Anatomy of a disappointment

I hate to be disappointed. Truly. But I also don’t like to be cynical. It’s a tricky balance, but when I’m optimistically excited, the disappointment is, of course, worse than when I don’t expect much. Not least because I feel foolish and naive for being hopeful.

So the unfolding of events with the 24 year old:

Thursday before last: He mentioned eating his ejaculate, asked if I would help him with that. It was in the context of a chat about his orgasm control and I was fine with him asking, but it made me realise that he had some assumptions about sexual contact in our arrangement. I sent him an email to clear that up, apologised for misleading him, stated clearly that there would be no intimate sexual contact in our service arrangement, but that I was willing to see where our relationship went.

I also sent him an email outlining D/s activities that might be in play for our first visit. I asked him to rate them from 0 (hard limit) to 5 (yes please!), he could add some for discussion if he wanted. The list included things like kneeling, undressing, body touching, kissing. Not explicitly sexual, but certainly more than pure service, enough to make it fun for both of us, I thought.

Friday: I invited him to come and visit on Saturday afternoon. He had already made plans for the weekend, which was fine.

Saturday: He replied late to my last text.

Sunday: A few texts in the afternoon. I invited him to come for his first service visit on Wednesday. He agreed. He said he would reply to my emails ‘soon’. He didn’t call me ‘Ma’am’ which he had initiated and which I said I liked. I reminded him of it. I said I expected his emails on Monday then. We wished each other good night.

Monday: No contact. That was unusual.

Tuesday: A few early texts, but something felt ‘off’ in the way we had been communicating, his enthusiasm was gone. It felt eerily similar to the strangeness I felt from him before he bailed the first time. Nothing I can quite put my finger on, but not replying to my emails from the previous week, and in particular to the D/s checklist for his visit the next day, was not normal behaviour for him and it didn’t feel right.

Just before lunch I sent him a text noting that I was feeling the same ‘iffy’ vibe from him that I felt in the days before he bailed the first time. He replied that he was really busy at work, stressed about having to find a new place to live, had no time to do anything. He was obviously struggling. I sent this to give him an easy out:

postpone

He didn’t reply… (and didn’t reply and didn’t reply).

Some 7 hours later (Tuesday evening), I still had heard nothing and I was angry. I sent him a text saying that I was calling it off, that if he’d thought it was a good idea to go ahead the next day, he’d had plenty of time to say so. He apologised, thanked me for cancelling, and then added that he ‘completely forgot’.

The “I completely forgot” tipped me over into livid.

Not because we had to cancel or because he was busy and stressed: life happens, I get it. I wasn’t even angry that all of the communication and management of the situation came from me: I had to ‘guess’ that something was up with him with my ‘magic dommely powers’ (again) and I had to chase him about it (again) to see what was going on. I was surprisingly okay with that.

What made me livid was that when I graciously offered to postpone so that he didn’t even have to think about it or make any effort to manage it, he didn’t even have the courtesy to put in the 10 seconds it would have taken to text ‘Yes please, I’d like to postpone’. The ‘I completely forgot’ was the icing on the ‘WTF?!’ cake.

The level of casual disrespect in it hit all of my buttons.

And like the first time, I have no idea what would have happened if I hadn’t been all over it. Perhaps a last minute paniced cancellation the next day? Who knows.

I waited until my anger had cooled over the next day and a half in the wake of his silence.

Thursday: I sent him a calm email about my expectations around respect and communication.

I closed with this:

“It takes NO more time or effort to be respectful and communicative than it does to apologise for NOT doing it after the fact.

Maybe this is not what you signed up for because ‘geez, I just want to do some naked chores ffs!’ If you are thinking I am being unreasonable or making a mountain out of a molehill, then we’ve identified a fundamental incompatibility and we should call it done.

If you understand what I’m saying, and genuinely want to do better, then we have something to work with.”

I haven’t heard from him since. So clearly we DO have a fundamental incompatibility problem. I wish he’d had the grace to reply and say so.

The almost perfect irony of getting no respectful communication in response to an email about respect and communication is not lost on me, by the way. It has a kind of pleasing rueful symmetry to it.

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31 Comments

  1. What is it with some men and communication? I am constantly baffled by their inability to realise how crucial communication is. It takes so little effort to be respectful and considerate, and it has such a positive impact. Yet they fail to see this, again and again. Curious creatures.

    1. I’m not sure that they fail to see it as much as they’re not interested enough to do it.

      To me, men who are interested and who want to keep my attention are all over that shit. They will move heaven and earth to make sure I’m engaged and that they have (and keep) my attention.

      Men who AREN’T interested (even if they say a million times that they really are, no really, for reals, they’ll swear themselves blind) just can’t be bothered. That is, ‘he’s just not that into me’.

      I think there is the very rare case where they genuinely just don’t ‘get it’ or it’s simply not how they are wired, but I think they’re a lot less common than we women like to think.

      Ferns

  2. Ferns, this might be a strange/inappropriate comment from me, but your experience with the 24 yo actually comfort me. It comforts me insofar as that I can learn so much from it.

    We(the readers of your blog) all know that you have so much to offer to the right guy, that you look stunning, that you are smart and witty, that you are a wonderful human being.

    In my mind, there is no doubt that you are a wonderful woman.

    So if this happens to You, the great and experienced Ferns, ( and not only to the sometimes still naive “Tina”) for me it means only that it is ok to relax and just accept things as they are. These things obviously do happen and it does say NOTHING about the woman involved. It only says that you and him, for some reasons, werent seeking the same thing.

    IMHO, there is no need for you to get in the whole thinking of “he does not respect me, he should have apologized, etc…”. Because after months and months of pondering questions like that I came to the conclusion that people usually do have their reasons for acting as they do. And of course it would have been nice if he actually had communicated with you better; or apologized to you.

    The fact however is that he did not. And he probably wont. I tend to think that giving him the benefit of the doubt is ok. Most likely he IS overwhelmed, and scared. Hey, you are Ferns after all ;-) And the step from “things that sound hot in the own mind” to “doing it in real life” is , as we all know, lol, HUGE.

    He is young, he will learn. He will understand sooner or later that he could have handled the situation with more “elegance”.

    And you, you will find a guy who treats you with the respect you deserve. No worries, the new guy for you is probably already on his way to you :-)

    Tina

    1. *smile* Your comment was not inappropriate at all.

      There is a LOT of value in the ‘me tooing’ that we all get out of hearing other people’s stories, and goodness, the only reason I think I may have fewer ‘ugh sucks’ stories is because I hate meeting people and do it only with those who I think are ‘all that’ so the chances for it are relatively low.

      I think there is value in looking at what I did to contribute to a poor outcome: If I can learn from an experience, then that’s a good thing and if the same thing keeps happening over and over then I have to take a look at patterns I’m perpetuating.

      In this case, I think my taking casual control of his orgasms led to some misconceptions: it was probably a mistake. I try pretty hard not to play the ‘age card’, but I do think that he is probably used to a very casual level of social interaction where ‘eh, it’s all good’ is the default for social interactions, and I’m REALLY not the ‘eh, it’s all good’ kind :P.

      But in the end, I’m not responsible for other people’s choices and I certainly can’t change other people’s behaviour. Beyond learning from it, as you said, there comes a point where ‘it is what it is’ and it’s really not a lot to do with me.

      Thanks for your encouraging words. I do hope you are doing well and there will be some happy posts on your blog soon :).

      Ferns

  3. As I’m currently trying to improve my onomatopoeia literary skills, was what you said during the week sort of like:
    Urrghmmmmmfuksake
    Your feedback is greatly appreciated

  4. Sheesh, what the heck is wrong with some people? if you don’t have the guts to go through with something, or, if you indeed are disappointed because your expectations are not going to get met, at least be respectful enough to cancel on your own accord. I would love to think it was just his age, but i know that’s a weak excuse. Sometimes you just want to go around with a foam bat (or harder material) and hit people like this on the head to give them a wake-up call…

    I commend you on your polite and understanding demeanor in this respect Ferns, especially because i can imagine how frustrating it must be to go through this AGAIN with someone who actively sought you out!

    1. “if you indeed are disappointed because your expectations are not going to get met, at least be respectful enough to cancel on your own accord.”

      Yes, this. Exactly. It’s a difficult thing to do and it’s never pleasant. I HATE it (we all do). But it comes with the territory.

      “I commend you on your polite and understanding demeanor in this respect Ferns, especially because i can imagine how frustrating it must be to go through this AGAIN with someone who actively sought you out!”

      Thank you. And trust me, my friends got several earfuls of the not-very-polite and not-very-understanding in the middle of it :P.

      Ferns

  5. I suspect that when he when he read your Thursday email stating ‘there would be no intimate sexual contact in our service arrangement’, he lost interest.

    In my mind, this bespeaks a lack of patience, honesty, or both.

    1. I think you may be right about the cause of his loss of interest, but I want to be clear that he’s a newbie, and he can’t be expected to know ALL THE THINGS (or even all that many of the things) with no experience behind him.

      I did ask him before all this whether his submission was arousal-based and he thought it probably was. There was no dishonesty in it.

      But to me there’s a difference between ‘arousal based’ and ‘intimate sexual contact’. I can play with the former without ever doing the latter. Perhaps that was too subtle for him and it WAS that which made him change his mind, I don’t know.

      Either way, the issue isn’t what he wanted or didn’t. Those are his preferences and he’s 100% entitled to them and 100% entitled to accept nothing less. The issue is the poor communication and lack of respect in handling it.

      Ferns

    1. No-one will ever convince me that a man who is into me will SAY one thing and DO another. Nevvvaaarrr!!

      The whole ‘he’s not that into you’ concept is 100% right in my experience and contorting ourselves into awkward shapes to try and convince ourselves otherwise is a waste of time.

      And yes: ugh :(.

      Ferns

  6. You know, it’s weird. I have a friend who would totally do this. I’ve never let the friendship develop into an area where I am going to be repeatedly disappointed by him (I got lucky that I had the opportunity to discover what he’s like by watching him with others). He’s fun to talk to and interact with so I keep him around on that “casual friend” pile despite the fact he frequently makes overtures for more. He’s 36

    I have a friend who would never, EVER do something like that. He just..wouldn’t. It would be absolutely unacceptable in his own mind to behave that way towards a Lady, particularly one he had made plans with. He’s 22

    I think you did the right thing in your approach. We tend to let people who are young “off the hook” for their disrespectful behavior and make excuses for them. In reality though, the only way someone learns what is disrespectful and not appropriate is if someone flat out tells them. It isn’t an age thing, it’s a personality/learned behavior thing and it’s fine to alert someone when they’ve crossed a line.

    He may never learn. Or he may. But at least if he does not learn it isn’t because no one is saying anything and just assuming that no one should be upset by that behavior because after all “he’s so young.”

    1. “It isn’t an age thing, it’s a personality/learned behavior thing and it’s fine to alert someone when they’ve crossed a line.”

      This is absolutely true, and I try not to prejudge with age, but it can be hard to differentiate ‘because young’ from ‘because social norms’. Social interactions of many younger people are just so different (informal, relaxed, ‘whatever’) from what I expect and will accept.

      With younger people my first instinct isn’t ‘you’re an arsehole’, it’s ‘this is probably acceptable with your peers’. With older people, I 100% expect them to know better and to do better.

      Of course anyone can learn if they want to and of course individuals vary, but I also think that it takes maturity to have difficult conversations (not necessarily age, but maturity).

      Either way human relationships are tricky biz and I wish it was all a lot easier :/.

      Ferns

  7. Love the blog dahling

    We care about you, not him.

    Have you noticed that your “disappointed” posts provoke a lot more comments than you “happy times / hopeful” posts? What does that say about us, your readers? Or maybe you’re “better” when you’re disappointed?

    Do you want advice from us? Probably not. And yet… And yet we can’t resist!

    Well… I can!

    Have a great day in spite of the Millennial Twit! And throw another God damned shrimp on the God damned Barbie! Puns intended.

    1. “Have you noticed that your “disappointed” posts provoke a lot more comments than you “happy times / hopeful” posts? What does that say about us, your readers? Or maybe you’re “better” when you’re disappointed?”

      *laugh* I think when things go poorly there is more to talk about. And more comments tells me that my readers can relate and want to show support, which I appreciate very much.

      When things are going well, it’s more ‘hey that’s great :)’. Not really much to say about it.

      I WILL have a great day, though it started way too early for my liking.

      Ferns

      1. The FEAR is that when you find that special guy, this blog will vanish into the Outback.

        Fortunately for us, you are so particular. AND introverted.

        :-)

        1. Oh my goodness no! The first few years of happy hotness on my blog all came out of me being loved up in my relationship.

          So when I find him you should see a whole bunch of the fun-sexy-fabulous-ridiculous.

          *wistful sigh… stares into the distance… whispers “one day…”*

          Ferns

  8. I’ve often found that when you explicitly line out the list of what you’ll be doing and not doing, the “fantasy” for some of these guys wears off quicker than cheap mascara in the rain! He clearly had the idea that something more was going to happen than it was, hence his talking about eating his own cum, etc. When you put the realistic spin on it I assume that killed it for him. You obviously did nothing wrong but I hate when I meet someone who is clearly in La-la land about D/s when I am not. I WOULD NOT give this guy another chance, no matter what, otherwise he’ll think he can keep flaking and getting a go with you. It’s definitely his lost.

    1. I don’t want to attribute things to him that aren’t true:

      Even though he was a newbie, he wasn’t lost in fantasy or la-la land. I DO think he probably had some expectations that I was not going to meet and that was brought home when I clarified. They aren’t the same thing, though.

      I have zero problem with someone discovering that what I’m offering doesn’t work for them. That’s par for the course with meeting people and talking through what’s on the table. The issue arises when they are unable to *use their words* to talk about it like mature adults.

      It’s exhausting and tedious to navigate. Just tell me what’s what and we can go from there like proper grown ups.

      Ferns

      1. I agree with comment #9 “if you don’t have the guts to go through with something, or, if you indeed are disappointed because your expectations are not going to get met, at least be respectful enough to cancel on your own accord.”

        It really doesn’t have anything to do with age. A slave sought me out and we talked for about an hour and he agreed on services, non-sexual with a lot of BDSM. He offered to sign a contract due to how much he claimed he wanted done to him. I was super excited, especially when I found out he had a high pain tolerance. He was in his early 50’s and claimed he wasn’t a newbie. He said his previous Mistress was “more bitchy and mean than dominating” and “thought” she was his girlfriend. I made it clear up front that this wasn’t a “relationship.”

        Anyway, I promise I’m trying to make this short, after the second session, he kept emailing me about wanting to be my 24/7 slave, sleep at the foot of my bed, would be honored if I went to family gatherings with him, and me being a switch. I emailed back politely reminding him of what our contract was and that I was the Domme and he was my Slave period. I told him not to mention him moving in with me or my being a switch as it was disrespectful and inappropriate for him to assume he could change or make new “rules.”

        This brings me to your reply #22: “I DO think he probably had some expectations that I was not going to meet and that was brought home when I clarified. … I have zero problem with someone discovering that what I’m offering doesn’t work for them. That’s par for the course with meeting people and talking through what’s on the table. The issue arises when they are unable to *use their words* to talk about it like mature adults.”

        He had paid for a set number of sessions per month (three) and revoked the contract before the third session, which I thought was foolish. I enjoyed the sessions because I love inflicting pain so I offered him the last session for the month since he had paid. He accepted and then talked again about me being a switch. I emailed him that he was pissing me off and that I was really going to enjoy our last session.

        He canceled that third session saying he was “too afraid now to go through with it.”

        I was disappointed and haven’t found a sub/slave yet that has as high a pain tolerance as him, which is frustrating. I get a lot of what I call first-timers … they seek me out, agree to a session, get here and tell me they don’t like pain. WTF!?!?!?!?!? Such a waste of time. Or calling “YELLOW” after five minutes.

        I’m venting, I know :-/

        Great article. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Clearly a lot of us can relate.

  9. I know a 24 yr old just like him. Immature, self-absorbed, noncommittal, rude, selfish and arrogant. He constantly did the tyoe of things your 24 yr old just did. He wondered for a very long time why he spent so much time alone, sitting at bars nursing his Dewar’s and water, chatting with a bored bar tender. Some really painful lessons. Still don’t understand why it took me so long to learn them. Bonnie and I send you are best and hope for better times ahead

    respectfully
    stan

  10. Urgh! It is the absolute height of disrespect to not answer courtesy with courtesy. And “completely forgot” is really a lame excuse. It’s an easy way out excuse, same way “dog ate my homework” used to be. I mean, he could at least have said “thanks” or “I need to think about it” or even “I’ll get back to you.”

    *sigh* Some men drive me up the wall…

    1. I knoooowww!

      But even AFTER that, he had the chance to simply reply to my email and say ‘You’re right: This isn’t what I expected and it isn’t working for me’ and I’d have been relatively satisfied that we at least ended things on a courteous note.

      Ferns

  11. Gotta admit between mental illness and constantly keeping track of two kids, disabled partner, and all that comes with them, I am fully capable of “forgetting” like that. But I also make a point to let people know up front, “I’ve got mental illness, two kids and a disabled partner. If I drop contact for a while, it’s not that I’ve lost interest it’s that life has overwhelmed me. If that’s a problem for you in a relationship, best we part ways, no harm no foul.”

    But that’s also why, short of being in the emergency room, if I got a text like you sent I’d reply right a way–that way I don’t have a chance to forget!

    And from what you’ve shared of this guy, doesn’t seem he has any of my reasons for difficulty communicating. Just starts getting up tight and drops the ball when ti gets close to being real. Which is just lazy/selfish, IMO.

    1. Yep. And I was being so understanding too.

      I mean I gave the boy a second chance, an easy out when he was clearly struggling, and even a final final with my last email saying ‘hey’ here’s the deal’ to which I got crickets…

      *sigh*

      Ferns

  12. Boys… gawd! They get all giddy until you say yes and make plans for them to deliver on all those lovely promises they have been begging you to receive.

    It is disheartening and disappointing. I have one that has been chasing me on and off for 4 years! He’s so damn beautiful! He only lives 45 min away. Comes on strong…then when pressed to meet…bails a few days later.

    It’s now become a humorous joke with me when his texts arrive sheepishly saying “Hello Mistress.”

    I roll my eyes and once again am amazed at his contact.

    You just have to laugh… ;-)

    ~ Vista

    1. Oh god, that sounds so frustrating. Though if he keeps getting your attention after 4 years of this behaviour, he must be delivering *something* that is making it worth your while to keep engaging with him, so I hope it’s at least a lot of fun for you.

      I don’t laugh though. Truly I don’t. If I give someone a genuine chance at something with me, I’m putting my trust in them to be who and what they say they are. I’m completely humourless in the face of someone breaking that trust. I don’t take it lightly because I don’t GIVE that trust lightly.

      In the scheme of things, this is hardly a blip since he wasn’t a hopeful romantic potential, but since I give my trust so rarely, I take it pretty hard.

      Ferns

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