Model: Domina Mara
Taken by: Domina Mara
Have you ever read the book before watching the movie and been disappointed because it wasn’t what you hoped?
Perhaps you saw one despite bad reviews figuring you’d try it anyhow and were pleasantly surprised by how much better it was than you heard?
Our prior expectations can truly color an experience. By having high expecations or waiting for certain elements and not receiving them we can almost ensure disappointment. By approaching an event with lowered expections and having it turn out positively, we have a much better opinion of the event than had we gone in with our preconceived notions dial turned the other direction.
Daddy and I met on a vanilla dating site. I honestly had no clue what I was doing there. I hadn’t dated in eighteen years and I had no idea what to expect. I signed up, wrote some things about myself, posted a professional head shot, and started poking around. I was quite innocently naive.
It turns out that having no expectations was an excellent foundation for online dating. I did not expect preferential treatment as a single female. I approached men whose profiles interested me, generally for what they had to say and how they said it rather than for their physical appearances, though I confess I found Daddy quite adorable in his pictures.
In discussing some of this later, I understood that while I spent two days online dating, his year of it colored his opinions a bit more. “There are two types of people on dating sites,” he told me.
The first type is like I was. They approach online dating with an open mind, or a positive outlook. They write profiles talking about what they are looking for in a partner and what experience they desire to have. These people share parts of themselves in the hope that it speaks to others who are like-minded.
The second type is the opposite. These are people who have either had negative experiences or allow their outlook to tip into the negative. Their profiles have lists of what they aren’t looking for and what they don’t want. They form invisible walls of barbed wire around themselves to keep the unpleasant things out. Sometimes these walls keep out things they might have enjoyed or people they might have wanted to meet, had they only given those things a chance.
I see the exact same thing on kinky social media. Fetlife hosts our profiles, and what do we see? Some of the profiles talk about the positive. They list things they are interested in. They discuss ways they do or desire to connect with their community. Unfortunately, many of the people writing profiles have had negative experiences or are letting fear take control. Theirs shout out the opposite. Don’t message me. I won’t do this. I won’t try that. These are my limits.
I get it. I was there. My dating site profile may have been open, but my kink menu was a limited breakfast engagement. In negotiating my first BDSM encounter with my Daddy, we spent several days going over a list of options. My initial responses to so many of the items were negative. I wasn’t even willing to try many of them because I had decided with either minimal or no experience that I wouldn’t like them.
Isn’t that how some of us approach many aspects of life?
It took a lot of trust for me to transition from a column of “don’ts” into a place of excitement and interest in experimentation. I think there is a huge correlation in whether we present ourselves in a negative and closed off fashion or an open one and how welcoming and willing we are to experiencing the flavors of kink that are available to try.
A year and a half ago I could not have imagined a version of myself who would willingly disrobe in public venues to try things like mummification, a violet wand and caning. That person did not exist within me yet. I had preconceived notions of all of those things, and I imagined them in such a negative way, it is unlikely that my response could have been positive.
Yet recently I had an opportunity to sample a larger menu than I had previously allowed myself. By watching and being open to experiencing a small taste, I easily discovered three new things I enjoyed immensely, all on the same night. Had I remained fearful and closed off, those experiences could not have occurred.
By taking on the personal motto that I refuse to allow fear to keep me from having experiences, I have pushed past overwhelming terror into amazing memories. I can now tell stories of swimming with turtles and manatees in my vanilla life and experiencing some pretty darn cool play in my kinky life.
How many of us still let fear frame our narratives?
In writing those dating website profiles, are we shutting down possibility or seeking the things we know we like, open to other new things?
On our kinky social media are we open to helping others learn and grow, to sharing our knowledge and discovering new things, or are we so busy avoiding things we thing we won’t like that we shut down possibility?
How we each approach possibility is ultimately our own choice, and we should be careful who we trust with these experiences. In the end, however, I encourage everyone out there to consider things you didn’t before, even if all you do is watch someone else’s experience.
After all, how else do we really taste all that this world has to offer if we limit our palates to bread and water?
About the Author
Christmas bunny has been exploring kink since she was legal to do so. Her serious writing started in college, where she accidently got some of her papers published in educational journals. She has recently expanded her writing to include her kink journey. She began writing in the physical realm, but shed some of her inhibitions and began sharing those entries with others. She now keeps an active blog of her personal growth and her relationship with her Master / Daddy Dominant and writes helpful educational posts on a variety of subjects.
Ms. Rika says
I very much enjoyed your article. My approach falls very much on the “list the positives” side and I don’t like to state “won’ts”.
Your article caused me to stop and think (which is usually a dangerous thing). I agree, and have witnessed, the mentality of those that you identify as “negative”. I’ve seen those selfish and negative motivations. They can be self-destructive. I do wonder, however, if there might be another motivation for those statements – one that may force us to stop and consider why someone is negative, before dismissing them.
When I think about those that do list their limits rather than their preferences, I wonder if it’s really fear or rather, a desire to not dictate to their potential partner and to keep avenues open. In other words, if a submissive wants to give the dominant free reign, but wants it to be “within reason”, they will find themselves discussing limits rather than preferences. That’s not really out of fear, but rather out of necessity. “Do whatever you want” is a popular fantasy – but it’s unrealistic and likely unsafe. They don’t want to dictate to the dominant what to do, but they do want to avoid things that absolutely cannot happen.
The reality is, listing one’s preferences is a double-edged sword. Yes, it increases the chance that the person who approaches you will match your preferences, but it also limits the population of those that will approach you – potentially causing you to miss out on things you might never have considered. Listing your limits will (hopefully) keep those who prefer those items away from you while leaving the door open. Listing your limits might be, paradoxically, MORE receptive than listing your preferences! Perhaps this is the motivation of some of those who focus on the negative, rather than the fear.
I guess the trick would be to differentiate those motivations…and perhaps only meeting the person would help you to make that determination.
I can certainly understand wanting to state limits up front. I think that’s a healthy way to communicate. In general, though, when I see those listed at the bottom of a profile after a list of wants, it seems to leave things more open than leading with ‘nope’ and ending with limits. I agree that context definitely matters, and it can be tough to get that sometimes in an online community where often a first impression may wind up being the only interaction.
Your work is always so heartfelt
You are such an amazing writer!