Savage Love

The Asexual Dom

Comments

1
Hope I'm not the first... anyway, here's my initial take on the first two letters:

BEAST-
She may be into a pleasant surprise, as my observation is that usually submissive men outnumber the women who would treat them right. And since Dan mentioned experience and mentoring, and also considering the activities she’s up to, she should consider the possibility of having an older playmate to start with. It may even serve as a self-esteem booster.
And yes, always keep an open mind.

JAY- foot fetish
The first foot ever laid on my crotch belonged to a seemingly conservative young woman long, long time ago. And it was her initiative!
I recently introduced the activity to a fairly experienced partner whom I thought have already done it before. Apparently it was the first time, but since we were in the midst of doing some other fun stuff it served as a natural lead to try a new activity.

2
Why are there so many sexually fucked up people in the world? Or does Dan get the majority of his letters from fucked up people? Or does Dan just want to help fucked up people?

3
FAME and all in a similar situation have my deepest sympathy.
4
At first I thought BEAST's letter was a hoax, it all seemed so implausible, the combination of radical inexperience with explicitly delineated kinks with multiple self-definitions and identifications. But reading it again, I thought maybe this is how socially-insecure isolated people experience the world now, highly mediated by the internet and much more public discussions of sexual identity and desire.

Twenty-five years ago, she would have suffered in comparative shame, silence and ignorance, now she suffers in a fairly well-infomed informed, articulate and even quite proud way. So I can more or less believe it, although I still find it startling.

But if she's never had any experience of a man's anatomy, maybe she should build up slow to the CBT? She could do quite a bit of damage...
5
Yikes---! Where did my comment (@3) go?
6
Okay--I am admittedly a tech dinosaur here on SL, but three minutes earlier I had posted @3 and then my comment seemingly vanished altogether. Was this because @4 Oodletrend and I were commenting simultaneously? Anyway, no worries.There @3 is.

Back to this week's regularly scheduled Savage Love, re: BEAST, JAY, and FAME.
7
OK, very confused here, could someone explain "asexual t-type female/Dominant woman" to me? I get asexual, female, and Dominant woman. But the t-type in the middle of that is throwing me.
8
@7 Canoe52 - I think "t-type" is her way of saying "top" without actually saying "top" since for some reason she feels that's too much of a label-type label-word, I think because it comes with too much authoritarian baggage for her. (The word and to some extent the activities, as she imagines them anyway.)
9
Mr. Ven: I just started reading What Was She Thinking, at long last.
10
Ms Cute - Good for you. We needn't discuss it and bore the assembled company, but I am interested to see if you correctly guess which character the film altered most.
11
@10: Uh oh: I watched the movie years ago. I don't think I'll get this right.
12
Man, I *wish* I could find a dude with a foot thing. Endless massages. Swoon.
13
The illustration has given me a new idea. First, though, beyond the mandatory three-point deduction for inappropriate appropriation of the closet, I've decided since the letter's run as a daily that my strongest reason for not blithely expecting (as did various women among the assembled company, whom I still call mistaken in their idea that they were as gormless as LW when they were her age; it is just possible that Ms Rand and Ms Erica might have been where LW is when they were thirteen, but certainly they were much better than this by age 23) LW to turn out well is not so much Mr Savage's concern that she'll do one of her partners a damage (to give her due credit, she is at least somewhat willing to be educated) but that she manifests no generosity and is totally unaware of this. She may, as Mx Wanna predicts, find a large field of potential partners from which to select, but people who lack inherent generosity greatly increase their chances of turning out well when they are aware of this fault and keep reminding themselves to attempt to think or act as a naturally generous person would.

But now for my new thought, and perhaps a more entertaining one. What if LW is about two-thirds of the way to realizing to herself that the partner she really wants isn't OS? I'm going to sit with this one for a while.

Finally, a tourist question about something I didn't notice earlier. How elastic a mind must one have in order to count fisting as neither anal nor digital sex?
14
People who refuse to use standard terminology are pluronious, which is like "annoying" but snowflakier.
15
I'm recalling Dan's response to the Ace Domme is improved over his previous one, but maybe I am misremembering and they are the same.

Also, on a different note--a billionaire hedge fund manager was on Ashley Madison with a paid account. I am flabbergasted. Wouldn't a billionaire want to have an affair with a supermodel or high-end escort? From what I can tell, the genuine women on that site were presumably not the youngest married women who weren't getting enough from the husbands, for whatever reason. Or maybe he had the account so the high-end escorts could find him, but surely billionaires have people for that, rather than having to rely on the same website that Joe Shmoe uses. My mind can't process it; seems completely outlandish.
16
@LW1 My first BDSM experience was a kind of kinky friends with benefits arrangement with a close friend of mine whom I discovered was a sub (I'm a woman, he's a man). It was sexual for both of us, but we didn't have sex - we never even kissed. It was a great way for both of us to explore that side of ourselves and to gain some experience. If I stumbled into that kind of arrangement purely by accident, I'm sure you can find what you're after. All the best.
17
@13 vennominon:

"fisting but no 'sex'" sounds obvious to me. She's describing what apparently used in the lesbian world to be called being 'stone': wanting sexual behaviour but very strongly not wanting to be the object of stimulation. Doesn't want to be touched on the erogenous zones or to have an orgasm. She may or may not be comfortable giving the man direct genital stimulation but it's fair to say from the description that that's not high-priority for her in her fantasy.

Since she's aware that 'mutual stimulation intended to end in giving both people an orgasm" is the most common sexual definition along with the more sexist definition of "penile vaginal penetration until male orgasm", she's wanting to make it clear that she wants to share the parts of sexual behaviour that she would enjoy, while disclosing her variance from the norm.
18
I thought the advice to BEAST was excellent. Also: quit spending so much time in gender studies over analyzing things...just go have fun. There are plenty of guys who would love to let you do your thing.
19
Venn @ 13
“Inherent Generosity” is something people acquire over time.
Many sexual beginners apply their own interpretations, based on what they think they know, and sometimes tend to ignore that there are other human beings involved. Men are often accused for getting it wrong for getting their cues from pornography.
Beast’s ideas seem to be based solely on information she gathered. Once she meets other kinksters she’ll realize that activities like feasting and needles not only take practice to perform, but also require building trust with potential partner/s.

Marrena @ 15
Yes, that guy could be more careful. But what I get from your post is an interesting accusation of an unhappy married man (who happened to be rich) for reaching out to women in a similar situation, as opposed to renting some high-end escorts.
I strongly suspect this is not what you meant.
20
JAY / @12 - I have a thing for feet and have been with several girls who were into it from the beginning and several who were surprised by it. Every one of them got super into it eventually, to the point that some past girlfriends complain to me that their new guys are not into it and they miss it. Being as it is a pretty tame (and common) fetish you really nothing to lose by bringing it up. If the girl is so freaked out by it that she dumps you then, like Dan said, good riddance. But why would she be? Endless massages is right!
21
@2: "Or does Dan get the majority of his letters from fucked up people? "

Selection bias. Advice columnists tend to get letters from people with problems. Is that surprising?
22
Asexual virgin female top looking for a willing man to torture.

She either want's to impress her gender studies class (we're all special snowflakes these days), this letter is fake, or she's mental. I vote all three.

How does one know about CBT, fisting, etc., yet not understand the concept of finding a willing other half on the interwebz?
23
@13: "certainly they were much better than this by age 23) LW to turn out well is not so much Mr Savage's concern that she'll do one of her partners a damage (to give her due credit, she is at least somewhat willing to be educated) but that she manifests no generosity and is totally unaware of this."

It's a combination of possible factors.

The self-centeredness of youth, potential past trauma, she could be perhaps somewhat on the spectrum and unaware, really there's not a lot of insight in the LW. But that's part of the problem. I'd rather that she love herself first than jump straight in, but theres a greater cluelessness to the fear, I don't sense malice and don't see anything that indicates that she should be cloistered off from all dating. She doesn't sound like she's misrepresenting herself, and along the lines of a few acquaintances her harder stance on the "asexual" label may relax in time. And with the right person.

I've seen more broken persons achieve happy ends for all parties, and everyone makes mistakes along the way. I would just hope for the best for her.
24
this asexual domme letter (though obviously a derivative of the original and not a new letter) is re-written in such a way that the original gripes of most of us commenters are no longer valid. (the entitlement, etc.). Hahaha. Kudos Dan. Preemptively quashing that part of the thread.
25
Add for An Evening with Caitlyn. Sounds riveting.
26
Lava @ 25
I'm not going
27
vennominon @13: exactly. Fisting is digital-anal sex. You *can’t* fist someone without having sex with them.

I think the interpretation is just, “I can touch them but I don’t want anyone to touch me.”
28
Hey Alison, good to see you.
29
LW - FAME - this one is for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_x6QmuJ…
30
Chairman @ 29
The female biker suit at 2:51 was very inspiring
31
@14, love it.

BEAST: slow your roll, stop trying to label everything, and just generally loosen up. You're interested in xyz-great! Go talk to other people who are into that and other things. Munches are full of regular, quirky, interesting people. Go to them, use your common sense when sharing your contact info, and learn from the people you meet. Someone doesn't have to meet every single one of your criteria in order to have something to offer. Open your mind to the possibilities, be safe, and have fun.
32
@24: Maybe you should rethink the assumptions you made about LW#1 the first time around because the letter hasn't really been changed at all.
The order on her lists of desires has been shuffled and a parenthetical comment that the guy can wear whatever he wants has been removed. That's it.
Dan's advice has been reworded a tad but is also substantially the same.
33
lol. Thanks Chi. But they weren't my assumptions... i barely participated in that thread. I guess the letters really are pretty much identical though... lol. Wonder if i was in a surly mood the day i read it last time...
34
though i will say... the original letter's inclusion of the phrase "thanks to the corrupting influence of my gender studies classes" painted a more insufferable persona than this one does.....
35
You're right, I missed the "corrupting influence" thing. I didn't really look back at the thread but a lot of people were really hard on her so I thought I'd point that out. My apologies for attributing all that to you.
36
@34: Total agreement.
37
"I was able to do vanilla with my ex, but I don't know if I can do vanilla stuff with other girls."

If you could perform with your ex, why wouldn't you be able to perform with someone else? Is your ex the hottest chick in the world or something? Or are you just anxious around women you don't know very well?

Assuming you're anxious, exposure is the general cure for anxiety, so you need to put yourself out there. If you manage a vanilla hookup and you're finding it hard to engage, let your partner know you're nervous - just acknowledging it can ease the tension, and she may respond by asking if there's anything she can do to loosen you up, to which you could reply "How about I give you a foot rub and see where things go?"

Finally, most women tend not to be super judgmental, sexually speaking, if they are into a guy and he seems like he has potential. Hell, I've been begged for seconds after putting in what I thought was a lackluster inaugural performance. Some women don't really know what they want from sex (besides the attention), and those who do usually accept that they may have to put in some hours training a new partner up.
38
I'm surprised by the people who think BEAST's letter is fake. The combination of weird perversions and bookish shyness isn't that uncommon. I find myself in a rather similar situation. I have read a lot about BDSM and can talk about it in detail, but despite being a woman in my late 20s my sexual experience is very limited. I didn't think it was that unusual for BDSM people to take a while to come out of the closet, especially those who lack interest in vanilla sex.
40
@37:seandr, what are you doing here? Or are you checking Savage Love from Black Rock City?
41
Ms Cummins - I made up a marvelous story for your absence.
42
vennominon — oh how sweet! If you share your story I’ll share my sad reality.
43
I don't think BEAST's letter is that far-fetched, either. When you spend all your time on Tumblr and in gender studies classes, you start to overanalyze everything. And despite me being in my late 20s and having read quite a bit of BDSM erotica and incorporating it into my fantasies, my actual life has been vanilla so far. For a lot of us shy types it's a pretty big leap to translate it from brain to reality (and I'm still not even sure I want to).
44
I guess I also have trouble knowing how someone could know they are asexual without having any actual experience, but I don't want to be on the level of someone who says "well how do you KNOW you're gay if you've never had sex with a guy." The only way it really makes sense is if sex never crosses your mind at all, you've never met a single person you were attracted to, and it's just a hobby you'd rather not bother with, like badminton or something. That doesn't seem to be the case with this LW, but I guess it also overlaps with the issue from a couple weeks ago about to what degree BDSM activities are "sex".
45
@12 Once again Venn I think you're being harsh and unforgiving. That you were able to reach enlightenment at 23 and knew what you wanted, how to get it, and managed to do so without one screw-up, misunderstanding, or hurt feeling, while making flowers grow where you walked, is laudable, but unusual. That it might take this LW longer to come into her own doesn't make her an inherently bad person, or unlovable. Especially if she's closeted, or disabled, or dealing with trauma of some kind.
46
Alison, it's good to see you again, but I'm concerned about your "sad reality." I hope it isn't too sad.
47
Begged for seconds, hey Sean. Begged.
Women know fine what they want from sex.. It's called Pleasure.
48
All I can say at this moment is "glad I'm not young anymore."
Hi Alison!
50
@27: Hi Alison! Long time no hear from! Great to see you back commenting on SL.
I agree with nocutename---hope your sad reality isn't too sad.

I went back and read JAY's letter again. I knew a guy way back in the '80s (a year younger than I) who had a foot fetish. We only dated once, but his foot massages were wonderful.
JAY, don't give up on your foot fetish--there are plenty of people out there like you who are into feet.
51
Mostly I'm good with accepting that people are what they say they are, and that it's their job to define themselves, not mine, and that nobody has to fit into a neat little box.

But BEAST just.... I dunno. There's so much fear there. I'm really seeing myself, at about 18, blethering on about how much I despised dancing, when all that was really going on was that I was afraid I wouldn't be very good at it. Who knows what is really behind that huge wall of defensiveness.

So, yeah, kid, dip a couple toes in the water. Go out and do some of the things that interest or intrigue you, and see how you feel about them. If you do something you don't like, it doesn't mean you've made a huge mistake, it just means that you won't do that thing next time. If you are confused about how to define yourself, don't try until you have more information - it's not like there's a box labeled "asexual t-type" that is just crying out to be ticked.
52
RE: JAY
I recall my first time for PIV-sex after years of the "strictly manual" kind.
The experience did not go well for either party and I worried quite a bit that the whole "real sex" experience was going to be permanently awful. Of course it turned out fine, I just needed to spend more time & communication with my GF about sex beforehand and what SHE LIKED etc. It turned out that it was a lot more exciting for me when she was having a good time.
If JAY were writing to me, my advice would be to slow down. When a young man gets aroused, though, he is not thinking "slow" , he is barely capable of thinking at all.
Who said "Men have two heads, But only enough blood to operate one of them at a time"?
53
Ms Anon - (letting the personal attack go without malice or assuming malice) Well, someone has to be Not a Cheerleader - the earlier thread on this letter was so thick with YGG (You Go, Girl!) sentiment that it raised my contrarian hackles. If it makes you feel any better, I'd have been much less harsh had she closed with, "I feel trapped in the closet," instead of "I'm trapped in the closet." Feelings are feelings, and I attempt to lay no embargoes on them. Inappropriate appropriation [I thought Ms Cute might enjoy that one] is likely to be highly offensive to someone.

To rephrase my assertions:

* there are qualities that people who are most likely to turn out well tend to manifest by age 23

* inherent generosity is one such quality

* LW does not manifest inherent generosity (in this letter, at least) and does not know this

* people who know what qualities they lack can learn to impersonate those who have them

* people unaware of serious weaknesses are less likely to turn out well

* becoming a seller in a seller's market will coddle her weaknesses and not encourage her to shore them up (comparable to Mr Knightley's prediction that Harriet Smith is the worst sort of companion for Emma, as her artless ignorance constitutes hourly flattery)

Now, there are plenty of points for dispute. Another poster has argued that generosity is acquired at a later age or isn't inherent. It could be argued that one can turn out quite well without inherent generosity or the ability to mimic it, that LW is generous or at least knows that she isn't, that there is no substitute for genuine tenderness of heart (another reference to Emma), that the confidence boost of market favourability will do her more good than harm, etc.

LW certainly might turn out well; I just don't think it's terribly likely. I'd advise you against giving 1-10 odds that she will, that's all, and only got a little high-horsey about this because there were so many Cherry Cheerleaders in the other thread (shades of the Pecksniff duaghters in Martin Chuzzlewit?). I do think that someone who has run the Gendre Studies gamut ought to have learned better about the closet. If she learns the difference between feeling trapped in the closet and being trapped in the closet, then I shall amend my view in her favour - but not until then.

Now, to go back slightly but with good humour on my opening parenthesis, if you object to being left off the list of members of the assembled company who were surely not nearly so bad as LW at the age of 23, then not only do I beg leave to apologize with all the flourish of Mr Collins, but I shall delight Ms Cute by asserting that I think very highly of the characters of all the women in the world, especially those, whoever they may be, who happen to be among the assembled company.
54
Ms Cummins - It probably would have made quite a decent film. By chance, Dr Sean went missing at about the same time. I formulated a theory that you and he had chanced to meet on a street somewhere, and, as he had seen your avatar, he'd had a sense of having seen you before or known you from somewhere. As you two tried to piece it together, unfortunately you were Observed by your crazy psycho stalker ex. Enraged, she showed all the ingenuity of McGyver in being able to abduct the pair of you with no other weapons than a plastic spoon, a nickel, a credit card and a spare shoelace. The two of you were held hostage on her remote estate, where she succeeded in non-fatally poisoning one of you (I couldn't decided which), but the other had escaped by night and was negotiating the perils of the labyrinth she'd established against such a possibility.
56
Who the hell cares if she is sexually generous or not? If she doesn't become generous, that just means her dating pool will be more limited. So what?
57

Calico @ 43
agony @ 51
Yes, that initial confusion and fear of the unknown, the awkwardness one must overcome in order to go on with life’s challenges.
I’d say it is very common. sb53 touched about it from a male pov, and my own early piv attempts and experiences weren’t that great either.
Further complicating my confusion were some gender issues that were not that known at the time. You had to be either male or female, and your sexuality corresponded accordingly. It was only few years ago that I came across some terms that made sense, and I still needed additional time to figure out what is it that I really want and how to find suitable partner/s.

Lava @ 47
I’m sorry your seconds campaign didn’t go very well. I suspect though that the quest for pleasure is universal regardless of gender and orientation.

Venn @ 53
I didn’t get an overdose of YGG from the earlier posts, and I’m also sensitive to that often-misused term.
58
There are many young, slightly feminine boys who are interested in women like her. I happen to be one of them! In fact, she will be pleased to know that there are quite a lot more submissive men than dominant women. In my ideal situation, I'd be with someone around my own age (mid 20's) who has what Dan describes as "varsity level" kinks. Fisting, strictly enforced chastity, heavy bondage, and the like. I have found these tend to be the domain of gay men (I play with them too!) and older women who have been in the scene quite a long time (love these ladies as well).

Don't fear! Depending on where you are, there are tons of men looking for women like you. In fact, there are quite a few large groups on FetLife for dominant women looking for "girly boys"
59
@51: I feel the same.

@53: "* there are qualities that people who are most likely to turn out well tend to manifest by age 23

...

* people unaware of serious weaknesses are less likely to turn out well"

Honestly, being sexually inexperienced at 23 is not the end of the world. She needs to leave her cage of awkwardness, make some mistakes (still common at 23, c'mon) and there's still room to be happy and well adjusted by her thirties. Early twenties is a terrible time to call doom on a stranger.
60
BEAST revisited- She may come across as a confused, terrified person. The chosen stage name clearly indicates self-fearing low self-esteem.
But she’s not stupid, and I believe once she gets her kink going it will help her accept herself and others.
And despite her early asexual statement I strongly suspect that 10-15 years from now she will be living happily with a lucky sub and have two kids.
I may not live long enough to see it though.
61
If you were stable, not-awkward, weren't making mistakes and had a stable and grounded adult relationship at 23, I bow to your maturity. While my conditions weren't as particular and introverted as hers, I'd like to think that my state of disarray at the time wouldn't have been held against me permanently.
62
^^ a continuation of my response to Venn.
63
@27 - welcome back!
64
I think one of the things in this letter that strikes a nerve for so many people (positive and negative) is that this LW is swinging for the fences before even picking up a bat. I know... Dan used the varsity level analogy already... lol. If someone told me they bought 10 grand worth of gear for their trek up Everest, then said they had yet to hike a mile in the woods.... i would ask them why the cart was so very far in front of the horse. The things that this LW is interested in sexually are things people tend to graduate TO after first having sexual experiences of the more vanilla kind. I can appreciate that she is not comfortable with the vanilla intimacy stuff....but i would ask her to analyze what it is about the stuff she IS interested in (CBT, dom, etc) that makes it so less risky in her mind. It seems unfair (to me) for her to expect comely feminine men to submit to her on any level BEFORE she has any appreciation whatsoever for the amount of trust their submission requires. These are just some random thoughts. I also loved your post at 51 agony.
65
@64: Sure they have all this high level analysis, but no experience. Honestly, even with such unpreparedness, she really needs to go out there and try something, anything before she can understand herself and people better. And as real living persons, not actors in her fantasy. Until that point academic advice on "proper" BDSM will be lost and get in the way of her engaging with another human being on any level, IMO.
66
Ms Rand - I'm not calling doom, just saying the odds aren't as good as are being predicted by all the Suzie Sunshines around here. And as I have said that I am open to revising my opinion of her favourably once she demonstrates learning and improvement, I don't see where you get permanently. I certainly don't call inexperience or a weakness a fault at any age. But an experience problem is the sort of thing that generally lessens over time. Other problems don't particularly do so.

*****

Mx Wanna - As I have cosmic vibrations of my own on occasion, I shan't dismiss yours. You have struck at the heart of my concern, though. Getting her kink going will help her understand and accept herself better. Will that make her better about other people? Remember, she is an intense mirror-gazer, who thought for "many" years that her sexuality was J before she revised it to X (random letters chosen because they have equivalent Scrabble scores), and a person who has made it through Gendre Studies and apparently only learned how it applies to herself. I'd like to see signs that she's interested in other people before thinking that her putative future sub will be lucky in any other regard than numerically. Now, that might happen; I have seen it, but I've seen it not happen at least as often.

It reminds me in reverse of the third Tommy&Tuppence novel, in which, at about retirement age themselves, they contemplate visiting Tommy's aunt in a retirement home, and Tuppence muses on the automatic sympathy people seemed to express for the elderly, declining to agree with the automatic aspect, "If you're perfectly nasty when you're twenty, and just as nasty when you're forty, and nastier still when you're sixty, and a perfect devil by the time you're eighty..." While I do think it would be (slightly?) overstating the case to call LW perfectly nasty, there is my cosmic vibration; everybody else's is free to disagree. I am willing to frame my criticisms as a list of things on which LW should work, but if everybody is going to call me heartless because I won't just drop them and ride the Shiny Happy People Train, so be it.

*****

And, yes, I admit my bias here, speaking as someone who had people in authority trying to shove me into the closet and then lock, bar and nail shut the door. I shall go so far as to admit that I'd decline a request from LW to be her sole counselor, and would refer her to at least a second if not a tenth opinion to be certain that she received a balanced view, as I will not contest a charge that I dislike her more than she strictly deserves. It is fortunate for LW (if she reads these threads) that her supporters are so numerous, and I would not necessarily want it (greatly) otherwise, but, like Marcia Cross' character Bree Van De Kamp when her son's boyfriend admits to loving him, all my instincts are to respond with the incredulous question, "Why?" - only finding the reply of general optimism greater than what is warranted by the evidence.
68
I wonder if the work at home scam post loops you into creating those witch doctor scam posts, like a human centipede of scam.
69
@66: All I see is a lot of fatalism where it is unwarranted.

"But an experience problem is the sort of thing that generally lessens over time. Other problems don't particularly do so."

Addressing people in relarionships like people will happen when she has her first full relationship. She's never had the chance to do this. Of course her fantasies are going to be disjointed from reality. Give her the chance to fail once, she hasn't ever been to that point so your opinions are of an undeveloped and totally inexperienced person.

Your prejudgements would be much more applicable to someone with a past history of relationships and sexuality to explore and reference. She's a little broken, but I see no reason why the "odds" would be much worse at that still early age.

A followup would definitely be interesting to see the development after finally attempting to engage with another.
70
Ven @ 66
Thanks, really, as your response also hit to the core.
My habits were kept secret for years. I thought, wrongly, that no one will ever accommodate any of it.
Add the secretive actions to the well-deserved selfish label, not to mention hurting loved ones in the process.

People I have relationships with nowadays know about all this in advance, they have either seen me in public events in the past or I tell them by the second or third date.
Hopefully this is what part of growth may look like.

As for” Getting her kink going will help her understand and accept herself better. Will that make her better about other people?”
Once people feel better about themselves they are much likelier to be nicer to others. The lady in question may also realize that once theoretical fantasies come to life there will be all sorts of negotiations she’ll have to deal with. The eventual, unavoidable human contact will make her experience things on different levels. Some may require adjustments on her side; others may trigger a whole new set of desires/expectations.
As I read it this is also what Dan has alluded to in his response. Not to say that this is any sort of proof, just giving credit to the person who said it first.
71
Apparently Undead @ 69 also deserves an honorary mention.
Not ganging up Venn, technically she also said it first
72
This young woman, the don't touch me one, is a worry. She talks of people like they are one dimensional. Interesting, the letters Dan picks to repeat.
Being a person who firmly believes in the continuation of influence from childhood experiences, I'd love to know this woman's story.
Not going to happen. And you guys doing such a good job of looking at all the angles.
73
I guess some commenters here aren't aware a LOT of kids these days are like BEAST. Some of my friends are way worse, trust me. They're obsessed with labels, they feel threatened if their own stupid label is threatened, and they only see other people as labels. Eventually, they will grow up. Or they won't.
74
Lava @ 72
TheLast @ 73
I think Dan picked this one because it resonated with similar questions. I'm with Last that the phenomenon is fairly common. I see smart, capable, professionally successful people who have awkward social skills. Relationships and bedroom communication require more than a computer research.
76
@14 lol
77
And I'll join in the chorus sending good wishes to Alison.
78
@75: Oh please, over a polite disagreement? How quickly you must wilt.
79
I'm with Undead again
80
@73, 74: Yep. Spaces like Tumblr do help because they help people meet like-minded folks and feel less alone, but it also seems like the label-boxes just get more and more restrictive the further you go. Like "demisexual", which as far as I can tell basically means you have to know someone very well before being attracted to them. I guess I fall under that label but I always just thought of it as an overall part of my reserved and cautious personality, not so much an "orientation" but I guess it might be evolving as an identity in direct contrast to tinder and such.
81
@80: "restrictive the further you go. Like "demisexual", which as far as I can tell basically means you have to know someone very well before being attracted to them."

That side of tumblr is so near-impossibly twee. I can barely keep up.
82
@Venn My comment wasn't meant in malice but was intended a bit of good-natured calling out. I think very few people had it together at 23, and it seems really cruel to write her off before she's even done anything. Venn you seem eager to convict of crimes she hasn't committed yet, based only on a letter to an advice columnist asking for help? Hell couldn't the fact that she wrote to Dan be a sign that realizes she has problems she needs help with?

I don't see the 'Mary Sunshine, YGG' attitude in comments. What I see is a lot people encouraging the LW to get out of her own head [and gender studies class] and get some experience. No one is promising her a rose garden, only that if she wants to fulfill her kinks she's going to have learn how to deal with other people.

And who knows? Maybe she'll realize that the burly lumberjack camp you wanted to send her to in the SLLOTD is her sexual paradise. Or maybe she'll realize she doesn't want a man at all and seeks out a lovely girlfriend. Of course none of this will happen if she never tries.

And yes people who have been nasty their whole lives will most likely continue to be nasty in their old age. But nasty people can become lovely people, and lovely people can become nasty. Someone might be lovely their whole lives but become nasty due to something like Alzheimers. Or someone might be nasty but go through a reckoning that changes them for the better. You can't know how things will turn out for someone so young.
83
Demisexual isn't a real orientation, it's just people trying to be asexual when they are not so they can feel special. Self proclaimed demisexuals always think everyone else on Earth is a sex hound, because they lack the experience to realize it's well within the spectrum of normal human sexual behavior to not be promiscuous, and it doesn't subject them to discrimination in any way.
84
Yeah, I think part of the issue I have with the demi label is that there's always kind of an implicit sort of moral superiority and/or slut-shaminess to it.
85
@73 Last, how strange. Needing to be so heavily defined by Labels. How exhausting, where would I start?
86
82 -msanon - I had it together at 23.... of course...it's been all down hill since then
88
Fun discussion. Interesting everyone's take on LW. I too have known and know people who haven't had much experience and suffer from some of these problems, though not as extreme. I think we can all see people we know, and bits of our own experience in her.

I'm definitely in agreement that BEAST should get out there, but like others would advise keeping an open mind and focus on learning. I think BEAST does sound like she's interested in learning, but has just have been going about it in the wrong ways. Applied learning is undervalued these days :)
89
I am beginning to suspect with Ms Rand in particular that in some cases we're calling the same thing by different names and speaking as if we're discussing different things. I am not denying the plausibility of the process of Improvement Via Relationships, just saying that LW's being a seller in a seller's market will push her in the contrary direction. Her first relationship will disappoint her, but the market will tell her she should just be more picky the second time around, and even more so the third, etc. This will be a counteracting force, that's all.

I do feel rather like Colonel Protheroe taking the side of justice against the Reverend Clement's argument for mercy, and I don't grudge anyone the hope that I'll be found murdered in a vicarage. I'll grant that usually mercy is the more appropriate response for 23-year-olds, and I'd send this LW elsewhere for mercy, but in this case can personally only dole out justice (in the form of closets containing uncouth lumberjacks).

I spare the assembled company a compliment on having learned a valuable lesson from Rumpole.
90
@89 Re: Beast Yes I agree that being in a seller's market presents dangers. I made the acquaintance of a certain dominant female who has a real case of the "Divas". It makes her interesting but also limits her contacts, so there is that.
And as for Rumpole, without him I would have no knowledge of how the law really works. Also, Sam is indeed SOOO soapy.
91
I think most of these people struggling with labels - finding the right labels, the obsessive need to organize and find shared identity or community - actually kind of suffer from weak identity or ego. I am reminded of d'Tocqueville's "Nation of Joiners", paraphrasing: Americans are all [rugged?] individualists, and they constantly join various societies to demonstrate their unique individualism. I think immediately of the bad-ass-biker-wannabes, all wearing their official manufacturer gear, riding their official manufacturer built "custom" rides.

Instead of more gender studies and identity politics, these people would do far better with a therapist working on their insecurities and weak egos (self image, and btw, egotistical people do not have weak egos; it's an inverse relationship). YMMV.
92
@89: She's not even in any "market" yet, she's never had any sort of experience, so this is all her assigning a lot of desires that may not ever match her fantasies when it comes to having to fit real live humans in, she remains fairly undeveloped by design. Due to her naivete, I'm sure she's more at risk from the partners she might draw than her partners from her. I won't belabor that point any more, however, I hope her relationships with her sissies is full of affection and mutually beneficial.

@91: It is not simply an American striving for identity, labels are a fully human concept. We strive to categorize to know ourselves and others. This often leads to tribalism and reductionism but the compulsory need-to-understand is value-neutral. Much better to focus on taxonomic concerns for the rest of the fauna and flora where we are less concerned with their experience (though vegans may certainly argue there, likely rightly so...)

I agree on your other points, she doesn't understand herself or others and thus has that more nebulous concept of "self". But age may aid her. And experience certainly will. If knowing how things are does not shift her not knowing what she wants from herself and others in the presence of live humans, therapy should definitely be a path.
93
When someone writes in for advice on how to attract a certain kinked type of person.... its natural to give them praise.... pats on the back.... let them know that everyone feels insecure at times. When someone writes in like this LW, and wants to know how she can get men to let her do very specific things to them with no hint of reciprocation.... It seems natural to me that she would get many words of caution. I am in agreement with Mr Venn. LW - tread lightly as you explore this stuff... or you will only reinforce the distance between yourself and your "partners". I think "partners" needs the quotes around it, as the relationships she is enticed by don't sound like partnerships. There is too much emotional distance between the giver and taker in her wish list. The least we can do is alert her to this potentially self-destructive path so she is aware of that potential. Moving forward in her life with an understanding of the positives and the negatives can only help someone who is inexperienced and a little misguided. In this case, i add misguided because she self-identified as asexual, then proceeded to list her sexual desires.
94
Sure, I do not argue with those points. I just see a unformed being with untested ideas and the potential for good and harm, but the latter more as a naif than malice. I see someone possibly still living with her parents and who needs to take the first step out of her shell and away from discussion online with other youths who have decided how "sex" works and have created a strange and insular cargo cult. The only way to disabuse her of these notions is going to be trying and most certainly failing until she gets it "right", however she can define "it" for what she's looking for.
95
@nocutename: Hey there! I should be in BRC but was scared off by the plague of bugs and the tough-talking new Sheriff.

Actually, I just felt like doing something different this year so dragged the family around Europe for 3 weeks instead. There's a fun looking event on Saturday for burners stuck in Seattle, so I'll still be getting my freak on this weekend.
96
@93 I guess my age is going to show here. Our Chairman and others refer to the LW and her "partners". I assumed as she described her interests and preferences that she will be performing these practices on her clients.
I (perhaps wrongly) assumed she was going to be doing experiments of men who came to her as paying clients not as partners. I would not get into a relationship with a woman who identified as "asexual" . Not there's anything wrong with being asexual:.. I am just attracted to women out of sexual interest.
97
@ sb53 - i dont think you are showing your age. lol. But... i myself did not read this letter with any thoughts of her going pro and bypassing the minor leagues altogether. If THAT is what she is after "Dan, how do i get men to pay me to let me do whatever i want to them?"... she certainly asked it in a roundabout way..... :)
98
@venn, You're a more artful contrarian than I could ever hope to be.

Hi Alison! Terrifying adventure we had, but I always knew we'd make it through.
99
@96: I didn't get the implication of money changing hands at any point in the letter, perhaps I missed something?

"I would not get into a relationship with a woman who identified as "asexual" . Not there's anything wrong with being asexual:.. I am just attracted to women out of sexual interest."

Of course, she *may* screen out potential partners by this, but hey, it's certainly a niche and there's no paucity of girlyboys who would be happy to clean her house and show her where the ropes go, beyond her murkiness over what "sex" is to her and others. Confidence as a Dom should feed back and reinforce who she is, if that's even what she is looking for.
100
@seander: My ex-husband is at Burning Man right now. The report is that the biting bugs were gone before people got there for the real event and all that was left was the stinkbugs (which were leaving? I think?) I'll debrief him when he gets home.

Personally, I'd rather go to Europe any day. The only part of BM that tempts me is the art, and at the Maker Faire in March or April, many Burners bring and debut/preview their large art pieces, so I'm a happy (non) camper.

I schelpped around parts of Europe with my older daughter myself, early in the summer. We hit Scotland and the Hebridies (love that word), hiking on the stunning Isle of Skye, then Ryanaired ourselves to Montenegro and Croatia. It was a wonderful trip, and I hope yours was equally great.
101
deconstructing BEAST:
I thought I’d avoid this part of analyzing her as it may seem judgmental, but I think there are few misconceptions that need to be demystified.
Some of you have already stated parts of my assessment in your own words. Admittedly I have my own baggage, which is likely to influence my thinking. Everyone has this issue, even our dear friend Hunter may be one of them.
Here goes:
BEAST is an intelligent yet lonely young woman. Looks like she was not considered to be a hot commodity while in high school, and further humiliated when no one asked her to the prom. She was and still is very insecure and has some anger issues.

She is into men. I suspect that if she was even just partially into women she could find like-minded, experimental female students in her gender studies class. And if she attends a women’s college than the sky’s the limit.

The men she knows have hurt her and still terrify her. She thinks she’ll be ok with a guy she gets out of the UPS overnight delivery box who is a total sub and also on the feminine side. Based on what she read she assumes those guys will never hurt her, and she will always be in full control. That’s what she knows and it comforts her.

Her stated asexuality also stems from her fears.

She will meet people who will be kind to her . She will slowly accept relationships, allowing herself to be vulnerable in the process.
102
seandr @ 95-
Just wonder what event you're talking about. And don't worry, I already have something else lined up for tomorrow.
103
@101: Perhaps more into anime / videogames more than any boy she may be friends with, maybe homeschooled, maybe living at home still, who knows beyond the scope of the letter? It's fun but possibly unfair for me to speculate too much of the conditions.
104
Also, all the BM discussion reminds me that I should visit the EMP-sponsored maker faire this year.
105
Undead @ 103-4
Perhaps, who knows?
Ahh... are you also local?
106
Well, I'm not from Royston Vasey...