The Deviant Nerd
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When I was in college, I dated an older, submissive guy who introduced me to the scene. I wasn’t really into the whole Domme/sub thing, but he really was and I wanted to make him happy, so I did it for him. And, while I never got all that into the kink side of things, I really liked the people I met in the community and made some really good friends.
But, shortly after I graduated, the older guy and I broke up. Then I started to date another submissive guy I’d met in the kink scene. And then another guy. And another guy.
Now it seems like, even when I try to not date kinky guys—like the guys I meet online or through non-kinky friends—I keep ending up with submissive guys looking for a Dominant woman.
Which is fine, I guess. I mean, I always like the guys as people. We get along and have tons in common. And a part of me really likes the fact that these guys are not only not put off by how pushy and demanding I can be but really like it, which is something that I know can get on some people’s nerves.
It’s just that they keep asking me to do all these things—BDSM, foot fetish stuff, role play, whatever—and, because I like them and want them to like me, I do it. Even though…I don’t get anything out of it.
And, lately, it just feels weird and annoying and even resentful. Like putting on a mask or a costume that doesn’t really fit right. Like I have to step out of myself in order to be the person I know they want me to be.
Like I said, I like the guys I see—they’ve all been really great otherwise—but sometimes it seems like I’m not the one they really want. They want the Domme in the mask. Which is fine, I guess; I can be that girl. It’s just…is it really so much to ask to be wanted for the girl beneath the mask? Can’t I just be enough?
– Could Be Kinky
Pip: Hey Could Be,
I’m going to be honest with you. I think you could be a kinky Dominatrix—you’ve proven that you have the ability to do it and, considering the men you attract, I’d be willing to guess that you have a pretty dominant personality—but I don’t think that you are. Not really.
You see, there is a world of difference between a dominant personality and a Domme, just as there’s a difference between a passive person and a sub. Your boss may have risen to his/her ranks by being assertive, aggressive, and go-getting. They’re a dominant personality. However, if your boss wielded a flogger or ordered your coworkers to shine his/her boots or bow at his/her feet...I'm thinking Human Resources would need to have a long talk with them about the long list of worker complaints. A passive friend may let you decide what restaurant you’re both going to eat at or say nothing when someone calls them a name, but I’m doubting that they’ll enjoy letting you spank them until your hand’s red or tie them up in a frog tie or pierce them with needles.
There are certainly aspects of BDSM that exist or crossover into real life—power play, humiliation, restraint, pain—but they look different, sound different, mean something different when you apply them to BDSM.
You say you’re bossy, demanding, and dominant and that’s great, but that doesn’t actually make you a Domme. It doesn’t even sound like you really want to be one. You talk about being a Domme as if it’s something you’re obligated to do, like it’s your job, not a part of who you are. For you, it’s a mask you pull on and off, according to the desires of the guys you’re with.
Which really isn’t a good reason to do it.
If you’re doing kink for any other reason than that you want and need to do it to feel fulfilled, you shouldn’t be doing it. It’s unhealthy to do so, for everyone involved.
Often, we talk about the roles in BDSM being something that we can put on and take off. That we can step into and step out of. And that is true. In a practical sense. BDSM is highly stylized, highly dramatized, highly intensified play. You can’t do it 24/7. It would tire you and stress you out past the breaking point fast. Because the world isn’t built to sustain a 24/7 BDSM role. No one can be Dominant all the time, in complete control, without doubt; the first, last, and only word on everything. Just as no one can be submissive all the time; you have to think on your own and put yourself first sometimes.
A kinky person wants a partner who can slip into that headspace as well as slip out of it when appropriate. Who can be a fully functional person in the real world as well as a freaking awesome partner in the crazy, sexy times. But, even though the roles come off and on at will, the inherent kinkiness—the ability to slip in and out—is permanent.
As—if not a Domme—a kinkster, I can’t imagine not being so. It’s not something that’s always at the forefront of my personality or life, anymore than being black or female or middle-class or a podcaster or a college grad is. But all those things, even if they aren’t the dominant force of me at the time, if they’re not the thing I’m thinking about or acting upon at that specific moment, all make up who I am. I can’t not be those things. They touch everything that I am and everything that I do.
To pretend to be otherwise would be damaging. I could, like a gay person acting straight, live a completely vanilla life. I could even be happy doing so, find some kind of contentment in it. But I wouldn’t be fulfilled. There would be a missing part of me. A part that would long for it. That would lament its lack. There would always be moments and parts of my life where I would be faking it. Faking happiness. Faking contentment. Faking that that was enough for me.
The reverse is true too. A vanilla person faking kink... People do it. They quite admirably do it for their kinky partners because faking interest in this is worth doing—is a gift worth giving—to make the people they love happy. People even fake it until they make it, waking up one day and finding that, through the faking, somehow they’ve become kinky.
But you’ve been doing this for what sounds like a long time and you’ve never found it satisfying. You want a relationship where the roles don’t exist, where you don’t have to wear that mask.
And you can and should have that.
There is an inconceivably larger amount of non-kinky men out there than there are kinky men. If you want a vanilla man to be vanilla with, you can have that. They’re everywhere.
Except for where you’re looking.
You said you found several guys through the community. You say you’ve tried to date online and through vanilla friends; were you doing so as a woman who has historically dated kinky men?
If so, stop.
You shouldn’t be advertising as kinky to snare a vanilla guy and you really shouldn’t be looking in the kink community for a vanilla partner. It would be like leaving the US to go to China to search for the perfect white, American man. There are easier ways to do this. Go on vanilla sites, write up a vanilla profile, and look for vanilla guys.
Because, while you can be kinky and have been in the past, Could Be, you don’t have to be, if it’s not what you want. There are men who will want you for who you are without the masks and costumes, but only if you stop slipping on roles you already know don’t fit.
– Pip, Your Resident Deviant Nerd
* If you have a sex, kink, love, or life question for The Deviant Nerd, email Pip at PipJones.DeviantNerd@gmail.com.
And read more about Pip’s story in Brought to You By.