You don’t have to be pretty

I’ve loved that quote about how prettiness is not the rent you pay for occupying a space marked female and the other day I stumbled across the original author, Erin McKean of A Dress a Day. Here’s the full quote:

You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.

Things new submissive men should probably know, part Q

I’ve totally lost track of which part I’m on here, so I declare this part Q of my ongoing series of unsolicited advice to new submissive men.

If you’ve ever read anything about kink, you’ve probably heard a whole lot of bullshit about how there are tons of submissive men for every dominant woman. That’s wrong to the point of total idiocy, but I want to talk about one of the consequences of that bullshit today. If you believe that the odds are so badly against you, it’s reasonable to assume that if any dominant woman shows an interest in you then you absolutely have to accept her as your dom or risk going your entire life without ever having a d/s relationship.

NO. Guys, you always always always get to choose your dom. I’m going to give you the advice that we usually give young women here: no relationship is infinitely better than a bad one. If you try to make it work with a dom who isn’t right for you, you’ll both end up unsatisfied (and to be fair, she shouldn’t try to make it work with a sub who isn’t right for her either). When you say no to a dom who isn’t right for you, you’re doing the right thing for both of you.

Being alone sucks, I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t. It sucks extra hard when you’ve finally found out that there’s a word for what you want and a whole community of people like you and you desperately want to dive in and explore. If you feel like that, the idea of turning down a dom who’s interested in you seems completely ridiculous, but hear me out. Being lonely and frustrated still sucks less than being in a relationship where you feel like you can’t do anything right and where your needs don’t get met.

Let’s imagine that you’re a submissive guy who loves anticipatory service. You feel your absolute best when you set down a fresh cup of tea for your dom just when she’s finished the last one. Now imagine you meet a dom who loves obedience. People trying to guess what she wants before she’s told them to do anything just annoy her, what really makes her feel loved is your willingness to drop whatever you were doing and tell her “Yes ma’am” when she gives you an order. It’s obvious this is going to end badly, right?

Just because one person is dominant and the other one is submissive doesn’t mean a relationship, even a simple play partner relationship, can possibly work. A smart dom will ask you what your ideal d/s relationship looks like and tell you whether or not she has that to offer, but you know, doms fuck up sometimes. You still have the responsibility to figure out whether the potential dom you’re talking with is right for you and to nope on out of there if it’s just not going to work. It’s hard to say no when you’re scared no one else will ever be interested in you, but it’s the kindest thing for everyone. If you know you’re not right for someone, you need to speak up. I mean, how much would it suck to be the dom who was trying desperately to make it work but finally gave up, only to find that your former sub knew from the beginning that he wanted a different style of relationship than you did? That’s a dick move right there.

Even if the odds were as terrible as some people say (protip: there’s a reason most of those people have so much trouble finding a dom), you would still have the right to turn someone down. Being submissive means nothing about your worth as a person or about your right to say no. You absolutely do not have any obligation to obey someone until the two of you have agreed to start a d/s relationship. Not only do you not have to obey any random dom who shows up, but I recommend you tell her to go fuck herself if she tries to give you serious orders. D/s flirtation is a thing and a perfectly reasonable dom may ask you to do something small for her or playfully tell you to go to bed if she knows you’re up later than you should be.

I honestly don’t have a lot of experience with d/s flirtation, but I’m going to guess that the key here is that your potential dom asks you to do small things that are easy to do and obviously in your best interest. If she assumes that she can give you orders that actually affect your life without you two having negotiated it, that’s a major red flag. If she asks you to do things that seem out of line with how long you’ve known each other, that’s also a red flag. If you’ve never been in a d/s relationship before, just go with a vanilla scale of what’s reasonable for how long you’ve been talking. That is, if you’ve only been seeing someone for a couple weeks, you’d probably be happy to grab her a coffee if you were on your way over anyway, but it would be weird if she asked you to drive an hour out of your way to get her mom from the airport. If in doubt, ask a friend :) There’s no need to go into detail about exactly what this woman is asking you to do, you can just talk about the amount of effort involved in the favour she’s asking for.

So, that was an awful lot of words just to explain that a) you absolutely always have the right to turn someone down, and b) you should turn them down if you know they’re not right for you. No matter how much control you want to give up in your ideal relationship, you still have the right to say no at any time.

Things new submissive men should probably know, part something or other

I keep seeing newbie submissive guys ask whether dominant women prefer men who are totally submissive to everyone in every part of their lives (doormats) or “alphas” who are super duper dominant in everyday life and wouldn’t dream of even considering submitting to any woman who hasn’t bested him in single combat. The answer to that question is very simple: NO.

No, I don’t want a doormat. No, I don’t want someone who I have to fight to get him to submit. NO.

What I want, and what it seems like many many many other dominant women want is a man who submits because of the personal connection he has with his dom. No doormats, but no fighting either. If you don’t want to submit, fine, there’s the door. If you fling your submission at every woman who comes within ten feet of you, I don’t want it.

There is absolutely no reason you have to bend yourself into a pretzel to try to attract a dom. Not only is it unlikely to get you anywhere, but trying to embody the doormat or alpha (god I hate that word) stereotype will very often actively repel the women you want to attract. You’re allowed to just be a person, guys. When you try to embody one of those stereotypes, I feel like you’re trying to cast me in the role of the fantasy dom counterpart whether I like it or not. That’s kind of a turn off.

My theory about where both of these stereotypes come from is, of course, porn. To be fair, instant submission because the dom is just that amazing is a hot fantasy. So is breaking down the captured warrior and forcing him to submit. Just like being a world famous rockstar or actor is a fun fantasy that would probably be terrible in real life, instant submission and forced submission just don’t work in everyday life.

I mean, let’s think this through. For starters, I’m a person. I have bad days and make mistakes and get sick and I’m just not “on” all the time. I need someone who will let me know if he thinks I’m making a mistake – letting me do something stupid because I’m the dom is unhelpful and just unkind. Just like you’d tell your partner if she had something in her teeth, you should be able to tell her that you think she’s making a mistake. If I did something that turned out badly and later found out that my husband knew it was a bad idea but didn’t say anything about it, I’d be pissed off. Partners are supposed to help each other, not stand around and watch the other person fail.

In case you’ve fallen into the trap of assuming submissive behaviour is a binary of perfect obedience on one end and open defiance on the other, that’s just not true. Guys, there is an enormous amount of room between “Yes ma’am” and “That’s fucking stupid, do it this way.” How about “Hey Stabbity, I think if you do x, y will happen. What do you think of doing z instead?” or “Wait a sec, let me help you with that” or even “I’m convinced this is a bad idea and we need to talk about it.” Questioning your dom is not automatically unsubmissive (and if she says it is that’s a huge red flag you should be very concerned about) and is not automatically disrespectful.

As for the forced submission fantasy, that would be exhausting in real life. I want someone to want to submit to me, I have no interest in fighting them on every little thing. Again, I have bad days and make mistakes and get sick and I’m just not “on” all the time. I do not have it in me to fight someone to submit every time I need something done. This is really the other side of the same unhelpful coin as the doormat submissive – partners help each other, they don’t make everything a battle. While I’m totally willing to earn someone’s submission, I want to do that by showing I’m an honorable person who can be trusted to look out for my submissive’s best interests, not by fighting them for everything. If you put up enough of a fight for long enough, I’m going to assume you’re not ready to submit yet and cut you loose until you are.

To be fair, unquestioning obedience and resistance aren’t absolutely always terrible either. Nuance, it’s good for you :) Sometimes I really do want someone to just do what I fucking told him. For me personally, that’s going to be on low-stakes stuff like making me dinner. If it’s something that could have long term fallout I definitely want my submissive’s opinion. And sometimes resistance play is a lot of fun. If it’s just for a scene and it’s what everyone signed up for, have fun!

The best submissive you can be is the one you naturally are, not the one you have to fake being. Doms are people, we want actual people as partners, not stereotypes. Relax guys, you’re fine the way you are.

Information is for everyone

Information is for everyone, even if you’re uncomfortable with underage people seeing it. Keeping them ignorant just makes them more vulnerable to abuse. Like Franklin Veaux says in this tweet:

On a very much related note, you should also have a look at Why I Deeply Dislike Your Older Boyfriend by Heather Corinna. Basically, the less information someone has about how they should be treated or how a relationship or a scene should work, the easier it is to get away with outright abusing them or just treating them badly. It’s just as true when we’re talking about people just getting into kink as it is when we’re talking about young women dating creepy older men.

Let’s take hypothetical teenaged girl Alice for example. She probably got the half-assed talk in sex-ed about how it’s not okay for your boyfriend to hit you and if he does you should dump him. That’s better than nothing, but what if Alice’s boyfriend just says mean things to her? If he doesn’t hit her it’s not abuse, right? So why does she feel shitty all the time if her boyfriend isn’t abusing her? It must be because she’s a bad girlfriend and needs to try harder.

It might sound like I’m exaggerating there but I’m honestly not. That is exactly what I went through with my first boyfriend. When I was a teenager I really, honestly thought that it was only abuse if he hit me. It took literally years for me to put the label of emotional abuse on the way he complained about literally everything I said, did, thought, or felt. If I kept quiet I was cold and secretive and why couldn’t I just open up to him? And if I tried to open up, well, I was stupid and wrong about everything. Because I didn’t know to call that abuse I thought I was just a shitty girlfriend and needed to try harder. I mean, we didn’t scream at each other every night like my parents did, so that meant we just needed to keep working on our relationship right?

If I had been taught that it’s not okay to make your partner feel stupid and worthless and that’s just as abusive as giving them a black eye, maybe things would have been different for me. If I had even known the phrase “emotional abuse” maybe things would have been different. If I had had the slightest idea what a healthy relationship looks like and what’s reasonable to expect from a partner and what’s completely fucking ridiculous, things could have been different for me.

It’s pretty clear that a big part of preventing abuse is education, right? Well, that and building up people’s self-esteem or at least not systematically destroying it, but that’s a fucking gigantic topic so I’m going to stick with education for now. The more you know about what a healthy relationship looks like and what a good partner does the easier it is to recognize it when something isn’t right. “My boyfriend is a jerk sometimes” may not feel like a good enough reason to dump him, but “that’s emotional abuse, the word for what he’s doing is emotional abuse” might be able to get someone over the hurdle of dumping the fucker.

Just like teens (actually people of literally every age) should have access to all the age-appropriate relationship and sex-ed information they want to protect them from having shitty vanilla relationships and sex and to help them leave a bad relationship, I think people should also have access to all the age-appropriate information about kink and d/s relationships they can handle.

Ignorance makes people easy to hurt. How many horror stories have we all heard about the new submissive whose douchebag older dominant told her that if she really trusted him she wouldn’t want to have a safeword? And how do you protect that girl and everyone like her? By fucking telling them that people who are safe to play with will never try to talk you out of having a safeword! By telling them how many s-types never have a no-safeword scene in their entire lives! By telling them how much more fun they can have if they insist on taking the time to really build trust with a dom!

Education is what keeps people safe, not keeping them in the dark and hoping they just never develop an interest in kink.

To be fair here, I don’t have kids and don’t want to. And I totally understand why a parent wouldn’t be comfortable with their kid freely roaming Fetlife. I sure as fuck wouldn’t want my hypothetical kid talking with Master Douchebag from the secret European house, but if I can’t keep them from ever talking with anyone else who’s kinky (which is completely impossible, let’s just be honest), then I sure as fuck want them to also be able to talk to Sir Reasonable and Lady Normal Grown Up and Slave Been There Done That and Submissive Regular Guy. As much as I believe that kink in general and d/s relationships in particular are advanced stuff and everyone should get comfortable with vanilla sex and relationships first before making that even more complicated by adding kink, it’s not realistic to pretend that there are no teenagers who already know they’re kinky as fuck.

We know that abstinence only “education” (it’s not education goddammit, education involves teaching actual facts) doesn’t work, so why can’t we admit that not teaching kids about kink doesn’t keep them safe? I know, I know, it’s super fucking obvious that our society is all fucked up around sex and especially taboo sex, but I really wish we could get the fuck over ourselves when it comes to keeping people safe.

Compatible kinks are not enough

In which Stabbity spends some more time yelling about the fucking morons who treat women like kink vending machines. Eventually I’ll get this out of my system, right?

One of my many, many problems with the idiots who lead with their kinks is that they don’t seem to realize women have personalities (mine is pretty grumpy, in case you hadn’t noticed :) ). Even if we’re just talking kink (which we’re not, but I’ll get to that) some women love ritualistic, high protocol scenes and other women just want to hit you with stuff and see if you make interesting noises. If you just ask whether she’s into _____, you haven’t learned anything about whether the two of you are compatible.

If you’re looking to actually submit to someone, then unless the two of you lead very compartmentalized lives you are probably going to spend time together outside of scenes. I mean, if you like someone enough to submit to her, don’t you like her enough to chat about that interesting article you read and how her side project is going for a little while? I just don’t understand how guys think you can have a d/s relationship without ever talking to each other like people. You’ve got to figure out whether you trust her enough to submit to her somehow.

And guys, how exactly do you think you’re going to negotiate with a woman who you can’t stand? Seriously, d/s requires a lot of talking. If your personality clashes with your potential dom’s, how exactly are you planning to get through all the negotiating and debriefing and adjusting you’re going to need to do? Yeah, you assumed you could just skip to the naked hitty part without any boring talking like in porn, didn’t you.

Speaking of boring talking, isn’t wanting to please your dom kind of an important part of the whole d/s thing? Why would you want to please someone (or even spend time around her) if you think she makes terrible personal choices? D/s generally involves the dom having some control over the sub’s life, so you know, it might be a good idea to figure out whether she’s any good at running her own life before you let her make decisions about yours. Not that she has to be perfect to be worthy of dominating anyone, but if you don’t respect her, don’t pretend submitting to her has any chance of working. And how do you come to respect a woman enough to bottom to her without getting to know her at all?

Oh that’s right you fuckers don’t respect any women, so it doesn’t make a difference to you if you respect this one even less than that one. Who a woman is as a person doesn’t matter when you never believed she was really a person in the first place.

Seriously, that’s what you assholes are really saying when you act like the only thing that matters about a woman is whether she’s willing to do the stuff that makes your boner happy, and that’s why I’m so fucking pissed about it. If you can’t pull your head out of your ass for five goddamn minutes and treat me like a human being, you deserve to go your whole life wishing for a dom and never finding one.

Sure, there are probably women out there who have dealt with one too many subs who have a fetish for one of her hard limits and actually do want to know up front if you have a kink that doesn’t work for her at all, but you can literally never go wrong by treating a potential dom like a person first. If she wants to know what your kinks are I promise she will tell you. Just shut the fuck up about your boner for a couple minutes and talk to her like she’s a person first. If you really don’t care who your dom is, a) stop calling yourself submissive, that implies you give a shit about your dom’s needs, b) stop bothering the lifestyle doms, and c) tip like a motherfucker when you see a pro because you’re an asshole and she deserves it for putting up with you.

This just in: a dom can have a sense of humor

I was meaning to talk about how dorky my sense of humor is anyway, and then some douchebag on the internet had to comment on how if a woman likes guys who are funny she’s probably vanilla. Fuck that noise. Some kinky people certainly take themselves too seriously, but saying that if you actually think I can’t have a sense of humor (or be a total dork) because I’m dominant you can fuck right off. I’m a person, you assholes.

So, let’s see some examples of the stuff that cracks me up.

Out of Context D&D Quotes is fucking hilarious. If you’ve never played D&D you probably won’t get much out of it, but if you’re that kind of nerd, it’s pretty great.

Another one of my favourites is Texts From TNG, which is a totally ridiculous mashup of texts from last night and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sadly it’s over now, but it’s still funny.

My favourite part of Texts from TNG is showing the terrible jokes to my husband and seeing his “I don’t even know how to explain what’s wrong with you” face.

On the twitter side, Poly Horror is both funny and kind of horrifying. If you’ve spent any time on the internet, you’ve probably seen people who sincerely believe the stuff Poly Horror shares as horror stories.

You know you’ve seen a post in Novices & Newbies from that poor girl. Sometimes you have to decide whether to laugh or throw chairs.

I’ve seen entirely too many person ads from this guy. Some people just deserve to be laughed at, because god knows they’re never going to make the connection between their bad behaviour and their bad results.

In general I love parody twitter accounts. Very Lonely Luke and Emo Kylo Ren are some of me favourites lately, but for the sake of not spoiling anyone for Star Wars: The Force Awakens I won’t embed any tweets. Paul Graham Googling is also funny as long as you’re a big enough nerd to know who Paul Graham is, but not such a self-absorbed Silicon Valley asshole that you think he can do no wrong.

Something that might have a little broader appeal is Simple Zen, which is here to make fun of all those schlocky “inspiration” accounts. What’s not great about the bio “I’m mostly about finding ways to include arson in a simple Zen lifestyle”?

Nightvale Radio, on the other hand is just delightfully weird and morbid.

Texts from Superheroes is also fantastic.

That one is originally from here, I just reblogged it to my own tumblr so wordpress would embed it nicely.

And what could be better than cute animals being funny? I’m sure this isn’t the original source for this video, if anyone does know where it actually came from let me know in the comments. Have some penguins tripping over a rope.

Oh, almost forgot Windows 95 Tips!

…we’re clear on the fact that I’m a total dork now, right?

Not actually a selling point

Every so often you’ll see personal ads by men who think that offering to go down on a woman for hours is a selling point. It’s not.

First of all, do you know any women who actually want a guy to give them head for hours at a time? No, you do not. The vast majority of us have shit to do besides lie around while you indulge your obsession with pussy. Guys, it’s not service unless the master wants it. You may be so obsessed with your penis that you would actually want someone to worship it for hours on end, but I have about a thousand other things I could be doing.

Second, not all women can have multiple orgasms. Many of us are done after one orgasm. If it takes you hours to give someone a single orgasm, you are fucking terrible at oral. Imagine if someone told you they were willing to scrub your floor for hours. Wouldn’t the first thing you asked be “Why would it take hours? Are you terrible at cleaning?”

Third, if it seriously takes you hours to give a woman an orgasm, you’re going to bore her to fucking tears. If you actually find someone patient enough to let you give her bad oral for hours, at least offer the poor woman a book or hang a tv from your ceiling or something.

Fourth, we know you’re lying. You do not actually have the stamina to give someone head for hours on end. You might not even have the stamina to get a woman off orally at all. If you ask around, say in the Ask a Female Questions group on Fetlife, you’ll hear that women need firm and above all consistent stimulation to actually orgasm. Without consistency, we often get anxious about whether we’re going to come at all (which makes it even harder to have an orgasm) and how to gracefully tell the poor guy to give up, it’s not going to happen. There’s a reason vibrators are so popular: they never get tired.

Sure, giving head for hours is a hot fantasy. Jerk off to whatever you like, but when you’re writing a personal ad you’ve got to keep fantasy and reality straight. Saying that you enjoy eating pussy and that you’ve gotten compliments on your skills is plausible. Saying that you can go down for hours is not. Assuming that the women reading your ad/profile are too dumb to know the difference is really not a selling point.

And again, because this point really needs to be hammered home, It Is Not Service Unless The Master Wants It. Wanting to go down on someone for hours is about your fetish, not what your partner actually wants. Acting like “wants to give head for hours” is a selling point only tells me that you don’t know or don’t care what women actually want.

Edited for the person originally quoted’s privacy.


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.