Over at Fetish Meme, Richard talks about titles and honorifics.

I have really complex feelings about using honorifics with people in the lifestyle with whom I don’t have a power exchange relationship (i.e., I don’t play with “Sir Geoffrey,” and never have, which makes me much more inclined to call him “Jeff” when we’re hanging out, but what it he’s That Type Of Dom who wants to be addressed by one and all as “Sir Geoffrey”?), and I’ll save all those musings for a different post.

For now, I just want to talk about How The Switches Do It. Or, rather, how T. and I do it. (No way in hell could I try to speak on behalf of all switches. Besides, how T. and I handle titles doesn’t have anything to do with the fact we’re switches; it all has to do with, well, what we like.)

I’m not “Mistress.” I can’t carry it. I don’t feel like a “Mistress,” even in my most kick-ass, I-rule-the-WORLD moments. I dislike “Lady,” and “Goddess” — while I know of women who use that honorific and carry it off well — makes me giggle helplessly. And I’d prefer my title, such as it is, to not make me actually snort with laughter *while* I’m using it.

We settled on “Ma’am” for me, and T. uses it only within scenes. (Occasionally at home — or elsewhere — if I ask [or, okay, TELL] him to do something, he’ll reply with “Yes, Miss [lastname],” which I think is cute as hell, but it doesn’t really have anything to do with our power exchange-y-ness.)

I think “Lord” is as silly as “Lady,” and “Sir” would never work for T. In fact, when T. tops, he’s always cross-dressed, and, somehow, “Mistress” suits T. perfectly at those times. And it feels *right* when I say it.

We don’t *need* the titles, but they do serve a purpose within the scene: they underscore the power exchange. They’re a simple way to add that emphasis: Right now, you’re MINE. And it works.