I have a profile on a hookup site where I don’t mention anything about being kinky. The other day I received this message:
Submissive, if you are willing to come to Arizona and to experience the biggest and longest black cocks we meet in this lifestyle with me as your white Dom Daddy as stated in my profile, read ALL, then contact me to discuss further.
I read his profile. I found what I expected. Dude wants a girl who “will be totally submissive, obedient, loyal and pleasing to [him] at all times” to “QUIT searching and commit to [him].” He promises lavish living arrangements, travel opportunities, and all the BBC she could ask for.
I won’t go into how this is a poor introduction. I think that’s fairly obvious and it’s not what I wanted to talk about.
I noticed that I reacted differently to this message. There are several points here that I could have taken offense to, but it’s not like I got mad about anything.
Instead, it made me worried. Context makes such a difference!
I’ve seen this before–it’s not a particularly novel scenario. Had this come across on Fet, my reaction would have been to delete it and hope that the guy would pick up on why it didn’t work. I want to believe that if people are on Fet and they genuinely want to explore kink, they’ll make use of the resources and people available in that community. If this guy really wanted to find a sub then I’d hope it wouldn’t take long for him to figure out why his approach wasn’t the best–I mean, he demonstrated pretty textbook “what not to do” behavior. Again, had this been on Fet, I could have said something to point him in the right direction. Of course I pick and choose when I give advice and when I just let things pass—generally I feel like replying to a copy/pasted message about why copy/pasted messages don’t work is a waste of time.
Anyway, I know that I can’t count on people bettering themselves in such a manner simply based on the environment I perceive them to be in. Just because someone is on Fet doesn’t mean that they’re aware of how kinky people prefer to be approached. But because Fet is a kink-centric site, it makes me think that there’s a better chance of them learning. So I just let these messages slide. I don’t react in a particularly positive or negative way, I just read it and think, “well, that’s not quite up to par yet.”
However, this scenario exposes a different perspective. I received this message outside of Fet, and like I said earlier, I don’t mention anything about being kinky on this other site. I might talk about it down the road, but I don’t advertise as being submissive or being into kink at all. I use that site for other pursuits, so I feign being vanilla. And since I don’t look for kink when I’m there, being approached with it throws me off kilter. It’s like when I was hit on while wearing headphones–yeah I was out in public but I thought the headphones would have been a sign to not talk to me. In a similar vein, yeah I’m on a sex site but I wasn’t leading with anything kinky, so maybe you should’ve thought twice about addressing me as “submissive.”
I react with worry because I have no grasp on the level of kink-awareness that exists in that community. I don’t pay attention to discussions or anything related to kink, so for all I know, they don’t exist. And that makes me nervous for anyone else who had received this message. Would they have taken the offer? I mean, I look at it today and it’s an obvious no. But I think back to a few years ago…when I first started learning about power dynamics I thought it was appropriate to be addressed as “submissive” if I was indeed eager to play a submissive role. Everything was so new. Even if things felt instinctively uncomfortable, I was open to those uncomfortable feelings because I was trying something new. And with the lifestyle this guy proposes, I could definitely see why someone might be intrigued.
I don’t see this other site as a good resource for kink-awareness, so I don’t feel like people who approach me there are particularly educated about it. Like before, this isn’t a conclusion based on any good evidence. Rather, it’s just my perception. A feeling. I feel less secure talking to people about kink because I don’t feel like we’re in a kinky environment. I don’t feel like I’d have the same sea of support if I tried to tell this guy why his approach wasn’t ideal. I also don’t feel like he would just pick up on it, because I don’t see that environment as one that exudes that kind of discussion. So in this case, I feel bad just letting this slide. I feel like I should say something about it. I feel obligated because I might be the only one who ever offers any critique.
Context makes such a difference. And virtual context to boot, which I think adds a whole other dimension to it. It’s fascinating how differently I feel about things just based on the environment I’m in.