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Kinky Titles Are Different for All Of Us

When you first figured out whether you were Dominant, submissive, or both (or none of the above), did you worry about what your title was? Did it matter to you? What about when you entered into your first relationship? Did you consider it unimportant or necessary to your identity to have a specific kinky title like Daddy or Mistress or something else? By the way, there’s no single right answer to any of these questions.

Some people I know never gave it any thought until the first time someone asked, “What can I call you?”. At that point, they threw out the first thing that came to mind. Others spent time thinking about it. What did they like? Which name felt right? What were their options? Many submissives I know never worried about their “name” until they entered in a D/s relationship and their Dominant decided what to call them. Frankly, I’ve been called many names over the years. It’s just “Babygirl” that has stuck because it fits the best.

Your Kinky Title May Change

I don’t think it comes as any secret that kinky titles are different for everyone. You might like being called Captain Kinkypants where I prefer Babygirl. You might get wet when you hear “Supreme Ruler of Spankings” but I melt when John Brownstone calls me “little one.” See? We’re all different. Whatever name we choose is the right one as long as it fits us in the moment.

What you might not realize is not only can titles change from relationship to relationship, they can also change over time. When we first got together, John Brownstone was “Sir” and I was…well, whatever he wanted to call me because frankly I just liked that he called me anything. But the aforementioned “little one” continues to be a favorite. When we’re new to D/s or to each other, we have an idea of what we like until it gets put into practice. Over time, we learn new things about ourselves and our partners which means our kinky titles can and do change. This might not happen to everyone, but if it does, it’s normal.

Think Outside the Box

Kinksters frequently email me to ask “What do I call my partner?!” They’ve gone through a list and rejected the most common names they know of: Sir, Master, Mistress, Supreme Ruler of Spankings, etc. Some people say, “This is who I am” and they know what they want to be called. For others, they find it more difficult. But we’re not all that fortunate.

It’s okay to come up with something unique or different for a kinky title. You don’t have to pick a common name or stick with gender norms. Do what feels right for you. Do you have a pet name you call your partner? That can easily become a “title.” Do you think of your partner in certain terms? Try calling them by that name to see what they think of it. For those silently begging for some actual ideas, here are a few I’ve heard of:

  • Coach
  • Lord
  • Lady
  • Milady
  • Boss – derivatives include Boss Man, Boss Woman, Boss Lady, etc.
  • Papi
  • Mami
  • King
  • Queen

“What about the submissive labels?” you might be asking yourself. Well, in our experience, the biggest struggle with titles tends to be for Dominants. Some submissives accept whatever their Dominant wants to call them. Some Dominants use physical or personality traits to figure out a name to call their submissive. Note: If you’ve got your own list of unique or different names to call submissives, please share with us in the comments below!

Reject Kinky Titles if You Want

We haven’t forgotten the kinksters who think, “UGH, I hate fucking titles.” If you’re wondering if you’re weird or crazy for wanting to be called by your given name, you’re not. Just because names and titles in kink are the “norm” doesn’t make them right for everyone. Some kinksters don’t consider Sir or Ma’am to be a title, but a polite term. I say, “Yes, sir” or “Yes, ma’am” to a person who has authority over me. It’s not their title, but I still use the word to show my manners.

I read Sub-Bee’s piece on kinky titles and names, and smiled (partly because I know her and could see in my head) because it’s quickly very clear she’s no less kinky for lack of a specific title. You can have pet names for each other, too, and not use them as titles. Or you can reject anything but call each other filthy or kinky names in the middle of sex or a scene. Ultimately, as in all things kink and BDSM, you can and should choose what works for you. Not having a title or special name doesn’t make you any less Dominant or submissive.

Does it strike anyone else as strange that even though kink clearly occurs outside of the mainstream, we have our own sense of norms? Even in the middle of your BDSM life, we may sit back and wonder, “Am I normal?” or “Am I doing this right?” There is no right or wrong in the way you do your kinky thing except for consent and communication. Claim your kinky title or reject it. Use multiple names or stick with one. Find what works best for you, your partner, and/or your relationship and forget the rest.

We’re taking part in Kink of the Week (and will try to do so on a regular basis going forward). This week’s theme looks at names and titles. If you want proof that we all do it differently, click the button below to go read other perspectives. 

25 Comments

  1. @PandaDaddy and I definitely evolved our nicknames as our kink evolved—before we understood what a Daddy Dom/baby girl dynamic could be, our kink was strictly in the bedroom and it was much more…what I’d consider higher protocal. I was miss and he was Sir. There was a point where we talked about kitten, and me taking that name, and he remained Sir, but it started us down this path of how there can be playfulness but still power exchange. We did that for a while because there’s a certain taboo to calling your significant other “Daddy” … we both tiptoed around it for a while before we actually had that talk even though I think we’d already realized by then he was a caretaker type. Then we tried it on for size and both loved it and…here we are. ????
    Kitten is what I get generally, frequently with a descriptor and a diminutive, like sweet little kitten, which I love. When we are playing kinky he also uses little girl (UMPH yes please), and since we also sometimes role play there are of course some names associated with those specific scenes too. And lots of “little” as a descriptor.

    —typed on mobile so please forgive any weird autocorrect!—

    • Kayla Lords

      August 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      I love this! I always forget about “kitten” for subs, and I haven’t heard “miss” before but I like it! Sometimes JB calls me princess, but only when he’s fucking me and he’s talking dirty…and then YUM. 🙂

  2. I love what a name or a tittle can mean!

    You guys already know we call our Dom Boss Man online , but at home it’s
    maîtriser.It’s got to the point that if we have to call him by his first name it feels really wrong.

    I have a friend who calls his Dom me lady or queen.

    For us we use our pet names, Mouse, Kitten , Baba and little bear. but maîtriser calls little ones, Girls or minxes! If we are being naughty its girl or missy and if I get my name or all of them , I know I’m in big trouble!

    The thing I really struggle with is how to address other peoples doms and subs , that is a freaking minefield!

    Pixie x

    • Kayla Lords

      August 15, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      I hate to call John Brownstone by his first name. It feels wrong in my mouth. If I can’t call him “Daddy” for some reason, I say Mr. John (which is what the kids say) or John Brownstone. Totally get it!

      • Lol I know right!

        This has also made me remember something that makes me go all squeegee! Are sir beasty called me ‘little mama’ when I found out I was pregnant. It’s kind of stuck , but when the boss man says and rubs my bump, I swear they kick harder! And yes I’m about to puke that is so sickly sweet!

  3. We started out using Sir because we were D/s so surely you have to. That soon fell away and we found it was natural for us to just use names, or nicknames at least. There are times other names are used, whilst he’s fucking me he often refers to me as his slut etc. Then there are those names I call him when he leaves his socks on the floor *glares*

    • Kayla Lords

      August 15, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Right? The “of course he’s Sir because it’s D/s” thing is pretty common. I think we all have to start somewhere but as long as we find what works for us that’s all that matters. JB uses those kinds of special names for me when we’re fucking, too (YUM!). I don’t use names for JB like you do for yours, but there may or may not be a sassy tone in my voice when he leaves his underwear somewhere it doesn’t belong. 🙂

  4. I’m totally co-opting Captain Kinkypants! 😛

    Re: Norms

    I love that you made this point.

    It’s been proven in multiple long-term sociological studies that people in marginalized groups are stricter in their codification and enforcement of norms than are people who are “mainstream.” I see this ALL THE TIME, especially with members of disenfranchised groups (because, my profession), and it definitely exists in kink culture, which can exacerbate the feeling of “Am I doing it wrong???”

    Interesting, that.

    {I could write a doctoral thesis on this concept, but I won’t take up that much space in your comment section. 🙂 }

    • Kayla Lords

      August 15, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      Captain Kinkypants is YOURS! 🙂

      If you DID write that thesis, I’d read it…..many times. But I’m also glad it’s not just my imagination…and it may even help me understand some things I’ve seen in other groups outside of kink. Does it have to do with claiming our identity within the group? (See? I’d totally read it.)

      • Often it is about stratification and power dynamics within marginalized populations. Think: We don’t fit in with the mainstream, so if YOU want to fit in with US, you must do X, Y, P, D, and Q but only T’s on Sunday afternoons, and only if you do it backwards. Blindfolded.

        It’s power trippy to say the least. And it’s somewhat counterintuitive being that being on the receiving end of discrimination *should* make people more accepting of others.

        BUT

        History has proven otherwise, which is why we repeatedly see a process of emancipation rapidly followed by codification and “You’re not _______ enough” types of in-group prejudice.

        Further differentiation within an already-marginalized group leads to ostracization, which leads to a new small group-within-a-group emancipation, which leads to new strictures, etc. For example: Homosexual becomes Gay and Lesbian, Lesbian becomes Butch and Femme, Butch becomes Non-binary and Transgender, Transgender becomes F-to-M Surgical Path or else you’re doing it wrong.

        And the cycle repeats.

        .

        I feel like I need to add a disclaimer here, like:

        I AM NOT AN EXPERT, NOR DO I PLAY ONE ON THE INTERNET. TAKE ALL EXAMPLES WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. FOLLOWED BY A SHOT OF TEQUILA. DIVIDE BY LIME. AND CHILL BEFORE FREAKING OUT.

        • Kayla Lords

          August 20, 2017 at 10:15 am

          I like that disclaimer, but I’ve also seen bits of what you describe so it makes a lot of sense. And groups have to find the ways of “belonging” and codification of the rules kind of makes sense (in that I understand why it happens, NOT that I approve). I feel like I’m seeing a rejection of that in BDSM – on a small but growing level. Not sure what affect that has over a long period of time, but it’s nice to see the opening up of ideas and acceptance where I’m seeing it.

  5. He told me it would always be Sir in private. Now that our relationship continues to evolve closer he worries I will call him Sir in public. It just doesn’t feel right calling him by his first name but I supposed I will get over that. He calls me “My sweet rabbitheart” usually if we’re chatting online and sometimes “good girl” which I love. I listened to the episode where Kayla blurted out calling John Brownstone “Daddy” during sex. That’s what I really long to call Him but not sure how Sir would take it. I am also interested in some mild degrading words during sex so I may have to find a way to broach the subject with my Sir.

    • Kayla Lords

      August 16, 2017 at 9:58 am

      The only thing you can really do is talk to him about it. But sometimes it’s important to find the right time, too. ((HUGS))

  6. I love the end of this, basically do YOUR thing, something that I often tell new folks who ask me about kinky stuff

    Mollyx

    • Kayla Lords

      August 16, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      I think I give two pieces of advice most often: do your own thing and communicate. If you can get those two things straight in your mind, you can get as kinky as you want to be. 🙂

  7. Lovely article. Names have power. (This applies to vanilla people too). Many people have ‘special’ names for those they care about (and, as it happens, those they dislike.) If you called your last lover Your Highness it might feel very strange to use that nickname for another. If your partner calls you something as not-unusual as Sweetiepie it can give you a bit of a jolt if someone else uses the term in conversation.
    I’m one of those people who evolves all sorts of random nicknames for those I know – whether I use them to the person’s face or not.

    • Kayla Lords

      August 16, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      I think I’d pay to hear some of the nicknames you make up for people you don’t like, lol.

      And I agree completely. I called my ex-husband (while I still liked him, lol) “baby” – and I can’t imagine calling another person that, but especially John Brownstone.

  8. Starting out I also called my Dom Sir, but over time it didn’t really feel right as a pronoun or title. So now I primarily use that just when being polite. Heck, I type Yes Sir so often on my phone that my autocorrect automatically fills in Ye with Yes Sir now. Lately I’ve been calling him Daddy and he’s still growing comfortable with it in terms of our lifestyle, however I’ve been calling him that since we had our child a few years ago even in public, so we’re getting used to it and luckily I can use it anywhere. For me, he likes to demean me so in bed there’s the few choice dirty names. But normally it’s just been Kat and just the other day he started calling me baby girl. But really these all feel more like endearments than they do titles. And yes, now when I use his given name, it just doesn’t fee right.

    • Kayla Lords

      August 17, 2017 at 8:57 am

      Your autocorrect is brilliant and needs to each a few lessons to MY autocorrect.

      I think you have to go with what feels right, and if I had children with JB, I would do exactly the same thing – refer to him as “Daddy” to them (like I did with the boys biological father).

      For me, certain endearments become my “name” less than a title. I consider Daddy his name, title, and who he is. It’s not separate and apart from him. When I called him “Sir” that was definitely a title but it wasn’t *him* (if that makes sense).

  9. Years ago, when we first started dating, and long before recognizing what our relationship would grow into, I made the mistake of using the diminutive form of my husband’s name, after hearing all his softball buddies call him by that. He spun around, fast as could be, and said, “Don’t ever call me that again.” Wow. Okay. Now, years later, his friends still call him that, his family still calls him the formal version, I use the formal version when referring to him in the third person, and otherwise, it’s “Sir.” He calls me by my shortened nickname version of my name when talking about me to other people, but when talking to me, he always calls me “Pretty Lady.” Nothing terribly imaginative, and not any different than before we evolved into D/s, but sweet.

    • Kayla Lords

      August 20, 2017 at 10:22 am

      I don’t think it has to be imaginative at all…it only has to work. And I’m not allowed to call JB “Johnny” like his mom does. I’ve never seen someone’s face turn from sunny and friendly to “don’t fuck with me about this” quicker than when I said it as a joke. Definitely a hard limit for him.

  10. We discussed this at length from the beginning. She’ll use captain sometimes. Mostly it’s daddy. Even got a “sir” from her on occasion. She fights to not use sir. He’s on the regular is baby. The attention getter is baby girl.

  11. I agree that relationships are constantly evolving, morphing as we continue our journey in life and kink.
    The only constant is change, for without change we do not grow and flourish. The flower starts as a seed, then a sprout before opening to a beautiful creation.
    I look forward to a relationship of kink with a submissive that appreciates diversity and is anxious to explore new vistas.

    • Kayla Lords

      August 20, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      If more people understood that everything changes and morphs and grows into new things, they might have a little less anxiety over whether the kink they do is the “right” kind. It’s right as long as it’s good for you and your partner in that moment. 🙂

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