by Lord Unicron
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Titles are very big in the kink lifestyle. One of the first things you can expect to be asked at a munch, dungeon or during a private interaction is about titles and how you like to be addressed. These can get very murky, very fast, because what you consider a submissive may look outright vanilla to me, whereas what you consider a Dominant may bear little or no resemblance to how I operate. You may think that this title or that is inaccurate, or that the person bearing it is a self-aggrandizing asshat.
I’m going to tell you a dirty little open secret today.
TITLES ARE MEANINGLESS! SO ARE NAMES.
A title or lifestyle name doesn’t define the core person. It’s nothing more than a convenient shorthand that (many, but not all) people use to explain how they’re oriented within the kink scene. When I chose my name, I kept it simple and basic: _Unicron_. (You can look it up on FetLife, if you wish.) This name comes from old-school animated Transformers, and seemed like a perfect fit for my style. Bonus: It came with its own theme music!
Then, something interesting started happening.
I took on a slave. And then a sub. And then a sub in training. Between the four of us, we make a House.
Here’s the interesting thing about titles: they do mean something…but ONLY within the context of my House and the relationships within it. Here’s how it works.
Sub-in-training: Calls me “Sir.” Is considered the junior member of the House, even though she is the oldest chronologically. She has the least responsibility and the shortest leash, because she’s still learning the ways of my House and how I expect to be served. As such, she is subject to more punishment and discipline than either of the other two.
Sub: Calls me “Sire.” Is basically the “middle child,” so to speak. She has proven herself to be capable of serving me well, effectively and efficiently, with minimal reminders as to what the rules are, and thus enjoys more latitude, with the understanding that her errors carry correspondingly greater consequences. Her punishments at this point are more mental than physical.
Slave: Calls me “Master.” Is the Primary within the House. While she does not stand above anyone else in my affections, when it comes to situations where hierarchical matters are concerned, she has the final say, subject to my whim and will. She has the longest leash and the most freedom of independent action, because I trust her not to abuse either. Her punishments are the most grueling, because those to whom I give more are also expected to deliver more.
So…where does the whole “Lord Unicron” bit come in?
To understand this, we start with etymology.
I’m a writer, and so my primary toolkit for any job starts with words. Natural enough, right? So, to understand why I call myself “Lord Unicron” instead of Sir, Sire or Master, we have to know where the word came from so we can see how it applies to my position.
The word “lord” derives from a Germanic word, hlafweard, literally “loaf keeper” or “he who makes (and guards) the bread.” Echoes of this idea persist to this day in the semi-common question, “Do you have any bread (money)?” In Old English, this became “hlaford,” or “loaf ward,” and was then shortened to “lord.” Thus, “lord” has come to mean “the breadwinner and master of a house, especially a noble one.” Even today, the English titling system refers to members of the nobility as “Lord Such-and-So, Duke/Earl/Baron of Whateverfarthing, Duke/Earl/Baron of Fappington.*”
I wanted House Unicron to have that patina of nobility, especially since I do believe that what we do within the House is a noble effort in and of itself. This is reflected in the House Unicron motto:
Or, for those who are Latin-challenged:
“The nobility of our service is rooted in perfect love, faith and trust.”
As the Head of House Unicron, it is up to me to ensure that I embody and live the expectations and standards I hold my girls to. Therefore, the title of Lord demonstrates to my mind the following:
- I do not ask what I am not willing to give.
- My standards are high and those I welcome into my House must be of equal caliber.
- I conduct myself as a gentleman, not a “gentle man” or “nice guy.” I am polite until the time comes not to be polite, but I do not enforce my will upon those who have not negotiated with me.
- I am the Head, protector, safe harbor and disciplinarian within my House.
- I do not suffer attempts to poach the property of my House lightly, nor do I treat those who try gently.
- When I speak as Lord Unicron, I speak on behalf of my House. Actions always speak louder than words. Thus, my actions AND my words speak for my House.
The interesting thing is, within the House and its interwoven dynamics, I play many roles. I am the stern but loving Sir, the tough but tender Daddy, the primal predator, the giver of rewards, delights and treats as well as discipline, punishment and pain. Each of these dynamics brings with its own set of rewards and difficulties, but all of them are subordinate to my role as the Lord of House Unicron.
A man who cannot protect his House has no right to claim one. However, I also say that it is the submissives’ right to decide whether their Lord is living up to what he promises. If he does not, they have every right to leave. I firmly believe that the test of a “true” Dominant is not how he uses a flogger or how skillfully he ties Shibari knots, but how well he holds the affection, adoration and attention of the women who choose to kneel before him. Skills can be learned, but there is and can be no faking true Dominance.
Tune in on Friday to find out why I chose to call my girls what I do. The answer may surprise you! In the meantime, I’d like to know what your naming conventions are, and how they function in your dynamic as well as the broader kink world. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
*With apologies to the REAL Earl of Fappington, Duke of Cummings, whose title I shamelessly appropriated for this post.
Sometimes, enforcing your dominance takes a little more than a stern look and a warning tone. For those moments when your sub lets her brat take the wheel a little too hard, or just because it’s Wednesday, using a special paddle can help remind her why you’re in charge here!