For anyone who reads Fetife "Kinky and Popular", they're probably aware that Innermind has changed his self-identification and written extensively about how he's no longer identifying as a dominant, and now identifies as a Top, with sadistic and primal tendencies.
And as in all things Fet, there are those who come out of the woodwork and proclaim that this is the "evolved" version of being a Dom. While not directly proclaiming "One True Way-ness", this stated view of "the evolved dom" implies that those of us who want or live out a relationship where out-of-the-bedroom control is a thing are somehow less mature.
This is on the heels of another new trend from Fetlife, that of the "Alpha-Sub", the submissive who is somehow better than other submissives because they don't submit to everyone, are somehow stronger and better.
Both of these ideas are flawed, and I find insulting to both myself and those I care about.
In regards to Alpha Subs- I find the implications that belies this title to be in itself to be insulting. First, most submissives do not submit to everyone. I have found that submissives I know seek out someone who is not only strong of character, but trustworthy, caring and connecting. They do not submit to just anyone, but carefully choose who they entrust, be that in a scene or in a relationship.
But even a person exists who wishes to submit in all things, the title of Alpha Sub belies a belief that submission itself is a negative, or at the very least a "lesser" act. I think this viewpoint has deep seated societal underpinnings. We all submit, whether it be to a boss, country, or other people or institutions that we believe in. We all work towards something that we believe to be greater than ourselves in order to better ourselves.
And all of us, unless they are devoid of empathy, derive pleasure from being the source of happiness or joy in others. We all enjoy helping, supporting, giving. While this is not an act exclusive to submission, it is one of the defining characteristics of it.
And now back to us "Un-Evolved" Doms who enjoy a power dynamic that goes beyond the bedroom, I feel that we too have been given short shrift, even from within the walls of Fet. A vanilla person may look at the dynamic (especially if it's hetero-normative) and see a mirroring of the 1950s household, of the unquestionable patriarchal figure and meek housewife. This is something I could understand from outside our community, but from within it, I am shocked.
Our kinky community places deep emphasis on respect, equality and soul searching, and for those of us who are "living it", these values not only extend into our relationships, but are central tenets of it. What the vanilla person doesn't see are the long heartfelt talks, the kitchen table discussions about personal goals, professional goals, about wants, desires, about ways in which both parties wish to explore themselves and push themselves towards something greater.
They see or imagine a hand around a throat during sex, or flick of the cane, but they don't see the hours spent reading books on psychology, on communication or business management. They don't see that for every tug on a collar, there have been hours spent by each party deeply contemplating whether or not this is something they want, a responsibility and a relationship that is, in many ways, deeper than some marriages.
So what is at the heart of these views, of the Beta-Sub, or the Unevolved Dom? Ignorance and judgment.
I hope we can do a better job, collectively, of educating people into understanding us better in the future.
[EDIT: Some people have felt that this post was a knock against @Innermind. It's not. I am glad that he's found himself and his way on his journey and I'm glad that he's helping show others that there are options in how they feel and identify. My problem is with the commenters who are decrying that this is somehow a more "evolved" form of dominance.]