Reader Q&A: Testicles, dicks, Harold, & navigating relationships

NaBloWriMo[I’m off-topic today, but SubmissiveGuyComics has done a ‘vote‘ post for our NaBloWriMo project]


I’m going to my trusty stash of ‘Asks’ from readers (thank you for them!) for today’s post.

thanks for the book of the Hardy Haberman, in my scale, the testicles are 2/10 :)

*laugh* My first reaction to this was “I DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS!”

Then I realised that someone in a previous Q&A asked about how resistant the testicles are and I referred them to Hardy Haberman’s book ‘Family Jewels’.

2/10? I hope you didn’t hurt yourself too badly :P.



my dick want to fuck you

Well, give your dick my number and tell it to call me.


[2 minutes later] i the master and i man and my dck fuck your pussy you open your butt you sLave

*laughs and laughs* Oh god. You sweet talker. My heart is all a flutter.


Two questions. But first: Me = new; You = hapless mentor. [And a smashing job you are doing, I might add.] First, where do you stand on the criticism of fetlife re: privacy/info sharing + selling, etc. Insight?

Second, I just emotionally hurt someone, a lovely (tho potentially full of shit…the factuality of which remains undetermined…and you helped me to hear my own warning bells), seasoned submissive boy who is the reason I am even tiptoeing into this adventure (and recognizing this way of being as my natural self) to asking you. How do I reconcile/get past this knowledge/picture of self? I mean, beyond scaring all the neighbors by crying on my 5-mile walk, and self-punishment such as doubling up on daily mileage and going into an intermittent-fasting frenzy.

Have read the whole blog and the book in the last week or so, only narrowly holding down my job. Simply brill. You’re a wonder.

Hello s,

Thank you so much for the lovely compliments and I’m glad you held onto your job despite my best efforts *smile*.

First: I have seen criticism of Fetlife for many reasons from policies to privacy to abuse (I have not seen any specifically about sharing or selling user information, so that’s news to me). I think many of the criticisms are valid and people should do some diligence to see if they want to expose themselves to the negatives on the site. I also think that if anyone believes that they have privacy or anonymity anywhere on the internet, they are mistaken (I’d exclude from that generalisation those very tech-savvy people who deliberately work at obfuscating their internet identity and presence).

Second: How do I reconcile/get past this knowledge/picture of self?
I’m struggling to understand the question. Do you mean ‘you as an emotional sadist’ or ‘you as someone who emotionally hurt someone by, say, ending a relationship’. They are two very different things and the latter is part of the risk we all take in living our lives.

I’m going to assume you meant the former. Physically or emotionally hurting someone you really like because it makes you both feel things that you want to feel shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s always a good sign that you struggle with it some. For me, I frame it as a way to show love to someone who *feels* it as love, and for that to work, he has to tell me that it’s what he wants, reassure me that he loved it, tell me that he felt it the way I delivered it: As intimacy, connection, love. We are in it together and I need to know that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

If I missed the point, please clarify, I’m happy to talk about it some more. If you do come back with more information, I promise I will respond in a timely manner to it!



I have recently met a guy and we are dating. I have been in the BDSM community and lifestyle a little over 8 months and consider myself a submissive with switchy tendicences and desires. My guy is submissive and very very new, do you have any advice on where I can start to learn more at taking on this new relationship dynamic?

Thank you

Hello Willow,

I hope things are still going well with you and your guy.

I do so understand the ‘where do I start’ question. When I was new, I wanted a frigging MANUAL so I could ‘do it right’, but it’s SUCH a broad question because where you start depends very much on where you want to end up. For example, if you want a bedroom play relationship, I’d be giving you some tips on safe play starting points. But if you want submission in a wider sense, then that’s not really the place to start working on it.

I suggest that both of you take the time to write down what you want a day/week/month in your relationship to look like. Do it separately and be realistic. If you have work, kids, family obligations etc, include those things in the mix. Then come together with your respective visions and see where the commonalities lie. Start there. Talk about how you both can take small steps to make ‘whatever it is’ happen.

Don’t take on the full burden of the relationship as if you have to do ‘all the stuff’ and he gets to be the passive recipient of your efforts. That’s not sustainable and it will fast become a lot of work for you. He has to step up as much as you do.

Best of luck.


my bf is sub, and I have been working with him to trust me. Well it’s working. He is very feminine and likes to be called a little girl when we play. I dress him up sometimes and other times just keep him naked.He struggles with enjoying being feminine. I tell him it’s ok and make him repeat it and things to help him feel good about it. Well apparently this is working and recently he just completely let go and went into this whole other personality and was talking like a girl and everything. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen from him. I liked it but it scared me. I feel like I am creating something I may not be able to manage. Like I’ve pushed him too far. He was prancing around jumping up and down and I have never seen him like this and the look on his face and his voice were something I did not recognize. I don’t know I’m worried my inexperience may be dangerous to his mind.

I think you’re right to be worried. Not because you are doing anything wrong or because there is anything wrong with him either, but because you are creating an environment that is scaring you and at some point, your fear might cause you to withdraw, and that will really hurt both of you. There is no blame in my saying that, you obviously care about him and want him to feel safe, and you have achieved that and that’s really wonderful. The scary part is in making him feel safe and then pulling the rug out from under him because YOU don’t feel safe. Ideally, you should both feel comfortable and secure in how the relationship is going and in what sort of play you engage in.

Firstly you have one sentence in there that’s a concern: “Like I’ve pushed him too far.” The rest of your email talks about facilitating his desires and creating a safe space for him to explore, which is great, but this one sentence implies that you are pushing him into it. It might have been the wrong wording on your part, but if you ARE pushing him (even ‘play pushing’), then stop doing that.

Secondly sit down with him and talk about how you are feeling. Your email is full of good things with regard to how you are caring for him, and how you have fostered his trust, but if it all goes too far too fast for you, then it can create a big problem for both of you. You said you liked it, so you presumably don’t necessarily want to stop, but have a think about what you need to manage your fear and also think about how he can help with that.

It sounds to me like he went into some kind of ‘sub-space’ that manifested as him freeing up this side of him, the same as someone doing puppy play may get so far into the mindset that they feel like they can genuinely no longer talk. Talk about how he was feeling when he was behaving like that and also talk about where he wants to take this kind of play to get some reassurance that you will be able to go there with him. Perhaps you have limits on what’s okay with you, and they may not be as far out as his limits, in which case you need to figure out what they are and talk about that with him. They might change as you get more comfortable, but having agreed boundaries can help you manage it.

I hope it goes okay for you both.


In your last post you said, “I am completely paranoid about hurting my ankles and knees and also Harold (long story)…”

What is the long story, anyway?

*smile* Unfortunately, it’s a long and not very interesting story, but since you asked…

Quite a while ago, I was running on the treadmill at the gym and my side started hurting. Like a stitch, but worse. I stopped because it was really painful, did some weights instead. I didn’t run for a few days, but as soon as I retried, it was back. So then I didn’t run for 2 weeks, but as soon as I retried, it was back. It felt internal, not muscular, and was triggered by the impact of running.

Of course being the kind of person that I am I wasn’t about to go to the doctor about it… pffftt. That pain in my side did not go away for months. No matter how long I rested it, as soon as I ran, there it was. I dubbed it ‘Harold’ so that I could go “Fucking Harold!” or “Huh, Harold was quiet today” or “I thought Harold was gone, then he started up again…” or more “Fucking Harold!”

See, I warned you *laugh*.


Hi Ferns,

It has been a while since my last contact.

Glad to see you’re giving that Crossfit a try…and your results are impressive. No need to worry about that “dinosaur” thing.

On the D/s front: no dates, no prospects. It is rather bleak out there in the world …..Feel free to come and sweep me off my feet, mmkay?

Would have loved to try with only three things standing in the way…a wife of 20 years, albeit plainfully vanilla. The fact that I live at truly the opposite end of the earth, though that might not have stopped me earlier in life. And that I am probably just outside your favored age bracket being 5-6 years older. That said nachos and champagne would be fun, just because its Saturday. Loved your birthday photo too, especially the slender line of your calf and ankle.

Best wishes, Jeff

Hello Jeff,

I will try not to worry about the dinosaur thing, but trust me, I’m ready to use the “Do you know how old I am?!” retort if they try to imply that I’m not working hard enough. I will, of course, expect them to guess some ten years younger than my actual age at which point I will preen annoyingly and forget what we were talking about.

And yes those three things are indeed show stoppers, but I appreciate the sentiment nonetheless *smile*.



Want to ask me something? Pop on over to my Ask Me page and do it: even if I’m slow, I WILL get back to you! It’s completely anonymous, even to me, so nobody will know it was you…

Loves: 4
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  1. Is it wrong to be a little swoon-y just at the thought of you answering my question? I’m guessing not. Thanks ever so, Ferns. I was not expressing myself well. First, know this boy was full of shit. I think Pearl calls it something like, “he expected me to be a fetish-dispensing machine,” whereas I am a whole person. So that’s that. But the general question I was asking was a matter of degree. As I said, I am new, but it seems to me it’s somehow worse when I hurt a person who has pledged his submission to me. All that trust, vulnerability, giving on his part and all that responsibility, caring, [human or romantic] love on my part…seems crueler…more wrong. In “vanilla” (don’t love this term, but for the sake of argument) relations, you hurt them, they hurt you, blah, blah, blah…but the power dynamic of D/s makes emotionally hurting one’s submissive seem of more consequence. That’s what I was wondering about reconciling with one’s picture of self. I felt such guilt…choking guilt.

    1. “Is it wrong to be a little swoon-y just at the thought of you answering my question? I’m guessing not.”

      *laugh* No no, not wrong at all :P.

      I’m sorry about the boy being full of shit, and ahh, I did misunderstand you. I see now.

      “As I said, I am new, but it seems to me it’s somehow worse when I hurt a person who has pledged his submission to me.”

      *nod* Okay, I can understand this. Especially when you have encouraged them to feel safe and to make themselves vulnerable with you and to trust you, so they do. And then you hurt them. Like kicking a puppy that you have coaxed to come to you with treats.

      There is no getting around the fact that hurting someone sucks. Hurting someone who is especially vulnerable with you sucks even worse. But he’s not a helpless puppy: he’s a grown man. Don’t forget that. And maybe some guilt is the price you pay for being a good person.

      The best you can do in life is be honest and open and live with integrity, goodness knows I’ve failed at that enough times, but I try.

      That won’t prevent you from hurting someone–relationships end, feelings change–but it means you will be doing your very best to treat them with respect and kindness even while you put painful truths on the table. It also means that mostly they won’t be blindsided by it because you will have been open with them as you struggle with whatever is happening in the relationship while you try to sort it out.

      Still, the bottom line is that everyone risks being hurt when they enter into relationships. Even if someone is your submissive with whatever that entails in your relationship, they are a grown man, not a helpless child, and they take that risk as well as you.

      And don’t for a second think that dominants are immune from being badly hurt. Nope nopenope. Everyone makes themselves vulnerable in relationships even if one kind of vulnerability looks different from another. And everyone hurts when something goes wrong.

      Well, that was a cheery comment, wasn’t it? :)


      1. Albeit not so cheery, you addressed exactly what I was asking, Ferns. Thank you again for your thoughtful reply and your willingness to share your boundless expertise. Both are sincerely appreciated.

  2. “Of course being the kind of person that I am I wasn’t about to go to the doctor about it… pffftt. ”

    If there’s even a skerrick of truth to this, CUT THAT SHIT OUT NOW!!! I lost the person I loved most in this world to this attitude. Really.

    We’re lucky that in this country of ours Ferns, we can obtain medical assistance, usually at low to no cost. Being told by a doctor “It’s nothing to worry about” is a whole lot better than thinking it’s nothing to worry about and finding out later that it was. I’m not just speaking of the injury/condition you detailed in this older post, but for whatever’s coming.

    One thing none of your friends or loved ones would like to see would be your obituary notice. Not for a long time anyways.

    Apologies for the morbid nature of this comment. I’ve been reading through these older blog entries, and I’m starting to care.

    1. I’m so sorry that you lost someone to something preventable :(.

      You’ll be pleased to know that Harold went away quietly and was never seen again…

      Now it’s my shoulder, which I HAVE sought lots of help for. So I guess on the up-side, I’m better at the ‘getting it seen to’ bit now *smile*.


      1. Thanks Ferns. That “If only…” will be with me until the day I die.

        Glad to hear about Harold. Sorry if you mentioned it in a later post that I haven’t got to yet.

        Very sorry to hear about your shoulder, but I’m really glad to hear about the up-side. I hope that it’s a quick recovery, if at all possible.

        “Ageing”. I recommend that no one have anything to do with it. This has been a Public Service Announcement.

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