unpopular opinion

The terms and phrases that many “old school” Doms/kink people use are so cringey. Specifically, for me, the terms meta talk, firing, or releasing a sub.

Even in a 24/7 dynamic, there shouldn’t need to be a special, separate, step-out-of-your-role time to talk to your partner(s). Open communication should not happen only during a designated “meta talk.” I feel it sends the wrong message about clear and open communication right off the top. It rings as fake and disingenuous, like your power exchange is all pretend. Maybe it worked at one point in time, but we need to do better.

The other part of this really degrades the humanness of subs, and not in the kinky way. I’m your partner, not your employee. You don’t fire your partner. You don’t release your partner. This terminology really skeevs me out and drives home the icky, “less-than” mindset of the 50 shadesy/wannabe crowd. Again, maybe it was ok back in the day, but we can and must do better.

At the core of these is respect, and it has to go both ways in any healthy relationship, but even more so in a D/s relationship. Using terminology that inherently degrades/lowers one person is unhealthy and disrespectful. Let’s do better by ourselves and our partners.

In kink things like “Dom” and “Sub” or “Slave” or “Master” or “Little” etc. are metaphorical elements for ways of being sexual in adult relationships. And so it’s not surprising that the metaphorical language sometimes gets extended. Or that it can get extended too far.

“Firing” your Sub or Dom can gloss over the non-metaphorical fact that you’re breaking up with a partner, a lover, maybe a friend too!

It’s… sort of ok if you’re only getting together as the BDSM equivalent of friends with benefits. And sometimes you can feel like you’re being used for your topping or bottoming skills and not as YOU. And maybe “firing” could be the right word then?

But words have consequences. And complete communication is hard. One person might hear “fired my Sub” in a narrow context and pick it up as a general term.

Don’t do that. Even if you’re upset with a partner you saw something in them when you entered your relationship. Honor that person when you leave your relationship too.


Meta conversation really is a funny term. You mostly want to use it in situations where a safe word or timeout would be called. Otherwise? Yeah, it’s not a “meta talk” it’s a talk about your relationship. Your needs with your partner. Their needs with you.

Kink talk is great when you’re doing kink. But just like it’s awkward when your medical friends say “stat” to the barista or bartender it’s weird to use inside kink talk when you’re not actively doing kink.