Most of us can identify to some extent with these memes in the heading. Long periods of time in adulthood without regular sex with another person can be difficult. We get lonely, angry, and depressed. It can take a toll on your self-esteem and your self worth.
Being sad about being single and not having sex happens for vanilla and kinky folks alike. Masturbation can take the edge off some sexual desires (and I recommend a few toys here). But there is little I have ever found that works help with the desire for power exchange or most kinky play.
There is a scene in The Secretary where after Maggy Gyllenhall’s character is dumped by her dominant. She is in her bathroom and tries to spank herself with a hairbrush. The level of desire and the frustration when self-spanking doesn’t work is palpable. Most of us subby types feel that at some point when we have been single too long.
So… what is a subby type to do when we are single for a long stretch and have a desire for power exchange or kinky play?
Explore Your Own Submission
The truism that everyone should get comfortable being alone is a pretty spot on. Most of us have not spent a lot of time by ourselves and getting comfortable being alone. For many folks, the idea of an entire weekend alone with nothing to do is actually pretty terrifying. Most of us try to fill that time by binge-watching television and movies, becoming absorbed into social media, or engaging in as many tasks as possible just so we don’t have to sit and be quite with our own thoughts.
When you are single for a period of time, take advantage of that to explore your own submission without the presence of a partner directing or shaping what you think about your practices. How do you do this?
Read. My go-to for learning is reading. There are thousands of great books and blogs out there about kink and submission. Read what different people think and about what they suggest for practices. Read erotica. Figure out what you find really hot. And I should probably plug my own workbook for submissives (you can buy it here).
Go to munches. Munches, or socialmeet-up groups for kinky folks, are a great way to meet people and connect with the community. You don’t have to go with any intention of meeting someone to date. Just go and hang out with other kinky folks. We have some great people in the community. Plus, you have the added benefit of connecting with people you might want to play with at some point.
Practice service. Service is a big part of many submissives identity and rituals. You don’t have to engage in sexual or kinky service to get the joy that comes with serving. You can help other people. Volunteer for a charity. Have a coffee with someone who wants to pick your brain about a career. Make dinner for your friends who are new parents and drop it off. There are plenty of ways to serve other people that don’t involve kink but will bring you the satisfaction that comes with service.
Journal. Writing can help you clarify ideas and desires. Take a few minutes on a regular basis to jot down thoughts about submission, about what you want from a relationship, about the values and desires you have for a partner. Getting this out on paper will help you be better prepared for your next relationship. Here are a few tips in case you hate writing.
In case you think I am just blowing smoke, I actually did all this after my divorce. When my ex-wife and I split up I was a mess. One of the only things I knew for sure was that I would be a total wreck if I dated someone immediately after she and I separated. I took 18 months where I did all of the above and didn’t even think about dating. Yeah… no sex and not having a partner sucked. But I think what I learned in that time helped me deal with a bunch of my own crap and made me a better partner in the future.
Pick Up Play
Pick up play involves going to a play event at a dungeon or other playspace, meeting a partner there, and having a scene. Its the kink version of a one-night stand.
I honestly and the wrong person to ask about pick-up play. I need more of a connection and established relationship to get something out of kink play than I can establish at an event. Luckily there are people who are really good at this! Shay and Stephanos teach about pick up play both at conferences and have articles online. So check them out for tips and ideas on the best way to do safe pick up play.
Hire a Pro
Seriously. I know a bunch of you just had car tires screech in your head at the idea of hiring a pro Dom(me). Most of us don’t think of ourselves as the type of people who would pay a professional for sex. There are a lot of upsides to hiring a pro.
First, good pros will correspond with you to figure out what your needs and expectations are for a scene. They are also screening you to see if you are a good fit for their skills and their personality. The benefit of working with a pro is this is what they do for a job and many are really good at it. It is very likely you will get the scene you want out of the encounter.
Second, a pro is way safer than hooking up with some rando you met on a dating site who claims to be a d-type but your only screening is via online chat. You… unlike a pro Dom(me), are not a pro at screening out creepy folks online. There are a ton of creepy folks out there claiming to be D-types who are either inexperienced and likely to either violate boundaries or hurt you because they don’t know what they are doing, or are abusive folks hiding behind D/s. Going to a reputable pro will reduce the creepiness factor at least 10-fold.
Third, pro’s practice their skills. These are folks who train and practice kinky things like bondage, flogging, whipping, kicking, and CBT. They have the skills. They have the equipment. They have the knowledge.
Forth. This is probably the most important: Pro’s are trained in consent and negotiation. They respect boundaries. If you tell them your hard limits, they will respect those limits. They know what questions to ask to make sure you both are safe and enjoy the experience.
Finally, most of them are pretty cool people. I have worked with and socialize with a bunch of pro Dom(me)s. Overall they are some of the smartest, most thoughtful and socially conscious folks I know.
Remember Your Own Value
One of the hardest things about being a single sub for an extended period of time is that we tend to get down on ourselves. Without an intimate partner telling us we are a “good girl” or a “great little slut” or just “I love you” it can be hard to feel valuable and lovable. It can be really hard to feel great about who you are if it is not being reflected back to you. Loneliness sucks. I’m not going to lie.
One thing you can do, and it will sound cheesy to many of you, is to create a self-gratitude log. Get a notebook or start a document on a computer or your phone. Every day enter two things you like about yourself. Some days this will be easy, other days it will be really hard. But reminding yourself of the good stuff in you makes being single a little easier.
Single may not always be easy. There are good things that come out of this though. Getting comfortable with yourself and refining how you think about your own D/s will prepare you for what comes next!