Saturday, October 15, 2011

Have you ever wondered what's in a name?

People use labels for everything. They are a tool, a communication device, a form of short hand if you will. Looking at a tubular shape with a handle and a base on it that holds hot drinks, we know it is a mug or cup... well most of the time, there is the odd moment there where one just loses those sorts of words altogether, but that is a tale for another time. We learn those sorts of labels from an early age... they are a manifestation of culture and the language within.

Of course on a BDSM board it is more complicated. There is no universal language. In fact there are even two distinct camps regarding the importance of a shared language. There are those who think words have meaning and those who think words should mean whatever you feel they should.

Personally one is somewhere in-between... that's a surprise for some of you isn't it? See on one hand the little rulz nazi who dwells within likes things to have meaning... you're trying to communicate... it's complicated enough... especially given some peoples reading comprehension skills. On the other hand... one creates convenient words when the English language is just woefully lacking. This blog has them all over the place... that should drive some of you insane from now on trying to spot them J

The thing is though when trying to communicate on forums those labels become important... Imagine if you will not having a simple label like slave...
That is the interesting position a friend has currently...
See she had gone through her relationship and ticked all the appropriate boxes... quite a long list of them to. The only sticking point is that the other person in the relationship says she isn't a slave. Cool... free at last; from the definition debates, the endless feelings of being not worthy enough, having to defend you position in the universe otherwise known as BDSM boards. In fact it was a great gift in some ways.
And so there you are enjoying your gift of being free from the restraints of labels...

Except for one teenie, weenie, itsy, bitsy little problem... If you don't have a label... how are you supposed to communicate with others on the boards? You no longer have a convenient form of shorthand remember... Hello, my name is so-and-so and the person in my life gets to do mean things to me sometimes without my consent, but I'm not a slave. Yeah that isn't going to go down well with groups of people who define themselves, often in relationship to others. It certainly isn't going to make you feel like you belong either.

And it is a double edged sword in other ways too...
Generally on boards you get to have a lot of conversations that will go along these lines...
Them: I'm x just like you.
Really? Your 24/7 online, never met your master, relationship is just like having Him in one's grill, doing his laundry and being hauled out of bed at dawn to go walkies 'cos he likes the company?
Them: Yes it is.
Right...
Can you imagine what the conversations will be like without the convenience of labels to cut down on some of the work?

Oh and for the record when someone tells you their relationship is exactly like yours... run. You are probably in the presence of a very young bunny boiler... they all start some how L

Being without a label leaves you to sift through all sorts of groups (in many cases groups you feel you can't join) to find individuals, with enough points of commonality that you can have a reasonably intelligent discourse and maybe an exchange of ideas with. You have to find people who are disinclined to get hung up on labels and just talk to you to find out what you are like. Then you have to spend a lot of time getting to know them... hoping they are as they seem. To ask for more... that way lays madness... or at least a profound sense of not fitting in.

This brings us to another little point... looks around furtively and whispers... Most people on boards don't feel like they belong (with the notable exception of the bunny boilers) except in fleeting moments... and one suspects that is why some go out of their way to embrace the idea that they are exactly like everyone else... often completely disregarding any evidence to the contrary. Belonging masks the sensation of being alone that other people engender... but that is the introvert speaking J

4 comments:

serviceslavery said...

Most people on boards don't feel like they belong

Amen to that! I feel that way all the time and often feel like giving up often, but am forcing myself to stick around just so I can maybe make a connection or two.

I needed to read this todya, thank you.

Vixen4770 said...

*smiles*

say it with me....

Master's piece said...

Yeah, don't think one is quite ready for all that freedom...

Vixen4770 said...

*looks around in search of this mythical thing called freedom*