How many?

I asked on Twitter: “How many emails do you think I got from my personal advert post?”

Hmmm, said my twitter peeps:

4?
10?
50?
50 million?

I’d ask you to take a guess, but since this isn’t real time, I’ll be waiting a while, so I’ll just tell you:

One.

That’s right.

One.

Are you surprised?

I am.

But then again, I’m not.

There are probably a bunch of reasons for the crickets, and my ego is big enough that I don’t for one second believe that it’s because ‘waaaahhh, nobody likes me’. I *know* that’s not it.

I’ve asked some friends about it, and they came up with the following possibilities.

I’m intimidating.
I know it can be a bit intimidating to contact me. How do I know? People who have become my friends have quietly said so. Long after the fact, they have whispered in my ear that they had to work up the nerve to throw something at me. But I’m not scary!! And even if we aren’t a match for whatever reason, that’s not a reflection on you or your awesomeness (or mine!), it just means we aren’t a match. But what if we are and I just haven’t found you yet?!!

I must get a gazillion emails a day.
I don’t. Truly. I think there is this assumption that I am bombarded with genuine offers from fabulous submissive men ALL THE TIME. That my inbox is full of charming, witty, clever emails that make me swoon with delight. That my previous post probably got me a hundred emails in my inbox and every one of them is from a man who is perfect in every way. And nobody wants to be throwing their lot in with ‘all of those guys’. There is no ‘all of those guys’. Trust me on this.

Fear that they can’t live up to my expectations.
I don’t think my expectations are unrealistic. I DO expect a lot, but mostly what I expect and need is a connection that works for both of us, and if we have that, then the rest can be worked out. It’s impossible to predict and really hard to find, and if we don’t have it, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough or worthy or anything like that. It just means that finding that connection is hard, and the two of us together didn’t light the spark in the right way.

I have no face photo up.
This *could* be a factor, but I’m not going to put one up, so it’s just too bad. I have more photos up here than many women put on their ads, and I just can’t believe that an interested reader isn’t willing to take a chance that I might be appealing enough to them to at least give it a try. Also, the personal ad that I put ‘out there in the world’ got a lot of responses, and it only had that one photo attached, so if complete strangers who don’t know a thing about me are willing to jump in, why not someone who knows a little about me?

I don’t want to be all throwing data at you, but look, you MADE me! I was curious, so I went back to the last survey I did of my readers (aww yeah, graph porn!!) to see what the pool of potentials might actually look like. THIS is the result of my reader analysis:

Readers-who-might-match

So theoretically, 4% of readers might be within the realms of possibility. Of course there are any number of other factors at play (interest for a start!), but even though this is all completely theoretical, let me give you the tip: 4% of the number of people who have viewed my personal advert post is a HELLUVA LOT MORE THAN ONE!!!

So I’m curious. Why do YOU think my response rate is so abysmal here on the blog?

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36 Comments

  1. Yes, of course I was surprised to hear that it was only one because I know how awesome you are and how lucky that person will be when you find him. I don’t think you come across intimidating at all. I did think before I got to know you that you probably got a ton of emails a day though with how popular on FL and your blog you are.

    I don’t think the lack of responses has anything to do with you personally or your ad. I do think it has to do with where the ad is posted (your readers here and people who already knew you on CM). I also don’t think it is because you expect too much but it could be that even if that person does “fit the bill” they may not see themselves that way. So they may think they don’t fit the bill and not contact you because of it.

    You are still doing good though, you got one more than I have. *laughs*

    Respectfully,
    mysticlez

    1. “… it could be that even if that person does “fit the bill” they may not see themselves that way. So they may think they don’t fit the bill and not contact you because of it.”

      But but… WHAT IF THEY DO?!!

      *laugh*

      Ferns

  2. Hypothesis:

    The people who read your blog trend more “serious” than random folks on CM. One aspect of that seriousness is taking the travel investment (time, cost, etc.) into account more than do the trawling types.

    1. Follow-up: Even though I’ve got my match, and I’m not the perfect fit for your seeking, I’d love to meet and hang out with you. I think we’d have a hella time over coffee or champagne (though I’m a lightweight).

      And I often send notes to people on Fet (haven’t been on CM for awhile) suggesting just that — and that’s how I met Jalan, even with falling in love being in neither of our plans.

      But several thousand miles .. .

    2. I think that’s an interesting hypothesis.

      I should have looked at geography in my stats also (even as a footnote, because that Venn diagram was already out of control!), it might bring that 4% down to 1% or something.

      Ferns

      1. I think the problem with the graphic analysis is that there is no category for men who think you are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. So that is what is decreasing your success factor. We fit the other categories – oh, missed the cut by a micron (darn) …smile…

  3. Clever.
    Opening with apparent self-pity as a means to work in some sweat-dripping hard core graph porn.
    Touché Miss Ferns.

    1. I considered including bisexual, pansexual, heterosexual and queer to broaden that statistic (then it’s up to 95%!), but I was being conservative.

      Also, for your information, the gay and lesbian contingent in 2011 when I did the survey was 0.8%…

      Ferns

      1. ” the gay and lesbian contingent in 2011 when I did the survey was 0.8%”
        Yeah….. but but but, it was like the best dressed 0.8% with panache to DIE for

        Coug

  4. Really, only one?

    Maybe they are just taking their time and building up their courage before they answer. It might be that they think you are so awesome, they don’t know what to say to you. Give it a few more days. ^.^

    /Raven

    1. ONE!!

      Well, okay one and a half now (I have since received a very sweet email from someone saying ‘Here are the practical reasons why I didn’t contact you, but if they weren’t in the way, here’s what I would say…’ *smile*).

      *waits patiently… twiddles thumbs…*

      Ferns

  5. “I’m intimidating.”

    Yes, very. You’re smart, funny, fit, tall, and your writing makes me feel like a chimp.

    But also the fact that you’re looking for a long term relationship, and not just a sub for play, and although you didn’t specify a minimum age, might be limiting the age bracket.

    But hey, don’t sweat it, you don’t know how tiresome it is to have all these dominant women wanting me to throw myself at their feet.

    1. *chuckle* A chimp, huh?

      “… the fact that you’re looking for a long term relationship, and not just a sub for play, and although you didn’t specify a minimum age, might be limiting the age bracket.”

      I’m not quite sure what you mean by this in linking LTR with age. I *assume* you mean that younger men would be less likely to be looking for an LTR? Maybe, though I consider ‘under 50’ to be pretty broad!!

      BUT, I DO think that wanting an LTR is a limiting factor either way, yes.

      “But hey, don’t sweat it, you don’t know how tiresome it is to have all these dominant women wanting me to throw myself at their feet.”

      I can’t even imagine the horror and trauma! Poor you!!

      Ferns

  6. OK, Ferns, you asked for it…

    How’s that for intimidating… ;)
    Really, though, your inquiry did sound to me like you wanted a serious response, and if you’re not up for it at the moment, please pass this comment by, at least for now.

    To that end, I think Naga di Kandang has a very good working theory, at least in part. From what I’ve seen, your readers ARE fairly serious-minded people (a compliment, to be sure). Your penchant for N.American boys is an excellent example of one reason your Venn diagram is problematic with an overly optimistic bias…I’m sorry to say :^( . As a N. American guy, your preference is encouraging (even though I’m already collared for as long as I can stretch out this life), and just darn nice to hear. However, even if I were searching for a Queen/Princess/Dommity-Domme like yourself, my first thought when reading your ad was “Wow, there can’t really be that many guys in this country who are successful, flexible, and independently wealthy enough to fill Fern’s bill, here…”

    Then too, there’s the physical preferences that your loyal readers are familiar with. Testosterone-driven bluster aside, it may be hard to believe, but many of us guys are actually fairly critical of their physical appearance — even though we might fantasize that a goddess would be interested in whipping us into the shape that you undoubtedly deserve, I’m pretty sure most of us whose metabolisms are beyond 25 yrs would be pretty darn insecure in replying to your ad.

    A third possible explanation for a narrower response pool then you might hope for, and related to the last point — despite your repeated preference for a ‘boy’ in your writings, your ad suggests you’d consider one of us “under 50” — really? Maybe it’s that ugly insecurity welling up again, or maybe it’s just an American trying to interpret an Aussie’s jargon, but I haven’t seen anything you’ve written that has ever suggested you would seriously consider someone as old as I am (very close to the 50-mark, I’m reluctant to say — after all, I too, remember 21 EXTREMELY clearly!). And I have to add, in defense of my brothers-in-age, we also have the wherewithal and life experience to truly appreciate your many gifts!

    Though a bit harsh (what can I say, I’m a scientist, it comes naturally to me to critically analyze) I hope this helps a little in re-framing how you think about the ad and those who did not respond. I know it isn’t for lack of interest – you are one interesting lady!

    All the Best, always!

    1. Thank you Tiemepls, for your thoughtful response, and I didn’t consider it harsh (or intimidating) at all *smile*.

      I appreciate your input, and I do think geography *is* an issue. 55% of my readers are from the US, then UK at 11%, then Canada and Australia at about 5% each.

      It *is* troublesome, difficult and expensive for those far afield. I think it’s absolutely doable for an adventurous soul, and I don’t think ‘independently wealthy’ is necessary, but I agree that it is a significant barrier. I’ve done it on my dime before, I’m just not willing or able to *keep* doing it.

      I’m going to edit the ad to add that I am relocatable, though, because it’s an important (and missing) point if he is not and considers that a show stopper.

      “Then too, there’s the physical preferences that your loyal readers are familiar with.”

      This fits into the ‘not meeting expectations’ item I mentioned in my post, and I DO understand how what I say comes across in the blog: I get ridiculously stupid over men’s beauty and I HAVE posted some very stereotypical pictures of what that means.

      But there is a HUGE difference between appreciating and objectifying men in general, and seeing the beauty in those I adore.

      Did you read this about the beauty of submissive men? THAT’S what I’m talking about when I rave about the pretty, when I tell my men they are beautiful.

      Most of the men I have been with are not ‘conventionally’ pretty, but oh my god, they are beautiful to me when I am with them.

      But I DO take your point about ‘how it seems’, and how it might make someone feel. It’s an absolutely fair observation, but I am not sure what I can do about that.

      “… your ad suggests you’d consider one of us “under 50″ — really?”

      *smile* Yes, really. Did you know that I’m 47? I just realised that I probably haven’t stated that specifically in my blog (though it’s on my Fetlife profile and on my ad out in the world and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that I’m in my 40s a few times here).

      I say what I mean. I would hope that people believe me, but I guess if they don’t then there’s not a lot I can do about that.

      I really do appreciate your thoughts. I think your points were all really valid, and the last two related to *perception* are interesting because they do very much support the idea that my blog is a hindrance and not a help in all of this.

      Ferns

  7. Tiemepls beat me to the punch, but I do think your biggest killer is geography.

    Is it doable? Yes, but when one is trying to consider a LTR (which one would assume multiple trips.. you have the time and money becoming a factor. Round trip tickets from the US east coast run near $2500. From west coast… closer to $1500. So by stating all travel is at their expense… you are going to eliminate a LOT of men from here. I’m guessing the stats are similar from UK.

    Now factor in time. If he has the money to travel, he has a job. Most US jobs only allow 3-4 weeks vacation a year and are not so flexible that they would allow more than a week or two at once. So you are probably eliminating a large part of your US based 4% with this two requirements alone.

    But than again, I wouldn’t consider a blog a great way to find a good match and your reasons are valid enough that changing it to get more emails will probably just add dating frustrations in the end.

    1. “So by stating all travel is at their expense… you are going to eliminate a LOT of men from here. I’m guessing the stats are similar from UK.”

      I agree.

      I guess because I’ve done it, and paid for it, I don’t consider it that big a deal. Well within the reach of many relatively successful men.

      “Now factor in time. If he has the money to travel, he has a job. Most US jobs only allow 3-4 weeks vacation a year and are not so flexible that they would allow more than a week or two at once.”

      This is easy: If he doesn’t have holidays, I can travel to him. There, fixed. And that’s actually a more realistic testing ground for how a relationship would actually work than ‘holidays together’ since if he isn’t relocatable, in the end, I would have to move there, and he would continue to work as he is doing now.

      I’m not even really sure why I am making these points here because I’m not trying to argue that it’s not an issue. I absolutely agree that it’s a show stopper for many who are remote from me.

      I think I’m doing it because I want to give a shout-out to those who are putting barriers in *their own way* with ‘aww, it’s all too hard’ (versus real barriers like ‘I’m not willing or able to invest that kind of money or time’).

      Thinkers, dreamers, wide-eyed optimists. Them.

      Ferns

  8. One? Damn… that is crazy! I would have guessed more in the 50-60 range. If you have one it’s no wonder i can’t find a #2. For my you could add “Doesn’t mind I’m married” and “Heavy masochist.” Yeah, I’m really shocked you aren’t having just a slew of replies to your advertisement. And slightly disheartened since clearly my graph is going to be less than 1%. :(

    1. “One? Damn… that is crazy!”

      I know, right?!!

      I do know of people who have met through their blogs and are living happily ever after, so there’s that!!

      “And slightly disheartened since clearly my graph is going to be less than 1%”

      I’m not sure where you are located, but as pointed out above, geography makes a big difference simply because the majority of non-country-specific sites (including blogs) have a higher percent of Americans.

      But either way, a dating site designed for people who are looking for someone is a much better avenue for a personal ad than a blog. I’m pretty impressed with the responses I have had to my ad out there, I just like the romance of finding someone here…

      Ferns

  9. What may be “intimidating” is the perception that you are an expert at D/s and therefore need/deserve/want someone who is equally an expert. Or at least have some degree of success in D/s relationships.

    I have come to believe that some of us that have not been “successful” don’t necessarily need fixing (as is the perception) as much as we need to find that right person to complete us.

    Some of us are very familiar with our vulnerabilities and where we are lacking. We have a difficult time seeing how you would see one of us as a good match. That may mean that you will have to be more aggressive in the “getting to know you” phase and/or suspend some of your high standards/criteria until you are convinced that somebody is not a good match.

    1. “What may be “intimidating” is the perception that you are an expert at D/s and therefore need/deserve/want someone who is equally an expert. Or at least have some degree of success in D/s relationships.”

      That perception is a shame, though I do understand how someone might come to that. I’m no ‘expert’ at D/s, any more than I am an ‘expert’ at relationships just because I’ve had some. I love and adore newbies: My last two submissives were newbies.

      As long as someone is emotionally mature and sincere (and fits me in a relationship sense), their experience level with D/s is immaterial to me.

      “Some of us are very familiar with our vulnerabilities and where we are lacking. We have a difficult time seeing how you would see one of us as a good match.”

      Understood, and I guess this falls under both intimidation AND being afraid of not meeting my expectations, and I think it’s a valid point. Adding shy/nervous/a little insecure and and I can see it being a huge barrier to banging out an email.

      “That may mean that you will have to be more aggressive in the “getting to know you” phase and/or suspend some of your high standards/criteria until you are convinced that somebody is not a good match.”

      I’m not sure what you mean by this really. I’ve never mentioned anything in my standards/criteria that relate to his level of D/s experience. My criteria has to do with the personal qualities I want in a man with whom I am having a relationship, not with his ‘submissive qualifications and experience’. The latter is irrelevant to me.

      I develop a D/s relationship in pretty much the same way as a vanilla one. It’s really just two people getting to know each other.

      Still, this *is* all contributing to my impression that my blog is bad for my love life. Boo!

      Thanks so much for your thoughts.

      Ferns

      1. For my last paragraph, I was referring to perhaps the perception that you really don’t talk to somebody outside of your criteria long enough to eliminate them due to lack of “connection”. That is, you may have that perfect connection with somebody not in the center of your graph.

        If that is true, it may be the burden is more on you to verify there isn’t the connection by being more aggressive in exploring that possibility. Maybe another way to look at it is: how firm are you in your criteria and how much are you willing do to the initial pursuing if somebody is not in the middle of your graph?

        As an introvert I understand that it is uncomfortable for you to be the aggressor in getting a relationship started. But, how much have you done that? This is not a challenge as much as it is exploring a possibility.

      2. “Maybe another way to look at it is: how firm are you in your criteria and how much are you willing do to the initial pursuing if somebody is not in the middle of your graph?”

        I’m still struggling to understand this.

        If you read my ad again, I only explicitly exclude men shorter than me, those with dependants, and those over 50. The rest of my criteria is subjective, so pretty open.

        The graph is really just a bit of fun analysis to see what the size of the potential pool might look like (and ‘submissive, straight, right age, not currently getting D/s (which implies not in a relationship), and thinks I am magnificent’ seems about right as far as criteria goes).

        You *seem* to be suggesting that I should (aggressively?) go after men who I don’t think fit what I want (i.e. are outside my criteria). I assume that I am not understanding you because that makes no sense. For example, why would I pursue someone who has dependants when I know I don’t want to deal with everything that entails?

        “As an introvert I understand that it is uncomfortable for you to be the aggressor in getting a relationship started.”

        Actually, that’s not what introvert means. If I see someone I think might be interesting, I have no problem going after them.

        “But, how much have you done that? This is not a challenge as much as it is exploring a possibility.”

        The reason for placing the ad here on my blog is that most of my readers are invisible to me. They don’t interact, they don’t comment, they don’t email… I can’t be interested in what I can’t see.

        In terms of whether I have ‘aggressively’ gone after someone, I initiated contact with my last submissive and it could be argued that I pursued him (though he pursued me also). I doubt it was particularly aggressive though. If there is no mutual interest, I’m done. If there *is* mutual interest, it’s also mutual pursuit.

        I still feel as if I am missing your point here, and for that I apologise. I know how frustrating that can be. I appreciate you coming back to explain further, though. Thank you for it.

        Ferns

  10. I’m new to this blog, so maybe I’m not representative, but the post with the personal ad doesn’t mention where you live and that’s a big barrier. It only mentions that you’re relocatable, have a soft-spot for North American men, and that you might be willing to deal with distance. It’s hard to take travel investment into account unless you know where you’re going. I’m sure you’ve mentioned it in other posts, but depending on how long ago that was less people will have read it

    I’m assuming your FL account has your location, so you probably got more responses there because of that.

    1. Thanks Jandap.

      What you say is true, and maybe it is a barrier, but I do assume that any reader who is even vaguely interested would read my ‘About me‘ page (where I say that I’m Australian), and click through to Fetlife (I have a link there) to find out whatever else they can about me.

      Or, you know, they could email and ask me!

      I am not for the faint hearted, so someone who isn’t willing to do a little legwork probably isn’t a good fit for me, so I guess while I take your point that it *is* a barrier, it could also be considered a selection tool *smile*.

      Ferns

      1. Ugh, I apologize. I saw the About Me in the menu, but when it opened it just showed the Body Project link underneath it, so that’s all that I thought was there.

        Maybe that is a perfect barrier to keep out “the dumb ones”, like a child-proof medicine cap for the Internet, and it worked on me like a charm

  11. hi Ferns, I am SO surprised to read about that…one suggestion, I think you should post a second ad with a US location that says “relocatable”. I am based in South America (but in the process of relocating back to the US) and I posted my ad stating that I am going to be in New York…it’s so much better. Where are am, D/s is practically inexistent. Although I am an American citizen. But still, I’d give it a try for a few days.

    I also feel that the criteria of men who haven’t had kids to be the biggest hurdle of all, the most difficult to find among men successful enough to fund your relocation. My age preferences are 35-52 roughly, and I have only ever heard from a handful of the 40+ men who did not have kids and were very successful, and I don’t remember their ages:)

    I do hear from a lot of mid-50s men which is too old for me (I’m 35). I don’t care about height though (I’m short) so that’s ok. The men who are at the age you mention and successful might not know of your blog so I still think there is a larger pool out there for you, as long as you post your location as being in the US.
    Keep us updated!

    I loved your interview on the Masochast recently, thank you:)

    1. Thank you for your thoughts!

      “one suggestion, I think you should post a second ad with a US location that says “relocatable”.”

      Eep! No. I don’t lie.

      It makes perfect sense in your situation because you are moving and will be there soon (and I’m sure it does make a difference).

      But for me, it would just be a plain garden variety lie to attract attention under false pretences. Then I’d have to explain it after the fact. Nope, not doing it.

      I hear you with the difficulties finding men who don’t have dependants (grown kids is fine with me), or, if they are younger, often men still want to have kids.

      “I still think there is a larger pool out there for you”

      True! This post was really only about my blog readers. I am on a few sites, so yes, the pool is much bigger than this tiny little swimming hole.

      “Keep us updated!”

      Oh, I will *smile*. And good luck with your search also.

      “I loved your interview on the Masochast recently, thank you:)”

      Oh, I’m glad, thank you *smile*!

      Ferns

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