What do you bring to the table?

I’ve been thinking about the advice to talk about what you bring to the table in a relationship in your profile and there seems to be a lot of confusion about what that actually means. It does not mean that you have to, say, learn how to repair stuff around the house or give manicures or clean gutters or make a really great lasagne in order to make up for your terrible submissive urges. It does not mean that being submissive isn’t inherently valuable. It doesn’t mean that dominant women don’t actually like submissive men and have to be bribed to put up with them (unless you’re one of those assholes who think dominant women exist to make your boner happy. If you’re one of those then you really do need to bribe us to put up with you). It just means that there has to be some reason for people to want to spend time with you. You enjoy spending time with your friends for a reason, right?

Sure, some people feel stuck in friendships with people who have nothing to offer out of pity and/or not wanting to be “mean” by admitting they don’t actually like that person, but most of us spend time with our friends because they’re funny, or have interesting hobbies, or go on adventures with us, or have interests in common with us, or are supportive when we’re having a bad day, or are fun to chat about nothing with, or are nice to us, or just understand us when we talk about our lives.

So if you wouldn’t be friends with someone you didn’t like, would you date someone you didn’t like? No? Then it shouldn’t be a surprise that nobody else wants to date someone who has nothing to offer them, especially when they could just binge watch House of Cards instead.

Another part of it is simply that you must be this tall to ride the ride. That is, you have to be a grownup if you want to have a grownup relationship. A really great way to signal that you’re a grownup is that you have interests and hobbies and are good at something and can generally manage your own life. If you’re not good at anything, either you have such crushing self esteem problems that you’re not ready for a relationship, or you’re not really a grownup. People want to have relationships with their equals, not with sad dependent children who can’t do anything on their own.

And no, d/s relationships are not that different. No matter how much a dom enjoys giving orders or even micromanaging, that doesn’t mean they want someone who is incapable of running their own life. The fun part is when someone who is perfectly capable of running their own life chooses to let you run it for them. If they’re incapable and need a parent, that’s not only no fun, but it’s not sustainable either. No one, no matter how much they love giving orders, can do it all day every day forever. Sooner or later everyone gets sick or gets crushingly busy at work or needs to help a sick friend or family member or just needs a fucking break. If you really can’t suck it up and help when things are tough, then your relationship is going to fall apart the first time your dom experiences any stress. Is that really what you want?

“What do you bring to the table?” isn’t about a businesslike negotiation where you offer to take your partner to the movies twice a month and give them a great foot massage and they offer home made kahlua and regular floggings and you shake on it and start dating, it’s about what makes you more fun than another night at home with Netflix and takeout. Talking about what you bring to the table in a relationship shows potential partners that you understand they’re people with their own lives who need more a reason to date you than you wanting a partner.

You want to make a connection? Give people something to connect with!

You can visit fantasy land but don’t try to move there

As you might have noticed from earlier rants on the subject, it irritates the shit out of me when people decide they are so special that reality doesn’t apply to them. Today’s particular irritation: people who believe that they can give up the right to end their relationship.

I want to be as clear as possible here: if you honestly believe that you can give up the right to leave your dom, you are delusional. I’m also sincerely scared for your safety because the kind of dom who would say “Oh absolutely, you don’t have the right to dump me no matter how unhappy you are” is bad fucking news.

I’m not saying that’s not a fun fantasy or that nobody is allowed to role play things that would be super fucked up in real life (honestly, isn’t that the point of role play?), I’m saying that it’s really fucking important to be clear on the difference between role play and real life. Somebody who isn’t clear on the difference is simply not safe to play with. If you believe something as ridiculous as being able to give up the right to leave a relationship, I and everyone else with the slightest scrap of common sense starts worrying about what other stupid bullshit you believe.

Seriously, that’s scary as fuck. If you’ve turned away from reality so hard that you believe it’s possible to give up the right to end a relationship, well great, now I’ve got to check on literally everything else you believe that could possibly be relevant to kink because if I can’t trust you to tell me that you’re not having fun anymore, I’m not going to play with you. If you might believe that nerve damage only happens if you’re not submissive enough so you don’t need to tell me your hands have gone numb, I’m not going to play with you. I’m not going to try to have a good scene with someone so out of touch with reality that they might believe a Real Dom ™ will magically know what they want. Someone who is so invested in their fantasy that they actually believe that it’s possible to give up the right to end a relationship, undoubtedly believes other ridiculous bullshit about whether s-types are allowed to have needs, or wants, or likes or dislikes or other responsibilities that override whatever wildly bizarre promises they made to their dom.

I want to be clear here, I do not mean to pick on people with actual mental health problems. Having a mental health problem or a mental health crisis or a break with reality does not mean you’re a bad person or that nobody should ever play with you. You probably shouldn’t play too hard when you’re in the middle of a manic episode and you shouldn’t take what someone says about themselves in the middle of a depressive episode as gospel, but that doesn’t mean that an illness that’s flaring up right now is never going to settle down again.

The people I mean to pick on here are the ones who do not have an actual problem, but have chosen to stick the fingers in their ears and yell “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” and generally turn their backs on reality. Those people are a danger to themselves and others and need to knock that shit off.

We hear all the time about how subs have to be careful choosing their doms. Newsflash: as a dom you have to be careful about choosing your sub too. If you play with someone flying that big of a red flag and things go poorly, am I supposed to feel bad for you? As the dom it is literally your job to think things through (not saying s-types shouldn’t think shit through either, I just have very strong feelings about my responsibilities as a dom), you need to get your shit together if you’re going to dominate anyone.

Everybody does have a slightly different definition of what bottom/submissive/slave and top/dom/master all mean but that’s mostly hammering out details. Figuring out those details is a lot easier when you start from a shared, stable idea of what’s real and what’s not. If you don’t have that basis to start from, well technically I could negotiate very very carefully with someone who deliberately turned their back on reality, and then renegotiate very very carefully every time we played and check in all the time because I’m worried about what ridiculous bullshit they’ve decided is true this week, but you know, I could also just not.

I could just play with someone who isn’t a walking red flag and feel confident that what they tell me before during and after our scene will still be true tomorrow and next week and next month. That’s so much easier than trying to work around a total lack of trust in someone who has decided they don’t want to pay attention to the difference between fantasy and reality. Fantasy is great, but I’m just not playing with anyone who won’t take a break from it now and then to talk like fucking grownups.

If you want to make terrible choices in life I can’t stop you, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Dating profile tips for dominant women

Another one from the search terms, thank you random person for giving me an interesting post topic to run with 🙂

Most of my profile advice is aimed at men because frankly they can be pretty fucking terrible about thinking with their dicks instead of even vaguely considering what a dominant woman might want to know about them. But you know, I actually do have some tips for dominant women so why not even things up a little?

First of all, spend a little time thinking about what you want out of having a profile in the first place. If men tend to think only about their dicks when they fill in their profiles, I think women tend to think way too much about how they’re “supposed” to present themselves on a kink site like Fetlife. You really and truly don’t have to put anything on your profile that you don’t fucking want to. You do not have to make yourself out to be the domliest dom who ever dommed to get anyone to show an interest in you. You also don’t have to tone yourself down if you do want intensity. There are definitely plenty of wrong ways to write a profile, but clearly expressing who you are is not one of them.

If you’re strictly on Fetlife (or whatever other site) to participate in discussions, there’s no reason you need to fill in your profile besides enjoying expressing yourself that way. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy some fantasy chat with people or meet anyone in person for play or for a more involved relationship, you’re going to want something on your profile that tells people why they should message you.

A lot of people seem to think that having a profile on a kink site means you have to make your avatar obviously kinky and/or sexually explicit. You really, really do not, and if you’re looking for a long term partner, you will probably have better luck if you choose a picture that says something about who you are beyond “Hi! I’ve got tits!”

You do not have to prove you’re “kinky enough” by getting out every last piece of your fetish wear (for that matter, you absolutely do not have to own a single piece of fetish wear) for your profile pictures. If you live in t-shirts and jeans like me, it is completely fine to have a picture of yourself in a t-shirt and jeans on your profile. Of course, if you want a relationship where you and your partner get dressed up in beautiful formalwear to go to dinner and the opera, maybe don’t have a t-shirt and jeans pic as your avatar 🙂

As for the non-picture parts of your profile, do not try to sound like a fantasy unless you want people to treat you like a fantasy. You would think that would be obvious but I’ve seen more than one thread by a woman who didn’t understand why she got so many timewasters in her inbox when there was an obvious connection between the image she presented in her profile and the kind of person who was interested in the image she was presenting. The more your profile sounds like the set up for an erotic novel, the more one-handed typists you’re going to hear from and the fewer awesome submissive men who just want a dominant girlfriend and some kinky play now and then you’ll hear from. Sadly, submissive men get targeted by scammers a lot, so if you want to hear from submissive men who aren’t idiots you need to avoid looking and sounding scammy.

If you make money selling erotic stories, phone sex, or actual in-person sessions, by all means sound like a fantasy 🙂 If you’re looking for a partner, on the other hand, you’ll get farther with a simple description of what kind of relationship you want, what you have to offer, and what you’re looking for in a partner. I’ve had pretty good luck with very blunt and down to earth profiles that say next to nothing about my kinks. I try to be upfront about the fact that I’m a sadist and that I’m not super interested in painless play, but beyond that I’m pretty flexible and more importantly, totally uninterested in hearing about what makes strange men’s dicks happy.

You’re going to hear from a certain number of idiots who are typing one-handed no matter what you do, I personally think trying to convince them not to message me is a waste of time. Just block them, make fun of them in Return to Sender, and move on with your day. To be fair, I have heard from other people that the angry notes in large red letters saying stuff like “Do not message me if you are a man, I am not interested in men” do reduce the number of messages from idiots, I just don’t like devoting that much space on my profile to barely literate assclowns.

In general, I think a profile should be a simple explanation of who you are as a person. If you’re interested in some kinky play now and then, just say that. If you’re looking for a serious long term romantic relationship, just say that. If you’re interested in an online-only relationship, just say that.

Not all of your profile has to be for other people. I added a list of my hard limits to my profile a while ago, not because I expect any of the idiots out there to actually read it and not message me, but because I like feeling justified when I block people for bothering me even though we’re obviously completely incompatible. Hey, I gave those sad bastards a fair warning 🙂

Of course, all of that advice assumes you’re writing a profile on a kink site like Fetlife and can be completely upfront about what you’re looking for. If you’re writing a dating profile on a site like OkCupid and want to be a little more subtle, I would use phrases like “looking for a man who can follow my lead,” “looking for someone who doesn’t think he has to be in charge all the time just because he’s the guy,” or “control freaks need not apply” to describe what you’re looking for and phrases like “I have a strong personality,” “I like to get my way,” or maybe “I’ve been told I’m bossy before.” Take that last bit with a larger than usual grain of salt, though. I’ve never written a “vanilla” personal ad trying to attract subs and don’t actually know what would work.

Readers, do you have any profile advice specifically for dominant women?

Happiness is for sale

You know what irritates the shit out of me? Okay, okay, you know one of the thousands of things that irritates the shit out of me? When douchebags tell people “money can’t buy happiness!”

Just to get it out of the way, money can’t buy things like friendship or a sense of accomplishment, there is certainly more to life than the pursuit of money, and only caring about money pretty much guarantees you are a terrible person. Now can we move the fuck on and admit that people who have enough money to live on are happier than people who don’t?

Admittedly, studies about income and happiness do disagree. Some of them say that after $75,000 per household more income doesn’t make you appreciably happier, and other say that more income always makes you happier. Gee, it seems like there’s some sort of relationship between income and happiness.

The exact relationship between money and happiness isn’t the point. If someone is making enough money to pay all their bills while having good quality of life (yes, we could save a lot on rent if we moved to a one-bedroom apartment in the boonies and commuted an hour each way to work, but I’m totally unwilling to take the hit to my quality of life), save for emergencies and for retirement, and go on nice vacations or have expensive hobbies, then I think it’s totally reasonable to tell those people that maybe instead of looking for more money they should do something meaningful with their lives.

I personally took a pay cut to leave a job that was making me desperately unhappy, so I’m by no means saying money is the only thing that matters. But keep in mind, it’s an enormous privilege to be able to do that. People who are less lucky than I am slog along in terrible, soul crushing jobs because they have to or they don’t eat.

But the shitstains who go around saying that money can’t buy happiness don’t say it only to the lucky ones. They run around spewing that shit all over the place, including in front of the people I see trying desperately to fund necessary medical care or to make rent so they don’t become homeless every fucking day. Sure, some of those are undoubtedly scams. Crowdfunding is so popular these days that there’s just no way that every plea for money is honest. But if even just 10% of the people who say they need money for an extremely good reason are telling the truth, that’s an enormous number of people who would instantly be happier if they had more money.

Admittedly, people who desperately need x-hundred dollars so they don’t get evicted are an extreme case. What about the working poor? What about everyone who is barely scraping by and lives in constant fear of a surprise car repair or medical bill or layoff financially ruining them? Can you honestly tell me those people wouldn’t be happier if they had enough money to pay their bills and put something aside for emergencies?

“Money can’t buy happiness” seems to be a meaningless platitude assholes like to throw around so they can tell themselves that being unhappy about living in crushing poverty is just a personal failing. If you think it’s reasonable to tell people that their failure to be happy in objectively shitty circumstances is their fault then not only are you sociopathically self absorbed, but you’ve also obviously never seriously needed anything you couldn’t pay for and have no fucking idea what you’re talking about.

Unless you’re talking to people who are working themselves to death for their next million while destroying their relationships with their families and friends, shut the fuck up about how money doesn’t buy happiness. Unless you’re already rich, it goddamn well does.

What’s so bad about verbal consent?

Some time ago JeffMach posted an excellent writing on Fetlife tearing down the moronic idea that explicit verbal consent isn’t sexy. It’s not terribly long and you should go read it. My favourite part is the last paragraph:

If you, as a dominant, can’t make informed consent sexy, that’s not because informed consent can’t be sexy, it’s because you aren’t skilled enough to be dominant with other people.

Now, that seems pretty clear, right? So of course the whiny little brat who inspired that takedown came back to comment:

I did not say “verbal consent is wrong”, I gave a very specific example of a highly inept form of verbal consent, and said that it was less sexy than a much more natural form of non-verbal consent.

So…. you’re saying that if someone is completely fucking terrible at something, it’s not sexy? MIND. BLOWN.

Sure, if you do the robot-voice “WILL YOU PERMIT ME TO FONDLE YOUR MAMMARY GLANDS?” that’s not a turn on. You know what else isn’t a turn on? Wandering around lost with your date because you forgot to look up directions to the restaurant. Missing the movie you invited your date to because you got the show time wrong and asked them to meet you an hour after the movie actually started. Forgetting your wallet and having to ask your date for bus fare so you can get home. Incompetence in general is not sexy, which I’m sure comes as a terrible shock to you all.

Leaving aside the ridiculous strawman idea that explicit verbal consent can’t be sexy, who fucking cares if it’s not sexy? Not scaring your date is only a bazillion times more important than doing everything in the sexiest possible manner. I want to be entirely clear here: it is at best a complete turnoff when someone assumes they can touch me and at worst it makes me afraid for my safety.

Afraid. For. My. Safety.

Is that really the outcome you’re going for on a date? Making her afraid for her safety? You really think that’s better than a potentially awkward “I’d love to kiss you”? If you really think that, then just fuck off. You deserve to stay single and your dick deserves to stay dry if you think it’s better to risk scaring the hell out of someone than to put on your big kid pants and fucking ask her what she wants.

Aside from the fact that it doesn’t fucking matter if getting explicit verbal consent isn’t sexy, it’s absolutely trivial to make it sexy. “I don’t know, do you think you deserve a kiss?” “Get over here if you want a kiss” “Tell me how badly you want to me to kiss you” “I’m not convinced. Beg like you mean it.” And that’s why I’m such a fan of that last paragraph in JeffMach’s writing. It’s so fucking easy to get it right, if you can’t manage that you simply have no business dominating anyone.

Fantasies and terrible surprises

Another rant about people who can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality! This one is inspired by a pretty old Ask Dr. Nerdlove post (I started drafting this post ages ago and forgot about it, good job me!) about some poor bastard who is infatuated with a camgirl.

Dr Nerdlove’s answer, not terribly surprisingly, largely boiled down to it being incredibly easy to think you have a real connection with someone whose job is to make you feel special. He also mentioned that “you’ve only seen a very small and carefully curated slice of her life; you have yet to truly see her when she hasn’t been “on”.” and I want to go into more detail about that.

For one, it’s incredibly easy to stay infatuated with someone when you’ve never had to argue about whose turn it is to clean the cat’s litterbox. If you start out as a client and actually manage to transition to a romantic relationship, you’re potentially setting yourself up for a lot of nasty surprises. Not because sex workers are bad girlfriends, but because mixing up fantasy and reality will reliably make you miserable.

More specifically, when you see a sex worker, whether online or in person, you’re seeing her freshly made up, wearing a cute outfit, in a good mood (or able to fake it convincingly), happy to see you (or able to fake it convincingly), interested in whatever you want to talk about (or able to fake it convincingly), and willing to behave in a way that makes you feel special. That’s a massive amount of emotional labour and sex workers absolutely deserve the money they make. That’s also a very, very different relationship from one where your girlfriend has a shitty day and acts like a bit of a jerk when she comes home, or where she spent all day helping a friend move and doesn’t have the energy to care about how your favourite soccer team did when she’s a hockey fan, or where she looks like death warmed over after a big night out (no judgement here, I look like death too when I’m hungover), or where she ever expresses emotional needs that aren’t convenient for you.

Now to drag this back to kink, from the complaints I see online it seems pretty common for submissive guys, particularly the new ones, to become infatuated with the idea of the all powerful dom who is effortlessly in control every second of every day and never has a shitty day or a cold or needs to lie down and have someone stroke her hair. Then they try dating an actual human woman who has, like, needs and shit and it ends with her complaining on Fetlife and asking why guys keep saying they’re submissive when they really just want their fantasies acted out to their exact specifications.

I think that’s part of the appeal of pros – when you show up for an appointment with a pro she’s freshly made up, all dressed up (and she probably has an amazing fetish wardrobe), enthusiastic about seeing you, and ready to start the scene. It’s not just the particular kink activity you’re paying for – would you really pay top dollar to see a pro who did her sessions in kitten pajamas no matter how enthusiastic she was about beating your ass? Some people would, and you know, maybe there’s a market for the girlfriend experience dom. But most customers also want the fantasy of the dominatrix look and attitude. When you date someone, on the other hand, you get a very different experience and I think it can be a shock for guys to realize that this relationship doesn’t revolve around what he wants. They end up unhappy, their girlfriends end up unhappy, everyone ends up unhappy when you can’t separate fantasy from reality.

Stabbity’s pet peeves part AFGERSDF

One of my many, many pet peeves in written profiles is the mating call of lazy little brats everywhere: “if you want to know anything about me, just ask.” What that actually means is “I’m too fucking lazy to write a profile so I’m going to ask you do to all the work based on absolutely nothing, since you can’t possibly tell if you even want to know anything about me from my total lack of a profile.”

“Just ask”? How about I just don’t.

People, you can only ask someone to meet you halfway. You cannot ask someone to do literally all the work, that’s a) not fair, and b) makes you look like a lazy little bitch. Do you really want your first impression on a potential partner to make you look like a lazy little brat?

Seriously, why on earth should I bother asking about someone who can’t be bothered to fill in their profile? To be clear, if you actually did fill in your profile and added a line about it being okay to ask any questions that weren’t already answered in your profile, that’s completely fine. What bothers me is when slackasses leave their profiles largely blank with “if you want to know anything about me, just ask” as if that makes up for being too lazy to fill in a goddman profile. No, I’m actually not interested in doing literally all of the work of figuring out whether we have anything at all in common. If you can’t be bothered to fill in a profile, we have nothing in common. To be fair, I’m a bit of an outlier given that wordpress stats tell me there are a little over 200,000 words on this blog but come on, being lazy is attractive to basically 0 female doms no matter how few words they’ve written online.

If I have to do all the work of getting to know you that does not bode even a little bit well for how the rest of our relationship will go. That’s why this is one of my many pet peeves when it comes to profiles. Why on earth would you want your first impression on a potential dom to be “you’re going to have to do all of the emotional labour in this relationship, doesn’t that sound like fun!”? No, how about I do literally anything else. Honestly, staying home and playing videogames would less of a pain in the ass than trying to drag any sort of conversation out of someone who thinks it’s okay to make me to all the work of keeping that conversation going. Guys, if you have nothing to offer me that Witcher 2 (it runs on linux, yay!) can’t, you’d better stick with shitty femdom porn.

While we’re on the subject of things that irritate me in personal ads, can you please for the love of god have something to say besides listing your fetishes? Yes, I realize you’re posting that ad because you want someone to act out your fetish with you. I also realize you’ve never thought about what makes a person want to answer a personal ad. Having compatible kinks is not enough, you’ve got to have something in common as human beings.

Also, can you be honest for thirty goddamn seconds and replace “hight-weight proportionate” with “no fatties”? We all know that’s what you mean, all you’re saying by using the spineless little weasel translation is that you’re dimly aware that it’s tacky to say “no fat chicks.” And spare me the fucking concern trolling about how you’re just so worried about their health. You fucking aren’t, you just like being an asshole. If fat shaming made people thin, there wouldn’t be any fat people. Literally every fat person has been relentlessly fat shamed and guess what, fat people still exist.

For that matter, saying “Caucasians only, I’m not attracted to blacks/asians/south asians” only says that you’re a racist asshole and a lazy little brat. Have you seen every single black person? No? Then how the shit do you know you aren’t attracted to any of them? Protip: black people actually do look different from each other. Have you seen every single asian guy? Every single south asian guy? Oh that’s right, not only are you racist, you’re lazy as shit. Now, if you’re stuck living in an especially racist part of the world and bringing a black guy home to daddy would be both miserable and physically dangerous for him, that’s one thing, but if you say you’re “just not attracted to black guys” you’re a racist. Admit it and move on.

The reason this stuff makes me so cranky is that it’s so goddamn easy to get it right. I know nobody loves writing profiles but come on, think for just five minutes about the kind of profile you would reply to. Go out and find some profiles you like and steal their structure. DO NOT COPY THEM (yes it makes me sad to need to say that), but look at the things you like about a profile and add the same sort of information to yours. Come on people, this isn’t rocket science.

“shit, am I evil?”

A while ago I wrote about self-acceptance and a reader left an interesting comment about how they had never heard before that it was normal for sadists to worry about whether they’re evil. Let’s talk about how thoroughly normal that fear is.

First of all, the single most common portrayal of sadists in the media is serial killers. If that’s the only place you’ve ever seen people who like the things you like (and if you haven’t been exposed to actual bad people), of course you’re going to worry that you’re evil too. On that note, if you do happen to be a perv who worries at all about whether being a sadist makes you a bad person, don’t spend a week binge reading the Sword & Scale blog when you’re sick and don’t have the energy or brain to do anything else 🙂 I even know I’m not evil and that gave me a bit of “well shit, this is what non-kinky people think of when they hear the word sadist isn’t it.”

Aside from exclusively terrible portrayals of sadists in the media, we’re also taught from earliest childhood that it’s mean to hurt other people. So what does it say about us that we want to be “mean” and that we like it? It’s undoubtedly even worse if you’re an emotional sadist (hey, there are emotional masochists, why can’t there be emotional sadists?). All of this sucks even worse for dominant women because being “mean” goes against everything we’re taught about how to be women. God forbid you enjoy chastity/orgasm denial/tease and denial/cuckolding – that obviously means you’re the most terrible woman ever to be terrible and no one will ever love you.

Liking blood play or heavy pain play can be especially scary if you’re already a little worried you might grow up to be a serial killer. It’s a lot easier to brush off a hand spanking as a bit of fun that only left someone’s butt a little bit pink, but what if you want to leave bruises or welts that last for days? Or you’re interested in consentual non-consent? There’s no shortage of stuff kinky people as a whole do that looks scary as hell even to other kinky people.

And I haven’t even mentioned relationships yet! Being controlled by your partner is listed as a warning sign on practically every domestic abuse checklist. I bet there are tons of newbie doms who are interested in social justice and are terrified that wanting to call the shots in their relationships means they’re abusive assholes. The more control you want, the scarier that gets.

If you’re worried about any or all of that, congratulations, you’re perfectly normal! And almost certainly not evil, if you were you wouldn’t be worried 🙂 That said, intent is Not Fucking Magic. More precisely, having good intentions and wanting your partner to be happy is not the same thing as checking in with them and listening carefully and making sure that the stuff you do in hopes of making them happy actually does make them happy and that you’re not accidentally or otherwise doing stuff that makes them unhappy. It’s totally okay to ask your partner (play, romantic, whatever) for a little extra reassurance and it’s also okay for you as the dom to scale things back to a level you’re more comfortable with. Doms have feelings too and all that 😉

It’s okay to like weird stuff and it’s also okay to be kind of freaked out about liking weird stuff. You’re not alone.

Bad pervert, no donut!

Or, for fucks sake your coworkers obviously do not need to know that you’re kinky.

Sometimes I binge-read Ask A Manager, an advice blog by, you guessed it, a manager. Alison (author of Ask A Manager and multiple books) gets some weird questions, but I think this is one of the weirdest: my coworker wants us to call her boyfriend her “master” (there’s also a followup post where, shockingly enough, the coworker leaves that job).

To quickly summarize, some asshole with either no boundaries or a thoroughly juvenile interest “freaking the mundanes” decided that it was totally fine and definitely not extremely weird to call her boyfriend “master” at work related social events. Even as a kinky person myself I have no desire to know whether my coworkers are kinky at all and I certainly don’t want to know what side of the slash they’re on. Then because her coworkers clearly weren’t uncomfortable enough, she started demanding that they not call her partner her boyfriend, partner, SO, or any other work-appropriate term for a person’s partner, but only call him her master because doing otherwise was apparently erasing her relationship on the same level as making up a new other gender name for a same gender partner.

First of all, oh my fuck that is not even slightly the same thing you creepy fuck. Not being able to tell people your partner’s actual gender because you’re afraid of getting fired is in no way, shape, or form the same thing as not being able to give people FAR FAR FAR more information than they ever wanted to know about your relationship because it’s fucking creepy. One of the commentors made a very good point about relationship labels like friend, roomate, or partner actually being useful in social settings. You might politely ask how your coworker’s roomate is doing, but you would probably reserve invitations to the company picnic for their romantic partner. Telling coworkers that someone is your slaveboy or sub or master or daddy, on the other hand, is totally irrelevant to them and also TMI dear god far too much information.

I’m honestly really pissed about that because it’s so gross and appropriative. Straight kinky people are not oppressed and it’s profoundly insulting to queer people to pretend that we are. When was the last time you heard of someone getting beaten because they were kinky? Gay bashing still happens, people can still legally be fired for being gay in lots of states, and people are scared right now today that their marriages may not be safe or they may not be able to marry their partner in the future. So no, don’t fucking tell me that experiencing consequences for trying to drag your coworkers into your scene is the same thing as being afraid that you could be barred from your partner’s bedside if they have to go to the hospital.

Not only is giving your coworkers way too much information about your relationship thoroughly inappropriate, but it seriously calls that coworker’s judgement into question. If they think it’s okay to tell coworkers how they like to have sex (whether or not kink is about sex for you, it’s that inappropriate to tell coworkers about), then what else do they think might be reasonable to tell people? You definitely can’t trust them around the public without constant supervision, and if you have to supervise someone that closely you might as well just do their job yourself. Even if they don’t communicate with people outside the company as part of their work, you still get to worry that they’re running around making other employees so uncomfortable that it’s affecting their work. If I worked with that woman I would definitely not talk to her directly if I could possibly avoid it (as it happens, one of the things Ms No Boundaries was unhappy about is that people didn’t talk to her anymore unless they absolutely had to), which really is not ideal when you have to communicate with people in a timely fashion to get your job done. And what if she outright sexually harasses people by, for example, telling her boss to spank her if she makes a mistake?

While I’m at it, I’m also side-eyeing the hell out of Ms No Boundaries’ dom. Does he have no idea how to behave like a grownup in public either? Because if he doesn’t, he certainly shouldn’t be giving anyone orders. Seriously, if buddy doesn’t realize that it’s both inappropriate and terrible for Ms No Boundaries’ career to refer to her boyfriend as her master at a work function and ask her coworkers to call him her master too, I’ve got to wonder if he also has no idea what nerve damage or safewords are. If someone is that lacking in common sense, for fucks sake don’t let them tie you up. And if he doesn’t realize you need people’s consent to involve them in your scene, don’t play with him at all.

I’m sure somebody out there is whining and crying about how if only society weren’t so sexually repressed people could talk about what great sex they had last night and introduce their boyfriend as their master but I just don’t care. Being open about sex is great and all but that doesn’t mean anybody wants to know what their coworkers’ favourite positions are. Topics don’t have to be taboo to be inappropriate for work – just like I don’t want to hear about your sex life, I don’t want to hear the details of the fight you had with your partner last night or how your quest to find just the right anti-depressant is going. You are not the only one who gets to decide how intimate your relationships with your coworkers are, they get a say too. Personally, I don’t want to hear that much about my coworker’s lives – I’m at work to work, not to hold my coworker’s hand through their messy divorce.

tl;dr don’t be a creeper, most people don’t want to know about the intimate details of your relationship.



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