I like getting flogged, hate-fucked, spat on, degraded, tied up, group-used, and simulated rape, but when someone calls me “theirs,” I freak out.
Kink is filled with labels that imply ownership. Daddies have boys, slaves have masters, subs have sirs, pups have handlers, and the list goes on. When I was getting started in BDSM, the labels bothered me. I hate possession. The minute someone talks about rules and exclusivity, I bolt.
Then I realized why these roles exist. Some sex practices require skills that are best taught one-on-one within the confines of a fetish relationship — where trust is developed, feedback given, and performance appraised. These roles serve real purposes: They arouse people, teach them how to enjoy the sex they want safely, and help us as a community preserve our kinks while sharing them with beginners.
I’ve seen countless kinky relationships blossom over the last few years. Most have been very beautiful to witness. They’ve taught me something important: No matter what you call yourself, whether you’re a “slave” serving a “master” or a dominatrix training a rubber gimp, you’re always free to leave.
When the pleasure stops or the learning ends, there’s no need to stay. Yes, romantic connections do develop from dominant-submissive relationships (and many healthy romances include dom-sub play), but labels like “sir” and “boy” exist for pleasure and growth. You keep them as long as they feel good. Nonkinky marriages everywhere could benefit from this simple rule: If you aren’t happy, you don’t have to keep being “husband” or “wife.”
Many nonkinky folks suffer for years in unhealthy relationships (with far fewer rules and restrictions than some BDSM pairings) never realizing this: If it’s no longer enjoyable, stop. It doesn’t matter what you call yourself or what’s stamped on a piece of paper if the joy is gone. People don’t belong to people.