since then, and as time passes, I have now gained the experience necessary to figure things out. Firstly, as with many in the scene, I have separated my ‘real life’ identify by naming myself Lilith. This is obviously not my birth name but it is my name regardless and the one I expect people to use when addressing me. My birth name is reserved for friends, family and those in my professional life. Nothing is more disrespectful than when strangers call me by my birth name. The scene is still very much misunderstood by the masses, and privacy is of the most importance to the majority of us so breaching this rule is a massive red flag and an indication that the person is just not right for me. Those of us who love this lifestyle understand the simple rule of never ‘outing someone’ (that is, revealing their identify or revealing to their real life circle that they are into fetish/kink).Up to this day I still call my scene friends by their chosen name, even though I know their birth name and I am permitted to use it – for me is a matter of principle.
In terms of ‘role’ labels, that took me a while to figure out. Pretty early on in my journey I was trained under the guidance of a very knowledgeable Dom in the ways of Dominance, and power exchange. My training was conducted with the assumption that I was the Dominant. It was a time in my life that I hold dear as it gave me a strong foundation, but in many ways it did restrict me as it kind of led me being put in a ‘Dom’ box. In many ways that title fits me well – I am outspoken, responsible and I feel comfortable in a leadership role. But in many ways it failed to describe me in its entirely. I have a softer side – one in where I enjoy having to follow certain orders, and being taken care of. As my time in the scene grew, being a Dominant just wasn’t me, and neither was being a submissive. So naturally I became the third option – a Switch. Being a Switch for me is being both roles, often simultaneously, depending on the situation I am in. I also chose to write the label with a capital ‘S’ as I am more Dominant that submissive.
As a Switch, I naturally use different labels depending on the situation. When I am taking on the role of the Top/Dominant I am known as Lady Lilith or simply Lady. When I am taking the role of the bottom/submissive, I have a few more options with ‘babygirl’ and ‘Lil one’ being my favourites. There are also words I just can’t get on with. Funnily enough one of them is the word ‘Mistress’. Don’t ask me why but I just cringe when people call me that. I have many friends that are known as Mistresses and I will use that word during a scene with them but I am not the biggest fan of it.
If you are new to BDSM, it is normal to not know right away what labels you identify with. It is also normal to change it as you gain more experience. There is honestly no right answer – the key is to always communicate with your play partner/s about the names/roles you want to be known as and to respect their choices too