A Caveat. Or Two. Or Three. About Labels and How They Are And Aren’t Useful

So, I inadvertently hurt some people’s feelings with my post yesterday. And I apologize for that. Sometimes I feel very clever, and my cleverness gets the better of my empathy.

First, I assumed that my target reader was either a male sub or bottom or female top or Domme. And that wasn’t necessarily true.

That some women identify as alpha subs complicates my judgment because the main issue I take with the word is that it seems very connected to men who are ashamed of submissive feelings and desires.

While I can’t really say I understand what women who identify that way feel, it cannot be connected to toxic masculinity and the standards it imposes on men. Because they are women. I think they are likely to be using the term in a different way.

I would also never want to give the idea that boundaries are a bad thing! Personally, I don’t think you need to label yourself to have them. But no one should feel forced into anything they aren’t comfortable with or feel the need to use a label to encourage others to treat them with respect. It doesn’t make you a brat or a bad sub to have boundaries and require good, kind communication from a partner.

Third, someone pointed out that I should have more empathy, and that men using that term are likely inexperienced. Or that they’ve thought deeply about it, and I’m not giving them enough credit. That instead of poking fun, I should delve deeper into why they’re using that term to describe themselves. This is definitely something I would do if I found myself involved in a relationship with a man who used that term to identify himself.

My real point, which may have gotten clouded, was about the shame that some submissive men and bottoms feel about their sexuality and how that manifests.

I was making fun of male “alpha” subs not because I was making fun of submissives but because I wish that it was more socially acceptable to not have to follow typical gender roles for men. 

Despite the difficulties that women still face, such as earning equal pay, more emotional labor, beauty standards, more work doing childcare, etc…one way in which I think they are freer than men is that they are allowed a wider range in how socially acceptable it is to express their sexuality and gender. (I’m not talking about slut shaming. I’m talking about things wearing traditionally masculine/feminine clothing and being in charge sexually without much negative judgment.)

So, it is not that I really have anything against men who label themselves as “alpha subs.” It’s that I hope they know it’s ok to just be themselves. They don’t have to be:

Macho
Emotionally unavailable
Aggressive
Ripped
Always strong
Competitive
Totally “masculine” (whatever that means)

To be liked and loved.

But confidence about being just who you are is sexy as fuck.

2 thoughts on “A Caveat. Or Two. Or Three. About Labels and How They Are And Aren’t Useful

  1. I sure do hope that you didn’t include me among those that got their feelings hurt from your post yesterday. I commented on your post and thought it was pretty awesome.

    ” …… because the main issue I take with the word is that it seems very connected to men who are ashamed of submissive feelings and desires.” Not that anyone give a crap about what I think, but is there a label for guys that are Alpha in every aspect of their life, except they proudly are submissive to their wife in a loving Wife Led Marriage? Cuz if there is, I’m that.

    “I was making fun of male “alpha” subs not because I was making fun of submissives but because I wish that it was more socially acceptable to not have to follow typical gender roles for men.” I hear ya here! In fact, I wish that in my role(s) as big shot business guy, or confident leader of this, that and the other thing, that it wouldn’t make people’s heads explode with confusion if I were to also tell proudly them what my wonderful life with my wife is, and what it entailed. See, just because I am submissive to my wife, doesn’t mean I am or would be that way with anyone else … but society’s norms make it difficult, if not impossible for most people to understand that. I’d love nothing more than to be able openly display that sexy confidence about who I am … with my wife. In the end though, labels improperly put on people can be a terrible and unfair thing. Why can’t “alpha” men (and women for that matter) just be nice people, that cares and helps others, is admired and respected … without being a dick about? Probably because they were never any of those nice traits to begin with.

    I love your blog TheGentleDomme person ecause of your intelligence and no-shit approach. Thank you for what you do here.

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