It’s difficult for me to see myself as desirable. I know that I have strengths. I am smart, compassionate, and have a big heart. I am romantic, empathetic, funny, and loyal. I am responsible and motivated, competent and decisive. As a sub, I am dedicated, loving, and willing and versatile enough to be whatever she needs me to be. While many of these characteristics may be desirable, I do not see myself as desirable. While many of those characteristics give me confidence that I would be a good partner and lover, they never give me the confidence to believe in myself.
A lot of this stems from self-awareness and my awareness of where I fit in this world. So many people are seeking “the one,” but the process isn’t the same for everyone. The world as we know it is biased. A lot of the ease or difficulty of passing through its trials depend as much upon factors that you cannot control as the factors that you can. Having a realistic level of societal awareness can be either painful or joyous depending upon where you fall upon the spectrum.
The first wave of factors are gender, role, and physical beauty. Our base gender is something we cannot control but it determines the primary demographics that we deal with. One can argue that we cannot control our role, but to accept and embrace the role is a choice, often a pivotal one. Physical beauty is a mixture of both genetics and effort. While our bone structure, body type, and genetic strengths and flaws are determined at birth, people can maximize or minimize the impact of their physical appearance with conscious effort.
While most people will agree that personality and character are more important than physical appearances, physical appearances play a very large part in determining how the world at large treats us. It is the first impression. It can be the reason that someone wants to get to know someone or why they want to avoid them. When people are deemed physically beautiful, people are nicer to them, they are given more opportunities, their flaws are more easily forgiven, and they will naturally draw more interest. Something that people forget about D/s relationships is that they frequently occur with one partner that is vanilla and willing. People who are physically beautiful are more likely to be able to convert a willing partner because that partner is more willing to change, compromise, or transform themselves to be with the beautiful person. This phenomenon increases the available pool of potential partners by a large percentage.
By contrast, people who lack physical beauty due to genetics or a mixture of genetics and lifestyle habits face an uphill battle. They are more likely to be treated poorly, given fewer opportunities, and are less likely to find someone who is willing to compromise for them in any way. The people who will be happily approach them are a limited percentage that happen to have “a thing” for their characteristics or people who truly believe that beauty is only skin deep. This decreases the available pool of potential partners by a large percentage.
Ignoring role, gender still plays its own part. By and large, the way that men and women evaluate potential partners is very different. Studies have shown that women have a tendency to put a much higher value upon a potential partner’s status, success, and lifestyle, frequently desiring someone that is at the same level or above. e.g. A woman doctor is more likely to try to find another doctor or other professional with advanced levels of education and/or a successful career. By contrast, men are less likely to care about a woman’s career or social status when deciding what he finds attractive. The end result is that it is harder for men as a whole to impress women as a whole.
When looking at role, it should be linked to gender as well. Dominant women make up the smallest demographic and are the most sought after. Submissive men make up the largest demographic and are the least sought after. This sets up the baseline level of desirability.
M/f works a bit backwards. Submissive women make up the second largest demographic and dominant men are third largest, yet submissive women tend to be more sought after than dominant men. This idea factors in physical beauty and the preferences by gender. Also if you factor in general BDSM protocols and the baseline distrust for potentially predatory men, the combination of them is strong enough to grant the larger group veto power in most instances.
Returning to F/m, the disparity in numbers between dominant women and submissive men is so great, that every dominant woman becomes desired. If a dominant woman is particularly physically beautiful, this increases the pool of potential partners. However, when you factor in gender preferences, it leads to a state where dominant women will get the most attention but also be the most difficult to impress.
When I evaluate myself, this first wave determines my overall level of desirability and the percentage of potential partners that would take an interest in me. My physical characteristics and being a minority significantly cut down the pool of potential partners. While occasionally I will meet women who have “a thing” for Asian men, I find far more women have no attraction whatsoever to Asian men, so it nets out as a strong negative. Couple in the genetic characteristics of the country where I was born and being short and having wide physical features also count against me. While I’m very muscular and athletic, I have always been a little chubby and the older I get, the harder it becomes to shed that. The end result is that my physical characteristics play out in such a way that they are a detriment.
While I am highly educated, I lost a lot of my ambition when K died, so I never sought out a rewarding career. Basically, I have the background and cultural refinements, but not the life success to show for it. When it comes to the gender preferences, this too, is a detriment.
In some ways, D/s dating is like an extension of vanilla dating. A lot of people use the quick filters to sort who is worth giving a chance to and who isn’t. This leads to the second wave of factors: kink/fetish dependence, kink/fetish acceptance, and popularity of the desired dynamics.
As a whole, you can look at the desired level of BDSM and D/s intensity by population as sort of a pyramid. The more intense that you go, the fewer people you will find there. At its least intense levels, people may have a preference for certain kinks, but they do not necessarily NEED them. As you progress, you will find people who need them every so often. Then people who need them regularly. At the tip you have the people who need kink/fetish to get off and want to live it. The more intense your desires are, the less people there are that will share your desires. This tends to mostly affect submissive men since their pool of potential partners is already small, subs that have a greater dependence upon kink are more likely to be red flagged out of consideration.
Also, the community in general tends to view certain kinks/fetishes as being more acceptable than others. Bondage? Sure. Spanking? Yes, please. Beyond this, things diverge, often in drastic ways. For each kink that you have, a filtering process occurs. That filtering has varying levels of both good, bad, and indifferent. From positive to negative they look something like: Hell yes, yes, that’s fine, maybe sometimes, I’ll think about it, probably not, no, definitely no, hell no you fucking pervert. At each level there is a certain percentage of people in the available pool and kinks can act as deal-makers or deal-breakers depending upon the kink and the individual person.
The more accepted kinks are skewed more heavily to the positive side with very few on the negative side. Bondage and spanking being nearly universally accepted work this way. More specialized and niche kinks often have something like a bell curve distribution where the majority of people fall towards the center and only a small percentage reach the extreme love or hate ends of it. I call these neutral kinks. You will find kinks that generate a polarized reaction, where the distribution is U-shaped and most people fall on either the love or hate side of the spectrum. Lastly, are kinks that are skewed negatively, where a small percentage of people may enjoy them, but by and large the majority dislike them in some way.
Kink dependence and kink acceptance tend to work together in both how kink-aware people react as well as the perceptions of the vanilla world. If you have mostly (or only) positive skewed kinks, the chances of being red flagged for them is slim and the chances that a potential vanilla-willing partner would give you a chance in spite of them are fairly high. The greater the level of kink dependence, the greater the chances of being red flagged and the less chance you have of being given a chance by a potential vanilla-willing partner. Neutral kinks rarely lead to being red flagged by a significant percentage of people unless they are paired with high kink dependence. However, anything other than skewed positive kinks tends to drastically diminish chances with potential vanilla-willing partners. Negatively skewed kinks, especially with high dependence, tend to be the most destructive of all because they tend to get almost universally shamed in the kink community and also would be rejected by nearly all potential vanilla-willing partners.
That last factor of wave two that comes into play is the popularity of your desired dynamics. This is a factor that many people are not willing to compromise much on. Whichever party holds veto power sets the tone, and for that demographic you can get a feel for what type of relationship dynamics are more or less common. What you can assume is that those with veto power will likely red flag people who desire dynamics that differ greatly from their own desired dynamics. If they want a serious 24/7 lifestyle dynamic, they will likely flag anyone who is looking for more casual play. If they want bedroom only, they will likely flag anyone who is looking for a serious 24/7 dynamic. The more intense the desired dynamic, the less likely it is to find a potential vanilla-willing partner.
Wave two is actually more harsh to me than wave one. I am completely kink dependent and need it in order to get off. While I have a number of skewed positive kinks, I also have a number of polarizing ones and some that could be seen as skewed negative. I also desire an intense lifestyle dynamic. One problem with this is that on paper, I will get red flagged by a significant number of people. That, they will write me off without even giving me a chance or getting to know me. Another problem is that this nearly eliminates the possibility of attracting any vanilla-willing potential partners.
When I combine waves one and two, I find it pretty much impossible for me to see myself as desirable. The pool of potential partners for me is so very small. The number of people who will overlook me without giving me any kind of chance is so very large.
With that in mind, I have been desired. Each time it has happened I felt like I won a lottery of some sort because I am aware of just how terrible the odds are stacked against me. I use my appreciation for the chance as my motivation. I make sure they know that I appreciate how special the opportunity it is.
It’s kind of a screwed up feeling overall, knowing that I can be desired but never feeling desirable. It all stems from the idea of my place in this world and the odd feelings that I know that I have a lot of strengths but that so many factors stand against me ever getting the chance to display them.