I never thought I’d be one of those women who calls a guy she’s interested in sexually “Daddy.”
Perhaps I should explain this long and winding road of self-discovery. Several months ago, Lola convinced me that I should create an online dating profile. I had been avoiding dating for several years, at first because of a break-up, and later, because I wasn’t meeting many men interested in me who also caught my eye. She very kindly helped me out by taking some flattering pictures of me to use for my profile and sharing her personal experiences. I was nervous, but after years of celibacy, I decided that there was no better time to get brave.
I created profiles on several sites, first on the free ones, then progressing to paid ones, with fairly lackluster results. I emailed or chatted with a few guys that seemed nice, cute, and interesting, but then they would either fade into the ether or set up a date and not show up.
Meanwhile, a girl has needs! I wasn’t exactly burning up the downtown scene, so I figured I might as well burn up my own sheets. I started reading erotica, mostly collections of short stories, finding a few authors and editors that I liked, my tastes becoming more and more… focused. I slowly realized that one kind of story pushed my buttons more than any other, but it was a hard thing to swallow for an independent, strong-willed woman: the stories I liked best were those of female submission to a dominant male.
Now, I have always been fairly confident sexually. It didn’t bother me that I was turned on by stories of bondage and submission; the stories are written to titillate, and that’s what they do.
But I did wonder: Why was I beginning to prefer those stories to any others? Did that mean I wasn’t as strong as I thought? That I wasn’t a feminist? That I wasn’t equal to a man? That I wanted to be treated like an adolescent schoolgirl? Did I actually want to *try* being dominated? Being tied up? Being forced to do whatever a man demanded of me sexually? Like, In Real Life? Nah. It was just erotic. The stories were a fantasy, foreign enough to my real experience that they pushed buttons that would otherwise never get tripped. Right?
But on those days when I was feeling a little… ahem… randy, I would find myself typing those four scary little letters into the google field: “BDSM.” For the uninitiated, the acronym is an amalgam of “Bondage/Discipline, Domination/Submission, Sadism/Masochism. I found, among the usual Wikipedia links and adult stores, a dating site specifically geared toward BDSM. I created a profile, only to find that I couldn’t read any messages I was sent without a paid subscription, and that was a bigger commitment than I was ready to make. And anyway, by the following day I was generally spooked, embarrassed at the idea of actually trying to meet someone on a BDSM site. Did I really want to meet someone purely through a sexual connection?
But every time I looked around on those sites, it seemed a little less scary, a little less foreign, a little less…wrong. On one of the free sites (“Like Facebook for the BDSM scene!”), I posted in a discussion about finding an Online Dom to test the waters. And then I got busy with other things in my life and forgot about it. About a month later, I got a message from a guy who lived about 45 minutes away, asking me if I’d had any luck finding what I was looking for. I almost deleted it without replying. I kept opening the alternate email account I had set up, reading the subject line, and then closing it. I am not sure now why I was so nervous about it, but something about this guyʼs tone, the fact that he was not coming on to me but simply being friendly, made me respond:
“I’m honestly not sure whether I actually want to sub [i.e., submit to someone] or I’m just turned on by the idea of it. I’m pretty new to the whole thing. I’m also on a dating site, and I don’t know how to weigh its importance vs. a vanilla [non-BDSM] relationship. Any advice?”
He very politely answered me, saying that itʼs different for everyone, and that you can “have your cake and eat it, too… that is, have a vanilla relationship as well as play in the kinky world.”
Hmmm….I thought. I guess Iʼm old fashioned, because I think I want my vanilla with the kink on the side! Or is that kink with vanilla on the side? But Iʼm getting ahead of myself. This man also said that for him personally it was about the power exchange and dominance, rather than about inflicting pain. I agreed, saying that for me it was more about pleasing someone and letting them do the decision-making for a while, and then I asked whether he’d found the playmate he was seeking.
He said no, that he thought he’d met someone local to him, but that she’d gotten paranoid about her husband finding out. Then he said, “Maybe I should give you an assignment to do for me and have you tell me about it here. You up to the challenge?” I felt a thrill go through me as I read his words.
“Yes, sir, I’d like to try an assignment for you,” I replied. “Just reading your message has got me a little hot and bothered! Just remember I’m a first-timer…”