When I first got into the kink Scene I spent a lot of time of thinking about what I WAS. I mean this mostly in the sense that when you join Fetlife, you’re asked to choose a role, and since people I met were going to be seeing my Fetlife profile, I felt I needed something to label myself. I think this was also part of my own exploration.
Before I had entered the public Scene, this wasn’t something I had really given a lot of thought about. I knew I was kinky. I always had a lot of weird fantasies that went pretty far beyond what we think of as “vanilla.” They weren’t all the typical kinds of light kink most of us are exposed to either. A lot of them revolved around ideas of dehumanization and non-consent, things I generally don’t talk about because they live in my mind and can just stay there.
But because I was married and monogamous, how I defined myself was irrelevant. When 95% of the kinky things I did were just between my ears in my own imagination, why label myself?
I would also not say that I thought of myself as “dominant.” I thought of myself as controlling, and I thought of myself as particular, and I knew I liked to be in charge sexually and that I had a certain way I liked things done. I knew I was a top, although I don’t think I used that word, since my association with it was really through gay sex. I liked to DO more than being done, and accepting pleasure passively was and continues to be very difficult for me.
But dominant? I mean, what does that really mean? Does it mean you like to top? No. It’s more than that. It implies a power dynamic, where you are in charge. But in reality, although I like to be in charge sexually and I am in general control freak, I cannot imagine having anything but a somewhat egalitarian relationship out of the sack.
I went through a variety of Fetlife roles, and although professionally I label myself as a Domme because I think it’s confusing to people if I don’t, I don’t personally label myself this way right now because I feel like it boxes me into something neat that isn’t neat.
I suppose I say “somewhat” egalitarian because any man who is involved with me has to be generally easy going and like to please. This doesn’t necessarily mean submissive. (Also, what does THAT really mean outside of a coded way of describing certain likes and dislikes?)
Being easy going and liking to please does not necessarily mean you like kinky play. It doesn’t mean you like to get pegged or you like orgasm control and denial. And, in all fairness, you can like pegging and orgasm control and be a masculine dom. The activities do not control the dynamic. The people within it do.
So, do I have a D/s relationship? I don’t with my husband, although he often pampers me and likes pleasing me. And he largely lets me get my way on most things because I think he doesn’t care that much. I also know the things he’s good at, and I often defer to him in those areas and depend on his help. But that pleasing isn’t sexual for him. He’s giving because that’s who he is. Maybe you could say acts of service are his love language. But when he brings me a cup of coffee in bed most mornings, as he usually does, there’s nothing erotic about it.
Do I have a D/s relationship with TRS? That is less clear. Our relationship involves a lot of kinky play that we both enjoy. And in the sexual realm, I definitely have control. But do I have control in our relationship? I think in many ways less than I do in my marriage because TRS is less easy going. One quality we both share is some stubbornness. And the other reality is that he can leave me at any time. The control he’s given to me outside of the sexual arena is often fraught with some guilt and worry on my part. I also think neither of us has any interest in micro-management of his life.
So, do I have a D/s relationship? Am I a domme? I don’t really know. I use that word because it’s the closest word that fits (TRS actually uses a different honorific for me that is a little closer to our dynamic), but the reality is that I don’t think relationships can be tied up neatly and defined in one word any more than I think people can be.