Recently I became a moderator for a new subreddit called /r/FemdomCommunity. (A subreddit being sort of like a forum with in a larger forum on the website Reddit, in case you didn’t already know.)
I volunteered for the gig, because I am interested in seeing the space evolve into a helpful place with good well-reasoned advice on how to make F/m (or F/f or F/whatever) relationships work in the real world.
Now there is a particular kink frequently associated with F/m dynamics that I think I have completely avoided blogging about since I started Submissive in Seattle. I haven’t talked about it because last time I did the argument lasted all week, and furthermore I don’t want it to seem like I’ve got an axe to grind with it. It’s just not my kink and while I don’t find it particularly noxious, I do think that practiced certain ways it is troublesome.
I’ve successfully avoided talking about Forced Feminisation for over a year now, but when new-ish domme posted asking about it and the apparent contradiction between treating your female partner with adoration, and being humiliated by being made to dress and act in a feminine manner I gave my two cents and linked to a couple of informative posts on the matter. I might have just left after that, but I stuck around and kept discussing it, until I was slightly frustrated.
The thing is that there are different ways of practicing this kink but both are referred to using the same name, and often talked about using the same vocabulary. It seems that Forced-Feminisation-as-humiliation is one of the more frequently portrayed kinks associated with Femdom™, and yet whenever I’ve been privy to a discussion about it people come out of the woodwork who practice Forced-Feminisation-as-goddess-worship/self-empowerment/gender-play/whatever.
Which is fine and wouldn’t bother me one bit except both parties call it Forced Fem, and thus if one tries to point out that Forced-Feminisation-as-humiliation is pretty damn misogynistic, the folks who do their sort of “enforced cross-dressing where both parties generally enjoy it and it’s a totally positive thing but ECWBPGEIAIATPT is a too big of an acronym and it doesn’t spell anything anyways so we’ll just call what it is that we do Forced-Fem” get their collective knickers in a twist and react like you are trying to be the kink police and stop them from having their fun. Which of course is not what I want.
Vocabulary problems are common in BDSM it seems. Everyone is very attached to their right to use any given word to mean whatever they intend it to mean. It makes communication difficult, which is problematic when communication is such an important part of BDSM.
I know I usually try and clarify if I know that something I’m saying is likely to be misinterpreted. And it just makes sense to me to adapt your language when you know people are using the same term to mean different things. For example, if I were say really turned on by castration play, and fantasized about it, wanted to talk about it, and then found out that there were people out there using the phrase “castration-play” to mean actually and permanently removing ones testicles for a one-time only sexual high, You can be damn sure that I would find a new way to refer to my less harmful fantasy.
Which is why I’m puzzled when we live in a world where when asked “what they would do if they woke up tomorrow as the opposite gender” the majority of young boys respond that they’d kill themselves (I read an article on this, and can’t find the fucking link, send it to me and I’ll be so grateful.) When misogyny is so very deeply ingrained, why would anyone continue to use the same term for their innocuous kink as something that is so obviously hateful of women and femininity?
I know you can’t make shitty people stop using your words, but you can always start using new ones. Can’t you?