Nobody wants to just be a prop for your fantasy.
By Sarah Jaffe
Have a question for Miss Information? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions may be edited.
Dear Miss Information,
I have been turned onto all kinds of erotic bondage since early puberty. I don’t really think of myself as a dom, but rather a facilitator of someone’s fantasies. I am very open-minded, never rude and think of women as equals. I’ve been struggling to find someone for the last 16 years without any luck. It's very frustrating.
BDSM is part of my life, but not my whole life. However when it comes to sex, I want to be with a woman who loves to be tied up. I try to be positive and keep my prospects open and be welcoming to any and all women that would share the same fetish as me. I’ve posted countless ads on all the major BDSM websites, as well as Nerve. I estimate I’ve written to at least two or three different women everyday since 2003, trying to find anyone I could be compatible with. I’ve gotten absolutely nowhere. I’ve been to several BDSM clubs. I’ve been to support groups. I’ve even tried dating in the Vanilla World and found it very unsatisfying.
The problem is the lopsided ratio: the vast overwhelming number of dominant men versus a very, very small number of submissive women who are into bondage that are seeking men. Some of these websites have pull down menus that will tell you whether someone read your sent message. I check back periodically and found few have read any of my messages. I’ve tried all different kinds of approaches without any luck. How can you hope to get someone's attention when they get 839 messages in one week? How can I stand out?
–Stuck in Bondage Hell
I’m a big fan of science. Science gives us so many things every day that illuminate our futile existence. One of these illuminating gifts from science? The brilliant phrase correlation does not imply causation. Clap on! Science and I have thus illuminated your problem. You’re a bondage-lovin’ dude who’s luckless with the ladies. Your letter bespeaks a belief that you’re luckless because of your BDSM tendencies. But what if that’s not the problem? What if you’re a bondage-lovin’ dude and also a luckless-in-love dude, but these states of dudeitude are not related?
Here’s where I’m coming from on this: you’re eager to blame the so-called imbalance between dominant men and submissive women for your single state, and I gotta tell you man, I think you pulled this “lopsided ratio” out of your butt. The UK’s More! Magazine polled thousands of British women and found that two out of three women ages 18-24 have experimented with bondage and spanking. I know you may not be in the UK, and I know these women might not be the kind of die-hard kinksters you seek, but that kind of figure makes it pretty hard to believe you’re always dumped swiftly for bringing up bondage.
A 1998 Playboy poll conducted by Dr. Marty Klein found that 30 percent of men and 32 percent of women have dabbled with being tied up during sex. And a 1972 scientific study found that nearly 50 percent of women had sexy submissive fantasies I promise, there are women who want to be tied up. That pesky science again! We would have gotten away with your grand generalization about women that backs up your personal anecdotal experience, too, if it weren’t for that meddling science!
So if it’s not just that all the bondage-lovin’ submissive ladies are elusive and/or taken, to what else can we credit your tale of woe? You’re not going to like this, but it might be you. I know, I’m sorry! It sounds like you’re trying to do everything right, and yet, none of your personal ads or social functions have been fruitful.
It might be that you’re oversaturating the market. You say BDSM isn’t your whole life, and yet you seem very, very devoted to it. I wonder if your single-minded focus on having sex with a lady who is tied up is showing through. Women, kinky or not, usually like a partner who makes them feel special. It sounds like your attitude is closer to, “Do you have a pulse? And a vagina? Do you want to be tied up? Ok, you’ll do.” If this approach has been leaving you empty-handed and empty bedded for over 10 years, it’s time for a new approach.
A penchant for bondage is all well and good, but that can’t be the only thing you’re attracted to. If it is, there’s your problem. Nobody wants to just be a prop for your fantasy. Most people want their sex partner to spark a little chemistry, to make them feel sexy and wanted and interesting and special. So if searching for your sexual soul mate through kink alone isn’t working, you might want to think about what other characteristics you find sexy in a woman. Intelligence? A good sense of humor? A common interest? See if one of these threads might help you connect better to the kinky women you meet. And make sure you’re putting your best foot forward – are you fun to talk to, or are you only interested in sex and sex alone, do not pass go, do not collect 200? That might make you come off creepy, you know, if it’s not phrased right.
And how are your dating profile pictures? Make sure they’re current, flattering, well lit, and clear. Do not use a shirtless bathroom selfie unless you are hot enough to blind viewers to how stupid you look. Do not wear a stupid hat or a weird facial expression. Do not use a TV character or a drawing or a photo of a cat as your avatar. A good first impression will go a long way toward making you stand out in the crowd. And if all you’re interested in is the sex that turns you on, and not a true connection with someone you click with on levels sexual and otherwise, I can’t help with that. If that’s the case, I hope you’ve got a stellar stash of porn.
Image via Kris Krug