There has been a reader inquiry:
“I’m starting to think about finding a Dom. Not quite sure where to start. Would love some tips on how to avoid narcissistic psychos who pretend.”
I think we’d all like to avoid psychos! Lol
Based on this question I have come up with this article to speak to people in general who are looking for their “other half”.
The first step begins with you.
Know what you’re looking for and what you have to offer. Keep in mind that when you actually meet a real live person, they probably won’t check off every box. When thinking of what you’d like create lists of things that are absolute “musts” along with a list of “these would be great” traits. You may have a list of deal breakers as well.
Even more important than what you’re looking for, however, is who you are and what you have to offer. I say all the time – know thyself. Develop who you are as a person – not just as an s-type. Be the kind of partner that you would seek out. Be someone who is trustworthy, confident in yourself, not looking for someone to “fix” you or solve your problems, good with communication, emotionally mature, etc. I can speak to traits in a submissive that may be “traditionally” sought out by D-types – such as being open to training, a willingness to serve, excellent cleaning/domestic skills, etc. However, these traits, in my opinion, come second to the kind of relationship you are able to form. Domestic skills and protocols can be taught. Good communication, confidence, etc are a part of who you are and are developed over time with an investment in personal growth.
Once you have come to terms with who you are and you are happy with where you are in your ever growing journey, then you can be open to finding a match. Ultimately it depends on what about you matches well with the Dom that crosses your path. One D-type says “no brats!” and another says “I love a brat because I see it as a fun challenge”. Most important is to know who YOU are and what you have to offer.
So let’s say you get to the point of being ready and meet a D-type you think could have potential. I recommend taking your time and getting to know them as a human being first. Do you connect as people? Does their energy feel good and positive? Does your gut send off any warning signals that there may be red flags? These are all things to pay attention to. In addition, take inventory from the outside world. Do they seem to have their shit together? If they are going to take the lead in the relationship and/or in your life it’s a good sign if they can manage their life first. If they play in the scene do they have a good reputation? Have you seen them play? Do mutual friends seem to have good things to say overall? Do they seem to conduct themselves with integrity and care for others? These are good signs.
(Random tip: red flag warning if they are over-the-top charming right off the bat!)
There is a reason I focused so much in this article on working on yourself. I truly believe that if we are working really hard to find a relationship, it probably means we aren’t really ready for one. A relationship of any kind shouldn’t be a “need” it should be a “want”. When you approach from that mindset it leads to a clearer head to be able to catch the red flags as well as a good grasp on recognizing a good partner when we meet them.
Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening. Read more about Jennifer on her blog, A Kink Shrink.
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