I *HATE* Labels!

Labels. We seem to have a love/hate relationship with them. I know that I’ve often railed against a particular label and the constraints I felt it forced on me, and yet, I value labels for their usefulness in communicating entire concepts and ideas in a single word.

The video:

The text:

Today, I followed up on a few posts I’d made in various groups and pages on Facebook. I had shared a piece about pansexuality that I thought was an interesting look at a word that may be a bit new to a lot of people:

https://www.them.us/story/pansexuality-101

While quite a few people in different channels responded well to the link and the information it contained, there were some who really railed against it.

Not against BEING pansexual so much as labeling oneself as pansexual.

The “pansexual label.”

And I see this a lot:

Why does everything need a label?

Labels are limiting.

Why use a label at all? Why not just treat everyone the same way?

People in general HATE to be labeled.

I hate to be labeled.

Again, I’ve railed against the limitations of labels myself, so I’m no stranger to these thoughts.

That said, I’m going to answer these questions.

Why does everything need a label?

Humans use labels (words) to communicate. Using one word (label) over another makes communication more concise.

Saying “chair” brings one thing to mind. Saying “chaise lounge” brings a more specific thing to mind.

Saying “kinky person” brings a general idea to mind. Saying “dominant daddy” brings a more specific idea to mind.

Labels are limiting.

Yes, they are.

Labels are MEANT to be limiting. That’s why they make for effective communication.

Labels are 1-to-3-word-shorthands for potentially paragraphs of information.

Take the examples above.

Chaise lounge replaces the following: “An upholstered sofa in the shape of a chair that is long enough to support the legs. In modern French the term chaise longue can refer to any long reclining chair such as a deckchair.”

And dominant daddy replaces: “A Daddy Dom is a slight variation from a traditional dominant in a dominant/submissive relationship in that they must consider their subs inner child dynamic. DaddyDoms are usually in full control of their li’l, but also have to take care of the social and emotional well being of their baby girl since their sub is in a slightly different mind space than traditional subs.  Another significant indication of a Daddy Dom is that they will spoil the heck out of their li’l…” [ref] and more.

Now, that said, many labels (especially those that apply to humans) are not, and were never meant to be a substitute for actual communication between two people. They are simply a place to begin.

Why use a label at all? Why not just treat everyone the same way?

You can do both!

You can use and understand what people are communicating with their labels and still treat them as you would treat anyone.

People in general HATE to be labeled. I hate to be labeled.

Agreed.

I absolutely despise it when people label me without my input or consent.

And yet, I happily label myself.

We ALL do.

I am a writer, kinky, polyamorous, woman, dominant, foodie, businessperson, teacher, shoe-lover, reader, hedonist, friend, dog enthusiast, flirt, neuro-atypical…

I’m betting even you can relate to one or more of those. We all use labels for ourselves.

No one is saying that you HAVE to use a label in that article about pansexuality. They are saying this is the label they prefer to use and what it means to them.

Now you know what they are communicating when they say it.

Simple.

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