Just Ask For It

I had some great conversations with a few friends last night. One topic that came up was that of approaching dominant women at play parties and asking to play.

First of all, I rarely go to play parties. I really don’t know many people to go to play parties nor do I even know where to begin to find them. It’s not that I don’t have friends in the scene, I have tons of them, but few that go to play parties. If they do go it’s because they’re women and that’s why they were invited in the first place (and they usually bring their dominant friends with them).

The few I have gone to have been good for meeting new people and whatnot but I’ve never approached a woman to play, nor can I imagine myself doing so. My fear of rejection is way too high.

I know what you’re thinking, “What’s the worst that could happen? She could say no right?”

Right. Thus making my fear of rejection justified.

I remember standing around at one party when one Domme said “I wish there was a submissive guy here to play with”.

I was standing right there. She knew I was submissive. WTF! I said something along the lines of “gee I wonder where you could find a submissive man”. She knew I was eager and willing. Yet nothing happened.

My fear of rejection isn’t based on an illusion. It’s based on past experiences. I’ve never been “trained” in any way other than to expect the worst.

I’d rather hear nothing than hear “no”. It’s that simple. I can deal with nothing, I do it all the time. But gathering the courage to do it and then not have it pay off (as it has in the past) would just crush me.

I’m amazed to hear of the stories of almost endless casual play. It makes me wonder what universe I’m in.

It’s like reading penthouse forum:

“Dear Penthouse,

I never thought your stories were true, but last week I was walking in the park when two women came up to me and the next thing I knew I was in the middle of a threesome.”

What? Huh? Where does this happen?

I read plenty of other blogs and can’t even begin to imagine how or where all this casual play is happening. I mean, I know its happening, but is there some sort of membership dues or ritual I need to pass like some fraternity?

Maybe someday my desperation will outweigh my fear of rejection, until then I’ll probably be standing next to you at the next play party talking about the weather.

23 Comments

This is a tricky one, Axe. I just wrote about not being able to ask to top someone myself (though I can ask someone to top me).

You might try thinking about asking in a way that doesn’t get a direct “no” if the person is interested.

“If you ever wanted to top me, I’d be up for it” vs. “Wanna have a scene?”

Most people, if they don’t want to play with you, can figure out how to graciously respond to the former better than the latter.

Or you could go to an even crazier extreme and, the next time some woman says she wishes she had someone to top, say, “I wish I had the guts to ask someone to top me. You know?”

I have the same problem, and the same sense that it has a rational basis, so…yeah.

Did you see Freaksexual’s etiquette guide for het-ish men at play parties? If not, you might want to look it up.

May I suggest that you approach people to flirt, rather than to have a proper scene?

Also, I don’t know how clearly you established your submissiveness to the dom in your anecdote, but I hate it when people make assumptions about my orientation (probably because they tend to be wrong), and so I try very hard to avoid doing so with others. This is just to say–be cautious about thinking that others ‘know’ you’re open to play, and open to play as a submissive or bottom, and open to many different kinds of play.

I wonder if it would help you to devalue asking people to play. If you think about it as something you have to gather courage to do it’s reasonable that you’d be disappointed if all that trouble and work garnered no reward. But if you make it seem like less trauma and effort, perhaps “no” would be easier to take–maybe even as easy as silence.

I’d like to second the above two comments. Most of the time I play casually with people it’s because we’ve been chatting and one of us has said to the other, as we’re getting ready to move on to new conversations, “If you’d like to play sometime please let me know!” If you do it as you’re leaving a) you’re unlikely to get a firm rejection and b)it makes it easier for the person to say yes, either then or later, because it doesn’t feel like you’re _expecting_ anything. The other way I often get to play casually is by, after watching a scene, going up to someone who was doing something really cool and complimenting them on their technique (after they’re no longer remotely involved in the scene). Often they will offer to demonstrate, which may not turn into a scene, but can be fun in and of itself.

FYI, this works much better for bottoming than submitting. I may play a lot casually, but I almost never casually submit.

While I also have to second everything in the above comments, I also feel almost obligated to pipe in and support what you’ve said in this post, Axe.

What people-who-are-not-submissive-men don’t often understand is the sheer magnitude of the reinforcement that submissive men don’t play. And we all know it’s not for a lack of trying.

I’ve been in the situation you describe, Axe, more often than I’d like to admit. It happens time and time again. And sometimes, it even happens with people whom I have already played with! I mean, WTF is fucking spot-on.

Not only does this really hurt, it’s self-reinforcing. I tend to equate it to the way women talk about their appearance, if only because that begins to make people understand the kind of enormous self-reinforcing negative pressures that surround this issue.

I’m not dumb, but more than half the time, I’d rather be self-protective than get hurt so much so often.

I’m getting better…Axe, I think you are too, but fuck, this isn’t easy. Sometimes I hate hearing things like “Have you tried this or that?” because all that makes me feel is that I’ve got no right being disheartened, since it’s obviously all my fault anyway and no wonder no one wants to play with me, since I’m doing it all wrong.

Which is kind of exactly the self-reinforcing issue we’re talking about. Why don’t more people see this?

Okay, end rant.

I got an error when submitting this the first time, if it’s a duplicate, please disregard…

Maymay, thank you for your post, I swear, I’m learning :). For me, part of why I like Axe’s blog is that I am beginning to understand the other side of finding someone to play. I’ve always known that being a Domme made it easier for me to find play partners, it just never occured to me how hard it is for you. Thank you both for shedding light on this for me.

Most of the casual play that I do is with friends. Make friends.

Also, I know you want to play, but I figure it’s not something you would want to do with me.

I’d rather hear nothing than hear “no”. It’s that simple. I can deal with nothing, I do it all the time. But gathering the courage to do it and then not have it pay off (as it has in the past) would just crush me.

That’s really interesting. For me, it’s always been the other way around. If I get a firm no, I have a definitive answer, and then know not to waste my time. Not knowing and ambiguity makes me crazy. This is, in part, a defense mechanism that I have definitely learned the hard way.

I can’t speak to the specifics of submissive men, just from my experience.

One of the hardest things for most people is learning not to take “no” personally. There could be any number of reasons for that no which have nothing to do with you as a person or as a submissive.

Lolita’s response is a perfect example of that. Some people, be they dom/sub/top/bottom/sideways, need to establish a relationship with someone, before they feel comfortable playing with them.

dwon here I simply look at a nice submiisve trainy or nice guy in the conrer and strike up a conversation. I flirt and sometimes tweak thier nipples, if I good a vibe then I lightly play with them right there and then. “Please bend over the bar, I’ve love to spank you a few times.”

Or like I mentioned to you, I’ll spot a sub I really want to know better and well my dance card gets full and I rather wished I could find him or her again. If I had a wasy to communicate with them I might again.

Wait I am going to do better and link to something you should read, by freaksexual.

http://freaksexual.wordpress.com/2007/02/19/how-to-negotiate-play-parties-for-men/
Read that, it’s got a wealth of information.

Also darling might it be that you really don’t give the submissive vibe? What are you wearing when attending these parties, It sound like you are very attractive and would be a excellent catch so there has to be something else.

Again, I say risk it, I always do and I do sometimes get rejected. Remember I am on the prowl as well so sometimes I get the same nervousness. Bt If I don’t risk it I might never get to play with the shy guy that is itching to play with me.

So many good points. Its funny how I’ll write something and then get the opportunity to see the other point of view and it makes me rethink everything.
Biiiiiiiig hug to all.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I had to learn to get over my fear of being emotionally hurt in order for me to enjoy my life. Perhaps you are similar in that regard.

It is funny how in my fantasy mind the idea is that as a submissive I would never be the one to initiate things. The real world is very different however – and my guess is that the Mistress standing next to you was doing her best to say “please ask me to spank you” – because she very likely was just as afraid of rejection as you are.

I have found that it takes an especially confident woman to take the risk of extending her hand to ask a man to dance.

Also darling might it be that you really don’t give the submissive vibe?

Not to be pedantic (seriously), but Mz. Carmen, what, exactly would “vibe as submissive” to you?

I ask because that’s exactly the same sort of stuff I encountered. “Well, you’re not willing to pay. Clearly you’re not vibing submissive.” Not that being unwilling to pay is your idea of vibing submissive, but the point is that it’s precisely the typical “submissive man vibe” I want to avoid. Especially in clubs. Makes me feel disgusting just thinking about people thinking about me that way. Ew.

(And I’m a submissive guy. How fucked up does one’s sexuality have to be before it begins to disgust you?)

I’m going to say how it is that I end up playing with people at parties so that you can see how at least this Domme chooses people.

A lot of male subs are really easily bowled over and will play with you if you just directly ask them even if they don’t want to, for a variety of fucked up reasons, and the whole scene is bad. There’s the fact that some guys won’t turn down a woman no matter what they feel about it, some guys think if they’re submissive they CAN’T say no, etc, etc.

I will ask to play with people who invite me to flirt with/ask them in some way. And MayMay, don’t bitch too much about this, because as a very successful vanilla female flirt, there IS a way to open yourself to being chased and flirted with. It’s a bit of an art, but it exists.

So, I won’t make the very first move on someone unless they somehow indicate that they are interested, to avoid the whole can’t-say-no-but-not-really-interested-in-you-going-to-resent-this-the-entire-time thing.

So what do you do? Tell her that you think she’s lovely. Compliment her outfit. Compliment scenes you’ve seen her do. Indicate interest in her, not just as a conversation partner, but as a play partner. This isn’t hitting on her, it’s saying that she is welcome to hit on you, and making her feel that way.

You don’t have to make the first move, but let her know that if SHE makes a move, you’re open to it.

Again, I can’t say often enough, if you like her and want to play with her, COMPLIMENT HER ON HOW SHE LOOKS.

The guys that I do play with and the ones that I don’t are often separated with a single “You look lovely tonight.”

The guys that get a lot of casual play from me also tend to do things like notice when my drink is empty and offer to get a new one, and things of that nature, but I notice that.

Let her know that YOU are open to her flirting with you and you’ll get a lot more play.

My two cents. This is what works on me, I have no idea if it works well on other Dommes.

To Maymay,

What I meant as submissive vibe is not that he or she has to act, a cetain way around me. It might mean that through his or her actions they throw off more a dominant vibe as in actions, words or perhaps general posture. It’s not what the person is wearing but how they carry themselves that might throw someone off.

BTW I am a switch and equally there are times when I do want to play with a Top and I get the same nervousness. Some times they never see me bottom and I do come across as a dominant top, to only later learn that I wanted to play with them.

Also btw even though I was once a Pro Domme I have long ago retired and not all Pro Dommes are evil.

Lotus wrote:
“if you like her and want to play with her, COMPLIMENT HER ON HOW SHE LOOKS.”

To each her own, but that never works for (on?) me. When I go to play parties I get barraged by hopeful men who tell me I look lovely. It doesn’t really work as a conversation starter; all I can say in reply is “Thanks”. And honestly? I hear that I look lovely a lot. It doesn’t make the giver of the compliment stand out.

I’m much more likely to be responsive to someone who asks me what’s in my toybag, or whether the scene I’m watching looks fun to me, or something like that.

I’m going to have to jump in and ditto people, firstly, Lolita. I generally want to play with my friends, just like how I want to sleep with my friends. It’s more fun that way. Friends are awesome. And they introduce you to more friends. ‘n stuff.

As for throwing off a ‘vibe’ based on how you are dressed…fuck that shit. Fuck it in the ear. I don’t want someone assuming anything about me by what I’m wearing. Hell, most of the time I’m wearing something comfortable. If I’m getting beaten up, I want to be naked. If I’m topping…I want something comfy and easy to move around it. Either way, what I’m wearing doesn’t reflect the spectrum of my sexuality.

And you know, you’d be surprised how many people will play if you ask. Rejection sucks, but like Sascha says, when you get a no, you know its a no, and you know where you stand. In my experience, most people are really nice about saying ‘no’ too.
Straight up asking for what you want goes a long way.

Like this: Axe, I would like to beat the hell out of you. You bring a cane, I’ll bring my riding crop and leather strap, and you won’t be able to sit properly for a week. If you have a flogger, so much the better. I kink hard on face slapping and biting. Sound good?

(Seriously. Up for it?)

((See, that wasn’t so hard. ^_^ ))

Wendy- I have a lot of hell in me…just a warning:)

MVX- I play primarily in a newbies group (It has almost no drama and politics going on, unlike every other group in town) and I’m known as an experienced top, so a lot of the people who get a glimmer in their eye seeing my toys are just interested in what they can do, or they haven’t seen them before in real life. That’s why a personal compliment that shows interest in me as a partner tends to work a lot better.

There are plenty of people there who aren’t interested in playing with me who approach with the same sort of comments you said work well to get your attention, so there might also be the extra variable of venue sensitivity there. Many of them male tops, so if I took it as a come-on that would be awkward, indeed.

Ask for it and get it moving. That’s the truth!

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