Hello – I’ve been at a bit of a distance from kinky communities but reached a crossroads in my personal life where I’m potentially keen on looking back into it again. I find it really difficult to convince myself that there is a top for me out there that’s interested in playing without physical pain – I really do not get any enjoyment out of it past really low levels and I am self conscious about being perceived as boring or prudish. Is there a big like-minded niche for this, that you know of?


Hi, anon!

Popular culture and common representation would have you believe that all submissives are into pain.

As is usually the case, though, the reality doesn’t match the popular belief.

In my decade-plus as a kinkster, I have met almost as many submissives who were into little-to-no pain as I have submissives who enjoyed a good deal of it.

Many submissives don’t want more than a light spanking.

Many submissives only enjoy restraint but no pain at all.

Many submissives are “everywhere but the bedroom” submissives, in that they enjoy the structure and the rules and having a dominant partner, but do not enjoy typical sexually submissive play in the bedroom.

And many, many dominants out there are perfectly happy to accommodate all of this. I know plenty of doms who could take or leave pain play, only being into it because their partner enjoys it but not of their own accord. I know plenty of doms who are uncomfortable with pain play altogether, even if their partner is into it.

To answer your question: yes, there are plenty of folks who want what you want, and it’s more than just a small niche. All you have to do is be straightforward about your wants and your limits and I promise you’ll find a more than willing partner.

Best of luck on your path, anon!


I just love @toodomforyou.  If you’re serious about BDSM in general and D/S in particular you should love them too.  First because they snark the owl whiz out of wannabe Doms and faux Daddies, but second because they offer pretty good reality checks.  Like the one I’m reposting here!

I’ll just take a moment to recap the old maxim that BDSM is an alphabet of kink – B&D, D/S, S&M, Slave/Master, etc. – and not a unitary thing.  Sometimes they overlap, sure.  Other times not so much.

Specifically, relevant to the original Anon’s ask!

  • A Submissive may or may not also be a masochist!
  • A masochist may safeword, laugh in your face, and walk out if you try and dominate them.
  • A Daddy isn’t necessarily a Dom (me, for instance)
  • A Dom or non-Dom Daddy might also be a sadist (also me, with a masochistic partner.)
  • Someone who likes to spank you may not be a Dom
  • Someone who likes to Dominate you may have zero interest in spanking you

Like I say, “BDSM” is an alphabet for a whole palette of kinks, not a one-size-fits-all label.  

Confusing these very different and only sometimes-overlapping leads to all manner of frustration, surprise, anger, and shot-to-hell reputations.

Communicate first, play second.