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.

5 thoughts on “There’s No Cheat Code for Dating

  1. Funnily enough the first thread I started on Fetlife was on something along those lines. Though I’ll maintain that mine was a little more mature and rational.

    I was inquiring because I was disinterested in joining the scene. I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to see if there was any commonality in the way dominant identified women comport themselves, or how they approach/interact/flirt with potential interests.

  2. I am happy someone addressed this issue. On fetlife “how do I spot a Dom/me?” Questions are a dime a dozen. The repetative nature of the forums are the reason I left along with the rude people and basicly the lack of social skills for most members, the lack of common manners, and the “submissives” that mistake confidence for arrogance and assertive for just plain rude.

    I tried to be friends but at the end of the day I cut my loss. Now to address the obvious “Dom/me” in public. WHY?! Why would you want to play with someone in a public place who is so obvious? I don’t know about other submissives but if my family and some of my friends knew I am a masochist and submissive they would definitely over react$ those that don’t have an anuerism would possibly mistake a Dom/me for hurting me or brainwashing. They are family and would be trying to protect me. But they wouldn’t likely extend that protection to my Dom/me.

    My Dom/me would have to protect herself from my family. Legally. And while she may be ok regardless. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for Her needing to lawyer up. I wouldn’t want to see her outed by police certainly. I would want her happy.

    An obvious Dom/me subjects herself to public ridicule, possible legal issues, and god forbidding but may be at risk for physical abuse from people who may have a distorted view of this lifestyle.

    I would have a hard time playing with someone who is too obvious. First I would be too worried about their safety and sanity to get into the situation. And then I would be worried about my personal safety if someone had the wrong idea and saw me with them.

    I don’t think I would be able to play at all with someone who is so clearly a Dominant. One of the best things about this lifestyle is finding a hidden gem where you didn’t expect to find anything.

    Out of morbid curiosity, outside of muncheas and play parties, How do dominants feel about Obvious subs?

    Oh I forgot one more rant, I have found the people who want to “pick a Dom/me out of a crowd are the same people who may not be intrested in a full relationship. They only seem to want to play but they don’t seem to care about the person’s favorite color or how they like their coffee. Its like all they need to know is that you will top a scene but they don’t want to get to know the Dom/me at all.

    Would the Dom/mes here be ok with that? Someone who doesn’t care for your personality but cares that you will Dominate or top their scene? I wouldn’t be ok with that personally.

    Ok I’m good now. Back to my coffee. I love this blog and thanks for the insight into your feelings and mind yet again.

    Me

    • Out of morbid curiosity, outside of muncheas and play parties, How do dominants feel about Obvious subs?

      I’m picturing a guy going to the grocery store wearing a heavy bondage collar, leash, and ball gag, or maybe kneeling to random women and calling them “goddess”…I would feel that such a person was either trying to be shocking or trying to involve the general public in his kink, and it would turn me off completely. COMPLETELY.

      However, a courteous-but-not-obequious boy in, say, a somewhat understated dog collar and a t-shirt with that BDSM triskele thing on it…now that would pique my interest. It wouldn’t be a sure thing that he was a sub, of course, but there would be enough of a hint of BDSM about him that it would interest me.

    • WHY?! Why would you want to play with someone in a public place who is so obvious?

      You know, that is a fantastic point. I didn’t even think of that, but I really don’t think I’d feel safe playing with someone without a good grip on what’s appropriate in public and what’s not.

      Out of morbid curiosity, outside of muncheas and play parties, How do dominants feel about Obvious subs?

      I completely agree with perversecowgirl, being really obvious about your kink is a huge turnoff. I’m personally a fan of unusually thoughtful but not obviously submissive behavior, but once it gets excessive or pushy it freaks me out. I’m not sure about any sort of physical symbol, I’d probably read that sort of announcement of an interest in kink as ‘trying too hard’.

  3. 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.

    Totally true, but for me there’s a bigger and more pressing issue with those “cheat code” dudes: a guy who believes there are “tells” that a woman is dominant is probably a guy who’s not yet clear on the line between BDSM porn and BDSM reality.

    I wouldn’t get far enough into a relationship with a “cheat code” guy for the vulnerability issue to cause problems: even if I wanted to woo one of them (but I don’t), I’d be overlooked as “not really dominant” because I don’t stomp around in black leather and red lipstick, screaming orders at people.

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