Sir is a respectful and formal address to males. It derives from the Middle French honorific title sire, which developed alongside the word seigneur.
The term can be used as a formal prefix, especially in the Commonwealth, for males who have been given certain honours or titles (such as knights and baronets), where usage is strictly governed by law and custom. The term is also commonly used as a respectful way to address a man, usually of superior social status, or an adult male customer.
In the British school system, male teachers are addressed Sir and female teachers are meant to use Mrs. or Miss as appropriate, however to many teacher's annoyance many students reflexive default to Miss—a remnant of the old days where female teachers would have to give up teaching when they got married. In the Southern United States, Ma'am is used instead, being more status neutral.
In BDSM and spanking
In BDSM, Sir is a common address to a dom or head of household. In domestic settings, submissive persons often say, "Yes, sir" or "No, sir" to their Dom in a respectful manner. In spanking, sir is often the male spanker being addressed by the spankee or a male superior in any number of dominance scenarios.
The American spanking club SCONY encourages the usage of "generic terms" such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., Sir, Ma’am, over those that "may throw off someone else (unless you’ve talked about it)" such as Mommy, Daddy, Auntie, Mistress, Master.
Examples of people with the title Sir:
- Sir Eyre Coote, an army officer and politician whose career ended with a flogging scandal
- Sir Galahad, a character from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, who is dragged away from an erotic spanking opportunity in Castle Anthrax
- Sir Nik, a spanking actor
- Sir Spanksalot, a pseudonym of Chevman, a spanking author
- Sir Stephen, dominant character from the novel Story of O
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