Fantasy Land

Fantasies are great. They’re hot and fun and what drew many of us into kink in the first place. But they’re not reality. Clinging to a fantasy in the face of real life evidence to the contrary requires ignoring that evidence. Lack of evidence makes it just a little bit difficult to figure out what’s going wrong, let alone how to fix it. Kink is kind of a high-risk sport, and to do it reasonably safely you need all the information you can get.

One of the many things that irritate me is how common it seems to be for people in the scene to mix up fantasy and reality. We’ve all seen otherwise reasonable people assume the scene works just like their fantasies, alienate everyone they come in to contact with, and end up bitter about how hard it is to find a partner or even make friends in the scene.

There are an abundance of fantasies I see over and over in the scene that cause people to hurt themselves, hurt each other, and generally poison the greater kink community. I’m going to do my part to debunk them in the faint, faint hope that someone who needs to will read this and stop being such an asshat.

To start, one of the fantasies I most hate being taken for reality is the idea that ‘my gender is naturally superior and absolutely all members of it are meant to be dominant, no exceptions! Your gender is obviously naturally submissive, no exceptions!’. As something to think about while you get yourself off, that one can be a lot of fun. I certainly don’t mind spending a little while in a world where all men are just my physical type and they universally crave being tied up and slapped around. As a worldview, it leaves a few things to be desired. In particular, any resemblance to reality.

People can, and often do, argue that in general men are more likely to take charge, more likely to be listened to, than women and that makes them superior. Those people are stupid. Anyone who’s bright enough to be allowed outside without adult supervision would attribute that to the fact that despite the great strides feminism has made, women are still trained from birth to deny their own wants and needs to keep the peace.

In case it needs to be said, I like men quite a lot. I find female supremacists just as ridiculous as male supremacists, but I take them less personally because they don’t directly tell me that my knowledge about my own dominance and sadism doesn’t count because I have boobs.

Given that this fantasy is so ridiculous no reasonable person would take it for reality, why does anyone cling to it? My theory is that it’s insecurity. People who are basically okay with being kinky have no reason to justify their desires with some bullshit about the contents of their underwear meaning they have a divine right to be in charge. On the other hand, people who aren’t comfortable with their kinks have a vested interested in both justifying their particular kink, and in browbeating other people into going along with their fantasy so they won’t be faced with any inconvenient examples of people doing things differently and enjoying it. That might cause them to wonder if they’re really doing it the right way after all, and that’s just too scary to deal with.

Now, you might think that a dominant man and a submissive woman who both believe that men are naturally superior/dominant and women are naturally inferior/submissive would do just fine in a relationship together. Maybe they would. As long as the woman is never better than the man at anything. As long as the man never needs a break from being in charge of everything absolutely all of the time. As long as the words ‘submissive’ and ‘dominant’ mean *exactly* the same thing to each of them. As long as they even think to talk about what exactly submission and domination mean to each of them when it’s so much easier not to question their assumptions.

And that’s assuming that both of them know themselves well enough to know that they really do want a d/s relationship, not just to role-play for a few hours now and then (role-playing now and then is just as valid a choice as having a full time d/s relationship, but that’s another rant entirely).

Once anything happens to challenge your assumptions, you have a choice to either reconsider your assumptions, or clap your hands over your ears and shout ‘La la la I can’t hear you!’ until the thing that challenged you goes away. If you’re not mature enough to do the former, you have no business engaging in any risky activities, be they kink or mountain biking.

Edited to add: Dishevelled Domina has an excellent post on a similar topic that you should read too.

Edited again to add: Ferns has also written a really interesting post on the same general subject. This one includes the first explanation I’ve read of why someone would want a female-led relationship that actually makes sense to me.

S/slashy speak

The promised rant about S/stupid P/people W/who W/write L/like T/this.

To be clear, I’m perfectly fine with any way people want to communicate with each other *in private*. If capitalizing pronouns only when referring to dominant people is a satisfying way to make your submissive mindful of exactly how he or she writes, go nuts! But when you smear your private protocols all over a public forum, I think it’s fair for people to complain.

There are three main reasons why S/slashy speak and capitalization only of dominant people’s names bother me so much.

1. It’s difficult to read. S/slashy speak is especially bad, but capitalization abuse also ruins the flow of a sentence. Blogs, forums, and chat rooms are written mediums. If you want people to read what you’ve written, you have a responsibility to write clearly and concisely. If you insist on using txt speak (u instead of you, r instead of are, and so on) when you have a qwerty keyboard at your disposal, or ramble on and on, you have no right to complain about not being taken seriously.

Seriously, what did the English language ever do to you? There’s no need to torture it like that. I’m perfectly willing to give a pass to people who aren’t native English speakers or who just have trouble spelling (I know a few perfectly clever people who simply can’t spell very well no matter how hard they try), but if your English is otherwise fine I have to assume you’re more interested in showing off how high protocol you are than in communicating.

2. It puts all all dominant identified people above all submissive identified people, which I’m really uncomfortable with. Dominant people as a group are absolutely not better, more worthy of respect, than submissive people as a group. Outside of silly capitalization rules, pronouns in English are only capitalized when referring to God. Equating dominant people to a supreme being like that is ridiculous.

Personally, I capitalize people’s names the way that they do – I look at the usernames attached to their blog posts or their twitter feeds. If someone were to point out that I spelled or capitalized their name wrong, obviously I’d correct it. I don’t get to decide how someone else’s name should be capitalized just because I declared myself dominant, and no one else gets to decide how my name should be capitalized just because they declared themselves high protocol.

3. It drags me into someone else’s scene without my consent. If capitalizing your dominant’s name and lower casing yours turns your crank, great! Just don’t drag me into it. The same way it’s inappropriate to call someone Mistress or Master when they’re not your mistress or master, it’s also inappropriate to capitalize/lowercase someone’s name and/or pronouns when they innocently wandered into a forum and tried to have a discussion. Protocol may be very important to you, but that doesn’t give you the right to apply your personal protocol willy nilly to everyone who crosses your path. Also, no matter how mcch you want to believe in a uniform protocol that all real, true, kinksters follow, there is NO universal protocol beyond basic politeness – don’t touch without permission, say please and thank you, etc. Believing otherwise is a clear inability to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.


The thing that finally persuaded me to start a blog of my own after months of thinking about it was maymay’s signal boost of Dev’s awesome post about the devaluation of male submission.

Submissive men are obviously awesome (hi, straight dominant woman here), and more people need to speak up about that fact, but what really got to me was maymay’s comment that Dev was saying the same thing he has been for years, but people pay more attention when a dominant woman says it. There are a lot of things wrong with the scene, and I’m not sure how much difference I can really make, but I can add my voice to the growing crowd saying ‘This is wrong. That’s wrong too. Fucking cut it out already!’.

Note: maymay’s name is all lowercase because that’s the way it looks on his blog. See further posts for more ranting about why I think S/slashy speak and capitalization rules are stupid and/or creepy.