Maybe if I title a post with the exact search string I saw in my stats, people will read it 🙂 A lot of this advice is going to sound familiar if you’ve already read my post how to make friends on fetlife for the hard of thinking, but in the spirit of the holidays this post is going to be a bit gentler of a guide to getting responses to your fetlife (or collarspace or okcupid or whatever social network or personals site you choose to message people on) messages. Merry Christmas, I’m going to teach you how to get responses to your messages!
Disclaimer: this guide is aimed at submissive men who are interested in dominant women. Some of it might be helpful if you’re not a straight submissive guy, and I hope it will, but at least some of it is going to be irrelevant.
My very first tip is going to be a little bit frustrating, but seriously, it will save you misery in the long run. That tip is to wait! Do not message people in late December or early January, they are busy, you will not get good results. In general, don’t expect quick replies around major holidays – I wouldn’t message someone in the US around the time of their thanksgiving either. People aren’t being jerks by not replying or replying very slowly, it’s just that stuff is more likely to fall through the cracks when they’re already very busy and if you want good results, you’ve got to set people up for success.
Speaking of which, it’s a lot easier to get a response if you give the person you’ve messaged something to work with. Granted I overthink things like it’s my job, but even with people who can just dash off a message without editing it repeatedly it’s only going to help if you make it easy for them to figure out what to say in reply. Mention something you have in common, ask them a question about something in their profile (but NOT about their kinks/fetishes) or something in their writings or something on their blog/website if they have one or something they said in a group you’re both members of. Questions are easy to answer and common interests make it easy to reply with stuff like “Oh you’re a fan of ___ too? Did you see/hear/play their latest movie/album/game?”
I do have to stress that you should NOT ask any questions about a person’s kinks in the first message. You can literally never go wrong by treating someone like a person first. There will be lots of time later to talk about kinks if you even turn out to like each other, and if you don’t end up liking each other than there’s really no point talking about kinks. Yes, you could make the argument that if a certain kink is an absolute must have for you and you’re not interested in a relationship that doesn’t involve that kink then you should bring it up right away so as not to waste time on a woman who won’t make your dick happy, but you would only make that argument if you were a jackass who deserves to stay lonely so don’t do it. If you only want to get to know someone if she’s willing to make your dick happy, you don’t actually want to get to know her. Bonus tip: being interested in a particular kink in general tells you absolutely nothing about her willingness to do that thing with you.
Another note about asking someone a question: you are going to have to read their profile or something else they’ve written to figure out what to ask about. Of course, you should have done that anyway because you’re not just messaging people at random, right? You know, that deserves its own paragraph at least.
The single biggest thing you can do get responses to your messages on any social network or dating site is to choose people who might possibly want to hear from you! Do not message people at random, that’s a waste of everyone’s time. Do not message people because their pictures made you feel funny in your pants, that’s a waste of everyone’s time. Do not message people because they’re a woman who lives within a hundred miles of you, that’s a waste of everyone’s time.
Do message people because you’ve read their profile/blog/writings/posts and comments in discussions/anything else they’ve written and the two of you actually have something in common and they seem to be open to hearing from strangers and are interested in people of your gender (if you’re messaging them because you want to play and/or date). Particularly in the case of fetlife, many people have profiles just to keep up with friends or participate in groups and are very clear about that. If you read their profile first, you will not embarrass yourself and waste everyone’s time by bothering someone who doesn’t want to hear from you. There are people who have things in common with you and are interested in people like you, the best thing you can do for your reply rate is to message them, not people you have nothing in common with.
Something I see a lot of questions about is how to address someone in the first message. This is another reason you want to read their profile carefully – if someone really likes being called Domina, for example, she might say so on her profile. If there aren’t any clues like that (which is not at all unusual, don’t feel like a failure because you couldn’t find a clue that wasn’t there), just use her screen name. No reasonable human being is going to be mad that you called them what they chose to call themselves.
And finally, context! Don’t forget about context! By that I mean, I and probably lots of other dominant women look at messages from people in the context of their profile. If you send me a great message but your pictures are a weird little shrine to your dick (or god forbid, your avatar is a dickpic), your odds of getting a response just tanked. Same if your profile and/or pictures are all about what you want done to you or your fetish list is twice as long as your profile. When I’m deciding whether or not to reply to a message, I think about whether I’m likely to get treated like a person or like a malfunctioning vending machine. If your profile makes me think that you’re likely to treat me like a malfunctioning vending machine (you know that stupid shit some guys do where they tell you what they want, then you try to start a conversation, then they tell you what they want again as if you’re a vending machine that just didn’t register that they pressed B5 already?) if I don’t immediately hand out the kink you want, you’re not getting a reply.
This is another one of those “choose people who might possibly want to hear from you!” things. Look at the profile of the person you want to message and compare how much time you spend talking about your kinks on your profile versus how much time she does. If your ratios of directly kinky stuff versus who you are as a person and what you want in a relationship are completely different, that’s a clue you might not be compatible.
Finally, on the subject of compatibility: messaging someone and getting a reply or not means nothing about your worth as a person. At worst all it means is that you’re not compatible with them, and it might only mean that they were busy or on vacation or got sick or even just lost track of time (er, not that I would ever do such a thing :). I know rejection sucks, nobody is saying it doesn’t, but it’s not about whether you’re fundamentally unloveable.
Think of it this way, if you go out to an Italian restaurant and don’t like it because you’d rather have Thai, that doesn’t mean you hate the chef or think they’re a terrible person who should never cook again, it just means you like Thai food better. If you send a respectful message to someone you have things in common with and don’t get a reply, all it means is that you offered them Italian when they were in the mood for Thai.
Readers, do you have any more tips for sending messages that actually get replies?