I'm not a girl, not yet a woman...
I have a habit of thinking of myself as a "girl," socially. When I'm operating in the grownup world, when I'm speaking as a feminist or an EMT, I'm pretty strict about calling myself and anyone else over 18 a "woman." But when I'm in less uptight contexts... well, for one thing, I tend to refer to "grownups." And I'm not one of those.
In one sense, it's literally true; I'm younger than almost all of my friends. There are some 20- and 21-year-olds in the BDSM scene, but on the whole the crowd skews older than me. It's a combination of people tending to take a while to get comfortable with public kinkiness, and people not being inclined to bow out gracefully when they reach unsexy age. (That's a joke; of course people can be sexy at any age, at least to other gross old people.) I'm also a kid in my life situation: I work an entry-level gofer job, I'm single and playing the field pretty hard, and I live in a big messy shared house in a college area.
But it's also part of my personality. When I'm happy I tend to be very bouncy and silly and a little ditzy, and can have a very "ooh Daddy can I play with the ponies?" demeanor to me. I'm also still a little shy and inexperienced in BDSM--despite being in the scene to some degree for a few years now, I'm still finding my footing in the social and sexual nuances. So I appreciate partners who will take a slightly mentor-ish role and let me be a little bit of a kid in comparison. ("Slightly mentor-ish" does not mean "do my thinking for me"; I do plenty of my own reconnaissance and research and reflection. But it does mean "understand that you're introducing me to some things for the first time and that I appreciate a little bit of education and guidance.") I also have a tendency to be just goofy in bed and love the kind of play where I'm laughing my ass off almost as much the kind where I'm screaming in pain.
I do wonder if I'll ever become a woman. I have a feeling I won't. I can see myself in about twenty years, possibly living in a grown-up house with a grown-up job, and still referring to them in exactly those terms. Is it a submissive thing, or is just a Holly thing? Potato potahto, but I think it's a Holly thing. A certain sense of silliness and wonder is just a part of me, and neither biological age nor sexuality changes anything about that.
Feministically, this is terrible, of course. It makes me undercut my own power and authority constantly, and makes me act like less than a full adult. Infantalizing oneself, even subtly, is no way to gain power and respect in society. But I don't think women are girls. I just think Holly is.