Reader Q&A: Genderfluidity, LDR to live-in & attraction

Q&A time!

These questions came in from some lovely readers via my Ask Me page. I do love that you ask me things, thank you for them!

In case you sent one in and don’t see it here, no this is NOT all of them… the post got really long, so I saved some for later.

So let’s goooo…


Dear Ferns,

I recently came across your first book while researching for a speech I’m giving on BDSM; though it ended up being a bit too *ahem* in-depth for the speech, on note, I thoroughly enjoyed it! (Enough that I’m here now, and I’m loving the blog as well!)

Anyway, I just recently began my foray into BDSM, and I think I’ve found a part of me that’s been missing for a long time. The only problem is…I’m super tentative (almost to the point of paranoia) online, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to find someone who will play with me where I live. I’m submissive, but I’m genderfluid, so I have this innate fear that dommes will reject me just because of that. (Though maybe that’s just my self-esteem talking.)

Do you have any advice on meeting people around me? Or maybe how to approach dommes knowing that I’m a little different than what they might be used to? (Now that I’ve bored you with my life story…)

Thank you so much for being a great resource!

– Riley

Hello Riley,

I’m so glad you enjoyed my book, and the blog *smile*. I can well imagine that the book might have been a little *ahem* in-depth for a speech *laugh*. I am REALLY curious what that speech consisted of though.

I think being tentative is normal, though obviously if it slips into paralysing fear that’s something else.

There are plenty of Dommes who love genderfluid submissives, and/or who are genderfluid themselves.

Having said that, I think it would be disingenuous to say that no-one will reject you because of it: Of course some will. Just as people reject others because they are too tall, short, poly, mono, bisexual, straight etc etc.

I think online is a *safe* way to make forays into the community because if people are active in public spaces, you can check out their preferences and views well before you interact with them, so you can protect yourself much better.

My advice: Join Fetlife, find your local-ish groups. Make friends first (vs ‘finding a Domme’). Find your comfort zone with non-stressful forays into friendly discussions with people who can relate to being genderfluid, to being submissive, to liking computer games, to whatever else you might have in common with folks. Then as you build your support group, stretch out a bit further. No rush. Take your time.

Best of luck.



Hi Ferns!

I’m a long time reader, lurker more often than not. I identify as a dominant woman however I do not have much real world experience as it is difficult to find a man that I click with (I take solace in knowing that it’s not just me). However, a problem I’ve had more often recently is dominant identifying men telling me that I have more sub in me than I’m willing to admit. How do you deal with those sorts of situations assuming that you’ve also been in them.

Thank you! Sorry if you’ve already answered this question before though I don’t remember reading anything about it and I’ve read almost every one of your posts.


Hi Samantha,

Oh gosh no, it’s not just you who has trouble finding a submissive man with whom you click: we are legion! *smile*

I’ve not really dealt with the problem with dominant men before, but I do know it’s relatively common because lots of dominant women seem to strike it.

IF I did run into it, I’d say something like “You’re wrong, and I’d appreciate it if you dropped it: My sexuality is NOT up for discussion.”

Then if he says “But but…” (and you know at least some of them will), just walk away. If it’s online, block, delete. Done.



I’m new to the caning/flogging world and perhaps you can answer a practical question for me. I’m wondering what the quietest instrument or method of caning or flogging is. I mean what type, design or material allows a quiet but very effective caning/flogging. I have the best girl in the world and I don’t compromise her dignity by allowing anyone in neighboring apartments to hear too much. After all, I’d have to beat them up if they ever made any snide remark to her, and I’m sure that the Nancy Mitford book of etiquette and manners frowned upon assaulting neighbours.
Can you solve this social conundrum?

I think a lot of us struggle with noise issues.

If you are after impact play, canes are best: Small surface area = no hitty noises. Evil sticks also.

Readers might have some other ideas.

Also I’m sure your neighbours appreciate your consideration, and your reluctance to beat them up *smile*.



Dear Ferns,

Thank you for writing your wonderful blog. I really enjoy reading about the D/s dynamic and the emotions behind it. It’s very refreshing and helpful. It’s also great to be able to ask questions to a more experienced domme, so thanks for giving us this opportunity.

I have been in a loving long distance relationship for two years (flying over monthly or more) and we have gradually brought out each other’s dominant and submissive sides. Now we know I am his domme and he wants nothing more than to submit to me completely.

It’s an exciting time for us because he’s moving to my country to come live with me. When we live together, I want to experiment more with dominance outside of the bedroom, which seems like a logical step since he is my pet and we’ll finally have enough privacy to do this. I’m excited but also a little worried about how our dynamic will spill into our everyday lives. Do you have any advice on how to start with this and what problems to avoid? And could you give me some advice on how to keep your sub’s attention on you while you’re out with his friends?

Thank you.

I’m so pleased you’re getting something out of my writing, thank you!

Congratulations on your LDR turning into a live-in arrangement: very exciting!

I think if you are moving out of the bedroom with your D/s, the main question is ‘what do you (both) want out of the relationship? How do you want it to look?’

I suggest you each take some time and write out ‘a day in the life’, ‘a week’, ‘a month’. Not a fantasy wish-list. For real. Including going to work, doing chores, paying bills, seeing family etc. What does it look like? How do you relate? What does it feel like? Who does what? Be specific.

Then come together and see how close your visions are of your new life, and talk it all through with the aim of ending up with a shared vision. Then out of that come up with a set of actionable activities to help you get there.

Pick one or two of the activities that you can bring into the dynamic outside of the bedroom. Start small. See how it goes. Be consistent and patient: habits take 3 weeks to break or to ingrain. Check in often. And if something doesn’t work for your relationship, don’t be afraid to dump it. When you have the first couple sorted, pick the next one or two. And so on. And don’t be afraid to revise your vision, your set of activities, all that, if you need to.

I think the main problem people strike in transitioning out of the bedroom is to place the entire responsibility of the relationship on the dominant while the submissive becomes a passive recipient of all that work. It’s surprisingly common. And of course it doesn’t work for very long.

Mostly it manifests as dominants asking for help because their submissive is bored/distracted/disobedient/whatever other negative thing and they want ‘new ideas’ for things to ‘do’ to him to keep him interested, to turn him on, to keep him in line etc, and this really only happens if the starting premise is that it’s solely the dominant’s job to keep the D/s dynamic active and running, and that’s simply not sustainable.

It’s not your job as the dominant to be a trick pony, the entertainer, to keep him turned on, to micromanage stuff, to be on his case about chores, to come up with all the ideas, to plan, organise and manage everything to do with your life and relationship (well, unless you really want to, in which case all power to you!). You are in the relationship together, should want the same things, and should both be prepared to work for it *together*. If your submissive doesn’t see their role as equal contributor to the dynamic and to the relationship, it will become exhausting for you, and you will burn out very quickly.

Re the question about keeping your sub’s attention on you while out with his friends, I’m not sure what you mean by that. Unless he’s being an inconsiderate arsehole (ignoring you completely, dismissing you, shutting you out of conversations etc), you don’t need to keep his attention, do you? Surely you’re there to spend time with his friends, so they will get a pretty big share of his attention.

If there’s something in particular you WANT while out with his friends, then agree it beforehand. For example, I like my submissive to ask if I want another drink when my glass is empty (or just to fill it if it’s water), so that means he has to *notice* when that happens, which obviously requires some of his attention. If this doesn’t happen naturally, I’d make the agreement with him, and then have a signal to draw his attention to it if he hasn’t noticed (maybe I touch his elbow, and that’s his reminder).

Good luck to you both with your new adventure!



Okay my gorgeous friend I have a question. As a member of your Ferns Workout Crew I know how hard you have worked on improving your body. (Before you say that you haven’t really worked that hard remember I watch your workout logs). I also know that you like beautiful men who like to look good for you.

So my question, or rather questions I guess, to you is has your dedication to your body project influenced how you view potential partners? For instance, since you have toned more do you think you are now more selective on the physical attributes of potential partners? Would you prefer a potential who is into being fit as much as you (has their dedication to being fit became like a compatibility thing now)? Basically, how has your desire to have the fit body you want tie into your personal life, if at all?


Hi Mysticlez,

*laugh* I would NEVER say I haven’t worked that hard. I mean I whine a lot: that’s obviously evidence of hard work, right?!

And no, nothing has changed for me in what I’m looking for in a partner.

I LOVE the pretties, I’m not going to pretend I don’t, but that’s NOT what’s going to hook me into a relationship: never has been, never will be. It’s a bonus if it’s there, but it’s never going to be a defining characteristic.

I HAVE to be wildly attracted to any man I’m involved with, but attraction is NOT ‘physical beauty’: it’s much more complicated than that. And when it works, that boy will be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen regardless of what he looks like. So yeah, ‘wildly attracted’ is the requirement.

As for compatibility, lifestyle stuff, it would be pretty great if my partner ate really well (loved to cook healthy meals! *swoon*), and went to the gym because that would make it easier for me, and it might be fun to do that together. Is it a consideration in a partner? Nope. Not one bit.

I’d be remiss not to add here that before I started working out, I had submissives work on their physical appearance for me (I could be politically correct and say ‘work on their fitness’, but that’s misleading: Their improved fitness was a happy side effect of what I wanted from them). I see no reason why I wouldn’t do that again: it would certainly be easier to manage now (and would probably seem more ‘reasonable’) because I’m doing it myself.



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 it’s all secret squirrel business…

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  1. Before I read the first letter it had never occurred to me that a partner being genderfluid might be an issue. Now I wonder if there is something I’m missing: what would a partner being genderfluid require of me? I don’t understand what genderfluid people do to express that and whether I would be expected to do something different depending on what gender idea my partner had in his head at the time.

    1. That’s a great question J N.

      I’m not comfortable attempting to speak for genderfluid people about what they might require from a partner since I don’t have any experience to speak from, though I’m pretty confident to say that there is no ONE way that gender is expressed, so generalisations are only going to go so far. If any readers want to talk about their experience as a genderfluid person to address this question, please do.

      From my perspective, though, I DO know that anyone who partners with a person who is genderfluid can’t just *ignore* their changing gender identity as if it didn’t exist, so it *would* have an impact (things that come to mind as possibilities are changing pronouns or honouring particular ways they want to be touched (or not) or supporting them in presenting as their gender).

      I found this blog post written by a lesbian woman about her partner’s genderfluidity, which gives a great perspective from inside their relationship.


  2. *happy dance* You know I love it when you answer my questions. I will ignore that you answered other people’s questions and pretend I am special.

    Who doesn’t love pretties?! My daughter laughs when I call a man pretty. She says men aren’t “pretty” they are handsome.

    I’m glad to see that your goal toward being fit and toned hasn’t altered your perspective or your compatibility requirements in your personal relationships. I have watched others become “fit” and then start being all “hoorah! You must look good to be good for me” type of people. I was just curious.


    1. Happy to answer your questions any time!

      And no, I had completely unreasonable expectations long before I started working out… :P.


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