Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”
and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”
and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.
I’m really suspicious that the doms who keep talking about how respect is so important and they deserve to be respected and how terrible it is that submissives these days have no respect aren’t using the word respect the way I do. The people most likely to be disrespected are submissive or assumed to be submissive. Doms, particularly male doms, have very little to complain about in terms of being respected (younger doms, even male ones, do get a certain amount of shit from ageist dicks, but that’s a separate blog post).
Given that male dominants generally are respected in the scene, I have to assume that when they say respect and I say respect we’re actually talking about different things. What would make the whining I’ve seen make some sort of sense is if these guys (let’s be honest, they’re mostly men, although I have seen female doms pull some ridiculous bullshit too) are actually talking about wanting to be treated like an authority by everyone they run into, whether or not they’ve ever done anything to earn it.
Fuck that. Deciding to call yourself a dom in no way makes you an authority. Literally anyone can do that, no matter how inexperienced or ignorant they are. Treating every dom like an authority would require everyone else in the scene to completely ignore basic common sense and their own ability to judge whether someone is worth taking seriously. Not only is that never going to happen, but that sort of “respect” is worthless. Why would I care whether someone with such terrible judgement that they’ll fawn over every so-called dominant they meet fawns over me too? That’s not even about me as a person, it’s about their fantasy of how they should act around doms. I really don’t care to be used as part of someone’s fantasy without them even asking if I wanted a cameo in the J. Random Sub Show.
Real authority is earned. If you’re that invested in being treated like an authority, get really good at something and share your knowledge. Unless that’s too much work for you, in which case keep whining and crying about how everyone you meet is an asshole because they won’t act like their mission in life is to prop up your oh-so-fragile ego. That will totally make people respect you.
The only respect people in the scene are automatically due is being treated like people. It should but sadly does not go without saying that subs are people too and are entitled to the exact same level of respect that doms are until they’ve specifically negotiated other arrangements with a particular person. We are all just people with an unusual hobby until we make other agreements with someone, calling myself dominant doesn’t make me any more or any less than anyone else in the scene, no matter how they identify. I’m fine with that because I’m a fucking grownup. If you’re not, I recommend taking a long hard look at yourself.