- wan•na•be |ˈwänəbē; ˈwô-| *
- the target declines to join in or participate with the term user’s chosen opinions, activities and behaviours (sour grapes)
- the target exhibits disinterest in or disdain for the term user personally (sour grapes)
- the target disregards, dismisses, disparages, disputes or discredits opinions, activities, or behaviours which are important to the term user (One True Way)
- A nominal qualifier is frequently (but by no means always) absent
- The most common nominal qualifiers are some of the many variants of top, bottom, or BDSM lifestyler †
(as opposed to player [see Synonym])
- By far the most common nominal qualifier is male. Self-identified male dominants are the most numerous targets, male submissives run a close second, assorted others come a distant third †
- By far the most common use of the term overall is to refer to unspecified individuals. Such use may or may not include qualifiers †
- Self-identification with this term in this context is rare †
- Self-reference is most commonly in the negative †
| I’m no wannabe |
- Due to the powerfully unpleasant associations with this term, admissions of having been called a wannabe are rarely acknowledged †
- Usage is most typically representative of a denigrating and excluding strategy, in which the user of the term attempts to garner support for their belief that their target is inferiour
- Current usage is characterised not only by the of the do me!! behaviour of the target, but also by the excluding behaviour of the term user
The term is primarily deployed during a heightened emotional state, during which the term user unfavourably compares the standards of their chosen target(s) to their own personal standards.
Users of the term most commonly choose their targets as a response to any combination of the following behaviours:
Originally a colloquial contraction of want to be, the term evolved from its initial use solely as a nominal qualifier | wannabe dom | to its current use as both an adjective and a free standing noun.
Early occurrences were solely as a descriptor of individuals (usually male) who habitually (and frequently unsuccessfully) used this term to seek BDSM partners. | i wanna be your whore |
Latterly, although still in widespread use as an epithet which meaningfully describes its target, wannabe is now increasingly recognised by its use as a meaningful example of exclusionary behaviour.
(regardless of the target)
Synonym – player (only when contrasted with lifestyle, true, real or similar)
| What marks a true dominant from a player or wannabe |
Antonyms – true, real (occasionally genuine)
| a true slave | a real dom | a genuine BDSM lifestyle master |
- * This is a contextually BDSM-specific definition of wannabe. I feel that my definition accurately describes the colloquial current usage of wannabe in the BDSM world, and represents the term in a way which had yet to be addressed in any currently available freely searchable online media.
† These statistics were based on my personal experience and on several days of web research.
With some assistance from
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