M sometimes calls me a slut, and she seems to be under the impression that I have dated and/or had sex with many women. I have to laugh at this; nothing could be further from the truth.

Once I made up my mind to leave behind the world of BDSM, I was left adrift, trying to figure out how to live separately from the rest of the world with my dark, twisted thoughts.

One option was to simply live alone and deal with it, and I have tried this a few times. I would try to express my sexuality by wearing cock rings for example, and wearing a chastity cage in the home. I have sometimes thought I could write a book for men on how to have a completely private, solo sex life. This lifestyle had the advantage of keeping my secret as safe as possible.

But my sex drive is still very strong, and I get terribly lonely, and I kept holding out hope that I could find someone that I could feel safe with. So, how could I go about that?

I decided to seek out "vanilla" aka normal women, and gradually explain my desires, to see if they are open to it. This seemed easier than trying to find a woman in the BDSM community, where there are many submissive men competing for the attention of a few women, and where everyone has that weird BDSM baggage. (And so many "dominant women" are just prostitutes, and/or, not actually dominant.) Vanilla women would also come with their own inaccurate preconceptions of what I was describing, but at least they might be open to learning a different way.

This necessitated several, very large changes in my thinking and behavior. First, to find what I was looking for, I needed to cast a large net, and go on as many dates as I could, which was initially very hard for me. I have never dated much until the last few years. I have spent most of my life alone, and before internet dating, dating seemed like it wasn’t even an option for me, because of my shyness.

It was hard at first. I would be so apprehensive before dates, it would fill me with dread, make me feel queasy, and I was tempted to flake out. But I felt like I was running out of time in my life to find someone, and so I forced myself to go out. Over time, I began to enjoy the dates, even if I knew there wouldn’t be a second one. For the first time in my life, I was able to just enjoy dating even if it was clear that a relationship was not going to develop. I even began to change my apprehension to excitement. After all, I would be spending the evening doing something fun with a woman! There is really no downside to that.

It also meant that I learn some basic social skills in mid-life that most people learn in junior high. I had to overcome my crippling shyness, and even though its still very strong, I have been able to compensate for it, and appear a little less awkward. I can sometimes even muster the energy to appear confident and outgoing for a short time. And if I am still awkward, I acknowledge it to diffuse it. And after all, a dominant woman might find shyness and awkwardness endearing, or so my thinking went. It would certainly show her what easy prey I am.

And of course, it meant that I would have to reveal my secret, which I had never done in any "normal" relationship or dating situation before. I would have to confront my greatest fear: that my secret would be exposed. But this task would have to be done at some point, for better or worse. I usually try to ease into it, and gauge their reactions. I pull back at the first sign of resistance, to maintain some plausible deniability. Then, if they are open to it, and I feel I may be able to trust them, I have to get past their preconceptions (that I like physical pain, being spanked, have a foot fetish, things like that) and start to take them on a journey into darkness. So far, nobody has betrayed my secret, but its a constant risk I am forced to take.

So, through this process, I would typically go on one or two dates a month, which added up over time. When I tell women about this, they are usually disgusted by my "sluttiness" even though I am not intimate with most of these women. I understand that reaction, but its what I must do. And besides, I commonly see women who go on multiple dates each week with different men. I think this is a double-standard our society has: its more acceptable for women to be promiscuous than men. But then, this makes sense, as women typically have many more opportunities to date and have sex than men do.

I used services like OKCupid and Tinder, and tried to speak in a code that I hoped the right women would hear. I would say that I like women that are "confident," "strong," maybe even say "sexually adventurous". Although I have to admit that I don’t know that this ever really worked as I imagined it would. I have actually had several women tell me that from my profile, I look dominant! I suppose that’s largely because of my facial hair, which I intentionally grew to appear older and more dominant for my professional life. Its part of my public mask hiding my secret.

I also became very good at reading between the lines on some women’s profiles. It was an intuition based on something they said, or some glimmer of something in their photographs. With some of these women, I brought out my secret early on in our discussions, usually starting very mild, saying I liked "aggressive" women, and based on the response, I might stop there or press ahead. Some women I ruled out early on because they indicated they were submissive, and I had to be honest and say that I was too, and leave it at that. Other women, I would date and slowly reveal myself to them over time.

I have had some success with this approach, in that I have found several women in recent years who at least entertained the possibility of something like a Female Led Relationship. Its admittedly an unusual idea and it takes them some time to get used to. And when I meet a woman who is willing to enter the darkness with me, I still have to assure her that its OK to cheat on me, betray me, hit me, etc., because we are taught that these things are bad and its hard to overcome those ideas.

This is how I approached M. Something about her profile, her photos, indicated to me that she might have a dominant personality. I was unusually bold with her, telling her that I was submissive in our first exchange of texts. She responded positively and wanted to know more, and so slowly, I began to reveal my true nature to her.

I am hopeful about M. I think she is starting to understand me. I still worry that I will change her for the worse. Time will tell.

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