This first post has actually nothing to do with text analysis, but I thought it would be a fun place to start.
I had the opportunity to go to the Nuit Elastique, a Parisien reference in Fetish nights out, with a strict dress code of vinyl, leather, or latex. Though I’ve already frequented the BDSM scene, I was quite the virgin when it came to such large gatherings of fans. I can safely say now – cherry popped, and will be back for more 😉 (sadly where else in Paris can you dance to Depeche Mode …)
My curiosity, as usual, lay in how the participants were going to express being a dom or sub, is such a distinction always clearly marked and respected?
I ask such a question because depending on the venue, BDSMers seem to more or less elitist when it comes to showing off their distinction or being able to navigate between both roles. For example, being novices to the world, my partner and I were greeted with rather condescending remarks in sex shops catering to this arena – “don’t buy a gag, just order her to shut up”. It was almost as if we couldn’t decide for ourselves what kind of BDSM roles we wanted to play. Perhaps giving orders isn’t really my top’s thing, or being simply ordred to “shut up” isn’t quite an incentive enough for me to just obey … Aren’t there other ways of expressing dom/sub desires without putting ourselves in a box order/obey?
I digress, but here’s some more kink for thought before getting back to the Nuit Elastique. Checking out the names of guest’s remarks at a dungeon for hire in London gives examples of blurred lines between the dom/sub distinction.
- Sir Smith and his princess
- Lady Desire and her brat
- Duchess Bree and Princess Dolly
- Incubus and Succubus
A brat is by definition someone who doesn’t obey or rather gives orders his/herself. Sir/Princess, Duchess/Princess, Incubus/Succubus puts both parties almost at the same level or at least we are far from the Master/slave dichotomy. There is definitely more to this than meets the naked eye !
The non-verbal costume communication at the Nuit Elastique was much the same. Clearly identifiable subs had their own hierarchy in certain circumstances. In a sort of food-chain-like hierarchy, there were subs of subs being whipped while their mistress cautiously overlooked, an apparent dom handed off her hand cuffs to her sub while she allowed herself to be tied up and strung by another, for the whole party to see, and yet another dom gave felatio to other men while her sub watched – we are seemingly not in necessarily marked distinctions of “hey if you’re a Master just order her to shut up”.
Thankfully for practicing BDSM fans everywhere, there appears to be endless layers of possible roles to adopt and bring to life- it’s all left up the limits of your imagination !
– keep playing !