Prior to my blog existing, I had 100% success rate with meeting submissive men and having the meeting lead to a relationship. Since having the blog, becoming single, and with the blog linked from my profiles everywhere, my success rate is down to zero (keep in mind that I meet *very* few men, I really only meet those who I believe have real potential). Essentially, since having the blog, my ‘foolproof’ method is no longer working.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that my blog was cock blocking me (though ‘cock blocking’ is not quite the right word here…). I’ve written about this before: my concern that my blog might cause me problems in finding a partner: Hello my name is….
What I was thinking about when I first wrote about this was that problems might arise because of a mismatch between ‘Ferns’ (blog-me) and ME-me. Not because I misrepresent myself here, but because what I write here is *too much information* for someone who doesn’t know me. It is a peek into my most private relationships and thoughts. It is a window through which someone gets glimpses of who I am in strobe-light flashes of my choosing, and they can build a pretty powerful picture of ‘Ferns’ with it.
What I feared would happen is that potential partners would have difficulty putting aside ‘Ferns’ in order to get to know *me*. I know that sounds patronising, as if I think these men are stupid, but it’s NOT that. Words have power: they evoke emotion and kinship, and they can build pictures that resonate deeply, so if someone *knows* and really connects with ‘Ferns’, I have to kind of fight her off to get to him.
What I have found, though, is that it hasn’t really happened like that. That’s a good thing. There *is* some cognitive dissonance, but not enough to cause that particular issue.
But what HAS happened, I think, is a cycle of forgiveness between us that is based on what they know and like of me from the blog, and how I react to that.
What I mean by that is complex, so I’m going to try and break it down.
- I talk to someone who has read my blog and thinks I am beyond awesome (I am, truly!)
- Maybe he has been a long time reader, maybe he admits to having had a crush for a while
- I love that, I am sucker for crushes, I adore them, so I am all ego-stroked from it
- We start to talk, we like each other, there is ‘something’ there
- He gets to know the ‘real’ me, but still, the background crush is there, humming away
- I am all aglow with his effusive sweetness that underlies our contact
- He blossoms under my attention, not just because I am awesome, but because I am ‘Ferns’ (who he ‘knows’ already)
- Still, it all seems like it is going well
BUT (and here it comes)
- We are mismatched in some way/s and this starts to become evident in our conversations
- He forgives me the disconnect/s, finds reasons why it will be okay, and this is at least partly *because I am ‘Ferns’ who he knows and likes already*. I have this momentum behind me that doesn’t really belong to me, but to my blog
- I am enamoured by his optimism and enthusiasm, so I *also* make excuses for why things I would otherwise consider a big deal aren’t that important
- Repeat the above, we meet, and the niggly things that we thought weren’t such a big deal prove to be serious incompatibilities
That shouldn’t be a surprise! But what’s essentially happening is that his view of me from my blog colours how he treats me, and I am influenced by that treatment. It’s like some kind of emotional blindness on both sides.
If ‘Ferns’ didn’t exist, I am pretty sure we wouldn’t skip so lightly past the things that are niggling at us as potential problems, but what he knows of me already turns his desire to make it work up to 11, so things get pushed aside. And I get caught up in this incredible sweetness that he delivers to me on a silver platter because of all the groundwork ‘Ferns’ has done for me already.
If I had to stand alone again without her influence, without the soft filter and crush-momentum, any boy I talk to would have a much more clear-minded view of me, and I think we would both be much more willing to say, ‘Hmmm… okay, this is not working right… how bad is it? Really? That bad? Yeah, I think we have a show-stopper here.”
Instead, we both go “But I really LIKE you!” and we kick it under the carpet.
I’m thinking of creating a separate profile that isn’t linked to my blog, and seeing if I can woo some boys with it. Start from scratch. See how that goes.
So if you are a lovely submissive man out there, and you get a random email from some strange dominant woman, be nice to me, mmmkay?
Of course I’ll be nice to you! *drumming fingers on desk… waiting for email*
*smile* I appreciate that, thank you!
Well, what you describe makes perfect sense….
I suppose that’s the reason celebrities have such tough love lives… and with paparazzi reporting every little pimple to boot!
~*laughs*~ You might not enjoy NOT being a celebrity!
But please friend me with your alter ego??
You know what’s funny (and I know at least ONE other female dominant blogger has said the same thing…): sometimes when I reply to an email, I DO get “OMG, you replied!!! This is like talking to a rock star!!!” It is incredibly sweet and totally baffling.
Then I think about some bloggers who I adore (no, not telling!) and I guess I am the same in some ways… It is hard to think of them as ‘normal people’ even though I know that they are (I mean, duh!). If they actually reply to a comment or an email I send, I AM actually all a-flutter as if they are someone ‘famous’, because… blog-crush! It’s strange to me to think that, but I kind of get it.
It is a strange strange world!!
And you know what’s interesting (wow, long comment!)? I know people who have created alternative profiles on Fetlife for whatever reason, and they are very quickly and easily recognisable because of the way their profile is written, the way they interact with people, and the stories they have to tell. Ha! I wonder if I would be the same, with people eyerolling and going “Geez Ferns, you aren’t fooling anyone!”
If you think back one of the very first questions I asked you on FL was “Do You not get tired sometimes of the attention You receive sometimes? Or just want to scream because You have so many people on Your blog saying they are in love with You. Do You not want to to scream sometimes “You don’t even know me!”
See you answered no but really if you think this does happen with your potentials. Your potentials form an image of you and hold you too it. They think they KNOW you instead of pushing everything aside and starting from scratch.
The problem I have with your proposed plan is you are taking on the responsibility of making them see the light. You are holding yourself at fault over your blog when really you shouldn’t. If they are crushing on Ferns and cannot let that go to see if there is something with YOU then they have a problem with reality versus fantasy. That is THEIR problem not YOURS. And your blog is NOT the contributing factor really. I have seen this happen when women send out a photo of themselves or anything. This happens with any potential thing that starts online. People create images of what they want in a partner and push them on someone they like, whether it fits or not.
I have a $50 bill that says you will find out when you create a profile that is not linked to your blog you will run into the same exact problem anyways and you will see its not just your blog. It is the failure of that other person, not of you at all.
“See you answered ‘no’…”
I did answer no. I LOVE that people relate to my writing, that it resonates, that they see themselves in it, that they get caught up in it, that they get invested in some way, that they like who I am in it, that they get crushes, that they are incredibly sweet. All of that contributes to why I write: It’s wonderful!!
“… but really if you think this does happen with your potentials. Your potentials form an image of you and hold you too it. They think they KNOW you instead of pushing everything aside and starting from scratch.”
No, you misunderstood. What you describe is what I FEARED would happen. What *actually* happens is something different and more nuanced.
But I can’t explain it any better than I have.
“The problem I have with your proposed plan is you are taking on the responsibility of making them see the light. You are holding yourself at fault over your blog when really you shouldn’t.”
I see a problem, I think I have identified the cause, and I am figuring out a way to fix it. There is no ‘fault’ here.
“This happens with any potential thing that starts online. People create images of what they want in a partner and push them on someone they like, whether it fits or not.”
I agree that this happens, but two big points:
1. I’ve been doing this ‘meeting submissives online’ for many many years, and THIS problem… this is new. The only thing that has significantly changed is that this blog now exists where it didn’t before, and I can *see* the influence it has and how it manifests.
2. The men I choose are smart, emotionally mature, wonderful men. This problem is something that we create together, it’s not something that THEY do in a vacuum. The men who can’t let go of some fantasy that they have of me are not the ones with whom I go on to try and develop something. You have to give both of us some credit here: them for not being fantasy-led fools and me for not choosing fantasy-led fools.
“I have a $50 bill that says…”
*laugh* I’ll take that $50, thanks.
I do understand what you are saying we just see it in different lights.
“You have to give both of us some credit here: them for not being fantasy-led fools and me for not choosing fantasy-led fools.”
Trust me I know you are no fool and I happen to think you are highly intelligent and mature and would not choose a fool. But sometimes what we want and what is in front of you can often become mixed if that makes sense.
And I knew I would hold the different devils advocate opinion on this lol
I already tweeted you because I was frustrated by this… *waves fist dramatically*.
Maybe you expressed your thoughts poorly, but what you wrote clearly showed that you *didn’t* understand what I was saying.
If you want to talk about it offline so I can try to clarify further, I’m happy to.
I think another account is a great idea. I’ve often thought, while reading your blog, I bet the boys are loving this right now. You’re honest with us, your readers, on levels that one won’t see in typical internet femdom. We come back for the vulnerability (and strength and humor and intellect and you can stroke my ego later) you expose in Ferns. Why? Because she’s far more human… and it makes the ladies go “oh hell, that’s me!” and all the boys are all “oh hell, that’s what I want!”
With another you… The fabulous you will come out in the natural ways and you’ll still have your crush. And when it works out and you know all those little things are worth the effort… then you can be like “ok so I’m this internet rock star, come read all my stuffs!” and he’s passed out on the floor because he’d already been reading you for years and he just hit JACKPOT!
Personally, I’d really love a picture of him passed out with the little 7’s on his eyelids!
“With another you… The fabulous you will come out in the natural ways and you’ll still have your crush.”
Exactly this!! I don’t mind doing the work to woo a boy I like. In fact, I enjoy it. But if ‘Ferns’ has already done all the wooing, I’m just skating by on her coattails.
“And when it works out and you know all those little things are worth the effort… then you can be like “ok so I’m this internet rock star, come read all my stuffs!” and he’s passed out on the floor because he’d already been reading you for years and he just hit JACKPOT!”
This just made me laugh so hard!! OMG, I would LOVE that!! Though of course, ego-me would be all disappointed if I did that, and he went ‘Oh, a blog…? Huh.’ and didn’t know it and didn’t give a rats. I’m *complicated*!!!
I have to say that with the 6’5 cutie, I am liking that his enthusiasm has nothing to do with ‘Ferns’. He’s all bouncy about meeting me just because *me* (well, okay, he did have a little look around here, but he’s not familiar with the blog).
“Personally, I’d really love a picture of him passed out with the little 7′s on his eyelids!”
Me too! *laugh* LOVE!
“We come back for the vulnerability (and strength and humor and intellect and you can stroke my ego later) you expose in Ferns.”
Happy hunting! “Artist Known as Ferns.” Such fine writing as yours, even with talent, never comes easy. We can’t be expected to shine in life as we can, sometimes, in art. Actually, it would be a drag. Mozart gambled, played billiards, flirted and farted a lot, and I’m sure was well loved, but not like his music eventually, and that’s all to the good or he wouldn’t have much enjoyed
his short and happy life.
I am totally shiny in life!! SHINY!!
I know. I know! Me too! Just perfect!
I’m pretty sure this is how people end up with multiple personalities.
Are you talking to me? You talkin’ to me???!
But how am I supposed to know it’s you? Now I’ll just be suspicious that everyone I’m talking to is really you in disguise! Or maybe that is what you want me to think… I’m on to you!!
Seriously, I hope it works out, but I think either way it will be a roll of the dice.
*laugh* They are ALL me!!!
And I agree, it’s a roll of the dice. But everyone knows that if you keep doing the same thing over and over, you will continue to get the same results.
Surely this is just a case of ‘girl meets boy’ isn’t it? By which I mean that it’s not D/s specific, or blog specific, but human-to-human specific.
In our relations with the world, we all put up a front, or persona, or ‘false-self’. That’s an inevitable part of being socialised. We carefully select the information that we are prepared to reveal to the Other, even when we appear to be incredibly open and self-revealing.
Once this mask has served its purpose, once we have been accepted and validated by the Other, we hope to be penetrated to the quick, so that we can reveal our true self and have that too validated.
That’s where the problems begin, because there’s inevitably a gap between the facade and the core.
Your problem goes with the territory of being human and having to negociate with other humans.
To quote my friend Sam Beckett:
– Try again, fail again. Fail better.
I agree it’s really nothing new in the sense that this layering and then unlayering (is SO a word!) happens in all relationships.
But I would be wilfully ignorant not to recognise that if the top layer has undue influence, it can create an unnecessary barrier that is difficult to navigate around, despite everyone’s best intentions. So trying to minimise that seems a logical step.
Since my ‘foolproof’ method is no longer working, I will also try other things to shake it up a bit. Like meeting 6’5 cuties with whom I have established no real basis for compatibility… *smile*.
I’m (almost) always nice!
*laugh* You *are* always nice… you can’t fool me!
I think I get what you’re saying – it sounds like being able to read thousands upon thousands of words about really intimate parts of your life fast-forwards the attachment process so that by the time you meet, he’s attached to you sort of out of proportion to the amount of direct getting-to-know-you the two of you have actually had. And that attachment leads him to be so sweet and open and giving that you’re more tempted than normal to let things slide, and then the badness creeps in.
I may be totally out to lunch here, but if I understand you correctly then it does seem like a good idea to try meeting people without letting on that you’re the Ferns right away. And if it works out, then doing the big reveal could be all kinds of fun :)
Yes, you got it exactly! I should just get you to paraphrase everything I say from now on *smile*.
And of course, it’s not just ‘Ferns’ presented here – my blog also shows highlights (and lowlights, but mostly highlights) of my relationships, so he knows what’s on offer, what’s possible, and if it matches what he wants, it’s another powerful reason to work hard on it when there are signs that we probably really shouldn’t. It all creates a kind of cyclical momentum that shouldn’t be there.
In the real world, without the ‘insider knowledge’, every interaction has to stand alone successfully and be measured on its own merits (as it should). And if we aren’t hitting it out of the ballpark in those interactions, it’s really not a great loss to walk away. And of course, that’s how it should be.
Despite best intentions and putting it all out there and discussing it all like mature adults, there is no way to unknow what they already know, so managing it (on both sides) is really difficult.
So yeah, anonymous-Ferns seems like a reasonable idea to me. In any case, it can’t hurt to give it a go.
You and Dumb Domme both are brave women. I would never date a man who knew me through my blog. In my mind, my blog is PRIVATE (yes, all caps, PRIVATE).
I wrestle with that fact because I worry about the ethics, etc, but the bottom line is that it is WAY too personal and intimate for some schmuck off the internet (no offense to all the wonderful schmucks out there, btw!) to know those details about me before he knows me in real life.
I just don’t want people wanting me based on the narrow portrait I paint here or vice versa being judged for it. Therefore, I can totally understand your conundrum. This persona is just a sliver — a tantalizing, enigmatic, sexy sliver.
I think I’m mostly likeable as far as likeable goes in real life, but I’m not convinced every reader would feel that way after meeting me. It makes my stomach flip just thinking about it. Oh, the pressure to be as cool as everyone thinks Hy is!! haha
So, on the one hand, I’m kinda impressed you try; on the other, I think you’re a little nuts to share so much of yourself lol. But whatever happens, I hope you find a playmate and partner however it comes about. xx Hy
Thanks Hy, your comment made me laugh because all points are spot-on.
When I started the blog, I was already with my boy, and since he was ‘mine’, there was no conflict or dilemma in any of the writing. I just kind of didn’t think it through to ‘what ifs’ (though I suspect I’d have been all ‘eh, it’s fine’ about it if I had!).
“I wrestle with that fact because I worry about the ethics, etc, but the bottom line is that it is WAY too personal and intimate for some schmuck off the internet (no offense to all the wonderful schmucks out there, btw!) to know those details about me before he knows me in real life.”
I commented on your ‘ethics of blogging‘ post – I found your perspective really interesting.
I think the entire sex blogging thing can have interesting influence in all sorts of ways, and I think it can get quite complicated. I *do* think that ‘completely anonymous’ is a very different beast from not and it gives you a lot more freedom. I think there is a lot of value in that.
I actually thought that my blog would HELP with the dating thing because I lay out a lot of information here about what I’m like, how my relationships work, all that. It’s almost like one humongous personal ad *laugh*.
“Oh, the pressure to be as cool as everyone thinks Hy is!! haha”
*laugh* Strangely, I don’t tend to think about whether I’m as ‘cool’ as I appear here or if people would like me as much in person. This is a piece of truth, drawn by me, with all the filters of whatever my eye has seen and my emotions have distorted.
I probably go to a lot of trouble off-blog to be as ordinary as I really am to take the shine off pretty quickly (if there is indeed a shine). And THAT is the opposite of how I was pre-blog, when I would put on ALL THE SHINY if I was corresponding with a boy I liked. So it’s all kind of arse-backwards!
“But whatever happens, I hope you find a playmate and partner however it comes about.”
*smile* Thanks, me too.
I totally relate to this. I also have had this problem in my local scene. People see me around or see my profile and they already have this build-up image in their head of me, and then we have to work on breaking down their preconceptions. It makes me feel terribly self-concious. How about you?
This is a contributing factor to my cesura of blogging as of late.
People see me around or see my profile and they already have this build-up image in their head of me, and then we have to work on breaking down their preconceptions. It makes me feel terribly self-concious. How about you?
Ahh… I think ‘general perception’ is a very different thing from one-on-one perceptions and feelings.
I’m not involved ‘in the community’, so I don’t have to deal with it en masse so to speak. The one time I did go to a munch in the last couple of years, I WAS introduced with the addendum “… she writes that great femdom blog…” by the organiser, but I didn’t feel anything about it really, and I don’t remember feeling as if anyone was mentally ‘making the link’ and then making assumptions.
As for me, I really just put the idea that anyone had read it and knew all these intimate details about me out of my head. Because it was a casual social thing (vs a play party or event where more than ‘having a chat’ might be on the table), it really didn’t matter.
I can understand feeling self conscious, for sure, though pretending they haven’t read it and behaving accordingly is the only way to tackle it. I guess if you think about all the people who show their bodies, their vulnerabilities, their fears, their personal proclivities out there in public, it all works out pretty evenly in terms of ‘self-conscious-making’ exposure.
You can really only address it when you get one-on-one, which I guess is when it’s really important. But (obviously: see post above), I don’t know how to do that so well!
I wish you the best of luck with figuring it out!
By the way, I love that you used the word ‘cesura’! *smile*
I suspect this up there :::wiggles finger up there at those words of wisdom::: is why Bradley Cooper and I didn’t work out. It is one of the pitfalls when one half enters a relationship with a lot more knowledge of the other person. They already know your quirks and work less at the foreplay of getting to know you. And they come to the table with compromises already in their head based off this information. When Bradley found out I didn’t like guys who liked pickles he suddenly didn’t like them anymore. And that’s not what I want. I want him to want the pickle so that I can then deny him the pickle. If he’s willing to deny himself the pickle where is the fun for me?*
**except the parts I made up***
***which is all of it****
****except this part here v
It sounds like you are doing everything right to try and solve the problem. Identify (check) devise a plan (check) carry out (in progress) look back (still to come). When things stop working you have 2 choices, start shipping in the cats by the litter or solve the problem. Looks like I’ll put that shipment of cats on hold for the moment.
*laugh* I’m sorry about you and Bradley Cooper. I mean really, that guy will say anything to get into your pants! Sheesh!
I think that the issue with all of this is that it’s subtle and kind of insidious (versus grand and obvious).
I keep going back to the ‘you can’t unknow what you know’ idea. No matter how reasonable/sensible/emotionally mature etc we are and how we try to mitigate it, the knowledge is still there, it exists.
And yes, please hold off on the cats for now. I’ll let you know when I need them…
I can certainly see why you want someone to start just by seeing ‘you’.
I’m not sure how the reveal works later on though. When my Boy and I met we both had blogs, we both loved each other’s writings (I loved his, I _hope_ he loved mine) so we both knew what was written about us.
I wonder how someone would feel meeting you and then thinking ‘Gosh, Ferns is writing about something just like my situation…oh hang on!’
Still, perhaps being awed by you would make that work out ok.
“I wonder how someone would feel meeting you and then thinking ‘Gosh, Ferns is writing about something just like my situation…oh hang on!’”
Oh god! *laughs and laughs*
I’m reminded of DumbDomme finding out that HER boy had been reading her blog. Oh to be a fly on the wall when realisation dawned for him that it was about HIM.
You know, I was so much thinking about all THIS that I never really thought about THAT. I kind of assumed that he wouldn’t be reading my blog at all (I mean, I like to think that *everybody reads my blog* because… ego, but yeah, I was totally assuming that if I was corresponding with someone ‘out there’, he’d not be reading this). Funny. Logic blind spot.
I also assumed that when I told him, he’d be okay with it in a ‘eh, no big deal’ kind of way (mostly I find that men are flattered and delighted when I mention them here), but I could be really wrong about that. It never really occurred to me to worry that it might be a problem.
I’m used to writing with care about potentials because I’m very aware that I have a duty to their emotional safety here, and I take that seriously, so I’d not be worried that it would be hurtful or that there would be anything here that he wouldn’t know already about me or us. But so far everyone has known up-front that being written about was par for the course. A ‘reveal’ later might feel really intrusive, like a breach of trust.
Regardless of THAT outcome, it didn’t even occur to me that he might read my blog, draw the parallels and have a slow dawning that ‘oh hey, that’s ME!’ moment. That amuses me greatly, though yeah, if that happened, the entire ‘anonymous-Ferns’ plan would be a colossal waste of time. Ha!
“I’m not sure how the reveal works later on though. When my Boy and I met we both had blogs, we both loved each other’s writings (I loved his, I _hope_ he loved mine) so we both knew what was written about us.”
*nod nod* That’s what I’m used to.
You make really good points about all this.
Thank you for bringing this up. How I never thought about the possible overlap, I really don’t know.
This has really made me think. Unlike you I am not looking for a man (glances across from me and sees man already in place ;) but I have long desired a ‘relationship’ with a women. I put that in inverted brackets as I yet to really work out what that means for me, however my point is that I find women flirt with me on-line, they say oh yes I so would…. but then when it comes to it they often turn tail. I am obviously ‘out’ about my blog and my work and so now I am wondering where that fits into this. Food for thought I think
I hear you!
I haven’t had anyone I was really interested in turn tail and run yet (some men HAVE refused to meet me, but they weren’t potentials, so ‘eh’ to whatever their issues were).
I think online flirtation with no real intent is really common in any online environment, and I’m not sure how you can really figure out what influence your blog has on those who say they want to meet, but really don’t. You have a wonderful blog with lots of gorgeous pictures, so I can well imagine that there is a huge appeal for many in flirting for its own sake with THE *Molly*.
Can’t hurt to do an experiment to take the blog out of the equation, see what happens.
Best of luck!
If asked, I’d say “Ferns, you gave me an advantage, you blogged. Ask away until you feel we’re even”.
How am I going to know it’s you, tho?
You would, I think, have to have told me. I think it’s unlikely I could guess from coffeeshop conversation, right?
After all,here in this theoretically-public-train-carriage-of-the-mind, we’re passing through, not living next door.
So while this isn’t truly anonymous, we aren’t more than … how to phrase it… polite but confident strangers on a train?
Thanks for brightening a dull trip, Ferns. :-)
I *wish* it worked like that.
There is no ‘even’ in how that works though.
Since writing this, though, I HAVE found a distinct advantage in NOT having my blog linked to personal ad profiles.
Men get a realistic view of me through our interactions, and I am finding they are not at all reluctant to say ‘this isn’t working’ (or to accept it when I say it). So yay, I guess!