How to Find a Dom or Sub: Five Places to Meet People

Spend five minutes on Fetlife or r/BDSM or any other online kink space, and this question will inevitably crop up. “How do I find a Dom?” “How do I find a sub?” “Where do kinky people meet each other, anyway!?” So I thought it was past time for me to share a few ideas on how to find a Dom or sub to share kinky adventures with.

Looking for your kinky soulmate or just someone to have some fun times with? Perhaps you’ve tried all those “FIND KINKY GIRLS TONIGHT!” sites advertised at the top of Google and had no luck. Wherever you are on your journey, here are five great ways to meet kinky people that you may not have thought of.

How to Find a Dom or Sub: Five Places to Meet People

1. Fetlife

Fetlife, known affectionately as the Facebook of kink, is not exclusively a dating site. It’s a social networking site for kinky people. But I know many people who have met partners on there, and it is a fantastic hub of online kinky socialising.

Don’t just spam your personal ad or start cold messaging people, though. Take the time to create an engaging profile, participate in some group discussions, and contribute constructively to the platform.

Before you message someone, read their profile carefully. Do they clearly state they’re not looking? Move on. Remember that kinky people are people first, so approach them respectfully. Do not assume a dynamic where none exists, and do not get explicit until consent has been established.

2. Munches

A munch is a social event for kinky people, usually held in a vanilla location such as a bar, pub, restaurant, coffee shop, or park. There are munches in most major cities and many smaller towns, too.

In the Covid times, many munch organisers took their events online, and some online munches are still running. These can be great if you live in a rural area or don’t have access to transport. But I really recommend getting out there in the real world if you can.

Don’t go to a munch with the intention of picking someone up on your first visit. Instead, chat to everyone and aim to make friends. If you hit it off with someone you fancy, great! If not, you’ll have started developing a network of kinky contacts and getting your face known in the community. You never know who could introduce you to the Dominant or submissive of your dreams.

3. Ordinary dating sites

Yes, kinky people use Tinder and OKCupid, too!

If you’re using regular dating sites, consider putting something about your kink proclivities in your profile. (But don’t be gross about it. Even something as simple as “Dominant looking to connect with subs or switches” or “I’m looking for the D to my s” is good!)

Again, always read someone’s profile in full before messaging, and always be polite and respectful. As you browse, you might be surprised how many kinksters are on these sites for precisely the same reasons you are.

4. r/BDSMpersonals

Reddit can be so many things – a cesspit or an absolute goldmine of useful information and interesting people. I’ve heard mixed things about the r/BDSMpersonals subreddit, but people do claim to have met both short-term and long-term partners on there.

You can create a post sharing your location, gender, age, kink role, and a bit about what you’re looking for. A recent glance indicates that posts by women tend to get far more engagement than posts by men, but it’s worth a shot whatever your gender.

Remember that, as with any online meeting, be cautious and exercise good judgement. Never give out personally identifiable information until you’ve met in person and got to know each other, and always meet in a well-lit public place at least the first couple of times.

5. Hobbies or subcultures that are popular with kinksters

You know those stereotypes about kinksters and geeks, or kinksters and LARPers, or kinksters and Renaissance Faire enthusiasts? They’re all kinda true. (See also goths, polyam folks, and so on). Obviously not everyone you meet in these spaces will be kinky, and you should never assume. But the crossover is large.

While I do not advocate for getting into a hobby or subculture just to meet a potential partner, if any of them appeal to you for their own sake, they might have the pleasant side-effect of allowing you to meet fellow kinky people in a vanilla or vanilla-ish space.

A disclaimer and word of caution

Naturally, these are only suggestions and I can’t guarantee any of them will work for you. Sometimes, meeting people can be a strange mix of circumstances and right place/right time happenstance, so keep your eyes open and treat everyone you meet in the community as a potential friend.

Finally, please be aware of the dreaded frenzy. If you’re starting to feel like you just need to play with someone – anyone – then you might be in sub-frenzy or Dom-frenzy. If so, then this is a good time to pause and reevaluate before diving into anything.

Happy kinky dating!

Ask Amy: “Red Flags?”

Today’s question comes from a reader who reached out to me via Twitter. Her question is short and simple, and yet oh-so-complex to answer.

She asks:

“What are the red flags to look out for when starting a new relationship with a Dom or a sub?”

I have many, many feelings about this question and all the possible ways to answer it. As I often do when I’m mulling over a topic, I took it to Mr CK for a male-and-mostly-Dom perspective (and also because he’s at least as smart as I am!)

His response, I think, was utterly brilliant: “Don’t get into a relationship with a Dom or a sub. Get into a relationship with a person.”

What I love about this answer is that it cuts through all the possible answers I was thinking of giving, and straight to the heart of the issue: get to know somebody as a real, three-dimensional human being before you seriously consider them as your Dominant or submissive. Spend time – LOTS of time – talking, communicating and seeing how they interact with you and the world. A good D/s relationship is a place of profound trust and vulnerability on both sides, and these things cannot be rushed. A real-life D/s relationship is nothing like an endless kinky fantasy – first and foremost, it is a relationship.

My partner is so fucking smart, y’all.

As an aside, I really recommend you check out Loving BDSM Podcast, as they’ve got some great things to say about building trust and getting to know someone at the beginning of a relationship, as well as every other kinky topic you can image. I particularly recommend episodes 31 and 83 for this topic.

In terms of more specific and concrete red flags to look for, I have some thoughts there too! I’ve tried to keep these applicable to people on either side of the D/s slash, and relevant whether you’re meeting online or in meatspace. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I would view any of the following with some serious side-eye and a healthy portion of skepticism:

Demanding too much, too soon.

You wouldn’t give someone the keys to your house or ask them to marry you on a first date, would you? Therefore, you shouldn’t be giving or accepting a collar, issuing or receiving orders, or committing to any kind of serious ongoing protocol or dynamic before you fully know someone.

If a Dominant expects you to kneel and call them Master the first time you meet, RUN. If a submissive expects you to invite them to move in and run every aspect of their life when you’ve barely got past coffee… you know what I’m going to say. Red flags abound.

Referring to themselves as a “Real” or “True” ANYTHING.

There is no such thing as a True Master, a Real Submissive, or a (*inserts tongue firmly into cheek*) Twue Dominate. Those of us who have been around the (spanking) block a few times call this One True Wayism. It’s frowned upon for good reason. People who think their way is the only way tend to be snobbish, elitist and derisive of others at best. At worst, they can be seriously dangerous – thinking you know everything, refusing to learn and refusing to be questioned is a recipe for disaster.

If you identify as a Dom, you’re a Dom. If you identify as a sub, congratulations – you’re a sub! There is no One True Way.

Using language like “if you were really [X] you’d do [Y.]”

“If you were really a sub, you’d give me all your passwords and your bank account login!” “If you were really a Dom, you’d take care of everything for me so I didn’t have to take any responsibility for my choices!”

Extreme examples, perhaps, but both examples I’ve encountered. If someone questions your identity or tries to use it against you in order to get you to comply with something you don’t want to do, run a fucking mile.

See above: no such thing as a “Real” or “True” anything. You don’t owe anyone proof of your subby or Domly Credentials.

Claiming to have no/very few limits.

Everyone has limits, folks. Absolutely everyone. Someone who claims not to have any (or to have “very few”) is woefully unprepared for what BDSM can actually entail. Even if you think you’re the most hardcore true subby who ever subbed, I promise there are things you would never consent to – and this is a good thing! Dominants have limits, too.

Repeat after me: everyone has limits. The sooner you learn what yours are and how to communicate them, the better your kinky fun is likely to be for all concerned.

Lying. This includes lies of omission.

The absolute foundational basis for any healthy relationship, kinky or vanilla, monogamous or polyamorous, is trust. Without trust, there is no relationship. Therefore, lying is arguably the biggest and reddest Big Red Flag out there. This includes big barefaced lies, of course, but it also includes lies of omission. “Forgetting” to tell you he’s got seven other submissives at home is a huge fucking deal and not something you should overlook.

The person who lies to you in the beginning will lie to you all the way along. Whatever your role, you’re a human being first and you deserve to be told the truth.

Breaking boundaries, including small ones.

Abusive people don’t start by trampling all over your boundaries in huge, glaring ways. If they did this on the first date, after all, they’ll never get as far as a second date. No – predators and abusers often ‘test the waters’ with a new victim to see how much they can get away with.

If they persist in using language towards you that you don’t like, touching you in a way you’re not comfortable with, or even subtly negging at you in small ways, you are not being too sensitive. They are testing you. They will push bigger and bigger boundaries if you continue a relationship with them. And more often than not, you will find yourself in a full-on abusive situation.

What do you think, dear readers? Did I miss out any glaring red flags that our lovely friend should know about?

Do you want your question answering in a future Ask Amy post? Get in touch!

Ten Things Not To Do on OKCupid

(or the dating platform of your choice.)

We all know, by now, that our profile picture shouldn’t be a picture of our genitals. (We do, right? Please, God, tell me everyone knows this by now.) But what about the less obvious but equally offputting things people do that sabotage their chances on dating sites?

I’m a woman on the internet. I get a lot – a LOT – of unsolicited contact on OKCupid and the other dating sites I’ve used over the years. Aside from dick pics, there are a number of things which will immediately turn me off somebody’s profile. And no, it’s not just me: dozens of the other women I’ve spoken to agree with me.

So what should you avoid?

“I dunno, if you want to know just ask me.”

This is the most boring cop-out of an “About Me” section possible. You might as well have written “there is nothing interesting about me whatsoever.” The “About Me” is the first bit of your OKCupid profile someone will read, so you need to grab their attention and make them want to read on. You don’t need to tell your life story, but a few carefully chosen tidbits that will intrigue a potential match and make them want to know more. “If you want to know, just ask me” sidesteps the process of putting any actual effort in and expects that your theoretical reader will be so blown away by the desire to get into your pants that they’ll put all the work in. Spoiler: they won’t.

“I’m just a normal guy/girl.”

What the fuck does this even mean!? There are seven billion people on this planet, what on earth is “normal?” Again, you might as well have written “I’m really boring and can’t think of a single thing that makes me unique or interesting.” You are NOT “just a normal guy/girl.” You’re YOU. Tell me about YOU rather than lumping yourself in with some nebulous category that you somehow think defines your entire gender

“I’m really good at eating pussy.”

Want to know a secret? Of all the guys I’ve dated, the ones who bragged about their superior cunnilingus skills were always, without exception, the ones who left me cold. That’s because every vulva is different and there simply is no such thing as being universally good at eating pussy. That thing that had your past girlfriend moaning in orgasmic bliss that one time in 2004 is not necessarily going to do anything for the rest of the women you will fuck throughout your lifetime. I don’t want a guy who is “good at eating pussy.” I want a guy who is an enthusiastic, curious and attentive lover and who¬† will pay attention to what *I *like, not what they think “girls like.” Bragging about your skills makes you look clueless at best and brimming with toxic masculinity at worst. Don’t.

“I don’t read.”

That section where you list your favourite films, TV, books etc? Nothing will put me off faster than “I don’t read” or “I haven’t read a book since high school.” You don’t have to be a classic literature aficionado, but come on, you must have read SOMETHING!? Even if fiction leaves you totally cold and you’re a complete computer geek and all you read is technical manuals, say that! It gives me an insight into your interests, which is no bad thing, and it doesn’t leave me going “…what, AT ALL!? How can someone not read AT ALL!?”

“I’m looking for a real man/real woman.”

Again, what does this even mean? What’s the alternative, a “fake” man or woman? It reeks of toxic gender roles – the implication, of course, is that a “real woman” is demure and submissive and wears skirts, heels and makeup, and that a “real man” is a football-loving, beer-guzzling, lawn-mowing, domineering Manly Dudebro. Come on, people, we’ve moved on a little since then. These are but two among a universe of valid gender expressions. (Also, if you’re using “real” to mean “cis,” fuck off forever please and thank you.)

Disregarding someone’s stated preferences.

If she says she’s a lesbian, you are NOT the exception. When her stated upper age limit is 30 and you’re 50, move along. If she says she wants local and you’re in another country, don’t waste your time or hers. When she says she only dates older men and you’re barely out of high school, DO NOT MESSAGE THAT WOMAN. There is a certain degree of common sense at play here – if her stated upper age limit is 45 and you’re 46 but you’re a 99% match with loads in common, it’s probably worth a respectful first message as long as you’re willing to accept a no (and no reply IS a no) with grace.

Text-speak.

Are you twelve? No. There’s no excuse. Type in full words that form actual sentences, and use punctuation. Grammatical perfection is not necessary but making an effort is. Srsly m8. K?

“We’re a really low match but hey opposites attract!”

No, that’s not how this works. The match percentages on OKCupid or (insert the algorithm on your dating site of choice) are actually really good if you use the site properly. Mr CK and The Artist are both 99% matched to me on OKCupid and Evil Genius is 80-something percent. If we’re a ~20% match and/or have a high enemy rating, that implies we have hardly anything in common and probably at least a few fundamental differences.

Asking to meet right off the bat.

I get the desire to see if there’s chemistry in real life before you invest too much energy in someone online. I really do, and I share that desire. But – and this applies especially if you’re a woman or read as female – meeting someone from the internet in real life can be a risky endeavour. At best, you’re risking an awkward coffee date that neither of you feels able to extricate yourself from, and at worst you’re risking meeting someone genuinely¬† dangerous and having a real problem on your hands. Get to know each other at least a little bit first. Exchange a few messages. Don’t say “hey want to meet for a drink?” in the first message. And if you’re in the more powerful/taking-less-risk position of the two of you, respect that they may want to move at a slower pace than you’d ideally prefer.

Mentioning sex immediately.

Nothing tells me “this person doesn’t care about me as a human being” more than them asking about my fetishes, telling me about theirs, asking me to fulfil theirs, asking me to hook up, or even (ew!) sending me explicit sexual fantasies in the first message. Approach someone as a human being. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t say it to someone you were interested in getting to know at a party, then don’t say it online. Would I throw my drink in your face if you walked up to me at a bar and said this thing? Then don’t drop it in my inbox on OKCupid either.

What have I missed folks? What else makes you go, “ugh, NO” and click that little X in the corner of an OKCupid profile?

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