A couple of posts ago, I talked about three of my labels. Truth be told, I think that “top” and “gender role reversal” are even more important concepts to me than “dominant” is. I mean, “dominance” is important too, and since it’s actually intrinsic to both of those ideas, it permeates every aspect of my sexuality and thus becomes a key as well. It’s just that it’s more important to me as a general concept than it is as a component of D/s.
Setting sexual desires aside for a moment, here’s how I know how important gender role reversal is to me in the relationship as a whole. When I imagine having a boyfriend in a traditional sort of way, and how that would work, I can feel myself becoming the quietest, shyest part of me. Not sure how to handle myself, or how to interact. Just out of place. Uncomfortable with my role, and constantly doublethinking everything. Calculating. Putting on a performance of someone who’s only remotely connected to my own sense of self. In short, I don’t like the kind of person it would make me. But then when I imagine having a boyfriend who takes the submissive role with me, I’m amazed by the world of difference I feel in my own presentation. There’s more life there. Without the pressure of a girlfriend role, I could be everything I like most about myself. Like the person I am when I’m alone. Free and comfortable to be myself, and proud of who I am. It just fits. Whether it’s with the two of us alone or in front of others, a submissive boyfriend is just the kind of energy I would want to play off of.
It’s not enough if the relationship is one of equals in every important way. It’s all about the dynamic. We could be best friends in the world and respect each other, but if I feel like people are projecting girlfriend roles onto me, I’ll feel that discomfort. It’s not who I am. First and foremost, I need him to know it’s flipped. I need us to be self-aware, rather than just not embodying any roles. Because those gender roles are always there, the subtext behind everything, and I don’t want to be assumed submissive by default. Not by him, and not by those around us either. It creates a discord that I’m uncomfortable dealing with.
Role reversal is what even made me open to the idea of a relationship in the first place. It was not until I envisioned this dynamic for myself that I thought, Hey, maybe I could actually manage that relationship thing. It’s still not something that I feel like I need in my life, but now that I understand what kind of relationship could work for me, I’m able to embrace the possibility.