Pieces of Passion 5 – Pet Names and Protocols

This piece of passion is brought to you by the fact that I just fucked up on it, and called my Service Slut back, apologized to her, and while she laughed that it was no big deal I explained why I felt it was a big deal as I have no interest in the slippery slope…

Pieces of Passion
Piece #5 Pet Names and Protocols

Names hold power. What we choose as pet names for our lovers, partner, and friends reflects our inner energetic feelings and manifestations of connection towards that person. Sometimes it is about the term/name chosen itself- Slave, Dearheart, Bunny, Loverbuns, Sugar, Kitten, Hotstuff… a thousand other names each have their own meaning to the outside hearer and also within the relationship itself. But the uniqueness of a term, or its specific use and power within a relationship, matter as well. Calling someone the same pet name you called your last partner is a sure way to confuse yourself (its easy to slip into frustration with “Honey” when the last “Honey frustrated you) as well as to make people upset if/when they find out.

In BDSM/Kink, pet names have an extra layer in the form of Protocols. Pet names such as Master, Daddy, pet, property, Whore, slut, thing, Mistress, Goddess, Queen, Lord- they reinforce the dynamic established within a relationship. These can also be titles, yes, but if they become a pet name, a thing that replaces the name of a person, they take on extra power… it is not just *what* they are but *who* they are in your eyes (as received by them in a verbal form).

I was on the phone with my Service Slut/Babygirl/Partner and I said “later Baby,” when hanging up. I called back, and ranted. “Baby” is a generic name that hold no power in our relationship, and in my experience of that pet name it is also a genericized term often used by misogynists to refer to women as being not-adult and thus not deserving of respect. This does *not* apply to my parnter/Service Slut/Babygirl. Each of those terms was chosen on purpose. She is my parnter in life, adventure, and spiritual questing. She is in Service to myself and the world, and she is a Slut (its in her contract). She is my Babygirl, the mirror and beloved child to help raise to my Daddy self. I will sometimes call her darlin’, sometimes love, but both of these are true as well. She is not Baby. It is not ok for me to use it.

What’s the big deal? Using pet names inappropriately can destroy my inner vision of her, make her some generic human- and thus seem replaceable. She is not. She is unique, different. And I will not have her think that she is not a generic girlfriend or fuck buddy- I’ve had both, and they are fabulous, but it is not our truth.

Does your partner feel unique, special, cherished, in the pet names you use?
Do you feel unique, special, cherished, in the pet names they use?
Sit down with yourself and think about the generic terms of endearment you use… and do you have ranks of terms? Ones you reserve for higher levels of intimacy?
What is the truth of your relationship? Is it reflected in the language and lexicon you have built between yourselves?

Bright blessings, love, and passion 🙂


Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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