This week’s Sex Blog Roundup at Fleshbot focuses on Doms, the fellows who favor leather chaps and take their pronouns in All Caps.
I’m glad life has lead me down the pathways of BDSM and certainly, my own experience in domination has added plenty of arrows to my quiver. Learning a thing or two with ropes, canes and firm commands has made my sexual practices just that much more varied.
I enjoy reading blogs on BDSM, and I learn from them. I’ll let you in on a little secret, though:
I wince at the popular affectation of tinkering with proper capitalization.
Submissives write themselves into lowercase (“i served Sir dutifully”) whereas dominants take on the uppercase pronouns otherwise reserved for royalty and divinity (“I directed her to massage My feet, to which she replied, “Yes, Master, thank You.”)
Now, as a writer, I am very much in favor of permitting subcultures to develop their own styles and usages. It’s more evidence that language is a living entity, able to change and adapt to the needs of the people who use it. Were we to be inflexible about form, we would sacrifice the richness that slang brings to language.
I am also just fine with bloggers, such as my friends Meg and Marcus, who prefer to use all lowercase. That strikes me as an acceptable stylistic preference. If I took issue with it, I might have to face down e. e. cummings and bell hooks, and really, who has the energy for that?
But somehow, this little affectation gets under my skin. I can’t very well ask writers to stop doing something I consider foolish, nor would I. The problem is mine. I’m sure this irritation is related to my own coming-of-age in BDSM.
Perhaps it calls attention to aspects of BDSM that disinterest me, such as roleplay, or because it delves into relationship attitudes that I consider repellent, such as possessiveness or the placation of egos.
All I know is, every time I read that capitalized “Him,” I imagine a guy who played one too many rounds of “Dungeons and Dragons” and now assumes a dominant role by right of privilege. I’m slightly embarrassed to be associated with “Doms” so long as that attitude rests in my mind, because, clearly, that isn’t me.
So for now, as I meet submissives who are also writers, I make my request: if you write about our encounters, please use proper English. I’ll happily abuse your body, but please don’t abuse my language.