Oct 262014

I’ve been unreasonably busy lately and will be for a while yet, so I’m going to be reposting some of my older posts. This one was originally posted in 2011, just after I started blogging. Enjoy!

The promised rant about S/stupid P/people W/who W/write L/like T/this.

To be clear, I’m perfectly fine with any way people want to communicate with each other *in private*. If capitalizing pronouns only when referring to dominant people is a satisfying way to make your submissive mindful of exactly how he or she writes, go nuts! But when you smear your private protocols all over a public forum, I think it’s fair for people to complain.

There are three main reasons why S/slashy speak and capitalization only of dominant people’s names bother me so much.

1. It’s difficult to read. S/slashy speak is especially bad, but capitalization abuse also ruins the flow of a sentence. Blogs, forums, and chat rooms are written mediums. If you want people to read what you’ve written, you have a responsibility to write clearly and concisely. If you insist on using txt speak (u instead of you, r instead of are, and so on) when you have a qwerty keyboard at your disposal, or ramble on and on, you have no right to complain about not being taken seriously.

Seriously, what did the English language ever do to you? There’s no need to torture it like that. I’m perfectly willing to give a pass to people who aren’t native English speakers or who just have trouble spelling (I know a few perfectly clever people who simply can’t spell very well no matter how hard they try), but if your English is otherwise fine I have to assume you’re more interested in showing off how high protocol you are than in communicating.

2. It puts all all dominant identified people above all submissive identified people, which I’m really uncomfortable with. Dominant people as a group are absolutely not better, more worthy of respect, than submissive people as a group. Outside of silly capitalization rules, pronouns in English are only capitalized when referring to God. Equating dominant people to a supreme being like that is ridiculous.

Personally, I capitalize people’s names the way that they do – I look at the usernames attached to their blog posts or their twitter feeds. If someone were to point out that I spelled or capitalized their name wrong, obviously I’d correct it. I don’t get to decide how someone else’s name should be capitalized just because I declared myself dominant, and no one else gets to decide how my name should be capitalized just because they declared themselves high protocol.

3. It drags me into someone else’s scene without my consent. If capitalizing your dominant’s name and lower casing yours turns your crank, great! Just don’t drag me into it. The same way it’s inappropriate to call someone Mistress or Master when they’re not your mistress or master, it’s also inappropriate to capitalize/lowercase someone’s name and/or pronouns when they innocently wandered into a forum and tried to have a discussion. Protocol may be very important to you, but that doesn’t give you the right to apply your personal protocol willy nilly to everyone who crosses your path. Also, no matter how mcch you want to believe in a uniform protocol that all real, true, kinksters follow, there is NO universal protocol beyond basic politeness – don’t touch without permission, say please and thank you, etc. Believing otherwise is a clear inability to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

Oct 192014

Recently Miss Pearl wrote an excellent rant about douchebags who try whine and cry about not being allowed into age restricted munches, which you should absolutely read. To very briefly summarize her point, if you know perfectly goddamn well that the rules of an event exclude you and you try to force your way in anyway, you have just conclusively proven that you are an asshole who will ignore the rules to get what they want.

Following the rules at a kinky event is vitally important because doing so signals that you give a shit. When you show up to an event you aren’t welcome at, you are proving that you cannot be trusted to follow an extremely simple rule. This naturally leads people to wonder if you would give a shit if they used their safeword, or told you they didn’t want you to penetrate any of their orifices, or that their hand is going numb and they need the ropes loosened. If I have to wonder that about a person, I don’t want them anywhere remotely fucking near me.

It doesn’t even matter what the rules of the event are or how unfair you believe they are. There is simply no way to show up at an event you aren’t welcome at without looking like a tremendous asshole. And if you’re going to try to convince anyone you didn’t know you weren’t welcome, just fucking stop. All you’re proving at that point is that you’re too stupid to read the rules. Munches with any sort of attendance restriction, whether it’s under 35s only or female subs only, are reliably very clear about who is welcome. This is because you are not the first special fucking snowflake who tried to get in. You can disagree, you can tell all of your friends what a big Meaniepants McPoopyhead the organizer is, but you cannot claim the rules weren’t clearly stated. Protip: proving that you’re too stupid to actually read the rules is not much more confidence inspiring than proving that you just don’t care about the rules.

As for the idiots who cry about ageism, I have a question for you:

How would you feel if the shoe was on the other foot? Imagine that the vast majority of people at the all ages munches were under 25. Would you maybe feel the least bit out of place going to an event like that if you were over 35? Might you start thinking that it would be nice to have an event where you could talk with people who understood when you said you had to get home and pay the babysitter, or that you couldn’t go to that awesome weekend conference because the roof needs to be repaired?

Oh, you don’t have anything to say? I’m shocked.

My local TNG group doesn’t have any hard and fast age limits, but it is intended for people 18 – 35. I’m only 31, and I’m already starting to wonder why on earth a 35+ year old would even want to go to a TNG munch. The people who go to that munch are perfectly lovely and the organizers are personal friends of mine, but it’s getting hard for me to relate to people in their early 20s. It’s been a long time since I had to worry about final exams or the price of textbooks (which are completely fucked up), and I feel like a complete asshole bitching about the job that pays me more than enough to live on to people who are staring down the barrel of years of debt.

Also, I would be shocked to hear of a TNG munch that didn’t give people who are just over the maximum age a little bit of wiggle room. I’m certainly too lazy to immediately throw people out on their 36th birthday. For that matter, if you’re there supporting an under 35 friend or partner who didn’t want to go by themselves, I would be very surprised if you weren’t welcome as long as you made an effort to behave yourself.

On the other hand, if you’re 39 (for example) and you want to hang out with people in their late teens/early 20s, I really do have to question your motives. Sure, it’s possible that you’re new to the scene, want to hang out with other people who are probably new (note that 18-35 munches don’t necessarily assume that you’re new, just that you want to hang out with people roughly your own age) and for some weird reason think that spending time with people in their early 20s won’t be awkward, but sad to say it’s more likely that people your own age won’t take your bullshit.

Before people flip their shit, please pay attention to the fact that I did not say that people over the age of 35 are inherently creepy and bad. I said that people over the age of 35 who want to go to a munch specifically for 18-35 year olds are sketchy as fuck. If you are over 35 and would never dream of crashing a munch where you aren’t welcome, you’re golden! If you are attracted to younger people but don’t want to creep them out by disregarding simple rules, you’re great! If you love the idea of “corrupting” someone young and innocent, I promise there are plenty of young, “innocent” people who jerk off to the idea of being “corrupted” by a bad, bad, <gender of their choice>. They might even play with you if you put that giant red flag down and start acting like a decent human being.

Oct 122014

Scammers are all over the internet, but some of the most loathsome are the ones who prey on lonely submissive men. As if being a submissive man wasn’t hard enough anyway between non-kinky people thinking you’re a freak and kinky people thinking you’re a dime a dozen, you also get to deal with assholes using your insecurities to extract money from you.

The worst part, to my mind, is how hard it is to recognize that kind of assholery for what it is when you’re emotionally involved. It’s sadly common to see discussions started by submissive men wondering if they did something wrong when all they did was prove to a scammer that they weren’t an easy mark.

Aside from trying to remind submissive men that they are valuable and deserve better than some jerkwad taking them for a ride, I thought I’d try to give some tips on avoiding scammers.

First of all, a woman who asks you for money before you’ve even met is most certainly a scammer. A sex worker would be up front about her rates and what she’s willing to do for you (well, as much as she can be without risking arrest, of course), and a woman genuinely looking for a relationship would not ask you for money. I have heard about women who supposedly ask for tribute before a first meeting to weed out flakes, but even if that’s not total bullshit, it’s not behaviour that should be tolerated either. It’s not your fault she’s bad at weeding out people who are likely to flake on her, why should you have to pay for that?

Also, you may have heard that dominant women are often control freaks. People do vary and I’m sure there are exceptions, but in general that’s pretty accurate. What that means in terms of asking for money is that I personally would rather live on rice and not turn the heat on in my house than let anyone, particularly anyone I wanted to date, know that I didn’t have my finances under control. I’m not saying that’s healthy or wise, just that it’s extremely common for dominant people of any gender to hate looking like they’re not in control of their lives.

Speaking of things that are common for dominant people, we either own our own toys or know how to have fun without them. Anyone who asks you for money so they can buy toys for your meeting is lying. That is just complete and utter bullshit. A lot of the toys we use take practice – the first time I threw a flogger, I certainly wasn’t any good at it – which means that responsible tops own toys so they can practice with them. If someone doesn’t have their own toy that they’ve practiced with, for gods sake don’t let them hit you with anything besides their own two hands.

Even if your prospective dom says they have to get on a plane to come meet you and don’t want to bring their own toys because they’re worried about the TSA stealing their stuff, the whole “I need money for toys” thing is still bullshit. If someone tries that on you, ask them if they’ve ever heard of “pervertibles.” Seriously, $10 in a dollar store and you’re set. Not to mention you can have plenty of fun with a belt, a sleep mask, and the belt from a robe and hey, the TSA isn’t going to look twice at any of that. And of course, there’s always the option of hands, teeth, and nails and the instruction to hold still or the scene stops.

You know what else is bullshit? Scammers asking you to “prove that you’re serious” by sending them money. That is simply not what someone who is actually interested in a relationship would ever do. Not only because all that would prove is that you have some disposable income, but because it sets up the expectation that their attention can be bought. Have you seen how much time dominant women spend bitching about guys who try to treat us like pro-doms? No dominant woman with any sense whatsoever wants the guy she’s dating to be confused about whether they’re in a relationship or whether he’s just paying a pro. A pro wouldn’t want that either, she has shit to do besides explain to a client that she is not his girlfriend and will not be meeting him for dinner unless he would like to pay for her time.

If you’re talking with someone who is deliberately muddying the waters between starting a lifestyle relationship and paying a pro, they’re either a scammer or an idiot. When all of the possibilities suck that much, just run.

But I digress. Back on the subject of proving you’re serious about pursing a relationship, what would prove to me that someone really did want to be my submissive would be things like texting when he says he will, emailing when he says he will, doing small things to help me out like researching local events and recommending things I might like, and otherwise acting like he, you know, cares about my happiness.

And finally, anyone who tells you not to question them when they ask you for money or says that you must not be serious about wanting to find a dom of your own when you balk at sending them money is a scammer. No one worth submitting to would ever, ever tell you it’s not okay to ask for clarification or voice your discomfort with an order. That is a gigantic red flag and you should run far far away from anyone who starts waving it.

The more I think about it, the more similarities I see between scammers and terrible doms you should run away from. My final advice is to worry less about whether you’re getting scammed and more about whether you would want anything to do with this person even if they never asked you for money.

Oct 052014

I’ve been meaning to signal boost this awesome list of PoC BDSM/Fetish blogs for ages, and I happen to be stupid busy with work lately, so here you go. This list was compiled by the Dean at theboardingschool.tumblr.com, all credit goes to them. All I’m doing here is signal boosting the fact that kink is not just for white people. On to the list!


POC BDSM/Fetish Blogs *Updated List as of: 3/28/14*

NOTE: This is the updated list to the previous list that is floating around tumblr. Thank you for all of those who have been rebloging. Its good to know that there are more like us on here. Please make sure to support and follow.

POC BDSM/Fetish Blogs/ Kinsters of Color




































































































Sep 282014

I spend a lot of time yelling about how easy it is for s-types to be abused, and while I want to be clear that in general people on that side of the slash are much more vulnerable to abuse, it’s also important to talk about how being a d-type does not magically grant you immunity to abuse.

Take this woman (link goes to a Savage Love article, for those who aren’t fans) for example, a former pro dom who has been blatantly emotionally abused by her partner, a former client. After they had been together for some time (the letter doesn’t specify exactly how long), he pressured her to give up her job as a pro dom because “he didn’t want to be with a woman who was still practicing this kind of physical intimacy with others”, then “his jealousy flared” when she went out for lunch with a male friend she had played with before, and again when he snooped on her computer and found a photo of her physically intimate with an ex. And finally, the issue that prompted the letter writer to ask Dan Savage for advice: “But the latest and most bitter pill is that he no longer wants me to write anything about my experiences-not because it might cause professional fallout if people knew about him dating a former pro domme (notwithstanding the fact that he was a client once), but because he doesn’t want me to think about the experiences I’ve had.”

Due to the stigma sex workers face, the letter writer is particularly vulnerable to being pressured to give up a job she reportedly loved. As she said in her letter “It seemed like I needed to give that up to have a marriage and family” which is not at all an unusual thing to think. I’m sure there are many people who have left sex work for that exact reason. However, her job really doesn’t matter that much. No matter what you do for a living, no matter how “respectable” it is, an abuser will find a way to object to it. If she were still a secretary, like she was before she became a pro dom, he would just complain about her dealing with strange men all day or accuse her of flirting with her coworkers. If she worked as a goddamn kindergarten teacher, he would find some way to make her feel bad about her job and by extension herself.

The truly ridiculous thing is that if her partner didn’t want to “be with a woman who was still practicing this kind of physical intimacy with others,” there’s an extremely simple solution. Don’t date her. She’s not the only kinky woman in the world, so if her job is a deal breaker put on your big kid pants and leave her.

There are many, many things in the scene that make it terrifyingly easy to abuse submissive people – the idea that having fewer limits makes you a better submissive, that 24/7 TPE is something you should aspire to, that saying no to your dom means you’re just playing at submitting just for starters – but doms can be abused too. We’re only human, after all. If your partner makes you feel bad about yourself, if they control your life in ways that you don’t enjoy, or that you didn’t agree to or that don’t enrich your life, you are being abused. Whether you’re a dom or a sub simply does not matter.

Sep 212014

One of my many, many pet peeves is people (okay, mostly men) leading with their kinks. That is, instead of messaging me saying “Hi, I’m interested in what you said about ____” as if I’m a human being, they say things like “I’m into pegging, spankings, and being told I’m your bitch” as if they’re placing an order at a fucking drive through.

Shockingly enough, that’s more than a little off putting to me and many, many other women. Guys who I might have played with if they had approached me as if I had any value outside of what I can do for them, instead ensure that I will never, ever lay a hand on them. That’s where leading with your kink gets you.

I understand that people who really, really want to play can get a little obsessed with the idea of finally getting to do the things they’ve been fantasizing about for so long. That’s a tough position to be in, but it does not excuse treating people like recalcitrant vending machines. If you can’t be bothered to show the slightest interest in me as a person, why should I have any interest in what you want?

Aside from the snark, that’s a question you really do need to think about if you want to find someone to play with. Why should I care what you want?

Fortunately, the answer to that is very simple. I care if I like you. And despite how much of a bitch I am on this blog, it’s not that hard to get me to like you. All you need to do is have a conversation with me and not sound like a complete asshole. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the bar is just not that high. Help me like you, and even if we don’t play I’ll introduce you to my friends, sit with you at events so you don’t have to feel awkward and alone, give you advice (in the event you’re interested what some jerk thinks :)), and, you know, generally be a friend. If my friendship isn’t good enough for you, you can fuck right off.

I also understand worrying that you’ll never find someone compatible, but if the first thing you do is try to figure out whether you have kinks in common with someone, you will alienate the vast majority of people who might have liked you if you hadn’t been such a douchebag. Sure, you can argue that you don’t want to “waste your time” talking with someone who might not be interested in your favourite kinks, but given how many women hate being treated like kink vending machines, you can’t argue that’s actually a good strategy. Very broadly speaking it seems like men want to establish kinky compatibility first and women want to establish if we can stand you as a person first. If you want us to reply to your messages, do what we want, not what you want.

Honestly, what is so complicated about that? You say that your kink is all about making women happy, about learning what we like and doing that, and you can’t even manage to send an email without pissing us off? Either get it together or admit you don’t actually give a shit what we want.

Sep 142014

I came across a really interesting writing on Fetlife the other day titled On Personal Responsibility. The author has said some thoroughly problematic things about consent in other posts, but in this particular one she makes an excellent point:

But here’s another question, because in general, I prefer to be hated by both sides wherever possible.

Shouldn’t those upstanding members of the community also take personal responsibility for judging whether they are about to stick their figurative and/or metaphorical dicks in crazy, and choosing not to engage with those who qualify?

I’d have a lot more respect for the ‘personal responsibility! everything that happens to you is your fault!’ crowd if they put as much pressure on tops to be ‘personally responsible’ as they do on bottoms. While I can’t claim to have read everything ever written about personal responsibility in kink, what I have read seems to be all about pushing bottoms to take all the blame for everything that happens to them.

If the writing I quoted above had gone Kinky&Popular (the Fetlife equivalent of featured, for those who don’t spend much time there), I expect the comments on it would be full of domly doms whining and crying about how they aren’t mind-readers and it isn’t fair to expect them to be. But somehow it’s fine and dandy to expect bottoms to magically divine that the d-type who is being so lovely and charming right now, who has such a good reputation in the scene, is actually grooming them for abuse.

Fuck that noise. If bottoms have to responsible for everything that happens to them, then so do tops. Have a scene go badly? Should’ve done a better job of reading your bottom. Somehow run into the largely mythical malicious bottom who cries foul after a scene they seemed to enjoy at the time? Should’ve gotten to know them better before you played with them. Have a messy breakup that involves your now ex submissive screaming at you at 3 am? Should’ve dated someone with better control of their emotions.

When I put it like that, does the whole personal responsibility thing start sounding like an unreasonable standard to hold people to? If it does, that’s because it’s not actually about responsibility, maturity, or owning your shit for you. It’s about doms not wanting to take responsibility for their actions.

Maybe that sounds harsh, but think about it for a minute. Who benefits when bottoms are told that its their responsibility and only their responsibility to prevent themselves from being victimized? It’s certainly not bottoms. In fact, blaming the victim is a classic tactic of abusers.

Once more for the cheap seats: blaming the victim is what abusers do. You are not responsible for what other people choose to do to you, full stop.

Personal responsibility is great and all, but you’re got to apply it to everyone equally. For example, doing kinky things involves a certain amount of risk, and you probably shouldn’t play if you can’t handle things going wrong. No matter how carefully you prepare and how well you negotiate, there is always a chance you will suddenly discover a trigger you didn’t know you had, or equipment will fail, or you’ll misunderstand something your play/partner told you, or something that worked just fine last week will end with you crying your heart out this week. Shit happens, and the more you play, the more chances it has to happen to you. If you’re not at a place in your life where you can handle potentially feeling shitty for a few days after you play, it’s probably a good idea to play very carefully.

See how I’m not singling one group out to blame them for everything that happens to them? That’s how you talk about personal responsibility without grooming people for abuse.

Sep 072014

I spend a lot of time bitching about submissive guys doing it wrong, so for a change let’s talk about somebody doing it right.

Quite some time ago now my friend some_guy27 started a thread titled “questions from a newbie” in the Submissive men and women who love them Fetlife group.

I’ll be honest, when I saw the title I cringed a little. Most of the threads I’ve seen with titles like that were either questions that could have been answered in five minutes of reading the stickies, or thinly veiled personal ads. Some_guy27, however, really surprised me. Here’s the part of his original post that I found the most interesting:

I’ve been reading through some of the stickies and did some searches and found a lot of very helpful info, but a few of my questions weren’t really answered. For instance, this whole lifestyle is very new to me, and some of the suggestions you give are a bit intimidating and what not. Personally, I’ve always been the dominant one in my relationships. (Not really because “I” needed to be, but because “she” needed me to be) I kind of want to be the submissive one for a change, but I’m really not even sure that “submissive” is the correct word. (I’ve been bombarded with a whole new vocabulary since I joined the site) The standard advice is to know your limits and be up front with them. As a nOOb, I really don’t know what they are. I mean, realistically, I might actually REALLY like something that is currently off limits in my head right? I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t even know what it is that I don’t know?

Did you see that? He read the goddamn stickies! For once, somebody did their own research before asking the same question a thousand other people have and boring us all to tears in the process. Not only that, but he asked an interesting question. It’s sadly rare for people new to the scene to even be willing to question whether they’ve found the right label for themselves, or to realize that they might end up liking something that they have no interest in right now.

In case you don’t understand how rare it is for someone to actually read the stickies, have a look at that thread. If you scroll most of the way down the first page of replies, you’ll see dominant women play fighting over him. Many submissive guys seem to have trouble getting a single dominant woman’s attention, given that the most common questions I’ve seen in the submissive men and women who love them group are “why is it so hard to find a dom?”, “where do I find a dom?”, and “how do I get a dom to answer my messages?”, and somehow this guy has multiple women fighting over him! All it takes to get that kind of reaction from us is putting a tiny bit of effort into doing your own research and being friendly and pleasant to people who try to answer your question. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the bar is just not that high.

Just starting a good thread is impressive enough, but another thing that some_guy27 did right was sending me an entirely adorable thank you note for responding to his post. Because he reached out, we’ve been corresponding off and on for the last couple of years. Come to think of it, that’s another point in his favour – we live in different countries, and while we both travel now and then, we may never meet in person. And he still acted like I was worth his time! I can’t tell you how many whiny posts I’ve seen by men who went to one event, one time, didn’t instantly find a hot dominatrix who shares all of their kinks, and decided in person events are a waste of time and they’re never going back. It’s a nice change to talk with someone who has an interest in you as a person, independent of your ability to directly fulfill his fantasies.

Now, I don’t expect every new submissive man to be as charming as some_guy27, because frankly that’s a pretty high bar to clear, but you absolutely can read the stickies, ask questions that haven’t been done to death, and be grateful to the people who respond to your posts. Yes, it’s a little more work than just asking “wherr all the domz at?”, but you too can have a thread full of dominant women excited about you if you just give us something to work with. We want you to be awesome, but we need you to meet us half way.

Aug 312014

While in general I think people in the scene could use a little more paranoia about getting thrown out of the scene if they behave badly, I also wish that people wouldn’t act like it’s the end of the world if they accidentally offend someone. We were all new once and we’ve all said the wrong thing or stepped on someone’s toes or spilled a drink before. I’m the queen of holding grudges, but if somebody did something that was minor, accidental, and they apologized for it, there’s no need to make them feel like they need to leave town and change their name before they can ever go to a kink event again.

Even if someone deeply and personally offended me, if offense is all it is then there’s no reason we can’t coexist peacefully in the same room. If you fuck up as badly as bobslave9 did I will viciously mock you on my blog and use you as a warning to others, but I’m not going to go throwing fits in public or anything.

So, here’s what to do if you fuck up:

1. Apologize. Do this if and only if you can bring yourself to apologize properly. A proper apology starts with a simple admission of wrongdoing, demonstrates understanding of why what you did what wrong, and absolutely does not contain the words “if” or “but.” If you cannot apologize properly, just keep your mouth shut. Do not under any circumstances say “I’m sorry you feel that way.” If what you mean is “Go fuck yourself,” put on your big kid pants and say it outright. And don’t be a little shit about it if they don’t accept your apology. Forgiveness is not something you are owed.

2. Avoid the person you wronged. If you’ve just dumped someone, skip the next few parties. Suck it up, you’re not the one who just got dumped. If all you’ve done is irritate the shit out of someone, make an effort to be in another part of the room. Don’t talk to them, don’t force them to squeeze past you to get to the snacks, just leave them the fuck alone.

3. Whatever you did to piss that person off, stop doing it. This isn’t absolutely necessary to coexist with the person you already pissed off, but if you blunder around being an asshole everyone, you’re going to run out of people who want anything to do with you.

Note that there is no step involving becoming friends with the person you pissed off. They don’t owe you shit. It doesn’t matter how badly you want to feel like everything is happy and shiny again, the only person who gets to decide if someone wants to be friends with you is that person.

That’s it. The scene is big enough for the two of you if you can just avoid being a complete douchebag to someone you’ve already pissed off. There’s no need to become a hermit or to throw yourself at the feet of the person you offended and beg forgiveness. Chill the fuck out, leave them the fuck alone, and things will be fine.

Aug 242014

“It’s not service unless the master wants it.” – Joshua Tenpenny, Real Service

It’s such a simple concept, but you’d be amazed how many people can’t grasp it. Hand washing your partner’s underwear may make you feel submissive, but if what she actually needed was her car taken to the shop then all you’ve done is waste your time. It really should be obvious, but doing what you want instead of what your master wants is in fact the opposite of submission.

That is, you’d think it would be obvious, but according to far too many discussions I’ve seen, including these two comments in a thread about kinky people with vanilla partners, the idea that you should try things your partner actually likes if you want to have some kink in your relationship is apparently a mind blowing revelation. In related news I have a theory about why so many men complain that their female partners have no interest in kink.

I understand that it can be hard to let go of the vision of your ideal relationship, but come on guys. Either you give a shit about the actual living breathing human being you’re in a relationship with or you don’t. If you care more about the fantasy than the person, don’t go acting all surprised when she doesn’t seem to care that much about what you want either. After all, you started it.

Even doms can fall into this trap. Credit where it’s due, Lily Lloyd talked about this either on her (sadly now defunct) blog or in her excellent book Discipline (no longer available). It’s terribly easy to get the idea that being a dom means you’re supposed to give your submissive all sorts of rules, particularly if your submissive happens to like rules. You can end up desperately trying to remember and enforce a set of rules you don’t care about until your whole d/s relationship feels like a chore. No matter how much the submissive enjoys it, it’s not service unless the master wants it. No amount of telling yourself you’re supposed to want something or beating yourself up for not wanting it is going to change your feelings about it.

I used to think I wasn’t actually dominant at all because I had precisely zero fucks to give about slave positions or making my partner ask permission to sit on the furniture. Given that being a dom is an important part of my identity now, you can safely assume I was pretty motivated to want what I thought I was supposed to want. It didn’t work. I still don’t care about slave positions even a little bit, and unless someone can magically making learning them stop feeling like a chore, I’m never going to care.

This, of course, makes me a terrible dom for a sub who loves high protocol. Neither one of us is wrong, we’re just a bad match. Honestly, if I found a high protocol sub I got along with and tried to convince him to stop loving rules and structure and doing things just so, I would be the asshole in that situation. I rag on submissive men more because I can’t understand how you can call yourself submissive while trying to mold your partner into someone they’re not, but self-centeredness is definitely not exclusive to men.

Finally, I would say that it is service if the dominant wants it, no matter how much the submissive enjoys it. A really excellent footrub, for example, given to a woman when she wants one doesn’t magically stop being service just because the submissive giving it happens to be a foot fetishist. Now, it certainly does stop being service if said foot fetishist makes things weird and sexual when she just wants to relax, but a submissive person especially enjoying something doesn’t make it not helpful or pleasing to the person they’re serving.

Service, like so many other things, is in the eye of the beholder. The person being served is the only one who gets to decide whether x or y is in fact service. You can wish they liked other things, you can look for someone who likes other things, but trying to make your partner like the form of service you like providing is blatant assholery. If you’re going to pull that shit, at least admit that you don’t care what your partner wants.