I’d been talking to a friend the other day. She has been dating and looking for a kinky partner. Although she is a switch, though it is not important to her that a partner would satisfy this.
She recently met a guy she really liked. Turned out he was into sissy play, which was not a dealbreaker for her. But they didn’t last very long.
The problem was that she found him exhausting. That meetings and interactions with him left her feeling drained and tired. That, of course, she was very happy to help him explore sissy play, but largely that’s all that conversations were.
If she tried to talk about her own wants or interests, the conversation would quickly spin back to sissy play.
She’d been aware at how frustrating guys found it if someone they’d been talking to suddenly asked for money or any form of payment, but one day she was cooking dinner emotionally drained by him she had this thought of, “you know, if he’d at least took me out for dinner I’d be less tired”.
I don’t believe that he deliberately tried to leave her drained and exhausted, but certainly that was what he did, and it quickly ended any prospective relationship.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated example. It’s also not exclusive to F/m or to male subs, but I’m sure we’d all benefit from leaving people pleased for seeing, chatting or dealing with us, than drained from it.
If you’ve seen ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ you would be familiar with Colin Robinson, who is an ‘energy vampire’. While he deliberately drains people using assorted techniques, there are a lot of people who do so unwittingly.
My points mostly follow a benefit-of-the-doubt. Sadly, there are people who exhibit some of this behaviour deliberately (points which do get touched on later) but this is based on behaviours to avoid if you are unwittingly draining your friends, prospective partners or Dominant.
THINGS TO AVOID
Asking Questions That Could Be Answered Independently
Especially true for anything which involves a long answer. But, if the answer is on someone’s profile, or website, then this is an example of that.
Of course, if you’re out for a coffee then you might not be able to memorise every aspect of someone’s profile, but it would ask questions on if you’d really read it if you ask repeated questions that are already answered.
The same can be true on forums that it’s always worth scrolling back to see if the same or similar questions have been asked, else you might find a lot of people find it tiring answering the same questions from folk too lazy to scroll a page or two or use any form of ‘search’.
Turning Conversations To Be All About You
Of course, it’s extremely important to raise your wants, likes and needs with friends and partners. However, this shouldn’t be at the expense of discussions about what the other person likes.
This can even be in other forms of controlling the conversation to topics that interest you, rather than mutual interests or of course listening to what the other person has to say.
I know particularly in assorted Pro-arrangements it may not be acceptable to ask personal questions. However, conversations shouldn’t all be about you.
Expecting the Other Person To Carry the Conversation
This seems contrary to the previous point. This is a big problem online, but not exempt in real life circumstances.
There’s topics that come up on many forums about guys who don’t get a response to messages. Now, I know even the best of messages isn’t certain of a response. But a lot of these are just “Hey”, “How are you?”, “What’s up?”, “Want to chat?”, so on.
The problem with most of these is that while they seem like a good way to start conversations, they rarely get any better.
My DomesticFemdom account on Fetlife, for some reason I try to reply most messages. And certainly, any which start “Want to chat?” a reply of “About what?” is met either with silence, or “what would you like to talk about” or cutting straight to “I want to be you sub” (a sure-fire sign they haven’t read that profile).
In each of these cases the burden of conversation is placed on me. I am now expected to put the work and effort into maintaining a conversation I didn’t want to have in the first place.
And particularly for women that have given a benefit of the doubt and replied to these messages, if it doesn’t descend immediately to the sexual or “I wanna be your sub” it ends up in cyclic conversations, “How are you?”, “How has your day been?”, “What you up to?” (Talking to you, dumbass) and it’s a small talk Hell which is exhausting. Eventually the person stops responding, and then the original sender cries about being ghosted or whatever.
Dumping Problems onto someone
There are big differences between asking for help, venting, and taking your problems to someone else to take on.
This doesn’t mean to be on your own with problems. But expecting others to take responsibility for finding solutions and solving them, without making your own changes can become overwhelming.
While ‘playing to be punished’ can be a common form of attention seeking. It’s not the only one.
So, deliberately messing up a task means the other person must take time to ‘punish’ you or spend time telling you that you did this wrong. And the task still needs doing.
Any form of other acting up in any setting so that someone must take someone to one side and spend time and energy on them.
However, some seemingly positive behaviour could also be attention seeking. Drawing attention to things you’ve done for a reaction above what is reasonable, or assorted lovebombing.
For example, sending someone a small gift each week so they feel they are obliged to contact you each week.
EEK, THAT’S ME
I possibly wouldn’t worry too much if you have exhibited some of the above traits. Many are human nature and are fine and natural in moderation especially with someone you are close with.
It may be that you are becoming a little much for someone if they are setting fresh boundaries or seeming cold and distant. But it could also be that they have other priorities at that second and is nothing you have done.
If in doubt, then why not ask.
Equally, going back to my very first example, if someone has been spending a lot of time helping you, supporting you, investing emotionally in you… then, maybe a small gift they would appreciate would go a long way?
But certainly, if you do feel someone is avoiding you, it’s best to reach out then to try to overcompensate efforts. I appreciate this seems to go against the “try harder for me attention” posts that ladies make, but seriously that is terrible advice if it’s someone you have some form of rapport with.
WHAT IF SOMEONE IS DOING IT TO YOU?
It might be tempting to give someone the benefit of the doubt that this is not intentional behaviour. Sadly, in some cases it is deliberate. For example, people arguing in bad faith or deliberately acting up for attention.
The context also depends on how well you know them.
Avoid or Blank Them
If it is a colleague, acquaintance, a friend of a friend, so on. You don’t have to deal with them.
You don’t owe them even a courtesy response to their messages.
If they are a client, then you don’t need to give them a second over the agreed booking time.
If it’s someone you see at events, tell them you’re too busy or too tired for their conversations. Walk away.
Sometimes this is easier said than done. But any form of ‘out’ here is worth taking.
While, no, you don’t owe anything to anyone. If it is a friend, sub, whatever and you don’t think they’re deliberately trying to drain you then a first port of call could be to tell them the behaviours you would like them to stop. Perhaps with a suggested alternative.
This could also be telling them that you need to draw new boundaries, or that you need some form of break.
Again, you don’t owe them that. However, if it is someone genuinely unaware to what they are doing, there is a risk they will try to overcompensate for your attention.
Like in the above “try harder for my attention” example, this is what they may think they have to do and exhibit the wrong behaviour types.
Even if someone is a friend, or someone close, there are still boundaries you can set. Look at how and where they encroach your time or energy and start there.
You can set time limits on social time, or limit interactions. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to leave messages on read.
You can also deflect certain topics. If you feel you’ve given them advice previously, they’re not taking, do not give them advice.
Refer to specialists
There are so many possible problems, but most have a specialist you can suggest they contact.
Obviously, there is the increasing rise of living expenses in the UK. I imagine this is going to lead a lot of people to worry about money. There is a big difference between offering a sympathetic ear and feel like you must solve their money worries (especially as you’re unlikely to be immune).
(It also may be that you can, or want to help them, but this shouldn’t be at the expense of your own wellbeing).
You can still cut out anyone
Friendships, relationships, are supposed to be enjoyable. If it leaves you drained, with no sign things will improve despite prior efforts, then you must put yourself first.
The context can depend on the nature of the relationship but anything from a break to a break-up, could be sadly needed.