Saturday, 28 May 2016

A Real Asshole Dominant is a thing

I'm interested in how words get used. I also swear a lot and I write smut now and then so I'm particularly interested in colloquialisms, profanity, taboo words and swearing.

Humans are emotional,  judgement making,  value-attaching creatures and so many ostensibly neutral words function as anything but,  to the point when words that are entirely descriptive  become value laden.  

Sometimes a curious thing happens: as people start attaching a positive  or negative value to a neutral descriptive word, the range of its applications narrows down.

The argument of whether rape is of isn't about sex is partially about that.  The discussion of whether sex work is work is also partially about that.

And the often-brought up notion of a "fake dominant" is also about that. 

Numerous posts and articles list red flags submissives should look out for that might suggest a dominant might be dangerous,  predatory, or simply a selfish asshole.  Or fake.

I find the last case fascinating because it makes a massive semantic leap. Instead of saying: some doms are assholes,  these are warning signs,  they say: it's impossible to be a real dom and an asshole. An asshole dom is a fake dom.  "Dominance" and "unethical behaviour" thus become mutually exclusive categories.  

For me it's a shortcut too far. 

It's entirely possible to be kinky, with any flavour of the kink,  including dominance/submission, and behave in a selfish, predatory, callous, or simply stupid or reckless manner. Such repeated behaviour might make a person a bad human being, or an untrustworthy dom or sub of whom people would be well advised to stay clear,  but it doesn't say anything at all about how ''real'' their kink is. 

Why is this semantic shift is even happening?

I feel that part of it involves representatives of an alternative lifestyle trying to whitewash the public image of kink.  It's easy to say "if they did that,  they are not a dominant,  real dominant would never do that. Hey,  they are not Our People, why,  Our People are lovely, never do this kind of thing, these are impostors."

But "dominant" and "submissive" are descriptive terms and they don't - - and in my opinion shouldn't - - imply a positive value judgement.  Some dominants are assholes and some are lovely.  Some submissives are assholes and some are paragons of  integrity. Some vanilla people are assholes and some are really pretty trustworthy.  Yeah,  I know,  that last one came as a surprise too. 

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