So in my last post I spend a whole lot of time harping on the fact that I don’t fucking care what your kinks are if I don’t like you as a person. Let’s keep beating that point into the ground 🙂

For me, knowing and liking someone as a person is absolutely necessary for me to want to play with them. Why would I want to get up close and personal with someone if I don’t know or don’t like them? That’s a completely serious question, I want you to think about what I could possibly get out of being intimate (yes, kink is intimate even when it’s not sexual) with a stranger. For some people anonymity is super hot, but it’s not my kink. Knowing that, why on earth would I want to play with someone I haven’t gotten to know?

Part of that may have to do with me being an introvert. I’d generally rather be left alone than have to deal with people, which makes the idea of dumping a huge amount of energy into J Random Sub without any reason to believe I’ll get anything back repellent on so many levels.

One of those levels is my simple lack of interest in what strangers want. If I don’t know you at all, then sure, in a very general sense I hope you find a good relationship and are happy, but I don’t personally feel the need to do anything to make you happy. If I get to know you, that’s when I actually care whether you have a good scene and feel like your submission is appreciated. It’s not that I’m actively repelled by people I don’t know having kinks, it’s just that if I don’t have a reason to care about you then I just don’t care. I feel really weird explaining such a basic concept in small words, but there are an awful lot of people on the internet who don’t seem to get it.

When it comes to interacting with people, I’m very opt-in. That is, my default answer to “do you want to deal with this person?” is no unless some special circumstance gives me a reason to be interested in them. Other people are opt-out, in the sense that unless there’s some particular reason not to hang out with someone, they’ll hang out. Assuming that I’m opt-out when I’m actually opt-in irritates the shit out of me and makes me think you don’t value my time. I have internet access and therefore a thousand other things I could be doing besides entertaining you. Basically, if you want me to feel anything but indifference toward you and your kinks, you need to give me a good reason to care.

That reason to care can be as simple as having an interesting conversation with me, you’ve just got to give me something to work with.

I also need to know I’m going to get something back for all the effort I put into a scene. With people who recognize that I’m a person, not a life support system for a whip, I can have a really satisfying energy exchange. The way a person proves they understand that I’m a person is by treating me like I matter beyond my ability to make their boner happy. If you act like there’s no reason to talk to me unless I’m going to dispense your favourite kinks like a fucking vending machine, then all you’ve accomplished is making me completely certain that beating my furniture would be more satisfying than playing with you. At least my couch is comfy to sit on and doesn’t complain that I wasn’t wearing a sexy enough outfit while I beat it. I guess the moral of the story here is you need to have more to offer than an inanimate object if you want anyone to play with you.

Like I mentioned in my post It’s personal, personal connection is what makes kink work for me. I’ll quote the relevant part of that post here so you don’t have to read the whole thing because let’s be honest, I’m pretty wordy 🙂

Speaking of play partners, as much as I want our play to be about me, I also want it to be about them. I’m not going to dominate just anybody, I can’t be bothered. It fucking matters to me who you are, what you’re doing with your life, what you want out of this scene, what you have to give and how much you can take. Even outside of wanting to have some sort of connection with the person I’m playing with, it’s just so much more fun to use a smart, capable human being as a toy. I can’t get that hit of “yeah, you could be building a house or writing beautiful music or giving a speech in front of hundreds of people, but instead you’re here getting slapped around because I wanted to play.” That’s an amazing feeling, and it’s one I can only have with someone I can relate to outside of a scene.

As much as I enjoy reactions, personal connection is what makes a scene special. Without that connection I just can’t be bothered and there is simply no connection with people I haven’t at least had an interesting conversation with. Pick up play can be fun, but for me the novelty has largely worn off. I mean, it’s never exactly terrible to hit somebody with stuff and then cuddle and be thanked for it afterward, but I want more.

To try to explain what I’m getting at, I’ve seen a few waterboarding demonstrations and watched a few people come up afterwards and try it out. It was certainly intense, and to be fair it is fun to say I watched someone get waterboarded with ginger ale, but the whole idea of waterboarding just never really clicked for me. Then one day I went to an edgeplay workshop co-presented by someone I’d seen before and liked, and his master. They did a waterboarding demo that was really hot, and considering I’d seen waterboarding before and not been particularly moved by it, it must have been the connection the two of them had that made it special. Those particular leathermen were absolutely adorable together, which probably had something to do with it. The juxtaposition of two people who adore each other being thrilled to be at a conference together and the intense edge play they showed us just did it for me. Without that connection, even waterboarding is just sort of an odd extreme sport. With it, it’s incredible to watch.

Readers, how do you feel about personal connection in your kink? Is it necessary for you or just a nice to have?

How this dominant woman judges potential subs

You know all those articles for jobseekers about what employers look for in a resume? I get the feeling that submissive guys are just as confused about what dominant women want to see in a message or on a profile as people looking for work are about what employers want to see on a resume/coverletter. This post is the pervy version of those “10 resume mistakes you can avoid today!” posts.

I want to admit right up front that my metaphor is flawed. Dominant women are not heartless gatekeepers who gleefully throw your application in the trash while you worry about losing your home if you can’t find another job. We want awesome submissive partners just as much as you want awesome dominant partners. Another issue with my metaphor is that employers basically want one thing: competence + basic social skills. Dominant women, being people (see Stabbity foreshadow. Foreshadow, Stabbity, foreshadow), all want different things and want to be treated in different ways.

All that said, I think submissive guys may still get some value out of hearing how one dominant woman judges messages and profiles. I’m going to try to explain my reasoning in enough detail that a person could probably generalize my points to another woman, assuming you can be bothered to read her profile and any writing she might have, but you should keep in mind that this is just my opinion and other women are going to want very different things.


The very first and most important thing I look for in a message from a potential sub is interest in me as a person. Talk to me about something I said in my profile, a comment I made in a thread or a writing I posted or something I wrote right here on this blog, just give me some sense of why you decided to message me out of the millions of people on Fetlife. Yes, this does require you to have an actual reason to message me in particular beyond “local, chose Dom from the role dropdown, has tits.” If that’s the only reason you message someone, just fuck off, you’re wasting everyone’s time. To torture the jobseeker metaphor a bit, messaging a dom just because she’s local, female, and dominant is like showing up to an interview and saying that you’re looking for work because you need money. No shit you need money, nobody thinks you’re looking for work because you’re independently wealthy. Tell both your potential dom and your interviewer something they don’t know: why you chose them in particular.

If a woman’s profile is as close to blank as mine is, you probably want to use something else as a starting point for a message. You should also ask yourself whether this person wants to be messaged at all. Many people’s profiles say very clearly that they are not looking for a partner and are just on Fetlife for the discussions or to keep up with friends. Do not hit on these people! Honestly, what do you think you’re going to accomplish by annoying someone who actively does not want what you want?

Another point I judge people on is how they address me in that first message. If you’ve read my profile, my blog, or anything else I have to say, it should be pretty clear that I’m a very low protocol person who will not react well to people who don’t know me using honorifics. For me personally, just use my screen name. For everyone else, read her fucking profile. Read it some more. Read it again. If you’re still not sure how she likes to be addressed, just use her screen name. This is another way to show that you are interested in who this woman is as a person. And no, I will not spell out in my profile exactly what I want you to call me. If you’re the kind of person who thinks it’s okay to call a stranger “Mistress,” I want to know right away so I can stop talking to you. Contacting someone is not about making a good impression no matter how much you have to lie, it’s about figuring out whether the two of you are compatible. If you’ve been fantasizing about having a Mistress of your own for years, wouldn’t you rather know right up front that the woman you’re messaging will never tolerate being called Mistress?

You should be seeing a theme here: act as if the woman you’re messaging is an interesting person who is worth learning about. If you can’t be bothered to read my profile or my comments on discussions or a couple of my blog posts, why the fuck would you message me?

On that note, for fucks sake do not lead with your kink. I do not care what you want me to do you until I care about you as a person, and treating me like I only have value to you if I’m willing to dispense your favourite kink like a fucking vending machine guarantees I will never care about you as a person. You can tell me how you just don’t want to waste some poor woman’s time if you turn out to have totally incompatible kinks until you’re blue in the face, but what you’re really saying is that I’m only worth talking to if I’m willing to do stuff that gets you off. If you can’t see how acting like that will kill every potential relationship before it gets off the ground, you might as well close your browser and go play legos because there is nothing I can do to help you.

Something that gets judged very similarly by both dominant women and potential employers is your spelling and grammar. If you can’t be bothered to spell correctly and use good grammar, what you’re telling us is that you don’t care how you present yourself. I understand if you’re dyslexic or English isn’t your first language, but you’ve got to at least try to get it right. The problem with not spellchecking or proofreading your message isn’t so much that it makes you difficult to understand as it shows that you don’t care about the person you’re messaging. When you respect someone, you make an effort to get it right.


Aside from showing whether you care or not, spellchecking your message also shows attention to detail. It’s not exactly unusual for doms to want you to do what they actually said, not what you thought they said or what you thought would be easier or close enough. If you send me a message full of spelling mistakes, I’m going to assume you can’t be bothered to get the details right. That may be fine for some women but I’m very picky about the few things I can be bothered to care about.

Yet another reason you should actually read a person’s profile before you message them is that they will often have instructions for contacting them at the end of it. Using myself as an example again, at the end of my Fetlife profile I have a link to an interactive personal ad I built a couple years ago, and at the end of that ad I put the best way to contact me. If you message me the wrong way, I know you couldn’t be bothered to read the entire ad and I’ll write you off. Again, learning about someone you want to submit to should not be a chore. If it feels like one, you’re looking at the wrong person’s profile and you need to go talk to someone else.

In case you’re wondering, if I came across a submissive man who built something similar and the best way to contact him was at the end of his personal ad, I’d damned well read to the end and contact him the right way. If he’s not interesting enough for me to read to the end of his ad, he’s not interesting enough for me to contact him at all. Problem solved! Plus, if I’m going to ask someone to pay attention to details when he messages me, it’s only fair for him to ask the same in return.

Now let’s talk about your profile. I look at people’s profiles all the time. I look at them every time someone messages me, I look at them when someone posts an interesting comment or starts an interesting thread. I even look at them out of morbid curiosity when someone posts an unusually bad comment. You should always, always assume that when you message someone she will look at your profile. Even if you sent a really good first message, having a terrible profile can still ruin your first impression, so let’s talk about how to not fuck it up.

The very simplest thing you can do to improve your profile is to set your avatar/profile pic to literally anything that is not your penis or anus. Guys, you only have about a bazillion choices that are vastly less likely to offend someone than showing her your dick whether she wanted to see it or not. If you act like it’s news that women very very frequently hate dick pics, you’re just too stupid for me to talk to.

If you’re super into CBT, then fine, put a few interesting, well lit, and above all well groomed pictures on your profile. If you are going to put any pictures of your dick whatsoever on your profile, take a look at In particular, look at the differences between a pic that gets an A (this one is particularly good) and one that gets a D (this one is especially bad). Unless you’re going to put an A level of effort into your dick pic, do not put it on your profile. A half-assed dick pic will only hurt your chances of actually making a connection with a dominant woman. Even if your dick pic or pics are extraordinarily good, your profile still needs to be anything but a shrine to your dick. For every dick pic that you feel you need to include, add a bunch of pictures of literally anything else (except your anus, do not show me your anus, put your anus away. Even if you are an adorable kitty, I do not want to see your anus). I’ve beaten that point into ground, right? Right.

A picture can be used to show me so much about who you are, don’t waste it on stupid bullshit that will only annoy potential doms. You could show people a place you love, a favourite hobby, pictures you took, things you made, something you found funny, or a thousand other things that actually tell me something about who you are as a person. There are also lots of non-identifying body parts that are still not your dick or your butthole. Show me your arms, your shoulders, your back, your legs, your hands, your abs (or your cute cuddly tummy), hell, show me your knees or your elbows. Just don’t show me your dick or your butthole and we’re cool.

On the “don’ts” list, skip the photos of dominant women, drawings of dominant women, the femdom porn, and stupid memes about how submissive men are worthless or exist only to entertain dominant women or whatever bullshit the kids are up to these days. You’re looking for a dominant woman who actually likes submissive men, right? So don’t include stuff that would only attract someone who actively dislikes and disrespects submissive men. If you show me that you think submissive men are the worst, you make yourself look like a mess I have no interest in cleaning up. I know that’s cold-hearted, but guys, I’m not a therapist and I can’t fix you. If I could wave a magic wand and take away your self-loathing I would but I can’t.


Another don’t, at least for me, is laundry lists of fetishes. I know you have kinks, that’s why you’re here on Fetlife. But if your fetish list is longer than the rest of your profile, that makes me think that you care more about what I can do for your penis than about telling me who you are as a person. Other women like it if they can skim your fetish list and get a feel for whether you’re remotely compatible, and I’ll admit I don’t hate hearing about a few (a very, very few) of your major kinks, but personally I don’t care about your kinks unless I like you as a person. If I do like you as a person, odds are good that we’ll be able to find something fun to do together, so it doesn’t really matter to me whether I hear about every last one of your kinks right away or not.

To be fair, if you have kinks that are absolute deal-breakers if you can’t get them met, by all means mention them in general terms in your profile. To use myself as an example again, in my personal ad I’m very up front about being a sadist. If you want to play with me and you don’t want to be hurt, you need to be otherwise extraordinary because I really, really like hurting people who like getting hurt. I will not, however, go into detail about my exact kinks. Partially because they’re pretty flexible and partially because I don’t want to hear from you if all you care about is that I’m into face-slapping.

Do talk about who you are as a person. I want to know what you love, what you can’t stand, what you do for fun, what you think is interesting, what you never want to do again, etc, etc. Hell, tell me what you like to eat, just tell me something that’s not about making your dick happy.

Do talk about what kind of dom you’re looking for in your profile. By “kind of dom” I mean, are you looking for a play partner or a dominant girlfriend? Are you interested in high, low, or no protocol? Do you like being given orders or do you feel you’ve failed to anticipate your dom’s needs if she has to give you an order? Do you need domestic discipline or is that a hard limit? All of those things help me figure out whether we’re compatible.

All you really need to do when you’re messaging a potential dom is to have a bit of self-awareness, be honest about who you are, and put a bit of effort into thinking about what she might want. Just like interviewers, doms want you to be awesome. We want to be able to stop looking for a sub, it’s a pain in the ass and we’d rather be having fun than hunting for someone to have fun with.

One last point: just like how you’re interviewing the company just as much as the company is interviewing you when you’re looking for a job, you’re judging a dom just as much as she’s judging you when you message her. You have the right to decide that you don’t like how she treats you or that she’s a lovely person but just not right for you or that she bores you to tears or takes the whole kink thing way too seriously or not seriously enough or what have you. Never forget that you get a say too.

Not all holidays are happy

With Christmas coming up there’s this expectation that everyone celebrates Christmas, everyone is delighted about Christmas and delighted to visit their families and no one could possibly be stressed out or unhappy about anything for any reason this time of year. For the record, that is BULLSHIT.

First of all, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Jews, Muslims, and dozens if not hundreds of other religions that don’t celebrate Christmas exist. If you don’t celebrate Christmas and live in a place where it feels like literally everyone else does that must suck a whole lot. I’m not going to pretend I truly understand because while I’m not Christian I do celebrate Christmas, but I have to imagine that the annual Christmas barrage is exasperating at best and profoundly isolating and alienating at worst.

Even if you do celebrate Christmas, that doesn’t mean the whole season is uncomplicated joy and togetherness. Seasonal affective disorder is a thing. Depression is a thing. Anxiety disorders are a thing. I have the sheer dumb luck not to suffer from a mental illness, but I hear that the immense pressure society puts on all of us to be happy no happier why aren’t you HAPPY Christmas is ruined and it’s all your fault!!11!! can really do a number on even well controlled illnesses.

For that matter, physical illnesses are a thing, and not a thing everyone, even family, always understands. If you tire easily or can’t handle too much stimulation or can’t safely eat everything you’re offered, Christmas can be a minefield. Imagine having Crohn’s disease and trying to explain to family members who express love with food that you can’t eat the delicious thing they made for you. Or having any chronic illness and having to tell your family that you’d love to do x family tradition with them but you absolutely have to lie down right now. Or that you would love to visit but cannot physically handle spending hours travelling.

The idea of Christmas being about family togetherness is nice and all, but some of us have shitty and/or complicated relationships with some or all of our relatives. I’m very sad to say that it’s not uncommon for people to be disowned by their families for coming out as gay or trans. In my case, even the relatives I get along with, I continue to get along with because I don’t trap myself in a house with them for too many days in a row. It’s also sadly common to have some lovely relatives and that one racist/sexist/otherwise bigoted douchebag who you dread being in the same room with, or well-meaning relatives who keep asking when you’re going to get married/buy a house/have children/get a real job/graduate/etc.

Even if you do get along with your family, it’s just not possible for everyone to visit them. Lots of people work shitty retail jobs that don’t give time off in late December, or can’t afford to travel all the way home, or live in an area where affordable travel isn’t safe. Immigrants in particular can be forced to choose between financially supporting family back home and spending that money on a plane ticket to see them in person. Even if your family is within driving distance and you have a car and the time to travel doesn’t mean the roads are safe or that driving all night while worrying about being trapped in a storm is worth it. Or that the risk of being trapped by bad road conditions on the way back and missing hours of work that you desperately need is worth it. Or that the possibility of getting into an accident and having to pay money you don’t have to repair your car is worth it.

I wish there was a gentler way to say this, but that’s all assuming your family is alive. Some people have no living relatives or they’ve lost a loved one and now have to face the holidays without them. People who used to love Christmas can come to dread it because it’s just another reminder that their loved one isn’t there and never will be again.

Even if you do have living family and can visit them, that doesn’t mean that getting gifts and travelling and decorating and doing special baking and making a huge special meal isn’t stressful as hell. Even under the best conditions, that’s a lot of work. And let’s not forget that it’s work that generally falls on women’s shoulders.

If you love Christmas, that’s great and I’m happy for you. All I ask is that if you talk with a friend/coworker/acquaintance about what their plans are for the holidays and they change the subject, let them. If you hassle people about their plans or lack thereof, you are being an asshole and all awkwardness that you cause is your own damned fault. On the other hand, if you don’t go out of your way to make things awkward, things won’t be awkward no matter how much the person you’re talking with hates Christmas. Just don’t be a dick about it and we’re cool.

If you have a hard time with Christmas you’re not weird, you’re not wrong, and you’re not broken. Holidays can be really hard for lots of different reasons. And if you hate Christmas carols, I am so very here for you. It’s been years since I worked in a mall and I still won’t voluntarily listen to any Christmas music besides the Crystal Method remix of Carol of the Bells.

BDSM is more than just pain

In which someone is wrong on the internet and Stabbity yells about it.

This post’s inspiration was some random jerk on Fetlife who decided he’s the arbiter of what is BDSM and what is not. In a discussion about whether kinky people are obsessed with pain, this guy decided the way to make friends and influence people was to declare everything not physically or mentally painful “not BDSM.” And then of course he got all butthurt when people told him that his rude behaviour was rude and he was straight up wrong, because that’s totally going to make people change their minds about whether you’re a dick.

Not only is it tremendously rude to tell people that their kink doesn’t count, it’s also factually incorrect to say that BDSM must involve pain. While it’s often used as a simple catch-all term for “kinky” what BDSM actually stands for is bondage & discipline, domination & submission, and sadism & masochism. In the context of “bondage & discipline”, discipline does imply pain and of course sadism and masochism are generally understood to be about pain (although some definitions of sadomasochism are just about any intense sensation), but domination and submission are not fundamentally about pain. You can certainly mix pain in if that’s what you’re into, but domination and submission are about control and who has it and how much, not about whacking people with stuff. I’ve yelled about this before, but hey, it’s worth repeating.

People who love having d/s relationships but have no interest in pain exist. Look up sensual domination, the term exists for a reason. Inflicting pain is certainly one way to to show how much control you have, but so is deciding what your partner wears or whether they get to orgasm or what they have for dinner. If you prefer pain then by all means stick with that, but if you can’t conceive of d/s without pain that’s a failure of imagination on your part, not a lack of kinkiness on the part of the people you’re shitting on. I personally do like inflicting pain and wouldn’t be happy in a d/s relationship where I didn’t get to beat on anyone, but because I’m not a hugely self-centered asshole I can deal with the idea that other people have their own wants and needs. If somebody else doesn’t play the way I do, who gives a shit? It doesn’t hurt or even affect me in any way if other people just like pet play or slave positions or sensual domination or eye contact restrictions or what have you instead of pain.

Painful scenes are intense and showy and easy to tell stories about and you still count as kinky if you don’t like any pain at all. You still count as kinky if you only like a little bit of pain or only want to play with pain some of the time. You still count as kinky if you don’t play or run your relationships the way some random dickbag thinks you should.

Just because other people have different tastes doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Even *gasp* not liking your favourite kinks doesn’t make them wrong. People just like different things and you’re going to need to learn to cope with that if you want to make any friends in the scene.