So you may or may not have heard the term “gender fluid”. This refers to a person who may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders (male and female), but may feel more male some days, and more female other days.
This concept came up in one of my classes in a different way. We were discussing one student who knew she identified as an s-type, however, wasn’t really sure which “subcategory” she fit into. Slave, submissive, babygirl, pet, little, bottom, property, etc. I could relate to what she meant. I identify (personally) as an s-type – normally I will say submissive, yet I am sometimes more in the headspace of a babygirl or perhaps a pet. There are plenty of times I identify as a bottom – especially when I am doing a demo or acting as a practice bottom. I also fall under the category of “service Top” when teaching or doing an educational scene, however, I don’t consider myself a Dominant at all. For me the slave identifier has not been something I have identified with yet. I have several close friends that have told me they think I am “slave wired”, yet I continue to put up some resistance there. (Perhaps an issue for me to work through or perhaps just a matter of partnership) In any case, I can’t rule out many of the s-type subcategories because I may feel a combo of them or feel like I identify more like one or another from one day to the next or one moment to the next.
So during this class I named this “s-type fluid” or “s-fluid”.
I realized that this same concept probably applies to D-types as well. Maybe someone knows that they identify as Dominant, however, they occasionally act as a Top or are in the headspace of a “Daddy Dom” or “Mommy Dom” based on their partner or mood. I would imagine that identifying as a Master is something a Dominant would either feel like all the time or perhaps grow into with a partner. In any case, I think you can be “D-type Fluid” or “D-fluid” just like an s-type.
This concept doesn’t mean you are confused in any way – just like someone who identifies as gender fluid isn’t confused. It may just mean that you can flow from one subcategory to another based on headspace, partner, mood, or any other reason. By the way, this is different from identifying as a switch. A switch may be fluid in terms of being able to bottom or Top (or go between Dom and sub), however, s-type fluid and D-type fluid has nothing to do with switching. It means you identify as either a D-type or an s-type all the time, but that the subcategories of these identifiers can change.
So maybe if you, like me, know which side of the slash you are on, however, feel differently at different times – or if you are still exploring and seeing which subcategory “fits” you best – perhaps this idea of fluidity as applied to D/s identity is the best descriptor for you!
(Perhaps Fetlife needs to add this to their list of identifier options!) ☺
Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening. Read more about Jennifer on her blog, A Kink Shrink.