Oct 032012
 

Dumb Domme,

Although I’ve known I was innately dominate for some time, I’m just now trying to make my fantasies a reality. I’ve been reaching out, trying to find partners and playmates, and while I’ve been successful in attracting potential submissives, I realized I have no idea where to play with them! Taking them to my apartment involves a number of safety risks, as does going to their place. I don’t have a separate dungeon or anywhere that’s separate. What do you propose? How do I have fun while staying safe?

Thanks so much!
H


Hello there, H,

So you’re innately dominate… you don’t say?  ;)

Anyway… in response to your question, I have a couple questions of my own.

First, are you looking for a romantic or intimate partner? Or are you looking for a play partner/playmate? Second, what do you mean by “safety risks”? Do you mean it’s dangerous to be in a stranger’s home? Do you mean that homes pose more physical safety risks than dedicated play spaces? Or do you mean you have children or other people in your home that you don’t want exposed to play partners or playtime?

Unfortunately, I can’t respond very without knowing the answers to those questions. (But I won’t let that stop me!) So, for the purposes of this response, I’m going to assume you’re just looking to have some fun with people you don’t know very well and don’t intend to know very well. In other words, I’m assuming you aren’t looking for a romantic relationship or a friendship outside of BDSM and D/s play.

If my assumption is correct, you’ll probably need to find a public play space. A public play space or play party will eliminate the risks involved in being one-on-one with someone you don’t know. In addition, being with other players will lessen the safety risks involved in using unfamiliar techniques (you’ll likely have the opportunity to watch scenes and demonstrations, and you can ask for advice from more experienced players).

To find public play spaces and parties, Google search BDSM organizations in your area or check location-based groups on Fetlife–people in your area will likely have the information you need.

As you go about finding that information, keep a few things in mind.

First, understand that you may not be able to have the “dominant experience” you want at a public play space with an unfamiliar play-partner. My few public play experiences with unfamiliar play-partners were far more about “topping” than “dominating.” I found I wasn’t able to get into a really dominant headspace without knowing the “bottom” and without having establishing some rapport. For me, it was a very shallow enactment of a D/s dynamic, if at all. Topping is fun, but it isn’t dominating (nor is it as satisfying for me). With all of that said, your experience may be very different from mine–you may find you’re able to get into a dominant headspace easily and may find it really satisfying.

Second, and way more importantly, being in a public space doesn’t ensure your safety–not your own personal safety nor the safety of whomever you play with. Ideally, before you use a public play space, you should go to some local munches and get to know the people there. Even after you’ve gotten to know people fairly well, you should still take a trusted friend with you. The safer, the better, right?

With all of that said, if I was sure you knew your potential sub really well, I’d advise you to tell your sub to figure out the details so you didn’t have to worry about it.  ;)

Good luck!
D


Anyone else have advice or ideas for H?

  6 Responses to “Ask-a-Domme: Where can I play?”

  1. Likewise assuming that H is playing with casual play partners that she or he does not aim to know well, I second the public play space recommendation, but also hotel rooms. Swingers who hook up with casual sex partners and, for whatever reason do not want to take those partners to their home or go to the partners’ home, employ hotel rooms.

    • @Week Bi Week: I disagree. A hotel room isn’t a good idea.

      Being alone with a stranger in a hotel room is just as dangerous as being alone with a stranger in her home (or in the stranger’s home).

      Again, we don’t know the details of the situation or know what H meant by “safety risk,” but assuming she doesn’t know the other person well, she shouldn’t be alone with them anywhere.

  2. I figure if I don’t trust a person enough to be in an enclosed space with them, I’m not really going to enjoy playing with them.

    I think part of the problem here is that the culture does encourage people to skip to play very quickly. I remember looking around early on and not wanting to play because the expectation seemed to be “meet for coffee, if you both have your teeth, retire to a private place and let the beatings commence”. That seemed like a really good way for me to end up in the trunk of someone’s car. Not appealing.

    There’s a pretty simple solution to this: vanilla dating. Don’t rush. Get to know each other, just the way you would any other intimate partner.

    • @Lily: Yes… but…

      I agree the culture does encourage play pretty quickly. But, I also think that works for some people. I have nothing against vanilla dating, nor kinky dating, but depending on what H is looking for (I haven’t read H’s response yet) I wouldn’t necessarily advise that everyone has to get to know a potential play partner before playing.

      To me, while that advice does apply to most people (they’d feel more comfortable and have a better experience with a partner they knew), it sets up an artificial norm that might not work for everyone. That’s not to say that your advice isn’t great advice (because it is, and certainly, if followed would probably make for a better experience).

      I’ve been thinking about “standards” and artificial “norms” a lot lately, especially in light of a few D/s blogs that blanket suggest to their readers (readers who are curious about D/s and BDSM but haven’t tried it) that two people should build a totally vanilla, committed relationships first, and then introduce BDSM later on. One of the blog writers was explicit in endorsing the idea that “you must build a strong foundation first” before introducing BDSM, and implicitly, that writer suggested that BDSM couldn’t be part of a “foundation.”

      I’ve also received very thoughtful, good-hearted advice from my own readers (after I’ve written about troubles I’ve had with J) that suggested we “lay off” the D/s for a couple of weeks to see if there was anything else there, or advice that abandoning the D/s dynamic for a little while would allow us to “go back to basics,” and that might help strengthen the relationship.

      In reading all of that, I couldn’t help thinking how much that wouldn’t work for me and wouldn’t work for my relationship… anyway… that has very little to do with what you wrote, just been thinking a lot about advice, assumptions, and “norms.” (and so I rant!)

  3. Ms. Domme,

    This is H, the lady in question, writing a little earlier in the evening so I don’t make quite as many embarrassing grammar and spelling mistakes as in my previous correspondence. I appreciate your response immensely, and I am more than happy to clear a few things up.
    I am a young, single woman, with no children in the picture to worry about. My concerns stem from the first part of that sentence; I’m worried about everything a ‘normal’ young woman worries about when on the prowl. How do I trust my partner to not give me any diseases? How do I trust being alone with a strange man? How do I believe he would actually submit to me and not retaliate?
    I am present on Fetlife and other sites, and I’m had some success in finding potential partners, but I’m been too nervous to reply. I’ve had a single successful kink relationship that wasn’t exclusive, and a number of casual partners. I was fairly active in my city’s scene for a bit, but found public play fairly unfulfilling, both in the way you described and others.
    My conflict comes from my different desires. My reptile brain, for lack of a better term, wants sex and pain and doesn’t much care for the relationship side of things. My other side wants sex and pain, of course, but also intimacy, trust, a real relationship with snuggling as well as beating. I won’t go into details, but forming the latter has been hard for me whether the relationship is kink-based on not.
    I am open to the idea of ‘vanilla dating’, of course, as Lily said, but I am afraid of putting a great deal of time and effort into wooing someone, only to find they have no interest in my extracurricular hobbies. On the flip side, the idea of basing a relationship on my dominance sounds a bit, well, limiting. I want a partner to laugh with, as well as beat up and mess with mentally.
    I do want a partner to play with intimately, but I’ve been waiting a long time and I’m getting antsy, to say the least. Patience is not a virtue of mine. So perhaps the question I should be asking you is not how to find a space to play, but perhaps how do I find a sane someone? How did you find yours?

    Thanks again, and apologies for sloppy typing,
    H

    • @H: Glad you wrote back!

      But, I’m afraid most of what I have to say won’t be all that helpful. I’ll say it anyway because I say unhelpful things all the time! It’s never stopped me before… :)

      My concerns stem from the first part of that sentence; I’m worried about everything a ‘normal’ young woman worries about when on the prowl. How do I trust my partner to not give me any diseases? How do I trust being alone with a strange man? How do I believe he would actually submit to me and not retaliate?

      This is one of those responses that’s going to be unhelpful. How do you trust a partner not to pass along a disease? How do you trust being alone with a strange man? How do you trust he won’t retaliate? You don’t. At least, you don’t until you get to know him. The issues you mentioned are the same for vanilla sex and dating as they are for BDSM.

      My conflict comes from my different desires. My reptile brain, for lack of a better term, wants sex and pain and doesn’t much care for the relationship side of things. My other side wants sex and pain, of course, but also intimacy, trust, a real relationship with snuggling as well as beating. I won’t go into details, but forming the latter has been hard for me whether the relationship is kink-based on not.

      Well, I’m a big advocate of seeing where things take you. As I kind of suggested in my response to Lily above, I think that playing first and then seeing where it takes you isn’t a bad idea. (Certainly, it can be a terrible idea for some people, but not necessarily for others.) Perhaps you can go about finding strictly play partners, but be open to the idea of it developing into more. I think there are s a lot of people out there that fit that profile–people who want to play, date, and have fun, not actively looking for more, but open to it if it comes along. I’m like that, and I was like that when I started this relationship (and of course, it’s developed into more).

      I am open to the idea of ‘vanilla dating’, of course, as Lily said, but I am afraid of putting a great deal of time and effort into wooing someone, only to find they have no interest in my extracurricular hobbies. On the flip side, the idea of basing a relationship on my dominance sounds a bit, well, limiting. I want a partner to laugh with, as well as beat up and mess with mentally.

      I can understand being fearful of the possibility of wooing someone and developing feelings for them, but then finding out they aren’t into your hobbies. However, do you think you’d even get to the “developing feelings” stage without knowing whether or not they were into the same things you are?

      I’ve thought about this a lot–when my current relationship ends, 1) will I go back to vanilla dating, and 2) would/could I develop feelings for a partner who wasn’t kinky? The answer to #1 is yes, I would go back to vanilla dating… why not? I was vanilla when I started seeing J, but that changed quickly. Not that I assume I’ll meet a man and he’ll become kinky, but it could happen. The answer to #2 is no, I don’t think I’d end up developing strong feelings for someone who wasn’t into the same things I was.

      Here’s why. Yes, in general, I prefer to develop some level of trust with a potential partner before I hop into bed, but in the right circumstances, it’s not necessary, nor does it take that long. I’ll sleep with someone before the “strong feelings” stage and way before any sort of “commitment” stage. So, I’m sure that I’d find out whether a new potential partner was kinky or not before I developed real feelings. If he wasn’t kinky, I don’t think the relationship would get much further than that. (Not that I’d cut it off immediately after finding out he was vanilla, but I don’t think I’d be super-attracted to him after learning that.)

      So perhaps the question I should be asking you is not how to find a space to play, but perhaps how do I find a sane someone? How did you find yours?

      Here’s another point where the advice isn’t going to be helpful. You find a sane kinky person the same way you find a sane vanilla person: by trying to find someone, by dating, or by accident. :)

      I wasn’t looking for a relationship when I found J. When we started dating, I didn’t know he was kinky, and I didn’t think I was kinky. We met at a sort of business conference (no, we do not work together nor at the same company!), and the kink came a bit later.

      The story is pretty long-winded, but if you’re interested, I wrote a series of “retrospective” posts explaining how it all happened:

      Retrospective Preface
      Pt 1: Accidental Dominant
      Pt 2: Oops
      Pt 3: Playing Domme
      Pt 4: Self Consciousness, Self Confidence
      Pt 5: Dumb Service Top
      Pt 6: Oh… Hell No!
      Pt 7: No Insight, No Conclusion

      So, like I said, I can’t imagine any advice you might receive will be very helpful, but the bottom line (as I see it) is that vanilla dating/sex/play isn’t that much different than kinky dating/sex/play. The same dangers exist, the same potential for relationships exist, and the same problems exist for people regardless of whether they’re kinky or not.

      I wish it was easier, but it isn’t. While kinky dating and kinky relationships aren’t any easier, kinky is a lot more fun! :)

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