[Cross-post (here). Passive-aggressively subtitled in my mind – why saying ‘gender doesn’t matter’ when looking for a play partner and putting down switches can be irritating to me. Sometimes switching and scene work is an element of gender expression, even if I don’t want to drastically change my public presentation for everyone else in the world to see.
I am aware that ‘gender doesn’t matter’ is how some people personally self-define being bi and/or pan, depending on if they personally overlap between the two, and this is not going after that. It’s more directed at posts where that doesn’t appear to be the context and gender is assumed to fall in line with Dominant men / submissive women even while saying that gender identity and sexual orientation don’t matter in dynamics.
Also: There’s an overlap between switching in the sense of being able to fill either a top or a bottom role and switching in the sense of being able to be either a Dominant or a submissive. Some call a top/bottom switch versatile, but AFAIK that’s more of a gay/mlm label that’s borrowed and vanilla. Personally, the liminality of both switch meanings works with being nb, genderqueer, and genderfluid.]
Genderfluidity & Switching
This isn’t really intended to talk about nonbinary, genderqueer, genderfluid, and other potentially trans identities that are not binary in a 101, explaining to cisgender people manner. Be not afraid to Google, and remember this is merely from my perspective (this is not what every nb, genderqueer, and/or genderfluid person will experience). I have a separate post that goes into more of how I claim nb and genderqueer despite being able to potentially describe some internal perceptions of gender with other words, but not all of those descriptions are relevant to how I relate to top/bottom/switch, so I won’t be covering everything.
Masculine woman / female, which I also relate to Butch
I first ran into stone being attached to butch while growing up and feel comfortable with the combination of stone butch, but “What is Stone?” explains how stone isn’t exclusively tied to gender and can be used by femme and other non-butch people. I most strongly relate to stone as having “limits on touch/penetration/nakedness”, “being a sexual top”, and “pleasure is centered on another”.
Not on the gender binary, the Other
Dark Mori, flowing peasant skirts, make-up, voice pitched low, layers hiding my body until I turn into a Mystery. (“What is it?” An Eldritch Horror. “What are you?” Mostly void, partially stars. “I’m confused…?” Good.) Waistcoats, long hair, voice pitched high, color coordinating dagger like claws with suits as a polite Monster. Freak, genderfucker, I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.
Something in the direction of more masc / femme
Sometimes but not always, certain types of play or dynamics sift up masculinity or femininity. It may not be enough for me to want to use different pronouns, address / titles, or change my presentation, but the thing about scenes with a finite time period is that I can play around with this for a bit. F’ex, I could be a Daddy, Mommy, little girl, little boy, and not have to give up neutral address (Caregiver or little). Sometimes but not always, my partner’s gender will sift up feeling more in one direction or another. It’s not always easy to explain, but they can draw out certain pieces of myself (I’ve only noticed same-gender instances so far in my life).
A neutrality or a sense of not being able to specify
“Hello…Sir?” Meh. “Ma’am?” /gestures to body/ I don’t know, I just work here. “Person?” Tired Monster who doesn’t have the time or energy to terrify and mystify, who is just barely human. Partner, datemate, if gender is a social construct I would like to cancel my Gender Bill today. Connecting with not-quite-human perspectives is easier, so pet play, animal play, and non-sexual objectification is easier. It’s not an automatic that I would have to be a submissive in one of these scenes, depending on specifics and potentially how many people are in the scene, but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s far more likely. This neutral or unspecification area is also where clinical, task oriented, non-sexual Human/tool is also easier (something has been designated Work, and I am helping to accomplish that; the clearest example I can think of is a job where hierarchy fits in where I may simultaneously have a Boss and I supervise employees under me).
While it’s easier to call up dominance while butch, sometimes the service top qualities get a bit blurred into submission. While I certainly feel like I’m more attracted to feminine people when butch, I can’t say that I would only ever consider consider femdom from the service top / switchy sub angle. When it comes to the Monster portion, it’s a bit hard to tell (alternating top/bottom in terms of scene). I want to hurt, I want to control the sensation play, I want to consume my bottom’s pain; I want to take the pain (you can’t kill a monster that easily), I have to let someone facilitate certain play, I want someone to See my pain (you can’t ignore monsters). When it comes to leaning one way or the other, I haven’t noticed a clear preference for one side of the slash over the other, but it does lead to some disconnect in certain online spaces where cishet experiences are more prominent (wax poetic about a Daddy Dom all you want, but I’m not going to be his little girl; you just might get the attention of a little boy, though). I went into the D/s under the neutral section a bit more than others. It’s possible to be ‘in charge’ of another submissive when dealing with some of the objectification and animal related areas (two animals can play together, f’ex), but typically, I’ve primarily heard of those who are Human in the scenario being the Dominant. It may not overlap with a slice of gender, but I also do have times where I want to facilitate that kind of play for a submissive and remain the Human in the scene.
Cool Story, Why Share?
There’s a reason why I tend to go with broader labels to describe my understanding of my gender to other people (nonbinary + genderqueer, some genderfluidity involved, they/their pronouns). Quite frankly, if I were to try to divulge all the little details and how they might potentially relate to being drawn more to top/bottom or Dominant/submissive for a particular kink and/or scene, it might just turn into a clusterfuck not even I would understand. I currently call myself switchy because I’m not sure I can definitely, 100% come down on one side of the slash over another in all scenarios. I can see myself flexing certain tendencies in a dynamic with someone where we work together without my switchiness, but I wrote “Gender Play” precisely because I’m not always the same me and/or certain scenes could bring out different aspects of myself to play in a manner of speaking.
Sometimes I like being the butch in the archetypal butch/femme pairing, and I may or may not want temporary he/him or masculine address. Sometimes the idea of being the Monster to someone’s Monsterfucker is intriguing, and I want to try on a different pronoun set to more clearly delineate the finite acting / roleplay quality. Sometimes I still find myself drawn to being a Caregiver, but I can’t always settle on just being a Mommy or Daddy, like overextending a muscle in a certain direction. This isn’t to say someone has to be a certain gender to engage in certain kinks or roleplay, but when I try to imagine different scenes depending on how the gender flows, some kinks have a quality of being flavored differently by my shifting gender. F’ex, I don’t mind the idea of being someone’s nb little, and I’m sometimes a bit surprised I can tolerate the idea of being someone’s little boy, but I don’t have an interest in being a little girl.
I’m aware that one play partner more than likely will not be compatible with the entirety of my interests and fluidity, and it will more than likely be easier to indulge in certain play with a separate partner. It’s not like everyone is some degree of switchy and feels comfortable taking on temporary top/bottom roles to indulge a partner, and there are the usual incompatibilities in kinks to keep in mind. However, I don’t particularly want a long-term partner to skip over part of me simply because it’s easier for them. For example, I may never do a Human/tool or non-sexual objectification scene with this person, but we’re going to be on different wavelengths if they can’t accept neutral expression of they/their pronouns.