Slash speak has become important for some online BDSM relationships. It’s a matter of protocol.
Slash speak is all about capitalizing pronouns and titles relating to dominants/tops and using lower case for submissives/bottoms. It’s one ritual way that power exchange and respect can be shown in written form.
The slash comes in when both a dominant and a submissive are mentioned together. An example might be (from an email from one Domme/sub couple to another):
“W/we had a great time on the weekend. O/our play time was wonderful. Thank Y/you for sharing your space with U/us. W/we would love to play with Y/you again.”
This is something that is usually negotiated between a Dominant and His or Her submissive.
A submissive might use lowercase for all pronouns and even their name. Their Dom or Domme would do the same for them.
A Dominant is likely to use all upper case: I, Me, She… and capitalize their name as well, when referring to themselves. The submissive would be expected to do the same for their Dominant.
So, if you know me online in any capacity you will know that I don’t usually do slash speak, except on very specific occasions when I am reinforcing my dominance in a very specific way. Having said that, I don’t mind if you do. I just think that it can easily be seen whether or not you respect someone by how you talk to them. Polite, respectful, careful speech is the mark of a good submissive, and also of a good Dominant. How a Dom or Domme wishes to be addressed should be a private matter in a D/s relationship. I certainly don’t agree that all submissives should use capitalization with any Dominant.
Firstly, I think there is an implication that Dominants are always superior to submissives. I … don’t agree. I’m superior to my submissives only in the sense that they choose to give themselves over to me. I am not better than them in any sense other than the power exchange that we have chosen, and the skills that I have that are useful to their lives are in many ways equivalent to the skills that they use to serve me – they’re just different.
Secondly, slash speak is just annoyingly difficult to write and to read.
If it helps you to refer to me with capitalizing pronouns, if it helps you hold me in higher regard, then go right ahead. You will find that regardless of how you address me, I will own you in the manner that I please, and will make your submission to me very plain when it is my need to do so.
So tell me: do you use slash speak? In what ways is it important to you in your relationship with your Dominant or your submissive?