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Friday, September 6, 2013


Posted by on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Originally published July 27, 2006:

I met a guy through a BDSM chatroom. It seemed like the perfect no-risk adventure sex—he's dom, I'm sub; he's sexy as all get-out, I'm fat in all the places he likes girls to be fat. So we hook up. But instead of the one-time adventure I was expecting, we hook up again and again. We talk for hours on the phone and hang out naked watching TV and eating Chinese food. It's been a couple of months now, and I really like this guy. Usually "dom" guys are not people I would want to spend five minutes with outside of the bedroom. But we seem to go effortlessly from friends and equals to mind-shatteringly orgasmic power-exchange fucking, which always seems to end up sweet and slow and feeling a lot more like lovemaking.

Should I just let things be good and enjoy it and see where it goes? Or should there be an official "this is now a relationship and I am opening myself up to the possibility of a future with you" discussion? I am just so terrified of being dismissed as a potential partner because of the way we met. What if men (or at least this man) can have not just casual sex without feeling attached, but also casual naked Chinese without feeling attached—as long as they have already classified the woman in their head as a fantasy-fulfillment booty call?

Sex Crazed Adventures Rarely Evolve Development

My response after the jump...

If you want to scare this boy off, SCARED, then sit his ass down for an Official Discussion (OD) and unilaterally upgrade this thing from fantasy-fulfillment booty calls to Serious Relationship. No one—men, women, gay, straight, kinky, vanilla—likes to be informed that they are now, like it or not, and without any prior consultation, entangled in a Very Serious Relationship.

Even if this boy is open to getting serious—if he's not the kind of guy who would rule you out because of how you met—eight weeks is way too soon for an OD and it could put him on the defensive, making him view any future mind-shatteringly orgasmic power-exchange fuck sessions as some sort of implied commitment, one that he may not be ready to make. It that happens, you can say goodbye to both the fuck sessions and the possibility of a future.

However, you should let him know how you're feeling, SCARED, and you can do it without tossing down lightning bolts like "this is now a relationship." Try something simpler and sweeter, something truthful but less thunderclappy, something like: "I'm totally digging you as a dom, which I expected after our chats, and also as a person, which I totally didn't expect. I hope we can keep on fucking and hanging out." He'll catch your drift, I guarantee you, and he'll appreciate your ability to let things develop naturally and without any hurry-up ODs. Then chill the fuck out, enjoy the sex and the Chinese, and see where it goes.

Finally, SCARED, if this guy is the type who would dismiss you as a potential partner because of how you met, well, you really can't do anything about that, can you? It would be extremely foolish for him to dismiss you for that reason, though—and if he does, SCARED, you can tell him I said so. It's rare for a truly kinky person to meet someone with whom he's sexually and emotionally compatible. (Am I right, kinksters?) If this dom boy has any sense at all he's already picturing a future with you.


Comments (40) RSS

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Take a breath, chill out and let things develop. There's nothing more awkward than letting it all out. Could be awesome, could be transient. Hey, can we do a follow-up? Stump the chump kinda thing?
Posted by phuni44 on September 6, 2013 at 4:52 PM · Report this
julie russell 2
Enjoy...a friend you like fucking and have fun with? D'uh..leave it alone.
Posted by julie russell http:// on September 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM · Report this
snacktruck 3
Dan and the other two are spot on...coming from a place of almost exact experience (me the guy), everything was just fun, fun and fun! So enjoy yourself and let it progress as it may...HOWEVER, once she asked me about being serious, I just was blunt and said "no thank you". I did not want serious.

I just wanted to fuck this woman and that is that. Still kind of do but alas, it is over.
Posted by snacktruck on September 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM · Report this
To anyone in a similar situation now: It is possible that he might see you as the perfect level of fat & kinky for his boner, but too fat & kinky to introduce to his friends or date seriously. (Doms can be stupid too.)

If that's something you'd want to find sooner rather than later, you could try moving in the direction of meeting each other's friends. Ask him about his day. Talk about your friends. Invite him to hang out with your friends. If he won't go out for drinks or a movie with your friends, or if he comes out with your friends several times but never invites you to hang out with his friends... then that will be a clue as to his long-term intentions. Then you'll have to decide whether it's better for you to cut things off early and lose the good sex, rather than continue to get emotionally invested in someone who doesn't see you the same way.
Posted by EricaP on September 6, 2013 at 5:19 PM · Report this
I agree with #1, I'd really like for Dan to do a "Stump the chumps" thing and follow up with people later to see how it turned out.
Posted by Violet415 on September 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM · Report this
No, let him introduce you to his friends, first.

Introducing him to yours, is another way of pushing for a relationship, before he may be ready.
Posted by judybrowni on September 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM · Report this
I'm confused, isn't this already a "serious" (as in real) relationship? Spending time together, having meals together, what more do you want? Sharing friends, an apartment, define your goals in the near term. How about a weekend away together? Outside the sex arena do Doms control what is done?

Anyway, listen and talk. He might be more clueless than you about what next, but I bet he's got some ideas of what might be fun.

Posted by Married in MA on September 6, 2013 at 6:31 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 8
I'm actually getting to the point now where Dan keeps posting such interesting and worthy-of-follow-up letters that not knowing how things played out is excruciating, and I'd almost prefer he not post anything at all, rather than taunt us like this. Or maybe instead of archived SLLOTD's he could post... I dunno, Soap Opera Digest articles, or maybe recipe suggestions or perhaps some declassified State Department memos.

And to those of you who'd suggest I simply not read, rather than sit here and complain? You all can eat my butt.
Posted by mikethehammer on September 6, 2013 at 8:59 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 9
This sounds like one of those, I forget what Dan called it originally, something like "Meeting Nasty" stories. Where, for instance, you meet the love of your life while drunk off your ass in some dive bar, make out in the bathroom, wake up the next morning hung over & in a strange part of town, and then ... BAM. True love. But you need to have a story that you can tell your families and possible eventual children, so you tell everybody you met at a church social.

Meanwhile, @8 for example, even the NY Times has done a couple follow-up stories on couples they covered in their "Vows" section: 20 years later they're still married, or divorced & remarried, or whatever. I wish Dan would/could do this for some of these folks.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on September 6, 2013 at 9:21 PM · Report this
@6, yes, that's the idea. It's pushing for a relationship, gently, in order to find out if he's at all interested. If he won't meet your friends after 8 weeks then you accept the fact that, like snacktruck@3, he's never going to see you as relationship-material.
Posted by EricaP on September 6, 2013 at 11:34 PM · Report this
" No one—men, women, gay, straight, kinky, vanilla—likes to be informed that they are now, like it or not, and without any prior consultation, entangled in a Very Serious Relationship."

Wha? How was this even vaguely suggested? Surely the Official Discussion would BE the "prior consultation"? A question isn't a command, she wouldn't be telling him he's in anything "like it or not" she'd be asking whether he WOULD "like it or not."

I can see that maybe it's too early, sure. But on the other hand, when everything's so heady and emotional for her, if he sees her as a just a fuckbuddy from the internet/stopgap until he gets a real girlfriend she probably doesn't want to be a couple of months deeper in crazy-about-him when she finds out.

>> "I'm totally digging you as a dom, which I expected after our chats, and also as a person, which I totally didn't expect. I hope we can keep on fucking and hanging out." He'll catch your drift, I guarantee you...

I... really think he might not? She might as well preface that with "Read what I'm about to say HOWEVER YOU WANT." It could be a gently-expressed admission of deeper feelings and hope of reciprocation, but to someone who really doesn't want to hear that, it could be 'I'm completely cool with being your casual non-girlfriend indefinitely and I enjoy how decidedly non-serious and non-romantic this is." I agree it's a good idea to tell him how she feels, without asking for him to do the same, and just see what he does with the information, but she might as well do it in a way that she can be sure he actually knows what she's talking about.

Or in the meantime, the idea of finding out if he'd be willing to meet her friends isn't a bad one.

I wish we knew how it turned out! Heartbreak or Naked Chinese Food Ever After? SCARED, if you're still reading, let us know.
Posted by Green Lizard on September 7, 2013 at 7:14 AM · Report this
"It's rare for a truly kinky person to meet someone with whom he's sexually and emotionally compatible. (Am I right, kinksters?)"

I don't know about rare, but certainly challenging.

You need pretty much all the compatibility factors of any other relationship, and all the challenges that finding a compatible partner involves, and then on top of that, you add whatever additional specifics that your particularly kinks require added compatibility for.

It's not dissimilar to two gay men finding each other but realizing that they are total bottoms, or two people finding that they have everything in common but an irreconcilable religious difference.

The kinkier you are, the more of those specific things need to link up - and even with something like "Dom/sub" there are so many different ways to play it that you have to find the right KIND of matching partner.

So, yeah, definitely don't throw it away just because it started as an internet booty call.

But seriously, Dan missed a huge opportunity to compare this to a gay bar hookup one-night-stand trick that sticks.

Far from being a reason to chuck it all, it's worth remembering that the very fact that the two of you were looking for potential playmates in the same place to start with means you START with that in common. Who cares if the story of how you met sounds funny to people at your golden wedding anniversary party?
Posted by Lymis on September 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM · Report this
Well spotted, Ms Erica.

[If this dom boy has any sense at all he's already picturing a future with you.]

That seems a bit of a stretch from only one side of the story. Can't one just let the first half of the sentence go at, "if you two are a good match," without casting aspersions on his sense if he happens to feel differently? It might make the prettiest ending for many people, but there are many others at all levels of sense who would recoil in horror at the conclusion to the first paragraph.

I'm not sure about the cosmic mysticism applied to naked Chinese, but this isn't my sphere of expertise.
Posted by vennominon on September 7, 2013 at 9:35 AM · Report this
nocutename 14
I don't know what happened in this case, but I have a feeling based on my own experience that this relationship didn't end up as SCARED wanted it to when she wrote this letter. It is precisely this kind of situation where mixed signals are being sent (and the fact that the lw is afraid to bring up the topic for conversation says to me that she is pretty unsure how it would be received and doesn't want to risk stopping things) that sends the hamster in my brain into overdrive.

I hate it.

I also hate how the general advice (almost always dispensed to women, I have noticed) is "don't pressure him; don't ask him. Just go along with things as they are because you might scare the poor dear off." I and several of my straight female friends have been in this or similar situations and have not "forced the issue," or "had the conversation" because we didn't want to be seen as being clingy, possessive, un-evolved women. We didn't want to push the man away with the threat of our desire for some real, established relationship. Then the woman gets more and more attached while the two spend more and more time together doing non sexual things, having great conversations, having fun, going out in the world, having mind-blowingly-good sex, and then the day finally comes when she asks the man what he wants or how he sees them and gets the reply "I love you, but I'm not IN LOVE with you," or "I'm not looking for a relationship" (but of course, when the right woman comes along, he realizes he wants to be "in a relationship" with her).

I think people should be encouraged to have whatever conversations they need to have to get whatever clarity they need to have for peace of mind and self-preservation. If a couple has been hanging out eating naked take-out and having great sex for 8 weeks and she's unsure where she stands, she deserves to get the information, painful though it may--and I think certainly will--be, so she can do what SHE wants to do.

If you're unsure where you stand after 8 weeks of naked take-out and great sex, I think you need to conclude that you don't stand where you wish you were standing; if you're truly fine with having an undefined relationship, you're getting all you want to get out of it. And what that sounds like to me is a great booty call. When people care for each other, they tend to let the other person know, unambiguously. 8 weeks is not too soon to know whether you have landed in a category titled "not to be taken seriously."
Posted by nocutename on September 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
Unless the guy has been telling you he's not the man for you, is a gorgeous billionaire, and his name is Christian Grey.

In which case, prepared to be dumped for a 21 year old virgin who's never been kissed before called Anastasia. Who blushes a lot.

Sloggers, how about a new rule -- every straight BDSM letter from now till the end of time has to have at least once 50 Shades comment/reference?
Posted by delta35 on September 7, 2013 at 11:58 AM · Report this
VelhoSorriso 16
I agreed, nocutename. Well articulated.
Posted by VelhoSorriso on September 7, 2013 at 12:03 PM · Report this
Gou Tongzhi 17
What kind of a lame-ass "problem" is this? "Everything's awesome and I'm afraid I might be too happy!" Holy crap, some people are afraid of themselves. STOP MAKING UP PROBLEMS and count your blessings, idiot.
Posted by Gou Tongzhi on September 7, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this
@14 I agree too. I really wonder what happened next.
Posted by puddles on September 7, 2013 at 12:50 PM · Report this
sissoucat 19
@14 "I think people should be encouraged to have whatever conversations they need to have to get whatever clarity they need to have for peace of mind and self-preservation."

I totally agree. Letting attachment build up one-sidedly in the hopes of it being one day shared by the other part leads to so much suffering - it's quite silly.

Ethically, I think the less likely to become attached partner should do some regular communicating along the lines of : "tell me in case you start feeling some attachment, because for now attachment is not part of the deal, and if it happens we'll have to think it over together, either to upgrade or to break up before things become too painful".

Why should men be more afraid than females from relationships anyway ? Biologically it makes no sense - we females take way more risks with our security (less strength) and our long-time health (pregnancy, childbirth, child-rearing) in engaging in a relationship than males do.

I fear this male fear of commitment is a social construct that's been perpetuated against us women for ages, to push us into committing to the first male who will not reject us, thus making sure we have very low expectations for our mates... although biology tells us we should be extra careful, and picky, since our very lives are on the line. Not great.
Posted by sissoucat on September 8, 2013 at 1:26 AM · Report this
AFinch 20
I too think @14 is right about being open about your feelings - the longer things are suppressed, or avoided, the worse the possible outcome.

I don't think Dan was saying "don't say anything" but rather, let things develop, and don't ambush the guy. I do catch a whiff of that - she's fallen hard, and is now in a place far from where they started.

I do think EP@4 has the better prescription - or rather the more developed response ('cause I don't think it's in conflict with Dan's answer): gently start introducing the other elements of a "relationship" - just as you would in a "regular" (non-booty-call ) relationship. Basically that will allow him to 'catch up' to where she is...if he wants...without spooking him.
Posted by AFinch on September 8, 2013 at 5:51 AM · Report this
I'd phrase it differently, given that they have a fairly firmly specified "small-r" relationship. I've nothing at all against a clarification (though that's different from an Official Discussion as defined by the LW and Mr Savage). But I've known people in similar power-exchange situations who during that time began playing golf together, which strikes me as at least the equivalent of nakeout (deliberate), without either party harbouring further deep, dark designs upon the soul of the other. Those who have never been serious golfers will likely not see it the same way, but the people involved were and did.

I acknowledge that my view of this doesn't come through gender(-essentialist?)-tinted glasses, but it seems one could make a fair case that whoever finds the relationship to be taking an unusual shape or whose feelings persist in wandering over into a different fairway would do well to give it a mention. In this case, it might mean no more nakeout, but that's probably better than the LW's attachment increasing if Perignon isn't experiencing anything out of the ordinary. She can at least establish whether or not it's his custom to indulge in nakeout with his power-exchange partners before she goes reading such cosmic significance into it.

As far as I can tell without the G(E?)T glasses, there seems to be a good deal of justice in Ms Sissou's conclusion, but, going back a couple of paragraphs, I'm not sure how practical it would be even to establish which happened to be the "less likely to become attached" partner without possible pitfalls. Regularly communicating, "Tell me in case you start feeling some attachment," seems to be carrying a big bucket of presumption. Lots of people would feel such checking-in disrespected their agency or would be outraged that their partner in kink dared to presume the LLTBA title.
Posted by vennominon on September 8, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
nocutename 22
Mr. Ven: I love "nakeout."
Also, "Perignon."

I agree that sissoucat's suggestion of checking in periodically and asking ""tell me in case you start feeling some attachment, because for now attachment is not part of the deal, and if it happens we'll have to think it over together, either to upgrade or to break up before things become too painful". " is probably not ideal.
Posted by nocutename on September 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM · Report this
shurenka 23
I disagree with Dan that 2 months of fucking is too soon to open up the possibility of being in a relationship. And more to the point: better to know 2 months in if he doesn't want anything serious, with you or simply at all right now, than to hope that things will develop into a relationship when things have progressed as far as he wants, to him. No offense to #3, but the Dan's advice will ultimately only be satisfying if the two already want the same thing or if you're the party who wants less and who thus benefits from not having the "OD".

This reminds me of the notion of the "friend zone" and the oft reiterated (and good) advice to come clean about your feelings even at the risk of rocking the boat; and IMO she should even do it more directly than Dan suggested, especially if she is going to regret having continued to sleep with this guy after starting to become attached, when she hears he has missed or ignored her hints of feelings and does not reciprocate the desire for a relationship.
Posted by shurenka on September 8, 2013 at 2:17 PM · Report this
@23, I love the analogy to the 'friendzone.' In both cases, one person risks losing what they have if they indicate they want more. But if they never try, they'll probably start resenting the situation sooner or later.
Posted by EricaP on September 8, 2013 at 4:15 PM · Report this
friends don't let friends say "friend zone"...… (and a similar post on pretty much any good feminist blog of your choice). Seriously, that term has to die together with the idiotic idea that women don't pick nice guys.
Posted by adam.smith on September 8, 2013 at 10:58 PM · Report this
@25 I agree that media can place a lot of importance on male feelings while trivializing females in certain situations, but the same could be said of male feelings in other ones. The fact is that societies use various stereotypes in almost all their media. I admit there's been more than one occasion where I've rolled my eyes at something a guy's said on television or in person, but I wouldn't exactly describe it as some kind of pre-arranged agreement to mindfuck women everywhere. Maybe more the lines of willful ignorance.

Perhaps it's best to give someone you don't love an honest answer and then give them some time and space to get their head on straight before requesting their friendship? I'm not certain. I've been friend-zoned by a guy, my female friends have and we've also friend-zoned guys. So I've never really seen it as gender specific.
Posted by Really Now... on September 9, 2013 at 2:13 AM · Report this
@25, that site says the term "friend zone" shouldn't be used by guys when analyzing how bad they feel that their feelings aren't reciprocated. It doesn't say people can't use the term in meta-conversations about the term, which is what we were doing here.

Posted by EricaP on September 9, 2013 at 9:11 AM · Report this
Alison Cummins 28
nocutename @8: bingo. “8 weeks is not too soon to know whether you have landed in a category titled ‘not to be taken seriously.’”

I don’t know where Dan gets this “8 weeks is too soon” thing. It partly depends on how experienced a person is.

I met my beloved and instantly knew he was special. On our third date we reviewed our list of things that are good for couples to have in common: childen, professional aspirations, political leanings. Two weeks later he changed his plans so we could get to know one another better.

We were both in our late thirties. We knew what we were like in relationships, we knew what we were willing to tolerate in a partner and what was special and rare. We were both honest with ourselves that while we were fine single we’d prefer to be partnered.

If you’re in high school and you have your first crush, yeah, eight weeks is too soon to know whether the subject of your obsession is marriage material. But if you’ve been around the block a couple of times two months is ample time to know whether you want to try taking this further.
Posted by Alison Cummins on September 9, 2013 at 9:52 AM · Report this
@28, and even in high school, if you've been fucking for 8 weeks and the other person never wants to hang out in public with you, you can bet you're a dirty secret and it's never going to magically evolve into a relationship.
Posted by EricaP on September 9, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
EricaP @27 - that's not what the post says. It calls it a "problematic phrase" for a reason. The whole concept of a "friend zone" is bs. Calling it a "zone" is bullshit. Turning it into a verb is bullshit. Sometimes you develop a crush on people you hang out with a lot. Sometimes the crush is not reciprocated. End of story.
Posted by adam.smith on September 9, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
nocutename 31
@30: I haven't read the post, but I see your point. True, we don't need a new word for an old concept; we don't need to turn a noun into a verb. But it's hardly on a level with chemical warfare that some people have conceptualized the notion of unreciprocated crush as being put into some sort of ghetto with visual access to the island paradise you wish to frolic in. Furthermore, EricaP didn't invent the word or introduce it.

I don't actually think SCARED is in the same category as one who would complain of being "friendzoned." She's not really being treated as a friend, for starters, being kept in naked isolation in Perignon's house rather than going out in public with him and interacting with his real friends.
Posted by nocutename on September 9, 2013 at 11:19 AM · Report this
The friends-with-benefits-zone? *eyeroll*
I'd strip a lot of the ornamentation away here - this is a very common situation in today's dating life. People are much more likely to hook-up first and then gradually slip into a relationship, so there's really nothing particularly unusual about SCARED's situation - the awkwardness of getting from sex to relationship is just a component of the change of how more and more relationships are formed. I'm mostly with Dan - drop a bunch of hints, if he doesn't take them he is - to use a much more useful catchphrase - just not that into you.
Posted by adam.smith on September 9, 2013 at 11:41 AM · Report this
I hate dropping hints. Evasive answers to dropped hints usually are interpreted by the hint-dropper in the most positive way.

What's wrong with saying what you want, and asking the other person what s/he wants?
Posted by migrationist on September 9, 2013 at 12:01 PM · Report this
Ugh, maybe sometimes it's better just not to be friends. Be friendly and civil by all means, even go to the same events and etc if you share friends, but emotionally bonding with someone who basically says "no, never ever" is bound to cause some false hope here and there. So perhaps recognizing when the situation is unhealthy and being willing to walk away would end some of the friendzone bitters.

@33 Cause that's "scary".
Posted by Really Now... on September 9, 2013 at 12:19 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 35
Oh, now 32 and 33 are reviving a classic (because important) Metafilter discussion.…
Posted by Alison Cummins on September 9, 2013 at 12:24 PM · Report this
@32 I'm a prude! I never thought this would happen. I read a post, shuddered, and went "eww". Prudishness must be contagious. Dear Heaven, why oh why did I shake that old man's hand at work.

No, but seriously. There's something about just meeting someone and then allowing them access to my genitals that creeps me the fuck out.

I guess I'm just going to die alone with a pile of used books and a dog.
Posted by Really Now... on September 9, 2013 at 12:31 PM · Report this
@31 she's not in any kind of "friendzone," it's just an analogy.

@32 the "friends-with-benefits"-zone is pretty good as a coinage. In my experience, FWB means that the two people are not actually friends, and they don't actually hang out except in the context of a booty call.

And I agree that the phrase "X is just not that into you" is a good catchphrase, but people don't tend to use it for themselves; they direct it at other people.
Posted by EricaP on September 9, 2013 at 2:13 PM · Report this
nocutename 38
@37: I don't think it's a particularly strong analogy. People who want to be more than friends, those with unrequited crushes who are kept at arm's length, have a very clear sense of what they're not.

But since many people use sex as the division between a friendship and a romance, it can be less clear to someone who's already got the sex and now some semblance of friendship, that this is going to be an unreciprocated attachment.

It really comes down to seeing what you want so very badly to be there. That's impossible to do when by it's nature a person who is stuck in the friend zone is being told either explicitly or through the lack of sexual gestures that the relationship will never turn into a romance.
Posted by nocutename on September 9, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this

Well, they don't. Or should I say a significant chunk of them don't?

Google dark triad.

Note, I'm not nice guy. Also, never been without a partner.
Posted by mage on September 11, 2013 at 6:41 PM · Report this
My soon-to-be-husband and I met the same way. We met on Recon and hooked up over 3 months for some great kinky sex, which included after-care. He was poly at the time and I was not his primary. After a few months, I suggested we go on a date to see if this thing we had would exist outside the bedroom/kinky space. It did, and he decided all on his own that he was done with poly and wanted monogamy with me. Test out the waters. Who knows, you could be walking down the aisle in a few years.
Posted by Kinky Husband on September 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM · Report this

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