Stop calling all bottoms “subs”

Yes, masochists submit, Littles submit (except maybe the bratty ones), rope bottoms submit, negotiation fetishists submit, humiliation fetishists submit, slaves submit, often leather and foot and other “old school” fetishists submit as well.

And you know what?  D/s Submissives submit too. (I’ve capitalized that carefully.)

But while all kinds of kinksters submit, Submissives Submit! (I’ve capitalized carefully again.)

This seems to cause a lot of confusion for non-Dom tops.  It causes a lot of grief for capital-s Submissives too.

Consider the (imaginary, simplified) sentence “Yeah, I used to truss my sub like a piglet and was striping him top to bottom with a single tail, would you like to be my sub?”  A masochist is likely to hear the sentence and go “wow, a single tail?  That sounds hot!”  A Submissive is more likely going to hear “would you like to be my sub?”

If turns out the original speaker is a Dom the masochist is likely to expect some lovely aches and pains next week, but not particularly care for their erstwhile partner’s tone of voice when comes to how they should behave when they’re apart.

If it turns out the original speaker is an ordinary top – a sadist for instance – the sub’s going to have a really hard time.  A hard time with limits and boundaries, perhaps going further than they’d like in a desire to please their top.  A hard time the other way with limits and boundaries when they don’t hear from the top again till the get a text that just says “want to get back together at the club Saturday night?”

Of course in real life things are never so cleanly cut and dried.  But you see the point here?  

The shorthand “sub” is overloaded.  I think it’s probably made worse by the convention of putting Submissive in lower case to indicate… I dunno, diminishment?  Subordination?  I dunno.  Whatever the reason I’m seeing it as a source of vexation for actual Doms and their Subs, and a source of annoyance, confusion, and ha-ha-what-a-bunch-of-posers outbursts from tops and other kinksters who end up subjected to exhortations that if you’re not into it 24/7 you’re not legit.

I get that one curmudgeonly bystander on Tumblr isn’t going to change anybody’s mind. But if i could waive a magic wand I’d get everyone to start capitalizing the letter S in Submit.  And the letter s in Submissive.  And the letter s in D/S.