Recently, my Master and I listened in on a kink Q&A. I was interested to see what questions people had about kink, especially people seeking guidance. Somewhat surprisingly, most people who tuned in seemed to have questions about relationships more than kink.
Many of them were submissives curious about how to look for or embark on relationships with prospective Dominants. Another high demand topic was the mindset and method for choosing the right person to submit to (for long-term relationships).
Is Meeting Kinky People Harder?
Overall, there seemed to be a lot of concern that forming or maintaining relationships is somehow different in kink than in other settings (like work or school). I can understand this perspective, but I just don't know if it's necessarily true.
Meeting people, getting to know them, and forming friendships (and later, maybe relationships) is a skill. Driving is also a skill, right? This task isn't immediately innate, but you learn how to do it because it improves your quality of life in some way. After a while, it becomes more natural than it was at first. You start to be able to apply the skill in other environments and for different uses. If you were initially only able to drive a car on local streets, perhaps you later become comfortable driving on highways. Maybe you start to drive to visit friends in other towns. After some time, you might feel comfortable driving a van or a truck to help a friend move. You become capable of carrying your skill over to other areas of life to help you in many new environments and accomplish more complex tasks.
Connecting with people is not entirely different. You can use it at school to make friends or at work to have business relationships with bosses, employees, and coworkers. Later, maybe you feel comfortable applying this skill to connect with people in other areas of your life. Kink is just another environment, another area of your life. It is merely another opportunity for the application of that same skill.
What I'm trying to say is there is no need to reinvent the wheel here. Kink or the kink community may have different rules or customs, but guess what? So does any social environment.
If you can't use your cellphone in class, does it make it harder to make friends? If you can't wear jeans in the office, does it make it harder to make friends? No. These are just rules and customs of those environments. Sure, they are a little different depending on your setting, but practice makes perfect.
Encountering new rules and norms doesn't mean we're doomed to start from square one all over again. You learn the rules as best you can, keep them in mind, and adapt. As long as you respect the customs of a community, respect yourself, and have respect for others, you are buoying your chances of having positive foundational connections with people. In this way, meeting people in kink is not drastically different than meeting people in any other communal environment.
Once you've managed this, you can start forming more specific and more serious community relationships. One such relationship many submissives are interested in creating is one with a Dominant.
Before You Venture Out…
If you're looking to form a long-lasting relationship with a Dominant, it's essential to reflect on what you think that looks like for you. This will involve a lot of thought, so expect to turn inward and examine what you're looking for and what your needs and desires are and what you will be willing to do to meet those needs and fulfill those desires. Try to be realistic with yourself.
Everyone is different, so it's normal to feel like you're looking for something particular that calls to you (and maybe not that many other people). It is okay to be precise, as long as you understand that in the end, you're never going to end up with a carbon copy of your daydream. At best, you're going to end up with a person—a real person and has ups and downs and strengths and weaknesses, like all of us do. It is fine to be as specific as you want with your future relationship's mental blueprint, as long as you don't pass up or close yourself off to great potential prospects just because they aren't entirely perfect. No one is completely perfect.
Simultaneously, though, if there is any complete dealbreaker (some trait, habit, or activity that you absolutely could not tolerate in a Dominant), you should take note. If you encounter your dealbreaker, you can recognize it and address it before committing to such a candidate.
While you're reflecting, it's important to ask yourself the right questions for gaining clarity on what you expect, hope for, want, and downright need. You can create a list of questions for yourself and tackle them if you keep a journal.
Some questions to start with are:
- What kind of energy are you looking for? (A Daddy, a Mommy, an Owner, and a Master might have very different vibes to you.)
- What traits or activities are important to you in a Dominant?
- Do you want a sadist, a disciplinarian, a rigger, a fetishist?
- Do you need to share certain kinky interests or other interests?
- And, what level of commitment are you willing to participate in?
- Are you looking to be just long-term play partners?
- Do you want to be in a more serious, committed relationship?
Other considerations include aspects of the relationship and living situations.
- Will the relationship include sex or be platonic, kink-only, with no sex option on the table? What style of relationship are you comfortable with (openness or exclusivity, polyamory or monogamy, etc.)?
- If the relationship is open, do you want to know and meet your metamour(s), or would you rather not know who they are?
- Will the relationship be romantic or aromantic?
- Do you want to fall in love, is that important in this relationship?
- Or, are you opposed to falling in love, feeling perhaps love would inhibit the dynamic somehow?
- Do you envision living together or living separately?
Most importantly, how would you recognize the traits and relationship you desire in another person? If you were to encounter that person, would you know it? Sometimes, in our heads, we can imagine what we want. Still, the tricky part of getting that and having it in our lives is knowing how to recognize the opportunities when they arise.
How will you identify whether a person you meet will be an opportunity for a great relationship or dynamic? What specific thing (or things) about them will call you and signal that this is a potentially wonderful relationship or dynamic?
You don't have to have all the answers immediately, but it's good to start forming an idea of who you are and what you are looking for. Being clear in your expectations eliminates confusion on your end and can save everyone's time and emotional investment.
Once you are relatively sure of what you expect, desire, and need, determine what lengths you will meet for those criteria. If you are looking for a sadist, are you willing to go to play parties and engage in pick-up play? Or, would you rather potentially meet sadists in workshop settings? If you want to meet a Daddy or Mommy, are there specific munches or parties you would consider going to? If you seek a Dominant or Master, are there D/s or M/s organizations you would join? In contrast, would you prefer to meet someone online or outside of a kinky setting? Would you date in the vanilla world and hope you met someone with complementary interests?
There is a risk-reward balance to be addressed with each of these questions. Each proactive action you take towards your goal comes with some inherent risk. Your job is to determine what level of risk you are willing to accept to meet your goal.
In assessing risk against payoff, be realistic. Don't assume that you would accept significantly more risk than you are accustomed to accepting now. Doing so will only trick you into devising a roadmap for your journey and then repeatedly procrastinating on taking the first step.
After considering all of the above, you can begin venturing out (in your chosen method) to connect with people. Meeting people (online or in-person) will give you an idea of what is out there and whether your expectations are realistic. If they are not, give yourself a chance to recalibrate. You can even revisit the questions you previously answered. If you feel that your expectations, desires, or needs change or if you find you are open to possibilities, you were once closed to.
If being with a person makes you want to try more, you should not make split-second decisions regarding that possibility when you are with them. It is always better to assess the matter outside of their influence and then return to the conversation knowing more about yourself. Making abrupt decisions without contemplating why or how you will affect this change in yourself can lead to regret and resentment, which don't make for great foundations in a relationship.
Choosing to Submit: The Weight of Your Choice
In a long-term relationship, choosing to submit to a Dominant or Master should not be taken lightly. Even in the vanilla world, one does not merely begin calling someone their husband, wife, or life partner without considering lifelong commitment. And while long-term and permanent may not mean the same thing to you, they are both heightened commitment styles. It is important to recognize that giving the relationship a title and framework of this nature comes with intrinsic responsibility and some level of duty or promise.
If you are considering submitting to someone, understand what that level of duty or promise is, and what that particular Dominant or Master would expect of you. In addition to any internal work you may do, having these conversations with a person you could see yourself potentially submitting to is extremely important. You don't want there to be an excess of ambiguity because you need to know what to expect to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself.
If you are seriously considering submitting, expect to spend a lot of time and energy contemplating the relationship and seeing this person. Your perception of them has a lot of sway in how you address them, how you act towards them, and how you speak to them. It can even affect the relationship's mental aspects, like your chemistry with them and how you rationalize their actions in your mind. You also want to examine why this person is the one you want to submit to and what specific characteristics make them a good fit.
Remember, when you submit to a Dominant or Master, you make a judgment that you deem them worthy. "Worthy" can have different meanings to different people. Still, ideally, when choosing to submit, you want to make sure the person you are submitting to is trustworthy and estimable. They should be worthy of responsibility, and ultimately worthy of your submission. So, yes, there is still more to consider.
You want to make sure you can reliably trust them because you have to know you can obey them. You want to be able to respect them so you can justify admiring or looking up to them. You want to know they can handle responsibility because if they cannot handle their life duties, how can they be trusted to make decisions that affect you regularly?
These considerations above are just some of the qualifications to look at when choosing to submit. You can assess a prospective Dominant's qualifications based on your interactions with them, how they treat people in their life, and how they respond to expectations or obligations.
Some questions which can help you assess a prospective Dominant are: Are they honest? Do they treat you well? Do they respect you? Do you feel like they have your best interest at heart, or are they only out for themselves? If you've witnessed interactions with their previous partners, what were those interactions like? Do they speak well of their friends and exes, or is name-calling and blame involved? Are they respectful of other people and their time? Do they show up when they say they will? Do they stand by their word? Do they take their work (or other commitments) seriously? If they volunteer to help set up at workshops or parties, do they follow through?
Ideally, by the time you decide on whether to submit to them, you can answer these questions and answer them favorably about this Dominant partner. If the qualifications of trust, respect, and responsibility are met, it is a lot easier to feel that this person is worthy of your submission.
It is important to feel confident in your decision. You will look back on it regularly as a source of strength and reassurance during your submissive journey. The significant decision of choosing someone as your Dominant speaks of the judgment you made. Your choice to submit should stand as a sign that you believe this Dominant is qualified and deserving to be trusted with whatever you have consented to turn over to them.
Choosing to submit is a big decision. For some, it is the last big decision they will ever make autonomously. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you take great care when making this decision.
Deciding to submit may seem daunting. Every great ambition seems daunting until it is dissected into a stepwise approach. Hopefully, this article has helped you examine how you can (and plan to) meet people and what factors you should have in mind when choosing a Dominant or Master. I wish you all the luck and courage to find a Dominant you can feel comfortable and happy submitting to!