I think it’s interesting how kink vocabulary gets translated over into AO3 tags. I mean… kinky people have spent a hella long time forming themselves into communities, hashing out their own subculture, and coming to consensus over what to call [x], or what [y] means, or what’s REALLY [z] and what’s not.
Then, in large part (not saying it’s everyone, but in large part), what you get on AO3 is people who’ve never really explored these communities and been trained into using these precise definitions, but they’re writing whatever turns them on - instinctively, “innately”, without necessarily any knowledge of whether it’s “a thing” or not, or whether there’s a script for how to do it.
What happens then is you get intriguing tag choices, like people using “desperation” to refer to characters getting uncontrollably aroused, when the community definition of “desperation kink” relates to desperation to pee. Or weird things popping up tagged as “wet and messy” (yes, I check there frequently, obviously I do) when they don’t really bear much relation to “[Capital] Wet and Messy”, so to speak.
I mean, I think it’s good. I think that having a community that can help you safely find your way round your “innate” kinks is good, and I think just going freeform and writing “uninformed”, uninhibited wish-fulfilment is good. And I’m currently attempting to navigate doing both, so I’m particularly interested in how/whether the things I write about would translate over into play, or how my knowledge of “mainstream” play informs my writing (e.g. becoming particularly wary of writing scenes that would be dangerous or unhealthy IRL without adding disclaimers).
(ETA: I’m also interested to see whether the way people are using these items of terminology in tags might turn out to be more broadly useful than the way they’ve been defined within the subculture. Because, y’know, AO3 tags as an example of the hive-mind freeforming its way towards consensus, and terminology evolving organically, and just generally being fascinating as a social phenomenon, etc.)
That’s just the impression I’ve vaguely formed, so I hope I haven’t made any incorrect assumptions or mischaracterisations, and I’m willing to be corrected. That kind of not-quite-overlap does reflect my own “journey” quite neatly, though.