Dommes frequently complain (justly so) about the number of poorly-written solicitous messages they get from submissive men.  This can be especially irritating when she clearly states on her profile that she is in a relationship and not looking.  But often those who are single and looking complain about the quality of men who write to them.  If you’re approached by 100 men every week and can’t find a single suitable sub, do you think maybe there’s a problem with your technique?

Many dommes take a passive role in finding someone; they expect subs to approach them, then they use their own criteria to filter out those who aren’t a good match.  Yet the subs they’re really interested in don’t approach them.  Our hypothetical domme sees the elusive quality sub from afar, hoping that he’ll notice her.  And he doesn’t.  So it’s back to complaining.

If you sit back and don’t make a move, the object of your desire will slip away.  If you see someone you want to get to know better, yet you don’t make any effort to make that happen, it’s your own fault.  (This is true for most goals in life, but especially so for relationships.)  If your competition is taking a more active, aggressive approach and you’re not, you’re likely to lose out.

Planning vs. Doing

I recently went to a workshop put on by a friend from the local community.  It was on designing a scene.  She’s known for putting on well thought-out and sometimes elaborate scenes.  While I’m normally not very involved in the planning or setup of a scene, she’s a fun presenter and I figured it’d give me some food for thought.  And it did.

One of the big points she brought up was that most of the work is in the planning stage, at least for scenes that aren’t spur-of-the-moment. Orchestrating something a little larger, or something that involves multiple people, or a scene requiring special equipment, can take a fair amount of planning.  Most of the work is in the logistics.  How do you get the equipment in this building and set up?  How do you get all these people in the same location at the same time?  How do you keep the sub from knowing about your dastardly plans until the last minute?  Once the planning is out of the way, then you can relax a little, put things in motion, and enjoy them.

This was especially relevant to me since T has been talking about doing a few different scenes involving multiple people (and all those scene ideas give me a major sinking feeling in my stomach.  Eep.)  A couple of those scenes we were discussing involve a rather large number of people.  The “doing” stage for these scenes wouldn’t involve much work, but the planning part might take some effort.  These aren’t the kinds of scenes that can happen spontaneously, so good planning is necessary.  (Though one of the scene ideas only involved one or two other people, so that one could be more spontaneous.)

The more elaborate the scene, the more prep work that goes into it.  There seems to be a lot more prep work with equipment than with large numbers of people though.  Equipment requires transport and assembly, as well as bulky people to carry it.  With scenes involving multiple people, often all that’s involved is telling them, “show up at this time at this place.”  Other scenes may involve obtaining the blood of a Bolivian mountain yak, a tuba, and a bearded yodeling man in lederhosen.  But the common element is that setup is usually the difficult aspect, and once that’s over, you can breathe easy and enjoy implementing the pervocity that was planned.  It’s almost like setting an ambush.

BDSM Checklists – Not the Usual Debate

Most BDSMers have used (or at least know about) those bdsm checklists.  Usually, people debate whether they’re a good or bad thing, but I’m not getting deep into that discussion here.  I see the checklists as a useful jumping-off point for conversation, though they don’t replace lots of time talking with each other.  It works well as a quick reference to get you in the ballpark.

What I don’t understand is why so many people see them as a list of things to do once, just to check them off.  I’ve run into quite a few people who approach it this way, and I don’t comprehend that approach at all.

I understand wanting to try new things.  Exploring is interesting and can be really sexy.  You learn even from the things you don’t like.  If you don’t like it, don’t do it again.  But what if you do like it?  Sometimes people do an activity on the list just to put a check mark next to it, then never think of it again.  If you like it, why not add it to your repertoire?  Do it regularly if it does something for you or your partner.

The purpose of these lists isn’t to be simply a list of accomplishments in which you’re trying for quantity.  Trying to get more things checked off than the next person means precisely squat.  You don’t get a medal for having tried more things than everyone else.  These lists are intended to make you think about things you have and haven’t tried, and maybe provide inspiration for expanding your horizons.  It’s not about “I have more check marks than you, nyah nyah!”; rather, it’s about “hmm, this looks kind of hot, want to try it?”  The list can provide one more step towards fulfillment.

For example, let’s say you’ve never tried public foot-kissing before.  So you talk about it, and you try it.  And you both find it incredibly hot (even if one of you is thinking “oh, fuck, please noooooo…”).  Do you mark it off your list and never do it again?  Or do you start to do it more frequently?  If that particular activity works for you, then do it.  It really is that simple.  Both people might not be getting the same exact thing out of the experience, but that’s okay.  If it works for you as a couple, do it.  Often.

Dominance *and* Submission, Dominance *or* Submission

The internet makes people dumb.

And no, the fact that I’m posting that on the internet isn’t lost on me.

Comparing the popular definitions of what constitutes a d/s relationship, there’s a world of difference between what people think online and what people think in the local bdsm community.  Online, there are plenty of proponents of proactive submission without dominance.  The sub does everything in his power to make the domme’s life easier or more comfortable.  She just sits back and communicates her desires.  Communicating without ever taking control is not dominance.  This is what I would call an “s” relationship.  Not d/s, but just “s”, because there is no “d” going on. “Dominate” is not a passive word.

The other version of d/s pitched online consists of the domme constantly forcing the sub do do what she wants.  The sub always resists and must then be broken and made to comply.  This is a “d” relationship.  The “s” simply isn’t there since the sub continually fights back and goes against what the domme wants. Resistance might work well occasionally in a scene, but when it’s a constant battle, that relationship is doomed.

Every successful d/s couple I know uses a blend of the two- both dominance and submission.  In a d/s relationship.  What a novel concept.  Whoever is dominant dominates, and whoever is submissive submits.  Seems pretty straightforward, right?

Then why do so many people get attacked online for not being “real” if they prefer a balance of dominance and submission?  If a sub wants a dominant partner who dominates, he’s not a real sub.  And if a domme doesn’t constantly wrestle control from the sub by force, she’s not a real domme.  I wish there were a button to de-dumbify the internet.