I think Shakespeare was correct when he penned, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” The popular verse was written about 1590s-1600s and still seems as accurate today as it was back then. I can certainly relate to this perspective as a leather gay woman who happens to be a switch and being a part of a culture that tends to put people in a box or force individuals into neat little roles, at least that’s been my experience. Identifying as a switch can be a double edge sword, full of variety but with certain limitations. Some might say the only people who understand switches are other switches. However, what people may not realize is that it’s not a choice necessarily to be a switch, it just is. For me, being a switch is like having a split personality depending on my mood or who I’m with and in what capacity.
Thus far, I’ve been able to adapt easily to my shifting identities as I’ve explored poly-amorous relationships and situational arrangements specifically for play. But long-term connections due to my quick change in behaviors has proven a disappointment to those I’ve been involved with who clearly define themselves as Top/bottom, Master/slave or Dominant/submissive. In fact, I’ve lost out on relationships on account of being a switch as I could not meet my partner’s needs all the time. Although I’m not sure how realistic the term “all the time” is. On a positive note, it has worked for me on occasion depending on the individuals involved or if time together was private or public. I’m big on protocols when it is necessary and in the appropriate context. As such, I always suggest to anyone who asks me about this topic to remain creative in your endeavors, try working with boundaries like using a play collar if it helps define what all parties need, and be diligent of your time together to remain in whatever state of euphoria desired. Communication in any relationship is key, but especially when you are dealing with complex personalities and interests.
I tend to gravitate towards people who are a bit more flexible, fluid, not rigid or limited. I can’t ignore one side of me without the other so it has been challenging to attract someone for the long haul since I’m more of a monogamous person. About a year or so ago I went to an event and met up with some women at an informal morning brunch discussion. The topic of switching came to the forefront and I was absolutely appalled by some of the comments that were floating around. Some were against the idea of being a switch, saying it was a poor excuse for not picking a side or not having a deeper understanding of one’s self. Others stated that it was a cop out due to the fear of committing one way or another. There was one person other than me that defended switching and I was so thankful for her stepping in when I couldn’t, reminding everyone at the breakfast table that this community is all about embracing diversity and no one has the right to discount anybody’s leanings.
People come into your life for different reasons. Some fill a special part of you that was unexpected and some you didn’t know you wanted in the first place. Often times, others see something in you that you have not seen in yourself. But during the entire process of exploration, you eventually become your own unique self which may turn out to be, not as you initially planned. Stay Open-Minded! And much to the dismay of some people’s views, it’s absolutely okay being a switch. Fly your freak flag proudly and fuck all those who say something is wrong with you because you don’t want to choose. Remember, we are always pushing our limits, so why be what everyone else thinks you should be; and why not own a submissive and be collared to a Mistress or Daddy too.
Any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org