Harsh? Who me?

I don’t think of myself as harsh or rude or any of those things.

Honest, yes (but not the ‘I’m just being honest’ type of brutality that people use to justify being an arsehole).

Forthright, you bet.

Sometimes impatient, sure.

Easily irritated (with strangers at least), yep.

But harsh? I tend(ed) to think not.

I had an exchange on a BDSM dating site the other day that both made me laugh and made me wonder if I AM harsh. I responded in an exasperated way to someone who replied to me with a terrible cliche. In my mind, I was giving him a chance to regroup and engage with me in a realistic way but perhaps I was using a cudgel instead of giving him a nudge with a small pokey stick.

It started with an unsolicited note from a submissive that referenced the warning on my profile that I would probably not reply to emails unless they were outstanding because I prefer to do the hunting. He read my profile, which is a big tick, the email was a bit cute, so okay. In his email, he referred to himself as ‘fair game’ and mentioning doe eyes. It was cute enough that I replied in a similar tone.

Hello [potential prey],

Game has to have an enticing scent to attract a hunter.

Your profile smells of… hmmm… not much of anything useful… [3 lines, vague and uninformative]

What makes you worth chasing?


Of course, I was asking for conversation, to learn about him. His reply was… disappointing: A snippet of noise with no substance.

Unquestioned obedience Ma’am. Imagine having someone who would offer there[sic] all

I’m already at ‘nah’ both on form and content, but I thought, “Okay let’s see if he will step up if I push him out of this trite nonsensical non-thinking.”

Hello [potential prey],

You missed my point and an opportunity.

If ‘your all’ is a boring one dimensional individual with no interests, no ambition, no emotional life, no intellectual pursuits, no challenging job, no hilariously ridiculous jokes, no romance, no wooing, no thoughts to entertain and delight and fascinate me day in and day out, why would I be at all interested?

Unquestioned obedience from such a man is not something that appeals to me.

So I will ask you again: What makes you worth chasing?


His reply:

I’m probably not suited to you Ma’am

I seriously couldn’t stop laughing when I read it (even now, it makes me laugh).

I mean, he’s right of course. And I REALLY appreciate him seeing it and politely saying so out loud: That’s rare. It’s just… so fucking funny.

I often wonder why people think I’m intimidating, but if I re-read my exasperated response, I can absolutely see someone going “Woah lady, this is NOT hot, NOT fun, and NOT what I signed up for: Hell to the no!!”

Okay, so fine, maybe I can be a little harsh.

Loves: 11
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  1. Nope, I don’t think you were harsh at all. I reread it twice to check and see. If you are harsh so am I because I’ve received emails from Dommes in the reverse fashion of “you will obey me” in which I have replied in the same type of fashion and they quickly lost interest when they realized I wasn’t looking for some fantasy idea.

    This person not only replied in a cliche way but failed to spark your interest when you even attempted to entice him in the right direction. On top of that he offered complete obedience without even getting to know you first.

    He was looking for a fantasy and not the real thing. I would have been annoyed as well.


    1. Thank you!

      I didn’t think it was harsh either when I wrote it, in fact just the opposite.

      Then when I re-read what I wrote later, after I stopped laughing :P, I thought… hmmm…


  2. Yeah, I had to read it a couple times looking for where you were harsh? He offered up something clearly cliche and then when called on it chose to opt out of even making an effort. Not sure you were the issue there. I understand that people might want fun and entertaining, at least initially, and that’s fine. But then all he has to do is shoot back an email that lets you in on a couple of those things in a light-hearted manner and establish a reporte based on that. I don’t think you were harsh, just honest.

    1. I thought of it as an offering when I wrote it: A sort of second chance ‘give me something to work with here’ vs ‘nah pal, see ya!’ A kindness even.

      When I re-read it (and of course he doesn’t know me and how lovely I really am!), it felt a bit sledge-hammery (is SO a word, shut up spellcheck!): I appreciate your thoughts.

      But yeah, the ‘nope, I’m done’ opting out was so hilarious. I really DO appreciate him not wasting my time though.


  3. Not harsh at all.

    I hope you don’t find it insulting for me to say you’re like me in that you’re looking for intelligence, wit and a sense of humor.

    My partner and I are coming up on 17 months. He is smart and funny and makes me laugh all the time. So I get where you’re coming from.

    Now if this bozo wants harsh, refer him to me. He’ll think you’re a pussycat!

    1. Thank you, and no that’s not insulting at all: I consider it a compliment.

      I’m so happy about you and your partner still going strong :).

      *laugh* If he comes back with ‘and anyway, how ABOUT that unquestioned obedience’, I will send him to you…


  4. I think you served him up a perfect opportunity to express himself, but he’s stuck in a quagmire of such low self-esteem that he cannot bring himself to “brag”about his qualities. I’ve felt that way about myself at times. Also, I think he’s spent too much time fantasizing about a D/s relationship that is nowhere near reality. Done that too. Only the individual can bring himself out of that sort of funk.

    1. “I think you served him up a perfect opportunity to express himself”

      I thought so when I wrote it also: “Okay, you blew it with this non-answer, so here’s another go-round.” Then I re-read and thought… hmmm…

      It’s not at all about ‘bragging about his qualities” though: Saying you have a job you love, that you like politics, that you are interested in box girder bridges… none of that is bragging. It’s just… having a conversation.


  5. As a sub, I would not call that harsh. Firm maybe. Or maybe clearly exposing his attitude for what it was, shining a bright light on it. I could see where that could be intimidating, especially to someone like he appears to be.

    I think I would find it a bit intimidating, but then, that is something I like in a woman I would submit to. I think I would respond to that by engaging as you were asking for. Given a moment to process, or think back on it, I think I would find it very hot, actually.

    And, your response worked a treat, no? He clearly got the message that if he wanted to try and develop a relationship with you, he had better up his game, which he was apparently not prepared to do. he even could see that and articulate it!

    I would say you have developed a good way to cut to the chase.



    1. Good, thank you.

      Yes, it DID work a treat. He backed off so fast I was picturing one of those cartoon characters with the spinning feet :P. And to his credit, he did it very politely, so yeah.


    1. Not worried, more curious. Not least because we can’t see ourselves as others see us.

      It was only when I re-read it that I thought ‘huh, maybe I’m coming across in a way I didn’t intend’.

      Plus it was just so funny! :D


  6. Dear Ferns,

    Harsh implies cruel. That exchange was definitely not cruel in any way.

    It’s clear you are after someone who will challenge you (not topping from the bottom) on multiple levels as well as submit to you.

    There is so much we don’t know abut that prospective sub from his replies – he may be shy, he may be the ‘doormat’ type, or something altogether different. But he does not come across as the type to be comfortable presenting that facet which says ‘here I am and I am worth You selecting me… and here’s why’. As you say, it’s a good thing that he recognised the incompatibility too and expressed it. As a sub, I think that’s something that ability comes with maturity (not necessarily age). Hopefully we evolve from wanting the magazine style Domme in leather boots and turn our attention to the more practical and sustainable aspects of connecting with someone else, especially with D&s thrown in.

    I’m very much collared and happy etc. so please don’t take this a a cheap overture, but I thoroughly enjoy your writing and perspective and I think he’s missed an incredible opportunity (twice!).

    So please stay ‘harsh’ :-)

    1. Thank you dave :).

      And yes, you are right about wanting someone who will challenge me (not in a ‘make me’ kind of way, but in a ‘let’s do this!’ kind of way, someone who matches me, who can stand toe-to-toe and who chooses to kneel). I will steamroller over those who can’t, or won’t, and that always ends up being an unhappy situation.


  7. I am going to join the “not harsh” chorus. Your original message reads as playful. With the right kind of sub, I could see it pushing their buttons. The second message, frankly, is more than I would have expected if I were in his boots. You not only gave him a second chance, but you prompted with potential conversational hooks he could have used. I would suggest that is more than most women would have given him, D/s or vanilla, so far from harsh.

    1. Thank you!

      I think my readers are somewhat biased because most ‘know’ me and know what I’m like, so it’s not coming from a stranger, but I’m pretty happy that how I intended it is pretty much how it came across.


  8. Masalam. Not harsh. A common promblem is that many male subs live in a fantasy based on male desires. We call this nafs fiammarah in arabic which is a better descrption than the english. It means selfish self centered aminial lust. In general real femdom usually involves pleasing a woman and satisfying her desires, which generates male happiness as a by product. Many male subs unfortantely want a fetish machine not a mistress. Another issue is alot of male subs se.em to be introvet or immature. I was homeless in a shelter and not on my feet when i met my mistress and owner. But being that i am a relgious scholar i was used to engaging people so i wasnt shy to speak with her. Also my sense of humor and just being able to go out and do fun stuff like ferry ride pakastani tea house west african dinner midnight movie helped. Dommes should be honest with subs; otherwise some of these guys with never even learn how to talk to a woman, let alone get a d/s realtionship. Please excuse any errs in grammar or spelling.

  9. I have gotten the impression that (life style) Dommes have to weed out those who see them as “fetish machines”.

    These men should look for Pro-Dommes.

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