Saturday, December 22, 2007

Part 14: How to find and contact a Dominant - initiating contact

"I can't tell you how much a sub would
stand out if he approached a [female
as a woman first and foremost"
Akasha CollarMe

"to actually fulfill your desires, I would
suggest getting to know a dominant as a person"
Lady Myles

This is the third post in my BDSM For Beginners educational series on how to contact dominants. If you are new to this series, please read the Introduction first.

In part 1 we looked at ways to work out your own needs and desires, so you can begin to establish what you want in a dominant - knowing the right dominants to approach means your attempts at contacting them will be more successful. In part 2 we discussed how to find dominants and how to present yourself so that they notice you, as well online resources relating to dating / marketing yourself. In this post ("initiating contact") we'll look at:
  • who should contact who
  • initiating real time contact with a dominant
  • initiating online contact with a dominant
  • how to contact dominants in chatrooms
  • initiating formal contact with a dominant
  • the pros and cons of sending dominants photos
  • writing formal submission requests to dominants - practicalities
Again I'd like to commend you for continuing with this series, and undertaking the reading and other exercises it suggests. You've come a long way already, and your future dominant will appreciate your efforts.
A word to you clever clogs out there who have checked out this series and decided to bypass parts 1 and 2, and headed straight here:

Sorry, it ain't going to work, lol. You're missing the vital self knowledge / info on dominants that will enable those who have read the complete series to locate and accurately select a dominant to contact, where the chances of a meaningful response are high. I know the posts are long, but if you really want to find that dominant, then click here for part 1.

Okay, so today we are looking at "initiating contact".

You could be wanting to initiate contact with a dominant for a few reasons. Firstly, because you have found an online or real time dominant during your BDSM explorations and search, that you are interested in in terms of a life partner or one on one relationship, who is available and who matches your BDSM interests - all things you've checked via the methods discussed in earlier posts. Secondly, because the dominant may be available for casual play. Thirdly, because you are in the process of establishing networks and making friends, and this particular dominant seems great and worth getting to know.

Obviously, your reason for contacting this dominant will affect how you approach them, how you "initiate contact". Let's look first at an issue that concerns many subs:

Who should initiate contact: sub or dominant?

"Ms160, all the boys talk in the chatroom about
contacting Dommes, but shouldn't dominants
contact us?
It doesn't seem polite to chase them"

This is an interesting point. Again, keep in mind your reason for initiating contact. If you only want to request to be added as a friend, or to introduce yourself in a chatroom, that's not so scary. But what if you are seriously searching for a partner? In this case, as I mentioned in my Introduction post, some subs are worried not only over HOW to initiate contact, but WHO should contact WHO. I quoted CarrieAnn:
"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"
Certainly male dominants do most of their own sub hunting. But its harder for female dominants, who - along with some female subs - are often swamped with messages (including in chatrooms) from unknown males, both subs wanting casual play and vanilla men wanting kinky sex.

Should male subs wait for female dominants to contact them? Some people believe who contacts who should be a dominant's personal choice, irrespective of gender. Others disagree. In response to the question "doesn’t it make more sense of the dominant to be the aggressor and the submissive [me] to the passive partner waiting for consideration?", Eileen of A Place To Draw Blood Laughing replies:
"Sure, if you’d like to maintain the belief that we’re still living in a society where the main form of communication is grunting.

"In reality, although a woman may have a dominant personality or may have embraced a dominant lifestyle, she’s not guaranteed (or required) to feel comfortable tracking down submissive men. I personally don’t hit on or flirt with men I meet in non-scene contexts, such as bars or clubs, because the chances of them being sexually compatible with me are so incredibly small. We don’t all having homing beacons built into our foreheads that light up in the presence of submission - and making assumptions about someone’s orientation is a fast track to misery, in my experience"
Eileen believes contact should be initiated by both sides, but provides a prudent warning:
"you will probably find in approaching women that your submission to them is not as interesting or important to the potential relationship as you. Your character, your personality, your interests, your ideas. A dominant woman looking for a long term relationship is going to want a partner in that relationship in all ways, not just someone who happens to fit her ideas of power exchange"
On the other hand, some Dommes like to initiate contact themselves ("the Domme finds you, not the other way around", advises LotusSong on CollarMe, "this is why you need a decent profile and decent pictures. We look and if interested, we'll contact you"). Lady Myles agrees ("so it's very rare that I'm open to being contacted by a submissive") but notes that:
"if and when it happens, I don't even want to talk about BDSM aside from the initial statement that he's a submissive. I want an idea of what he's like as a person, and whether I enjoy communicating with him. If he's intelligent, well-spoken, able to have a chat via IM or phone, then I might consider discussing his prior real-life BDSM experience and find out just how he'd be capable of pleasing me"
So keep all these things in mind when you choose a possible dominant to approach. Check their online profiles / websites / blogs carefully to establish their contact preferences. Talk to people who know them, either real time or online. And when you do initiate contact, be careful to follow those preferences, and to keep your reason for contacting them firmly in mind.

Initiating real time contact with a dominant:

This series is primarily about online contact. Why? Because plenty has been written about real time BDSM. I'll provide some great links about original introductions and etiquette at munches / parties, etc in the Resources List at the end of this post.

If you've read this series, and you've taken it's ideas on board, then you will know exactly what you are looking for in terms of a partner, and currently you should be attending a variety of BDSM local events - munches, seminars, skill sharing workshops, play parties, major community events, etc - on your way to establishing a solid reputation within your local community. And of course, there is another advantage to real time, as skyey points out:
"on-line men outnumber women, but in r/l local groups - it's usually more equal. Find a local group, attend some social events, let them get to know you. Put your best foot forward as they say. If nothing else you will make some friends, that's never a bad thing"
If you see someone you like at these events, try approaching them. People in the scene are rarely offended when approached directly, provided you are direct, don't apply pressure, and gracefully take "no" for an answer. Franklin Veaux has a great article about the "folks I can do without" in the BDSM world. Read, laugh and learn!!

Initiating online contact with a dominant:

Let's say you have found a real life or online dominant you like as a potential partner. Who meets all / most of your criteria from the first post in this series, who has similar kinky interests to those in your list....

Hang on a sec. What do you mean you haven't checked. Go back and check those lists, because you will not have a successful outcome here unless they match. I don't care how stunning their profile is. CHECK THEY ARE COMPATIBLE WITH YOU before you initiate contact. This is one of the most important lessons in this series of posts!

You checked? They match? That's brilliant. Well done.

Okay, so let's look at online contact options:
  1. You can email a request to serve them
  2. You can send an informal message, via their site guest book or private message system
  3. You can initiate contact in less formal ways such as sending a Friend's request.
  4. You can approach them informally in a chatroom
  5. How's this for radical: you decide not to contact them directly yet. You work on developing a public profile so they can get to you a bit, and you can get to know them a bit, before you contact them
Hands up who wants to proceed with point 1? Hands up who's done this - sent an email to an unknown dominant - in the past? And did you get a response? Did you get a dominant? Nope. Funny that. Looking back, did they match your criteria? I'll bet you ten minutes of online humiliation that you don't have a clue whether they matched or not. Because before we read this series, very few of us bothered to read profiles properly, did we?

Okay, this is good; we've come a long way here. The point is now: how to make your attempts to contact dominants work from now on. So go back and read those five options again, and have a think about them. Have your informal messages in the past worked? Has initiating Friends requests worked? Not often. You may have gained networking kudos but not a dominant. What about point 5? I'll give you another ten minutes of online humiliation if you have ever had the patience in the past to take the time and effort involved with this approach. Which often does work. And which I droned on endlessly about in part 2.

Informal ways to contact dominants online:

I'm going to be boring and stress another point here, but always keep in mind why you are contacting this person. Networking / making friends is easier, but let's focus on trying to find a partner. As you've already found, sending an application to serve to someone you've never spoken to is rarely likely to succeed. So let's look at informal ways of initiating contact.

First, see whether you can pick up any clues regarding how the person you have chosen likes to be contacted by potential partners. You've done your homework on this dominant. By now you should know them well enough to know whether they prefer a formal or informal approach, but also check their blog or profiles for any info provided for subs like yourself. Then follow it.

Other examples:
  • If they say "I don't use the chatroom or IM", don't send a message requesting this.
  • If they say on their profile "I don't accept Friends requests from people who don't drop me a line about why they want to be a friend" then drop them that line. My MyDungeonSpace profile clearly states this, but I still currently have 78 pending Friends requests from subs who - yep, you got it! - didn't read my profile before contacting me.
  • Have a look at their profile's guest book, and the comments on their blogs and photos. Have other subs commented? Try leaving a birthday or holiday greeting. Or thank them for a response they made to something you posted on the site forum. Or leave a comment under their latest blog or photo. If they respond in your own guest book, that's great. But then leave it a while before you respond, don't go overboard with mass messages!
  • Take part in site forums. Look for the threads your dominant of interest is posting on, and post a response yourself. Or join groups that they moderate, or belong to. These things shouldn't be too hard, because you should share similar kinky interests.
I can see you have your "remind me why am I doing all this?" expression on.

The answer's easy. Apart from the friendship / networking aspect, it's so that when you finally write to your potential dominant partner to offer your service, or suggest a relationship, your message won't come from a total stranger.

The dominant will see your message in their Inbox and think "oh thats the guy who made that interesting point in the forum last week / who was very polite in the chatroom / who left me a birthday greeting ... hmm, okay, he's real, he's been here on this site for a while ... what does he want?". And after they read your message, they will go check your profile they'll find out more.

A word of warning 1: abusing informal message systems

Where informal messages get abused is when male subs (alone at home late, drinking, looking at porn, bored) decide - with the confidence of alcohol and a hard on - to drop their favorite domme a line. Sometimes we dommes log on the next morning to find up to a dozen messages in our guestbooks for all to see, increasingly to the ... er ... point, until the last "i'm cumming now". If we are really unlucky there will also be photos.

I can tell you right now that if your name is unknown to the Domme at the time you send them, then (unless you have caught her on an exceptionally good day) you are unlikely to ever get to know her. If you are friends, or even if she only knows you slightly from the site's forum or chat room, you might be able to extract yourself with a very very carefully written apology the next day, lol.

Perhaps the paragraph above confused you. Why would dominants mind being sent such messages, you might wonder. Let Domina explain:
"you read the ad for BDSM and you really like the photo. You write to her, tell her you like her photo, like the things she’s interested in, and you want to beat her and have her suck your dick. Why would she become annoyed at that? Well, maybe because she’s dominant?

"And [mentioning] sex? Well, just a hint that you need to read BDSM ads very carefully. Not all dominant women have sex with their play partners"
So: keep your alcohol and hard on to yourself, lol. Or head to a chatroom for some casual play (see below).

A word of warning 2: "secret" messages

Be careful of the "secret" message systems on some of these sites, where you can send a message anonymously.

It sounds like a great idea, but its utterly frustrating for dominants to get messages anonymously, especially when they receive a lot and quite a few are offensive. I had one sub who had never spoken to me before, leave an angry message in my guest book because I'd not got back to him regarding his anonymous message. Take my friend Mistress Tich's advice:
"as much as I find them amusing ... I think a few hints would be nice. [It can be] very frustrating ... there are still some sitting in [my inbox] and I have no idea who they are from. So if whomever they are from would like to drop Me a message, it would be nice to know who you are".
I do sometimes use the "Secret Whisper" system on MyDungeonSpace, because it's a nice way to send cyber flowers or a drink to a friend having a bad day, but I always insert my name into the message so the receiver knows who sent it. So, absolutely: use these systems to send dommes some birthday flowers or whatever, but just make sure you add you name. If you don't and she has to guess, some other sub might get her thanks for your thoughtful gift!

Contacting dominants informally in chatrooms:

Another good informal way to meet dominants online is in chatrooms. Chatrooms are a great place to meet all sorts of people, and can be a lot of fun, especially if some good dominants frequent the room for casual play. Ms Margo suggests:
"If you see [dominants in chat], say hello to them and try to engage them in conversation. Don't just sit there saying nothing and waiting for them to talk to you, most likely they won't. Try to find out what title they prefer (Mistress, Lady, Master, Sir, etc.) and use it. Read their posts well and try to get a feel for the aspects of the scene that appeal to them. These are good things to try to engage them in conversation on. Don't immediately send them a chat/talk request"
The latter is a good point. I stopped going into chat rooms because my screen would fill up with private messages in the chat room demanding "humiliate me", "tease me" or "i have a cam play with me now!". What I would have given for a simple "hello Ms160 its nice to meet you"! As Ms Margo points out "telling a Dominant how horny you are will usually only get you laughed at".

So, chatroom behavior (and a thank you to solipsist who helped me with this):
  • Everyone lurks (saying nothing) at first. Don't panic. Lurk until you feel comfortable. Watch and learn. If another sub seems nice, send them a private message to say you are new, and ask if you can ask them questions privately, about what might be going on in the room
  • Be polite
  • Greet everyone in the room by name, don't just pay attention to the dominant
  • If no dominant appears, don't leave immediately. That's rude. Introduce yourself, and strike up a conversation with the subs who are there
  • Ask questions, people love to respond, it gets the room going
  • Always use a dominant's full name, and if they use a title make sure you capitalize it. If you are unsure what to call them check what others are doing
  • Put some thought in how to present yourself in an interesting manner
  • If the dominant is arrogant and starts giving orders to subs, they will be inexperienced. In which case keep quiet and watch how more experienced subs handle them
  • Don't offer to submit to the first Dom/me who enters the room. PATIENCE!!! Wait!!!
  • Apart from anything else, not all people who say they are dominants actually are dominants. Watch out for predators.
  • Before you rush in and ask a dominant to speak privately, think it through: do you have anything intelligent to say? Or would it be better this time just to observe the interactions in the room, and perhaps speak to the dominant later?
  • if you ask a dominant in the main chat room whether you can IM them privately, and they say no: don't be rude. They may have six private screens from subs already open for all you know
  • If they say yes, don't present them with demands (such as "dom me!" or "I have cam!"). Again: have a good reason for wanting to speak with them.
  • Ms Margo again: "don't ask a Mistress what she is wearing. We are so sick of hearing it". Obviously creating a mystique about what a Mistress is wearing or doing is often part of online scenes, but otherwise try to avoid the question.
  • If a dominant decides to leave the public room with a couple of subs to play privately, don't ask to come along. You may be invited if you have taken part in the conversation and caught the attention of the dominant, so this is another reason to interact in the room. If you ask and the dominant says "next time", don't forget to thank them.
  • Don't just use the chatroom on a site. That's rude. Here's Miss Bitch's response to a sub who complained about being the only one in the CollarNCuffs chatroom:
    "maybe if you used the forum 'someone' might log in to chat with you (I mean no disrespect, but face it no one knows you, your first post and you have no profile details). I know you through the chatroom, but others don't"
SECRET ADVICE: when you see a dominant you like the look of in the chat room, go check out their profile. Remember they may be doing the same with you - so always make sure your profile is up to date and looks terrific before chatting.

Here's a couple of good chatroom etiquette links:
Entering a chatroom (for subs)
Domina's Online Chat Rules

Initiating formal contact with a dominant

So. You've got to know your potential dominant partner a bit, or more importantly, you have worked bloody hard at getting them to know you a little bit. And now you want to write to them, suggesting they take you on as a sub. Those of you who have put in the homework are going to find this a lot easier ... because quite honestly if you have brought yourself to the attention of this person in the right way, they will probably approach you themselves about a D/s relationship.

But here's the thing, dear student readers of mine. Even though I've advised you NOT to contact a potential dominant partner without getting to know them first, the reality is that the majority of you are going to send an unsolicited letter anyway.

So what can I suggest to possibly make your attempt more successful? I'll try to give you some ideas below. But. If you find you are not achieving your dream of finding a partner, then I seriously suggest you go back to part 1 of this series and put in the effort.

First, a word about photos.

Should I send photos, when I contact dominants?

"Never send Her a picture of your penis
or your arse unless She asks you to.
You are a man, not a penis"

Don't send photos. Not in the first email. And after that, only when you've been asked to.

Here's what it's like from the receiver's end: "Today", writes Ms Reciprocity, "I received a nice intro e-mail from a man who piqued my interest". Great! You've attracted a dominant's attention! So far so good. So what happened? "[He] included two photos". Oh oh.
"One of his catheterized purple member, and another of what I can only assume is his own anal orifice gaping so widely that I really feel he may be in need of medical attention and suffering from loss of blood. And logic. From his ass. "
You just lost her interest, brilliant.

But I can see her point. I'm still recovering from the coke bottle up the anus avatar someone sent me (yes it was a large bottle ... yes the bottle was full). "Why", Ms Reciprocity asks with exasperation, "does being a kinky woman make men think this is what I want to see first thing ?". I truly don't know. It's really not very courteous. As roo-roo points out:
"I have yet to see anyone try this approach when meeting in person. It'd be fun to see people meet for the first time at a munch........"Hi, I'm Tim" followed immediately by an unsheathed member. If it's not acceptable in person, why do people do it online?"
Elizabeth tried some Anthropology 101 to find out:
"As a social experiment, I actually befriended this one guy who sent me half naked pictures unsolicited. I asked him nicely, what were you thinking? And he was surprised and embarrassed that that apparently wasn't the right move to make with any woman on the site, much less somebody who isn't looking at all.

"We kept up a correspondence for a few weeks and honestly, he was this nice relatively normal man, with a good job and a famly, who thought half naked pictures of his 50 year old body were the way to say "Hi!". (I mean, he was relatively fit but his pants were all unbuckled and ........ )"
And it's not only male subs doing the sending - remember sweet_bits desperately requesting of the Doms that contact her:
"do not send me cock shots. i repeat, do not. i know what one looks like, seriously"
Nor is it just men. "I hate closeup pussy shots", writes MinofSin, while Tom Allen tells the following story:
"I somehow got onto a group joke list, to which I started contributing ... After about three weeks, several [female members] wondered why I had not either sent them nude photos, or asked for any. According to them, all men ask for nude photos (or at least, boob photos), and also send out genital photos.

"I was amazed at this; I'm not a prude, but I consider it to be rude and unmannerly to send out unsolicited photos of your equipment ... I was even more amazed that several of these women started sending photos to me. Apparently, the rule is that after a month, you're intimate friends."
Looks like all genders do it, lol. And certainly after you've exchanged a few emails, and a dominant is seriously considering you, then sending them the photos they request is a great turn on. Again, when you get to this stage: put some thought into the images you send. Never forget there is a selection process going on, as this sub found:
"Quite early on *** asked for naked pictures, so I had to actually take some. In one of them I was naked except for various metal cuffs and a thin collar; I think that was the one that persuaded *** I was "worthy" because she said I looked so happy in that one. Well, who wouldn't be?"
But in terms of contacting dominants, hear me: ditch the pix. Apart from other considerations, if the dominant spots a file in an unsolicited message they will probably just delete the whole thing.

Writing formal submission requests to dominant:

As you've probably realized during this series, dominants - especially female dominants - regularly receive an enormous amount of appalling unsolicited mail. I use the word "appalling" to describe both the amount of mail, and how badly it's written.

Now, I'm not saying this is just a mail sub thing. Absolutely not. As we discussed in part 1, dominants and subs of all genders have shown themselves to be shocking at communicating. We've all heard stories of arrogant dominants and rude subs. Roo roo wrote a great post at Fetish Lore a while back, where he provided made up (I think, lol) personal ads from both sides. I especially loved his "Domme" one:
"Goddess is accepting applications for the privilege of serving 24/7. Must be willing to buy Me expensive clothes and jewelry, a new Jaguar, and a mansion with a pool. Duties of the worthless pig will include all domestic chores, receiving physical and emotional abuse, total chastity for the rest of its life, and swallowing cum from My well-hung and disease-infested male lovers. Noncompliance will be met with having your testicles ripped from your body ... Must have a webcam."
And yes, I'm fully aware some dominants write like this, and talk like this in chat rooms. And that (as sweet_bits made clear in part 1) male dominants can equally be utter shits when they contact female subs. But remember sweet_bits's advice?: "we all tend to forget is that we are talking about relationships. real people. real feelings. real risks". Remember we also talked about the cycles of meaningless validation / meaningless abuse that female dominants constantly deal with? That what was important when you finally contacted a dominant who met your selection criteria, was that you treated them as a real person?

Okay, so here is where it all comes together. Below are some practical tips for writing to a dominant. Today's homework is to read it carefully, and make a link to this post, for when you finally want to write.

DON'T go writing a letter straight away. Wait until you have read the next post where we'll look at some examples of what NOT to write (the kind of messages dominants receive all the time), some good examples that have success stories attached, and the wonderful Mistress Milliscent has kindly helped with providing a writing exercise for your next - and last - homework assignment, for everyone who'd like to give writing a really good letter to a dominant a go.

Writing formally to a Dom/me: some practicalities:

Here are some practical hints. Some we have discussed elsewhere. All are important.
  • Spelling and grammar matter. I cannot stress this enough.
  • NEVER send a form letter. Even a "whiff" of a being a form letter (to swipe Mistress Matisse's phrase) will get your message deleted. A form letter means you have made no attempt to address your potential partner's individuality or interests. You've sent something that's all about you, not them. It's fine to use a form letter base, that contains your basic info and interests, but always make sure you personalize any message you send to a dominant. You'll find actual examples of form letters sent out by subs - and dominant responses - in part 4. If you'd like to read more on why dominants despise form letters, check out Mistress Matisse's post "Form Letters of Love": "Blah blah copied from a website blah blah usual cliches blah blah completely meaningless blah blahbbity blah..."
  • If you are sending a private message via a site like ALT or MyDungeonSpace, make sure your Profile is properly filled out. The first thing a dominant will do is check your profile.
  • NEVER send messages when you are drinking or masturbating. It might seem fun at the time ("im thiking of ur tits as i fuk my hand" .... "i am sitting here naked mistress", etc ) but a reputation for obscene messages is not a good thing to have. Never send multiple messages. A reputation for cyber stalking is also not a good thing.
  • Only contact one Dom/me at a time. There is no faster way to have your application put aside.
  • Address them by name. You are writing to a real flesh and blood person, not a fantasy construct.
  • Be courteous and respectful.
  • If you have written to the dominant before, mention this. Make clear your reason for trying again (for example, if you were previously told to provide further info, or email again later in the year).
  • Most dominants give an indication on their blog or site profiles of their preferred manner of receiving requests to serve. Follow those preferences. This shows the Dom/me you have put some thought into your application and taken their preferences into consideration. Listen to what Mistress Matisse says about this:
    "that “slave application” thing? Be careful with phrases like that. If you read an ad and she uses that type of language to describe what she wants, then that's fine, go ahead. But not all female dominants do. I myself do not take applications. Jack In The Box takes applications. I meet people and then I decide whether or not I wish to have an intimate connection with them. I also do not use terms like slave training, because I find them hackneyed and so overused as to be meaningless. I know a lot of other kinky women who feel likewise"
  • Make sure the subject line of your email is specific. This is very important because its your subject line that catches the dominant's attention (keep in mind they will probably be in the middle of mass deleting that day's intake of obscene / junk mail). So make sure your subject line is effective. A good hint is to follow the dominant's lead. Do they talk about your sending a petition on their blog / profiles? Then use the term "petition to serve" in the subject line. If they talk about an application, or a request to serve, then call it that. Subject lines like "i wanna b yr fuk bunny mistres" or "from yr slave" will get your message deleted unopened.
  • Don't waste your - and our - time by writing to a dominant who's kinky interests are not similar to yours. The relationship just wouldn't work. Also:
  • Be clear about what you want. A real time relationship? Online only? Happy to be a part of a stable, or do you want an exclusive relationship? If you are married / have a partner, do be up front about this and explain what your circumstances / needs are. Dishonesty is not a good foundation for any relationship.
  • Be careful about mentioning sex. Make sure you triple check the dominant's preferences on this. Many dominants do not mix sex and BDSM. Offering to be someone's sex slave is not going to go down well if they are happily married and only offer corporal punishment to subs. Some dominants prefer sex to be mentioned later rather than sooner. MinofSin writes:
    "I am not interested in how big someone's tits are in the first mail. Save that for the 3rd or 4th. In short, if I get e-mails where the emphasis is almost totally on sex, I get turned off very quickly. And that has more to do with my style of dominance than anything else ... anyone can fuck".
  • Write about yourself. Not your eye color or genitals (unless Small Penis Humiliation is a major kink) but about your kinky experience (or what you would like to experience), your desires and fantasies. Writing just "I am a submissive" is absolutely meaningless. As Ms Margo so wonderfully puts it:
    "think for a moment about what appeals to you - a favorite story, a beloved picture, a treasured fantasy. You heart will lead you in the direction that you would like to explore".
  • Write about what you have to offer them. This is so important to dominants and yet rarely gets addressed in the messages we receive. This is your opportunity to tell us why we want you in our lives. What makes you unique. This can be both on an everyday practical front, if you are looking for a real time relationship (can you create wonderful pervertables with your carpentry skills? Want to use your leather fetish to help her clean all her boots, lol?) If you are looking for an online relationship it's harder but think outside the box. Time saving offers are always a winner, so offer to help sort his mail, or moderate her forum for daily spam, or use your IT skills to maintain her website... Remember, there is no point offering anything if your goals and the dominants differ.
  • Write about why you chose them. MinofSin writes:
    "I also like to know exactly why a person contacted me. What specially they saw in my profile or in what I have said elsewhere that piqued their interest. Saying, "I read your profile and you sound interesting" does not tell me what in my profile you actually found interesting. Details, details, details!!"
  • Offer compliments. But make them sincere. A word of warning: telling a Domme she is a "hottie" or that her photo / profile arouses you, is NOT a compliment. Read joreth's "How To Get A Girl To Talk To You" for more on the fine art of complimenting
  • Don't offer the impossible. Making statements like "I want 2 serve u 4eva" to a dominant you don't know, affects your credibility. If I had a buck for every form letter I received that included the line "I'm happy to relocate" I'd own a race horse. I live in Australia. When a sub writes something like that it immediately becomes obvious they don't know much about me and my interest in their application declines.
  • NEVER write the words "I have no limits". What did I just say about avoiding the impossible?! Of course you have limits. I'd also advise avoiding the words "24/7 slave", "use me as you will" or "I'll do anything". Richard Evans Lee puts it well:
    "Mr. I'll Do Anything, there are plenty of you out there. It is as if you are a legion of clones. Any dominant woman that responds to your email is apt to be a beginner. Within a month promises of being willing to do anything will only prove to her that she doesn't want anything to do with you"
  • Check that webcam play is of interest to the dominant before mentioning it. Practically all messages these days mention this. Big mistake. If the Dom/me isn't interested (and many are not) it shows you are ignoring those interests, as Femelle experienced:
"I made it very clear [in my profile] that I wasn't interested in cam-play or online domination, but I still received so many messages that said "I have a webcam and yahoo messenger, use me on cam!!" So many, in fact, that I started picking the worst (best) ones and posting them for the public to see. I labeled each one as a quote from a "rejected applicant". Of course that led to plenty of "I bet you wouldn't reject me.."
  • Don't include photos
  • Allow time for a response
  • Don't advertise your availability to others while you wait for a response. A dominant will simply assume you are a time waster who has changed your mind about your application.
  • Be nice to the dominant's mail sub. They are your foot in the door.
  • If you receive a rejection, still send a thank you letter. Be gracious and respectful. So few subs do this, that such courtesy will immediately mean you are remembered.
  • If you receive a rejection, accept it in good grace - don't write back and argue or become abusive. Lady Myles writes:
    "I think the biggest frustration for me when being contacted is that many times the answer I give is not the answer the boy wants to hear, and they persist in trying to coax another answer. I make up my mind very quickly about prospective boys, and that answer is always my final answer. I go with my gut, as I'm sure many others do. You meet enough of these "subs" and can tell within a few minutes of conversation whether or not there's any potential at all there. If the vibe is good, then I might pursue. If it's not, there's no way in hell... end of story"
  • Don't change identities and try again. Again, this comes under cyber stalking. It is going to severely irritate the very person you are trying to convince to take you on.
  • Don't post publicly about either your application or rejection. Nothing turns a dominant off faster than a public notice like the one I got on MDS last week (see below).
  • Always ask the reasons for your rejection so you can avoid future mistakes


Ambrosio Meeting Someone Else into BDSM
Anon Finding Your Dominant
CarrieAnn - FemSubStartingPlace
Domina BDSM, Dominants, Switches and Submissives
Eileen, quoted by Richard Evans Lee Who Should Say Hello First?
Master Eso The Process of Selection
Richard Evans Lee Femdom Weblogs & Forums
Richard Evans Lee's Femdom Dating
FAD How to Meet Dominant Women ... from a Sub's Point of View
Bob Harris To Catch A Dom
Miria Hunter Preparing the Gift for Giving
Miss Bonnie Finding Miss Right
Tamar Kay Finding A Kinky Partner, part 1, part 2, part 3
MinofSin - correspondence with Ms160
Miss Bonnie Finding Miss Right
Mistress Michelle Choosing a Mistress
Ms Margo On Patience: Or, How do I get a Dom, Anyway?
Ms Margo How do I find a Dom/Dominant/Dominatrix/domme/Goddess etc
Marquise Meeting a Dominant Woman
oscagne Looking - advice
Jack Rinella Seeking Partners
Raven Shadowborne Finding a partner in BDSM
Mistress Steel Finding your Dominant
sweet_bits Some simple recommendations on first contacts
Franklin Veaux Folks I can do without

Want to join in discussions with Ms160 and others quoted in this series?
Come and visit Fetish lore's Finding Others forum.

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
Master Joe's kim
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)

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