On Fear and Acceptance of Self

I sometimes get asked, “How have you not found someone yet?”.

Which I take to mean, “Why are you currently single?”, because of course, I HAVE found some wonderful submissives in the past. I’m still friends and in frequent contact with several of them, in fact.

My pat answer to that is, “I’m selective.” Which is true, but that’s not the entire story.

If you read this (sadly too-infrequent) blog, you know that I do get out there and meet people. I have profiles on two kink sites and two traditional sites. I’m up front and clear about who I am, what I’m looking for, and what my limits are (e.g. smoking).

I think, at last count, I’ve had 15 first-meets/first dates since moving to New England in late August. A scant few have resulted in second (and sometimes third) dates. But nobody’s stuck.

The rational part of my brain says, “Well, there must be something wrong with YOU then.” Hence my answer being about me and my personal selectivity in potential submissives.

The truth is more complex.

Some were lying about being single/a smoker/etc…

Some were simply curious about what a “real life dominant woman” looked like.

With some, there was simply no chemistry, or not the right chemistry for both of us.

But there’s a whole lot of other guys – some of whom I’ve met up with and some who languish in email-land for weeks/months – who are afraid.

  • They’re afraid of falling down the proverbial rabbit hole of D/s.
  • They’re afraid of discovering they really like kinks they find abhorrent.
  • They’re afraid of being submissive.
  • They’re afraid of liking strap-on sex and/or anal play.
  • They’re afraid of even the IDEA of giving up control to another.
  • They’re afraid of other people finding out they’re kinky and/or into D/s.

And while I’m sympathetic to a point, it mostly frustrates me, even as I understand it because I was there too, once upon a time.

I spent a lifetime (well, 37 years or so) trying to live up to others’ expectations, trying to squash who I was into a predefined box of who I was “supposed” to be.

think inside the box

And I was not happy.

When I finally met other people like me – other WOMEN like me – it was an epiphany in the truest sense of the word. I finally felt at home and at peace with myself. Everything clicked and made sense.

But I was still afraid. Not afraid to embrace who I was, not afraid to accept being into kink and identifying as a dominant woman; for me, the fear was all about “being outed”. Part of that fear was actually perfectly rational. At the time, I was employed by a religious organization that required I sign a Morality Contract as a condition of employment. Said Morality Contract forbid sex outside of marriage specifically and likely would have viewed any other kink-oriented activities as grounds for dismissal.

So I understand that there ARE some rational reasons to be afraid.

But mostly, I find that most of the time, when men begin to make excuses for not meeting in public (even for a cup of coffee), not going to munches (even those in private rooms), not meeting for anything MORE than coffee…

… it’s not about the excuses. It’s not even really about fear.

It’s about accepting themselves for who they are and who they might become.

There’s an entire section of self-acceptance at Barnes and Noble (not really, but there COULD be). There are platitudes and “motivational” posters galore on the Internet. You’ve seen them. You’ve read them. You’ve rolled your eyes at most of them.




stop letting

But many of them have at least a kernel of truth to them.

One of the things I state in my various online profiles is this:

Know who you are. LIKE who you are.

Why on earth would I want someone or even like someone who doesn’t like themselves?

I do get that everyone is not yet there. That learning you are actually NOT who you thought you were or who you thought  you were “supposed” to be is scary.

But here’s the thing that I try to impress on these men who are so afraid:

The nature of your sexuality and the intimate details of your relationships are nobody’s business but yours.

I also try to help them understand another thing I say in my profile:

submissive does not equal “less”

Also this: Enjoying anal play does not mean you’re gay. Even if you find you ARE attracted to some men sexually, that’s OK too. There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to people of various genders. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in your inherent sexual preferences, provided you aren’t engaging with those who cannot give consent.

I absolutely HATE that we’ve raised generation upon generation of men who are brainwashed into thinking a 50’s sitcom type of relationship is the only acceptable type of relationship.

Because it means it’s taking men I know until their 40s or 50s to discover who they really are. To undo a lifetime of brainwashing and begin to accept your true self is daunting.

To my readers who identify as submissive or switch men, how did/do you deal with fear and self-acceptance?

How can I help men I encounter to begin that journey of self-acceptance and overcome their fears?

5 thoughts on “On Fear and Acceptance of Self

  1. Interesting post.

    I get that ‘Why are you still single’ question all the time also, by the way, and the implication in it is always “Stop being so PICKY!” without somehow realising that they are actually saying ‘Just be with someone who you don’t like all that much!’. Seriously, how do they think that would work? Baffling.

    I don’t have any answers (of course I don’t!), but I will say that a big part of this is generational.

    Younger men are growing up in a much more flexible and open culture where they get to explore their sexuality a lot more, and that makes for a much easier and natural road to ‘oh, right, so THIS is who I am’ much earlier.

    Men 40+ haven’t had that, so when they finally feel free to step out of the box (after their divorce and their kids are grown up and any number of vanilla failures), they struggle like hell to undo all those years of conditioning. 40+ years of being IN the ‘man’ box makes for a hard road because anything outside of it is part of the ‘not man’ box and that’s not okay. Ugh.

    My experience: some men will simply never get there.

    I recently talked about emotional fearlessness, and it fits here.

    My last was a 40-ish total newbie and he was terrified of admitting that he was not the person he had been to himself (and to girlfriends and friends and family) all of his life. Because it’s terrifying. I went there with him because I knew he had the emotional courage to overcome that fear. I could create that safe space for him, but HE had to be the one to jump, and I think that for some (many? most?) who have that fear, that’s a step they just can’t take.

    If I see fear plus emotional courage, I’ll still go there. If I see fear plus fear, I’m done. I haven’t the patience to deal with it because I know exactly what it’s going to look like and it’s just not worth the aggravation.


  2. Great post! I kind of regret not finding real-life kink until my late 20s. On the other hand, I didn’t really know what it was I wanted before then, so I guess it’s all the same. And I’ve never been heavily invested in the cult of the manly man who is always in charge and wears the pants in the family (my parents set a great example of an equal, if not always exactly even, partnership). I’m sure it is tough for the guys, of any age, who grew up with that image of what being a “man” means.

    Sure, I had fears and anxieties before jumping into the scene, but they were mostly about being outed or not finding what I was looking for. The fear of “Oh, no, what if I actually LIKE it?” is so foreign to me. I was still nervous about trying things out, but that was about whether something would be a good hurt or a bad hurt. And I got very lucky, meeting someone early on who was experienced but patient, who set a pace that I could handle but encouraged me to keep taking that next step with her.

    I don’t know if I have a point to this, but I enjoyed your post.

  3. I’m 29-going-on-30, married, and have a 6-month old infant. My wife and I are currently tipping our toes in the water of a D/s style relationship. I have fears, but it’s not from shame of being submissive, or fear that I’m actually going to like it (of course I like it!). My fear is more of an insecurity about whether I’m letting my fantasies carry me away from reality. I’m curious to know how more experienced practitioners strike that balance. I’m undergoing a transition from thinking about this as just some silly kink that gets me off to being a real and important part of my identity (although a private one). That transition is pretty hard, but it helps to read posts like this, so thank you for that. We need a revolution in male submissiveness – “submissive doesn’t mean less” should be our mantra, but I don’t hear nearly enough male submissives expressing it.

  4. I’ve had the same experience with several men: I make it clear I’m looking for a relationship, not casual play. I get to know a man well enough that we have a first scene. And then he backs out. It’s not that he didn’t like it — in fact he liked it just fine. But apparently he’s so disgusted with himself that he liked the kink or the D/s aspect of the interaction that he cannot move forward.

    It seems sad and odd to me. When I have a new experience that I enjoy I can’t wait to repeat it. But these men have an experience they enjoy and they run as fast as they can in the opposite direction.

    And I don’t agree that men in their 40s and 50s have accepted themselves. The men I’ve encountered have been in their 50s. I wish they could accept themselves. But their own self-loathing means they prey upon women — inadvertently, I know. And I’m getting mighty tired and discouraged about the whole thing.

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