This Week In Priceless Online Dating Messages

To contextualize this note, you should all know that I'm 6'1 and say so on my OkCupid profile. This provokes, occasionally, some interesting responses. For instance:
so sorry if this question is a little forward and this is totally not a pass at you (though i do find you very attractive) but have you ever had sex with a man who was shorter than you? say my height? (5'8")
My reply?


Which is actually a lie, but can you blame me? It was just too easy. And it wasn't a pass at me after all, right? *snort*

Self Taught?

Often the easiest way to figure out what you like sexually is to experiment on your own and figure it out. The first thing I tell anybody to do who's having trouble reaching orgasm or worried about having sex is to masturbate. A lot. That way they'll have some familiarity with their own bodies and know how they like to be touched before they have to interact with a partner. It's hard to tell someone what you want when you don't know yourself.

This is basic advice. It applies to lots of things. Self knowledge is power.

I'm wondering, though, how it applies to kink.

For years one of the things that kept me from dipping my toe into deeper kinky waters was that I didn't know where my pain tolerances where and which activities I would like. It felt weird to explore these things with a stranger, and I wasn't seeing any kinky people regularly enough to know them well. I needed a partner with whom I was comfortable enough to be inexperienced, someone who would help me figure it all out without being judgmental or expecting me to know more than I did.

I've found a few people to play with now, but I still wish I knew more about my personal preferences and what my body can take. I'm discovering with my partners that I like pain a lot more than I anticipated I would. I still haven't figured out, though, which types are my favorite and which body parts can take more and less and there are many things I still haven't tried. I've got lots to learn, basically.

Normally, I'd just try to figure it out on my own. I'd play with myself. But it feels really weird when what I want to explore is pain.

So much of what's appealing to me about BDSM has to do with the DS part. (Dominance and submission.) I like the physical sadomasochism for sure, but it's inextricably tied in my head to a dynamic of domination. Even if there's no real role playing going on in a scene, in my head I'm thinking "I'm taking this pain to please my partner" or I'm simply imagining that they're in control even if that dynamic isn't especially there. It's a huge part of the turn on for me.

I don't think I can get very close to that when I'm by myself. I can of course fantasize, just as I would when masturbating. But it's going to take a good amount of effort and even technique to effectively hurt myself, especially if I'm trying to experiment with something new like caning or I dunno, rubber band torture on my feet or god knows what. That's going to make it hard to concentrate on a fantasy. And I'm not sure I'd have the same reactions to pain when it's just pain than when it's part of a scene and in the context of a certain relationship.

I'll probably still do some experimenting on my own. Hell, I sit at work all day and idly play with the toys we sell. We keep evil sticks on the counter and I'm constantly fiddling with them on my legs. I do enjoy the pain on its own to an extent. I can totally do that kind of thing in private in a more deliberate way.

It is a weird Catch-22, though. I wonder if other people have had this issue. Comments?

Very Sexual

Have those of you who do online dating ever noticed that when someone refers to themselves as "very sexual," they're almost always looking for an NSA sexual encounter? And they're usually not very respectful about that.

You know, the whole form letter booty call private message on a dating site. The note on OkCupid or collarme that in one way or another displays that the sender hasn't read your profile at all and is just dispersing as many messages as he (usually a he, could be a she/ze) can manage to copy and paste to as many pretty people as he can find. You know, in hopes of increasing his odds.

The phrase "very sexual" seems to always be involved there somewhere. And it really just doesn't mean anything. It tells me literally nothing about your relationship to sex, about how you approach it or feel about it or what you want from it. In fact, what it generally tells me is that you're a sexual conformist who hasn't done a lot of work on finding your personalized sexual happy-makers, and probably won't be that great in bed. It suggests a lack of creativity. Because really, that's just a catchphrase that you've picked up from reading too many craigslist ads.

I was reading a profile today of someone who wrote me a good message, one that referenced my profile, told me something about him, generally treated me like a human. He did talk about sex in his profile, but as one of many things. And what he said was, among other things, "I love sex."

And that's so different! Anything that's personal, that admits having an actual feeling or opinion about sex is a legitimately valuable statement. It's not even that hard to do. How do you feel about sex? I love it! How often do you want to have sex? Ideally six times a week! What do you get out of a sexual encounter? Connection, physical pleasure, excitement, entertainment, maybe a sharing of love, and the satisfaction of a need for physical touch! How much commitment are you looking for? Doesn't have to be any, could be a lot!

I suppose that if you want to give people the idea that you're just looking for a sexually dissatisfying wham, bam, thank you ma'am kink of experience, you could continue to use the phrase "very sexual." But really, let's try sharing some real information. Nobody's going to bite you through the interwebs for saying specifically what you like and want, even if it is NSA casual sex. And then you might actually get it.

P.S. I'm not even going to mention my feelings on the phrase "very bisexual." Ugh.


I turned 23 on Saturday, and I think it was my first birthday that felt truly emotionally significant. Usually the day goes by and there's food and a few gifts and there might be some legal rights I gain but that's about it. You know, life just continues.

This was different. It was a really lovely birthday, actually, just emotional. I went to the beach with Conrad and then we played at his hotel room before he headed off to more travels. It was a strange and beautiful sort of day. Being near the ocean and then in a fresh hotel room made it feel like we were away from New York and away from daily life. I don't think we stopped touching each other for more than 15 minutes in a row throughout the whole day. It's easy to get high on that kind of touch.

He massaged my shoulders all day, saying he liked that he could hurt me and heal me at the same time. I've got really bad knots in my upper back and shoulders (right in the heart chakra, yes) and at a few points my knees actually gave out because he was working on them so hard. He was holding me up, from behind, and using his chin to dig into the knots. It was a whole different kind of pain. Penetrating.

Later, at the hotel, he whipped me and I cried.

It was the first time I'd ever cried during a scene. I was feeling so much from the total picture of the day: his work on my shoulders and his opening of that physical manifestation of my knotted emotions, the slight menstrual bleeding and heavy hormones I was still experiencing, the way being so close to him all day had made me feel, and the sense that this so-difficult year was passing away. Something about the whip made it coalesce and let the water flow. It was a different kind of crying than I usually do. It wasn't tortured, and I wasn't trying to fight it with every muscle in my abdomen. He was just hitting me and the tears started coming out. And I felt surprisingly okay with it. The whip even started to feel better after the tears began. I wasn't embarrassed or afraid to be crying. I just was.

I'm really, strangely glad not to be 22 anymore. I suppose in the full shake of things it wasn't a particularly good year for me. Or rather, it was a really hard year. I left home to live all on my own for the first time, clear across the country to New York and far from my family and friends. I worked as a canvasser for eight months, which is just a brutal job. I was depressed to varying degrees for all of that. The gaps in blogging here were rough periods, and there are lots of gaps. It was a year of struggle.

That also means, though, that it was a year of huge growth, which is why it's not really accurate to call it a bad year. I made that cross-country move and found an apartment and I've paid my rent every month. I found a job that covered my bills and then found a different job that I love. I bit the bullet and finally started anti-depressants. I forced myself out of the house and finally made friends and found lovers. I embraced BDSM and have started exploring and finding new, deeper parts of myself. I created a home for myself in this craziest of U.S. cities. Essentially, I became an adult.

And boy, am I glad that year is over. And to have released some of what it meant for me in that clean, quiet hotel room.

On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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