Savage Love 

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I’m what was once quaintly called a “woman of a certain age” who started reading your column to broaden my horizons. Some curiosities peeped their heads over the boundaries of my once happily repressed existence. I summoned the courage to join an online BDSM dating site. I got a response from a man who decided to fill me in on how things worked. He told me my name would henceforth be Sub, advised me to address him as His Majesty King Something and ordered me to phone him. This was too much, too fast and too weird. I gave him a plausible excuse for my decision not to proceed to avoid hurting his feelings. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. I tried blocking him, but he seemed to have several identities on the site. I deactivated my account. So now I’m in a bit of a quandary as to where to seek out other options – preferably options that are safer and not so ritualistically restrictive.
Fear Of Flying

“When folks first decide to explore a curiosity in kink or BDSM, one of the things I let them know is that the kink community is NOT a utopia of ultimate sexual enlightenment,” said Mollena Williams, a kinky author/activist. “The kink community is a microcosm of broader society, from the lowest common denominator to the crème de la crème.”

Sadly, FOF, it sounds like your first interaction was with a LowCom. “I wish I could say her experience is unique,” said Williams. “But it is not. The same creeps, jerks and assholes on standard dating sites are on BDSM-centric sites and will utilize the trappings of consensual kink to nonconsensually slime people.”

What Williams means by “slime,” FOF, is “manipulate, intimidate and potentially abuse.” Creepy assholes like His Majesty King Something seek out younger, less experienced subs because more experienced subs are likely to recognize his behavior as sliminess – and more experienced subs would tell him to fuck off.

So what can you do? “Block the trolls,” said Williams, “and seek out the awesome folks on sites like FetLife.com, ALT.com, iTaboo.com and BDSMfriendbook.com. A kink-friendly profile on a non-kink site is another option. ... Kinky folks are everywhere!”

You also have offline options: “She can find local events by checking out Caryl’s BDSM Page (drkdesyre.com) or by joining FetLife and searching events,” said Williams. “She can attend munches (nonsexual meet and greets), and classes are good.” Getting to know kinksters face-to-face doesn’t offer 100 percent protection, “but it’s a great way to get feedback, recommendations and warnings. Essentially, dating in the kink world is no different than the default world. ... Get to know potential partners and THEN decide if you’ve got enough in common.”

Two suggestions: Get Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities and follow @Mollena on Twitter.

I’m a 30-year-old bi girl and have been with my girlfriend for nearly 10 years. We discovered a love of BDSM together, and we’ve had lots of fun exploring. Until now. I am a natural sub, but my girlfriend asked to switch. I have tried to do this half a dozen times, but afterward – or sometimes during a scene – she tells me it isn’t working. She says that it’s not about my actions but my “tone.” Hearing this kills my ladyboner, and the scene fizzles and dies. It’s gotten to the point where I’m wondering if I should bother if I can never get my “tone” right. I want to please her, and that usually keeps me trying, but … I don’t know. I feel guilty and depressed because I can’t seem to return the pleasure she gave me when our roles were reversed.
Giving Up On BDSM

Either your technique/style are both lousy – maybe every fiber of your being is (subconsciously) screaming “I hate this role” – or your girlfriend is one of those BDSM switches who has a difficult time submitting to someone she loves, wakes up next to, gets into arguments with about bills, etc. It might be better if she subbed for someone else while still dominating you.

I am married to a man who is into BDSM. I am happy to do lighter stuff, but not interested in squeezing into an uncomfortable corset and using a flogger. It doesn’t turn me on. So I gave him permission to visit a pro. It seemed like a good idea. The pressure was off me, he was getting what he needed, our relationship and sex life improved. But I had no idea how much pros cost! He has been spending hundreds of dollars each month! He’s been going to a pro twice a month and spends $200+ each visit! I expected that he would go a few times a year and that these “sessions” would cost $100 a pop. We are supposed to be saving to buy a home! He spent more going to his pro in December than he did on Christmas! I asked him to cut back and see someone cheaper, and he became angry and defensive. He accused me of going back on our agreement. I know he reads your column. Please help! What is a reasonable number of times to see a pro? What is a reasonable rate? What about a couple’s budget and plans for the future?
He Spent More Than I Thought

Two hundred dollars a session – $200 an hour – isn’t an unreasonable rate when you consider overheard and fixed costs. Corsets, floggers, bondage gear and dungeon spaces are not cheap. But unless money is no object, blowing $400+ a month on visits to a pro dom is unreasonable. That’s $4,800+ a year, which could go a long way toward a down payment on a house. Since there aren’t many pro doms who work for $100 an hour – or many partners as understanding as you – your husband should think about cutting way back, getting a second job or winning the lottery. But here’s something for you to think about: You say all those sessions with a professional dominant have improved your relationship and your sex life. If your husband were spending $100 a week to see a shrink – $5,200 a year – and you were seeing those kinds of results, would you object?

Sports talk with Dan’s brother Billy at savagelovecast.com.

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