Finding someone who checks off all your boxes can be daunting for anyone. Tack on a penchant for pain or thirst for submission, and meeting the right match can feel downright impossible. There may be one or two things you feel you can compromise on when you’re looking for a mate, but here are four things that should stay at the top of your priority list when you’re a submissive daring to dive head-first into the kinky dating pool.
You’re a person first. A unique, multi-faceted person. Don’t let them forget it.
There’s a tendency sometimes to treat people like human-shaped cardboard cut-outs instead of whole people. When you’re getting to know each other, it’s a good idea to find some common ground and shared interests that don’t include rope, dildos, or girly aesthetics. Your “vanilla” life is not boring! Do you garden? Doodle? Play Fortnite while eating Takis and Mountain Dew? Perfect! What activities can you share together when you’re not in the dungeon or at the local munch? Life can’t be ball gags and latex all the time. (We wish!)
They are just as much “under consideration” as you are.
So you found a dominant type person you’re interested in getting to know more, and you’re ready to start sharing some kinky experiences together. Maybe even try out a little D/s play and see how it fits. Your potential dominant lets you know that you are “under consideration” so that they can determine whether or not you are worthy of their dominance. Wait… my eyeballs just rolled out the door and down the street… Ok cool, got’em. For the love of everything sacred, please inform that dominant that they are also “under consideration.” Let them know that you are fully aware of the value of your submission, and that you will be determining whether or not they are worthy of that gift. If your potential dominant blows a gasket at the thought that they also might have to prove themselves – you’re welcome, you’ve been saved months and possibly years of gaslighting and toxic behavior.
Be aware of sub frenzy. Take your time.
New kinksters are often like puppies with a new toy. They can’t get enough! They want to experience all the things all at once. The endorphins and adrenaline created from BDSM experiences can be addicting in a very real sense. Sometimes when someone new gets a taste of those powerful brain chemicals, they start to ache for it to the point of obsession. If you’re not careful, this can lead to submissives taking risks that they wouldn’t normally take – playing with people who haven’t proven their skill level, or accepting toxic or abusive behavior because the kink melts your brain into a puddle of submissive slush. One way to counteract this common effect is to explore solo, or find a completely platonic play partner to kink it up with while you’re looking for your perfect dominant match. Barring that, have a group of people around you that you can check in with and who can help you spot red flags through your rose colored eyeballs.
Don’t say yes when you want to say no. Doormat does not equate to submission.
Boundaries are sexy AF! Maintaining boundaries requires self-awareness, tenacity, and good communication skills. All of those are drool-worthy character traits no matter which side of the slash you fall on. You’re allowed to have boundaries as a submissive. Don’t feel like you need to agree to anything you don’t want to do in order to “prove” that you are a twue submissive. Spell out your hard limits (things you absolutely will not do) and your soft limits (things you maybe, possibly, in the future, with the right person, might consider when certain conditions are met) and stick to it. Watch to see if your potential partners respect other people’s boundaries or try to finagle their way around them. Get into the habit of walking away if you have to say no more than once. Fake Dom McDominants will try to weasel and manipulate around your “no.” The right dominant will admire and cherish your strength. Trust me, they’re worth waiting for.
Erin Kennedy is a professional educator who has practiced risk-aware kink and ethical polyamory for over 17 years. Her website, Sexfortherest.com, is dedicated to alternative sexuality education and advocacy, studded with stories from her life as a sexual outlaw.