Names, titles, what we call each other. I find that these concepts are simultaneously unique and utterly culturally bound. I recently told KinkyandPerky (whose blog you should be reading) that I’m often intentionally vague about dirty talk in my stories because dirty talk is so unique to everyone. I’ve read otherwise hot stories, but the dirty talk (of a type that isn’t mine) just threw me out of the story. I believe that names work the same way.
In a D/s relationship, I use Sir – as in “Yes Sir,” “No Sir,” “Please Sir,” “May I Sir.” There are many reasons for why I use Sir rather than Master or (ugh) My Lord. Part of my choice is entirely linguistic. I don’t have M/s dynamics. Perhaps that’s a limit for me to explore later, but I have no master, and I won’t be owned. My Lord? I just can’t. I can’t imagine saying it without irony, without putting on a lousy accent and pretending I’m at a Renaissance Faire. Ok there may be something there that I can work with….
But Sir… That makes me a little weak in the knees, and it allows me to be just a bit of a brat. A slight tone shift or change in inflection, and the eager Yes, Sir becomes a sullen, sarcastic (perhaps I need a spanking) Yes, Sir.
There’s also something about Sir I can respect, in a way I can’t with My Lord (M’lord). Sir, for me, is a title of respect, even if outside of kink it gets foisted upon those who don’t always deserve it. For me, I suspect that Master will always carry too much cultural baggage for me to be comfortable using it.
Daddy is something that I’ve also not felt comfortable with. There’s the phrase, “who’s your daddy,” that with the exception of the Zombie’s song “Time of the Season,” I’ve never found particularly sexy. Although, I admit that it is a title and a dynamic I am intrigued by. I think my early story “Braided Hair and Blow Jobs” sparked something that I’d like to consider further.
I recognize that I am mercurial enough that the right person and the right circumstances and planets aligned could lead me to give most names a try.
In the kink realm, I admit that “good girl” makes me melt. When I have a Sir, I long to be a “good girl,” which of course is complicated. Girl, for me outside of kink and romantic relationships, infuriates me. I find it condescending at the best of times and utterly gallingly offensive at others. However, when my nesting partner calls me his girl… I smile and swoon a little. And I have no issue with girlfriend in the romantic or platonic sense. However, in a kink context, “girl” is my go to. And of course I want to be a good girl. There’s that moment for me, usually when I’ve hit subspace, where Sir petting my hair and calling a “good girl” is better than all orgasms – it’s better than anything.
Then there’s slut. Let me preface this, I’m not comfortable with degrading names. For me, kink is such a vulnerable space, that degrading names make me shut down… except for slut. I can’t pinpoint the reason that “slut” leads to a sly smile from me, but “whore” doesn’t. So with select partners, and I am very picky about who gets to call me slut, I use it and I enjoy it. Perhaps it has less bite to me than other humiliation/degradation names. For me, it is also connected to the idea of a fun-loving slut – a kind of benign name for someone who enjoys casual sex.
But it’s a loaded term, and I also recognize that. It is used against women daily, and I’ve had it used against me. I’ve seen it harm women, and I see women flinch to hear it. Just like girl, outside of these approved, negotiated, consensual uses I find both girl and slut infuriating.
With my partners, generically I’m fine with baby, honey, love, etc. In polyamory, some people want or need special names. Like only Partner X gets to call me baby. I don’t have that. There’s something adorable about two men turning or responding to my “hey babe?” And it hasn’t been a problem yet, when I say “that babe” and point.
Names and titles are complicated. So what names do you like?