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!