There’s No Cheat Code for Dating

Every so often some poor deluded twit starts a thread on fetlife asking how to tell if a woman is dominant if you meet her in anywhere but at a munch or play party. Not only is this ridiculous, but I think it’s a sign that the questioner isn’t ready to submit to anyone.

First off, the ridiculous part. For fuck’s sake, there is no cheat code for dating. Someone who appears socially dominant might actually like nothing more than to relax and let someone else take charge behind closed doors, and someone who is shy and quiet (Hi, I spend most of my time at large gatherings hiding in the corner) in public might be sizing you up to pounce on later. There is simply no way to tell if a person is sexually/personally (as opposed to socially dominant, which is a different thing, dammit) dominant without getting to know them.  In the process of getting to know someone, you kind of have to make yourself vulnerable. Not only is no one going to answer all of your questions without you answering theirs, but there’s no way to convince someone that you’re ‘just curious’ when you ask what they think about kink.

The reason I think asking about how you can tell someone is dominant without asking them means you’re not ready to submit to anyone is that relationships in general and submission in particular are all about making yourself vulnerable. Revealing your kinky interests to someone you’ve just started to get to know can certainly be scary, but it’s pretty low stakes compared to telling your partner of a couple years that you’re a big perv, or even worse, your spouse of many years. If you can’t handle that small amount of vulnerability when the stakes are so low, how on earth are you going to manage when the stakes are higher? Contrary to what these people seem to believe, once you find a partner it’s not all ‘happily ever after’. Even when you know your partner is open to at least some of your kinks, it can still be scary to go into detail or talk at all about more extreme interests.

My friend Andy talks about that problem more in his post about Trust issues with your partner. To quote a little from his post:

This is a simple risk/reward proposition for the husband. He has information he wants to share, questions he wants answered, a sense of belonging and camaraderie that he needs.  If we chart out the risks and the rewards:

TALK TO WIFE: High risk, low reward.
TALK ONLINE: Low risk, high reward.

Opening up doesn’t magically become easy and risk free just because you’ve found a partner. If anything it gets harder. Finding a partner whose kinks are at all compatible with yours isn’t easy. Nobody wants to risk scaring off a semi-accepting partner by revealing something too ‘out there’ or complaining about an issue that they can more or less ignore.

The problem is that not asking for what you need and not talking about problems are sure ways to kill a relationship. It’s scary and it puts you in a vulnerable position, but it has to be done if you don’t want your partner to get sick of you expecting them to read your mind. Unfortunately, if you can’t deal with making yourself vulnerable before you even have a capital R relationship, you’re never going to be able to deal with being in one.

Not only do relationships not work without vulnerability, but submission really doesn’t work without it. To quote Ferns’ adorable post ‘On Puppying‘:

Puppying is when they are so excited every time they are around me that their whole body vibrates with delight, they get under my feet, they bounce around me, every pore screams “OMFG YOU’RE HERE YOU’RE HERE, SOOOOOO EXCITED!!!” If they didn’t have control they would lick my face and then pee on the floor.

There are many reasons I like it, but a big one is that in order to puppy at me, he has to make himself vulnerable. He has to NOT do some sort of ‘super cool’, ‘in control’, “Hey, how *you* doin’” act. It is a display of honest and open exuberance without the filters of self protection and for that reason alone, it is special and powerful and lovely to me.

Submission without vulnerability is an oxymoron. If that’s what you want, stick with porn.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Seeing as it’s the holidays, I’m here to spread good will and cheer by- ha! Let’s be honest, I’m here to rain on your parade.

Guys, I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably never going to get consensually ‘gang-raped’ by a pack of hot female doms. That fantasy seems to pretty common in femdom porn, but oddly enough you don’t see many women posting on fetlife about how much they’d like to their their hot dominant friends together to co-top their subs.

Now, I’m not saying there’s absolutely no chance you’ll ever be topped by a group of women, but if you think you’re somehow entitled to the undivided attention of a group of dominant female strangers, you’re kidding yourself. The single most likely thing to happen if you show up at a party and tell all the women to do what they like to you is for all of them to completely ignore you.

I’m all for fantasies that have something in them for me (in fact, I wish more submissive men would write things that actually turn me on), but this particular fantasy does absolutely nothing for me. I really shouldn’t have to spell this out, but the less a fantasy has in it for the other party, the less likely you are ever to act it out.

So, why doesn’t this fantasy do anything for me?

First of all, I like getting my way. If I’m going to play with someone, I want to be in control. If I’m waiting my turn, I’m not in control. If I’m worrying about not taking too long so the next person can have her turn, I’m not in control. If I’m avoiding doing anything too intense  so the bottom will be in shape to play with the next person, I’m not in control. If I only have one other co-top to worry about I can still have fun, but more than that and I’d only participate as a personal favour to someone I particularly liked.

Second, if I’m going to give someone my undivided attention, the very least they can do in return is give me theirs. Being an anonymous pair of hands acting out a fantasy does nothing for me.

Third, that whole taking turns thing just doesn’t work for me. Why would I want just a few minutes of someone’s divided attention when I can have a play partner all to myself until I’m good and done with him?

Fourth, objectification/anonymous play isn’t really my thing. I’m not interested in playing with someone I haven’t gotten to know, and I have even less interest in playing with someone who’s submitting to the room in general. If I can’t feel special, I’d rather not play at all.

Finally, I don’t share particularly well. I hardly ever let my books leave my house, so why on earth would I just lend out something infinitely more precious to me?

I’m not saying anyone is a bad person just for having this fantasy, but for fuck’s sake don’t kid yourself. If you ever get to bottom to a group of women, I can pretty much guarantee you’re being indulged, not dominated.

Fashion Advice for Submissive Men?

The other day a very sweet reader (as an aside, the people who comment here and email me are so awesome) asked me if I had any fashion advice for submissive men, and I didn’t have much of anything to tell him. I’m hoping that my readers can help out with descriptions of that they like in a man and links to men’s fashion resources, because I don’t know much of anything about fashion and I can only ramble about what turns me on. Other women’s tastes are obviously going to be different.

My tastes in men’s clothing fall into two contradictory categories – clothes that show off a man’s body and clothing like suits and uniforms that tend to conceal it. By ‘clothes that show off a man’s body’ I mean things like shirts that are a little bit tight around the upper arms and shoulders (mmm, shoulders), and pants that actually hug a man’s ass instead of hiding it. Since I’m a straight woman, it should be fairly obvious why I want to see men’s bodies 🙂

On the other hand, suits and uniforms hide the body pretty thoroughly, but I still think they’re hot. Part of that is that they’re seen as masculine, which I think is hot, and part of it is that I really enjoy fantasizing about reversing the power differential a uniform implies. That is, you’d expect whoever’s wearing the uniform to be in charge, which just makes it more fun to strip a man out of said uniform, have my way with him, and leave him in a sweaty, shaking heap. Also, ties just look like leashes to me 🙂

Unfortunately I’m not sure any of that is especially helpful to submissive men hoping to attract a dominant woman. Short of wearing a collar or a tshirt that says ‘submissive’ on it, clothing (especially casual clothing) does a very bad job of signalling whether you’re dominant or submissive. All of the clothing I like could signal ‘look at how manly and dominant I am’ just as easily as ‘I wanted to look good for you’.

On the up side, pretty much any attempt to look good for my pleasure is going to do it for me. I think it’s adorable when men worry about pleasing women. They don’t even have to be especially good at it, it’s just cute that they tried.

What about the rest of you, what do you like to see a man wearing? And does anyone have any fashion resources for submissive guys?

Be A Man

Every so often, some knuckle-dragging throwback to the stone age decides that her her sexual taste for bottoming/submitting gives her the right to speak for all women, and posts some unspeakably stupid drivel about how a ‘real man’ is supposed to act (and by extension, what a ‘real woman’ is supposed to want). Sometimes this shit gets posted on fetlife, sometimes it ends up on the good men project. Either way, it fills me with rage. Not only is it extraordinarily insulting to tell me that either I’m too stupid to know what I really want or I’m such an abject failure at being a woman that I should just go on Testosterone and get top surgery already, but it’s actually abusive to tell submissive men that they are such failures at being men that no ‘real woman’ will ever want them.

If it’s not okay to bully women for failing to perform femininity ‘correctly’, then it’s not okay to bully men for failing to perform masculinity the way you prefer. If you don’t like random strangers telling you to smile, or how pretty you’d be if you’d just put in a little effort, then kindly shut the fuck up about how men are doing it wrong when they act like they care what women want. Newsflash: men aren’t psychic, and it’s not fair to ask them to be. In the absence of a woman having the ovaries to take the bizarre and unprecedented step of asking for what she wants, the only ethical thing for a man to do is to go slowly and tentatively try things until he figures out what his partner likes. Lori Ann Lothian, your problem is NOT that men aren’t manly enough. It’s that you’re a spineless child who thinks that communicating like a grown up will ruin your fantasy.

Fuck you and fuck your bullshit about what it means to be a woman. It’s great that you know what you want in a man and what kind of sex you like. It’s fucking stupid that you can’t understand that not all women want what you want, and that *gasp* not all women are submissive. I have just as much right to ask for my kind of man as you have to ask for yours. You and your ‘real man’ can fuck right off, I want nothing to do with either one of you gender-essentialist wastes of space.

Here’s the real way to be a man. I know it’s the real way because it turns me on, and obviously what turns one woman on does it for absolutely all of us, no exceptions. I, uh, don’t know how queer and/or asexual women are supposed to fit into this stupid gender-binary straight jacket, but who cares about what people other than me want? I’m obviously the only important one. Me me me ME!

Without further ado (but with plenty more sarcasm):

Be a man and let me make the decisions. I’ll tell you if I want you to perform the service of making a particular decision for me.

Be a man and learn my preferences so that you can make good decisions for me when I ask you to. Notebooks and/or spreadsheets may come in handy. Tools are manly, right?

Be a man and lean on me when you need to. Real men admit it when they’re having a rough time.

Be a man and give me some space to initiate sex. I can’t jump you if you always jump me first.

Be a man and let me know how much I turn you on. Tease and denial isn’t any fun if you just wander off and play World of Warcraft all night.

Be a man and beg me to hurt you. I absolutely love that, and thanks to the female hive mind I can be sure all other women feel exactly the same way.

Be a man and do what you say you’re going to do. Lying is for the ladies! (thanks roo-roo)

Be a man and submit to me. Men who want to dominate women are doing it wrong and are destined to die alone, missed only by their many cats. Get over your vagina envy, learn your place, and maybe some woman will take pity on you and show you how a real woman loves a man.

I’m deliberately being a little bit ridiculous, but insisting all men should be dominant is just as stupid as insisting all men should be submissive. How about we stop letting people get away with that shit?

Housework, really?

There are plenty of submissive men who want to know how to get their wives/girlfriends to dominate them. One sadly common piece of advice sites like Real Women Don’t Do Housework and (ugh) Elise Sutton give is to talk about how she can make him do all the housework if she’ll dominate him (by wearing uncomfortable outfits for his pleasure and doing everything he wants in bed). This is stupid and offensive on so many levels.

First of all, if you aren’t already doing your fair share of the housework you are simply a bad partner. Fix that before you try talking your partner into fulfilling your kinks, you lazy little shit. When you talk about kink, your partner should not have to ask “What’s in it for me that I shouldn’t already be getting from my partner? As an aside, that’s a fantastic question to ask yourself no matter how you plan to ‘sell’ male submission to your partner. Whether you’re offering to rub her feet, go to events she likes, cook dinner for her, or let her choose where you go on vacation, you should be able to explain what you’re offering that she shouldn’t already be getting.

Second, and I realize this may be shocking to hear, women actually do have interests that have nothing to do with how tidy their homes are. Using housework as the main selling point for male submission implies that housework is so extraordinarily important to women that they’ll cheerfully act out all of your most extreme fantasies if only you wash a few dishes for them. Not only is that insulting, but it sets up a dynamic in which the man purchases sex from his partner by doing chores. I can’t imagine why feeling obligated to perform a sex act she may have no interest in because her partner mopped the floor wouldn’t turn a woman on.

Third, it ignores everything that’s hot and sexy and amazing about male submission and reduces it to a fucking maid service. How can you look at images like these and decide that housecleaning is the way to sell male submission? Do you assholes not believe that women have any sexual desires, or do you just not care what they might be?

Or is that talking about what might turn any given woman on forces you to acknowledge the fact that not every woman is in fact turned on by male submission? The idea that women can be molded into whatever men want them to be might just be the most offensive part of this whole clusterfuck. While I firmly believe that many more women would identify as dominant if the scene wasn’t so unfriendly to them, it’s simply not true that every woman can become dominant. For starters, some of them are submissive. Deciding that a woman isn’t allowed to be submissive is just as offensive as deciding that she has to be submissive.  Some women just aren’t interested in power exchange. Even women who are dominant aren’t magically compatible with all submissive men. There are as many styles of dominance and submission as there are people in the scene, and many of them do not mesh at all well.

If you’re a submissive man in a relationship with a vanilla woman, I sympathize. That’s a tough situation to be in, and it makes sense that you would want to find a way to convince partner to top or dominate you. However, talking about how much housework you’d do for her is not it. Just shut the fuck up about what a great maid you’d be, okay?