Ah, female dominants and their titles. Here we go again. Or rather, here I go again, with my need to be special and different. Of course. The thing with being fond of words and spending a lot of time (and education) on their meaning is that you can end up feeling like you are over-complicating things.
But precision is important to me. And the right word in the right place is as beautiful and fitting and pleasurable as the right toy in the right place, the right lover, the right relationship. Because that is what the word describes. A relationship. The connection between one thing and another. Language (words relying on words in a system of meaning) is often defined by negativity: we refine out lexicon by adding words to replace the gaps created by difference, by things that are not. And the process lets us be more specific, more definite, closer to really describing what we mean. The new word slots into place, rendering the old one vague, imprecise.
And so it is with "girlfriend". I am no-one's girlfriend. I am the girlfriend myth. Even before I had full time kinky relationships I hated the whole girlfriends and boyfriends thing. It felt juvenile, strange. Like we were play acting. Possibly because I came to it in my late teens and was pretty much an adult by the time I was really dating anyone in any meaningful sense. Now, as a fully-fledged pervert I have no need of the words whilst in Kinksville, and between my pets and I we have the individualised dominant title of Fox to express my unique place in their lives. Only they can use it as a term of address for me, so it bestows a certain specialness to them.
But outside of the scene, things get a little tricky.
Mannequin and I were casting about for the right way to describe me to her (vanilla) friends and family. She likes "girlfriend", for her it has a lot of positive associations. Not for me. It feels small, pat and paltry for what I am to her, for the connection I have with her. However, despite my dislike of the word, I didn't want to either dismiss her feelings nor do down the associations. She wanted to name us, to give us a stated bond in the eyes of others. She did not want me to be her "friend". And neither did I. In the end, we settled on "partner" for me and "girl" for her.
Similarly, I am not Mr Smith's girlfriend. More correctly, I am his mistress. Which is now how he must introduce me. I will not be dismissed out of hand as a "friend" and I refuse to accept the equality of terms that "lover" might imply. "Girlfriend" is frankly ridiculous in our situation.
Each of these substitute naming words serves a purpose in the training programme for both of my pets. For Mannequin, the ability to introduce me with a positive, supporting word like "partner" allows her to feel comfortable and confident in us. She can tell people she has a partner, and that makes her secure - which she should be. And they know she has someone who cares for, looks after and loves her. Which she does, and I want her to be able to say so whenever she wants, to whoever she wants. It's a strong word, definite and powerful, like the sort of dominant protective patronage I have over her. I am her partner, she is my girl. That maintains the level of power dynamic whilst still expressing the relationship in a way that everyone should be able to access.
For Mr Smith, these things are also true - I want us to be named, to have a relationship that can be easily expressed and understood. But "partner" is wrong here, and not just because he is married and his wife is his true partner. I am no more a wife substitute than I am a "girlfriend". The more forceful "mistress" gives a more defined public acknowledgement of my position in his life as well as an opportunity for a semi-veiled deference to me that is still acceptable and comprehensible to vanillas.
"Mistress" works because it has a certain power that puts him slightly off balance. It's a more defined role than a casual sex partner, of which there might be many: there is usually only one mistress. Those who might have an inkling of the kind of sexuality he's involved in would certainly be tipped off by the use of that word. All of which adds to his public squirms. He still (sadly) feels embarrassed about being seen as submissive. And I will continue to push on this until he can be proud of it.