I do respond to things like this, but I’m not sure why — I’m completely unqualified to offer anyone advice (you know that, right?). While that fact has never actually stopped me from responding to reader questions, it’s good to keep in mind. First, the easy questions…
Do I need to learn to be a good sub before I can be a good Domme?
No. People don’t need to be submissive to learn how to be a good dominant, nor do they have to be dominant in order to learn how to be a good submissive. With that said, it’s never a bad idea to be empathetic — to imagine yourself in your partner’s position in order to be a better partner to them. But having to sub before you can dom? Nah.
Do I need to have a cleanly vanilla relationship before anything at all?
Cleanly vanilla… as opposed to a kinky or D/s relationship? No — you don’t need to have a ‘cleanly vanilla’ relationship first.
Also, keep two things in mind. First, what’s vanilla to one person might be kinky-as-fuck to someone else. Second, all relationships have a dynamic with components of unequal power. Perhaps Lois defers to Clark on picking out the restaurant, but Clark defers to Lois on controlling the TV remote. Bruce is happy to let Selina handle the couple’s finances, and Selina is grateful that Bruce handles all insurance related decisions.
I have NO IDEA how to start a real relationship that includes everything I feel I need
I’m not the best person to give advice about any of the following, but the most common advice out there is to join (and be active on) FetLife, go to a munch, attend some classes, try a dating website…
Advice You Didn’t Ask For
There’s no need to know exactly what you want. Personally, I think it’s better to know what you absolutely don’t want in a potential partner and to be open to the possibilities of anything and everything else.
Some needs are immutable. Some aren’t. Some needs aren’t really needs at all, but they’re wants. Sometimes what you thought you needed (or wanted) won’t bring you the happiness you seek.
So… what does bring you happiness?
If you don’t know already, then figure it out — find out what brings you happiness — and do that. Spend some time on your work or school, on your friends, your art, your passion… or just spend some time living your life and figuring out what makes you happy.
While your doing that (whatever it is), try a munch, read more on D/s, join an online community and be curious — but don’t limit yourself to one specific vision of what an ideal relationship looks like. Don’t cut yourself off from the possibility of finding a really great friend, boyfriend, or partner just because he isn’t what you thought he should be.
Sometimes happiness bites you in the ass when you least expect it, when you have few expectations, and when you thought you couldn’t be any happier than you already were. That? That’s fucking magical. :)