Saturday, December 22, 2007

How to Find and Contact a Dominant Series - Introduction

"How does one find a Mistress?
Probably by looking..."
MissyRane CollarME

"you have to understand that this is going to be
a looooooong process. You’re trying to find someone
to fit a very narrow set of specifications,
and you can’t just order her up from Nordstrom"
Mistress Matisse, 24 August 2007
From The Inbox series

"from the sheer frustration of finding the
right submissive male that actually will let
me be Dominant in my own fashion and
not his script I would say that it’s
equally hard to find a real submissive male"

"Oh my God!" maymay exclaimed a while back, in response to a post by Ms Reciprocity:
"ironically, the very reason you just described (about finding it difficult to meet submissive men ...) is the very same reason I would cite as finding it difficult to meet dominant women..."
Whether sub, switch or dominant, we all face problems in our search for a BDSM partner. I have single kinky friends searching for life partners, who are beyond frustration with searching. But on the other hand I have other friends who met partners online reasonably quickly (including a dominant friend who married her partner - they met on CollarMe - a few months back).

It's the ultimate irony that while male subs despair when told of male sub / female dominant rations of up to 20:1 - or worse - female subs often feel "incredible outnumbered": "when i put myself back on the market", observed sweet_bits on MyDungeonSpace, "the volume of HNG mail became over-whelming". Yet at the same time male subs are bemoaning their single fate in chat rooms, I am surrounded by female dominant friends who simply cannot find a good sub.

Something is obviously going very wrong, somewhere.

Ah, the joys of communicating ... or NOT communicating, lol. Which is what this series of posts is all about.

Sure, we've all had experiences with rude dominants and rude subs of all genders. But you know, although I hate to admit it, a lot of the problems we face in our search for a partner come back to the fact we appear to be really lousy at communicating with each other. "i am NOT desperate", an exasperated sweet_bits informed the male dominants who contact her at MyDungeonSpace:
" i am not going to fuck you or submit to you simply because you deigned to contact me .... there is more to my submission than sucking your cock and being your whipping post ... do not inundate me with 1-2 line emails ... read my profile. please. we take the time to write them for a reason"
Female dominants often explode with similar frustration - here's a small extract of recent post by Lady Jadis:
"Well ... you can tell which individuals have actually read My personal information, as it is posted - as compared to those moronic idiots who haven't. Then there are those who just adding Me to satisfy their own urges - under the pretense of some sort of self satisfaction … while having no concept of what BDSM truly is - or can - mean. They're just contacting me for their own personal gratification ... like some lost little cyber puppy looking for his bone...

"Here's a news flash boys: a submissive is a mentality, a personality - not a God given right to hound every Mistress that comes across the screen! ... I am -NOT- here to entertain you ... I will not: train you, scene with you, command you or - god forbid … get you off!"
While I've been writing this contacting dominants series, several Dommes I respect and admire - including Mistress Matisse, Mistress Milliscent, Lady Myles and Elizabeth - have been posting about related issues. Mistress Matisse began a wonderful series on her blog called "From The Inbox" which often makes me laugh out loud even as I groan in sympathy (having received countless similar unsolicited messages myself). Her first post in the series (in July 2007) begins:
"Hmmnn, I'm feeling vicious today. I want to be mean to someone. Right NOW. That's easy. Just open the inbox, and presto!...

"Why [the writer] sent [the appallingly written attached letter to] me, I have no idea. The very smallest amount of research would indicate that I'm going to fillet him here on the public blog, but perhaps he'll enjoy the attention"
"It always amazes me the sorts of things some men think are attractive to a dominant woman", notes Lady Myles, in a post responding to a message in her own inbox:
"There are submissive males that do really get it, that by courting a dominant much like they'd court a vanilla woman (albeit with the addition of kink) is an effective way to get some of their dreams and fantasies fulfilled.

"Then there are others, the ones that absolutely don't get the concept that a dominant is just a human that happens to enjoy activities that are outside the realm of "normal" interaction..."
And then there are the women ... "a lot is made out of how men don't read personal ads very closely, but my experience says that women are just as bad", my MyDungeonSpace friend MinofSin emails me. And of course then there are the over the top communications sent out by - usually inexperienced - female dominants, don't get me started, quoting examples of those, lol. Maymay even recently posted an example of a message he received from a gay Dom, which he found:
"interesting because it's an example of a gay man doing it. I don't think that's something a lot of people realize happens, or if they do realize it happens, don't realize just how similarly pathetic and stupid it is as all the straight women (and straight men!) who do similar things.

"It's at least illuminating to see the cold, hard copy-and-pasted evidence that this shit goes on regardless of sexual orientation"
So WHY do we get the contacting / communicating bit so wrong?

I've seen so many posts like the one below:
"Searching for that special Mistress has been long road. I have met a few I would love the chance to serve. I think they know who they are. Wish someone would take the time to give me a chance and get to know me as a person before just saying I dont think were right for each other. I know given the chance I can make a Mistress very happy"
I'm sure the sub who posted this on My Dungeon Space is a really nice guy. And his post is sincere. But on the other hand he has been a member of MDS for three months and has not filled in his profile or interacted on the site in any way: he has no friends, his guest book is empty, he has joined no groups and has not been active on either the forum or chat rooms. Worse, he appears unaware that MDS is not specifically a dating site.

And this is a common online example. We don't put the work in, we don't read or fill out profiles, or interact on sites, but when we spot someone we like we expect an instant fix. We want that dominant to take us on NOW, despite the fact they don't know us. And when they say no, we are confused and indignant. "Wish someone would take the time to give me a chance and get to know me as a person before just saying I don't think were right for each other", writes the sub above. But did he take the time to get to know the dominant he contacted, BEFORE he contacted HER?

Sometimes our responses to such rejections are extremely rude. Why?? "I think what we all tend to forget is that we are talking about relationships, real people, real feelings. real risks", writes sweet_bits. Absolutely. But I also agree with Carrie Ann that there is a lot of confusion not only about HOW to contact someone, but WHO should contact WHO:
"I think male submissives have it much harder than females. The whole process is different. Male Dominants usually pursue the female submissive. It seems to be the opposite in the Female Dominant/male submissive arena. I don't know if I think that's a good thing. In keeping with the power structure I think it works better when the Dominant is the pursuer. And yet, traditionally, men chase women. So I think it's confusing for male subs AND for a lot of Dommes"
So in this BDSM For Beginners series of posts we are going to demystify the problem of contacting dominants.

But I need to make one thing clear right now. I shouldn't even be writing about this topic, because it's solutions are so simple - what CaptainTripps (prefacing a comment on subs not reading dominants' profiles to a post by Richard Evans Lee) once called:
"very far in “no duh” territory ... SO obvious that it isn’t even worth saying. Hell, those guys probably aren’t even reading this site anyway".
I feel rather the same with this series. To be quite honest all the information you need is in this introduction. But I made a promise to several of you, and others have reminded me that my BDSM For Beginners series is just that: for beginners.

So I have gone right back to basics with this one. If you are a regular reader here, but not looking for a dominant partner - or feel confident in your current search for that partner - I suggest you skip these posts. Because they are purely instructive; worse: they require homework, lol.

You might find some of the tasks I'm going to set you tedious, you might find some sections a tad obscure, and you are going to be VERY bored of my constantly telling you to be patience. But. If you are new to BDSM, and facing this problem, then by the end of the series - if you do the homework and put in the effort - you will understand not only specifically what you want in a kinky relationship, but what you want in a dominant. Which means you will know the right dominants to approach, and how to approach them, and your attempts at contacting them will be more successful.

The thing to always keep in mind, on this journey we are about to undertake together - whatever your gender or kinky orientation - is that the journey itself is an important part of your personal growth. "Sometimes I feel like searching for the perfect sub can be a process of searching for yourself and learning and growing as a dominant", writes Psychosis, and MinofSin agrees:
"Seriously, I think when searching for someone, you are searching for that compliment to yourself. You are looking for someone who can add to what you already have or are. So yes, in a way, I can see it being a search for ones self.

"Every sub or slave I have had has taught me valuable lessons, both about myself, about the details of dominance and submission, and about the lifestyle in general. I think if we ever stop learning and growing, we do everyone, especially ourselves a disservice"

I'm adding a note in here, regarding how this series has been received. You can read a post featuring comments and reviews here. Just to summarize, responses - from both dominants and submissives - have been overwhelmingly positive ... so apologies to those of you who pressed to me to write this series; yes you were right, there WAS a need for it lol.

I won't repeat all the feedback you will find in the link above, but here are a couple to give you an idea, as I think its important for people searching for partners to read. From a dominant perspective, Mistress Evita writes:
"I want to direct your attention to this wonderful and informative post by Mistress160. Mistress160 is compiling a series called; How to contact a dominant, and I urge any of you who plan to, or are currently in a position of contacting a dominant, to read it. In fact, it is a very interesting read for anybody and it is relevant to anyone, not just males.

"Mistress160 has put in an astounding amount of effort into compiling all the information. She has liaised with many experienced Mistresses who have shared their thoughts and wisdom as they address all the classic mistakes (mostly) males make in their eagerness in contacting a Woman to serve, and the etiquette that should be observed"

From a submissive viewpoint, quietlisten provides the following thoughtful review:
"F$#%ing wow ... I'm floored by the effort that is so obvious throughout the series, from the overall structure (unusual in a blog) to the careful enumeration of options in various situations. It just exudes thought and care.

"One of the greatest strengths of the work is the way you've paired "here's what you should/shouldn't do" with "here are the consequences and what it looks like through the other person's eyes." That's far more persuasive than a rule book approach. There are people on the other end of communications and they respond best by being treated like (drum roll...) people!

"The quotes from Dommes and other subs made me feel like this is a dance we are all in together, not a competition. A few months looking can turn anyone into a jaded cynic, and it's great therapy to understand the viewpoint from the other side of the search. In fact, the "needle in a haystack" comment motivated me to not only want to be the needle, but to be the FOUND needle. The last part of the series has a satisfyingly positive ring to it.

"Speaking very personally, I've always felt that I was the odd man out in any BDSM situation or discussion because I didn't have any real interest in a sneering bitch who would whip me. This series is so well grounded in real people without the "here's how you're doing it wrong" flavor that those of us on the margins of the lifestyle could be convinced to look more carefully and with a broader mind.

"Again, speaking just for myself, I'm probably going to change my tactics in my search. I kind of stopped thinking of it as a search about a year ago, and I feel more satisfied now. Your series helped me understand why that might be. I'll let you know if and when I find the Domme of my dreams, and you can take full credit ... if she lets you!

"I can't thank you enough for this series. I know from the sub male's perspective how valuable this advice is. I appreciate all the work you put into it. If I'm ever in Oz, I promise a great big giant hug"

This series is written primarily with a male sub / female dominant slant, with the help of friends like MinofSin and many others to fill in other gaps. Like all posts in my BDSM For Beginners series, these posts will be constantly updated to include new information, so if you would like to share your own experiences and thoughts on this subject, please drop me a line.

(for those of you having a bit of a smirk that I'm taking five posts to cover "contacting dominants", you'll be interested to know a Chicago based group of Dommes recently held a series of seminars on "Find[ing] the Domme of your dreams" and broke up each week's seminar in a similar manner!)

Here are some of the issues we are going to look at:

In part 1 ("about you"):
  • what you want (from BDSM)
  • getting beyond dominant stereotypes and meaningless validation
  • online safety
  • what dominants want
  • what you want (from a dominant)
In part 2 ("self presentation"):
  • where to find dominants
  • how to get them to notice you
  • online names / avatars
  • personal ads / online profiles
  • the blogosphere
  • adult social network sites
  • virtual world social networking sites
In part 3 ("initiating contact"):
  • who should contact who
  • initiating real time contact with a dominant
  • initiating online contact with a dominant
  • the pros and cons of sending dominants photos
  • writing submission requests to dominants - practicalities
In part 4 ("writing to dominants"):
  • examples of what NOT to write - and why
  • examples of what to write - and why it worked
  • posts by dominants about the messages they receive
  • an exercise for those wanting to try drafting a message
In part 5 ("waiting, rejection + success"):
  • how to cope with the waiting (to hear back)
  • reasons for rejection
  • when to have a break from searching
  • seeking a professional dominant
  • how to reply when dominants write back
  • how to respond when a dominant contacts YOU
  • maintaining a D/s relationship
  • online resources
Ready? Then let's start on this journey together...

References for Introduction:
(full online resource list published in part 5)

CarrieAnn - FemSubStartingPlace
Lady Jadis Word of Warning
Lady Myles It always amazes me...
may may - FetishLore and Stupid stupid gay tops are just as bad as other men and women
MinofSin - correspondence with Ms160
Mistress Matisse From the Inbox (letters)
sweet_bits Some simple recommendations on first contacts
tacit post on MDS' When Do you Give up?

Thank You's for the
Contacting Dominants series:

While all BDSM For Beginners posts are collaborative efforts,

this series was especially so. Sincere thanks as always to everyone
who contacted me with experiences and ideas,
as well as:

Mistress Milliscent , Lady Myles
Mistress Matisse, Elizabeth, Eileen,
Richard Evans Lee Mrs Claudia
Mistress Tich

and friends at:

(Quesera, switch, Ms Reciprocity, Tom Allen,
JustMiss, may may, roo-roo and quietlisten),

FSSP (here's your "more fame, oh yay" credit, CarrieAnn!)
CollarMe (MistressKay, Stef,
(Miss Bonnie and Miss Bitch)
and MyDungeonSpace
(sweet_bits, billc393, lei_da
tacit, myraanken, pickin_grinnin ,
Vic, skyey, LadyUrsa, underwhere, Flaming_Redhead
and last but never least, lol: MinofSin)


Sonnets - Unrealities XI
by ~elided on deviantART)

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