What Being a Switch Means to Me, and My Journey Getting There

As a queer-identified person, coming out was, and still is and integral part of growth and process of learning who I am. Just like many people in the kink world, I have experienced many coming outs. I first acknowledged I was disabled when I was 10; I came out as gay when I was 16, ; I came out as trans and kinky when I was 21, and acknowledged I was a drug addict who needed help when I was 23. As I know a lot of people have said, this process of acknowledgement of who one is is like the peeling of an onion. The removal of each layer reveals yet another layer that will be removed when the peeler feels the time is right. One coming out that thinking back took a lot longer than it really should have is actually my most recent one. About three years ago, despite long believing and claiming otherwise I finally publicly confirmed that a part of me is a sadist.

Thinking back, like many of us have said, I’ve showed signs I was kinky. While thinking back, there were things I did as a child that could’ve been indicators of my nature, it wasn’t until that first moment eleven years or so ago when a friend of mine dropped something, “asked” me to pick it up for her, and I caught her stern, authoritative gaze as I handed that object back to her that I realized what a lot of the things I was into from way back probably indicated all along. When I had that realization, a lot of things made sense. Just like when I came out first as gay, then as trans, and then finally as queer parts of me and my behavior that were viewed either by me or by others as strange all of a sudden had an explanation. I’M A SERVICE-ORIENTED SUBMISSIVE AND A MASOCHIST! What that clarity felt like was AMAZING. Now, fast forward to three years ago. I was at a play party and a couple of friends of mine were about to start playing with someone else. Among their arsenal of toys was a hockey stick. As I chatted with my friends I became curious of said hockey stick so one of my friends asked the person bottoming if I could hit her with it. She said okay so my friend asked me to hit her with the stick. I ended up hitting this girl with the wrong end. I found the moment amusing for sure but after being told of the error I’d made, I sheepishly walked away from them. To this day my friends cite that moment as a clear sign of my being a switch and it makes sense now because I like to consensually hurt people. It’s fun for me to hear the scream that comes as a result of something I’ve done but for years since that hockey stick incident, I denied at every opportunity that I was a sadist not because I had any shame of my desire to inflict pain, but because in my mind, I didn’t fit what a sadist should be like. I’m not big, mean, or particularly strong; I don’t wield giant floggers or long single tails; I’m not particularly mean when I play (at least I don’t think I am); and I don’t carry giant bags of equipment to play parties. Those signs were what for a long time indicated to me that someone was a sadist and since I’m not any of those things I just described, there’s NO WAY I can be a sadist, right?

Now, let’s fast forward again to the present day (literally). After I’m done writing this I’m thinking I’m going to head out to a play party a couple of friends of mine are hosting. I have my toy bag in my back pack. In it contains (among other things) a wooden spatula, a plastic spatula, a wire hanger, two belts I no longer wear that I made into straps, and a feather duster. While I enjoy wearing leather, my favorite dungeon wear (especially when topping) is usually a pink strappy skirt, knee-high stripy socks, and my pink patent leather boots. When I top I like to laugh, I like to joke around, I like my bottom talking back or even fighting back. This is the kind of top I am.This is the sadist that I bring to the dungeon, and today I feel really happy about that.

Some of the more pivotal moments for me as a queer person discovering, claiming, and loving who I am is being told and realizing that there is no one way to be. I am trans, I am a girl and pronoun of choice is “she”. But what I can often be found wearing as I go about town is a pair of jeans a and hoodie. These may not be clothes a lot of people would expect a girl to enjoy wearing all the time but these are the clothes I enjoy wearing and the clothes that make me happy. The same applies to how I view myself today as a switch. It doesn’t matter to me that my leather strap was five dollar belt and that I like to use spatulas, wooden spoons, or rubber bands. I’m good at using these toys and the people I play with are happy. In the end, isn’t that what really counts?

I often get really frustrated in my every day world because I’m constantly being non-consensually told what I should look like, how I should act, and who I should be. That’s why it really bothers me when that happens in the kink world where sexual freedom is heard mentioned all the time. Just like how there’s no right way to be who we are so long as we, those we love, and those around us are unharmed, I believe there is no right way to play so long as we, those we play with and those we love are happy, and those around us remain unharmed. Others may disagree, but that’s okay. I know who I am today and I’m proud of her.

Sailor

Owned and operated by her loving dominant, Sailor identifies as a sober, genderqueer, switchy, service submissive and volunteering addict with a particular appreciation for ageplay, sharp objects, and hard, thuddy things. She currently co-hosts three events: "Transmission" for kinky trans folks, their friends, and their lovers and "Vibe" for kinky people of color and people who love and support them (both of those are held at SF Citadel), and the San Francisco Littles Munch (at Wicked Grounds) for people who're into or curious about age play. When not serving her dominant or her community, or running around in a dungeon Sailor enjoys, reading, writing, hanging out with friends, and conversations over good coffee. You can read more of Sailor's writing on her blog at sailoralecs.tumblr.com, or by following her on Twitter at @sailoralecs.

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