On Gendered Terms and Being a Domme

Dom(me)

In general, I’m frustrated by and opposed to needlessly gendered terms. They’re so unnecessary. I think it’s ridiculous to change a title just because the gender of the person changes. Take for example the words “actor” and “actress.” They mean exactly the same thing, except one is feminine and one is masculine. I tend to call myself an actor, because I am a person who acts. My job isn’t any different than that of an actor of any other gender, so I don’t see the need to differentiate.

Yet I understand and share the frustration with gender neutral words that originally referred to men and now refer to all genders, actor included. I see how this can encourage and reinforce the idea of the male default, that male is normal and typical and other genders are strange and unusual. If we lump everyone together under originally male terms, it can feel like we’re losing the differences between genders and saying “just be more normal and masculine already.” It does bug me to know that “actress” will never become a gender neutral term, but “actor” can be used as gender neutral. I am exhausted by this idea of gender neutrality that really means women should be more masculine and fall under male terms.

Coming from both of those places, of preferring gender neutral terms whenever possible, but also of being annoyed by the masculinity of the supposedly gender neutral, I call myself a domme. When it comes to acting, I feel like it’s the same basic job no matter who’s doing it. I don’t feel that way about domination. In our world and our culture, the idea of a dominant woman is still subversive, still contrary, still makes people uncomfortable. A dominant man is just filling the expected social role, but a dominant woman challenges those social roles. These are such different ideas in a world where the social expectations for men and women are so different that yes, I think we need different words for them.

I call myself a domme because my identity as a dominant is so affected by and wrapped up in my identity as a woman. I clearly have some conflicting feelings about words and gender, but this is the position I’ve settled on. If someone is going to refer to me as a dominant, I want everyone in the conversation to know that I am a woman. I don’t want people to assume that I’m a man because I’m taking on a dominant role. My dominance is wrapped up in and tangled with my woman-ness, and I don’t feel like I can separate the two. My kink role is always interacting with my social role, and my expected gender role. I wish that we lived in a society where all terms could be gender neutral, and where I didn’t have to choose between typing out the word “dominant” and gendering myself. I wish I lived in a world where the idea of a dominant woman was neither strange nor upsetting. Tragically, I live in this world, and this is the way that I’m going to try to navigate through it.

Do you use gendered or ungendered kink terms and honorifics? How did you come to those decisions?

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Destiny Super Soft Review

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Today I get to review another Tantus Super Soft dildo for y’all! That big shiny copper thing is the Destiny Super Soft, the second toy in Tantus’ new line of soft, squishy dildos. It’s the soft version of the Tantus Raptor, which is currently in closeout.

The copper color is gorgeous, of course, it’s lovely and shiny and an underused color in mainstream dildos. The Destiny has beautiful vein detailing. Unfortunately, all it is is beautiful, because most of it is down around the balls where you can’t insert it.

The Destiny has approximately the same level of squish that the Vamp does, and I cannot for the life of me come up with a better comparison that a soft art eraser. Suffice it to say that it has quite a bit of give, but it’s far from the floppy pillow-soft silicone found in fantasy toys and also has quite a bit of substance. Softness is always helpful when one is trying to set a new size record: the Destiny is 1.9″ diameter at its widest point, making it the largest thing that’s ever been inside of my vagina at time of writing! I would like to personally thank everyone on Twitter who congratulated me on this momentous occasion. Y’all’re great.

Let’s talk about these balls for a second. Personally, I find them to be kind of in the way, and I don’t really like the aesthetic of them. They mostly serve to make the Destiny really heavy. The ad copy talks about how the balls can hang outside of a strap-on harness for a more “realistic” experience, but I think it’s odd to talk about realism with a dildo that only vaguely resembles a human penis and only comes in copper and purple. The balls themselves are small, even, and pert, and not very realistic, and the coronal ridge is way more defined and abrupt than a real one. These aren’t bad things about this dildo, and it’s okay for a dildo to be an interpretation of a penis rather than an exact copy. I just wish the ad copy was more matched to the actual toy it’s trying to sell.

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I have mixed feelings about the shape of this toy. It’s very much front-loaded and has a pretty sharp coronal ridge, which means it’s going to pop when it’s inserted. Long time readers will remember that I don’t love a sharp popping sensation, but I do appreciate the way that front-loaded toys “lock” into the vagina and hang out there. This makes the Destiny a terrible toy for thrusting, at least for me. The bulbous head also means that the girth increases really quickly and bluntly, which isn’t great for a toy that’s larger than you’re used to. A tapered tip like on the Vamp is a more gentle way to increase size. If you’re unlike me and are comfortable with two inches, then of course this isn’t going to be a problem for you.

For me, the shape means that the most comfortable and pleasurable thing to do with this toy is just leave it in and clench around the bulb, maybe wiggling it ever so slightly. In this size and firmness, I found this to be really intense and also really fun. Because it’s a bit of a stretch for me, I felt a really intense, lovely fullness when I squeezed, and especially during orgasm when my vaginal muscles contracted.

I recommend the Destiny Super Soft to anyone who likes big, squishy dildos, isn’t too bothered by balls on dildos, and likes a very front-loaded toy. Also, anyone who’s into rad metallic colors!

You can buy the Destiny Super Soft from Tantus!

The Destiny Super Soft was provided to me free of charge by Tantus in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Thank you, Tantus!

On Ballroom Dance, Domspace, and Platonic Power Exchange

dancing shoes

Last semester, on a whim, I took a ballroom dance class. I’ve always enjoyed partner dances and social dancing, but I’d never really learned any vocabulary. In my dance class, our teacher let us pick our dance roles- leader or follower- regardless of gender or any other trait, which I thoroughly appreciated. I decided to be a lead, also kinda on a whim. I think my whole thought process was “I want to dance with pretty girls!” At the time, it didn’t feel like a big deal, since the teacher was cool with it and we have a handful of other female-presenting leads in the class.

The other day, I showed up to dance class tired and grumpy. My teacher corrected my positioning, which is literally her job and she was perfectly polite about it, but it didn’t help with the grumpiness. I went to dance with a friend of mine, and proceeded to be a very poor lead and get us all tangled up. I apologized to her and mentioned that I did not at all feel like I was in a good headspace to be leading. I was stressed and preoccupied and felt like shrinking away and hiding. She said she could tell. This friend happens to know that I’m a switch, and she started bratting at me. She said “come on, boss me around” and “make me move.” It was terribly effective. Suddenly, it was a challenge, a goading taunt from someone who wants you to overpower them, but only after you’ve earned it. I got bossy, spurred on by her mischievous grin and the amazing power of brats to get a rise out of me. My leading improved drastically after that.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this incident, because it’s taught me a couple of things. Firstly, the headspace I need to lead a dance is eerily similar to domspace. I have to be assertive, self-confident, willing to make decisions and follow through on them, and maintain control of the situation. I have to communicate to my partner what I want them to do, and show them where I want us to go. For both activities, leading a dance and domming in a scene, it is crucial that I be in the right kind of headspace. As demonstrated by my bratty friend, sometimes headspaces can be influenced by people or situations, and I can get where I need to be. But if I try to take the lead when I am in no way emotionally prepared for it, it’s not going to end well.

A second valuable lesson I’ve learned from leading is how to be forceful without being harmful, and how to find that limit for different partners. Sometimes when I’m domming, I’ll get super anxious about being too bossy, too mean, going too hard, and upsetting or injuring my sub. This is a valid and useful fear, but I can get in my head about it and become completely incapable of being dominant. Nonverbal communication in dance requires physical connection with your partner and touch cues, like raising your hand or guiding your partner with a hand on their back. You have to have enough connection and push hard enough that they understand you, but not so hard that you bruise their ribs or anything. Figuring out this kind of balance in leading has been helpful to me in finding that balance in being dominant.

Thirdly, I love platonic power exchange. It can be so useful, like helping me to perform well in class or in the case of productivity domming, when someone (consenually) bosses you into getting your work done. It also does good things for my mental and emotional health. Kink, to me, is not just a fun thing to do during sex. It’s an inherent part of how I interact with and experience the world. The give and take of power is present in all kinds of human interactions, and I am especially aware of and in tune with these power exchanges. To me, that’s what being kinky is all about.