Thursday, May 05, 2005

Letters to the Mistress

may i ask your advice? how does a man like myself -- a big-hearted, genuine person of high intelligence, solid wit, diverse interests, and a not-exactly-repulsive physicality -- meet a dominant woman that possesses these attributes, as well? i don't want mere play, but rather a grand, marvelous love that is suffused with care, great and challenging conversation, infectious laughter, reciprocal influence, and an ever-deepening intimacy ... and a pervasive undercurrent of kink running continually throughout. ardently individualistic, i have never identified much with groups or any particular community and so i am having difficulty navigating the too-murky waters of bdsm. i hate to be so bold, but i just don't see many deep, intellectually engaging, beautiful, dominant women that are seeking something a bit More. certainly, the entire seattle bdsm community is replete with people that want to play, but even in that broad demographic, i find very few that are both intellectually/emotionally interesting and physically appealing. in fact, sadly, i see (what appears to be) a lot of people leading (again 'apparently') truncated lives (which is, of course, true of any impassioned group). i'm just curious if you have a suggestion on how i can more effectively pursue that which i seek. thank you so much for your time (even if you merely read this and do not reply -- it feels good simply to write).

Ah, a true believer in love and romance. I get letters like this a lot, although usually not as nicely written. But this particular letter-writer aroused my sympathy, as he's going to have an even slower-than-usual journey towards his dream. That's because he's not just seeking a hot time, he's seeking True Love.

Now, I'll all in favor of love. But it's hard enough for people to find the Right One for them even without dealing with the kink issue. Think about all the things that you are/were looking for in a partner, and how many people you've met who have some of those qualities, but who also have relatively inconsequential traits and habits that, nevertheless, disqualify them from Potential Partnerhood. So, a grand, marvelous love, great conversation, infectious laughter, and ever-deepening intimacy, with a deep, intellectually engaging, beautiful woman? Worth striving for, certainly, but no piece of cake for anyone to achieve, kinky or not.

And once you do add in the kink factor, the pool of potentials shrinks dramatically. It's worse luck for him that he wants a dominant woman, since the competition for dominant women is ferocious. That's because there are generally more would-be submissives than dominants, and because there are generally more men than women in the out-and-visible community. Thus, female dominants are hugely sought after. (How do you think I stay in business?)

I always wish I had some magic answer, but the fact is, you just have to keep looking. So the advice I'm giving this man the same advice I give everybody who's looking for someone. Get involved in the community, even if you aren't a joiner. If you're not involved in the community, I'm not sure where you would see any "deep, intellectually engaging, beautiful, dominant women that are seeking something a bit More"? You have to go where the ducks are – there's just no other way to do it. Sites like and are sometimes okay, but there's simply no substitute for real-world interactions.

And don't go to one event, look around, decide that your one true love isn't there, and go home forever. That's not how you make friends, and guess what – that's what you're going to be doing when you first venture out: making kinky friends. No one meets The One at their very first party. But you start making friends, and those kinky friends you make? They're the ones who will in turn introduce you to some nice potential lovers.

PostScript: Think about developing your own erotic-dominant side. I think being willing and able to switch roles, at least occasionally, would increase the number of women who'd consider being involved with you.


Dear Mistress Matisse, I am new to Seattle. I am a woman in my mid-50s, a bottom, and somewhat shy. I would like to play with a professional dominatrix, but I'm not sure where to begin looking. (I was disappointed to discover on your website that you are not seeing women at this time.) Do you have any suggestions for new woman in town?
Thank you,
Shy Bottom

Well, in general, reading my answer to the letter above would be a start. If you're looking for female attention, though, I'd suggest the women-only parties at the Wet Spot. There's one tomorrow night, as a matter of fact.
If you insist on a professional, I'd call Lady Lydia.


I want to offer a little heartfelt gratitude for what you've meant to one anonymous soul out in cyberspace. When I moved to from the East Coast to California in 1997, I was wet behind the ears, right out of college, and I knew I was kinky. But I didn't know where to start. While surfing the web, I stumbled upon Bob Berkowitz's old show on Eyada. Enter Mistress Matisse and the Kink of the Week segment! I loved that show. In a nutshell, you were one of the first voices of BDSM reason that I encountered. It really was a revelation that here was someone who's very bright, with a good head on her shoulders... and she's kinky. Up until that point I was starting to think I wouldn't encounter normal, well adjusted people in this scene. A few years after Eyada folded, I discovered your writing through the Control Tower, and now through your blog. (Your writing style is fabulous.) I'm writing this now, because I'm finally in a place where I'm ready to explore my interests in greater detail. And you've had a positive impact on the path that has taken me to this point. So thank you for having shared your life with strangers like me. At the risk of laying it on a little too thick, you've been an inspiration.

Oh, Lord - someone who remembers me back from the days! Sometimes ya'll are so sweet you almost make me cry. Whenever I feel cranky about stupid phone calls and emails from rude people who annoy me, I go back and read letters like this. I don't know how to truly express how happy I am made by them.

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