Reader Q&A: BDSM ‘feels less kinky’, and humiliation

I think to myself “I haven’t got enough questions for a Q&A post yet”, then when I think I have, I take a look and go “WTF?! THERE ARE SO MANY!! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!”

Despite my tardiness in responding, I really DO like getting questions/comments/thoughts in my inbox a lot. Please don’t think I’m all “Bah, who cares?” about it. I’m not. I appreciate hearing from you, truly!

So, into the fray!

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How does a new domme find a mentor OR is it better to train as a sub first then become a domme? I ask in relation to being an online domme only

Hiya I am thinking of doing online domination through txt or intant message. do not want to do web cams have you any advice?
– Melody

I’m grouping these two questions together because my not-very-helpful answer is the same for both of you.

There is no context here, so I’m guessing, but I get the feeling that you are both talking about some kind of commercial arrangement since there is no hint of personal desire in either of these questions. Online domination may seem somehow like easy money, but I’m preeetttyy sure that it’s not.

Finding, keeping and growing a customer base is really hard because the market is flooded with women (or people pretending to be women) doing this kind of thing. It’s not going to be enough to be good at what you do, though that’s certainly part of it. You have to be good at customer service and identifying time wasters and marketing and public relations and ongoing management of your clients.

Having said all that, I really have no idea where online dominants learn their skills, or how (or even if) they get hooked into a community where they can learn and/or network. I’d suggest you look on Fetlife for relevant groups, though I suspect they are full of women advertising their services rather than actual community.

Best of luck.

Ferns

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Hello!
I’m a 20something female just entering the public local scene. I am hoping to find a relationship with a submissive boy but the thing is while from a D/s standpoint I feel very dominant and I desire control but when it comes to S&M play I love taking pain. I am a total pain slut I can give as good as I get but people keep thinking I’m submissive when they see me playing as a bottom. Any help to explain that dominants can be masochistic?

Hello! *smile*

This is a great question and, I think, a difficult one for young women to deal with because for many people a) woman = submissive (ugh! hate!) and b) masochist = submissive (*eyeroll* stupid!), so a female masochist is CLEARLY submissive. It’s totally ridiculous and you shouldn’t have to deal with it at all, but I know you do (sucks!).

If you are just entering the local scene, the best thing you can do is make your interests known often and clearly whenever you are talking to people and have the opportunity. Bring it up yourself if it’s appropriate “Hey, I’m trying to meet people, interested in meeting a submissive man, but people keep assuming *I’m* submissive because I bottom. If you can help me set people straight, especially any adorable submissive men, I’d really appreciate it! *wink*” (for the record, I can’t wink, so that would be a total fail if I were to try it, but I kind of liked the cockiness in it… heh).

As you make friends, recruit them to do the same for you if they hear someone making mistaken assumptions. Communities are generally made up of a relatively small core set of people and as they get to know you and learn what you’re about, they’ll help.

Unfortunately, unless your community is REALLY tiny, I don’t think you’re going to avoid having to explain it over and over. Frustrating.

Ferns

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Hey Ferns! I’m the switch new to topping who asked a few questions about play and energy back in February. I just wanted to say thank you for your great advice (particularly regarding planning and not worrying about every scene being an operatic masterpiece)! My partner and I have been enjoying some really hot play and I’m surprised by how much I enjoy being mean for a change… Thank you!!

Jasmine

Hello Jasmine,

This is SO GREAT TO HEAR!! Thank you so very much for coming back with an update.

So many happies!!

Ferns

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Since I have become a ‘practicing’ domme for the last couple of years, professionally and in my personal relationships, I’ve been facing more and more requests and curiosity from friends who want to experiment. I don’t mind answering questions, but I think what they don’t necessarily understand is that it’s not purely sexual and it’s not all just whips and chains. I’m also not fond of being seen as something to try. What’s a diplomatic way to explain this without shutting down someone who may actually be a good sub for me?

I can understand your reluctance to go there. I’d be tempted to say “Hey, I’m not a carnival ride, fuck off!” though of course that doesn’t quite fit your criteria of ‘diplomatic’…

I think explaining pretty much what you said here seems perfectly reasonable: That you don’t mind answering questions, but that you feel uncomfortable with being a ‘try out’ buddy.

If you like them and want to leave a door open for a possible ACTUAL relationship, you could add that if they are genuinely interested in exploring a relationship with you, you’re willing to discuss it. I’d think if they just wanted to try the whips and chains, the mention of ‘discuss’ and ‘relationship’ would clear them out pretty quickly.

Ferns

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I have been living with my sub partner for eight months now (we were friends for over a decade before getting together) and presently most of our relationship is straight D/s outside the bedroom with very little kink/pain play (circumstance are interfering but last fall there was a lot of it -happy sigh-). It’s been very lovely, and last weekend before we went to church I decided he should wear a shibari harness under his clothes. It was a lot of fun for both of us, but it felt incredibly normal. Not just normal, but *vanilla*. Is it normal for that to happen kink things? Or if not normal, have you heard of it happening to someone else?

Thank you for this blog and your book, they are both so lovely and are wonderfully reaffirming for me. You understand the pull of biting! No one seems to understand it. But you do!! It makes me so happy.

– Grace

Hello Grace,

Firstly thank you so much for the compliment on my blog and book. I’m so glad it was reaffirming for you. That’s so very lovely to hear. And YES to the biting. Guh!

Secondly, yes, I think it does happen and I don’t think it’s at all uncommon. Funnily, it’s not talked about all that much. I’m not sure why.

I think the feeling you have described, where things start to seem ‘normal’, can be a good thing for the connection because ‘this is who we are and this is how we express affection, love, desire and this works for us’ but it’s NOT such a good thing for feeling the thrill of it because ‘been there done that and now it’s ‘ordinary”.

I know this is particularly true of rituals: My boy calling me Ma’am became completely ordinary and commonplace – we’d not think a thing of it when he did it in public because it was literally not something we thought about at all after a while. But we STILL felt it as something affectionate and bonding, so it didn’t *need* to feel ‘BDSMey’ if that makes sense.

I think there is a danger with BDSM (and I don’t mean ‘oooh scary danger’ but more ‘uh oh, not so good’) that play can become less about connection and more about the thrill of feelings that go with it. There’s nothing WRONG with the latter (aw hell no! It’s awesome!), but it can lead to disappointment if there is an expectation that it will remain the same over time.

I think having those expectations can lead to feeling that to (re)capture the sense of BDSM naughty-edgy-thrill, play has to keep escalating. And that can become a problem because you can’t escalate to infinity.

I’m not sure why this isn’t talked about more. But yes, I think it’s common.

Ferns
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I’ve started a relationship with an online findom. We have been messaging for about 2 weeks. She used to message me all the time throughout the day and evening maybe 20 msgs. Now she hardly bothers, maybe 3 msgs and I am finding it upsetting and am missing her. I am still tributing her in the usual manner. Is she mind fucking me, deliberately ignoring me to make me more dependent or am I just not that important to her ? Thank you for any advice. James

Hello James,

You sound really young and I’m sure this is very confusing to you. I have about a million things to say to you, I’ll try to keep it brief.

Financial domination is a legitimate kink, but IF GIVING A DOMINANT MONEY IS NOT YOUR KINK, THEN IT’S NOT FINDOM.

For most into this kink, money represents power, and finsubs into the kink get off on giving up that power, feeling helpless to resist etc. Findoms get a thrill of power in taking money.

But “financial domination” is an umbrella under which many people scam men for their money under false pretences, a key one being fooling naive men into believing there is a relationship happening when there isn’t: they just want your money.

So questions:

1. Did you do a reverse image search on this person’s picture/s (see this post if you aren’t sure how to do that)? If that picture is a model/all over the internet/has about 20 different identities/is on porn sites, then it’s not a photo of the person you are talking to.

2. Have you verified the identity of this person at all (seen them on cam for example, spoken on the phone, got any verifiable information at all)? I say this because many self identified findoms are not even women, but run-of-the-mill scammers (that is, men, gangs, random person who just wants to fleece you for money).

3. What you have after 2 weeks is not a relationship. I’m sorry. You are having a transactional exchange and unless you have specifically negotiated something different, the transaction works like this:

– You give her money
– She gives you the minimum required to keep you sending her money

I suspect if you were to say to her that it wasn’t working for you, you would then get enough attention (and possibly some outrage about how you aren’t a ‘real sub’) from her to keep you on the hook.

If you aren’t getting what you paid for (that is, it’s not worth the money), then stop paying.

If what you are getting is worth the money to you, then keep paying.

But please don’t fool yourself into thinking that this person cares for you. They don’t.

Ferns

**Note: Follow up from James in the comments
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Hi, I’m a woman with no D/s experience, but my boyfriend and I have recently been talking about some of our fantasies, and it turns out he’s pretty submissive. So now I’m doing a lot of research about being a good Domme, and I was wondering in particular, how do you get into the right mindset to dominate someone? Like, tying him up is one thing, but I love and respect him, and I’m not sure I have it in me to humiliate him, even though that’s what he wants. Thank you for reading!

Good on you and your boyfriend for sharing your fantasies. It’s great that he opened up to you: that can be really difficult for submissive men, and it’s a testament to how much he trusts you.

A thought up-front: There is being GGG (good, giving and game) as a partner, and then there is ‘doing things you are really uncomfortable with’, so please don’t feel bad if there are things he may like that you really can’t bring yourself to play with. That’s perfectly fine.

You have two very distinct things here, so bear with me as I tackle them separately (even though I suspect they are related for you).

“How do you get into the right mindset to dominate someone?”

Without more information about what sort of submissive your boyfriend is, this is hard to answer because your question is coming from a very different place compared with a woman who feels like she is dominant and thinks she knows what she wants, but has trouble when the rubber hits the road.

You, on the other hand, want to dominate your boyfriend to please him. There is NOTHING wrong with that at all, but it’s a very different mindset.

My advice is to gather all the information you can from him. Make him write out specific and realistic fantasies that include not just ‘what happens’, but dialogue and interaction. Not just one, a few of them. Then you arm yourself with that knowledge (like a super-Domme!!).

Pick and choose a few things from his writings that appeal to you. If it helps you, write your own fantasy of how play will work incorporating those things, include dialogue. Don’t make it a huge big complicated thing. Make it simple, short, and hot for you. Change up what he wants so it suits you (see more on this below). Imagine yourself playing out that fantasy and how it will go.

As to the headspace, maybe tease him during the day: sexts, ‘when you get home’ etc. Then when you kick off play time, make up a ritual to get you both into the headspace. Maybe you call him to you, “Here, boy. Kneel.” He kneels, you put a collar on him, he kisses your feet. Whatever helps you signal that ‘this starts now’.

Then commit to it. If it helps you (and it fits your fantasy), pretend you are suddenly Queen Bitch of Bitch Kingdom, or maybe Khaleesi (did you see this? Phew!), or whatever persona you think will help.

I suggest that you also talk (well before any sexy stuff) about how you are probably going to need *all the pats* afterwards because while the best case is that it’s super awesome for you, you might feel awkward or weird or wrong or strangely hurt by behaving this way. Be clear about this with him: he is to give you ALL OF THE PATS AND CUDDLES AND LOVELINESS afterwards.

“I’m not sure I have it in me to humiliate him, even though that’s what he wants.”

Humiliation is a hugely broad area, so it’s hard to give general advice here. It could mean anything from ‘small penis humiliation’ to being called worthless to feminisation to name calling to making fun of him…

I’m going to assume that you have all of the information about what humiliation means to him (and if you don’t yet, you should get it from his fantasy writings).

Mostly those who want to be physically hurt are masochists, and those who want humiliation are emotional masochists. Both are about causing pain and that’s a difficult thing to do to someone you love and adore. I’d say humiliation is much MORE difficult from the top side because you have to say things that you don’t believe and that you would NEVER EVER say to your sweetheart. You have to talk yourself around to believe that he *asked* for this and he feels this treatment as something special you are doing for him, he feels it as love.

Depending on what sort of humiliation he is into, I suggest that you start really lightly for your own well being, and to see how it sits.

For example, if he wants to be called degrading things (slut, whore, bitch, pig), you can soften it to a gentle amused “Oh look what a little slut you are for me” instead of some snarly bitch-face spitting “FILTHY SLUT!” at him which might be so far from who you are that you can’t do it without feeling embarrassed and really self conscious.

Or if you can’t bring yourself to say the words, you can write them on him with a Sharpie and have him read it back to you.

Or have him write it on himself (which is slightly MORE humiliating, making him label himself that way) while gently saying, “What are you? A filthy slut, that’s right. Why don’t you write that on your thigh now so everyone can see what a filthy little slut you are. What do you think the boys at the gym would think if they saw that when you were changing, hmmm…?”

So whatever kind of humiliation he is asking for, you can turn it around in your head so that it’s more acceptable for you to do. A kind of gentle, dismissive, amusement might be more your style than some really hard core nastiness that makes you feel terrible.

And whatever you plan, commit to it (you ARE the Bitch Queen), and make it short so you don’t get all stressed about it. If it goes well, that will leave him wanting more and that’s perfectly fine.

Best of luck to you both.

Ferns

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Want to ask me something? Pop on over to my Ask Me page and do it! It’s completely anonymous, even to me, so nobody will know it was you…

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8 Comments

  1. Great advice all around! See? that’s why I just like to pop onto your site, from time to time. I never know what I’m going to find. Much better than an RSS feed.

  2. Note: I am posting a follow-up ‘ask’ from James here so I can respond:

    Hi Ferns

    Re online findom

    Thank you so much fo your advice, it has been very helpful. My domme is genuine, she is verified on a well known site, has subs, wants to cam me (I refused because I’m worried about getting hooked). She has agreed to meet me in person. I tried to break with her, because findom doesn’t really do it for me, and as you predicted she had a fit: I had misled her, wasted her time, wasn’t a real sub etc. I relented. She told me that she loved my company, had a real connection with me etc. Now she hardly msgs me. Does she care for me at all or is it all bullshit. Apologies for agonising.

    Is it just all about the money. Am I being played.

    Thanks James.

    1. Hello James,

      I feel for you, I do. I’m glad you have verified that she is a real person to your satisfaction.

      But please re-read my response above, because you are asking the same question I have already answered and I’m not sure I could have been any clearer:

      “But please don’t fool yourself into thinking that this person cares for you. They don’t.”

      There is a murky area here that is hella confusing.

      Legitimate professional dominants (online or in real time) engage in a VERY clear exchange with their clients: “You are paying me for X service, and your money/tribute buys that service.”

      Legitimate findoms also engage in a VERY clear exchange with their submissives: “You are paying me because we both enjoy this kind of power play, and I will play with this kink with you.”

      In both of the above scenarios, the parameters of what is going on are clearly delineated. No-one is confused, no-one is wondering what the hell is going on.

      Then there are the dodgy ones who never actually define what is going on. The very WORST of these are the ones where they convince someone that it’s ‘a relationship’ where they care about the submissive, when in fact the ‘tribute’ is *the only reason they are doing it*.

      The situation above is where you are.

      Think about this: If you stopped paying, would this person still wax lyrical about your ‘connection’ and how much she loved your company? You already know the answer.

      So I’m going to say it again: If the money you are paying her is worth what you are getting out of it, then continue with it. If it’s fun and hot and awesome, then enjoy.

      If it’s an angsty thing where you are in emotional turmoil, where you are wanting an actual relationship with someone who genuinely cares for you, then you are heading for a big fall and you should end it.

      I understand that your emotions are getting in the way and you WANT to believe that this is ‘something real’, but honestly, people in real relationships do not base it on whether one party is paying the other or not. I don’t know what else to tell you.

      Best of luck.

      Ferns

  3. Can I just say how awesome your advice for the girl with the sub boyfriend is? It’s so gentle and practical and I can see it actually working for real people. I hope it does for them. :) So much better than a lot of the “buy a leather corset and start whipping him” or whatever. :P

  4. Thanks Ferns. Your advice has been fantastic. Thank you for giving me so much of your time – you’re a really good person! It is an angsty thing so I am going to stop paying and end it. Thank you for helping me avoid so much grief.
    James

    1. You’re most welcome James.

      When you find a dominant who can give you a relationship where you are cared for and valued, the difference will be immense. I promise.

      Ferns

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