Semantics Sunday is the day for me to write my own definition of a word, how I feel about a word, and how it relates to me personally and my own identities. This could be anything sexual, gender, bdsm, and poly/relationship oriented, or anything else I feel like throwing in. This is simply my definition and understanding of the word, and not meant to be the only definition that is or could be. If you have an alternate definition, if you agree with my interpretation, or if you have something to add which I left out or which needs correcting, feel free to let me know in the comments!
For my first Semantics Sunday I figured I should use a word that is near and dear to my heart. Since I have already given my lengthy definition of cuntpet I decided I should focus on the other of my identities: Domina.
I recently created a new channel on irc.bondage.com, where I am quite frequently, called #Fiery_Dominas. This is the first channel with Domina in the channel name, which is part of the reason why I started it, however it has inspired comments such as “What is dominas? Dommes plural?” which is relatively ridiculous considering for one thing, Dommes is Domme plural, and for another thing Domina is a fantastic and real Latin word, unlike Domme, which is a slang term.
Now, on one hand, I feel there is nothing wrong with slang terms, and think that they should be used and incorporated, and Domme basically incorporates Dom and Femme (as in french for female, not queer femme), which is not horrible in general, and is rather logical. However, now that I have discovered and embraced Domina, Domme sounds silly to me, it is nowhere near as linguistically luscious or regal-sounding as Domina is, and it doesn’t inspire the same awe. I also feel that Domina is a much more feminine term than Domme, which is partly why I’m so partial to it as well.
Basically, Domina comes from the Latin root dom- found in other such words as dominate, domify, domicile, and domestic, as well as domin- such as dominant and dominus. From various sources I find that “dom-” actually relates to a household or realm, and the actual Latin translation of Domina or Dominus (the male counterpart), is “Lady or Lord of the house/realm.” This makes sense, considering dom- relating also to words such as domicile and domestic. The prefix domin- alone (supposedly) indicates regal status, such as Lady/Lord, or Mistress/Master, which is why Domina is the feminine and Dominus is the masculine (the suffix -a being feminine, and the suffix -us being masculine).
This brings us to the question, if we use Dom and not Dominus, why should we use Domina and not Domme? Well, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t ever use Domme, I’m just saying that I don’t want to use Domme, and furthermore, we could use Dominus as well, should a male dominant desire to be called that. I’m not going to condemn others for using the term Domme, but I do not identify with the term and will not be using it for myself or for others unless specifically requested.Labels:bdsm & kink, genders, identities, semantics, terms