So here’s a thing. Sometimes I get FL messages from people – almost all of whom are male-identified[1] – who I don’t know, who open with something like “Hello, Mistress”, or similar.
I have NO IDEA (ahaha) whether male-identified dominants get unsolicited “Hello Master” messages from female-identified subs with any degree of frequency or regularity (although I can sure-as-fuck hazard a seriously educated guess), so this is a post talking 100% about approaching dominant (or, hell, NOT dominant) women on fetlife.
See… I think “Hello, Mistress” is probably supposed to be polite.
More accurately, while I’m pretty sure the majority of people who send me this message don’t actually give a shit about “polite” because, if they did, they’d be not contacting me in the first place, as per my very clearly stated expectations(see footnote [1]), but I’d also like to hope that at least some of the people who send messages like that, to anybody, are trying to be polite, trying to be respectful of someone’s identification as a dominant woman, and are sincerely hoping to interact with the woman they’ve just tried to engage.
The thing is… trying to be polite doesn’t really cut it, and “Hello, Mistress” isn’t actually polite unless the adressee has the words “You will address me as Mistress” written explicitely in their profile[2].
So here I am, wanting to explain the reason why it isn’t polite.
Have you ever been at a bar (or a bus stop, or a grocery store, or wherever) and seen a stranger go up to someone and address her[3] as “Hey, sweetheart” or some other term of endearment (“baby”, “honey”, “shorty”, etc) that is completely inapropriate due to the fact that they don’t know her at all?
You know how that’s creepy and entitled and presumptouous and, therefore, incredibly off-putting and gross?
This is the same thing.[4]
When you greet a stranger with “Hello, Mistress”, what you’re actually saying to her is “I’ve already slotted you into X position in my life, and I don’t care whether or not you’re okay with that. Your agency and desire are irrelevant to me.”
Which, clearly, is an incredibly shitty way to talk to someone, especially if you’re actual goal is to be polite and respectful.
So. I’m going to take a page from Captain Awkward, and offer y’all a (completely, 100% unsolicited, I realize) script for How to Approach Someone on Fetlife.
Caveate: You can’t control other people’s responses. While using language to try and manipulate someone into giving you what you want express your desires and make your case for wanting them fulfilled is totally normal and human, it’s also not actually guaranteed to work. None the less, treating someone as a unique individual with agency, autonomy, and desires of her own… that’s not gonna hurt your chances.
“Hi, [person’s name],
I saw on your profile that you’re into X, Y, and Z. I’ve been curious about Y and Z [for a long time / since I took a recent workshop & decided I wanted to know more / since reading that scene in Kushiel’s Dart / etc] and I’m wondering if you’d be interested in [talking about it / answering some questions / negotiating a scene] with me.
If you are, please feel free to get in touch. Also, if there’s a particular way you’d like me to address you, please let me know what it is.
Hoping to hear from you soon,
[Your Name Here]”
Now, I do have to admit to a bit of a bias here. The only person who has ever approached me like this? Reader, I married her. So clearly this works for me.
Regardless, there you have it. A handy script that is respectful, shows you’ve done rather more than just looked at someone’s sexy, sexy profile pictures, and suggests that you have some kinky interests in common, while also leaving the door open in case someone you approach actually would appreciate it if you called them Mistress during negotiations.
Modify as necessary, and best of luck. 🙂
Ms Syren.
[1] My FL profile says “dudes need not apply”, in an effort to cull the flow of random strangers propositioning me. I think it’s telling, and also upsetting, that damn near every woman I know who has an FL account ALSO has that disclaimer right at the top of their profile. I also think it’s telling, and even more upsetting, that there are still so many dudes who flat-out ignore that boundary and proposition us anyway. It’s fucking RUDE. Stop doing it!
[2] In which case chances are good that the Mistress in question (A) is a professional, in which case she’s here to find clients, not lovers, and you will be expected to pay for her services; OR (B) is potentially Lady Dommely-Domme (they do happen, occasionally) and… probably won’t be all that much fun to spend your time with. Just sayin’.
[3] Because we’re talking about “Hello Mistress” here.
[4] Yes, if their FL name is something like “Mistress Serengeti”, that’s different. Saying “Hello, Mistress Serengeti” is like saying “Hello, Josephine“. It’s someone’s name. That’s fine.