5 Ways I Flirt As a Submissive

1. Unprompted service. Three weeks ago, we went out to lunch and you ordered a Mill Street lager. Tonight, I show up for our scheduled fuckdate at your house, carrying a six-pack of Mill Street lagers. If you were a vanilla boy, maybe you’d seem surprised, or embarrassed that you didn’t get me anything in return. But you’re a dom perv who gets off on my diligent service, so you just take the beers from me, put them in the fridge, and say, “That was very good of you.” I quiver in my boots.


Halfway through explaining to a customer how a particular vibrator works, you accidentally drop its instruction manual on the sex shop’s tile floor. Without speaking, interrupting your pitch, or even giving it any thought, I kneel down and scoop up the booklet from under the toy counter where it fell. “Oh, you don’t have to –” you start, but then I hand it to you from a kneeling position before you, we lock eyes, you set your jaw, and you murmur with a small smile, “Thanks.”


2. Complimenting your dominant qualities. “Time to sweep and mop,” you bark, when there’s an hour left til closing time. Then your tone softens: “Sorry, that was bossy. Time to sweep and mop, please.

En route to the supply closet to grab the broom, I retort over my shoulder, “It’s okay; I like it when you’re bossy.” I hear the pause as you process this, and then you reply, “I’m not sure how to take that…” I grin. And then I get to sweepin’.


Your cat is being an asshole: scratching at the door, yowling incessantly, fucking shit up. You say his name sharply, in the tone of a dad who’s just walked in on his kid drinking chocolate milk straight from the carton.

“I’m really weirdly into it when you get dom-y with the cat,” I enthuse swoonily. Your eyes slide over to me and narrow in mild confusion. “Yeah?” you say, and I nod, wishing you’d speak to me sometime with the sternness you reserve for misbehaving calicos.


3. Alluding to past experiences. At her request, you hit our friend with a leather riding crop so she can see what it feels like. “Wow! I’m surprised that didn’t leave a bruise,” she says, minutes later, as she examines the spot in a mirror. “Crops don’t usually bruise that much,” you and I both start to say, in different words but echoing the same sentiment. Our eyes meet. I feel a hot pop of recognition – the electric familiarity that clicks into gear when kinksters spot fellow kinksters. Oh, hello.


My friend finishes our lengthy spanking session, and I push myself up off the sex club’s gorgeous leather spanking bench, freshly and darkly bruised. “How was that?” you ask. “A good warm-up?” It’s a joke, but it’s also a challenge, a barometer, a test.

“I’ve had worse,” I reply with a saucy shrug. And then I take the paddle my friend was hitting me with and place it in your hands. I don’t know what you’ll do with it, if anything, but I’m curious to find out.


4. Honorifics. We hug goodbye outside the diner after a cozy breakfast. “Be good,” you tell me as we part ways. I shout back, “Yes, sir!” and watch the bemused smile bloom on your face.


We’re at a party, and I make a dumb joke that doesn’t land quite right. Someone calls me an awkward turtle, and I shake my head and inform them, “I’m not a turtle. I am an awkward bunny.

You look at me with cool appraisal and say, “A bunny, huh? Yeah, I can see that.”

How did you know that “bunny” is one of my kink honorifics, despite the totally vanilla nature of the conversation in which it appeared? I have no idea. You have sub-dar, apparently. And it’s working. I attempt to swallow the sudden dry lump in my throat, and reiterate: “Yeah. I’m a bunny.”


5. “Is that an order?” We tread water in the heated pool under the stars. “Is the deep end really deep?” I ask conversationally, and you say, “Nah. You could definitely swim to the end and back, no problem.”

I bite my lip. “Are you telling me to do that?”

“No,” you say immediately, “you don’t have to,” and I exhale the breath I didn’t realize I was holding. I do it anyway, like it’s a dare from the dom you unfortunately aren’t.


Plotting a threesome via text, I mention that multiple orgasms aren’t exactly in my wheelhouse. “What if you took a break from masturbating for a few days beforehand?” you posit. “Maybe we could get 3 out of ya ;)”

I pause, stare at my phone screen, try to breathe. And then I type a phrase so loaded for me, I’m almost scared to make it real by committing it to text. “Is that an order? ;)”

There is a minute of silence during which I become convinced I have scared you away forever by wanting too much from you, climbing too high on the kink ladder while you’re still meandering through the vanilla wilds below. But then your reply comes back: “That is an order. Are you gonna be a good girl and wait a few days for my cock?”

I scream at my phone, throw it across the room, and cover my face with my hands. I am going to be such a good girl for you, sir.

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.

Submissive ‘n’ Stoned: Reflections on Weed & Kink

Marijuana is magic. I have known this for quite some time, and then a summer romance drives the point home for me.

But I’m not fully committed to this boy, emotionally; my mind is elsewhere, and that’s reflected in the way I talk about him. Tweeting on my way to see him one afternoon in July, I call him my “pothead fuckpal.” He’s normally thrilled when I tweet about him, but this time, he’s irate. I think it’s “fuckpal” he objects to moreso than “pothead.” Because, while it’s irredeemably true he is a pothead, he wants to be more than just my fuckpal. I’m not sure I can give him that, and we’re not talking about it yet.

But I am a bad girl who writes bad things on Twitter, so I deserve a punishment.

We smoke up when I arrive at his house, like we always do – me from my little glass pipe and him from his enormous DIY bong. He’s smoked for years longer than I have, and has years’ more sexual experience under his belt, so I guess he knows what sweet havoc weed can wreak. I always get way too high at his place, nervously smoking more than I should because I’m uncomfortable and don’t know what else to do with my hands. I sit there glued to the couch, and he begins to touch my thighs.

Weed makes every touch significant, every movement a story. He traces circles and lines on my skin and they spin off into wild visions, all radiating sensation back to my clit. My arousal builds slowly but steadily, like a ski-lift gliding up a mountain. He works his way toward my clit in maddening circles, and I want his touch there but it’s an unhurried want: we will get to that when we get to it, and that’s fine.

Stoned sex is a magnificent blur. Journaling about it in days that follow, I always have to tell the story in point form, free of narrative or coherence. So one moment he’s touching my clit, and the next I’m draped over his knee getting pummelled by a wooden hairbrush, and the next I’m kneeling between his legs with his cock down my throat. Oh, hello.

I love stoned blowjobs and submissive blowjobs for many of the same reasons: they absorb me, anxieties and all, in a way that sober vanilla sex rarely can; they free me from inhibitions and scripts so I can enjoy what my mouth is feeling instead of suffer what my mind is whispering; and they allow me to focus wholly on the task at hand (or… at mouth). I am a good girl, an orally talented girl, a very very high girl, and I love it.

I shouldn’t have called him my pothead fuckpal. I shouldn’t have agreed to date him when I knew I could never love him. But all those shouldn’ts don’t matter now because there is weed smog in my head and a cock in my mouth.

The first time I discovered weed makes pain feel near-orgasmic to me, I was doing yoga at a party, but I’m a perv so of course it didn’t take me long to figure out how to apply that to kink.

In September of last year, I had a near-weekly tradition. I would go to a boy friend’s house (a boy-space-friend, not a boyfriend, you understand), we would smoke weed, he would catch me up on his various Adventure Zone headcanons, and then he would spank me.

The weed served two purposes. First of all, it helped us two awkward anxious bunnies relax around each other. And secondly, it made his spankings feel like molten-hot fireworks exploding in my skin.

“Do you wanna go to my room?” he’d ask when we’d been chilling on the living-room couch for an hour or two, and that was code for: “Do you want me to beat your ass raw with a paperback novel?” Every time, I’d quirk a grin at him and say, “Yeah.” And we would go.

Though I’ve loved being spanked for years, it wasn’t until I met this boy that I thought I might be able to come from it. It always seemed nearly-mine, like an apple on a swaying branch beyond my grasp – but I could never quite get at it. The trying was fun, though.

What I loved most about our arrangement was that sex was never assumed, never a foregone conclusion. The spanking was the main course. The weed was the garnish. The good conversation was the appetizer. And when the meal was done, I could shimmy back into my skirt, say goodnight, and go home, wetness dripping down the inside of my thigh in a guilty ribbon. “Text me when you get home safe,” he’d tell me sternly at the door. He wasn’t my dom but he was a good snack to tide me over in between feasts. A good friend to have. A good warm hand on my ass.

Marijuana extends time in my brain. I can get lost in a moment of sensation and have no idea afterwards if it lasted eight seconds or forty minutes. This is all well and good if my partner is also high, or if they’re someone I know I can take my time with. Less so if I’m nervous.

“How long have you been doing that?” I ask you while you’re two knuckles deep inside me. “I have no sense of time right now. I need you to tell me if you want to stop.” Because I never want you to stop. I want your fingers pressing stripes into my most sensitive spots ad infinitum. I want to live in this hotel room with you and your devilish fingers forevermore. I want to come and come until I’m a husk of a human.

You sigh, with the careful, caring discontent of someone who sympathizes with my sexual anxieties but thinks they’re silly nonetheless. “You just lie back and relax. This is not strenuous for me. I’ll stop if I want to. Right now I just want you to feel good.”

Though our dynamic isn’t kinky, I hear this as a command. I lie back. I relax. And you must’ve said the magic words, because within minutes, I am coming, loud and unrestrained.

You slip your fingers out of me and let me catch my breath before suggesting a mid-sesh intermission to top up our intoxication levels. This entails sneakily smoking in the bathroom of this no-smoking hotel room, because we don’t have a balcony and fuck if we’re gonna throw clothes on and brave the current January windstorm in this state.

I stand in front of you in the yellowish fluorescent bathroom light, and we’re both poetically, unselfconsciously naked. I watch, rapt, as you grind some weed and load your one-hitter. You hand it to me along with your lighter, but I can’t get it lit, so you have to help me. I am a quivering little girl making doe eyes at you as you flick the sparkwheel and make a flame for me. I inhale deeply and feel so sexy, so safe.

The trick, you explain, is to exhale through a damp washcloth toward the exhaust vent in the ceiling; that way we’re least likely to set off the smoke alarm. You’ve pre-moistened a cloth for this purpose, and after watching me inhale, you grab it and lay it flat over my mouth, pressing the edges down tight. I breathe out and make a rusty stain on the white rag. “That was maybe the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done to me,” I joke.

I take another hit, and you wink at me – the big, broad, unexpected wink of someone who knows about my thing for winks – and I can’t laugh because my lungs are full of precious smoke. I grab the washcloth and push my breath through it, along with a rush of pent-up giggles. “Oh, you were trying not to laugh out the weed,” you realize. “I thought it seemed strange that you didn’t react to my winking. That never happens.” My whole body, my whole brain, wants to hug you and kiss you and suck your dick. C’mere, loverboy.

Minutes later, in our big hotel bed, I’m on my back with my legs spread wide and you’re sitting cross-legged between them, like my vulva is a movie you’ve been dying to see. You slide the S-Curve into me while I snuggle my Tango up against my clit. Despite having come twice already today and being, traditionally, a one-and-done kind of girl (a one-hitter, you might say!), I feel an orgasm building almost immediately. Be it the comfortable environment, the familiar partner, the excellent toys, or the weed, I don’t know. And I don’t really care to analyze it.

You push the toy’s rounded glass tip against my A-spot hard and I fall apart completely, an orgasm bursting through me and extinguishing all thoughts. The combo of climactic incoherence and marijuana incoherence is a funny one. I want you to keep fucking me, harder and faster, all the way through my orgasm, but instead I’m just shouting, “Aaaahhh, I want, I want,” and “M-m-please-m-m-moooore.”

You indeed keep fucking me, but also, you bark, “English!” The frustration in your tone seems to extend my orgasm, to stretch it out like taffy. But this command also jolts me just enough that I can collect my wits. “Harder, please,” I clarify, in perfect English, and you give me what I want.

Sometimes, when I’m in my head and struggling to come, you tell me to fantasize about whatever I want.

It’s a remarkably generous offer. Most people want you to focus on them, and them alone, while they’re fucking you. They want your eyes open and affixed on theirs. They want to do you so right, they blow your other thoughts away.

But this ignores, for many of us, how our sex-brains work. I can think you’re gorgeous and still need to picture someone else to get me over the edge. I can love what we’re doing, but get even more turned on when I think of us doing something else. I can adore you the way you are, but still envision a different version of you when I’m on the brink and I need something extra to get me there.

Tonight, in my bed, we are high, and you are fucking me, and I am close, and you say it. “You just relax and think about whatever you need to think about.” Your voice, as always, is steady and calm. And generous. So generous.

My mind moves in hazy kaleidoscopic shapes, searching for that one image or phrase that will get the job done. I see spirals of light, blinding sunsets, scenes from another dimension. But beyond all that, what I come back to is you. A different type of you, an alternate-reality version of you, but you, nonetheless.

“Be a good girl and come for me, princess,” the you of my fantasies mutters as you never will. And I come so hard, it clears the smoke from the rafters of my brain.

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.

What’s in a Name?

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“What do you want?”

He’s got me backed up against a fence, in one of the many residential alleys that crisscross through the Annex. The fence is painted bright turquoise, and it must make a beautiful backdrop for this foreground: a pale and blushing babe in a blue dress. Me.

His hand is on my ass. He knows what I want, but he’s still gonna make me say it. “I want you to spank me, sir,” I choke out, his lips so close to mine that he must feel my words as much as he hears them.

He chuckles. I can tell he likes it when I call him that. “I don’t have a name for you yet,” he replies, like this only just occurred to him.

I am more than prepared for this eventuality. “I like to be ‘princess,’ or ‘little one,’ or ‘babygirl,'” I list off. These names are well-traversed in my life, but they still feel fresh and important. They’re heavy on my tongue and hot in my ears.

“Okay, princess,” he says with a dark smile. “You gonna be a good girl for me?”


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“Princess” was my first kink honorific, the first name I remember loving being called. A dominant fuckbuddy casually mentioned it one day while we were discussing my burgeoning DD/lg kink. It felt right to me when he said it, in the same way it felt right when I discovered other words that describe me, like “femme,” “queer,” and “submissive.” I sexually identify as a princess.

Not a literal princess, you understand. I don’t have a kingdom to rule over, royal subjects, a family of other monarchs. I am a princess in the way that Veruca Salt and Angelica Pickles are princesses: a treasured and perhaps slightly spoiled little girl whose daddy unflinchingly loves her and dotes on her. A dainty little thing, with a bratty streak that comes out when provoked or challenged. A precious but ultimately powerless little gem of a person, revered but not really respected. I’m that kind of princess.

Though I’m enamored with the “Daddy Dom/little girl” dynamic, I almost never call partners “daddy.” It feels wrong to me, and not just because it’s taboo. I’ve never used that word with my actual dad either; it feels babyish and saccharine in a way I don’t particularly enjoy. I don’t say that to shame anybody’s kinks; if you like that word, that’s fine and good for you! But for myself, I gravitate more toward “sir.” It communicates what I want it to, without making me cringe. And, if I’m honest, calling partners that makes me suuuuuper wet.

“Little one” was introduced to me by the aforementioned dom fuckbuddy, too. He dropped it into our dialogue mid-fuck one day and my reaction far surpassed what I could have predicted. He was the exact same height as me, probably even weighed less than me, and yet, with those two simple words, he made me feel inescapably smaller than him. Diminutive and defenseless. A mere insect under his boot heel.

My relationship with this title is fraught with guilt, because I worry it’s related to patriarchal size-shaming. I’m a chubby lady so maybe it makes me feel better – sexier – to be literally told that I am small. But I don’t think that’s the whole story. Smallness is associated with traditional femininity, sure, but it’s also connected to powerlessness, a state of being that I eroticize deeply. When someone calls me “little one” and I get wetter and hotter, I think it’s more about the condescension and coddling than the physical littleness being evoked.

“Babygirl” is more ambiguous. Vanilla partners call me “baby” sometimes; it’s a common epithet, in this world of Biebers and Backstreet Boys. But there’s patriarchy baked right into it: this name infantilizes its subject in the most literal sense. My inner feminist struggles to accept my affinity for being called patronizing names. My inner sex-positive feminist, however, knows it’s okay for me to like whatever I like, as long as I don’t replicate those power injustices in my actual life.

Names, labels, identities: these things are important, regardless of what the “Labels don’t matter!” crowd says. Labels help us organize ourselves, understand ourselves, understand who we’re attracted to and what we want. Not to mention, they can be really fucking hot.

One night I was at a party, and several people were sporting tiaras. A domly friend of mine made a paper crown for Bex, since their gender identity isn’t always tiara-friendly. “How is the king?” he asked Bex later, when their makeshift crown was atop their head. And then, looking at me: “And the queen?”

“She’s not a queen, she’s a princess,” Bex retorted, before I could even respond. And they were right.