Gender Affirmation, Kinkster Style

Content notes and warnings: Kink including power exchange, impact play, light bondage, some mentions of CGL/DDLG, and honorifics including “daddy”; mentions of gender dysphoria; brief mention of TERFs existing

Since my spouse came out as nonbinary a few years ago, we’ve been finding ways to use kink to affirm their gender. And since I came out this year, we’ve been doing the same with me.

Now, before I continue, let me state something very clearly: Transness is not a kink. I know TERFs love to claim that it is (which is convenient since TERFs hate kink almost as much as they hate trans people) but TERFs are bullshit and are distinctly uninvited from reading this post. Damien and I being nonbinary has, in and of itself, nothing to do with our kink life. We’re a simple trans couple making our way through the galaxy. Our decision to wear whatever clothing, to wear a packer or binder (or not!), to experiment with pronouns or to settle into pronouns, and so on, are not kinky activities.

However, we are—in addition to being nonbinary—kinky people. And much of how we perceive the world and ourselves is through kink.

My spouse Damien and I have a full-time kink dynamic. Since we’re both on the asexual spectrum, kinky play is part of how we connect intimately; but our kink isn’t just something we do. It’s embedded into the fabric of our relationship. My submission, being consensual, is something I can take back at any time, but it’s also something that I love to give, something that resonates with my brain.

So how do we use kink to affirm (and explore) our genders? Here are a few things.

[Description: A white enby in a tank top & tripp shorts, from behind, hands cuffed. (Review of the cuffs coming soon!)]

Titles

Gendered terms are hard to try on in public, especially if, like us, you don’t have a lot of real-life friends. Kink is, in many ways, a place to play with roles in general—not only in the ever-popular roleplay scenarios, which often involve more dominant or more submissive archetypes (“teacher/student,” “doctor/patient,” whatever)—but in terms of titles. Are you a nurturing “Daddy” or a stern “Mistress”? Do you like the formality of “sir” or “ma’am?” How about on the submissive end? Are you a princess? A kitten? A slut?

When we started out our kink dynamic, one of the toughest things was assigning a “title” to Damien as the dominant. They hadn’t figured out they were nonbinary yet, and yet they weren’t sure how they felt about most of the more feminine titles. We tried out “captain” for a while (which is, ironically, an excellently nonbinary title) but while it worked for scenes, it was harder to use for everyday stuff. For a while we exclusively used “ma’am,” which was more expressly feminine, but it never quite worked. Eventually we added “Daddy,” after seeing a lot of people of all genders using it (and after I realized I was, in fact, a little) which actually was one of the things that helped Damien realize they might not be a woman.

Not long after that, Damien realized they were nonbinary, possibly genderfluid; they felt more masculine some days, more feminine some days, and just neutral other days. So we started alternating “sir” for the days they were more masculine. As we tried it, they realized that they liked “sir” a lot more than “ma’am” in general. They’re not transmasc, but to their ear, “sir” sounds more neutral than “ma’am.” So, they’re almost exclusively “sir” and “daddy” now. (Unless they’re a Plague Doctor, naturally.)

Having the freedom to experiment with titles helped them a lot in terms of figuring out what felt right for Damien, and now, we’ve been playing the same way with me.

Honestly, from the start, my pet name has been “Pommy,” short for Pomeranian. This came from early on in our relationship, when we decided that if I were a dog breed, that’s what I’d be. It informs my fursona, but it’s more than that. Honestly, in retrospect, I’ve always responded so much more to “good Pommy” than to “good girl” from my spouse that I slightly wonder how I didn’t notice that I was nonbinary. (It’s to the point where my metamour calls me Pom as well, even though he is decidedly not part of our dynamic—he just hears it so often that it stuck. I don’t mind, since he isn’t using it to order me around or to praise me in a D/s way; my only objection is that I now respond to it more readily than my name. Whoops.)

Now that we know that I’m nonbinary, we’ve been experimenting with my titles and other ways that I’m addressed. I’m still Damien’s Good Pommy most of the time, of course. But I also still like being “good girl”ed…and they’ve been trying out “good boy” as well, especially if I’m dressed more masculinely. Instead of joking (“joking”) that I’m their good little maid when I get things or cook, I’m now just as often their good little houseboy, or good little servant. I love all of it!

While I definitely don’t feel masculine, I’ve been enjoying using masculine phrases, perhaps because I tried so hard to make myself feel and look feminine since puberty; realizing I don’t have to be afraid of being perceived as unfeminine has been very freeing, and going out of my way to use more masculine terms helps affirm that I don’t have to match what was expected of me. It’s a little subversive, but mostly just very comforting. And as with Damien, it’s a safe way to explore who and what I am, or could be. Words are powerful.

[Description: A pixel doll of my fursona, a white & purple Pomeranian/dragon hybrid, sitting at a table with coffee. She’s dressed in a button-down, slacks, and red suspenders.]

Picking out clothes

You know what’s cool about dominance and submission? No act is inherently dominant or submissive. And one of our finest examples is that sometimes, Damien picks out my clothes as an act of dominance; and sometimes I pick out theirs as an act of service.

One of the reasons it took me a while to figure out that I was nonbinary is because I don’t experience much dysphoria; the only times it hits are if my hair gets too long or sometimes when I get my period, and it took me a long time to figure out that those things were dysphoria at all. I’m much more prone to gender euphoria—realizing I love being called gender neutral terms like above, realizing I love presenting androgynously, realizing I love having short hair. And some of that is done through clothing!

Damien, who has a vested interest in my happiness, will often now go and pick out things they think will help me feel right in my body; if they aren’t directly picking it out, they’ll encourage me to do my best to wear what feels “right,” making suggestions or encouraging me to try things on if I’m unsure, because they know I really can’t know until I wear it. (Turns out I love suspenders! Who knew?)

And if I’m depressed or otherwise just having a rough day, they’ll help me find an outfit, or pick one out for me. Simple androgynous outfits have a way of making me feel a lot better, unexpectedly. Hanging around in my pajamas all day is comfy but doesn’t do much for my mental health; throwing on a pair of masc shorts and a racerback tank top might not feel any different from my pajamas, physically, but somehow, the combination of bothering to dress for outside, and making a point to have it affirm how I feel does a lot. I’m still experimenting with “my style” and perhaps I’ll never have just one, but I’ve been enjoying Damien helping me a lot.

On the other end of things, sometimes Damien is busy or sore due to their chronic pain and other health issues, or they just want to give me a task to fulfill. I like to serve! I will often ask if they have any gender feelings that day, and try to find an outfit appropriate to it; if they don’t have any preferences, or they just aren’t up for making decisions like that, I can serve them by trying to figure something out. I know which of their clothes they tend to like best, and which clothes they keep “meaning” to wear but forgetting about, so I try to lay out an outfit that’s appropriate. Sometimes, something as simple as grabbing them some boxer briefs instead of panties (even to be worn with a more feminine outfit!) can boost their mood and self-confidence.

“You look hot, want to do a scene?”

Damien and I are both ace-spectrum; they don’t really experience sexual attraction (and, what’s more, they are also sex-averse in the traditional sense involving genitals being smushed together); I do after forming a bond, and I’d be down with sex, but I also have no problem finding other outlets for that energy, as I discussed in my first ever QE post. However, we both experience aesthetic attraction, we both experience romantic attraction, and we both…like to know our partners like how we look.

I recognize Damien has no desire to bang me, but I still feel good when they compliment me. And they have worried in the past that their disinterest in sex would somehow make me less interested in them.

What higher compliment is there, for a masochist or a sadist, than an impromptu scene?

One of my favorite examples comes from last week. I’d bought them some bowties as an early birthday present. Also, a packer I’d requested for review (coming soon!) had arrived in the mail.

I tried on the packer in a jock strap, and wasn’t sure how I felt about it other than that it was kind of a novel experience. I put on some boxer briefs and a tank top, and I was sitting around while Damien tried on their bowties. They loved the ties—enough that they decided to put on a full outfit, complete with suspenders, coordinated pants and shirt, and a hat.

They looked fantastic: androgynous and handsome, and it flattered their features, including some that they’re unconfident about. What looked best was the fact that they were happy and confident, that they felt like they looked good, that what they saw in the mirror matched their feelings. You could see it in their posture, in their smile.

“So, uh, do we have time for a spanking before [Metamour] gets home?” I asked.

They looked at me, and smirked. Studying how I was still figuring out how I felt in what I was wearing. Knowing that I love praise and affirmation.

“Only,” they said, “if you keep on the jock strap.”

So for the first time, I received a spanking while wearing a dick. I’m still unsure how I feel about packing (more on that when I review the item), but I definitely liked the spanking, definitely liked the words they used, and liked that they admired my ass in its jock strap, and how it seemed to present a perfect target for their impact tools.

And they liked that I was so moved by their appearance that I requested that they hurt me in their current state, that I looked at them when they were feeling their most confident and said, “Yes, that’s what I want.”

[Description: The chin & hands of a white nonbinary person, adjusting their bowtie and holding a riding crop.]

Teach Me Your Ways, Jedi Master

Damien has been out as nonbinary for years. (I can’t put down a specific timeframe, because it was a gradual realization and coming out process.) Just seeing and helping them helped me to figure out that I was nonbinary as well, though my “gender” is somewhat different from theirs in ways I don’t yet have all the words for. Sometimes I think my gender is just submissive, or Pom, or queer, or some combination of all those things. Maybe I’ll find the words someday for sure. Maybe I won’t.

But Damien has been so helpful in getting me to try things, in making suggestions, for demonstrating how to do things. They have a knack for making suggestions to add to an outfit (“You look great, but how about a hat?” “Can I style your hair?” “You look like you need a pride pin today!”). They helped demonstrate how to wear a packer properly. They’ve made suggestions for names to use when I’m exploring gender in fiction or text roleplay.

They have never forced anything on me, though even as I was working on this article, they expressed a concern that they were being too domineering, or making me think there’s only one way of being nonbinary. I’ve never worried about this. They recognize the differences in how we like to dress even when we’re borrowing each other’s shirts and styling them differently. They recognize the terms I like and how to address me, and how it isn’t like theirs. Most of all, they’ve given me room to discuss and explain and question.

These are, of course, the acts of a supportive partner! Anyone, vanilla or kinky or somewhere in between, should be so lucky.

But because my brain works in kink, because I love that they’re my dominant Daddy, I also see it as an act of gentle power. They’re not only my partner, but a gentle instructor, a teacher. I love learning from them; whether it’s our nighttime ritual of them reading to me from Wikipedia to help both of our anxiety, or whether I’m feeling especially little and they’re helping me make cookies, I like feeling like they have things to teach me. I like the vulnerability of learning from someone.

I’m under no illusions that they have all the answers, and I know that I teach them as much as they teach me, but framing is—as said before—everything in kink. If they need me to explain something to them, I do it, and I feel like it’s an act of service. If I need something explained to me, they do it, and I feel like it’s an act of caring dominance.

Just the other day, as they were helping me figure something out, they called me their Padawan. And I was delighted at the implied mentorship…and the new gender-neutral title.


Want more like this? Check out my Kink as a Coping Mechanism tag!


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