Surprise, Fetlife’s security is still shitty

In case you haven’t already heard, some worthless goatfelcher created a script to pull information off of Fetlife and used it to make a searchable database of Fetlife members. Specifically Fetlife members who are female and under the age of 30. Not their real names or non-Fetlife contact information, to be clear, but it’s still creepy as fuck. This shitstain, to quote What the Fetlife Meatlist tells us about BDSM Culture:

claims that he is motivated by the altruistic goal of pressuring Bitlove (the creators of Fetlife) into implementing security fixes to prevent these sort of attacks happening in the future.

Which is obviously a blatant lie. Someone who was not a total cumgolem and actually was interested solely in pressuring Fetlife to improve their security would have created a list of dominant men over 55, or people whose usernames start with Q, or people who listed their role as “Daddy”, or literally anything other than a list of young women. This wankstain has absolutely no altruistic motive, he just enjoys feeling clever and making women feel afraid and exposed. That is literally the only reason to publish women’s information in a way that makes it trivial for creeps to find and harass them. Any and all attempts to defend this obviously reprehensible behaviour in the comments anywhere on my blog will be deleted and banned, don’t go crying that I didn’t warn you. It’s probably a terrible idea to enable comments on this post at all, but I want people to be able to ask questions about internet safety, which I will be talking about next. Actually, fuck it. The internet safety bit will be in the next post and there will be no comments on this one.

Frisky Fairy has also written a post about this issue titled Not Meat, Not Quite a Person: How Fetlife Failed Women Under 30, Mr Pent has one called The Fetlife Meatlist Scandal from a Security Perspective, Shadow-girl has one titled My thoughts on the “Meat List”, just to give a few examples.

If you are under 30 and female, it’s now easier for creepers to find your profile and harass you, but you haven’t necessarily been outed (unless your real name is in your Fetlife handle, which I can’t imagine is common for people who aren’t already out). Your pictures aren’t available outside of Fetlife (well, they’re no more available outside of Fetlife than they are usually), the list doesn’t contain your real name or your phone number or anything. This sucks, it’s obviously not okay and is just one more example of how much many men despise women, but you’re probably not going to end up having an incredibly awkward conversation about you kink with your boss or your family.

Another thing to keep in mind is that bullshit like this is in fact largely preventable. I say largely because a motivated enough attacker is going to be able to get their hands on whatever information they want, but there are a great many things Fetlife could do to make the jizzpaintings of the world work a lot harder to shit on people, and to handle it better when it does happen. For starters, Fetlife’s user ids are sequential, which makes it really easy to run through all of the profiles on the site. As a business, Bitlove (the company that runs Fetlife), may or may not have the time and money to fix their shit, but anyone who says it just isn’t technically possible is completely full of shit.

Why all the hate for dick pics?

Sometimes I yell about stuff strictly to get it out of my system, not because I think there’s the slightest chance of changing anyone’s mind. This is one of those posts.

First of all, when I talk about dick pics on dating sites like collarspace (originally collarme) or Fetlife, I’m talking specifically about avatars/profile pictures. If you want to have a non-dick avatar and fill the rest of your profile with your dick, that’s a separate issue and not what I’m talking about today. I’m also also (this may come as a shock) a dominant woman talking about submissive men using dick pics, so if you’re not submissive this may or may not be at all relevant to you.

One of the many reasons dick pics annoy me so much is that I mostly see them in the context of the owners of said dicks whining and crying about how they keep messaging dominant women and don’t get any replies. Part of that is undoubtedly because I’ve very rarely seen well-written and interesting profiles attached to disembodied penises, but part of it is because it’s extremely common for women to dislike dick pics and these guys either don’t care or don’t know (which is basically the same as not caring, let’s be honest).

So, why is it so common for women to dislike dick pics?

For starters, using a dick pic as your avatar tells me you don’t care whether or not I wanted to see your dick. Or that you never thought about whether I wanted to see your dick, which is just as bad. All of the advice about unsolicited cock shots applies to cock avatars as well. I promise if a dominant woman wants to see your dick, she will tell you so.

Unless you’re Mr_Cocky, a dick pic tells me nothing about you besides that you have a dick and you think it’s important. Unless I know and like you in the sexy way, I don’t fucking care what your genitals look like, and if you think your dick is the most important thing about you, I am never going to like you enough to want to see it. You can show so much about yourself with a good profile pic, and this is the pointless bullshit you chose to waste it on?

While I’m at it, most dick pics I’ve seen are frankly terrible photos. Lighting and personal grooming will not cause your balls to shrivel up and fall off, I promise. The total lack thereof, however, will almost certainly turn off whoever ends up looking at your gloomily lit blurry shot of your poorly framed dick. Go to critiquemydickpic.tumblr.com and do some reading. Or admit that you don’t give two shits what women think of your dick pic and are only interested in making us non-consensually look at it.

Another thing that absolutely baffles me is this bizarre false dichotomy between face shots and cock shots. I’ve seen people say, when asked why the fuck they have a picture of their dick (or, god forbid, their asshole) as their avatar, that they didn’t feel comfortable putting up a picture of their face. What the fuck people? If you are seriously that fucking terrible at thinking of interesting body parts to take pictures of, here are some ideas: hands, forearms, shoulders, chest, back, stomach, ass (but for fuck’s sake not the proctologist’s eye view), literally anything but your dick. Seriously, I’d rather see a picture of your ear or your elbow. Also, there is such a thing as photos taken from behind you or with your face turned away or covered.

Finally, if you’re one of those sad little shitstains who accuses women who want to choose whether or not they see someone’s dick of being horrible sex hating prudes who should leave Fetlife forever and only hang out on ravelry.com, put yourself in the garbage where you belong.

Fetlife in particular is a fucking social site, you ignorant jackass. I’m here to have interesting discussions and find things on Kinky & Popular to inspire angry blog posts. This is going to come as a terrible shock to you assclowns, but my purpose in life is not to be the non-consenting audience in your exhibition scene. How about you fuck off and do some thinking about why it is you want to force women to look at your dick (protip: it’s misogyny).

If you want to put pics of your dick all over the rest of your profile, I don’t particularly care (although I will judge the shit out of you if you contact me with a profile that’s basically a shrine to your dick). I don’t have to look at your profile, and if I do then it’s my own damn fault if I see something I didn’t want to. If you’re actually just an exhibitionist and don’t get off on forcing people to look at your dick whether or not they want to, there are only 114 groups on Fetlife for that.

When it comes right down to it, it’s not about the dick, it’s about the attitude behind it. If you don’t care about whether or not I wanted to see your dick, why I should give even half a shit about what you want?

Married subs

It’s not terribly unusual to see married submissive guys looking for a dom of their very own, and it’s also not unusual to see those guys get verbally smacked around while they act all confused about why it’s happening. There are also perfectly lovely married subs but they don’t need to be yelled at :). It’s really not that complicated, but I’m going to spell it out in the hopes it’ll keep somebody out there from acting like a dumbass.

First of all, we’re going to assume that if you’re married and looking for play outside of your marriage, you’re trying to cheat on your wife. Maybe that’s fair and maybe it’s not, but there are an awful lot of men who are in fact looking to cheat, so it’s not an unreasonable assumption to make.

What do you do about this? Well for starters, don’t cheat. How do you prove you’re not cheating? Be completely up front about your situation and ideally introduce potential doms to your wife. I realize that won’t work for everyone, but it really is the best way to convince a dom you’re not a cheating asshole. If you can’t introduce people to your wife, be prepared to get to know them really well over a long period of time before they’ll even consider putting play on the table.

We’re also going to worry that we’ll be treated like a dirty little secret. Some people do enjoy a bit of secrecy, but an awful lot of people are going to want to be acknowledged as an important person in your life. You don’t have to tell everyone you have a new dom and that you call her Mistress Lash (don’t do that, that would be weird), but what’s so bad about “This is my friend ____” or about just having coffee together with no kink once in a while?

What do you do about this? Talk to your potential dom like she’s a human fucking being, invite her to do non-kinky stuff once in a while, and treat her like she matters to you, not like some shameful secret no one can ever know about. If it’s really important that you keep your kink and the rest of your life separate, be honest about that and accept that it’s going to limit the number of people who will be interested in being your dom.

Be honest about what you can offer. You cannot expect good results if you say “Anything you want, Mistress” then follow it up with “Sorry, I can’t, that’s my date night with my wife.” We all know that people who say they have no limits are liars or dangerously unwell, but it’s extra annoying when we hear that shit from a married man. No you fucking can’t serve me any time I want, your wife is going to want to see you now and then.

Everybody has limits on the amount of control they can give another person, but married people in particular need to be completely open and honest about what they can give their dom control over and what they can’t. Things get a lot more complicated when it’s not just your limits but also your wife’s limits that your dom needs to worry about. This is also another reason your dom is likely to want to talk with your wife. Your interpretation of your wife’s words is just not the same as your dom getting to ask her directly if she’s cool with you getting marked up/with her choosing your clothes/with you texting her at certain times of day/and so on and so on.

What do you do about this? Have a lot of long conversations with your wife and don’t let wishful thinking cloud your judgement. Limits often change as people get to know and trust each other, but that can’t happen if you pull juvenile bullshit like telling your dom that a little bruising is okay when your wife said she wasn’t comfortable with seeing you with bruises.

Another thing to think about is who you’re approaching. A single dominant woman may be looking for a submissive boyfriend, not a part-time submissive who she has to share with your wife. The fantasy of having a dom all to yourself is great and all, but you’re going to need to be realistic if you want to find someone. There are dominant women married to non-kinky men too, you know. Maybe you’ll hit it off with one of them.

What do you do about this? Remember that you are not owed a hot dom all to yourself just because you showed up. The women you’re interested in have needs too, and they have every right to need or want things you can’t provide. Also, from what I’ve seen online (which is not be any means a representative sample) it’s not uncommon for married men who’ve finally had the talk with their wives and started looking for a dom to not exactly be spring chickens anymore. Do not go panting after doms in their 20s if you’re in your 40s, you are very unlikely to get good results. It’s bad enough when a single man does that, but it’s extra sad coming from a guy who has apparently been married for years without ever figuring out that women want things too or growing up enough to develop an interest in women his own age.

Guys, we’re not asking for that much. There’s no reason you as a married man can’t find a dom, but you need to not be a dickbag about it.

Is talent a thing?

It’s probably not an answerable question, but I have to wonder: is talent a thing? I’ve read some interesting articles about whether talent actually exists as an independent attribute or if it’s just a consequence of really loving an activity and doing it a whole lot.

I have to say the idea that talent doesn’t exist and that people who are described as talented just really love that thing and did it so much they got really good at it makes sense and seems more likely to me, but I every so often I still take the idea of talent out and poke at it.

The reason I do that is because I’m a really good programmer. In college where other students struggled, things were just easy for me. At work where coworkers struggled, things were just easy for me. It seems like a bit of a dick move to say talent isn’t a thing because, particularly in college, there were people who worked much harder than I did for lower grades. I’ve worked with a lot of perfectly lovely human beings who work really hard but are still mediocre programmers. What is it that makes me so special?

It’s funny, but this finally occurred to me just the other day: I am literally the kid who was programming when she was 12. Of course I’m good at this, I’ve been doing it for a long fucking time and because I started so young those years of practice probably shaped my brain.

Some of my skill is luck, of course. If I hadn’t happened to go to a small school run by a principal who believed computer skills were really important, I wouldn’t have had such good teachers, wouldn’t have gotten excited about programming, and wouldn’t have gotten so much practice in. Without those years of practice, I wouldn’t have gone to college with such an advantage over all the students who were completely new to programming and wouldn’t have immediately had my confidence boosted when the first programming exercise we did was easy for me.

Another piece of luck is that thanks to a history of less than ideal family finances, I had a serious fear of going into debt for a degree only to find out I didn’t want to do that for a living or couldn’t get a job in that field. I worked a couple of shitty part-time customer service jobs for a while after highschool, then switched to full-time graveyard shifts (11pm to 7am in my case) because I couldn’t fucking deal with never having a full day off. Having a stable schedule and actual days off was amazing at first, but after a while I started really struggling to sleep during the day, and started thinking about whether I really wanted to spend the rest of my life doing a job a monkey could do if only there weren’t animal cruelty laws.

The idea of going back to school terrified me, but thanks to the misery of graveyard shifts it was a lot less terrifying than the idea of drinking myself to death while doing a completely unfulfilling job and living with total assholes (if you think it’s okay to wake up a person who works nights for any reason aside from the house literally being on fire, put yourself in the garbage where you belong). Compared to a slow death doing a job I hated, moving to a new city (because if I was going to go into debt for an education, damned if I was going to waste it on the local community college), going into debt, and doing something I was really scared I wasn’t smart enough for didn’t seem so bad.

All of which is an extraordinarily long winded way of saying I was very, very motivated when I went back to school. There’s nothing like the fear of going into debt only to end up back in the miserable pit where you started to motivate a person to do her homework and study her ass off.

And now I’m back at my original thesis that talent is much less likely to exist than hard work and love of a subject. Funny how writing works out that way. Maybe I just had more practice and wanted it more than my classmates, and maybe it’s only imposter syndrome that makes me think I didn’t earn it.

I will, however, freely admit that things were easier for me than they could have been. Sure, it sucks always being the only woman in the room, and it sucks when people assume I’m an idiot because I’m a woman, but it would suck a lot more if I were a person of colour (quick, how many black nerds have you ever seen in any media at any time ever?) or disabled, or mentally ill or trans or not straight or non-neurotypical. That’s a separate issue from whether talent exists, though.

Humility is all well and good, but I think in the long run it hurts people to hold up the myth of talent as if it matters. There’s nothing talent can do for you that hard work and trying not to be an asshole can’t do just as well.

It’s okay to like intense play

This is a companion piece to Sadism Is Not An Excuse to be Awful. It’s extremely important to know that it’s okay not to have any interest in masochism or in any other kink, even if it’s extremely common and it seems like everyone except you is into it, and it’s also important to know that it is absolutely okay to like things that freak other people out. Just because some little asshole implies it’s inherently abusive to verbally humiliate someone even when everyone involved is into it doesn’t mean it’s true. This is mostly a post for bottoms since they get an incredible amount of shit for wanting things that other people consider too extreme, but I’ll address tops too.

While we’re here, I need to mention that it is absolutely not okay to pressure people to try verbal humiliation or any other kink just because you like it. You can do serious emotional damage that way, and unlike a physical cut or bruise, that shit doesn’t just go away.

Verbal humiliation, since I already mentioned it, is a kink that many people consider a harm limit, that can easily go horribly wrong, and is simultaneously a thing that’s super fucking awesome for people who are into it. It is okay to like verbal humiliation! It is okay to be turned on when someone calls you a worthless plaything or a dirty slut or whatever else both/all of you are into. Even if other people are freaked out by that, even if other people would immediately safeword if someone called them those names, even if some jackass thinks doing the things you like is fundamentally abusive, you are not a bad person for having a kink.

Now, I’ll give you shit for it if you refuse to admit that forced feminization depends on misogyny, or that race play depends on racism, or that cuckolding is often problematic in multiple ways, but I don’t think that you’re a bad person for having a kink. We don’t get to choose our kinks. If we did, there wouldn’t be any sad stories on Fetlife from people who got married thinking they could live without their kink on only to find out 10 or 20 or even 30 years later that it’s not that easy. What pisses me off is when people refuse to admit they’re doing something problematic, or refuse to admit that people have a right to worry how someone’s play might reflect their actual attitudes toward women, or people of colour, or submissive men.

That said, some people like their kinks mild, and some people like them extra spicy. Everything in that range is okay! If some people are freaked out by the stuff you like, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. For bottoms in particular: you are not sick or wrong or asking to be abused because you like some kinks extra spicy. For the tops, however, I do have to add that there is some stuff we don’t get to ask for. To use race play as an example, I completely agree with Mollena when she says that (in the context of having only once ever had someone say they’d like to do a race play scene with her) ‘I make it bloody fucking clear it is NOT ACCEPTABLE for you to EVER ask someone to bottom to you in that type of scene. I feel it really has to come from the person being the “victim”‘. To quote Mollena again: “FOR ME, I feel it is wrong to ask because I now know you want this specific thing, and I have to trust that you don’t have creepy ass motives.

In the privacy of your own head, I feel very strongly that it’s okay to like whatever you like. I will never support the idea of thought crime, no matter how illegal or harmful or evil the things you think about would be if you did them in reality. Just don’t be a dick about how and when you tell people about what you’re into and we’re cool. As a tip, no matter what you’re into there’s probably a group for it on Fetlife. If people deliberately joined a group about a certain topic, you can assume they won’t be freaked out by hearing that someone is into that thing.

Aside from a very few exceptions like race play, it’s okay to ask for whatever it is that you want. You’re not bad or wrong for wanting to play in a way that scares other people or squicks them out, whether that’s intense impact play or needles or blood play or scat or humiliation or extreme bondage or being treated like a toy or anything else you like.

For submissive women in particular, because I believe you get extra shit for this, it’s okay to want to play in a way that reminds people of abuse. You are not asking for abuse if you want your partner to consensually do things that you like in the context of a respectful relationship (not necessarily romantic, but please don’t play with people who don’t respect you), even if other people freak out about the idea of a woman being heavily bruised or slapped in the face or called a whore. You’re not setting the feminist movement back either, but that’s a separate post. The short version is that assholes gonna ass whether you get off or not.

Like what you like, and if anyone shames you for it they’re the asshole, not you.

Trying to make your partner dominant is not submissive

To quote Male Submission Art:

Dear “Submissive” BDSM’ers: trying to “make your boy/girlfriend into a Dominant” is an intensely dominant act involving severe behavior modification, and you should at least own up to that.

I sympathize with people who wish their partners were dominant, but there is nothing submissive or ethical about trying to make someone into something they aren’t without any thought to what’s best for them.

It should be obvious to anyone who isn’t a sociopath that trying to rebuild your partner without their ongoing enthusiastic consent like some sort of cartoon mad scientist is evil. Being remade into something better, or getting to shape someone into your perfect partner are both common fantasies, and if you’re very careful and have your partner’s full support they can be done ethically, but there is simply nothing okay about deciding for them that you’re going to rebuild them to suit you better.

I can’t fucking believe I have to say this, but people who are not dominant are still people and deserve to make their own choices about who they want to be. Whether your partner is submissive, or not interested in power exchange, or not interested in your type of power exchange, they have the right to be that way. I don’t understand what’s so complicated about this.

Issues of being a decent human being aside, it’s just not submissive to try to make your partner dominant. Submission is about giving control/authority to your partner, not about deciding for them who they should be. How can you call yourself submissive when you won’t even let your partner decide whether or not they want to be dominant? Am I supposed to believe that after showing that level of contempt for who your partner is as a person, you’re going to turn around and do what they tell you to do if it’s inconvenient or you’re tired or you’re not turned on? Do you care at all what your partner wants?

If you somehow magically succeeded in making your partner dominant, they would most likely end up leaving you for someone who was actually halfways competent at submission. Why would a dominant want to stay with someone who clearly doesn’t give a shit what they want?

You’re allowed to want what you want, but stop pretending it’s remotely submissive to try to make a person into a dom.

Gender roles and dominance

In any group, forum, or blog about female dominance or male submission, sooner or later the topic of gender roles and dominance comes up. Questions like how do gender role expectations affect your submission / dominance? Does it put a limit on your practice or does it encourage you to explore further? Or doesn’t it matter at all? are something we all have to think about, even if many of us end up sticking our heads in the sand and yelling “La la la I can’t hear you.”

It irritates the shit out of me when people try to side-step that entire discussion by saying that somehow they’re magically unaffected by the gender role expectations of the culture they’ve grown up in. No, you lying liars who lie, you’ve goddamn well been affected by what society told you about how to be a man or a woman. Even if you are extraordinarily self-possessed and have never once felt like a freak or a failure as a woman or man because of your kink, you are aware that you’re going against what society expects of you and that some people will reject you for it. Congratulations, gender role expectations have had an affect on you!

For people who aren’t busy lying to themselves, of fucking course gender roles affect how comfortable you are with your kink if you’re a submissive man or a dominant woman. Seriously, how many posts have I alone written about how much shit submissive guys get for being submissive? Gender role expectations are especially rough on submissive men, and pretending they aren’t is a waste of everyone’s time. We can’t have a conversation about how harmful it is to try and force yourself into the man box or the woman box if we can’t admit the box exists in the first place, and we as a culture really fucking need to have that conversation. As well as keeping so many submissive men from enjoying their sexuality, toxic masculinity literally kills men. Men die of depression and of treatable diseases because it’s not manly to talk about your feelings or go to the doctor when you feel a little off. And of course toxic masculinity kills women too, but I’m trying to focus on how gender role expectations directly harm men.

Submissive men often struggle enormously to accept their submission because it’s impossible to both be submissive and fit into the man box. These guys are stuck either feeling like failures as men or doing the enormously difficult work of redefining what manhood means to them. Pretending that not everyone goes through this struggle just makes the guys who are going through it right now feel like shit, so cut it the fuck out.

Dominant women struggle too, just in different ways. At least we have the stereotype of the sexy dominatrix to tell us that it’s okay to be a little bit aggressive in bed as long as we’re conventionally attractive and don’t do anything too weird and don’t insist on having any real power. I’m not saying the stereotype doesn’t suck a whole lot, but women are told that it’s possible to be a little bit dominant and still be desirable where submissive men get told they’re completely worthless.

So dominant women do have it easier than submissive men, but things still suck for us. The woman box says we’re supposed to sweet and nurturing and patient, which makes it pretty fucking tough to want to beat your partner with a cane and still be a good woman. Pursuing men is often seen as acting like a man and scares off many of the men we’re interested in. Demanding any actual power suddenly transforms us from sexy vixens into emasculating bitches, and god fucking forbid we should expect submissive men to ever see us as real people with thoughts and feelings that have nothing to do with their boners. Spend five minutes on any forum, group, or message board frequented by dominant women and you’ll hear us howling that we’re people, not kink vending machines or life support systems for a whip. I think the biggest problem dominant women have with gender role expectations is “submissive” men who expect us to dominate them exactly when, how, and where they want because that’s what women are for, right? We couldn’t possibly like things our male partners have no interest in. We couldn’t possibly be dominant because it turns us on, not because it turns men on. We couldn’t possibly expect to be treated like people first and doms second.

Literally all of us have to fight against society’s gender role expectations. Don’t make the struggle harder by pretending it doesn’t exist.

“Scared that I’m not a good femdom”

Whoever found my blog with the search terms “scared that im not a good femdom. help?” I just want to hug you and tell you you’re okay.

First of all, it’s completely normal to be scared that you’re not good at this, scared that you never will be, scared that you’ll hurt someone by accident, scared that you’ll disappoint your partner, scared that you’ll never find a partner, scared that no one will ever take you seriously as a dom or a thousand other things. Anyone who tells you they’ve never doubted themselves, never felt uncertain, never made a mistake is a lying liar who lies. Or a narcissist with no capacity for self-reflection. If you doubt yourself sometimes, all that means is that you’re a decent human being who cares about your partner.

Seriously, every last one of us feels like a total dork sometimes. Nobody is magically good at this the first time they try it, it takes practice to feel comfortable taking charge. Some people get that practice in different ways, some people start much earlier than others by bossing their childhood playmates around, but literally everyone has to practice before they’re good at running the show.

Also, it’s really, really common for d-types to hate feeling or appearing vulnerable. There’s this pervasive myth that “real” doms never doubt themselves and always know exactly what to do, so when (not if) we do feel uncertain or scared, we try to live up to the myth by hiding our feelings. I do that too, even though I know it’s unhelpful for a bunch of different reasons (but that, of course, is a whole other blog post). Where this relates to new doms feeling like they suck at being doms is that they end up comparing themselves to people who they think always know exactly what they’re doing, but those people are actually just hiding it when they feel uncertain. New doms end up trying to live up to this impossible standard because it can be really hard to find experienced doms who are willing to admit they fuck up sometimes and don’t always know what they’re doing.

Another thing that can make things tough for new doms is not having the experience to know whether you just need more practice or whether you’re not compatible with the person you’re playing with. Being a good dom is kind of like being a good roomate – it’s not an absolute thing. Just because you’re a great roomate for one person doesn’t mean you wouldn’t end up wanting to throttle each other if you lived with someone else. It’s handy to have a bit of experience and a few basic skills, but being a good dom for any given person is more about compatibility with that particular person and being able to explain what you want than it is about whether or not you’re objectively a “good dom.”

If things just don’t work with someone, it might not be anyone’s fault. The two of you might just want different things. There’s an enormous range of ways to be kinky, and as common as it is to assume that any two kinky people are compatible with each other it’s just not true. Maybe you’re a low protocol, easy going dom who is happy with any meal you didn’t cook yourself (like me!), but maybe your sub loves high protocol and feels hurt and ignored every time you don’t notice when he gets everything just so or don’t punish him when he makes some tiny mistake (one of my big fears as a dom). Maybe you want to work toward a total power exchange style relationship and your partner only wants that level of intensity a couple of weekends a year. Maybe you like sensual domination and your partner is a super heavy duty masochist. Nobody’s wrong in any of those situations, but it’s very easy to feel like you’re failing your partner when the two of you aren’t compatible.

Just like taking charge takes practice, giving up control does too. Some people aren’t very good at that, but when things don’t work they don’t want to admit it could be their fault, so they lash out and blame the dom for not somehow magically making them good at submission. It’s really common for men in particular to struggle with submission, and given the way men are usually raised they have some very good reasons for having trouble with it, but it’s still not fair to blame the dom when it’s you who can’t or won’t submit.

Finally, the d/s dynamic (or in fact any non d/s relationship dynamic you might have with your partner) is incredibly fragile. If both of you don’t hold up your end, there’s no way for a relationship to work. One of my very favourite posts, and one I wish had been around when I was first getting into the scene is When your submissive says ‘no’ by Ferns. Seriously, if you skip the entire rest of this post, please read Ferns’ post. I spent years thinking that I must not be a real dom because I didn’t know what I’d do if my submissive said no to me. I bought into the myth that real doms always knows exactly what to do too, so don’t feel bad if you got sucked in.

Readers, do you have any advice for new doms who are worried they’re not any good at it?

The end of spite week

For those who haven’t been reading my blog every day (which is totally cool! I know you all have other stuff to do), for the last week I scheduled a (usually short) post every day about something completely unrelated to kink.

Here’s a quick set of links if you want to catch up:

Cis is not a slur
Space!
Bel Dame Apocrypha
Removing vegetable oil stains (yes, some of these posts got pretty random)
The “friend-zone” doesn’t exist
Sunless Sea!

The reason I did that was because I’m incredibly pissed off by the idea that I am nothing more than my kink. It shouldn’t be any sort of surprise to hear that I’m a human fucking being with more than one interest, but apparently there are a lot of idiots in the world. One of my goals when I first started this blog was to help humanize female doms, and honestly I don’t think I’ve done a great job of that one. Saying that I’m more than my kink is all well and good, but I think it’s much more meaningful to show people I’m more than my kink by talking about non-kinky things I’m interested in. And it seems like people responded to spite week, so I’m thinking I’ll add the occasional extra post about something unrelated to kink.

Speaking of which, is there anything in particular you’d like to hear about? No promises any given question will make it into a post, but I’m open to suggestions.

Heligoland

Finally, the last post in spite week. Today, I’m going to talk about one of my favourite albums, Heligoland by Massive Attack.

You might know Massive Attack from one of their better known songs, Teardrop. My most vivid memory of that song is September 11th, 2001. Much Music, the major Canadian music channel, scrapped everything that was planned for that day and instead played all the calming music they had. I was nowhere near the twin towers that day, I had no loved ones in danger, and I’m not going to pretend I was anywhere remotely near as badly affected as others, but it meant something to me that in the midst of that horror people were using everything they had to make things better, even if all they had was some music videos.

To this day, Massive Attack is where I go when I need a fucking break. When I’m angry and I’m in a headspace where I can use that as fuel, I listen to things like Nine Inch Nails, or Drowning Pool or Dope. When I’m exhausted and I’m sick of wanting to set things on fire, I go to Heligoland.

Specifically, I listen to Paradise Circus. If you feel terrible and you need a break from feeling terrible, try that song. Try the whole album. To me the rest of it isn’t quite as amazing as Paradise Circus, but it’s still pretty fucking good. I can’t explain what it is about that song and that album that’s so good, you just have to listen to it.