You literally can’t include everyone

 

One of many, many things that irritates the shit out of me is when lazy assclown community leaders say that they don’t exclude anyone from their events. Yes you fucking do you lying sacks of shit. What you actually mean is that you can’t be fucking bothered to kick out assholes so you stick your fingers in your ears and shout “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” whenever anyone tells you there’s a problem. And then you slap the bandaid of “inclusivity” on top of the open sewer you’re building and pretend that everything is fine.

When I say you can’t include everyone, I mean that in the most literal possible way. if you make assholes feel welcome, you’ve CHOSEN to make me unwelcome. You are saying that my safety and comfort does not matter. OWN WHAT YOU ARE DOING you lazy sacks of shit. It is okay to have an event where I’m not welcome. For example gay men’s events, queer spaces, trans spaces, submissive only spaces, people of colour only spaces, survivors of sexual assault only spaces, littles only spaces, swingers/casual sex spaces, etc, etc. It is okay to have an event that only for certain people! It’s sad as fuck to pretend that you can invite total assholes, and me, and assume that’s inclusive. It’s NOT. Why the fuck would I hang around with assholes and event organizer who don’t give a shit about me when I could be doing anything else?

By saying “we don’t exclude anyone!” what you’re saying is “we don’t care that people are sometimes complete fucking assholes who need a good excluding.” If you’re going to give me that message, grow some fucking balls and tell me to go fuck myself like a fucking grownup you pathetic fucking child. if you want to run a community you need to make tough choices sometimes. I’m not saying it’s fun or painless to exclude anyone. We’ve all been the weird kid who got picked last during gym class, we know how much it sucks to be excluded and we don’t want to do it to anyone else. But here’s the thing: that doesn’t fucking work. No matter what you do, someone will be excluded. Your choices are to deliberately exclude assholes or implicitly exclude people who don’t want to hang out with assholes, but there is literally no option whatsofuckingever where you can possibly include everyone.

Include assholes if you want to, but for fucks sake admit that’s what you’re doing. You’re not fucking kidding anyone anyway.

PS, if you’d like to read basically the same idea with fewer swearwords, check out Ferret’s Choose Carefully Who You’re Kind To.

Just hire a housekeeper

In the interests of fairness, after my ragey blog post last week, I want to talk about the perception that dominant women who are interested only in what they can get submissive men to do for them and treat play like an afterthought or a necessary evil.

If you don’t care about the guy or the dynamic at all and you just want your house clean, hire a fucking maid. Not that I really need to say that, because if housecleaning is all you’re looking for, kink is probably the worst way to get it. Seriously, you’d have better luck getting your house actually clean if you find a broke college student willing to do it for sandwiches. There absolutely are service submissives out there who will actually show up and make themselves useful, but I’m pretty sure they’re massively outnumbered by ignorant and self-absorbed manchildren who think “service” means “hand-washing her panties in a maid outfit while she verbally humiliates me.”

With that out of the way, I think what’s much more common is acting like submissive men are inherently undesirable and are only tolerated because they’re sometimes useful. I’ve seen way too many discussion threads about what submissive men should be able to offer a dominant woman that talk about pointless bullshit like being able to do a manicure or knowing how to properly shine boots or being able to cook a certain kind of meal.

That’s all incredibly stupid. A dominant woman looking for a partner is looking for a PARTNER, not hiring a fucking assistant. If you don’t like someone as a person, how could it possibly matter whether he gives the best manicures ever? Not to mention, it’s a lot easier to ask somebody to take a course to learn the thing you want them to do than it is to find someone you really like. A d/s relationship is about personal connection, not being able to drop yard work from your budget.

Acting like what skills a guy comes into a relationship with actually matters (beyond, you know, basic life skills) just makes it sound like there’s nothing inherently likable about submissive guys and they have to bribe dominant women to put up with them using service. Even if some guys really don’t have anything to offer besides doing chores, I think it’s totally counterproductive to let all submissive guys get the impression that that being submissive (which is actually awesome) is a terrible flaw that they have to make up for by making themselves useful.

Okay fine, it’s not terrible if a guy goes out and learns skills that might make a potential dom’s life easier. Self improvement = generally a good thing. The problem is that assuming you know what a woman you haven’t even met yet wants is kind of stupid. You know how I keep leaning on the manicure example? I actually hate getting them. I did it once as an experiment, discovered I really hate the feeling of having my cuticles pushed back, and haven’t gotten another one. Picking the skills you want to learn off a list thought up by random strangers is kind of dehumanizing when you think about it. If you do that, you’re assuming women are enough of a hive mind that whatever skill you pick is something your eventual partner will actually want.

You know what actually would be universally useful to any dom you ever get involved with? Self awareness! Communication skills! Knowing what you want and being able to describe it! Knowing what you don’t know! (never been spanked and don’t know if you like it? say so!)

And for the love of god, learn that women are people. Like Captain Awkward frequently recommends, read books by women, watch shows by women, listen to music by women, play games by women, etc, etc. No, I’m not going to tell you which ones. If you actually care, you will google it. If you read/watch/listen to enough stuff by women you may eventually come to understand that we are people who have needs, wants, dreams, hopes, and ambitions that have NOTHING to do with you.

If you don’t understand that, nobody will fucking care if you’re the best housecleaner who ever lived.

The idea that submissive guys are the only ones who have to tempt a dom to be interested in them is also fucked up. They have just as much right to say no as any dom, and really ought to if the dom in question thinks being the dom doesn’t mean she has any responsibilities to her sub. Yes, subs have to hold up their end of the deal and I rant about that a lot, but that doesn’t mean doms don’t need to do their part either.

If you want to have a d/s relationship, you need to make your s feel appreciated. Why the hell should he stick around if you take him for granted? And honestly, why would you even bother having someone as a sub if you don’t like him enough to make sure his needs get met too? I mean, you do realize that identifying as submissive doesn’t mean submissive guys magically stop having needs, right?

If you just want your house cleaned, hire a fucking maid. If you want a submissive of your own, act like you want a submissive, not free maid service.

 

Why aren’t male doms into service?

BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE TO MAKE IT A KINK TO GET A WOMAN TO PULL HER FUCKING WEIGHT AROUND THE FUCKING HOUSE.

Okay, let me back that up a bit. Lately I’ve been seeing this perception that dominant women have this weird fixation on making their poor, mistreated submissive men make themselves fucking useful and *gasp* wash some fucking dishes or sweep a floor like some sort of sex-hating harridan instead of doing her duty to his poor neglected penis and “forcing” him to eat her out for hours (after dressing up in his favourite fetish gear, of course) while whapping him with a riding crop every so often.

There’s also this assumption that dominant men aren’t into service, that they actually care about doing kink right (read, sex sex and more sex, plus a little leather and ordering his submissive around), unlike those horrible dominant women who don’t seem to know what a dick is for (getting serviced, obviously).

BULLSHIT.

Show me one dominant man who truly, honestly would not care if his live in submissive didn’t keep his house the way he liked it. Show me one dominant man who doesn’t like it when he comes home to a tasty meal that he didn’t have to worry about doing the grocery shopping for. Dominant men fucking love service, they just don’t have to call it that because it’s assumed to be part of submission when a woman does it. It’s only dominant women who need to put a special label on PULLING YOUR GODDAMN WEIGHT LIKE A FUCKING GROWNUP because the idea that a man, even a submissive man who supposedly worships women, could actually do some fucking chores like a fucking adult is so outlandish that it needs its own special name.

I am not even slightly kidding. Read Captain Awkward Letter #813: Labor & Leisure, and #506 & #507: It is 2fucking0fucking1fucking3, so why is it so hard to divide up household chores? Don’t forget this fantastic Unfuck Your Habitat letter Ask UfYH: Don’t Give Me This Whole “Men Don’t See the Mess” Bullshit.

 

Read the comments. Read all the comments particular for letter 813 (Labour & Leisure). Count how many women had to divorce their fucking husbands because those worthless manchildren couldn’t clean a fucking house even to save their marriages.

Dominant men, vanilla men, and frankly thoroughly worthless men (seriously, did you read the comments on Labour & Leisure?) get hours and hours of extraordinarily high quality service for the princely sum of not treating a woman quite badly enough to make her leave. If men were expected to clean up after their families and do all the grocery shopping and cooking and lunch packing and budgeting and coupon clipping and washing and folding and putting away laundry and keeping track of whether everyone has enough socks and it looks like little Emily is outgrowing her clothes again, time for another trip to the mall and scheduling home repairs and making sure someone is home to let the service person in and worrying about who wants what for dinner and whether there will be enough leftovers for lunches and keeping track of Aunt Flora’s health and how Grandpa Ed is doing since Grandma Jane died and how long it’s been since the guys came over and whether he needs to pick up some beer and snacks first and whether little Emily’s soccer practice conflicts with little Oliver’s art classes and who’s going to pick up the kids early on the last day of school before the break and who’s going to stay home with the sick kid and who’s going to get a birthday present for your mother you know her birthday is next month and and and… then dominant men would be all fucking over domestic service. Funny how you don’t have to make a big deal of stuff that just magically happens for you without putting a special label on it.

For fuck’s sake guys, when a man cleans the house that’s being a fucking grownup, not “domestic service.” It doesn’t need a special title or rewards or some poor woman standing over you in heels with a riding crop unless you are a lazy sack of shit who can’t be bothered to help out unless your partner does this weird little performance of making it all about your dick.

I want to be as harsh as possible here: if you were able to clean your home just fine when you lived alone and then mysteriously stopped when you moved in with a woman, YOU ARE DEFECTIVE. Fix your shit and stop pretending that it’s your partner’s job to make tedious chores sexy.

If you enjoy fantasizing while you do boring scut work, go to town. Personally I like to put on some high energy music and make up stories in my head to take my mind off how incredibly boring mopping is, but you do you. Just stop fucking pretending that cleaning your home like a fucking grownup is in any way whatsoever unusual or noteworthy.

Things new submissive men should probably know, part 5 of many

You will be disappointed sometimes. I touched on this in my post about losing friends and alienating people, but I think it’s worth going into a little more detail.

One of many, many problems I think is related to only seeing dominant women in porn is that it can be really hard for a guy who’s never had a friendly chat with one in real life to imagine how day to day life works with a dominant woman. If you can’t correct your ideas by comparing them with real life, you can end up assuming all sorts of ridiculous fucking bullshit. And guys, it really is ridiculous to assume that dominant women are fundamentally different from vanilla women. We’re just people.

Day to day life with a dominant girlfriend is very much like having a vanilla girlfriend – Ms Dominant will annoy you sometimes, she will ask for things you don’t want to do, you will sometimes just not fucking feel like doing what you’re told. There is no 24/7 overt latex and spankings scene going on.

Once more with feeling: you will not be playing 24/7. Finding a dominant girlfriend is not your ticket to endless kinky funtimes. She’s just a person, and if she’s a person worth knowing she has stuff going on in her life besides kink. If you’re a person worth knowing, you have stuff going on in your life besides kink too.

That whole “having a life” thing means having a dominant girlfriend is more about finding times in your schedules when you’re both free and doing perfectly “normal” stuff together like seeing movies and going out for dinner than it is about getting your collective kink on. It would be fun if everything was perversion and sex all day every day, but that’s just not how life works. It makes me sad that I even need to mention that, but to be fair, it is hard to find information about what dominant women are actually like that’s not produced by someone who makes a profit by lying to you. Elise Sutton, I’m looking at you. In the absence of accurate information, it’s easy to get all kinds of ridiculous ideas about how once you have a dom your life will be nothing but kink and scenes and sexiness forever and ever.

Which I why I have to burst your bubble about that one. Sometimes scenes won’t work out the way you’d hoped. Sometimes you’ll really really like a woman and she’ll even like you back and she still won’t be into all the same kinks you are. Sometimes she’ll be totally willing to try and into the same thing you are and it will still fall flat for no particular reason. Sometimes she’ll have a bad day. Sometimes you will. Sometimes the pipes burst and you have to work late and the car breaks down and no one feels like doing anything fun.

Again, it’s really not that different from having a vanilla relationship. Remember how when you were young and lonely and worried no-one would ever love you and you were convinced that if you could just find a girlfriend everything in your life would magically be great? Remember how you finally did get together with someone and you still had problems? And how sometimes that magical wonderful woman who was supposed to fix everything was actually kind of a jerk sometimes?

Why would you expect things to be different with a dominant woman? Seriously, why don’t we get to be people?

Shit will happen and you’re going to need to deal with it like a grownup. No amount of kinky fun is going to erase the fact that sometimes you’ll have a horrible day at work.

I don’t want to be all doom and gloom here, I just want people to have realistic expectations. If you go into a d/s relationship expecting that everything will be perfect from now on, you’re going to be really fucking disappointed. On the other hand, if you go into a d/s relationship with the understanding that nobody is perfect and that bad things happen to everyone sometimes, you can have a wonderful relationship that brings both of you joy. Wouldn’t you rather have a chance at happiness than guarantee you’ll be miserable?

Of course introverts can be dominant

A while ago I saw a discussion on Fetlife about whether introversion and domination can go together, which I thought was interesting because it would never have occurred to me to question whether introverts can be both dominant at all and good at it. It’s obvious to me that introverts can be great doms, but apparently it’s not to everyone, so let’s talk about it.

First of all, people are often totally fucking wrong about what introversion actually is. Introversion is not shyness! I’m both shy and introverted myself, they’re different things. Shyness is being afraid to talk to people you don’t know well. Introversion is being worn out by spending too much time around people. Introversion can sometimes look like shyness if the introvert in question decides to spend their limited social energy on people they already know and like instead of gambling it meeting new people they might not like at all, but saving your energy for people who are important to you is not the same thing as being scared of talking with strangers.

Introversion is also not just disliking people. Being picky about who I spend my limited social energy on is not the same as disliking people in general. To be fair, introverts can burn out on people to the point where we temporarily hate everyone if we’re pressured to spend more time with people than is healthy for us, but again, that’s not the same thing as generally disliking people. It’s more like hating a song because the radio plays it fifty times a day. There’s nothing wrong with the song itself, we just can’t fucking stand hearing it over and over and over.

So given that those definitions have nothing to do with either liking being in charge or being good at it, why would anyone even think to question whether introverts can be good doms? My best guess is that it’s another profoundly irritating side effect of the stupid fucking stereotype that “real” doms are loud shouty assholes who browbeat everyone around them into doing what they want to do.

Not only do you not need to be loud and obnoxious to be a good dom, but introverts can be exceptional doms.

One of the most important parts of being a good dom is listening to your submissive and really understanding who they are, what they want, what they need, what they’re afraid of, what’s important to them. If you want to have a particular affect on your submissive, especially if you’re trying to modify their behaviour, you need to understand them. You know who is great at listening and paying attention and thinking about what they’ve learned? Introverts!

Another important part of being a good dom is knowing what you yourself want, what you need, what you’re afraid of, what’s important to you. If you don’t know what you really want, it’s kind of tough to tell other people what you want and to find people who are compatible with you. You know who is great at quietly thinking about stuff and is generally as good at observing themselves as they are at observing other people? Introverts!

On the subject of quietly thinking about stuff, that also lends itself to coming up with interesting things to do with and/or to people 🙂 It’s also good for figuring out why things went wrong and how to fix or avoid it next time.

Also, and this really should be obvious, introverted submissives exist! Some people are (bafflingly) happy with extroverted partners, but other people need partners who understand that a certain amount of peace and quiet is an absolute requirement, not a nice-to-have. If I’m totally uninterested in having a partner who doesn’t understand why I need to hide in my house for a weekend after going to multiple events during the week, doesn’t it make sense that some submissive people would feel the same way?

It is true that an especially introverted dom could be a bad match for a submissive who needs a lot of attention and social interaction, but it’s just as likely that an especially extroverted dom could be a bad match for a submissive who likes being given a task and left alone to actually do it without constant checkins.

The idea that an introverted dom couldn’t give any submissive enough attention is incredibly insulting to submissive people. Being submissive does not mean you’re a pathetic shell of a human being who can’t function without continuous hand-holding from your dom and it’s insulting as fuck to imply that it does. Some submissives would definitely be unhappy with a dom like me who does not want to hear from anyone except my husband every damn day, but others would (I’m assuming) love having a dom who gives them a little space.

Fellow introverts, you can definitely be great doms. Anyone who says you can’t needs to pretend to be an introvert for a minute and try thinking about stuff 🙂

I believe you

Ghomeshi is guilty. There is literally zero chance that all of these unrelated women just happened to decide they should get together and try to ruin Jian Ghomeshi’s life. A misogynist, survivor hating court may have fucked up on every possible level, but that in no way changes the fact that Ghomeshi is guilty and his accusers are telling the truth. Lucy DeCoutere is not a liar. Reva Seth is not a liar. Neither are all of his other victims.

The reason I didn’t title this post “Ghomeshi is Guilty,” even though he fucking obviously is, is that I want to include all survivors.

I believe you. You are telling the truth. You didn’t make it up. You are not overreacting. I believe you.

I also want you to know that fractured, missing, non-linear and/or otherwise confusing memories are a normal and common reaction to assault and in no way prove that you are lying. In fact, I think having a common and normal reaction to assault is another piece of evidence that you were in fact assaulted. Trauma very often fucks up your memory. This is a normal way for the brain to react to trauma. To quote another article about trauma and memory:

Memory loss is a natural survival skill and defense mechanism humans develop to protect themselves from psychological damage. Violence, sexual abuse and other emotionally traumatic events can lead to dissociative amnesia, which helps a person cope by allowing them to temporarily forget details of the event. A person will often suppress memories of a traumatic event until they are ready to handle them, which may never occur.

If you remember some parts of an event but not others, if you remember bits and pieces and don’t know what order they go in, if you remember different pieces at different times, that’s a sign you were traumatized, not a sign that you are lying and frankly it’s incredibly embarrassing that judges don’t know such basic fucking stuff about how the brain handles traumatic experiences.

It’s also normal to “not appear upset enough.” Some assholes assume you’re lying if you’re “too freaked out”, other assholes will assume you weren’t really harmed if you appear calm. Emotional detachment and numbness is another totally normal way the brain tries to protect itself. While it’s common for trauma to fuck up your memory of the traumatic event, that doesn’t mean everyone experiences memory disturbances. If you remember every detail and can recite them all on command all that means is that your reaction to trauma is different from some other people’s reaction to trauma.

It also doesn’t mean shit about whether you were or were not traumatized if you have contact with the person who assaulted you after the assault or if you don’t describe your experience as assault until later. Taking myself as an example, I didn’t call what my douchebag ex-boyfriend did emotional abuse until years later. It took a long time for me to be ready to admit that’s what it was. It’s very often easier to believe that you’re just terrible and deserved it than that someone who said he loved you doesn’t really care about you at all.

Instantly labeling an experience abuse and acting on that knowledge is really fucking hard to do. Nobody wants to accept that someone they care about and thought they could trust doesn’t actually give a shit about their wellbeing. It takes time to come to terms with that, and in that time it’s very common to pretend as hard as you can that everything is okay. Even if you do a really good job of pretending, that does not mean you are actually okay or that what was done to you doesn’t count or that you weren’t harmed. People react to trauma in all kinds of counter-intuitive ways.

If you’ve been hurt, you deserve an expert’s help. RAINN has a long list of resources for sexual assault survivors, including a link to HotPeachPages which has a massive list of resources for people outside the US. You can also check out the PTSD Association of Canada, the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs PTSD site (just remember that your trauma and symptoms still count even if you weren’t literally in a war) and their online PTSD coach. There are also a shitton of apps on the Google Play Store that could help and presumably on the iOS App Store too but iTunes is a real dick about links so you’ll have to search for PTSD on your own. I haven’t tried those apps and freely admit I’m not any sort of expert, but I think they could be a useful first step if you’re not ready to talk to a human yet or if you’re one of the many who can’t get therapy for whatever reason. And don’t forget at least some therapists will work with you over the phone or over skype if you can’t physically get to them.

No one resource is going to be right for everyone whether it’s a website, app, actual human therapist, medication, or anything else. If you find one that’s not right for you, you are not the problem. Just keep googling until you find something that works for you.

And if you’re not ready for therapy yet, that’s okay too. This post and all those resources will be here when you are.

Anything I want? I fucking told you what I want

Or, let’s yell about supposedly submissive people who refuse to follow simple instructions.

Yep, it’s time for another round of venting about people who answer the question “What do you like?” with “whatever you want.” Like I said before, that’s a blatant fucking lie 99.99999% of the time. You don’t want to do anything I want, you just can’t understand that I’m a fucking person with my own wants and needs that have nothing to do with what makes you feel funny in your pants.

But aside from the yelling about how everyone, even the most committed slave, has limits, it’s simply disobedient and disrespectful to refuse to give a real answer to a simple question. Guys, do you want to give your dom control or not?

If you do, then where the fuck do you get off refusing to obey simple fucking orders? Do you think I asked what you wanted just to hear my own voice? I asked you for a reason and I expect a real answer, not this “anything you want” bullshit.

To be clear, “I don’t know” is a real answer. So is “I like the idea of spanking but I haven’t tried it yet and don’t know for sure that I like it in real life.” So is “What’s most important to me is knowing my top is having a good time. I’ve done a and b before and liked it, I’m freaked out by x and y but willing to at least talk about anything else.” It’s about honestly, not about being able to list your favourite kinks and your hard limits off the top of your head in excruciating detail. Pretending you don’t have preferences is a lie, and not a good one. If you’re going to lie to your dom, at least do a good job of it.

And no, it’s not respectful to be that worried about accidentally topping from the bottom. We’re just mutually deciding what’s on the menu, you’re not placing an order. If you don’t trust me to refuse to do stuff I’m not interested in, then why the fuck are we even trying to negotiate a scene? If you seriously think that suggesting a type of play will force me to do it even if I don’t enjoy it, you can fuck right off. Even with the least experienced dom, refusing to follow simple orders is a terrible way to start a d/s relationship. If you want to do what she tells you, do what she fucking tells you.

If you’re trying to negotiate a scene with an inexperienced dom, she may feel a lot more comfortable starting with stuff she knows you like. That is a totally normal place to start and in no way means that she will never expand her own boundaries past what she knows you like. Or she may be experienced and clever enough to know that things she wasn’t super into before can suddenly become hot if she tries them with someone she really likes and clicks with. Being the dom does not mean she’s never allowed to try things that she doesn’t know if she likes yet. Or maybe she just doesn’t fucking like feeling like she’s stumbling around in a dark room with some asshole who refuses to turn on the lights.

When I start playing with a new person, I really need to learn how they react when they like what I’m doing and how they react when they don’t. I do that by both checking in frequently at first and doing things that I know they like and that I know they don’t like. I can’t read minds, I have to learn to read my bottom’s body. As I learn to read them better, I can scale back the checkins and we can play harder without having to pause and check in.

If you want me to have control then give me control and do what I fucking tell you. If you won’t do that, then don’t pretend you actually want me to run the scene.

Is it cheating if…?

I know I’ve talked about this already, but why not keep beating a dead horse? And honestly, some people need to be beaten over the head a bit for any sense to get in. This time, instead of looking for a “discreet” (read, cheating piece of shit) relationship, today’s bad example is looking for a strictly online relationship. Sadly that discussion got deleted between drafting this post and actually publishing it, but if you’ve been on the internet for more than ten minutes you’ve probably seen some sad bastard looking for an online dom to cheat with, so I don’t think reading the original discussion is necessary for this post to make sense.

If you feel like you have to hide things from your partner, something is very wrong. If you are hiding a relationship (even just an online one) from your partner, something is very wrong. Now, to be fair, sometimes the very wrong part is on your partner’s end. It’s normal to have close friendships with people who aren’t your partner. It’s normal to talk with close friends when something happens in a romantic relationship that bothers you. It’s normal to need a little space sometimes. It’s normal to not have to tell your partner every single thought that floats through your mind. If your partner makes you feel like you can’t even talk with a friend without somehow betraying them, you’re not the asshole here.

However, if your partner isn’t systematically isolating you from all of your support systems, hiding things from them is a sign that you are doing something wrong. I sincerely don’t fucking care if you never intend to meet your online dom in person, if you’re hiding that from your poor innocent vanilla girlfriend then you are cheating. Cheating is not about actually getting your dick wet or even about getting your kink on in person. Breaking an agreement with your partner is what makes an action cheating. As a bit of an aside, this is why the idea that you can’t cheat on a poly person is total bullshit. You damned will still have agreements with your partners when you have more than one, even if that agreement is as low key as “let me know if you’ve had sex with someone else before we have sex again and share as many juicy details as the other participant(s) is comfortable with.”

Because poly relationships tend to involve so much more negotiation than monogamous relationships I assume it’s easier to know for certain if the thing you want to do is technically cheating. However, that in no way means you’re not a complete asshole if you try to use “but wait, you never said having an intense emotional relationship with someone else was cheating!” as an excuse. You fucking knew it was cheating or you never would have hidden it from your partner. If a really great new person started at work and you got along with them really well, you’d tell your partner all about it. If you went to a meetup and you met someone really cool and had a great conversation, you’d share that with your partner. If you randomly met up with an old friend and talked all afternoon, the first thing you’d say when you came home would be “Guess who I ran into today!”

When you’re doing something totally above board, you would never even think to hide it from your partner. It’s not exactly rocket science to make the connection between hiding things from your partner and doing something shady. It doesn’t matter if you never meet your online dom, it doesn’t matter if you never even learn their real name, if you do something that intimate with someone who isn’t your partner and without your partner’s enthusiastic consent then you’re cheating.

And while I’m at it, guys, can you please stop acting like it’s a surprise that dominant women usually don’t like being treated like a dirty little secret? If you can’t tell your partner that you promised your dom you’d be online at a certain time, then I get stood up if she spontaneously asks you to go to the movies with her or something. Why would I want to involve myself with some douchebag who treats me like dirt when I could be alone and not treated like dirt?

It’s also pretty hard for me to have any kind of power exchange with someone if I can’t trust them. Guys, if you’re cheating on your partner, you are definitely not trustworthy. I am simply not deluded enough to think that somebody who is already cheating on his partner won’t also cheat on me or lie to me or just jerk me around. Totally separate from the ethics of getting involved with a cheater, that’s a hassle I’m just not going to sign myself up for.

Once again, if you hide it from your partner, it’s cheating. Don’t kid yourself that it’s not cheating just because it’s only online.

How do you tell if it’s abuse or d/s?

A little while ago someone asked a really interesting question on Fetlife. If you enjoy being pushed beyond your comfort zone, how do you tell the difference between abuse and d/s?

I’m honestly not sure but I’ll ramble for a bit and invite readers to add their advice in the comments.

In vanilla relationships it’s simpler to tell if it’s abuse. The usual “is it abuse?” advice focuses on whether your partner makes you feel safe and loved or like dirt, but things get a lot more complicated if you’re into hardcore humiliation scenes or really heavy masochism.

Particularly if you’re personally conflicted about what kind of scenes and/or relationship you have that can make it really hard to pick apart feeling weird about it because “I’m a freak for liking this” or “I like parts of this but not all of it and I don’t feel like I can say no” from “I’ve been waiting years for a relationship like this! This is exactly what I wanted for so long! I like this, right? It’s good, isn’t it? Oh god what if this is as good as it gets?” are really easy to confuse with each other.

Here’s where I punt the question: if you feel bad for liking what you like, I strongly recommend finding a kink-aware professional and talking things out. What I mean by this is that your problems matter and you deserve a real professional’s help sorting them out. Just like I would tell you to get a real professional to fix your plumbing and not your friend’s-cousin’s-dogsitter, I would tell you to get a real professional with training any everything to help you sort out your feelings about your kink instead of listening to some asshole on the internet. You deserve better than someone with no training, no knowledge about your particular situation, and quite frankly no idea what they’re doing.

That said, I realise there are some serious taboos against actually seeing a professional (god knows I freaked the fuck out for the entire walk to see my therapist for the first time) and even if you can get over that you’ve still got the additional hurdle of paying said professional and finding time to see them and in general shit’s not easy. Given all of those issues I’m going to try to help, but if my advice doesn’t work for you, you need to blame me and not you.

Caveats out of the way, I think it’s a good idea in general to ask yourself how you feel after a scene. Do you feel broken, triumphant, looking forward to the next time, like you failed and you’re a bad sub? Don’t forget, sub drop is a thing. Give yourself a few days to get over your drop before you make a firm decision about how you feel about what you did. It is totally okay to feel weird about stuff when you’re in the middle of drop. The question is how your top/dom supports you through that time and how you feel once you’re back on an even keel.

I’m personally pretty cautious, but there is no shortage of people who enjoy pushing boundaries. That is a completely valid way to run your life, you just need to keep in mind that the things you like freak some people out and for that reason you might not always get useful advice out of them. Using myself as an example, I’m pretty squeamish about blood and serious bruising. If the results of your play freaks me out, that means absolutely nothing about whether it was good and healthy for you.

Basically, you need to have a very strong sense of self if you’re going to play hard. Not everyone is going to understand the things that work for you, but that doesn’t make you wrong. If you possibly can, find people who like the stuff you do. It can only help to talk with people who play as hard as you do.

Another thing that’s a good idea to ask yourself in general is how do you usually feel in the relationship? Do you feel valued, respected, and safe outside of scenes where you deliberately want to feel humiliated and degraded and vulnerable? It’s totally okay to want to go dark and deep in a scene, but even if that play partner relationship is entirely about going deep, you need to have people in your life who remind you that your are worth something. I’d question even getting involved with someone as a play partner who you aren’t also friends with, but I do understand that some people like to compartmentalize.

It’s also important to think about how your dom would react if something went wrong, if you don’t already know. A person worth submitting to you will make sure you’re okay or at least with people who will help get you there. Let’s be honest, things are going to wrong sooner or later. If you’re going to do anything risky, you need to do it with someone who will take responsibility for getting you back to okay. If they aren’t willing to do that, what else could they decide they can’t be bothered to do?

Liking intense things doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, it just means you need to be extra careful about who you do those things with.

Things new submissive men should probably know, part #

Why yes, I have totally given up on numbering these 🙂

I’ve seen a lot of guys worry about being the perfect submissive or whether they’re doing submission right. Considering how many manchildren there are out there who never give a second thought to whether they’re actually good at submission it’s kind of adorable, but I still want those guys to relax. If you’re worried about whether you’re doing submission right, I have one simple message for you:

THERE IS NO UNIVERSAL PERFECT SUB CHILL THE FUCK OUT.

There is literally no way whatsoever for you to be perfect for everyone so just relax. What matters is being the best “you” you can be, not trying to twist yourself into knots to be perfect for a huge group of people who all want different things.

Using myself as an example, my ideal sub would be terrible for someone else. I’ve said this a lot and i’m getting a little worried i’m boring all of you, but still: I love anticipatory service and am very low protocol. Other women hate anticipatory service and love giving orders and having rituals and slave positions and stuff. Their perfect sub would irritate the shit out of me. Take some fucking initiative! I’ve got shit to do besides order you around!

Someone who’s really into obedience on the other hand, would be thinking: “Stop it! if I wanted you to do something for me I’d fucking tell you, stop trying to push tea/snacks/a book/whatever on me!” if they tried to have a relationship with the perfect sub for me.

Do you see how there is no “perfect submissive” for everyone? There’s only a really great submissive for that one special woman. For fuck’s sake guys, the idea that there could possibly be “a perfect submissive” depends on women being a hive mind. Do I have to get into how much I fucking hate it when men act like all women are interchangeable?

Imagine if dominant women assumed all submissive guys wanted exactly the same thing just because they’re male and submissive. You’d hate it! Not all guys like pain! Not all guys like humiliation! Not all guys like bondage! Not all guys like needles! Not all guys like getting orders! Not all guys like exhaustively learning all of their doms preferences so she never has to give you an order! If you’re a person, for fucks sake do me the courtesy of assuming I’m a person too.

To be fair, there are douchebags of all genders who will tell you you’re not submissive because you don’t share their tastes. While there is certainly something to be said for figuring out which side of the sometimes very fine line between submissive and bottom you’re actually on, those people are usually assholes you shouldn’t listen to. There are about a zillion ways to submit and all of them are just right for the right dom. If you actually care about what your dom wants and enjoy giving her control, even over limited parts of your life, congrats, you’re a real sub.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: guys, you’re probably fine the way you are.