I hope you have been enjoying Rika’s Lair, my monthly column dedicated to thoughts and experiences regarding power dynamics in Service-Oriented D/s relationships. Look up “Ms. Rika” in the search box for links to all of my articles in KinkWeekly!
Being a dominant with a real life as well as online presence, I’m often approached by submissives looking for relationships. Some of those folks are looking for online interaction, but others are hoping for real life, face-to-face, dynamics. Finding a good relationship can be a hard road…Finding one online can be even harder.
The other day, I received a particularly detailed cold call via FetLife PM, entitled, “A shot in the dark – An Excerpt from what I am looking for”. Grammatical incorrectness aside, in it, the sender detailed exactly what he wants to find in a woman, what he’s like, and what he will do for me (more precisely, what I will be able to do to him after we’re together). It was quite thorough and showed that he put a great deal of thought into it. However, it was entirely one-sided and read like the typical calling card of someone who hasn’t taken the time to know anything about me.
I was in a helpful mood (which happens sometimes ), so I replied with a bit of advice:
The trouble with shooting in the dark is that you rarely hit what you’re aiming for. Reading a long essay on a cold-call is not how you get to know someone. It makes a woman feel like ‘any’ woman…and no one wants to be a faceless object, right?
If you want to get to know me, make an effort to know ME. I’m a unique person. Read about me. Read about what I want, what I like, what I’m looking for. Learn who my friends are. If you can’t find something to read, ask me…rather than giving me a reading assignment that describes what YOU want – and offering to submit to me without any consideration of who I am and what I want.
I am left to believe you fired this note off to just about every dominant woman you could find…hoping that your odds of finding someone will increase…but for me, it’s a put-off…and I’m going to pass on this offer for those reasons.
His answer surprised me a bit. Here are snippets from his response:
thanks for the advice….I have tried that approach of personal letters to ladies and have had no better response….after several years of fetlife, I am beginning to think it is a waste of time. […] I think I am just going to quit and leave a profile out there and maybe just maybe someone will see it and initiate conversation because they are interested.
It must really be hard for guys who are honestly looking to find a match in the dominant space. I felt badly for him. I wrote him back the following response – which I think is good advice for all people looking to approach someone, particularly if you’re going to do so online:
To successfully meet someone online, you need to invest some time before reaching out to them. Find something, just a little something – from a profile or from a post they made – that piqued
your interest and made you want to contact them. Perhaps it’s a belief that she voiced, or a position on a subject with which you connect. THEN it makes sense to approach her, to find out more about her and also to share stuff about yourself.
Your introduction was not aimed at finding out about her, it was aimed at finding someone who might be interested in you. Realize it or not, that’s a protection mechanism that is designed to protect you from rejection: By depersonalizing them, you minimize the importance of their opinion. When you paint your own picture of yourself to the level of detail that you did, and ‘buckshot’ it to multiple people you don’t know and ask them to show their interest, you’re waiting to see if the image you’re painting of yourself is attractive to them, before determining if they will be attractive to you – which puts them in a rather vulnerable position. It’s the lazy man’s way of switching the tables and becoming the one making decisions. You’re at minimal risk, if one of the women rejects you, someone who really doesn’t know you isn’t interested – so what, you’re not actually invested in her, and the invitation is out to several others – Maybe you’ll even have several candidates from which to choose! However, once this complete stranger bites and leans in, you get to start to learn more about her, and you are the one deciding if she’s going to be compatible for you. No risk for you, all risk for her. Don’t think she won’t feel this and move to avoid it.
So, what’s the better approach?
View your introduction like you’re doing some research, exploring a person who piqued your interest for some real reason, and made you want to know more. Let her know you’d like to start a dialog with someone with whom you can explore compatibility, together; on equal footing, and with equal risk. You can’t logically expect to start a relationship based on a single note of introduction – so your objective needs to be to start a CORRESPONDENCE.
How do you get someone talking? You ask questions that get them to share about themselves. This lets them know that you care about who they are…and gives them the feeling that relationships are important to you…not frivolous…and that not just ANYONE will do…that THEY interest you and you want to be careful to feel out compatibility – so that you can tell if a relationship is something that might be a possibility – and that you don’t want to waste either of your time. Ask questions that demonstrate your interest and prompt response…response is your goal.
Make sure you hold back some details about yourself, so she can ask questions in return.
THEN you’ve started a conversation…and conversations can lead to wonderful things.
Ms. Rika is a lifestyle dominant, educator, and author; living in the suburbs of NYC with her husband/slave. She has written several popular books on her approach to adding Dominant-Centric, Service-Oriented D/s to relationships. You can find her books (in both print and eBook formats) at Lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/msrika), or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iStore, Books-A-
Million, Kobo.com, or anywhere books are sold. Search for “Ms. Rika”. Write to me at Ms_Rika@hotmail.com