Goddess, Lady, Mistress

Or, things I really fucking hate being called.

There are two main reasons I so passionately hate being called by anything but my name. One, it proves you haven’t been paying attention, and two, it’s creepy and gross to act like we have a d/s dynamic when we don’t.

I understand the fear of making a bad impression by not being respectful enough, but come on guys. It is not that hard to figure out what title a woman might want you to use, if any. All you need to do is read her goddamn profile. If you can’t be bothered to do that, then why the fuck are you messaging her in the first place? When people call me Goddess or Mistress, I know they have no interest in me as a person because there is nothing in my profile that makes me sound like I have any interest whatsoever in high protocol or grandiose titles. The only reason I can think of that someone would call me Goddess is because that title turns him on and he really doesn’t give a shit what I think of it.

If English isn’t your first language or you’re not great at picking up social cues, it’s always fine to ask people what they like to be called. If someone reacts badly to that, they’re the jerk, not you.

However, you are the jerk if you whine and cry about how I haven’t put detailed instructions for contacting me on my profile. If you want strict rules right off the bat to the point where you don’t have to think for yourself, you should be grateful that it was so easy to figure out that I’m not the right dom for you. I do not owe you the opportunity to trick me into thinking we’re at all compatible when clearly we are not.

What I really don’t understand is what people get out of using titles with people they don’t have a d/s relationship with. Not only is it tremendously creepy to decide for me that we’re in the type of relationship where you call me by a title, but I just don’t understand what’s so great about calling some random woman Mistress. Without some sort of personal relationship behind it, all you’re really doing is slotting some woman you don’t know into a role in a fantasy you’ve already created. If that’s all you care about, buy a blowup doll and leave me out of it. I am a  person, not a prop and you can goddamn well ask for my consent before you start a scene with me.

Calling me Mistress or Lady or Goddess or whatever when we haven’t sat down and negotiated titles is no more appropriate than it would be for me to start ordering people around because they’re submissive. It may be less rude, but it’s certainly not cool. Even I did like being called Goddess, that wouldn’t mean I was your Goddess.

Finally, and this only applies to a couple of titles in particular, I hate it when people presume to use a title that belongs to someone else. That is, there is a particular thing my boyfriend calls me and that title belongs to him and him alone. When other people use it I just want to slap their hands and tell them “No! Drop it, that’s not yours!” Hey, I didn’t say it was rational 🙂 It’s less of a risk than my two main reasons, but I can’t be the only one who doesn’t like anyone else using an endearment that I’ve decided belongs to my partner.

Now if only there was some way to make the people who need to read this actually do so.

Smut Peddler 2014!

If you haven’t already backed it, I highly recommend the Smut Peddler 2014 : LADYPORN CONQUERS EARTH kickstarter. In the words of the creator, “Smut Peddler is the world’s sexiest anthology of woman-centric comic book smut.” I have the 2012 edition and it’s super hot. Comic book porn, you know you want it 🙂

Also, I’d like to point something out about this particular kickstarter:

A screen capture of the Smut Peddler 2014 kickstarter page showing that $115,176 of the original $20,000 goal have been pledged.

A screen capture of the Smut Peddler 2014 kickstarter page showing that $115,176 of the original $20,000 goal have been pledged.

See that pledge total? That’s right, OVER 5 TIMES the original goal has already been pledged, and when I took the screen shot the kickstarter still had 13 days to go! Tell me again how women aren’t visual, motherfucker. Tell me how there’s no market for woman friendly porn. Tell me how women just don’t like that sort of thing. And when you’re done, tell me what colour the sky is on your planet because we are clearly not on the same one.

“No” is goddamn well a safeword

Recently I read a really excellent post on Fetlife called No is not a safeword – Fuck That that I wanted to expand on. I highly recommend reading that post, but this one should still make sense without it.

People may like to joke around and say that “no” is not a safeword, but it goddamn well is. Unless and until you have specifically negotiated that in a particular scene or a particular relationship that “no” means “this is intense but I’m enjoying it” and some other word means “stop and check in”, then no always means no.

Particularly if you’re new to bottoming, you should be aware that no, stop, give me a minute, wait, that really fucking hurts, and any serious expression of distress are safewords. And as I hope you already know, anyone who ignores your safeword is not safe to play with. Using a safeword like ‘wait’ or ‘that really fucking hurts’ doesn’t have to bring the scene to a screeching halt, but if your top doesn’t even make sure you’re okay and that you want to continue, well, I’d certainly think twice about playing with them again.

Some people do enjoy getting to say no without the scene actually stopping, just like some people enjoy struggling even when they don’t really want to get away. For some people “no” is just what comes out when they’re taking pain, and doesn’t mean that they want to stop. However, neither of those things make no magically stop being a safeword. Just like some people enjoying being caned doesn’t mean you can assume any particular person does, some people saying no when they don’t want the scene to stop absolutely does not mean you can assume any particular person doesn’t mean no when they say it.

As much as nerds and kinky people (often one and the same) seem to enjoy complicating things, I strongly advise keeping things simple at first. There’s no need to ask a new bottom to remember a safeword when plain English is just fine for communication. You can always add more complications when they’ve gotten some experience and when you know each other better, but until then why add more opportunities for things to go wrong?

The one time I do think it’s appropriate to say “no is not a safeword” is during a scene where you have negotiated that no does not mean stop and want to remind your bottom that while no isn’t a safeword for this scene, they can safeword at any time if they really do need to stop.

If you don’t want using or hearing the word no to stop the scene, by all means negotiate that. But if you want to decide for everyone that no is not a safeword, you can fuck right off.

Kink and childhood abuse

Since I posted Fuck Forgiveness and Worth It, I knew I was eventually going to have to tackle the topic of whether there’s any connection between childhood abuse and being kinky. I was planning to dig up the studies referred to in that last link, and present a perfectly researched, air-tight case against the idea that my shitty childhood caused me to be kinky. But then I decided, fuck that shit.

If you want to spout condescending bullshit like this,

I get that most people that are into it [kink], are into it because of things that have happened to them.

then you are the one making the extraordinary claim, and you are the one whose job it is to provide extraordinary evidence to support that claim. By all means, show me a remotely believable study proving that childhood abuse makes people kinky.

I’m not going to hold my breath waiting, though. Why? Because I have a basic grasp of logic. Mr. Condescending, in fact, is an excellent argument against his own idiotic theory. He followed up the part of his comment I quoted above with:

I’m not one of those people. I had a happy childhood

If there are kinky people who had happy childhoods, it’s pretty fucking hard to argue that kinkiness is caused exclusively, or even mostly, by abuse. If it was, then where did all the kinky people with happy childhoods come from? Oh? You don’t have a good answer? What a huge fucking surprise.

People do tend to assume that there is a greater percentage of childhood abuse survivors in the kinky community than in, say, the model train building community because in the kink community we have to talk about it. That’s idiotic, but it sort makes sense in a dumb as a sack of wet mice sort of way. If the kink community is the only place you see people talking about their abuse, you might assume (if you’re an idiot) that the kink community is the only place where people who’ve been abused end up.

Or, you know, you could think about that for five seconds. Maybe, just maybe, abuse survivors in the model train building community don’t talk about it because they don’t fucking have to! Honestly, do you think anyone enjoys talking about how much their childhood sucked? We do it in the kink community because it’s the only place where we have to explain why we’re fine with being spanked with a hand but not with a belt. There are probably just as many abuse survivors building model trains as there are building bondage furniture, but because the model train builders don’t generally have to explain the deep dark trauma behind their dislike of modern train engines, nobody knows that they’re abuse survivors.

I hate to break it to you, but child abuse is not exactly uncommon. According to McCreary Centre Society. Healthy Connections: Listening to BC Youth, 1999, p. 17. (link found on safekidsbc), 35% of girls and 16% of boys between grades 7 – 12 had been sexually and/or physically abused. With statistics like that, what would be strange is if there were no abuse survivors interested in kink.

Finally, it’s stupid as well as hugely insulting to assume that I’m nothing but a puppet whose strings are pulled by terrible memories. Human behavior is complicated, there’s no single simple reason for much of anything we do. Now, there are certainly people who spend more time reacting to their trauma than they do responding to what’s actually happening right now, but if the only evidence you have that I’m doing that is the fact that I’m kinky, well you don’t have much of a case now do you.

If you’ve got anything like evidence that there’s a connection between having a shitty childhood and being kinky, bring it. If you don’t, and we all know you don’t, shut the fuck up.

Words mean things

One of my many, many pet peeves is people who refuse to understand that words mean things independent of what they intended when they wrote them. You would think that would be kind of hard to avoid understanding when you’re using a written goddamn medium,  but I guess some people are particularly resistant to common sense.

Taking this thread about sensual domination as an example, if every second reply objects to your use of the word “violence” to refer to consensual pain play intended to be fun for everyone involved, that’s a sign that you might be using the wrong word! Obviously people are free to use whatever words they like, and it’s not as if anyone can be forced to express themselves clearly, but you’d think people would get bored of their threads being derailed and just start using the generally accepted words for what they really wanted to talk about.

It’s totally okay to not know the right words for things, especially if you’re new to kink, but when a number of people all tell you that x is a better word than y for what you seem to be getting at, stomping your foot and insisting you can use whatever word you want is just a huge waste of everyone’s time.

Not only does failure to communicate bother me as a writer (why oh why would you bother to write so much as a Fetlife post if you don’t want people to understand you?), but it scares me as a kinky person. The only way we can do kinky things in a way that’s safe and enjoyable for everyone involved is to communicate clearly. It sounds simple, but communicating well is hard enough without deliberately making it even harder by using the wrong words for things when you’ve been told over and over that there are better ones.

To use another terrible example, I would never in a million years play with anyone who tried so hard to be completely incomprehensible. Not because that makes them a bad person (pretentious, yes, but not necessarily bad), but because there’s no way to negotiate clearly with someone who doesn’t appear to want to be understood. Again, you can write however you like, but if everyone who replies to your thread says they don’t understand what you’re talking about, it just might be possible that you’re doing a shitty job of expressing yourself.

Also, if your response to being told that something you’re doing isn’t working is to keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing, well, that makes it pretty clear that you’re not willing to think about what went wrong or do anything to fix it. Just what I’m looking for in a play partner! Oh, wait, no, that’s actually the exact opposite of what I’m looking for.

Communication is hard for a lot of good reasons. There’s no need to make it any harder than it has to be.