4 Words and Phrases to Stop Using in BDSM

There is a lot of language that gets thrown around in BDSM communities. Some of these words and phrases aren’t particularly useful, especially for beginners. Here are some words and phrases that I think need to stop being used in BDSM communities and why.

Real and True

Not a phrase but I hate the way these words get used. It goes along with Number Four on this list since both are often used to put people down and confine them to boxes. The great thing about kink is that it’s fluid and flexible. What is real is what you decide is real. You’re a real Dominant because you identify that way. You’re a true submissive because you identify that way. Don’t let people who are insecure in their own identities bully you with these words.

Topping from the Bottom

I find this phrase to be dangerous and unhelpful. At best, it implies bottoms shouldn’t be pushy with tops. At worst, it implies bottoms shouldn’t communicate anything with tops during play. Many people are trying to imply the first – they want to avoid a bottom who gives step-by-step instructions on how to play with them. Or they want to avoid bratting. Both of these things should be clarified in negotiations. Bottoms have the right to communicate information to tops during play and in fact, should be communicating during play. A top should be observing and noting mistakes they made but feedback from bottoms is invaluable.

Submission is a gift

A controversial statement in its own right, I personally don’t like this concept. Submission is not a gift, service is not a gift. It is something I am giving in exchange for something else. I expect dominance or mastery when I submit. I expect reward and appreciation when I serve. Both of these things I can revoke at any given time – a gift you cannot.

You’re not X because Y

This phrase pops up in every community but I really hate it in kink. You’re not a submissive because you don’t like impact. You’re not a slave because you have hard limits. And on and on and on. Other people’s rules and definitions for themselves do not apply to you and they need to keep it to themself. Only you get to define what being a slave or submissive or Master or Dominant or anything else is. It can be hard, it can change, but don’t believe other people who say you’re not something because of made-up-reason.

Every Damn Day in June

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