By Sarah Sloane
I am a novice dominant and I’m interested in finding a submissive; I’ve been trying to get to know people at my local munch group (as well as online) but I’m having trouble with finding someone special. Some people treat me like I don’t know anything because I’m young (I’m 22), and some people just act like they don’t want to even get to know me. I don’t have very many options because I don’t live in an area where there are a lot of choices of groups & munches, and I’m feeling really discouraged. What can I do to find a submissive that is interested in a relationship with someone like me?
Sometimes, it’s hard to be taken seriously as a novice dominant. You did not say if you’re male- or female-identified; often I find that younger male dominants have a significantly harder time being taken seriously in many parts of the community, as they are often told that they aren’t “old enough” to fully be in control of a situation (young females, on the other hand, are often fetishized, especially if they dress in leather or latex and have “the look”, regardless of their experience). In either case, being taken seriously can be a big problem.
My first suggestion is to look at how you’re presenting yourself. Are you cocky & arrogant in your communication? While some dominants try to behave in those ways on the belief that it somehow makes them more attractive, the reality is that it can be exceptionally off-putting to people. A submissive is usually looking for someone who they feel confident can accept and direct the power exchange; often, the people that are putting out the vibe of being So Totally Amazing And Uber-Dominant are the people that do not take the situation (and the submissive’s feelings and needs) into account when dealing with the big issues of how to proceed.
Second, I’d recommend getting to know people and looking for mentors & friends within your community (whether local or online). I occasionally see people come to the community with a single focus – finding a partner. What they may not realize is that by creating a network of friends, they also create a network of people who are invested in helping them find partners – people in this community really love to hook up friends with new partners (whether for a single session or a lifetime). They also lose the chance to learn from people who have been there, done that, and got the collection of event teeshirts – which means that one can learn from someone else’s mistakes without having to repeat them.
Finally, seek out a TNG group if at all possible. While I believe that every person in the community can benefit by going to open-to-all groups & munches, I do know that my friends who have gone to TNG groups have found it helpful to be surrounded by people who are of similar age and whose life experience (and mindset) are more similar to theirs. You’ll meet other dominants under 25 who have been right where you are – and you’ll also meet submissives who are not at all averse to having relationships with younger dominants!
But stick around, whichever you do. When I got started in the community (back in the days where dinosaurs fueled our 28.8 baud modems so that we could get onto AOL), young people in the scene were a rarity – I was among the youngest at my first munch, and I was in my late 20’s. Today, a tremendous (and growing) section of the community is under 30, and people are finding their way to it at 18 and 19. Should you decide to network with others, this group will need people like you who are navigating the waters right now to look up to & help guide them in the future – and you’ll be the person that’s answering these questions (hopefully with a successful D/s relationship to reflect upon)!