Learning To Love My Labels
- on Jan 13, 2023
I’ve recently joined a lovely discord group, full of wonderful people where so many of our conversations give me lots of inspiration, perhaps this is why my blogging mojo is back in full force. One of the topics it’s got me thinking about is how we identify and how important it may or may not be to have the right label to express who we are.
My personal relationship with labels has definitely changed over the years. I think perhaps she and exploration have shaped my opinions quite a lot. Up until my late twenties I didn’t even have a comfortable way to describe my sexuality, I knew I was a people over part kind of gal, but I often just said ‘I’m just me, I don’t need a label’. Which I don’t think is wrong, but a lot of that came from seeing how biphobic the world around me was and knowing that was truthfully how I identified.
Since my teenage years a lot more words have begun circulating in regards to expressing our sexuality and while pansexual, would also work for me I still use bisexual. I am proud to be bisexual and I hate how much biphobia is still around, both within the LGBTQ+ community and within the heterosexual world too. I now ‘wear’ my bisexual label loud and proud because I want to be part of the good fight that challenges biphobic attitudes. I do however like to pair bisexual with queer, I would describe myself as a queer bisexual woman.
Queer, I know, isn’t for everyone but I love it. I love that it not only describes my sexuality, but to me it also encompasses who I am as a person. In general I am quite happy to reject the societal norms that are expected of me and queer is representative of that, for me. It is absolutely not my place to tell you what queer means to you, or for that matter what the label you choose to use for yourself should mean to you.
I then had even more labels to wade through when I started exploring kink. I joined the community certain I was submissive, I fantasized about D/s relationships and writing those fantasies out is how my blogging journey began. In reality I am not suited to being a submissive in the D/s sense, it’s not who I am at all, the confusion came though because I am definitely sexually submissive and without that side of being fulfilled everything got a little bit muddled.
I spent five years completely immersed in the kink lifestyle, my entire relationship was dependent on being kinky, my social life consisted entirely of kinky folk (who were and are awesome) and the majority of my blogging content was related to kink, fetish and/or BDSM. It’s really no surprise that my blog came to a grinding halt when I went on my kink hiatus. In the time that everything was all about kink though I identified as a switch, a kinkster, a masochist, a sadist, a rope bottom, a rope top and probably a few more I’ve probably forgotten.
We then needed to throw relationship styles into the mix. So I was then figuring out if I identified as polyamorous or non-monogamous. In all this time I was never a girlfriend but was more than a play partner. I wasn’t a nesting partner, but perhaps a primary partner. I was, in reality, romantically monogamous but sexually non-monogamous. We completely stepped off the relationship escalator, living and breathing kink but it was never a done deal, everything was constantly evolving and I felt like I was always on the precipice of needing to reevaluate who I was and what my dynamic was.
The situation above isn’t a bad one, there is absolutely nothing wrong with what I just described and it worked for me for a long time, but by the end of it I was exhausted. I felt completely and utterly burnt out in regards to kink and non-monogamy. I know why, a different balance of things likely would have yielded a different result, but things went how they went and as a result my kink hiatus has currently lasted three and a half years, with no signs of it ending any time soon.
As a couple Mr F and I would be described as monogamous and vanilla. Which we are thoroughly content with. Both are just as valid options as all the ones I have explored over the years. I think where I’m at now, is my sexuality descriptor is more important to me than ever, perhaps because I’m now explaining sexuality to Small Human including the history of LGTBQ+ community as a whole and it feels important to be seen and heard as queer person.
My kink identity though just isn’t important anymore and I don’t know if it ever will be. I know I’m kinky to some degree, it hasn’t all just disappeared and I suspect there are things Mr F and I are likely to enjoy together in the future but can’t imagine us ever having a kink related label for our relationship.
This means I sometimes feel like a bit of an interloper in kink spaces these days. I’ve still got a lot of thoughts, opinions and experiences to share with folks but I’m not actively living any of it these days, so I wonder how relevant I am at all or if I’m pushing myself into spaces I don’t belong anymore.
With all that said I am enthusiastic about encouraging other people to explore all facets of who they are and trying on all sorts of labels that may or may not work for them. Discovering who we are and being comfortable with our wants and needs is something I wish everyone could do without fear of judgement or reprisals. I think that’s why I’m still here blogging, and why I like to connect with folks in online spaces, I want to cheer them on and tell them it’s okay to be whoever it is they are, even if that changes overtime.
There are often conversations around labels and why we need them, or why we need so many and it can be easy to feel like you shouldn’t place too much importance on them. Or perhaps somehow it’s wrong for wanting to know what descriptor is a good fit for you. I’ve been there, and I’ve done the whole ‘I’m just me’ spiel, but we shouldn’t be discouraged from using labels. They can be empowering and liberating and people have fought long and hard (and still do so across the world) for our right to use them safely (which sadly not everyone can).
So go forth and find your labels, use them, change them, talk about them with pride and curiosity or simply rip them off and say ‘nah not for me’, the beauty of it all is it isn’t one size fits all, we can all be different and make different choices but still be here to cheer each other on.