Mistress Matisse, A Ruler, And Your Knuckles

Mistress Matisse has some strong opinions about kinky words. Some I agree with, some I don’t:

And another thing: a “sub” is either an underwater boat or a sandwich. Using the word “sub” – as either a noun or a verb – to refer to either a person or activity in BDSM is extremely gauche. And I really feel that there is no punishment too strong for people who say or write “subbie” as a pseudo-cutesy way of saying “submissive”.

Hey, lady, BDSM is a pretty big tent. Over here in the spanking corner, “sub” makes a pretty good shorthand word for a person who is submissive. It’s not just a lazy shorthand, because has useful and distinctive connotations of informality (and possibly a lesser degree of submission) than the full “submissive.” Gauche? Maybe in Seattle, but I don’t go there much, so I can live with that.

As for “subbie”, it’s not “pseudo-cutesy” so much as it is actually cute (like many of the subbies it gets applied to) and usefully diminutive. I can see why a dominant woman might not get a warm fuzzy about a diminutive that’s most frequently applied to women, but on the other hand all the subbies I know are submissive and enjoy the affectionate connotations of the word.

Now to shift gears to the lesson that made me stand up and cheer:

One last word rant: Dom-i-nant is a noun. If you are a person who likes to be in control, you’re a d-o-m-i-n-a-n-t. When you are playing with your partner, you dom-i-nate them. That’s a verb. As you can see, they’re spelled differently, and that’s because they’re two different fucking words. If I see one more personal ad or profile saying “I’m a dominate Master..” I’m going to give someone an enema with a pureed Webster’s dictionary.

Preach it, sister! Only, why puree the thing? Just cube it into neat half-inch cubes. I’m sure if we put our heads together we could find one of those huge old antique brass clysters with a big enough cold brass nozzle to get the job done. And that way, the lesson will be more memorable to the miscreant.

I’ll give the Mistress the last word:

Language is a beautiful thing. Words are very important. So don’t fuck with them or the Mistress will kick your ass.

  1. Erica commented on March 10th, 2005:

    ROFLMAO! I love this woman! I’m a copyeditor, and the dominate/dominant thing is like nails on a blackboard.

    And I have a solution for the whole sub/subbie/submissive controversy. As a feisty spankee who thinks collars are for dogs and masters are for genies, I call myself a “bottom.” Nice catch-all term, don’t you think?

  2. Matisse commented on March 10th, 2005:

    Hey, Spankboss, being imperious and opinionated is part of my job description! Besides, it gets me talked about in cool blogs like this…. And you know Oscar Wilde said the only thing worse than being talked about was NOT being talked about.
    And, Erica: I like the way you think!

  3. SpankBoss commented on March 10th, 2005:

    Matisse, you wouldn’t be half so much fun without being imperious and opinionated. Which is why I figured it was safe to disagree vigorously without you taking it the wrong way. Glad to see I was right!

    And as for you, Erica — I’m in philosophical agreement with you in the matter of collars and masters. However, if collars are for doggies, does that mean that someone who put one on you would get to hear some entertaining snarling? ;)

  4. Erica commented on March 10th, 2005:

    SB, darlin’, I pity the fool who would ever try to put a collar on me. They might have to enlist the help of their local proctologist to retrieve it. ;-)

    Matisse, I like the way you think too, and the way you express yourself — no pulled punches with you, woman! I see you are in Seattle — are you familiar with the Chastenwood spanking group? — E.

  5. SpankBoss commented on March 10th, 2005:

    Heh, Erica, I’ll take that as a “yes”, then, as to the snarling. {unconvincing innocent look}

  6. Confused commented on March 10th, 2005:

    On the whole I prefer sub or subbie (despite sub also meaning below (as in substandard etc) or substitute). Simply because Bottom is either one of the rude mechanicals from Midsummer Night’s Dream, or one’s backside :)

    May I recommend adding the full OED to the enema? It’s quite a hefty set of books..s *g*

  7. Mr. Bowen commented on March 10th, 2005:

    Ah yes, the Grammar Nazi-Sexually Dominant Connection once again makes itself known. I wonder why so many of one are also of the other?


  8. Erica commented on March 10th, 2005:

    (sigh) Why must one who values the English language be labeled a Grammar Nazi? Hey, personally, I’m glad people screw up the language. If they didn’t, I’d be out of a job. — E.

  9. Anonymous commented on March 10th, 2005:

    What drives me nuts is seeing the word bondage used as a verb, which seems to be a common practice among many internet TNGs. As in “Chrissy was bondaged”. I can’t imagine a better way to make something sexy sound rediculously stupid.

  10. Invidia commented on March 10th, 2005:

    As for dominant/dominate I must agree wholeheartedly. However, dominant has not been traditionally used as a noun except by people of kink. It is a most excellent adjective though.

    On the matter of sub/subbie/submissive, I have to wonder as to how this could possible cause offense? Matisse says that a sub is either an underwater boat or a sandwich, but is that not a submarine? Why then is is okay to abbreviate one and not the other? I am comfortable with the word “sub” and the ever-cute “subbie.” Submissive is likewise an adjective recently turned noun in order to fill a desire on the part of the speakers.

    English, like all spoken languages, is dynamic and in a constant state of change. This need not be seen as a bad thing. Read a couple chapters of the King James Bible if you need more convincing.

    Best Blessings,


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