Reader Q&A: Fears of a young Domme

Dear Ferns,

I’m an 18-year-old girl who has (since I was sixteen) been interested in BDSM. I’m about to head off for college and I’m rather scared. I live in Texas, and I’m a science major beginning her first year of college. I know that it sounds like that shouldn’t matter, but in Science if you’re anything but the perfect little nerd people assume things about how you got to where you are in the male-dominated profession. It really makes me afraid of relationships, but at the same time I couldn’t image being anything other than aggressive when intimate. And to top it all off, I’ve never had a boyfriend (or been kissed) so I don’t know what goes on past the initial dating stages. I’m really nervous about everything, how they’d react, if they might tell, what would happen to my career if they did. I don’t have anyone else to talk to, so any advise?

-Kate in West Texas

Hello Kate,

First of all, congratulations on going off to college! Adventure!

It’s understandable that you are nervous, for all sorts of reasons. I’m not quite sure from which angle to tackle this, so I’m going to just ramble for a bit.

If you are interested in BDSM, and have felt this way for a couple of years, but haven’t had any experience yet, don’t lock yourself into a mindset that closes you off to other options and experiences. I don’t want to patronise you: if you’ve had this interest for a couple of years, then it is what it is. But your tastes and desires may change with experience, that’s all. Just putting it out there.

I think it is wise to be cautious, but at the same time I don’t think you need to be paranoid about it to the point of fear. There are plenty of people who are in jobs or industries where they might be at risk if their BDSM activities became public knowledge. I think a possible difference is that they are moving in a world of adults where there is an expectation that people behave like adults (this is not always the case, of course). At college, you are kind of confined to a small(ish) community of young people, and everyone knows everything about everyone, so I do understand your concern with that.

Having said that, my experience is that college is a time when *everyone* experiments in all sorts of ways, and unless the result impacts your degree, I’ve not met anyone yet whose wild college days had any impact on their career.

As for being inexperienced, I think it’s natural for the unknown of that to mean a little fear, but of course, we ALL started out with no experience of *anything*, don’t forget that. We all went through ‘first kiss’, ‘first boyfriend’, all those ‘firsts’. It *is* a little scary, you just have to choose who you share those firsts with with care.

So, my advice is this: Go and have some fun. Don’t place pressure on yourself to tackle the concerns of your upcoming career just yet, or to worry about your inexperience, or to feel like you have to have ‘the BDSM discussion’ with everyone you date. Be careful without being fearful.

By being careful, I mean that you don’t have to talk about your BDSM proclivities with people you see casually, with random friends, with anyone except the person you decide you want to get more seriously involved with.

In casual dating situations, you can still play lightly with some BDSM-ey things without ever making it a big deal. Most men love some aggressive kissing, some bondage, blindfolds etc, so you can ask them if they want to try it and experiment with those sorts of things, and they will NEVER think anything of it except that you are awesome.

When you find someone you are more serious about, someone you trust, THEN is the right time to talk seriously about how you feel about BDSM and what you want to explore and what that means for the relationship. Just choose carefully so that you trust him not only when you are with him, but feel that you can trust him not to be a douchebag after it ends (take note of how he talks about his exes, for example).

I suspect this is not going to be your cup of tea given your concerns, but if you aren’t on Fetlife, you might find it useful to join and see what sort of BDSM activities are available to you in your new home. Even if you don’t actually want to go out and meet anyone, it can be reassuring to know that there are groups of young people aged 18-35s (called TNG – The New Generation) in Austin (1700 members) and Dallas (1400 members) and to peek in and see what they get up to.

I wish you the very best of luck, and feel free to contact me again if you would like to talk some more (email is fine if you don’t want a public Q&A).


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  1. Perfect response from Ferns.

    If I might add; geek culture seems most forgiving of sexual experimentation… so suggest you explore that.

    And, there are young men out there for whom you are pretty much a wildest dream come true. If only you could find some subtle way to signal your proclivities without giving the game away… for example, how about a key as a necklace?

    1. “If I might add; geek culture seems most forgiving of sexual experimentation… so suggest you explore that.”

      Thanks for that, Giles.

      It crossed my mind as well, but I’m not quite sure real scientists fall under ‘geeks’ in a ‘lots of them are kinky’ kind of way. Mostly I think of geeks as having specific hobbies and interests that make them geeky (ren faires, Star Trek, Dr Who, computer games, comics etc), and there are a lot of kinksters in that lot (why, I have no idea).

      “If only you could find some subtle way to signal your proclivities without giving the game away… for example, how about a key as a necklace?”

      *smile* If only!

      If we had a subtle symbol that everyone recognised, every BDSMer in the world would be so damn delighted!! I’d think the BDSM Triskelion would be the closest…


  2. Be yourself Kate I know it’s a cliche but it also happens to be true, you don’t have to break out the leather and bull whips on the first date but you can lay out some subtle feelers see Ferns posts on vanilla submissives about ordering for them etc and see how that goes. You have the advantage of Google and the fact that anything BDSM is no longer taboo or secretive like it used to be so look around and the very best of luck to you

  3. Being a dominant woman in Texas…the usual society here is for more submissive women. The churches, politics, culture, etc. I have found however, that being a more rare bird can have it’s advantages. The swarms of (especially young) men who would love a woman who is aggressive is just boundless. I have also found in the math & sciences…there are even more men who would love to be taken advantage/control of (LOVE the nerds & geeks & amazingly smart ones). I know I am generalizing – my apologies. It has just been what I have run across personally while living here. I am literally rubbing my hands together in anticipation FOR you. Have a blast! Just be who you are and do as you wish – it is the secret to happiness.

  4. Kate-

    Excellent thoughts so far from Fern (thanks for the awesome site Fern!) et al.

    I would only add a few additional thoughts, especially around Fern’s comment re: only sharing these thoughts and feelings with a special someone whom you trust and have dated for a while – all GREAT points.

    That said, many college guys (including me when I was in college!) would be thrilled to have a girl friend that wanted to Domme them. Many of those college guys would also be nervous about ‘other’ people knowing that they were getting spanked, tied up, etc.

    My two cents is to lay a kink card or two on the table, no later than 3 months into the relationship (because otherwise you’re wasting valuable time :)).

    Start with something lite. ‘Baby, can I blind fold you tonight?’ Or, “I think it’d be really hot to try putting hand cuffs on you sometime.” If a boy bites, you’re on the right track, and can play onward, introducing new stuff on the way. If the boy reacts negatively, then the boy is probably not for you.

    Have fun!


    1. You’re most welcome for the awesome site, Jay!

      And thanks for piping up with some more thoughts for Kate.

      “I’m not anonymous, I’m ejzplay!”

      Hello ejzplay!


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