BDSM filter: How to find a "nice/sensitive" guy who's naturally dominant in bed?
January 11, 2012 1:23 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a partner who matches me well on a personality level and who is also naturally dominant in bed.

I know similar things have been asked. Still, I think/hope there's more to learn from MeFi's super insightful and kink-aware community.

I am a woman in my early 30's. I'm actively dating (using online sites and meeting dates in real life) and I'm looking for a good long term partner. For me, personality-wise, part of that means a man who is self-aware, sensitive to his and my feelings, able to be vulnerable, etc. I list those qualities because they are the ones that seem, in my mind (most likely inaccurately), to contradict the qualities that I'm looking for sexually. Possibly part of my problem is that I perceive this split between the personality types of men who are dominant in bed and those who aren't. I imagine this split might be fictional. It's been created, though, by my personal experiences with romantic partners. The ones whose personalities have been more similar to mine were not as good fits in bed.

I'm naturally submissive in bed and have been since I can remember. Recently I dated a guy who was naturally dominant and I felt fulfilled sexually in a deeper way than I had before. However, our personalities outside the bedroom weren't a good enough fit. On an attraction level, I tend to be drawn to men who are larger physically (but this isn't necessary) and who have a strong, masculine presence. They tend to be more aggressive, charismatic, and dominant. I wouldn't necessarily describe them as the "sensitive" or "new-age" type. However, in terms of male friends, I'm all about guys who want to talk about everything in detail, including both of our feelings and insecurities. I think (?) that I don't necessarily need all of those friendship needs met in a romantic relationship. But then again, why not? Maybe I'm telling myself I don't need it because I don't believe it's possible to find in a great sexual match. I feel certain that I do need my deep sexual desires met, which means a man who enjoys being dominant sexually in many ways. To be more explicit, I want to be restrained, tied up, spanked, lightly humiliated, etc. I want a man who wants this, and not just because I want him to want it.

My question comes down to: How can I best approach looking for a long term partner who meets my intellectual/emotional needs as well as my sexual needs? I know people will say that I can find both, and I want to believe that. But tell me how. I won't really know about a guy's sexual style until we're in bed, right? I guess I could ask him early on about his relationship with kinky D/s type sex. And then if he's not into it...what, I end things? I see if he has a little interest that grows into more? Should I focus more on the non-sexual qualities until it's sexy time? I'm obviously confused about how to navigate these waters. Please, give me advice. Tell me related stories.
Throwaway email: sexquestion100@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
This kind of thing is why OKCupid is great. You can answer questions about personality, bedroom leanings, politics, everything --- and then have the system match you to people who answer the way you're looking for a match to answer. That's where I'd go if I were you.

You can tell the system which traits and which answers are particularly important, and browse the answers of other users on the system, so you can get a good idea before you ever say 'hi' of what someone else's style is.
posted by Jairus at 1:29 PM on January 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think that just as in many matters sexual, it's a gamble you take. There can be certain personality cues to look for, but by and large you're not really going to be able to tell how someone is in bed until you get them there. The one suggestion I could make would be to try the opposite approach - instead of starting with looking for nice/sensitive, maybe look for "dominant in bed" at these sites you go to. Strike up a conversation, get to know them, and see if this Dom has emotional availability and sensitivity, as opposed to being yet another jerk roleplaying as a Dom.

But yeah, it can be frustrating for those of us with specific sexual desires to broach the subject in the "getting to know you" phase. Perhaps the reverse approach would work better. Either way, it always a gamble, as I said. Wish you the best of luck.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:46 PM on January 11, 2012


As someone who is dating and living with "nice guy" (you know, he cares about my feelings, he thinks I'm awesome, is supportive, etc) who is also my top, I swear you can really find what you want. I second rhizome's sentiment: the nice guy/bad guy thing is so complicated and shoves people into these stereotypical boxes that are unhelpful, hurtful and boring.

The best way to find if someone wants what you want sexually? Have a nice, long conversation about your desires, your needs and safer sex practices after you've gone out with them a handful of times. I know, I know. It takes the "mystery" out of sex but it makes it much more fun and creates trust when you talk about it before your genitals are mashed together.

I won't really know about a guy's sexual style until we're in bed, right?

No. If this is the case, you're doing it wrong. See above.
posted by godshomemovies at 1:48 PM on January 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


Is it really essential to you that he want the same things you do in bed before you introduce him to them? Many people may try some D/s stuff just because their partner is in to it, and find that they like it, too, especially if that gets their partner going.

It seems to me that it's more important that he be GGG and open to the possibility of kink prior to investing energy in dating him. But if it's true that you want someone to be into similar kinks as a prerequisite to dating them, then it's totally ok to put that in your profile and/or bring it up early in the dating process.
posted by ldthomps at 1:49 PM on January 11, 2012


It absolutely is possible, because I found one just like that (actually, he found me.) We met on OKCupid. Answer lots of sex questions. You don't even have to answer them publicly.
posted by thrasher at 1:50 PM on January 11, 2012


A lot of people think they are dom(me)s when what they actually are is bullies. Finding someone who is a skilled dom(me) who is also someone who is fun to be with when you're not having a scene is hard.

But not impossible.

I agree with Jairus that internet dating can be a useful way to put what you want--both in the bedroom and in the rest of the relationship--out there. If you don't want to date guys who aren't into being doms, then the usual "meet someone at a party or through friends" is going to give something like a 90% static to noise ratio, which might be too high.

Another way to meet doms is to become involved in your local kink-positive community. If you lived in the Boston area, I might suggest that you volunteer to work on the annual Fetish Flea or similar events; if you lived in the Seattle area, the Center for Sex-Positive Culture has a lot of events.

Good luck!
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:53 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, wimpy friends and manly boyfriends is as common in women as the Madonna-Whore Complex is for men.

But it doesn't sound like that's what the OP wants.

This is something I've struggled with as well, and I haven't found that perfect Mr. Senstive Who Will Also Drag Me Around By My Hair and Call me Mean Names When I Need It myself, so I'm not sure how helpful I can be, but: for me, it's been really useful to expose myself to as many examples as possible of relationships like the one you and I are looking for. This has at least helped me break down that idea I had that people would be the same in bed as they were in normal life.

There are lots of ways to do that. Obviously, real life is the best - you can get involved in your local BDSM scene if you want. That wasn't the best option for me, but YMMV. Or you can start talking to your friends more about this stuff - you may be surprised at what they get up to behind closed doors.

When I first started exploring this stuff, I was way too nervous to talk to friends or go to local events, so I turned to the online BDSM community. There's a lot of bullshit out there, but if you can wade through that, there are a lot of great blogs written by submissive women with the kind of guy you're looking for. Elodie on Love is the first one that comes to mind - she doesn't update much anymore, but you can read through the archives. Past the Hurt is another good one - she calls her husband "Wonder Boy" because he's so sweet and sensitive, but he's very dominant in the sack.

As for practical suggestions, I like Dan Savage's advice (can't find the link) - bring it up early, and present it like you're giving your partner a present - this is fun stuff he gets to do because he's with you! Lucky him, his smart, cool girlfriend is also a bit kinky! If he's into it, awesome, if not, well, I personally think that's ok grounds for breaking up - not everyone is going to be right for you. Whether or not it's that important to you is up to you. More likely is the scenario that he gives it a try because it turns you on - would you be ok with that?

Good luck!
posted by the essence of class and fanciness at 1:57 PM on January 11, 2012


Nth-ing Jairus. I used online dating (specifically, OkCupid) to find my dominant partner, who is a sweet and very emotionally open (well, at least with me) man. I specifically tweaked my questions that I answered so that dominant people would match highly with me, then looked at all the profiles of high matches to find people who might have compatible personalities.

FWIW, I've had periods of dating where I discovered partners' sexual styles by being sexual with them, and I've also had periods of dating where I discovered partners' sexual styles by talking about sexuality with them. Yeah, the latter approach means you lose a bit of mystery. But it can be a pretty hot conversation if you want it to be that way, and it can also save you some weirdness.
posted by kataclysm at 2:04 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't speak to how to find them, but the kind of person you are looking for absolutely does exist. It's like if I were to ask how I could find a smart, confident, and assertive woman who was also submissive in bed -- you wouldn't have to look far to find an example, you know? There's no contradiction in the qualities you are looking for, and please don't settle for less.
posted by Forktine at 2:36 PM on January 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


The best thing to do is put what you wrote here on something like OKCupid. Just come out and say what you want, mention both the relationship stuff AND the D/S stuff.

If you know what you want, the best way to get it is to ask for it. There's no reason it has to wait until Date X until it comes up.
posted by wildcrdj at 3:04 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Three days ago, a person asked "what is good sex for men?" Most of the answers were some variation of "when she's enthusiastic and engaged." You've said "I want to be restrained, tied up, spanked, lightly humiliated, etc." If you tell that to future bedmates, you are saying "I'll be enthusiastic and engaged if you are dominant." Most men will go for that.

Also, the list of things you want to do is (in my opinion, and I could be wrong) within the scope of things-most-men-would-enjoy-doing-in bed, and I don't think you have to worry about finding a man particularly or exclusively interested in BDSM. This seems rather more a question of communication than of finding the needle in the haystack.
posted by ferdydurke at 3:14 PM on January 11, 2012


you are saying "I'll be enthusiastic and engaged if you are dominant." Most men will go for that.

Not sure what you mean by "most" here. Having done a lot of writing about sex, and kink in specific, and having interviewed boatloads of people about this stuff, I would say that fewer than 15% of people of any gender are really interested in dom(me)ing. I don't think there are really good studies on this, so all I have to offer is my anecdata, but.

Occasional spanking play or tying someone up really isn't the same.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:40 PM on January 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Echoing that it is totally possible.

I met my bf through a local sports club that I joined when I finally decided to give up on online dating and dating in general (whoops!). We have our hobby in common which draws a certain personality, I think, so the emotional/intellectual stuff is there. And after dating him for a few weeks I found out that he's exactly what I want in bed, which is a total bonus.

Just be yourself, be true to yourself and the rest will fall into place. Just don't try to force it.
posted by floweredfish at 3:41 PM on January 11, 2012


you are saying "I'll be enthusiastic and engaged if you are dominant." Most men will go for that.

The asker specifically states:

I want a man who wants this, and not just because I want him to want it.

She wants a guy who already wants to do these things, and I agree with Sidhedevil that she is looking for more than a little bit of tying up or once in a while spanking. That doesn't mean that what she wants is so extreme that many people couldn't be seduced and trained into providing it, just that she isn't wanting to have to do that training and seducing.

For what it's worth, I've always gone for personality first, and let the bedroom stuff follow. But (and I know this has been discussed before on AskMe), I'm convinced that there is some level of non-verbal or even pheromonal communication, because I've never encountered a big bedroom surprise. ("Wait, you want to tie me up?")

In person, there are so many cues and hints and teases during flirtation that it is easy to communicate who wants to give up control and who is on top; online, I think people use a lot of signaling devices (like listing Secretary in their list of films) that perform many of the same functions.

Lastly, come visit the MeFites on Fetlife; you can be as doubly- or triply-anonymous as you want.
posted by Forktine at 4:53 PM on January 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


My partner was the only working class guy in his undergrad women's studies class. He wasn't there to be a pain in the ass, either. I'm not sure I can explain how it all happened, but I'm just offering a data point that they are out there. I've never met a man more in tune with my/his feelings and more communicative than the one I'm with now. He's also a *fantastic* Dom.

So, this is just to say that you can find them, if only because I don't believe we are that unique. I was clearly looking for a dom. He had never *been* a dom before, but our first date was watching Secretary, and we've been together for ten mostly wonderful years.
posted by RedEmma at 8:19 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm convinced that there is some level of non-verbal or even pheromonal communication, because I've never encountered a big bedroom surprise.

Very true. Look for the nice/ sensitive guys who, in real life, when ordered around, will push you back or hold their ground. Even something simple like you saying firmly, "Please open the blinds" (or something similarly assertive like that), can generate a response in them that is not 100% thoughtless compliance (for example, giving you a meaningful look or smiling wryly). Very often, they have very strong firm inner core that exhibits itself only in private.
posted by moiraine at 9:18 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Assuming you're not talking about an explicitly-fetishy context where it's cool to just say what you're into in plain-english: look for personality match, but drop enough hints in your profile. Those who have a natural inclination will hear the cues, those who do not will not. Filter those you scooped up accidentally in the latter set further by style of making out, or brief-but-explicit likes/dislikes discussion, on the second or third date, when you're comfortable enough and sure their personality is worth the bother.

You should be able to tell by the time you're at the second filtering stage; probably don't need to get all the way to sex. If your long-held desires actually match, it'll light up pretty bright.
posted by ead at 9:15 AM on January 12, 2012


I perceive this split between the personality types of men who are dominant in bed and those who aren't. I imagine this split might be fictional. It's been created, though, by my personal experiences with romantic partners.

On an attraction level, I tend to be drawn to men who are larger physically (but this isn't necessary) and who have a strong, masculine presence. They tend to be more aggressive, charismatic, and dominant.

I think could be right about having some work to do on your own perceptions. Since they're based in your experience they're not fictional, but you're going to need to remind yourself that your experience has limits, and you haven't met every possible permutation of dominant man. If you're attached to the early buzz of the type of man you're more easily attracted to, it might help to consciously open up to the idea that chemistry can build over time -- which is not to say that you should have sex with someone you're not attracted to, but be aware of whether you're inclined to write off a small initial attraction to chase a larger one.

OKCupid is worth a shot, as noted above. I agree with MStPT that it might help to try looking for someone who can acknowledge from the start that they're dominant or at least curious about being dominant. Would you be willing to work with someone who's looking to explore that side of their personality (which is maybe not precisely what you're looking for, but is in a different place than someone who might just do it time to time because you're into it)? In addition to nice guys who are experienced dominants, there are nice guys who haven't acted on their dominant impulses yet, for many reasons, and if you're willing to help could become the partner you're looking for.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:54 PM on January 14, 2012


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