Faux… pas?

Blogging communities, like other types of internet forums, often develop certain atmospheres; in many respects it’s not unlike frequenting your favorite neighborhood tavern. You get to see the same people, have vague conversations about things, and assume that after a drink or three you understand where they’re coming from. Sometimes, though, somebody makes a statement that ends up being misinterpreted or misconstrued, or perhaps taken out of context, or not in the spirit in which it was intended. Sometimes these situations end with somebody wearing a drink, or worse.

Before I end up with Jameson’s and water all over my favorite shirt, I’m going to explain something.

I am a long-time Internet user, and until recently have spent most of my time on either Usenet or some of the various web forums. I remember my early encounters with BDSM culture, and was astounded by what I saw as a rather rigid adherence to the rules of some unspoken cultural mores. I think that most of us have run across the Gorean types, but those stereotypes have leaked out into the rest of the community. Fortunately, I ran across a fantastic group of people in the Usenet group soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm; most of them eschewed the stereotypes when they wanted to, and played off of them when they felt like it. It was good to see that there was no One True Way to think about it.

Although I was mainly a lurker in those groups, I became more active when my wife and I started playing with chastity and orgasm denial; I ran across the same kind of mindset in those groups as well. I’ve written about this in my earlier posts in this blog. Ironically, it seems that it’s the submissive men that are more welded to these stereotypes than the dominant women.

As I run across more and more blogs by women who do not adhere to the old mindset, I’ve also noticed that some of them received comments – sometimes rather ugly comments – from (supposedly) submissive men who can’t resist explaining to them where they are going wrong, and what they should be doing differently to be “real” Dommes. At least, those are the more articulate ones. The less educated just write things like “you suck” or “ur not a real dom” or worse. For some reason, Susan seemed to be a magnet for this type of clueless idiot, although Lady Julia has run a close second.
Anyway, I’d read so many of those inane “You’re not a ‘real’ Domme” comments on various blogs that I coined the term “Fauxdomme” on Susan’s blog as a way of poking ironic fun at them. To me, the “Faux” label identified people who walked their own path, and who practiced what they wanted to. This, by the way, includes “fauxmissives;” I’ve seen far too many people stop having fun because they were trying to follow arbitrary rules. In other words, the “F/fauxs”believe in just enjoying what they enjoy, without worrying about the comments from the Great Unclued.

And while it could be construed to mean “Phew! A real person in that latex corset whipping her initials into my ass!”, truly that was not my foremost thought. In fact, I respect a well-known switchy type who dommes in jeans and a t-shirt, thereby destroying several stereotypes at once. No, I didn’t have any particular “type” in mind – that would be categorizing, which is something that I would prefer not to do. The fact that I’ve categorized my blogroll is more ironic humor, although I will admit that it makes things easier for others to find.

Let me make it clear that I was not offended by anything written in the last week or so. Ms. Reciprocity, in the course of venting a bit, wrote things that might have been misconstrued. I was surprised, but I realize that she may not have caught the humor in the way that it was intended. Likewise, I have written and said things in the past that seemed funny or witty – to me – but the message was somehow lost in translation.

I’ve also lost a lot of favorite shirts that way.

(Edit: I see that I could probably have saved a lot of typing and just pointed to the definition that Richard put up yesterday.)

So, I invite anyone to check their spot on my blogroll. If you don’t like the category under which you are listed, please feel free to make an alternate suggestion.

And if you don’t mind, I’m going to go finish my drink. It’s a shame to waste good scotch.

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
This entry was posted in BDSM, Blogging, D/s, Dominance, femdom, Humor, satire. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Faux… pas?

  1. Tom, thanks so very much. No, your full meaning of Fauxdom *wasn’t* clear, or easily available; and since I’ve not been in on all the conversations and fun (faux) that developed around this I had assumed that might be obvious to others. Like I said in my first article, sometimes private jokes are best kept that way; not because they aren’t funny or true, but because they apply within a limited scope of people. I wish I HAD been one of those people in on the joke, but I wasn’t. I came along to this group of people slightly after all of that; and have done my best to catch up. But I didn’t think I’d be taken to task or insulted personally for trying to explore, in a measured manner, why having a label I didn’t understand applied to me bothered me so much. Particularly in this ‘accepting’ , and ‘openminded’ group of people.

    So thank you for your explanation and message.

  2. maymay says:

    When speaking somewhat philosophically about communication as a general subject, this sort of occurence (misunderstandings and whatnot) has been a fascination of mine for years.

    Dovetailing off that comment, let me also say that you’ve blogrolled me (cool! I didn’t realize you had done so!) under “Chastity/Orgasm denial”. While I wouldn’t categorize my blog there, this site is not my blog. 🙂

    I love the analogy, by the way, of blogging communities to local taverns. How eloquent!

  3. Tom Allen says:

    Maymay – I blogrolled you as soon as I saw you had a blog. I put you in the C&OD category because that’s how you and I “met” a few years ago. Obviously you – and most others – won’t fit neatly into one category, or even two or three. I laugh because I get a large number of search engine hits on some variation of “Tom Allen’s Chastity Blog” and yet chastity is such a small percentage of what I write about.

    Actually, I have no friggin’ idea what I do write about, but I do understand why I get the hits.

    But I should also point out that I set up categories for my own benefit; instead of bookmarking blogs that I enjoy, I find it easier to roll them and use my blog as a link page. Since I think that long blogrolls are ungainly, I split mine up according to some heuristic that I can’t possibly explain. It works for me.

    Someday I’m going to write an essay on the social similarities between online communities and f2f gatherings.

  4. Eileen says:

    Curiously, I don’t think that your explanation and Richard’s explanation of the “fauxdom” actually mesh well. Not for me, really. You seem to be talking about people who choose not to follow a ‘one true way’ in how they play or how they view the scene. (I think so, at least, and definitely appreciate the edge of ironic humor as well.) Richard’s definition is more focused on people who choose BDSM as a way to play romantically and privately because the ‘one true way’ attitude of the public and online scene isn’t appropriate for them.
    By your definition, I’d say I’m a faux dom. ‘Cause really, one true wayers freak me out. But by Richard’s I’m actually not, because I’m still in the public, leather n’ boots wearing scene.
    Huh. Maybe I should go write something about this.

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