Dom? Master? Sir? Poly? Currently Celibate? Technically all are terms or labels that could be used, with varying degrees of accuracy.
I haven't really been actively involved in the D/s scene for quite a while. It's probably not unreasonable to describe me as being somewhat of a Dominant in nature, but what does "Dominant" mean?
Well, of course, it means different things to different people and those who identify as a Dominant will do so in ways they feel apply to them, their particular personality traits, their circumstances and, most importantly, the dynamic of their relationship. I've mentioned this before, but I think it bears repeating because there are still people who peddle all sorts of shite about D/s dynamics but there is no one right way to do D/s. What works for me, may or may not work for anyone else. What works for someone else may or may not work for me.
Yes, things like: Discipline, Punishment, Control and Rules may be part of the Dominant dynamic in a given relationship, but if you don't spank the submissive or administer other forms of "correction", does that mean that your relationship isn't, in fact, a D/s relationship? Of course it doesn't. I have always believed fundamentally in providing nurture and support; everything else falls into a given dynamics's "bells & whistles" (or should that be "whips & chains"?).
Nor is the language used within the context of a D/s relationship universal. I'm not a stickler for terms of address. I have been called "Sir" and "Master" in the past, but I don't insist on such terms being used. The terms applied depend on the individuals. My only "rule" in this context is that I am never "Daddy". If that's your thing, that's fine, but it just doesn't do it for me.
Similarly, the terms used to address the submissive are not carved in stone either. I have used "slut", I have used "little one"; it depends on the recipient. Again, for exactly the same reasons as above, I've never used any variant of "baby girl", but that's just me.
Labels, of course, can and do apply in other life contexts too. The world of mental health conditions is also awash with labels for example:
- obsessive compulsive
These are just some of the terms/labels that are used to try and pigeonhole people into convenient groupings. The labels are based on common characteristics and symptoms but, again, there can be huge variations between the symptoms and severity from one sufferer and the next. Each of us who has to live with a mental illness does so in our own way; we all have our own individual brain chemistry, our own circumstances and triggers, our own underlying causes. Labelling may help in attempting to standardise treatment regimes and coping mechanisms but, yet again, we all respond differently to different things. Certain drugs work well for some people, while others are contra-indicated. Some people find talking therapies beneficial where others find them triggering. Once again, it would seem that the only "universal truth" is that there are no universal truths.
Labels, when applied appropriately, are a handy linguistic filing system; they help us categorise and make order of things. We can point to something and say with a reasonable degree of certainty: "Look, there's a thingamajig" or "That's definitely a wotsit" or "It could be one of those doo-dahs". They help us explain, but they do not and should not define.
As for myself, there's only one label I readily accept as certain; I am me.