November 8, 2013

“Can you explain the spectrum that includes Sir, boy, Daddy, etc.? Do these fill the range or is there a middle area that had no real description? I’m trying to define myself in the community and don’t want to claim something that I ‘shouldn’t’ or do something that will offend people in the community.”

No, I cannot. The reason I can’t is that there are no universally accepted definitions or qualifications that describe the different roles in the community; and there are many different terms that people use to describe themselves and each other. The terms I am most familiar with are: slave, boy, submissive, pup, switch, handler, dominant, sir, daddy, and master. The meaning of those words is set in the dictionary, but when you get into a community that prides itself on being rebels and going against the grain, you’ll find that those meanings are subject to change and interpretation. I can define what those terms mean to me; however, unless you are in a relationship with me those definitions may not be useful.

There is no reason to be in a rush to define yourself or your role in the community, and if you change your mind later you may find it hard to break out of a role that you claimed before. Take things slow and observe people. Take a look at how they interact with each other. “I’m new and still figuring myself out” is a perfectly respectable answer when someone wants to know how you identify. In the mean time, talk to people in your community who identify with those labels, and ask them how they came to that conclusion.

As for being afraid to make a mistake; well, we all make mistakes at some point in our journey. It’s better to make a mistake early on, and adjust and move on, at least in my opinion. Personally, I am a fan of making mistakes loudly and publicly for all to see, so that when someone starts to put me on a pedestal I can point to that mistake as a demonstration that I am human just like everyone else. This method, obviously, doesn’t work well for everyone.

No matter what you choose to do, what you call yourself, or how you identify, there will be people who will tell you that you are wrong. There are those who think that you cannot be a “boy” past a certain age, or those that think you cannot be a “master” below a certain age. There will be people who knew you as a 21 year-old twink, who will refuse to see you any other way, and people who believe that no dominant should take a bullwhip to the chest in public not matter what the circumstances. These folks are on their own journey, and you don’t have to allow their journey to dictate yours. I would not, however, discount their journey completely. Allow what they say and how they say it to influence your journey, taking what is useful to you and leaving the rest behind.

One of the greatest insights into the community that I ever received came from a workshop at a conference where the presenter said, “If the path in front of you is clear, you’re not on your path, you’re on someone else’s.” There are many people who will be more than happy to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Unless those people are on your path with you, take what they say as another piece advice, and treat it accordingly. Take out the things that work for you, and trash the rest.

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