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A Word Too Far

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4 years ago • 05/17/2017 12:17 pm

A Word Too Far

Villanelle​(staff) • 05/17/2017 12:17 pm
In a practice like D/s where power and humiliation are often corner stones of a relationship words that seem taboo in our cultures can be useful tools in reinforcing the dynamic. But are some words off limits for you? As a feminist dominant I have often used 'bitch' to refer to my submissives but would never use a homophobic or racial slur. Others have different standards and whether or not they are okay is up for us all to determine for ourselves.

Things get a bit trickier as we administer this site. I believe in shame free sexual exploration and don't want to censor anyone. Yet where is the line between hate speech and playing with words to get a particular reaction? How do you feel about profiles that use words you find offensive? And where do you think we should draw the line here on THE CAGE?
Falconer​(switch male)
4 years ago • 05/17/2017 4:28 pm

Words have power

Falconer​(switch male) • 05/17/2017 4:28 pm
Tricky question . I always have gone by the saying, it is better to be kind then right. I think that in using such emotional laden words it depends on the context. Private communication between individuals is different then that found on public sites where a wide group of people with various outlooks, and even language skills and or literacy. For me, in a blog or dialogue between individuals I have a relationship with or am decrypting a felt experience, then I would use those words that have that unique sexual power and value. But in a more general since I would refrain from many of these if I felt they would be read out of context. This puts a more taxing onus on editors and administrative staff of such sites as The Cage. The power of language is a two edge sword, to do good and to do harm. The very question asked shows great compassionate intent and gives me a comfort that this will be and is a welcoming and protective environment for us with a different sexual wiring.
Faerietattoo​(switch female){None}
4 years ago • 05/18/2017 2:51 am
Faerietattoo​(switch female){None} • 05/18/2017 2:51 am
Blogs should have an almost free rein, as they are an expression of self. If a reader dislikes anyting in the story they can choose not to read further, and if its exceptionally offensive and would be to many then report it.
Private messages are a different kettle of fish altogether. 'How you doing, slut?' is not a cool way to get anyones attention, especiallyif a friendship has not already been established. The written word is so important online because sometimes it is the only way to communicate, and we all know how important communication is to BDSM.
I would echo Falconer in thanking Eva for the question, and second the notion that it is a very pleasant place to chill and make friends. Thankyou admin, I love the Cage.
Rod​(dom male)
4 years ago • 05/18/2017 8:29 am
Rod​(dom male) • 05/18/2017 8:29 am
A great question with no easy answer!
Well of course there are answers but I think here the main issue is context. A good example is "fat", over the years I have known many big girls and some were fine using "fat" to describe themselves, in fact they went so far as to use the concept of "claiming" the word to defuse its hurt. Yet despite that experience I would never presume to call or describe anyone as fat unless I already knew they were ok with it, it's just rude. The same goes for "slut", heaps of gals seem fine with it in the context of play but I wouldn't use it on anyone where I wasn't sure it was appropriate.
And that brings us back to context, does a blog excuse any words used any way you like? If you consider a blog to simply be your thoughts expressed as text then I guess what you put in says a lot about you and people reading it will form their opinions about you based on what you say and how you say it and react accordingly. If when writing you use words you wouldn't use in person, face to face, then what you are doing is being duplicitous.
So in light of this I would have to conclude that those writing things that many or most find offensive are either extremely ignorant or just assholes trying to stir up trouble while hiding behind the anonymity of an online persona.
Where this kind of blatant trouble making is obvious I think censoring by site admins is prudent from both a legal and moral standpoint.
SanE​(sub male)
4 years ago • 05/19/2017 6:27 am
SanE​(sub male) • 05/19/2017 6:27 am
The way I see it everyone browsing the cage is an adult, I think it's far more important to foster a culture where certain behaviours are not tolerated (i.e. harassment or being a troll) than focusing on the censorship of particular words. While I admit it is far more trickier to foster a culture of civility, especially with the transient nature of most members, in the long run I think it will be better.

The line between hate speech and playing with words is very dependent on context and execution, as administrators you have a tough job discerning between them. While there may be topics or words that could cause discomfort, or a justitfied negative reaction to some individuals, it will be a never ending task trying to cater to the sensibilities of each individual. Where I would draw the line of propriety, is when the user at fault is not able to acknowledged that whatever activity or proclivity in their profile, should be between consenting adults.

That being said, your house, your rules. So far you have been doing a great job!
4 years ago • 05/19/2017 7:50 am
DrWakko • 05/19/2017 7:50 am
Is this really an issue? If it is I would think it would be found in the chat room. I think in a chat room you will find "How is my favorite slut doing today?" or maybe "Bitch you are crazy!". Saying like that I can see popular. Or maybe in on of the forums when someone might say "My bitch / slut / boy / girl / etc is right when they say..."

If it was in the classified ads you would have people wanting to be called x, y or z. You would have someone who is into giving humiliation or into race play saying something to that extent.

In the forums its very tough to use words like: asshole, bitch, cunt, n**, slut, or any other derogatory word in a positive light where it fits the narrative of the conversation.

If you are going to role play a scene out and you think it will offend someone take it to a private room in chat or use private emails.
Theo Seymo​(dom male)
4 years ago • 05/19/2017 11:26 am
Theo Seymo​(dom male) • 05/19/2017 11:26 am
Shamans use something called Power Words, these words possess a force of mean behind them, they are the essence we want them to be, its not justas a say, but action, influence, and movement towards what we aim them at, can be context towards a positive or negative audience, can be aimed by positive or negative context to bring down the opposing positive or negative conotations. The words we use in daily life, and take for granted have the ability to save others or destroy them. I use words to uprise people, but never put them down, at least not intentionally, sometimes misunderstandings happen when you meet someone weak to certain words, but its not your fault for not knowing it hurt them nor theirs for being hurt by it, it is the source of the negative context that which made it harmful, I once called my first girlfriend a bitch out of anger, and frustration. Oh, I did regret that soon after because she called me an asshole 2 times more everytime I called her a bitch. After awhile of this, I got sick of it, and I had a talk with her. I said if I stop calling you a bitch, will you stop calling me an asshole, she agreed, but it didnt stop right away. the after effect of all that drama is whenever I was called an asshole, oh my god, did it hit me so hard, it didnt make me mad, but it did everything else, demoralized me, put me down, and made me deny myself a moment to let go. The best word for my reaction," Triggered" but it was never called that at that time nor was it even thought of that a male could be i that state. Everytime someone called me an asshole, I was out of my mind, and I had to face it or back away, but I dont stay weakened long so I usually face my demons. Now I no longer lose it when I hear that word, just a minor annoyance I shrug off. If I can do it, so can others. The point of this is that words can be weapons or lifepods. Ask the people involved what words cause them harm, and try not to use them, if you can make a positive context out of them, tell them, but if you cant, their not worth saying. Even in this lifestyle, bad things can happen even as accidents, but to make something good out of something bad is always a plus. Bullying is never a good thing, putting people down or causing pain, definitely not good, but if its a kink for certain people, and its not over the top abusive or deadly, I see no problem, everyone is different in what they like, and if we already are strange with our lifestyle, how can we judge those who like to be humiliated or demeaned if its what they like? As long as they keep it personal, positive, and without abuse, I see no problem, because abuse usually starts with words, then actions.
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Rod​(dom male)
4 years ago • 05/20/2017 5:16 am


Rod​(dom male) • 05/20/2017 5:16 am
Something else that is always problematic in any form of text based communication is the issue that what is said has no intonation. Verbally you express so much simply by how you say certain words. A good example that any Aussie would be familiar with is the common saying "nice one mate", three simple words that can have totally different meaning simply by how you say them.
If said jovially it is a compliment for a job a well done, but if you say it sarcastically it becomes an insult, like "you really fucked that up!"
I know thats a pretty specific example but I'm guessing there are equivalents in most countries which leads onto another issue I see cause problems from time to time and thats where english is not the first language of the poster, but thats another topic entirely!
EmberAshdown​(switch female){Collared}
4 years ago • 05/30/2017 5:59 pm
This is a really good topic to bring up, but it's also one that I feel has no straight answer (heh)
What terms are used between consenting parties are down to them to discuss beforehand. There are words that will be used, and others that will be off limits for one reason or another (eg. triggering, homophobic, racist).
Personally, I like my nickname being used, but I hate hearing homophobic/racist words, even in my vanilla life. It could be the same for other people, but it could also be the total opposite.
I think the main thing is to be mindful, and be careful what you say. Words are a very, very powerful tool, and used incorrectly can cause far more trouble than you could ever need in your life.