Monthly Faves: Trances, Nerves, and Blue Leather

Gosh, it’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these, huh? I had… a lot of amazing sex this month. With three lovely folks who I enjoy banging a great deal. It was an auspicious start to 2018, lemme tell ya! Here are some highlights…

Sex toys

• My Sir bought me a Doxy #3 for Christmas, because he is an absolute gem, and I love it. It’s got all the power I need, like a regular-sized Doxy wand, except it’s small enough to fit in a purse (or a carry-on suitcase – cough, #LongDistanceLyfe).

• A New Year’s Day phone sex sesh reminded me of how great the We-Vibe Sync is. If you’re looking for an app-compatible vibrator a long-distance partner can control in some super fun ways, this is 100% the one I would recommend. It succeeds in two key areas where a lot of vibes in this category fail: its motor rules, and its remote-controllability actually works.

• I am rediscovering my Fleshjack dildos lately. I love the firm-to-flexible ratio of their silicone. Plus sometimes you just need to display a hyper-realistic dildo on your nightstand

Fantasy fodder

• Wow, I’m really into phone sex lately! It’s long been a proclivity I didn’t understand, since I’d always rather be touched by a partner than touch myself to their voice, and I get nervous about saying filthy shit out loud. But my new beau is exceptionally gifted in this arena so I’ve been having phone-sex orgasms aplenty. It’s so simultaneously hot and astonishing to me when someone knows my sex-brain well enough to be able to whip out a phrase or image that practically makes me come on the spot…!

• Another thing my new partner is into: hypnokinkWoof. I’m not quite sure to what extent being hypnotized is a sexy thing for me versus just a fun, relaxing, intimate thing – but there’s a lot of overlap between those two categories for me anyway (spanking, choking, and face-slapping, anyone?). I’m gonna write about this in more detail soon, because holy hell, we’ve been doing some interesting stuff.

• I’m in a new DD/lg dynamic! Eee! We just made it “official,” or whatever. It feels really good to be calling someone “daddy” again after avoiding that for quite a while due to getting my heart broken by my last daddy dom. I love and value this type of dominance so much and had missed it a lot. I’m so glad I found someone else I trust enough to go into “little space” with, and who is worthy of that trust.

Sexcetera

• This month I had, without exaggeration, one of the best dates of my life, involving a very nervous dinner at a very fancy restaurant, exceptionally good period sex involving lots of toys at a beautiful hotel, lots of new scratches and bruises, and waking up next to a mega-handsome boy. Throw me to the wolves. I wish upon all of you the magic and wonder and starry-eyed smittenness I got to feel this month.

• Some of my work elsewhere as of late: I wrote about women’s sexual fantasies and my sex spreadsheet for Glamour. Over at Ignite, I explored sexting, fantasies, orgasms, and vibrators. On our podcast, Bex and I discussed our 2018 sex goals, debated the merits of 69ing, and answered listeners’ questions.

Femme stuff

• Last month at the Pink Market, I bought a turquoise suede collar from L’Amour-Propre, and I’m absolutely enamored with it. Their suede is super comfortable and conforms to my skin nicely, making these collars good choices for all-day wear. I love how simultaneously bright and understated they are.

• On these bitterly cold days we’ve been having here in Toronto lately, there’s nothing like a hand-knit cowl to keep you cozy. My favorite one in my arsenal is a royal blue one my friend Cadence knitted me a few years ago. Its bold shade keeps me feelin’ optimistic even when it’s bleak as fuck outside.

• I haz a new Coach satchel and it’s so prettyyy. It’s kind of a strange robin’s-egg blue color, like the sky on a bright but cloudy day, and I’m into it.

Little things

Ringing in the new year with good friends, pastry straws, and a thorough spanking. Max buying me a Hippo Campus T-shirt and Dick buying me a Hippo Campus vinyl EP. “How’s your NRE doing?” Vanilla donuts as writing fuel. Exciting meetings with editors. Co-writing a song with my Sir. Going to the theatre with my mom. Sir seeing my journal in my bag and asking, “Can I touch it?” Blowjob experiments. Solo writing dates at ye olde greasy diner. Being interviewed by people who’ve done their research. Nerdy overanalytical aftercare. Bex picking me up at the airport with homemade cookies in tow. Bagels and cream cheese on Long Island. Elegant cocktails. Hearing Sir singing “Story Telling” in the shower. Subtle public D/s at an improv show. Mutual vulnerability. My new Hitachi-shaped pipe from Bex! Getting to write for a long-time dream publication of mine (just you wait!). Listening very fucking hard.

Do You Want It Too?

“Being drunk is making me want to call you Daddy,” I hammer out with clumsy thumbs.

Before I can even get anxious about what I’ve said, Sir types back: “Try it.” So I do.


With the right kind of consent-conscious kink nerd, a new D/s relationship is always an exercise in trust and communication. Always a gamble that catapults my heart into my throat. Here’s what I want. Do you want it too? And then, as time goes on: Are you sure?

Three days after we met, I told this beautiful boy, “I wouldn’t say that my feelings about you are quite ‘Daddy dom‘-esque, but I am very into that nurturing, caring type of dominance, and I do feel that way about you.”

“Yeah, I don’t feel like a ‘Daddy,’ per se,” he replied. “But I do know what you mean.”

We laugh about this interaction now. He is such a Daddy. He likes showing me around his city, holding my hand when we cross the street, carrying things for me. He likes ordering for me at restaurants like I’m not even there (“She’ll have the cacio e pepe“) and letting me taste his grown-up musky cocktails (“Want a sip, little one?”). He makes me feel instantly small with just a word, a glance.

“I just came real hard thinking about you sitting on my face and asking me if Daddy was gonna come from that,” he recounts in a text. “Also, you’re gonna take your iron pills when you get home, right, baby?”

I laugh into my coffee cup in a diner when I read these over, and say to my best friend across the table: “He just sent me a filthy sext and then told me to take my meds. I can’t believe he didn’t know he’s a Daddy dom.”


I have been in too many relationships with people who gave me what I wanted only because they knew I wanted it. This selflessness is lovely, in theory, but over time, it breeds resentment. They grow to resent that I really do want “that kink stuff” all the time, and not just occasionally – and I grow to resent the asynchronicity of our feelings, the way I’m sliding deeper into a dynamic they don’t even really see.

Once, on my way to go see a boyfriend, I subtweeted him. I didn’t entirely realize I was doing it; the thoughts condensed in my brain like rainclouds and I spilled them onto Twitter almost compulsively. “Gosh, there’s such a difference between someone who bites/beats/bruises you ’cause you want them to and someone who does it ’cause they want to,” I mused. “It’s nice to bang someone who’ll beat me up when I ask, but I miss the raw ragged viscerality of a real sadist destroying me.”

It wasn’t a nice thing to do. I know that now, and I regret it. I especially regret it when I remember how he looked up from his phone when I walked through his front door, and met my eyes with a furrowed brow. “Baby, you know I like hurting you, right?” he asked with no preamble. “I like it because you like it so much.”

But therein lay the problem. I wanted him to want it too. I wanted him to lose himself in desire a little when he hit me, his heart stuttering, cheeks flushing. I wanted to feel him get hard through his jeans while I squealed and squirmed in his lap. I wanted a wolfish glint in his eye as he held me down and made me take what he needed to give me.

I guess that’s why we didn’t last. Some people want to make you happy, but the wanting is not always enough.


“You should maybe, uh, tell me what to wear and how to do my hair and makeup for our date,” I mumble over the phone to my Sir. Meek and muffled, because I know how this usually goes. Usually I float this idea and a partner either reacts like it’s totally absurd, or gives me the world’s least satisfying answer: “Wear whatever makes you feel beautiful!”

They always think they’re trying to be nice. And they are being nice, in a way. But they’re also withholding from me the thing that I want. Which is, in a different way, not nice at all, really.

“Hmm,” Sir says thoughtfully, his honeyed tenor tone vibrating against my face from 500 miles away. “Tell me what you like about that.”

No one has ever actually asked me this before, about this particular thing. It’s a conversation I always want to have, about every kink, both mine and my partners’: Why do you like that? The answers are always illuminating. It’s like walking behind Niagara Falls. You knew the exterior was dazzling; now you know its beauty from the inside, too.

I pause and think it through, choose my words carefully, one by one. “I like assignments with clear parameters,” I elucidate at length, “because I like knowing exactly how to make someone happy and being able to do it exactly right.”

“Got it,” he replies. I’ve heard him say this many times. It still makes me swoon every time. Got it. He’s got me. “So, if I was to tell you to wear all black clothing, red lipstick, and your hair styled so I can pull on it, would those parameters be clear enough?”

My temperature rises and a sharp huff of air pushes past my lips, like I’ve been punched in the gut. He gets it, and I love that he gets it. I know my explanation is what helped him get it, but moreover, I love that he asked for an explanation instead of just dismissing my vulnerable request out of hand. I love that he took this seriously because he could see it was serious to me.

Power exchange is a collaborative mosaic of trust and vulnerability. It’s stepping out onto a rickety bridge together, promising to keep each other safe if something goes awry. Here’s what I want. Do you want it too?


I do it for him, too. I try to. Past partners have told me, when I coyly begged them to dominate me, that they worried they’d go too far – or, worse, that I would laugh in their face when they issued a command. “Oh, that? I’m not going to do that. Why would you even want that?!” So I do my best to affirm dominants’ orders. I treat these directives with the care they deserve. They may be barked or growled, but they are vulnerable nonetheless – because I could always, always say no.

Sir unbuttons his shirt and tells me to hang it up in the closet. A bratty voice inside me pipes up to wonder why the fuck I would do that when he’s right here beside me on the bed, warm and touchable and getting undressed. But I know why. He wants to see me do it. He wants to see what I will do for him. So I get up, smooth the shirt onto a hanger, and slide it into the closet, blushing from the way he looks at me. It’s a hunger and a satisfaction: he asked for what he wanted, and I wanted it too.

These moments are small, just snapshots that tell no particular story individually, but woven together, they are a heart-stopping collage. They are trust and vulnerability writ large. Writ very large indeed.


One Monday morning in New York City, I hand Sir two dresses from my suitcase. “Which one, Sir?” I query, and he chooses the red one. I put it on.

I dig through my toiletries bag for fragrances, and hand him three sample vials. He holds each to his handsome nose and selects the Tom Ford. I put it on.

“Do you like making decisions for me?” I ask, playfully, like I already know the answer – but I don’t, not really. I know what the evidence suggests, and I know what I hope the answer is, but it will be a while before I know it for certain, in the pit of my gut and the base of my brain.

So much,” he groans in response, and I blush as crimson as the dress he chose for me.

Monthly Faves: Vibrations, Vibrato, & Varvatos

Woof. I had a lot of sex this month. Like, a lot. I have a new partner and he is an insatiable perv comme moi, so, y’know, lots and lots of fucking. I hope this trend continues all summer, because frankly, my vagina deserves it. Here are some of the things I enjoyed most in May…

Sex toys

• Full review coming soon: I am loooving my new-ish Swan Wand. Two rumbly motors in an ergonomically-shaped, hot pink beauty of a toy. Très bien!

• Like I told you on Monday, I’m really digging my Sportsheets under-the-bed restraints lately. Nothin’ quite like getting securely immobilized during sex at a moment’s notice. *swoon*

• My boyf rescued an old telephone table and we repurposed it as a spanking bench, obviously. I love the resourcefulness of kinksters.

Fantasy fodder

• Here’s some exciting news: it’s been almost two years since I first realized Daddy Dom/little girl dynamics turn me on, and now I’m dating someone who is into that dynamic too, and I am FEELING SOME WAYS about it. Let’s just say that the “fantasy fodder” column of my orgasm spreadsheet is even more rife with instances of “princess” and “little one” and “good girl” than usual lately.

• In exploring kink stuff with my new boyf, I’ve noticed that a lot of the kink activities I previously thought I didn’t like, I actually just didn’t like with previous partners. Many of the doms I’ve banged before have turned out to be assholes – or, in some cases, abusive assholes – which obviously colored my perception of the things we did together. With my new darlin’, there are some things I’ve always thought I’d hate forever, like being choked, facefucked, and slapped across the face, that actually feel fine (and even hot) because I’m doing them with someone I care about and trust. Kink is fascinating!

• As I’ve told you before, getting fisted is one of my major sexual goals. I’ve known for a long time that I wanted my First Fister to be a dominant person I feel emotionally connected to, who ideally has small hands, and I finally feel like that person has actually come along. This month, me and my beau went for coffee with my friend Taylor to talk fisting logistics (lofistics?!) since Taylor is a fisting expert of sorts. We learned a lot, and now I can’t stop thinking about my bossy boyfriend wearing a black nitrile glove, three knuckles deep inside me, telling me sternly to take a little more for him…

Sexcetera

• Some of my work elsewhere this month: I tried the teddy bear vibrator for Glamour (spoiler alert: I did not like it). I detailed the best and worst parts of being a sex toy reviewer for Daily Xtra. I wrote about realistic dildos, friendships with benefits, and iconic sex toys for Ignite, and powerful vibrators for Peepshow. I had some feelings about my favorite boy band and how they relate to pleasure under patriarchy. On our podcast, Bex and I discussed the porn festival, aftercaresexual astrology, and kissing, and we interviewed my mom.

• In May, I had 25 orgasms, an uncommonly high (for me) 64% of which were from a partner, with the other 36% being from masturbation. I wasn’t too keen on solo sex this month, in part because I’m so hyped on my new partner and in part because I’ve been intermittently depressed and have therefore lacked the libido and motivation to masturbate as often as I otherwise might.

Femme stuff

• I had so much sex this month that I didn’t spend much time wearing clothes, honestly. But MeUndies are still doin’ me right. They make a real good backdrop for spanking bruises.

• Gawd, I love Yo Sox. They have a brick-and-mortar shop here in Toronto the very sight of which fills me with glee. Ever wanted to adorn your feet with unicorns, hearts, or whales? I certainly fucking have. And now I can. Eee!

• I’ve been catching up on The Dry Down and, as always, it’s making me want to buy/try new perfume samples. Right now I’m really into dark, smoky, “masculine” scents with notes like sandalwood, balsam, and rum. (État Libre d’Orange’s “True Lust” and John Varvatos’ self-titled fragrance are two current faves.) I also like layering leather cologne over whatever I wear, for an extra kinky kick.

Little things

Nathan Stocker’s vibrato fingers and rock-star hair. The way my beau always smells like sandalwood and the scent lingers on my bed/hair/skin after he leaves. Taking friends lube-shopping. Being productivity-dommed. Cuddling with a chill-as-fuck cat. “Apparently I’m a genius!” Sunny park hangz with my darling. Talking about fisting while sipping mint tea in a crowded café. Snapbacks as a way of accessing my tomboy side. That time a barista gave me a spanking so thorough that he bruised his hand and told me he would think of me every time he tamped a shot of espresso until the bruise healed (hnnng). Receiving a “Still thinking about that BJ” text the morning after a hookup. Playing Scrabble with people who are better than me at Scrabble. Honey liqueur. Nutella donuts. Vegan mac and cheese. Tinder boys with good winks. “Dad Squad” jokes at the Victoria Day fireworks with Max. A punny dinner with porn pals. Vanilla cold brew. Good editors.

Are You My Daddy?

“If we have sex – not necessarily tonight, or ever, but if we do – what should I know about you to make sure you have a good time?”

He’s asking me this question in the fluorescently-lit, 24-hour McDonald’s near Comedy Bar, and somehow that doesn’t make it any less romantic.

“Hmm,” I begin, gnawing on a French fry. “I like toys. I like being spanked. I have a burgeoning Daddy Dom/little girl kink. Everything else, I think you’ll figure out on your own.”

He nods solemnly, taking this in. He has a mind like a computer, and he’s just created a folder entitled “How to Make Kate Come.” I see it in his thoughtful, analytic eyes. McDonald’s is heated on this chilly March night, but a shiver goes through me nonetheless.

Later, he’ll be three knuckles deep inside me, fingertips cresting along the spot that makes me come. “That’s your sweet spot, huh, babygirl?” he intones. “You’re getting so wet for Daddy…” And, yeah, that does the fucking trick. Stars explode behind my eyes and I lose sight of the world for a few moments, lost in my littleness.

But post-orgasmic doubt sets in, as it is wont to do. “I’m pretty good at knowing what people want to hear,” he tells me when I compliment his dirty-talk prowess, and poof: there goes my boner. He can’t be my Daddy if he’s only stepping into the role for my benefit. It’s like dancing with someone who’s too cool to really get into it, and keeps pulling “ironic” faces and making fun of the music. You can’t relax into goofy wild weirdness around someone who’s there reminding you how weird it all is, however implicitly. You need them to get lost in the weirdness with you, so you can get out of your head and just be deliciously in your body together.

He didn’t want to dance with me. He kept mocking the music. He kept telling me “what I wanted to hear.” He was not my Daddy.

Wading into poly for the first time, I quickly discovered: it’s smart to talk to your partners’ partners, if they’re cool with that. You learn so much.

“He’s super GGG and so kink-minded,” my metamour said, moonily. “Some guys get so weirded out when you ask them to hit you or choke you, but he always does it when I want him to.” I could practically see the hearts in her eyes. As sweet as she was on this dude, I wasn’t quite sold on him. Something felt… off.

I mentioned my DD/lg feelings mid-sext one day, and then all the right keywords started popping up in his dirty-talk, like a social media algorithm that knows what you’ve shopped for online and reminds you of your history every day thereafter. “Does my little girl need a spanking?” he queried coolly from across the couch when I was depressed one afternoon.

I nodded, but his comment activated a sad sensation I knew well: performative kink. It is categorically different from actual kink. It’s the difference between “Yeah, sure, I’ll play a submissive role for you, I guess,” and “You are utterly in control of me.” Just as you can’t choose whether you’ll fall in love with someone, you can’t choose whether you’ll feel subby to someone – and I felt neither of those things toward this boy. But I could pretend. And I did.

His filthy monologues, at least, were on-point. Midway through our second fuck of the day, he murmured to me in his darkened bedroom, “I want you to come all over Daddy’s cock like you did earlier.” My vagina responded readily, but it was almost perfunctory: yeah, you said The Thing, so I guess I’ll do The Thing. But it wasn’t quite what I had imagined that Thing would feel like. A hollowness followed that dutiful orgasm: I was someone’s little girl, surely, but not his. He was not my Daddy.

My new beau texts me from a party. A couple in his sightline has what he perceives as an overt DD/lg dynamic, and he is, as he puts it, “having some FEELINGS.”

I text back: “Like, ‘wanting me to call you Daddy’ feelings? ‘Cause, like, same.”

We’ve only talked about this in generalities so far, but his reply tells me everything I need to know. “Fuck. Yes.”

I have no idea what I’m doing. I type a sentence which feels like it should live only within the hazy universe of sexting, and can’t possibly bleed into real life – and yet, here I am, saying it to a real-life partner, albeit in a text. “Excited to come fuck your little girl this weekend?”

There is barely a pause before his response comes back: “Yes, little one, Daddy is very excited to fuck you this weekend.”

The weekend comes. We are hyper-communicative kink nerds, thank god, and lie in bed talking about our Feelings before we delve into sex. “I liked it when we were texting, but I don’t know if I’ll like it in real life,” he carefully confesses. Noticing the confusion on my face, he clarifies: “You know… That word I can’t say.”

I laugh, because I don’t think I can say it either. It feels silly, saccharine, embarrassing, vulnerable. It feels like admitting to something I am absolutely not supposed to want, even though we’ve both admitted we want it, and we both know better than to kink-shame. It’s all well and good to believe other people have a right to their safe and consensual kinks, whatever those may be; it is another thing entirely to accept that you have a right to like what you like. That you are not broken or weird or sick for wanting the things you urgently want.

He kisses me, and it’s like this word we cannot say is silently fuelling our lust; it’s the whirr in my ears, the rat-tat of my heart. I say it a thousand different ways in my mind. I beam it at him while he claws at my skin, spanks my ass red, beats me with a cane. The word resides in my grimaces and in his smirks. It’s an unspoken parenthetical in every sentence we spit.

He lifts his head from where it ended up, between my thighs, and says with the steady calm that turns me to mush: “I’m going to make you come now.” And then he slides two fingers deep inside me, and hands me my Tango, and does what he has promised.

The sounds in the room, as I’m coming down from my orgasm, are a mellow chorus of mewls and whimpers and “Mm-hmm, that’s right” and “You are such a good girl.” I scrunch my fists in the sheets to gather my strength and my resolve, and then I look down at him and say, “Come here. I want to tell you something.”

As he crawls up my body, I wonder if he thinks I’m going to say “I love you.” It’s way too early for that. And also, what I’m about to say feels even bigger, trickier, riskier.

I pull him toward me and purr in his ear, “Daddy, you made your little girl come so hard.”

I feel his cock stiffen and stir against my leg, and he groans like it’s involuntary. Like I pulled the sound from deep within his body. “You want Daddy to fuck you now?” he asks, soft, so soft. I hear how hard he works to push the word past his lips, to force it out while his self-shaming superego tries to tamp it down. I moan my approval like watering a plant I hope will grow strong. And then he fucks me until I am even less than a little girl: a puddle, a cloud, a sweetly sighing mirage.

He strokes my hair in the afterglow, and comments thoughtfully: “I think what freaks me out about that word is how much I like it.”

I laugh. Yup. That. “I know what you mean. It’s like, ‘You can’t say that! That’s The Thing!'” The Thing that catches my breath and halts my words. The Thing that darkens my panties with want. The Thing that flips some secret switch in my brain from “off” to “on.” You know. The Thing.

He smiles, and pulls me tighter against him. “You are such a sweet little girl,” he breathes contentedly, and I know that he is right – and that he is my Daddy.

You’re Vanilla. I’m Not. But I Love You.

It’s a giddy-hot summer in Toronto and I am out having lunch with my new boyfriend (soon to be ex). My collar is chafing my neck in the sticky heat, so I unclasp the buckle and slide the leather off my neck and into my purse.

Boyf looks up from his menu. “You took it off,” he comments softly. “You should’ve asked first.” A wicked grin creeps over his boyish face.

I giggle and blush, but it’s perfunctory. When he says dom-y shit to me, it’s like I’m watching a porn scene: it turns me on, in an abstracted sort of way, but it doesn’t thrill my innermost subby self because it doesn’t feel like it’s happening to me.

Because he’s not my dom, not really. You are. And you don’t even know it.


I am a kinkster who loves a vanilla person, and it feels like this:

I plunge my hand between the bones of my chest until I find my heart. Closing my fist around it, I pull it out of me til it’s freed from my body with a sickening pop.

With the gingerest touch, I reach out and place my heart in your open palm. We both watch it, beating, twitching. My blood drips between your fingers and onto the floor. When at last I feel brave enough, I drag my gaze up to meet your eyes… and you look horrified.

“What the fuck,” you mutter under your breath, and toss my heart into the gutter. “Gross.”

I know you don’t mean to make me feel that way. But you do. It’s no one’s fault you make me feel that way. But you do. You didn’t choose to be the vanilla-est vanilla boy in all the land. But you are. And I didn’t choose to be collar-over-heels, sweetly-starry-eyed, dreamily-devoted in subby love with you. But I am.


I notice it first in the way I always sit below you if I can help it. The night we met, you sat on my piano bench and I sat cross-legged at your feet, staring reverently up at you like I was six years old and you were telling me a story (you probably were). It becomes a pattern with us: at your place or mine, in the bedroom or the kitchen, surrounded by friends or just the two of us, if you’re on a chair then I’m on the floor. It just feels… right.

You’re barely taller than me, and when we crunch down crowded streets together, we look like equals. I don’t want to be your equal, have never felt like your equal. Sitting at your feet restores a natural equilibrium I can feel but you can’t. I know you can’t feel it because you always ask me, “You sure you don’t wanna sit up here? You’ll be more comfortable.” You don’t get it. I’m comfortable when I’m where I belong: on the floor, looking up at you.

We trade sex secrets and carnal confessions over pints in the brew pub. Your eyebrows knit together in that way they do when you’re trying to understand something incomprehensible. In this case, it’s my kinks.

“I just kind of fall apart when someone calls me ‘little one,'” I tell you. What little nonchalance I can muster is being channelled into keeping my voice steady, trying not to betray how much this means to me. “If I’m having trouble coming, sometimes that’s The Thing that finally makes it happen.”

You stroke your chin in a broad gesture of thoughtfulness and reply, simply: “Interesting.” I wonder if you are filing away this piece of information to be used at a later date. But probably, you’ll just forget. You never call me “little one.” You never call me “princess” or “babygirl” or “sweet darling.” You just call me my name, sometimes. And never in bed.


Names are important to me. Names frame my understanding of a sexual situation. Names are the real-world manifestation of the archetypes and roles floating around in my white-hot kinkster brain. Names matter.

When you’re fucking me – with your fingers, a toy, or your cock – sometimes I want to call you names. They float at the periphery of my awareness; sometimes they ghost across my lips. My mouth forms the syllables “Oh, Daddy” or “Please, Sir,” but no sound comes out. I’m ashamed. I hide these silent pleas in the crook of my elbow, bury them in the warmth of your shoulder. I don’t want to ruin the moment or make you uncomfortable.

It’s agony that the words which would flip your switch from “on” to “off” are the same words that rev my internal motor. Sometimes you ask me, “How can I make you come? What would you like me to do?” and I list physical acts I know will work on the mechanical level, because I don’t dare ask for the mental-emotional-psychological stuff that might scare you off.


You ping my teacher’s-pet kink without even realizing it. One night I send you a draft of something I’m writing, wanting your feedback, and your critique jokingly begins, “Well, if you want to earn an A+ from me…” Of course I fucking do. I make all the changes you suggest, even the ones that conflict with my own taste and voice. I feel that old familiar sense of surrender I’ve experienced while tied up or getting spanked: the deep belief that someone else knows what I need even better than I do. When I show you the finished piece, you tell me it’s perfect, and I feel a rush of something halfway between “just got a 95% on my philosophy exam” and “just gave the best blowjob of all time.”

On bad mental health days, I feel like a useless, unsalvageable failure. Friends remind me I’m smart, funny, talented, kind, and valuable – but I don’t fully believe it until I hear it from you. Earning your A+ makes me feel accomplished, whether you’re complimenting my sexual skills, my writing, or my overall value as a human being.

One night, I’m anxious as hell about an impending deadline. It feels like an end-of-the-world emergency: if I don’t get this article done in time, or if my editor hates it, all will be lost. My head is swirling with panic; I hyperventilate at you via text. “You’ll get it done and it’ll be great,” you tell me, with more confidence than I have ever felt about anything. And suddenly, I know that you’re right. In the hours that follow, I get it done. It’s great. It’s all for you, and you’ll never know.

“Service submission” has never particularly resonated with me. I’ve occasionally fantasized about it, but I’ve never done it with a real-life partner, because I’ve never wanted to. Until I met you.

When I show up at your place with the exact kind of beer you like, or accompany you to events you’re nervous about, or ask a waitress to move us because a wobbly barstool is hurting your bad back, you tell me, “You’re a good friend.” But that’s not really what this is about. I’m not being generous; I am serving you. Being your good girl. Of course, you don’t see it that way, and I’ll never tell you.

When you go out of town to attend a work conference, I sit at home fantasizing about how I’d serve you if I was your plus-one. I picture myself bringing you your coffee first thing in the morning, made exactly how you like it. I would organize your schedule, prepare the documents you needed, choose and press your outfits. At the end of a long day, I’d kneel in front of you, slip your shoes off, and ask you if a nice blowjob would help you relax. I’d suck you off and then bring you a beer, and watch you drink it from my favorite vantage point on your floor.

Service-submission feelings toward a vanilla person are essentially a deep, carnal desire to be their unpaid personal assistant. I’m a feminist and so are you, so I get the sense you wouldn’t accept my “help,” even if you knew what it meant to me. We speak different languages; my word for “purpose and fulfilment” translates to “heartless exploitation” in your native tongue. This can never work. But I still sometimes think about shining your boots.


It occurs to me one day, as I’m walking home in a shirt you let me borrow because I misplaced my dress amid your bedsheets somewhere, that you’ve never left a mark on me. Other partners smack bruises onto my ass, bite toothmarks onto my fleshy hips, carve crimson hickeys into my neck – but you’ve never left so much as a friction-burn on my thighs. It’s ironic, I think, as I pull the sleeves of your shirt down over my chilly hands, that you’ve marked my heart more deeply and irrevocably than anyone else I’ve banged, and yet signs of you have never shown on my skin.

My one souvenir of you – which embarrasses me to even contemplate – is a dime on my bedroom floor. It fell out of your jeans pocket the first time we made out in my bed, and after you left in the morning, I just… kept it there. For the better part of a year. Friends who knew me well would visit and say, “So that dime’s still there, huh? When are you gonna move it?” I’d respond, “It makes me happy to look at it. I’ll move it when that’s no longer true.”

The day I decide to get over you, I text my best friend: “I picked the dime up off the floor.” They reply with a blue heart emoji. There’s nothing else to say, really.


Once, we’re out to dinner, and the subject of kinks comes up. (It always fucking does.) “I just feel like you could be such a good dom if you tried,” I lament for like the twentieth time. I’ve had too much rice wine and am being an asshole.

“Being dom-y makes me anxious,” you tell me through half a mouthful of sushi. I know this. You’ve told me this before. I hate myself for not wanting to accept this answer.

“I dunno, a lot of things used to make me anxious before I got good at them,” I counter. “Maybe if you practiced more, you’d feel more confident about it.” The conversation stagnates and we switch gears.

I’m wracked with guilt for days afterward, and text you: “Hey, I’m sorry I got kinda pressure-y the other night. You said taking charge makes you uncomfortable and I should just respect that. I won’t ask you about it again.” It’s the only decent thing to do, but it feels like giving up on the thing I want most in the world.

“It’s okay,” you text back. I sigh, from relief, or sadness, or something.