“Whyyyy doesn’t anyone liiiiike me?”

That’s a (heavily paraphrased) quote from entirely too many threads I’ve seen, not a personal question. I know why people don’t like me, I’m a jerk 🙂 And yes, that does make it pretty ironic that I of all people am giving out advice on how to be more likable, but at least I’m a jerk on purpose.

It’s far, far too common to see people post like total assholes online and then act surprised that nobody likes them. People (mostly men, let’s be honest, but I’ve seen women do it too), can you please think about what the common denominator there could possibly be for like five goddamn seconds? If everyone “just doesn’t understand” and “totally missed the point” of your post/reply/comment/whatever, consider the possibility you did a shitty job of explaining yourself, or that the description that you thought was neutral was really, really not, or that you have profoundly misunderstood something.

Now, there is an argument to be made that people refusing to read the goddamn docs (or stickies, in the case of Fetlife groups) is simply a fact of life and that people should be nicer to the massive number of newbies who all ask the same questions over and over again. However, while groups specifically for newbies are valuable, it is simply not necessary that every group (Fetlife, random forum, or otherwise), cater to newbies who can’t be bothered to do their own research. You may have gathered that I’m not super interested in people who want their answers spoon fed to them 🙂 Google is your friend, people.

Yes, it’s not possible to search inside Fetlife groups yet, but that’s what the stickies are for. If absolutely none of the stickies interest you, maybe that group is just not for you. Think about it for a second – somebody chose to make those particular threads into stickies for a reason. If you totally disagree with the mods’ decisions about what threads are interesting or valuable enough to be stickies, then you know that group isn’t for you. Whether you can search for your answers or have to actually read (or at least skim) a bunch of stickies, there’s simply no excuse for not even trying to find anything out on your own. Laziness is unattractive no matter which side of the slash you’re on.

Just doing the tiniest bit of research can seriously endear you to a group. If you take nothing else away from this post, take this: the smallest effort to meet people halfway will make them want to like you.

So let’s assume you’ve done a little reading and have a question that hasn’t been answered recently or at least a variation on a common question. Now you need to think about how to phrase that question. Yes, the way you ask a question matters. It should not be news that there’s a difference between “That’s a stupid idea, we should do x instead” and “I’m worried about y, I think we should do x because …” Basically, if you can get along with people at work, you can get along with people online. Sure, anywhere you’re discussing kink online is very likely to be a lot less formal than your job, but the basic lessons of not flipping your shit if somebody says something you don’t like still apply. Forums like Fetlife are not a free for all where you can check your social skills at the door just because they’re focused on kink.

If you do need pointers on basic social skills, try realsocialskills.org. They have a tag especially for social skills they didn’t teach us. If that site doesn’t work for you, there are tons more out there, just google “learn social skills.” I bring this up because some not everybody gets to just easily pick up social skills when they’re a kid. It’s not my area of expertise or the focus of this blog, but I wanted to share those resources so that any readers who are honestly not sure what keeps going wrong when they try to participate in a discussion online at least have a shot at find something helpful there.

That said, I think most people who get themselves into trouble online screw up not because they honestly don’t know how to have a civil conversation but because they showed up with the false assumption that a site being focused on kink somehow magically means that anything goes and there’s no wrong way to talk to people and everyone magically accepts any kind of behaviour because… I don’t even know. Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is OK doesn’t mean you get to be rude to people with no consequences.

It also doesn’t mean people are obligated to be nice to you if they honestly answer your question and you freak out because you don’t like their answers. For shit’s sake guys, if people give you advice, either take it or admit this is the wrong place for you and leave! Why would you hang around with people who you think are stupid and wrong about everything, anyway?

If you get answers you don’t like, there are two things you should do and one thing you should do before you ask a question. The one thing is to remember that if you ask a question, you might get answers you don’t like. If you can’t stand to have people disagree with you, don’t fucking ask the question. Make a cup of tea, play some video games, and don’t waste everyone’s time by asking a question you don’t actually want answered.

The two things you should do after you ask a question and get answers you don’t like are to think back to the point I made above about common denominators and to walk away from the computer and chill the fuck out. If it feels like everyone misunderstood you, the common denominator is you. Accept that you didn’t explain yourself well and stop blaming other people for not magically figuring out what you really meant.

A lot of the threads I’ve seen go completely off the rails went that way because the OP freaked out when people disagreed with them and kept arguing that everyone who disagreed was wrong, stupid, and ignorant. If they had just closed the damned browser tab and come back the next day, they could have (well maybe) had a productive discussion about how to phrase what they actually meant, but because they had to keep posting in the heat of the moment the thread devolved into personal attacks and got closed by the mods.

I’ve talked a lot about phrasing things such that you don’t look like a total douchebag. If you’re new to kink and don’t know the right words yet, how do you figure them out? Lurk! For the love of god, lurk! Reading is good for you!

Not only that, but why would you just randomly post in a random group without reading any of it to see if you even want to talk with those people? They could be total jerks! They could have ideas about d/s that are totally at odds with yours! They could be all about the newbie questions when you want to have a more nuanced discussion! They could be all about the nuanced discussions when you just want a simple newbie question answered!

But seriously, not looking like an asshole online is mostly about understanding the culture of the place you’re posting in and making a token effort to blend with it. For example, in the Submissive men and women who love them group on Fetlife, describing yourself as an “alpha” will end in practically everyone telling you that the vast majority of submissive men are not sniveling doormats in their daily lives either, you’re not a special snowflake, and that no one is impressed by how “alpha” you think you are (protip: if you were actually that socially dominant, you wouldn’t have to tell me all about it). If you lurk for a bit, you’ll learn that about the group and realize you should phrase your question in a way that doesn’t use that word.

If you’re going to act like a jerk, at least do it on purpose 🙂

Things new submissive men should probably know, part 4 of many

I’ve said this before, but you know, it bears repeating: people, particularly women, notice when you can’t be bothered to talk to anyone you don’t want to fuck and we hate it. That’s not the only reason you should talk to people who aren’t hot dominant women or who *gasp* are dominant women but don’t particularly turn you on, though.

First of all, people have friends. If you’re not a dick, they might introduce you to said friends. I don’t know why this doesn’t occur to more people – do you think everyone you see at a munch or play party is secretly a robot who goes straight home afterward and plugs themselves into their charging station? To be fair, it is normal to assume that the scene consists only of the people you see at events, but think about it for a second. Not everyone makes it to every single event. People have other stuff going on in their lives, they have scheduling conflicts, they catch colds, they go on vacation, they just don’t like large groups of people, and sometimes even when everything lines up just right they still don’t feel like leaving the house that night (if so you might be me :).

If you’re nice to the people who did make it out, they’ll be a lot more likely to introduce you to their friends who didn’t make it out. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet someone who actively enjoys introducing people who might get along. Pro-tip: sometimes the person who actively enjoys introducing people is a submissive guy. One more reason you should talk to people who aren’t hot dominant women.

Second of all, you can make friends with people you don’t want to fuck. I wish that was too obvious to bother saying, but apparently it’s not. Some of the people you meet in the scene will have absolutely nothing in common with you besides kink, but some people you meet literally everywhere else will also have nothing in common with you. You’re certainly not required to make friends with other kinksters, but what can it hurt to try? Just because kink is the thing that brings you together doesn’t mean you can’t possibly run into anyone you have more in common with. Nobody has just one hobby and kink is no exception. The kink scene does seem to be pretty nerd heavy though, so if you can’t stand to hear about the latest sci-fi movie you may need to meet a bunch of people before you find a non-nerd.

It can only do you good to have friends who are into the same stuff you are and will help you stand up to your inner demons when they tell you you’re a freak. I have this theory that part of the reason it’s so sadly common for submissive guys to be down on themselves is that they isolate themselves and don’t have anyone around to tell them “No dude, you’re a good guy, your brain is just being a jerk right now.” It’s also helpful to have someone who can

You can also learn things from people who aren’t hot dominant women. Shockingly enough, other people know things and it’s possible to absorb information that comes from someone you don’t want to bang. You can even, horror of horrors, learn stuff from dominant men (but feel free to skip the douchebags). It’s not unusual for kinky people to be excited to show off their toys and talk about how to use them safely, even with people they aren’t necessarily interested in playing with. There are also plenty of people in the scene who enjoy nerding out about kink theory – why particular kinks work for us, why some kinks are so common, what kind of d/s works for us or totally doesn’t work for us, and you can learn a lot by talking with them.

Even if you’re not interested in making friends or learning from anyone and only want to find a sexual partner, you should still talk with people you don’t want to fuck. Not only because you can cast a much wider net, so to speak, if you act like the kind of person anyone would ever introduce their friends to, but because only talking to people you want to fuck simply does not work.

Seriously, we can fucking smell it on you when you think a conversation is a total waste of time if it doesn’t lead to you getting your dick wet. If you’re going to act like that, you might as well just go home and jerk off. It’ll be about as productive a way to meet people, with the added bonus of not giving people the completely accurate impression that you suck.

Also, if you only talk to people you want to fuck, you might as well wear a sign that says “I don’t care about you as a person.” It should not be any sort of surprise that acting like that convinces people they should never get naked with you. Even if they do like casual sex, they’re not real likely to want it with someone who is almost certainly a selfish sack of shit in bed. Why would anyone bother to fuck some dumb jerk who is only going to do what feels good for him and make no effort to get you off?

Finally, if you go around only talking to the hottest women at the munch/party/whatever, what you’re telling every woman after the first one is that she is not your first choice but she’ll do. Sexxxxy.

Guys, for the love of god stop going to munches, talking only to women you want to fuck, and then acting surprised that no one seems to like you. This is social skills 101, if you act like a jerk people will *gasp* think you’re a jerk. Have you never talked to anyone who was only interested in what you could do for them and dropped you like a hot rock when they got what they wanted? Did you like that person? So do you see the moral of the story here?

You get people to like you by showing an interest in them, it’s not that fucking complicated.

How do I know if I’m masochistic or just submissive?

Thank you whoever found my blog by searching for “how do i know if i’m masochistic or just submissive?” that’s a really good question 🙂

It’s really easy to mix these up and depending on how you define “masochistic” there’s a lot of gray area. I personally like Carolyn’s definition, which is that masochistic just means that you can use pain to get where you want to go. It doesn’t mean you enjoy the sensation of pain, just that you have reasons for wanting to experience it. Some people really enjoy the endorphin rush from a good beating, some people love the way pain gets them out of their heads and into their bodies, some people like to see how much they can take and push their own limits, some people need pain to trigger an emotional catharsis etc, etc. It’s not unlike the reason I run, actually 🙂 Sometimes it’s actually fun to go for a run, and sometimes I hate it a whole lot. But even when I just want it to be over already, it still helps me relax, I still feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m done, and it still helps me sleep. Oh and it feels great when I stop.

Basically masochism is about physical sensations, even if you’re using those sensations to create an emotional response in yourself.

Submission, on the other hand, is about handing over control/authority/power to someone else. Some people feel warm and fuzzy and loved when someone else cares enough about them to make decisions for them, some people get turned on by being told what to do, some people express love and affection by giving decision-making power to their partner and doing nice things for them, some people just like having a leader in their relationships, etc, etc.

I would say that submission is about how you run your personal relationships, and not necessarily romantic ones. Aromantic people who are into d/s exist, after all, and so do people who just happen to not have a romantic relationship with their dom/sub/insert preferred title here. I say ‘personal relationships’ here because submission most certainly does not mean that you’re a doormat for everyone to walk on, it means that you like to let your partner(s) run the show.

The confusing part is how common it is for submissive people to also be masochistic and how common it is for masochistic play to appear submissive.

Because so much of the porn we watch and stories we read (both fictional and non), focus on doms doing things, often painful things, to submissive people, it’s really easy to get the idea that submission is fundamentally about having those things done to you. For the same reason, it’s really easy to get the idea that if you want those things done to you, you must be submissive.

Another thing that muddies the waters is that it’s not exactly unusual for submissive people who don’t like pain to take it to make their partners happy. This can look a lot like masochism, and you know, there’s a pretty solid argument to be made that “I love the look on my dom’s face when she whips me” isn’t so different from “I love the endorphin rush I get from a good needle scene”, but I personally see taking pain to please a dom as more submissive than masochistic.

So given all that gray area, how do you figure out whether you’re masochistic or submissive? That’s a tough question, but I have a couple of ideas. First of all, try some stuff. It could be that you only like particular kinds of pain, or only enjoy submitting to people you know really well. The more stuff you try, the more chances you have to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Oh, and to be clear, when I say that, I absolutely do not mean that you should pressure yourself to try stuff you’re sure you’ll hate or that freak you out. I’m strictly talking about mentally translating “meh” to “why not?”

I also have a couple of thought experiments:

Imagine having a scene where the person who inflicts pain on you does it because you like it and they want you to be happy. There are no surprises in this scene, no “Oh do you hate that toy? I’m going to hit you with it more”, everything happens exactly how you like it and they only use your favourite toys. Would that scene be fun for you or would you feel like something was missing?

Here’s another scene to imagine: suppose your dom takes a whole scene to do just stuff they like. Say, tickling for example (if you hate being tickled, imagine they’re using a whartenberg wheel or something else that’s not especially painful but can be annoying if you don’t like it). Something that you feel kind of “meh” about, but that they really love. Imagine the whole time your dom is having a blast and they really enjoy the way you react even though you would never ask for a tickling scene for the sake of having a tickling scene. Would that scene be fun for you or would you feel like something was missing?

Readers, how did you or your partners figure out whether you/they were submissive or masochistic?

Spite week: recap

In case you had better things to do all week than check my blog for updates every single day, I did another spite week of posts that have nothing to do with my kink. In order, they are:

Spite week returns!
Spite week: cocktails!
Spite week: homesick for Azeroth
Spite week: sacred moon time my pasty white ass
Spite week: weird spooky fiction
Spite week: the message podcast

Enjoy, and remember that I, like all dominant women, am a human fucking being who has interests that have nothing to do with my kink.

Spite week: the message podcast

My husband recommended The Message podcast to me and now I’m recommending it to you 🙂 It’s more of an audio miniseries than a regular podcast, which I actually quite like because there’s a defined story that ends. It’s pretty short, you can burn through the whole thing in an evening if you need to know what happens next.

The Message is a sort of sci-fi thriller about a message received from outer space. That kills people who listen to it too much. Enjoy!

Spite week: sacred moon time my pasty white ass

Weirdly, I fucking love this ad:

Doing anything but lying in a sad little heap cuddling a heating pad and grimly swallowing painkillers while you’re on your period is pretty fucking badass and people who menstruate deserve more credit for that.

I don’t actually want to be mean to the weirdos out there who for some reason enjoy bleeding from their genitals, so I’m going to put the rest of this post behind a read more tag. If you’ve ever un-ironically said “sacred blood,” don’t click through. Continue Reading

Spite week: homesick for Azeroth

So I’ve mentioned I’m a terrible fucking nerd, right? Okay, with that out of the way, sometimes I really miss Azeroth. Back in the day (not so long before the Lich King expansion came out) I used to raid regularly with some former coworkers. My raid schedule was so regular that all of my friends knew not to ask me to do anything on those days because I was always busy. Honestly, it wasn’t so bad to  have those two days a week back after our guild fell apart, and I didn’t exactly hate having to do my dailies or keep up on potion ingredients either.

But I still miss Azeroth sometimes. I spent so much time there, it was a refuge when other parts of my life kind of sucked. I still vividly remember levelling with a friend during a heat wave – I swear running quests through a snowy valley made the heat even worse in real life. Parts of Azeroth were incredibly beautiful too, especially some of the elven territories that I can’t remember the names of since it’s been so long since I was there.

It’s a weird sensation to miss a place that you’ve never physically been and that doesn’t strictly exist. I don’t even want to go back there to stay, I have way too many other things I want to do and I just don’t have time anymore, but sometimes it would be nice if I could get, say, a week-long tourist visa 🙂

Spite week: cocktails!

One of my favourite cocktails is the Vieux Mot. You may need to fiddle with the proportions from that recipe a bit, that much simple syrup and elderflower liquer makes for a very sweet drink. I like mine a bit tart, if it’s too sweet it just tastes sticky to me.

I also love bourbon (or whisky!) sours, more so the way my husband makes them. He uses honey syrup instead of regular simple syrup, which I think is tastier. He doesn’t do recipes, though, so all I can tell you about making honey syrup is that you put a dollop of honey in a little water and warm it up in the microwave. If it takes a couple of tries to get it right, I guess you’ll just have to drink the failed experiments 🙂

While we’re talking about variations on cocktails, try adding cherry bitters to a gin & tonic if you can find them. Seriously, it’s really good.