-1) The more serious we are, the more true our kink is. Look at us scowl and be amazed.
-2) You think you’re true? I have 24 floggers and five doctorates in fucking so I know more about BDSM than you even though I’ve never had kinky sex before and only really want a blowjob.
-3) All women should be subs because I’m straight and like to watch myself growling in the mirror.
-4) We aren’t a cult, but we do require our harem members to quit their jobs and live in this poly house, which doesn’t have a TV set or a phone.
-5) We talk about glitter a lot and wear kitty Snapchat filters on our avatars.
-6) Some of my best subs are black, so I’m not a racist. Okay, so they’re all black, but that’s not a sign that I fetishise race. Fuck you. I also like The Asians, although I’m not sure which country they actually live in. Dubai?
-7) I’m more than a label, so don’t ask me which kink role I prefer. It’s true that I’m a dominant, but using the actual word doesn’t make me feel superior, so let me describe my domliness to you in these seven lines of complicated prose instead.
-9) I’m seriously experienced! I have these five toys <linky link>. I’ve spanked my pillow. I also have five different types of condoms. Boom!
-10) I call myself queer. What does “queer” even mean? Yeah, I don’t know either, but I’m sick of being called a cis het man, so now I’m queer.
You take him back, not because you love him, but because you need to prove to yourself that you are worthy of love. Maybe this time you can show him that you’re open-minded enough to support his infidelity and ignore his rage attacks. Then you can start to believe you’re acceptable.
When last did a man make you feel so damned fragile? About 50 points to never, so you accept the tulips, believe the card, and have makeup sex that’s almost furious enough to make you forget his last silent treatment. You’re so damn glad you have him, truly, even if your family begs you to just kick this fucking asshole all the way back into last year. You know better, of course: the only way to fix the damage he caused is to get him to love it away. And he will. You swear it.
And this time, you’ll make up for every one of his flaws by becoming 100% A-grade perfect.
“If he does it again, I’ll attack his Jaguar with a baseball bat,” your friends say, so you know if he attacks you with a baseball bat again, they’ll take care of you, which is irrelevant, of course, because this time you’re not going to fall apart when he gets violent at you. You’re a grown woman. You shouldn’t need him to treat you right.
To me, D/s is not you, your dominance, your skills or your lust. Nor is it me, my submission, or my desires. It’s the still point in the centre of the chaos: connection. The only constant in power exchange is intimacy. It’s what makes it possible for me to share with you what I would not share with the world. I hope to inspire the same from a dominant.
I can try to define BDSM all day long and still deliver no meaning or truth because my first D/s relationship had nothing in common with the ones that followed, and those I will have in future will be equally unique.
I’m not masochistic with all men. It takes a rare set of traits to make me comfortable with degradation, and I can generate a hundred types of trust for every top. The man who gets them all from me might draw out every kink I have, but even then, my submission will never be a carbon copy of what has come before.
Some say I’m a high maintenance sub because I won’t march into my next relationship with a list of kinks and limits. We will instead cut away at my history, dig out the foundation, and destroy my expectations until we’re left with nothing. The place where you and I meet will be ground zero. Then we will begin building, using connection as our masonry. I need a dominant who wants what I want: an organic dynamic built entirely out of the way we relate to one another.
Power exchange hides in the tiniest affections. It hides in love.
How can I bring my last relationship into such secret places?
An ethical dominant who can take what he wants, to hell with his feminist upbringing, is worth every ounce of my lust. He’s a rare breed—a unicorn, and no wonder. He must be simultaneously selfish and selfless, compassionate and dispassionate, measured and feral. He must achieve an impossible balance, and how could I not respect that? You couldn’t find a more counterintuitive knot of kinks if you tried, which is why I don’t believe 80% of the “dominant” labels on Fetlife profiles. Wanting to dominate does not equal achieving the fine and impossible balance required from the role.
A D-type who can make me feel safe and scared all at once achieves some kind of miracle, and that’s one of the reasons he manages to turn this stubborn, demanding woman into a sub who only wants to please. He appeals to some ancient part of me that I will never understand. The more a sadist wants, the more valuable he is to me. He’s my version of plenty, and I do like abundance with my kink. Give me a thousand desires, and I will give you the earth.
I’ve met a few men like that, and they’re some of the most evolved people I know. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Dominants must be intimately acquainted with their most savage selves without a stitch of guilt. They must manage that violence compassionately and find balance in utter chaos.
I can pick a man like that out of a crowd like a scent dog. He has sex appeal thick enough to choke on.
This world doesn’t have much acceptance for such men. They’ve probably been rejected on the basis of their kinks many times and had their trust shattered even more. That they’ve been able to accept and express their dominance in that kind of environment is an achievement in itself. It says much for their maturity.
And people ask me why I like my men properly aged, like a fine oaked wine.
I used to be an equal opportunity bottom. I was new to BDSM, so how could I expect experience and knowledge from my top? That would just be a sign of double standards, surely? So I landed myself a noob top whose aim was so bad it couldn’t even make a dart board, let alone my safe zones. He treated my body with as much care as a dog with a steak. He also practised as much toy hygiene as a two-year-old and made just as many mistakes. He was as open to criticism as a MacDonald’s drive-through employee. My body wasn’t as breakable as I thought it was, he’d say. Quit being such a safety Nazi.
He never went with me to the doctor when I had to be treated when my body didturn out to be as breakable as I thought it was. (Note to new subs with noob tops: negotiate medical care and bills into your aftercare. Please and thank you. BDSM injuries are often expensive.)
My meagre knowledge didn’t protect me because I got my education from Fetlife—hardly enough to keep me safe from his many and varying errors. I was woefully unprepared to play with anyone, let alone in private without more experienced support. I quashed my desire for better safety and tried to be accepting. Submission requires some evolved expectations, and mine were still stuck in the Palaeolithic era.
My 20-something self had it all: the body to brag about, the money to dress it up with, and the happiness to pull it off just so. Even then, I wasn’t satisfied with my body. My C-cup breasts and 26-inch waist were too different from the wisps I saw in Vogue for my liking. My eyes were not blue enough. My bra size wasn’t small enough. My ability to carry off a pair of painted-on jeans went completely unnoticed because my hair didn’t have enough highlights and dammit, why did I go to that hair stylist instead of this one? I was perpetually aware of the tiny imperfections nobody noticed, and by the time I escaped the decade, I was nurturing an eating disorder that would eventually land me in hospital repeatedly.
Like much of Gen X, I was self-involved and riddled with angst. Like most women, I was more aware of my flaws than my assets. Like all anorexics, I wanted to disappear—to become a brain in a jar because my body was just one more symptom of my self-hatred.