by Dan Savage
I’m a woman in my late 40s. In my early 20s, I married a much older man. We did all the requisite things: kids, house, intercourse once a week. When the sex fell off due to his declining health, he surprised me by suggesting we open our marriage. He said I was too young to be limited and he didn’t want me to leave him for sex. I spent time contemplating how to truly fulfill my desires. I read a lot of erotica, indulged in porn, and discovered that what turned me on was Dominance. Not intercourse particularly, but power play with me as the Queen controlling a slave. I like chastity, face-sitting, and light bondage. I have found that this type of play appeals to smart and kinky gents. But I am finding that, despite a gentleman’s declaration of “wanting something long-term,” perhaps a friends-with-benefits arrangement, they tend to drop out in short order. Three times in the past two years I have spent a great deal of time getting to know someone before there was any play — a lot of time chatting online, several vanilla dates. In each of these instances, I felt that I had found a good friend. Each of these three men dumped me in exactly the same way. Each said that I was too overwhelmingly beautiful and powerful, and that their obsession with me took up too much room in their lives. This is very frustrating because I feel like I give someone the space they need. I think this is likely BS. Could “I’m overwhelmed” be the new “It’s not you, it’s me”? I am tired of having my feelings hurt. Must I hang up my crop forever? — Done Offering My Mental Energy
Forever hanging up your crop because a few guys tactfully ended things over a two-year period seems a bit melodramatic. So hang in there, DOMME, and hold on to that crop.
The mistake you’re making, if I may be so bold as to offer some constructive criticism to the Queen, is investing too much time and energy up front, i.e., you’re making large emotional investments in these guys before you get around to the play. You’ll want to screen guys for your own safety, of course, but spending “a great deal of time getting to know” a potential kinky FWB is a recipe for disappointment. Because if you don’t click during play — if your style of BDSM doesn’t do it for them or vice versa — there are really no “benefits” in continuing.
I suspect that was the case with your last three gents. But instead of ghosting you or saying something that could be construed as critical or unkind, all three heaped praise on you instead. You were too beautiful, too overwhelming, etc. It was, indeed, a kinder, gentler, subbier way of saying, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Dominant women are in such short supply relative to demand that submissive men will, well, they’ll submit to an endless vetting process. During that process, submissive guys open to something long-term will say so, DOMME, but submissive guys who aren’t looking for something long-term will say so, too, if they sense that’s what you want to hear. In order to be safe while avoiding avoidable heartache, DOMME, you’ll want to invest a little time in getting to know guys before you play — again, for your safety — but not so much emotional energy that you’ll be annoyed/upset/devastated if it doesn’t work out.
My wife and I are poly. Next week, my wife is going on a business trip, and I made plans with a woman who we sometimes hook up with to come over. The complication is that, at 8 a.m. the next morning, our housekeeper is supposed to show up — and she’s likely to see that my wife is away but I’m eating breakfast with another woman. I’m not sure what to do. We’re open about being poly, but that seems like an awkward and inappropriate conversation to have with your housekeeper. — An Inconvenient Guest
You shouldn’t have to sneak around in front of your housekeeper, AIG, but your housekeeper probably — definitely — doesn’t want to hear the details of your sex life. So sneak out the back door or pass your lady friend off as a houseguest (remember to rumple the sheets in the guest room) — or reschedule either your housekeeper or your hookup.