Switch is a "dirty word"?

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by RS1981, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. RS1981

    RS1981 Member

    I just read an article written in 2002 about how the BDSM community views switches, and it kind of surprised me. It also says that switching is becoming more accepted, but I'm not entirely sure why people even look at it as a problem. I mean the participant goes into a play session with an intention to act a certain way, so it's not like they'd deviate from that in the middle of it all of a sudden right? I guess even in BDSM people sometimes only accept things in black and white terms.
  2. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    In many areas, BDSM started out with a fairly rigid hierarchy to it. You started as a bottom and eventually graduated to topping. That system started to erode in the late 90s (as I understand it), but many older players still feel that's the appropriate model. Switching didn't really have a place in the scene in a formal way.
  3. RS1981

    RS1981 Member

    I personally enjoy the grey area as it applies to my pet. While I'm 100% dominant in our relationship, it turns me on to hear how she wants to dominate a woman. I think it's healthy to explore both sides personally. I've said this before, but I have a tendency to take on a submissive role outside of our relationship, so exploring my dominant side with her is relaxing.
  4. P.S.Eudonym

    P.S.Eudonym Member

    I wouldn't place too much importance on a single article.

    One reason I could see is that one could view switches as basically not into BDSM at all. Many people draw a line between kink and BDSM at the point where authority comes into play.
    (I.E. many couples will play with handcuffs and call it kinky, but few will put words or awareness to the power play that is involved.)
    Since all BDSM authority is both arbitary and makebelieve (if it weren't it would be abuse), someone that switches could be seen as simply kinky because he or she denies the authority structure many view as a defining characteristic of BDSM. That view would make a switch someone that is not part of the BDSM scene at all and thus give the term a bad conotation.

    However, one should be aware that this is an attempt to classify something that has as many definitions as it has particioners. Since BDSM is ultimately about the personal reaction to an external input, there is simply no right or wrong way to it.
  5. Frostig

    Frostig Member

    I'm one that can't switch... I've tried and didn't like it mentally and physically, I know its for fun but being submissive just made me feel weak and worthless when I know I am strong. And when I got whipped... well I kinda lost it ^.^"

    Again I know that bdsm is meant for fun but I look in it a little deeper in a more romantic way.. a lost kitten, wanting my shelter, wanting to be punished, wanting to serve me. So I let her in.. feed her, bath her, brush her hair, keep her safe in my warm in my arms during the night... etc.. but in return she will serve me. (Can get into more details but making this short)

    Sorry if im rambling on but anyhow! That's why I don't switch, im muchmore comfortable being Dom and yet knowing the pet is happy and would be more then happy to serve me. And as we know the submissive partner has got to be willing and comfortable with things to even start. Nothing wrong with switching though
  6. RS1981

    RS1981 Member

    All good points. I'm not drawing any conclusions on a single article, it just gave me something to think about. From a certain point of view, one could argue that she is not technically a switch since she views men as more worthy than women. She refuses to be dominated by another woman, but she respects the traditional hierarchy that men dominate them. I hope that doesn't sound sexist because obviously I respect her, but she knows her place with me.
  7. P.S.Eudonym

    P.S.Eudonym Member

    @RS it does sound sexist but that is because you build your argument on a misconception (I think).

    Sociologically speaking, gender doesn't play that much of a role. The traditional hirarchy of the world is not build on the notion of men dominate women, but that the strong dominate the weak. Men are generally physically stronger than woman and in less civilized times physical strength equaled social standing. Also, due to religion and a (wrong) equation of physical and mental prowess has lead to the notion that dominance is a question of gender alone. However, history is filled with women who have proven that notion wrong. (Just look at the numerous female monarchs that ruled their respective nations successfully and completely, often longer than most men.)

    Since our perception of sexuality is always intertwined with our perception of society, its easy to think that men should dominate women, but in reality, its just a question of preference. Case in point, I have met more submissive men than women so far.

    If you and your partner adhere to certain protocols of social standing, that is fine, but always be aware that she is submissive because she wants to be, not because she is a woman. Down the road of unawareness sexism and prejudice lies. ;)

    It may well be that I am taking this whole thing too serious and sound like a lecturer again. If that is the case, sorry.

    @Frost, I can't switch either. At least, not yet and my interests to give it a shot are limited. I am dominant and thats that. Still, nothing wrong with switching in my book. Whatever rocks your boat I always say.
  8. RS1981

    RS1981 Member

    Fair enough, I don't mean to sound sexist and I'm not implying that men are superior in any way, we both have our strengths and they compliment each other. I'm just saying that, given the soft nature that most women generally give off, it's easy to come under the impression that they are meant to be dominated just because. I don't fall under that false impression at all, I just find it to be fun (Just like all of us Doms here) to feel like I'm in control in the relationship, even though there are obviously boundaries. After a while you stop thinking about those boundaries though it just becomes second nature and you get that full power feeling.
  9. P.S.Eudonym

    P.S.Eudonym Member

    Sorry, I forgot the "I don't mean to insinuate you are in fact sexist" line. Ops. :)

    I see your point though, repeated action breeds habbit.
    One could argue that a large part of the oppression of women throughout history could be based in that very mechanism. Society getting used to a ritual that eventually becomes the norm. Though, this does sound a little too apologetic for my tastes. Individuals make choices on a daily basis and that choice was perpetuated too long and consistently to be attributed to be just a habbit.
  10. RS1981

    RS1981 Member

    Yeah that happens to be one of my own habits, in everyday life I tend to sound overly apologetic if I'm defending an opinion. And you're right, BDSM is a choice, just like most everything else in life. And just like everything else, that choice can have consequences. I carefully weighed the pros and cons of the lifestyle, and mapped out a plan about how I would go about it. Then after repeated practice of those plans, eventually it just came to be something I'm comfortable with. Actually at first I had the impression that most vanillas have about the lifestyle, then I came to understand that the misconceptions just aren't true.
  11. P.S.Eudonym

    P.S.Eudonym Member

    Heh, I know the feeling. I am still working on that one.

    I disagree about BDSM being a choice though. Practicing BDSM certainly is a choice, but the desire for control and dominance or submission is not in my opinion. Thats an expression of our natural sexuality. We can chose to supress those urges but that is not a healthy thing to do in my experience.
  12. RS1981

    RS1981 Member

    Exactly, that's what I meant by choice. I've always been dominant in relationships and I tend to feel a bit empty when a woman doesn't receive it well. I can manage without it but I understand what you mean about it being unhealthy. It's definitely not a comfortable or easy thing to do without it.
  13. arsynrose

    arsynrose New Member

    Well what do you do when you really feel a calling to be a submissive but the person your in love with is uncomfortable with it and prefers you to be more dominant than you really are?
  14. WildsweetSwitch

    WildsweetSwitch New Member

    Arsynrose, that's a difficult position to be in. I'd imagine that everyone in a relationship makes concessions and compromises; and both of you might have to do those very things.

    As my name would indicate, I'm a switch.
    For years, I was always the dominant one in my past relationships. I thoroughly enjoy topping men and women. It's exciting and powerful. I love the look of longing to please on a subs face. But I am a masochist first, and a sadist second.

    Then, I met my current partner in crime. From the moment I met him, I felt this intense need to kneel before him and give him what he wanted. And I did. I got on my knees and sucked his cock the first time we met. It was a wonderful experience. I realized that I enjoyed earning his approval and feeling a little helpless around him. It was very different from being the dominant woman I've always been, but still strangely satisfying. Now, 5 years later, I still crave him topping me... just as I crave a slave of my own to top.

    In response the the first poster, I guess it's a lot like how gay and lesbians have been known to dislike the nomenclature of "bisexual." So, somehow it's not ok to like both genders OR enjoy topping and bottoming. Obviously, I am a bisexual switch. It's hard sometimes, but also very gratifying to have less boundaries.
  15. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Arsyn, Wild's right; there's a good deal of compromise involved in bdsm, despite the appearance to the contrary. Both doms and subs have limits that the other has to accommodate, and both may need to accept that the other cannot meet certain desires.

    The situation that you're describing, of a sub partnering with a sub, is not that surprising. There's a general estimate that subs outnumber doms by about 10 to 1. Thus many subs wind up having to play with other subs; in that situation, one sub inevitably winds up playing the role of dom, either on a regular basis or regularly switching with the other. Most of those in that situation that I've chatted with express a certain amount of frustration or dissatisfaction with the arrangement, but some feel that they make it work, although some hope that they will eventually find a dom to serve.

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