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Once upon a time…

September 3rd, 2014

Years and years ago, there was a woman in an IRC channel who called her dominant “M”. Though I asked more than once, she never told me why.

One day, in the interest of speed, I called Master “M” in private chat, and she asked me not to do that. She said, “If you start doing it, everyone else will start doing it, and it won’t be special to us, anymore.”

I side-eyed her like a mother fucker. Who the fuck thinks they own a letter? I mean, really. But I refrained from using “M” to talk about Master for the rest of my time on IRC. Because I like to pretend I’m nice. Sometimes.

Then Twitter happened. And I was asked to write a sex and relationships column for a conservative rock station. And I realized calling Master “Master” would be a problem for some people. Plus, 140 characters. Plus, I don’t know that woman anymore. She left IRC long before we did, and I never heard from her again.

So, I started calling Master “M”. It fits. His (mostly dormant and mostly written by me) blog is Mindcryme.com. He’s gone by Melen for his entire internet existence. And I call him Master. M, and M, and M.

She was right. Everyone does it now. On FetLife. On Twitter. On their blogs.

I’m not bothered by this. I don’t own a fucking letter. I just think it’s funny. I thought she was nuts.


<3 P.S. I'm not saying everyone calls their M "M" because I do it. People who don't even know I exist call their M "M", and it's entirely possible that people I don't know exist were calling their Ms "M" before I started calling my M "M". I mean, I wasn't the first s on Twitter, and there are plenty of brighter, more efficient minds than mine. Anywhoo...

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  1. Heaven
    September 6th, 2014 at 15:37 | #1

    I am dying over here, she had some nerve it is a letter which is free to use. Some people just crack me up.

  2. alyson
    September 9th, 2014 at 12:06 | #2

    I think main reasons people started using a single initial are 1) because of the character limits of things like twitter and 2) there are more public discussions of sex related topics. Plenty of the public discussion is done by people who are not comfortable using their real name. In a blog, initials are a way to keep people anonymous or semi-anonymous while differentiating between them. Yes, they could come up with alternate names, but if you’re writing a quick blog post, you don’t want to have to think of names on the fly. Same thing on Facebook and twitter. Plus, I think some people are getting lazy about typing words out even when they don’t have character limitations.

    I do think you’re right about one of the reasons for kinksters especially is the general societal discomfort with some of the terms used. I don’t think it’s just “Master” and “slave”, but Dominant/submissive can also be problematic for many people. I’m sure there are plenty of others, as well.

    Also, some people just in general use their first initial as their name. A couple friends who have difficult to pronounce names that look similar to easier pronounceable names, just go by their first initial instead.

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