Choosing your names and deciding which honorifics to use is a topic which comes up quite a bit with those who are new to the lifestyle. As with many things, the available information can lead newcomers to think that there are set conventions and rules that you have to adopt, but this is not the case. Choosing your names and honorifics is something that will be personal to you. It will be something that fits with your lifestyle and dynamic and also with the personalities that you have.
Finding something you are comfortable with
There will be reasons why you will be comfortable with some names and honorifics and not with others. All words have connotations associated with them and this can lead us to accept or reject words based on our own experience. If you have a background in the armed services then the use of Sir could be something that would add or detract to your mindset when you hear the term used. If you are a parent, then the same could be true of Daddy. For this reason, it is important to be honest about how you feel about words and choose ones that you feel you can identify with, even in part.
Making names and honorifics fit
If you are new to D/s then it is likely all of these terms will feel a little false to begin with, but finding something that seems to support the D or the s part of you will allow you to grow into that. I know that many new subs and Doms have said that they feel overly aware when using names and honorifics to begin with. It can feel a little fake or forced but over time, it should become an easier and more familiar part which even helps to support the change into that role or into that headspace.
Accepting that things may evolve and change over time
I feel that I continually warn against the one size fits all and while this is the case generally in terms of choosing names and honorifics in a D/s relationship, it will also be the case over time. You may well find that while something felt like a good fit in one relationship, it just doesn’t work the same in another. Similarly, over time you may feel a shift in terms of the way that you identify or work. You may start as Dom and sub but then move into a caregiver/little dynamics where you want to look again at the terms you use for each other. Equally someone progressing to an M/s dynamic may find themselves with a new name to mark their new role.
Choosing names and honorifics to support your dynamic
While names and honorifics help with the respect part of your relationship, they also work well to support the headspace, especially if you are in a lifestyle dynamic where you are moving in and out of the different roles you play during an average day. Choosing names and honorifics which fit but which allow you to set the protocol at different levels might be something that you want to do. While you might have times which are more casual, you might also use them to step things up and signify a shift in order to play to work as you want it to.
Choosing names and honorifics which will be flexible enough for your lifestyle
In the same way as using your names and honorifics to step things up, you need to choose something which will be flexible enough that you can use it when you want to during the times when things are more relaxed or when there are others around you who are not aware of your dynamic. Geographical factors might mean that some terms are more acceptable for some than for others. You might also want to think about names which can be used in front of other people. Perhaps a shortened version of your own name, or something which could be taken as a pet name or nickname.
If you are someone who socialises online or out at groups then thinking about how you would feel introducing yourself by your name or your name being used will also likely be a consideration.
How and when to use your names and honorifics
How and when to use your names and honorifics is down to you. As I stressed at the start, there is no right or wrong. In this post, CSP explains the way that names and honorifics form part of their dynamic whereas in my post about names you can see it works differently. This is not surprising as we are two different couples in different types of relationship and so the way it works varies. The important thing, as with everything, is to find something that will work for you. Don’t be afraid to give something a try and if it isn’t working then change it.
For further reading you might want to check out the posts How do you choose a name? Reader Question and What’s in a Name over on submissy or click on the badge below to see who else is writing about Names and Honorifics for Tell Me About.
6 thoughts on “Choosing your names and honorifics in a Dominant submissive relationship”
Hi there missy,
A nice post. Thank you. It’s interesting how you refer to the different aspects of this and how many people use them differently.
For us (should it help) we decided to use honorifics as a way to differentiate the differing aspects of our life. To help with the mindset switch between working on an equal footing as parents (for example), to a D/s position where I have a requirement for Lotte.
Interesting too the idea that maybe the choices can migrate over time – as here I refer to Lotte, but in person she is missy (which would get confusing for people if I use it on this site). What I certainly don’t want is a demeaning name for Lotte – as to me that’s not the point.
I can understand the sense in having the two different terms. I like when HL uses missy in a vanilla type context but it is not always possible. We will have more time to ourselves when the kids leave home so it will be interesting to see what happens then! Thank you for sharing how things work for you. Missy x
I really like the idea of having different names for different protocol levels. This is something I had never considered and definitely something I want to contemplate. A different name around others for a more casual protocol, but still in keeping with the dynamic, may help my headspace. Thanks for this blog.
Thank you and you are very welcome. It works for us and I think a lot of it is about being able to maintain the mindset throughout the different demands of the day. Once something becomes established with certain connotations it is surprising the impact it can have when used out of context. A simple whisper of ‘missy’ will shift my mindset right back to where HL wants it to be. Good luck. Missy x
We love these. Norseman has always called me ‘elskling’ from the time we first met. We had kids from the start so he became ‘Daddy’ and that was his name. When we eventually entered our first D/s agreement the kids were on their way out the door but he was still ‘Daddy’. Fast forward to our ascent into the ‘higher protocol’ of rules and labels and kinky sex we found ourselves discovering daily rituals and symbols to keep us deeply submerged in the lifestyle. The subject came up of me addressing Norseman more formally. We (especially I) felt it would improve my headspace. By using a more formal title I am distanced from my Dominant. Yet, ironically, by using a title of respect and dignity I am linked emotionally. It feeds my submission every time I call him SIR. It was an adjustment for us both and we actually had to put it in the ‘rules’ we created for our lifestyle. Norseman doesn’t like a lot of pomp or fuss about things we do and needs a reason for an action. When I answer ‘yes, Sir’ instead of arguing my point, we are both practicing our M/s in a satisfying way.
In our house once something is repeated a few times and it seems to be working it becomes a rule. Breaking a rule gives him an excuse to bring out his whip. Yippee!
This makes a lot of sense and i understand names evolving. I am really glad that you have found something that works to support both your mindsets as that is how it works for us too. And as for the whip. Eeek. Make sure you don’t mess up lol. x