Alright, I used to think labels were too restrictive and it was best to be simplistic, but now I’m trying to figure out whether or not I’ve sorted my own book right and honestly? No clue.
My heart wanted to sort it as F/M/M because I saw the book as one where the “fem” takes the lead. Period. Because I believe we don’t allow fem’s to take the lead as often so I felt that’s where I wanted it to go.
The problem I’m noticing with the sorting of romance in general though is we’re still associating these “F” & “M” letters with anatomy, I think. Because when I check out F/M/M book listings I always seem to end up in Lesbian Land – and while I love my Sapphic sisters and desperately wish to support them, that’s just not my thing. I like girls that peg boys, and I like boys that lean fem. That’s kinda just my jam? But everyone seems to think this is wrong in some way or that if a woman pegs a man it must file under “femdom” because obviously it’s a kink for her and not just making love (I would disagree but I respect femdoms as providing a needed service to the world, I just don’t feel my pegging scenes qualify).
I also read some discourse stating that a woman who “tops” (or “doms”, as apparently this is the only option for a cisgender woman pegging a cisgender male) threatens to cross the line of being too “mothering” if the man isn’t crazy for her in return? I feel like if you’re “topping” anyone who isn’t interested in you, you’re more in danger of crossing the line of “rape”? That is not the purpose of the BDSM community I know, either. These people are professionals – they get consent right.
So not quite sure where this mothering bit comes into play. Also it feels like the whole dom/sub relationship already has elements of caretaking that could easily seem odd. I mean, if there are “Daddies” in sex roleplay, but no one runs around screaming “pedophile” at them, are Sugar Mama’s really not a thing? Has no one met cougars?
Furthermore I honestly don’t think you have to peg/penetrate to top (*gasp* I know, I’m truly, truly twisted and sick) – I think by definition a “top” is the person focused on “giving” during the act of sex. They are the one ensuring their partner is taken care of, since honestly speaking achieving mutual orgasm at the same time is no easy feat. The “bottom” is then the one being taken care of, so that they can find release and let go of their tension/stress. If we’re presuming that in Straight Land the position of “top” is always the man…then why do so many straight women fail to achieve orgasm? Are we truly teaching men to “top” or are we telling them they’re “top” and allowing them to just take all the pleasure for themselves? That feels wrong to me, especially when I know many men are gentle lovers who honestly wish to give their lady pleasure they just need more direction as to how to do so (and many women simply need to learn how to give said directions a bit better, perhaps).
So I will continue to sort my book in F/M/M for now. Others may challenge me, or maybe it will not find the best audience, but until we can figure out this whole lettering system maybe we should all pause and figure out whether we really require souls/energy or anatomy for our romantic endeavors?