> Date: March 6, 2006 11:15:18 PM PST
> To: matisse AT thestranger.com
> Subject: question for mistress matisse
> Dear Mistress Matisse,
> This is perhaps the lamest question you will ever receive; it is
> definitely the lamest question I have ever asked myself or anyone
> Here is the deal. I am a sub. That is how I identify sexually as
> much as someone so solidly gay they have known since age 6. And while
> on the face of it this seems like it should make dating easy (roles
> delineated a priori; you're not going to stick a whip in my hand at
> any point and expect me to *do* something with it; you're not going to
> be asking me every minute what I want to be doing, etc.), it doesn't.
> I am very pretty, I have a great body, I'm smart and engaging and
> have a great real-life life, and I am a great sub. Here is what I
> hope to know from you: in what ways is dating in the bdsm world
> inherently different? Why can I have such success with regular guys
> but not with finding a dom that is looking for a long-term
> relationship with a stellar sub and partner?
> At this point in my life, I really don't want to have a normal
> relationship. If I am having a sexual relationship, I want all of my
> sexuality to be included and cultivated. That means I want to be
> submissive, and not just sexually. That is the way I am drawn to
> respond in a sexual relationship/interaction. It is real, it is
> genuine, and it is something I wish to embrace, not ignore or supress.
> I do understand the statistics of it all: I am drawing from a far
> smaller pool, just as I would be if in vanilla criteria I decided I
> needed someone with an exhaustive list of very specific attributes.
> But I am not looking for Any Living Purported Dom; there has to be a
> connection, and an intellectual as well as personality fit.
> Do you have advice? Do you think the Internet makes any sense?
> Should I just play forever, whenever I can, just like maybe joining
> every club in vanilla dating life, in hopes that one day...
> I just don't think it should be this hard. Damn it, I'm hot and I'm a
> catch, but it has to be someone worth submitting to.
(Signed with a female name)
This isn’t a lame question. I think most kinksters ask themselves this at one time or another – how can I find the right partner? Hell, I think most vanilla people ask themselves the same thing. Why else would When Harry Met Sally be such a big hit? So, my answer, and some advice.
The answer is: yes, you just have to keep looking, and yes, it’s going to be a bitch. You are seeking all the same kinds of things a vanilla person seeks in a partner: a smart, well-balanced person who’s physically attractive to you, shares your basic values, likes cats, foreign films, and Indian food, no outstanding warrants for their arrest – the usual. And in addition to that, you want a sexually unusual person who shares your specific BDSM tastes – a man, I assume, since you didn’t say otherwise. That’s a tall order.
Notice I said “specific” – I mean very specific. It’s not like there are dominants and there are submissives, and you can match up any two and what they like to do in the dungeon will naturally follow. Uh-uh. Your way of being submissive (or dominant) is unique to you. I myself, for example, tend to like spunky, sassy play-partners. (You get points if you make me laugh. You get gagged if you don’t.) The uber-meek, never-raise-their-eyes-from-the-floor type of submissive doesn’t generally turn me on. My point is that it’s not a generic thing, so you’ll need to find not only a competent, worthy top who you want to date, but one whose style and preferred activities mirror your own.
So you are drawing from a very, very small pool indeed, and yes, based on my experience, it is going to be that hard. Unless you are astoundingly lucky, you are going to kiss a lot of froggy dominants, have a certain number of underwhelming kink experiences, and you are going to have to be very patient. Welcome to life as a sexual minority.
Now that I’ve said all the depressing stuff, let me also reassure you: I think finding the right person for you is absolutely possible. Heck, you might even find several of them. I have found some truly amazing people in my life as a kinky person, so I know they’re out there. When you do hook up with someone you really like and whose kinks line up with yours – wow, it’s fabulous. It makes all the churning worthwhile.
To find your someone-amazing, you must go where the ducks are, whatever that means in your current life-situation. I think getting involved in real-life BDSM community is always better than only searching through the personal ads. Doing both is optimum. However, if kinky personal ads are all you have access to, use them. For more info about how one goes about getting involved in the real-life BDSM community, go here.
I also think you should try to look upon the journey to your future partner as a positive experience in itself. All those underwhelming experiences are going to really sharpen your understanding of what you want, and that’s a good thing. Plus, you have to have some it’s-funny-in-retrospect stories to share about the terrible dominant, Count Chocula, who’d read every single Gor novel ever published and whose hairpiece fell off while he was flogging you.
In closing, a small nit to pick: if you do use personal ads, the first impression you make on people will be via your words on a screen. And you, my dear, may need to fine-tune your approach. If I had to make a snap judgment on you based on just this email, I’d have to say - you come off a bit like a spoiled princess. The several reiterations of how hot you are, your success with vanilla men, and how deserving you are of someone Worthy… It makes you sound as if you think you’re entitled to special treatment. All the advice I just gave you is the exact same advice I’d give to someone who claimed to be dumpy, dull and unpopular, because they are actually just as deserving of True Kinky Love as you are. It is far more becoming to at least pretend a little modesty in these matters. Upload a photo with your ad, speak truthfully about your accomplishments without attaching too many flattering adjectives, and let other people tell you how hot you are, as opposed to you telling them.