Tag Archives: BDSM

February 21, 2014

“So I’m curious, I’m not sure I understand the whole ‘pup thing’ can you explain it to me?”

“One is interested in pup play, I have seen pups in action and I have a few pup friends. Is the role of a pup dom/sub or its handler/pup? I am interested in this, but feel awkward asking information as I don’t want to ask stupid questions or offend anyone. Is pup play a turn on to people? How does one go about more info? I know you are in A-PAH, but I know very little about this. Please help, and thank you for your time”

“As a new puppy, with an even newer handler, do you have any advise for me (the puppy) & him (the handler)? Our roles, expectations, communication, etc.?”

Presenting the first 3’fer Friday! To be honest, it’s likely to be the only 3’fer Friday, but why not. I had three very similar questions, so I am bundling them up and presenting them to you all at once!

The whole “pup thing” is similar to the whole “boy thing,” “slave thing,” or “little thing.” What I mean is that it’s a way to identify, and a way to define yourself and your role within a family, be it Kinky, Leather, Poly, or all of the above. Many people who are into pup play take on the roles and characteristics of puppies in real life. For example, when I’m at home, I can be minding my own business doing my thing, and suddenly my pup will want attention. He will whine, growl, bark, pull on my clothes, lay his head in my lap, etc. until I’m paying attention to him. Once he has my attention, he’ll demand love and affection for a few minutes, then run off and do something else. If we’re out somewhere, he’ll wander off to explore on his own, but will circle around to make sure I’m right where he left me. If I’m not, he’ll search until he finds me, and then wander off to explore again. If he does happen to be standing with me when I move, and his attention is not occupied by something else, he will follow me to wherever my new spot is. If I happen to pick something up that he wants, he’ll follow me around to make sure that I share my treat with him. If I try to lock him out of the room while enjoying my treat, he’ll whine and paw at the door until I let him in. And all of those things are things he does while in human head-space.

When he’s in pup-headspace it’s a completely different ballgame! He chews on toys, he moves around on four legs, he wrestles with other puppies, and he generally does all the things that pups do when they are playing with other pups. His role, when he’s in pup-headspace, is to be my puppy. To give me all the things that a bio-canine gives me. Love, affection, devotion, and playful pup energy. My role, when he’s in pup space is to give him protection, safety, food and water, things to do, and social interaction. For us, puppy play is not sexual, and it’s not inherently a Dom/sub relationship (except that I am expected to control him to a degree as his owner.)

For the person afraid of asking stupid questions, I have long held the belief that the only stupid question is the one that’s already been answered. If by all reasonably standards, you should know the answer and you ask the question anyway, it might be a stupid question. Most people will not be offended if you ask a question, or even if you ask for clarification because you didn’t understand what they meant when they answered. As the pup community grows and expands, there has been a lot of information put on the internet about what pup play is, and what pup play means to the people participating in it. Read some of that stuff, and then show up at your local pup event and get involved. Ask questions and make friends.

Do you have an question for “Ask Daddy”? Send it to me, for a chance to have it answered in a future column.

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Ferbrary 14, 2014

“Dear Daddy Kenneth, Can a switch or a man who does not accept the roll of Dominant collar someone who is and has accepted being submissive? If the submissive is the babygirl/boy of one man does the switch need permission from the Daddy to collar his lover? If the submissive is also protected and has a play partner, do the protector and play partner have a say in these goings on or is it between the lover and Daddy.”

Collars are symbols that are given meaning by the people who are using them, therefore it is up to the people who are using them to decide when and how to use them. There are some commonly accepted meanings when it comes to collaring, but I’ve seen kinky people turn those meanings on their heads, and utilize a meaning that was better suited to their own situation. So a Switch CAN collar a submissive if he wishes, and the submissive accepts the collar.

I am not sure why the submissive in question would be interested in accepting a collar from someone who was not dominant, but that is between the two of them. If they want to use a collar to symbolize a relationship between them, they should. He should be aware that perceptions from outsiders are going to place him in the role of dominant, and he will spend a great deal of time explaining why he has a collared submissive when he is not dominant.

In poly relationships, I am a big fan of keeping everyone in the loop, and respecting established boundaries. The submissive should ask the daddy what he thinks about the new development in the relationship, and how he thinks the switch should proceed. If the switch has a strong enough relationship with the daddy, the switch should talk to the daddy as well. If the switch is relatively unknown to the daddy, I would recommend that the switch let the submissive deal with the daddy.

As far as who has say in the relationship between the submissive and the switch, only the people in the relationship have say about what happens in the relationship. The play partner, protector, and daddy may all dictate how their relationships with the submissive go, but unless they are in relationships with each other that include the submissive as well (three ways or more ways relationships) they should stay out of the submissive’s other relationships, and focus on their own. They all have an obligation to respect each other and established boundaries, or get the fuck out, but no one should be dictating the the other relationships.

Do you have an question for “Ask Daddy”? Send it to me, for a chance to have it answered in a future column.

Do you like what you see on Ask Daddy Kenneth? Ask Daddy is a public blog, so you can share your favorite columns on your social media to introduce your friends to the column!

February 12, 2014

“Dear Daddy,

“I am HIV negative, I always use condoms, I always ask my partners HIV status before playing and I never have any kind of sex with anyone whom I know to be positive. While I love exploring the kink community, it seems that many participants are HIV positive. As a result, I feel there is an expectation that you must be poz-friendly to play. I’m very open to playing and exploring, but all too-often i have to draw the line at sex and some have accused me of being poz-phobic. I want to find a place in the kink community, but I fear I’ll be shunned for ‘not playing well with others.’ “

Daddy Kenneth Every person has a right, and responsibility, to protect themselves from HIV using whatever means they are comfortable using. Sero-sorting (having sex with someone who’s HIV status matches your own) and condom use are two methods of protecting yourself from sero-conversion. Using both these methods in conjunction with each other makes sex safer for yourself. There is nothing inherently poz-phobic about protecting yourself. That said, there are poz-phobic ways of telling someone that you are not going to have sex with them because they are positive. Phrases like “I only have sex with guys who are clean” imply that positive people are dirty somehow. Telling others that someone is positive after they have been responsible people and disclosed to you is pretty rude as well. Equating HIV and STI’s with drug use by using phrases like “DDF” is another way to stigmatize positive people. So long as you are not doing those things, and are treating positive people as people first; I think you can safely say you are poz-friendly, without having sex with positive men.

All of that said, merely asking someone if they are negative does not guarantee that you’ll get an honest answer. A better question to ask a potential sex partner is “When was your last HIV test, and what was the result?” Every sexually active person should know the answer to this question, and you can gauge the potential risk to yourself based on their answer. It’s also easier to tell with this question if someone is lying because it asks them for specific information, not a multiple choice option.

There are also other things to consider when vetting potential sex partners. Having barrier-protected sex with a positive person who has a medication-controlled low or suppressed viral load is safer than having barrier-protected sex with a person who has recently converted and has a high viral load. Reacting poorly to an honest answer that is not the one you prefer means that person might reconsider being honest next time he’s asked that question. Talk about a vicious cycle, if negative guys treat positive guys like shit when they’re honest, they are not going to be honest, which is a pretty shitty thing for a positive person to do. Always remember that positive people are people first, and should be treated as such.

As for playing in the kink community; it does not necessarily mean penetrative sex. When negotiating with potential play partners, you can take penetrative sex off the table right away and then lay out the kinky stuff you’re into. Many people will be willing to play within your limits, and those that are not will let you know during negotiation. So long as you are respectful about your approach, you should be respected in return. You can get flogged, tied up, blindfolded, electrocuted, punched, spanked, and mummified without ever being penetrated. Some folks in the kink community specifically look kinky partners that they can play with without having penetrative sex, because they have a partner at home who’s not kinky; they may get their kink on with you, and get their sex on with him. Much of what we do can be done without breaking the skin or penetrating an orifice. Stay true to yourself, and expand your limits without crossing lines that make you uncomfortable, and you will soon be known as someone who plays well with others, but has reasonable limits.

Do you have an question for “Ask Daddy”? Send it to me, for a chance to have it answered in a future column.

Do you like what you see on Ask Daddy Kenneth? Ask Daddy is a public blog, so you can share your favorite columns on your social media to introduce your friends to the column!

December 18, 2013

“Hi Daddy Kenneth, This is a question I’ve researched on the Internet with conflicting responses. I am writing an erotic BDSM eBook and I need a good definition of ‘topping from the bottom.’ As indicated, I can’t find consistency for that, other than the obvious – the bottom directs the scene or controls while being penetrated. Is that the extent of the term?”

The problem with finding a universally accepted definition of anything in BDSM, is that there are hardly any universally accepted definitions within the BDSM culture. Even a word as simple as “sir” has different meaning to different people. While some of the meanings may overlap or have similar themes, you would be hard pressed to find two people (from different leather families) with the exact same definition of “sir.” Doing so with complicated concepts is even more difficult.

Most commonly, “topping from the bottom” is a derogatory way to describe a submissive who doesn’t know their proper place; as in, “he claims to be a slave, but all he does is top from the bottom.” This is when a submissive wants to tell a dominant how hard the dominant is allowed to hit, where, when, how many times, and with what instruments. This can be very frustrating for dominants who like to have, you know, control.

A positive definition of “topping from the bottom” is when the submissive penetrates their dominant for the purpose of giving their dominant pleasure. This can also be done with other tools of BDSM that the bottom is skilled in. In this case the dominant would be in the receiving role for the scene, usually called the bottom, but would be directing the scene the way they wanted, usually something the top does.

Outside the BDSM Sub-culture, sometimes the penetrated person in a sexual encounter is really the one driving the encounter, and the penetrator is the more passive participant. Power bottoms and liberated women do this a lot, I’ve noticed. There’s nothing wrong with this practice, and it’s only worth mentioning because it is opposite of the cultural norm.

This brings me to the most universally acceptable (and because I said that someone is going to contradict me) definition of “topping from the bottom” that I can think of. “Any scene where the roles of the participants are opposite of what is expected or typical.”

Do you have a question for “Ask Daddy”? Send me a message and I’ll give it a shot!

December 16, 2013

“Dear Daddy, I consider myself a kinkster. I have fetishes, and I’ve recently begun exploring them in depth. What I am learning about myself, is that my scene identity and my sexual identity appear to be on polar opposite ends of the spectrum. What I mean is that I consider myself to be a submissive. I enjoy being bound, flogged, etc. but sexually I am a top. Is there a place for me in the kink community?”

Yes there is. Don’t let anyone tell you that a sexual top must be a kinky dominant or vice versa. I know plenty of dominants who love to get fucked. Some submissives will fuck their dominant just because he told them to, others will do it because they secretly (or not so secretly) enjoy it. Your kink is how you define it, and anyone who tells you that you’re doing it wrong is violating one of the foundations of our community, respect.

What you may find, however, is that you have to separate your kinky submissive side, from your sexual top side and won’t get to enjoy them together as often as you would like. What you might be surprised to learn, however, is that this is more common than you might think. I flog, tie up, and electrocute guys that I never get to fuck, and I fuck guys that I never get to tie up. I’m okay with this, because I get to fuck enough guys to keep me happy, and I get to tie up enough guys to keep me happy. As much as it would be easier if those guys were always the same guys, it’s also nice to have a variety in one’s life. So tell your vanilla (non-kinky) boyfriend that you’re going to go get tied up for a couple hours, but when you get home you’re going to be so horny that you’re going to fuck him for three hours straight and he won’t be able to sit down tomorrow. If he objects to that, find another boyfriend.

Do you have a question for “Ask Daddy?” Send me a message and I will give it a shot.

December 4, 2013

“So here is a question for ask daddy. Why are some people in the leather community (all groupings including pups, bears, s/m, etc) so judgmental of those who are wanting to learn more, and explore their options? I have found frequently, that when I ask questions to get a better understanding of who a person is, and what it is that they are part of/turned on by etc, that they do not want to share with me. Several have said something along the lines of  ‘we don’t need another poser/pretender in our world.’ I’m not pretending or posing. I have a real interest in many things. But I never seem to feel welcome since I haven’t been able to discover all that I like yet? Please help.”

If you are getting this response from many people in all types of groups, the issue at play may not be the community itself. It may be that the issue is your approach. I know for me, timing is everything. If I am out celebrating a friend’s birthday at a non-leather bar, it’s not the time to approach me to discuss my leather life, or my turn-ons. Doing so would be rude to my friend. Most leather groups that I know of have events that you can attend where their members are expected to be in attendance, and those events are usually publicized. That would be the time to approach people and ask them about their life, life-style, and leather interests.

Many times, leather people’s sexuality is tied in closely with their leather life, so casually approaching someone who is leather and asking them about that life, especially if it’s not in a leather-specific environment is tantamount to asking the lady at the bus stop if she prefers vaginal or anal sex while you’re waiting for the bus. I am going to go out on a limb and say that most of the time, you are not going to get the response you’re looking for.

Leather people tend to be the most judged people in their communities, and so they are pretty defensive when people randomly start asking them questions without taking the time to be friendly with them first. It’s a possibility that you are coming off as hostile and so the people you are questioning are responding defensively. My recommendation is that you stop trying to use people as your resources, and start trying to get them to share resources with you. The people you ask may offer themselves as a resource, or they may point you in the direction of people who are available to answer your questions. Change your approach, and instead of asking if a person is into fisting, ask if they know of a way for you to learn more about fisting. They may introduce you to a fister, or tell you where the local fisting group (if there is one) meets on a regular basis. When you get that information, show that you’re serious by following through and showing up at the next meeting. If this was the bus stop lady, you might be asking her to go to coffee with you.

Once you get into a leather space, or a space filled with leather people gathering, make sure that you are respectful of the people and the space. Don’t launch into a barrage of questions. Ask your questions when they are appropriate and don’t monopolize the conversation or any one person there. Be friendly and more often than not, people will respond by being friendly back. This is the coffee date with your bus stop lady.

Once you have established rapport with the people who you hope to learn from, then you can start asking about their interests personally. Again, be respectful and don’t come across as a creep who’s just gathering spank bank material. Don’t come across as a creep who wants to sleep with, or fist, or even date, every person you meet at these social events either. Keep reminding yourself that you are talking to people about intimate details of their sex life. Ask yourself how you would feel if a stranger at a bus stop was asking you these questions (or even someone you’re on a first date with.) Temper your curiosity to the environment your in, and respect the people who are there with you. Remember also, that a person can stop talking to you at any time, and they are not being rude. You may have inadvertently crossed a line that you didn’t see, and they are now uncomfortable with you.

Also, be on the lookout for pack or family behavioral clues. If the most dominant person present is hovering very close to you, watching you and your interactions with others, you may have crossed a line or be coming very close to one. Step back, (figuratively and literally) and give people their space and room. If the dominant personality interrupts your conversation by pulling you, or your conversation partner, away; you have definitely been perceived as a threat. This is the bus stop lady’s big brother coming over and putting himself between you and her. Don’t confuse this with the dominate personality’s genuine interest in your conversation. Personally when I am the dominant personality and am assessing a threat or potential threat, I start to close off and get very intense. When I’m interested in your conversation and want to be part of it, I’m open and usually just jump right in.On the other hand, no matter what group, culture, or sub-culture you’re talking about, some people are just assholes, so don’t let the behavior of the few influence your views of the many.

December 2, 2013

“Hey there Daddy Kenneth,

“Is it possible for someone with a casual interest in leather/kink to fill a title-holding role in the leather/kink community?

“[I recently attended a leather contest weekend] – it was an incredible event and I met quite a few very cool people. But I’m not a hard-core leather/kink person – I love it all, from bondage, water sports, fisting, fire play, flogging, CBT, etc. But I just don’t carry these fetishes around with me all the time – they’re a casual interest of mine that I pursue when I’m in the mood and with the right people.

“The majority of individuals I met at the competition seem to have deeply integrated their fetishes into their self-identification, and that’s something I’ve never done and don’t really see a need to do.

“However, I still enjoy being active and involved in these various leather and kink events, and I’d like to see them become more mainstream and accepted by the general population. I just feel like my casual approach to leather and kink in my personal life would be a deterrent from ever filing one of these highly visible roles.

“Or do most of these people feel the same way I do, but they just build a persona around a particular fetish for filling these roles in the community?”

I have seen newcomers to the BDSM Leather Scene win leather titles (because they studied hard, found the right contest mentor, and looked really good in the leather they recently purchased or borrowed for the contest) who went on to become integral to their local scene. I’ve seen title holders who were active before their contest disappear after their title year (or in some cases before the end of their title year.) Title holding is a test of your heart more than it is a test of your kinks, and unfortunately too many title holders are busy “preserving a public image,” fund raising or fulfilling their contact duties to actually participate in their favorite kinks or fetishes. It’s ironic and a tad sad that many title holders don’t get to do their favorite things while they are holding that title. So, in short, yes; yes it is possible for a new BDSM/Fetish/Leather person to hold a title, whether s/he is a weekend warrior, or a 24/7 community member.

The concept of “casual” vs “hardcore” leather people needs to stop. It is just another artificial divide that creates an “us vs them” mentality, and gives us an excuse to not reach out and talk to and mentor people. It’s a sign of laziness. Whatever it is that you do, whatever it is that you like, it is more “hardcore” than some people and less “hardcore” than others. Some folks who consider themselves “hardcore” won’t even consider a casual relationship with water sports, and even though all my formal leather is trimmed in yellow, I don’t piss on people when I’m at work. In fact, no matter how much it turns me on to piss on people, I rarely do it at all. I have to be at a dedicated water sports event usually, which I do once or twice a year at most (if I’m lucky.)

Whether or not you engage in your fetishes on a daily basis, a weekly basis, an annual basis, or only when Uranus is in retrograde, it is your fetish and you carry it around with you wherever you go. If being a leather person is in your heart and you believe in community, trust, honor, respect, family and support then you can be a part of this community. It really doesn’t matter what gear you have, or how big your toy collection is, or how often you engage in those fetish activities. I’ve seen a hot leather man in gym shorts and gym shoes pull off a hot impromptu leather scene with his partner’s bootlace and belt while the fully “dressed” guy with all the right gear and accessories stood helplessly by and didn’t know what the fuck to do.

The majority of people that you are going to meet at a competition are expressing a part of themselves that they only get a chance to express occasionally, so they tend to be “in the mood,” and surrounded by all the “right people.” To the person who is new to the scene, this creates a deceptive perception of how these people are in their day to day lives. I can go for weeks, sometimes even months without getting my rope out, and then suddenly one night I might tie up six different people. Is my interest in rope casual or hardcore? Sometimes our fetish-selves spill over into our mundane lives, for instance I wear my boots to – well almost everywhere.

If you chose to try to become a leather title holder, you will have to remember a few things: Title holder exist to support their community, not the other way around. Your community will expect you to become a visible advocate for them, that’s why they usually give you a patch to put on your vest, a medal to put around your neck, and/or a sash to wear. They want you to wear these things and represent the title they’ve given you, and answer questions. Get yourself a mentor, get yourself some gear, get yourself a platform and go have fun! Remember that competing and making friends is half the reason to do it, winning is just the other half.As for mainstream acceptance: I think this is one of the cases where tolerance is better because sometimes they don’t want us, and we don’t want them. It also makes it somewhat sexier to be part of something that is “dark” and “dirty.” It tickles me when people are afraid to go to the leather bar, because we’re all scary folks in leather. It preserves a part of the fantasy for me.

November 29, 2013

“What are some good resources for learning about different fetishes & kink? I’m looking to expand my understanding and try things out in a safe environment, but my searches for information tend to lead me to porn websites more than helpful resources.”

People are the best resource for learning about fetishes and kink. I would recommend finding out if you local community has a fetish education center, educational conferences, or public events. Start going to these places and learning what you want to know. Along the way, you may learn about things that you didn’t know you had interest in before, and you may become great at them. You may also learn that some things you did want to try were not your cup of tea.

If you’re at a conference, you won’t get the in depth kind of knowledge that you’re looking for, but you may get a chance to connect and network with people who know about your fetish or kink, and can show you one on one or in a group what to do when the time comes.

Internet searches are free, and relatively easy, and make “experts” out of people with no hands on experience. They are also unreliable, as you don’t know whether the person on the other end of the typing actually knows what they are talking about or not. (Yes, I realize the irony of using an internet based advice column to tell you that getting knowledge on the internet is unreliable, but I do the best I can.) This is why I don’t trust anyone on the internet unless they are willing to meet face to face before I play with them, or before I am comfortable with my boys playing with them.

All too often, the “Grand Master Constantines” out there have extensive online experience spinning their fantasies with words, and not actual whips. Their fantasies involve things that would and could seriously hurt or maim a person, and they don’t even know it, because they’ve never taken the time and energy, or spent the money to learn to do it properly. Early in my BDSM life, I searched for “real BDSM porn” and could not find anything that wasn’t over the time and unrealistic, or non-kinky people pretending to be kinky for money.

When I’ve learned, the people demonstrating, or teaching me may not have always been the hottest people in my book, they may not have always turned me on (I learned a lot in the straight world) but they always knew what they were doing, and were open and honest about what they did and didn’t know. It was reliable information followed by practical demonstrations. Afterward there were folks who were willing to talk to me about what I saw and how to make it work for me.

The reality is that most BDSM Practices cannot be learned from reading about them or watching a video that someone else prepared. You must have your own experience, and your own journey while learning about these things.

November 20, 2013

“Is it ‘UN-sub like’ or ‘UN-boy like’ to be very exacting or assertive in what you want?”

Yes and no. It is useful for a boy or submissive to know exactly what it is that they like, and exactly what it is that they don’t like. It’s also useful to know to what degree they like, or do not like that thing. Often times in new relationships, a sir/daddy/dominate type will try to understand what makes their new boy, or potential new boy, tick. It’s hard to punish a boy by shaving their head if the boy gets off on having their head shaved. Likewise if they enjoy being in Daddy’s company, time “off leash” and away from Daddy isn’t a suitable reward for good behavior. There are some things that are hard limits for boys, and if they experience those things they may decide to leave and never come back (or worse, badmouth Daddy to all their boy friends, and leave Daddy with no one to play with.) Being exact about what you like and what you don’t, and sharing that information with your dominant is a good way to get what you want.

Assertiveness on the other hand, can be problematic. Sir/daddy/dominate types like to be in control in their relationships. That is why they are s/d/d types and not boys or submissives. If they wanted to be told what to do, when to do it, or how to do it, they would be the ones wearing the collars, not the ones holding the leashes. Asserting your rights as a human being is one thing, but asserting yourself sexually or in your BDSM play may be a turn off to your dominant. Remember that while you have the right to emotional, physical, and mental safety in your BDSM relationships, your dominant is much more than the person who wields the whip for your pleasure. Often they have kinks and fetishes of their own. They likely entered into this relationship in order to get those wants and needs filled, not to spend the entire relationship fulfilling your wants and needs.

If you find yourself in a dominant submissive relationship and you are asking yourself, how do I get my wants met, without inconveniencing myself to make sure my partner’s needs are met; chances are you are attempting to take the dominant role in the relationship, regardless of which side of the whip you want to be on. I might add, you are also doing so in a very selfish way. No BDSM relationship should be, in my opinion, one sided. There is give and take, which is why we call it “power exchange”.

My recommendation to any submissive or boy out there who is in a D/s relationship is to ask yourself daily, perhaps as part of your evening devotion, meditation, reflection, or final thoughts before sleep, “What did I do to serve my dominant today, and did I do it in the spirit of service?” When you have an answer daily, without thinking too hard about it, you’ll know that you are being truly “sub-like” or truly “boy-like.” The way your dominant partner says “Thank you” my be pleasant and surprising to you, and may be everything you wanted and needed in that moment. If you are not currently in a D/s relationship, but would like to be, ask yourself each night, “What did I do today to serve my future dominant?”

PS: Service can be the little things you do that you think might go by unnoticed, like not giving your daddy too many dinner choices when he’s had a long day, or listening to his decision when he makes a choice, even if it seems like he just arbitrarily picked the second thing you said. If he gets to relax and enjoy a stress free dinner after a long day, he may be refreshed for some hot play after dinner, or he may just want to relax on the couch with a movie and a boy in his arms. Either way, you win, right?

PPS: An unowned boy or submissive always, always-always-always-always, has the right to say no! Regardless of who is asking, and how they are asking you to do something. If your potential dominant is not willing to listen to your “No” when you’re chatting over text or at the bar, you can bet your ass that he won’t listen when you’re tied up and helpless, and you may loose a lot more than you’re willing to bet when he does. Always! I can’t say it enough. He may be the greatest, most respected, most powerful daddy in the world with the most boys following him everywhere. The greatest gift you can give yourself, and your future dominant is to say “No” to him.

November 18, 2013

“Many of the dominant nature claim the word ‘daddy’, ‘sir’, and ‘master’, while those considered submissive claim ‘boy’, ‘pup’, or ‘sub’. When is it appropriate to call someone by their ‘community’ name as opposed to their birth name? I suppose it varies among individual too.”

Daddy Kenneth Whenever possible, I interact with someone using the name they used when they were introduced to me. I do this because it is polite to do so, and a show of respect to the person who I am interacting with. There are occasions when I am not comfortable using a “community name” to address someone. When that occurs, I typically ask that person for an alternative name to call them. It shows good manners on their part to provide me with an alternative when I request it.

When I am outside the community, I tend to drop the “community” portion of the name, and address someone by their (presumably) given name. Daddy Kenneth becomes Kenneth when I run into him at Safeway. This is out of respect for the person’s privacy. A good rule of thumb is to assume that both your grandmother, and their grandmother are present, and treat the other person the way they would expect you to.

All of that said, some people abuse “community names”, by using them as non-consensual power plays. When a person insists that everyone he knows, regardless of their relationships or community standings, address him as Sir So-and-so; he is demanding the respect that title implies, instead of requesting it. Likewise, people have a tendency to use “boy” or “slave” in a derogatory or disrespectful manner, implying a power exchange relationship that the boy or slave did not consent to.One of the greatest tenants of our community is respect. This includes respect for yourself, and all your fellow human beings. The way I see it, what you do doesn’t matter nearly as much as how you do it. As long as you are doing it with respect you should be good to go. But remember that respect is a two way street, and if the person you are interacting with is disrespectful to you, you are under no obligation to continue to respect them.