Like the vanilla world we live in, the kinky world is full of labels. And if you want to stir up a heated discussion, bring up “labels.” It is pretty hard to have a room full of people, talking about labels without someone getting upset. And rightfully so. A lot of people feel that labels put us into neat, little boxes. And they do – if you let them.
I have a love/hate relationship with labels. Labels tell the world who and what I am, in terms that everyone understands. If you saw me in the grocery store, you would see a white, female, mother of three. If you needed to ID me to the police, you would say “white, female, medium height with long, dark hair.” These terms make it easy for people to see and relate to who we are. Is it fair? Maybe not. Is it life? Yes, it is.
Our lifestyle labels are no different. It is easy for me to introduce myself as a dominant and a masochist. Those terms allow me to easily tell someone who does not know me, how I see myself in this world. As they get to know me, they will learn that I started as a bottom, tried out being a submissive, realized that I like pain but I do not like to submit THEN learned that I was actually a dominant. And, if they never learn that, who cares? They are obviously not that close to me. And, to be honest, I really do not care what label someone may use to identify me. But I am lucky, I was born in the body I need to present myself as my heart and my mind sees me.