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a thought on S&M [Dec. 29th, 2001|05:56 pm]
Being dominant is like being heterosexual. You can only play with submissives.

Being a switch is like being homosexual: you can only play with other switches.

Being submissive is like being bisexual: you can play with dominants or switches.

I'm evaluating the relative truth of these statements. I find it strange, being bisexual and a dominant. Under the above statements, it's kind of like being heterosexual and bisexual at the same time. I'm trying to evaluate some of my issues with the difference between orientation and behavior.

[User Picture]From: ciphergoth
2001-12-29 06:24 pm (UTC)
Er, eh? The obvious analogy is switch ~ bisexual - what is it that inclines you away from that view?
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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2001-12-30 09:54 am (UTC)

behavior is different than orientation or preference, or gender.

It is obvious that bisexuals can play with both men and women. But they don't, because of the difference between preference and behavior. A lesbian, in theory based on orientation, is sexually attracted to women. But in therms of behavior, a lesbian doesn't in practical terms have sex with any woman, because many women are heterosexual in preference. A lesbian will generally only play with women-oriented women. A bisexual woman, on the other hand, can play with hetero or bisexual men, or homo or bisexual women, but for any given dyad, they only play with men or women, the orientation of the dyad decided by the gender of the partner. In greater associations, equitable play nearly always requires the same sexual orientation among the men and among the women. Therefore, in a equitable mixed gender association of more than two people, the group must have the same preference (bisexual, heterosexual, or homosexual,) but since the assumption is mixed *equitable* play of two genders, heterosexual and homosexual are effectively ruled out.

In practical terms, a switch can really only play with other switches. A top will not prefer to be flipped, and a submissive can not be ordered to give orders. Bisexuals prefer neither male nor female genders, a null preference. Likewise submission, in my opinion, is a null behavior and preference, akin to bisexuality.

Depending on how you assign or map gender, identity, orientation and preference to termed concepts in d&s, you will get a different mapping of sexual identity to bdsm identity. If you assume that female=submissive and male=dominant, a flawed mapping IMO, you get swich=bisexual, but it connotes by association the submission of females. You can also assume heterosexual=dominant and homosexual=submissive, (bisexual=switch) which is also flawed in that it connotes by association the submissiveness of homosexuals. I believe the statement I have made assumes a different and less flawed mapping, and gives some personal insight and is internally consistent with my observations. Better bisexual=submissive=null, homosexual=switch=play with the same, heterosexual=dominant=play with the opposite, because it imples the submission of bisexuals, that in any given interaction, because they choose to be with that person, they submit to the assigned gender of their partner.
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[User Picture]From: ciphergoth
2001-12-30 10:02 am (UTC)

Re: behavior is different than orientation or preference, or gender.

No mapping really works even on a combinatorial level, never mind the connotations. But your assertion "In practical terms, a switch can really only play with other switches" isn't true - as a switch myself, I've bottomed to people who only top and topped people who only bottom. I tend to think being a switch is similar to being bi because you can at least in theory play with anyone who does SM - though of course that's not quite true, in the same way that being bi doesn't mean you fancy everyone.
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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2001-12-30 10:35 am (UTC)

Re: behavior is different than orientation or preference, or gender.

I think you and I are stating the same thing: yes, as a switch, you can play with tops and bottoms, but not as a switch- you assume the role of bottom or top. For internal debate purposes, I am cross mapping orientation and behavior between BDSM and sexuality to highlight some of the flaws I have in my conceptualization of both. Discoveries: A switch cannot be both top and bottom with someone who is dominant or someone who is submisssive- a person can only be both top and bottom to someone who is both top and bottom. I believe that bisexuals can only relate and be 100% themselves to other bisexuals in a dyad relationship. Therefore, I believe that as a bisexual I should be seeking the company of other bisexuals. As a dominant, I should be seeking the company of submissives. I believe I have decided it is not in my self interest to play with switches, and that is why I generally refuse BSDM play, since the vast majority of submissives I encounter are behaving as switches (want to control the scene, flip the top). Yes, I *could* play scenes with switches acting as submissives, but it is not generally the basis of a relationship. I am troubled internally by my personal issues with the relative merits of playing outside of a formed relationship, either sexually or in BDSM. In this, I am finding the need to hack away at some seemingly obvious paradigms.
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[User Picture]From: derien
2001-12-30 07:01 pm (UTC)

Re: behavior is different than orientation or preference, or gender.

You're assuming the switch is only involved with one person. Why should they be? I'm bi and sub, my boyfriend is straight and dom, and I'd _like_ to find a switch bi girl because she would fit with either of us.

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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2001-12-30 08:30 pm (UTC)

Re: behavior is different than orientation or preference, or gender.

I don't deny that it might be the right arrangement. But in practise, such a relationship would be subject to extreme forces on a nearly continual basis and is unlikely to endure. I think that on a temporary basis something like that would be workable. I am not assuming monogamy, since I'm not monogamous nor do I intend to construct my beliefs that way. But, I do think that issues of equitability and roles under such a relationship would be put to a much greater level of test than a dyadic one, or even three dyadic relationships. If introducing a third preson (c), the relationship of (c) to (a) and (c) to (b) are by definition two different relationships- you can't be sure that (c) is the same person, in concept, in relationship, in your mind as it is in his. It's that level of uncertainty and trust hurdle which makes such a relationship difficult.
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From: learning_curve
2002-01-08 08:54 am (UTC)

bi poly switch

What can I say...

You make me think of a "munch" I attended. Half the room identified as "bi, poly, switch." I giggled - we could have saved itme if all the bi, poly, switches, got up and were counted at once. Except, it probably means a different thing to every one of them.

Orientation, behavior, and identification.

Three words I'm struggling to understand.

I am submissive by identification and orientation. But, I have, on occasion been a top. A rather mean, demanding, pushy top.

I am heterosexual in orientation. I will identify as bi for political reasons. (To help get cruel and stupid laws off the books.) In behavior, I prefer the gentlemen but have had some lovely encounters with the ladies. I fall in love with men. I lust with people, of different genders and sexes.

And as for poly, I identify as and am oriented as poly. Behavior - I have a primary partner and enjoy a few secondaries. I find that the goals of my relationship - shared property, time, wealth, and interests, permit some secondaries, but not too many. That's fine. It permits them and does not a priori preclude them. I'm thrilling to the fact that I can have a primary relationship and a dead good one and still be poly. I used to think these things were inherently unstable, or inherently more unstable that the "standard" heterosexual, one-on-one, monagamous relationship.


Let's talk more about stability, shared property, and interest. I love sex, I love conversation, but the concept of owning income-producing property... That gets my knickers in a twist!

I've also posted this as a journal entry on my own page, learning_curve.
Feel free to comment it there if mroe appropriate.


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