When I was writing the “homage” lexicon entry a few months ago, I found a note from a boy in response to my request that he write something about how beautiful I am (I’m vain, remember?) The note wasn’t very good, and worse, it actually hurt my feelings a little.
After rereading that note, I started writing a post with some advice on how to pay a woman a compliment. Like much of my writing, I abandoned it and forgot about it. I remembered it yesterday after reading a post over on Domme Chronicles where Ferns included excerpts of an email she received from a submissive friend of hers.
After reading the lovely things he said about her (and after being jealous, which I’m still not over), I decided to revisit the topic in the hopes of giving some advice to people about how compliment a woman. I guess this stuff could apply to any gender, but I had females in mind, probably because I am one.
Wait. Fuck that. Everything here is about me… me, me, me. I probably should have titled this “how to compliment Dumb Domme.”
If you’re going to pay a woman a compliment, you should focus on the characteristics, mannerisms, and things she does that you genuinely find attractive or endearing.
Don’t just compliment her because you think you have to. If you’re in a situation where you feel like you have to pay her a compliment (when she’s wearing a new dress for date night, for example), then compliment her on something you genuinely find attractive about her appearance. Instead of just saying the dress looks nice because you know you have to say something, perhaps you can say something about the way it makes the color of her eyes look brighter, or deeper, or greener. This is particularly good in cases where you don’t actually like the dress or don’t like the way she looks in it.
Don’t lie. For example, if her teeth are all crooked, don’t tell her she has a perfect smile. She probably realizes she doesn’t have a perfect smile. However, if it’s not something she’s self-conscious about, and you really do love her fucked up teeth, then go ahead and tell her that you love her smile. Just don’t tell her she has perfect teeth if she doesn’t.
Don’t compliment her simply to make her feel more comfortable with something she doesn’t like about herself. If she’s uncomfortable about her weight, then don’t tell her that you love her curves if you really don’t. Even if you’re trying to make her feel better or feel more comfortable, don’t tell her you find something attractive if you really don’t find it attractive.
Be specific and descriptive.
Avoid paying her a one-size fits all compliment that you could give to anyone. Say more than “you look nice” or “you look pretty.” Be specific about the color of her eyes, the graceful curve of her waist, the softness of her lips, or the way her hair smells of strawberries.
For some excellent examples of specificity and descriptiveness, see this incredibly sweet message Ferns received after spending time with a male submissive friend. The line, “every time we hugged, it seemed like I was breathing honey. Not all crazy in my face, just a gentle scent of honey” made me melt into a puddle on the floor. It was specific and so sweetly descriptive, so kudos to him for making her swoon and bonus points for making me swoon too.
Focus on more than her appearance.
You can say something about the way she smells, the way she moves, the sound of her laughter. You can compliment her on the characteristics, mannerisms, and behaviors you find attractive.
Notice what she likes about herself.
Of course you can compliment her on things you like about her, but your compliments will be way more effective if they’re focused on the characteristics, features, and mannerisms that she is proud of. I am obsessive about keeping my hands and feet flawlessly manicured and I love receiving compliments about my pretty nails or perfect feet.
Pay compliments at unexpected times and in unexpected places.
J told me I was beautiful one evening when I was sopping wet, straight out of the shower and wrapped in a towel, while I was reaching to adjust the thermostat. It was so unexpected that I really believed he found me beautiful, and as strange as it seems, his sincerity meant so much to me that I doubt I’ll ever forget that moment.
Use caution when complimenting her “negatives.”
In other words, be careful complimenting her on things she’s self-conscious about. For example, if she’s really self-conscious about her hammer toe, you probably should avoid telling her that you find her freakishly long nether-digit incredibly attractive, that you love the way it stretches a half an inch past her other toes (assuming you really do find it attractive). If she’s self-conscious about the size of her ass, don’t attempt to pay her a compliment by telling her how much you love the way it jiggles as she walks up the stairs, even if you do. Find a better way, or find something else to compliment her on.
With that said, turning “negatives” into “positives” can work on some occasions. I do recall one instance when a man complimented me on something I hate about myself and it worked–he was being genuine, specific, and it really did make me feel better. On the blog, I’ve mentioned that I hate my large labia, and it’s no secret to my past partners. (I’ve made jokes about my generous girl parts to my partners, in part because I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable, and in part to give them fair warning before my pants come off.)
After he and I had sex, he said something like “I know you’re self-conscious about your labia, but when you were grinding on top of me, it gave a ton of extra stimulation to the base of my cock–like, I could feel your labia all wet and messy–and it was kinda awesome.” He mentioned a functional benefit to him and it actually made me feel better about my large labia–it was specific, something I couldn’t dismiss (as is my habit when I’m self-conscious about something), and he was absolutely sincere.
So, there you go. That’s my advice. As with everything, take what I say with a grain of salt… I call myself Dumb Domme for a reason.