A week or so back, a friend of mine said to me:
“I hate labels. I don’t even know why we need them.”
I don’t hate labels, myself. I love them, and yet, I still see his point. They can be restricting and ‘not enough’ sometimes.
And there is also the issue of how we use labels, and the meanings and assumptions we attach to them.
A [comment posted today][https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/5220988#comment_23772824] on a writing of mine states:
A lot of men who identify as a “dom” or “daddy” seem to project a great a sense of entitlement on this website. It’s as if they believe that that things like respect and authority are inherent in the persona they choose…and many seem to lose sight of the fact that they are communicating with actual people and not just other personas .
Who knows though…just a distant observation.
[And one posted yesterday][https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/5655740#comment_23767582]:
To be clear … I do not ascribe to the term ” Dominant” I am a Dominant personality but I do not seek to Dominate people in the form most ascribe to.
You know by being narcissistic, egotistical, always right, dismissive of questioning and focused on making people ” Please me”
What I do is provide those tools I have gained through personal experience, to assist people in helping themselves in creating the person they themselves wish to be… regardless of their desire to ” Please me”.
Both of these commenters are not only using a dictionary or widely-accepted use for the label “dominant” or “dom,” but also including their own judgments, observations, and dare I say, experiences.
Which is what humans tend to do.
It does muck up the use of labels though.
On FetLife, I use the label ‘kinkster,’ because while I am a dominant personality, and a dominant in my D/s relationships, I am not YOUR dominant (unless I am, you know who you are), nor do I care to be pigeonholed in ways as mentioned above, or in other ways that [many mischaracterize dominants who identify/present as women.][https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/4522756]
I’ve also been accused of “bait-switching,” when some poor, unsuspecting daddy dom perves my photos, sees kinkster and writes me with some variation of:
“On your knees. slut, and beg to receive my domly sausage.”
While totally missing the part of my profile that states:
“[I’m not a submissive.][https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/5036505] Believe me, I’ve tried. I partner well with dominant personalities, and clash with domineering ones.’
Because those people believe that a label should be whatever they think it means, rather than (is the case of my use of kinkster), a way of simply saying that I’m open to many forms of play that the word “dominant” as a label does not really cover in most minds.
In my mind, of course, it covers anything I want to do.
But that is not at all the purpose of a label is it?
It’s to be specific. And informative.
Kinkster is as informative as I want to be with a single label on FetLife.
On [Dating Kinky][https://datingkinky.com], I use “dominant” as my primary label, and identify as:
- Top (although I’m not a service top, and sometimes don’t like the label at all for reasons)
- Switch (T/B)
- Hedonist / Sensualist
For matching, because when meeting new people, I want to be able to connect in the facets that fit us.
How do you use labels on kink sites?
Do you describe yourself the same way in every kink environment? What label do you use? What does that mean to you?
If you use different labels depending on where you are, what determines your choice?
I’m curious about your thoughts on this subject.
More On Labels