I’ve been told on more than one occasion…
‘Wow you have really high standards.’ or ‘Maybe your standards are too high.’
The thing is, I don’t believe in having “too high standards”. I believe in unrealistic standards – they can be high, low, or just shit.
Over the years in my search for a submissive/slave and partners I had the opportunity to play with so many great (and not so great) people. This directly helped me carve out my standards. When some people think of relationship standards, they jump straight to ‘the list’ of things they want in a partner and maybe even some old clichés that are desired.
Personally, I’m looking for someone that suits me. That means: intelligent, loyal, ambitious, open-minded, classy, and with charm wrapped within their similar sense of humor. This is my “list”.
But, the list of attributes you want in a partner is not the same as the standards you set for a dynamic or relationship. These standards are a reflection of the standards you are really setting for yourself. They silently say what you think you are worthy of when looking for something meaningful.
Having standards in your connections actually has a positive effect in overall relationship satisfaction. That doesn’t mean having ‘too high‘ of standards can have the reverse effect. What it does mean though is, if you are not setting the bar at all, you will always prevent yourself from receiving the type of connection you negotiate through your actions. And when you don’t have standards for yourself and those we want to engage – it means you assign your happiness as the responsibility of others.
High standards is not high maintenance
First let me be clear, having high standards is NOT the same as being high maintenance. One implies the expectation of being consumed by the value, aesthetic, materialistic, and emotional requirements needed. It presents itself as being non-consensually demanding. The other implies the focus will be on values, dignity, morals, and of course, self worth as being heavily valued over the latter.
High maintenance: You expect a submissive to give up the majority of his time to you, while spending his energy and money to make you happy.
High standards: You seek a submissive who willingly wants to devote his time and energy to you.
I promise you, there’s a clear, yet undervalued difference in these two examples. We all have different perspectives on what we consider high maintenance or high standards. Wondering if you or someone you know is high maintenance? I apply the label of being high maintenance to someone if, you/them exhibits behavior patterns that might be considered toxic, you/them may likely have a set of superficial expectations (yep, be honest with yourself), material and emotional demands that you/them are wanting and expected to be met by the partner. This is usually served with a big dose of expecting more and giving much less.
Not convinced? Here are some more examples of being high maintenance:
Some common things I see are…
- Focusing on how much money a submissive makes and can give you
- Acting superior to others (outside of consensual kink)
- Playing the victim role often ‘I can’t believe ____ did that me, after all the times I let him do my home repairs.’
- Confusing arrogance and insecurity with dominance and self respect
- Having a life that revolves around your appearance/brand/reputation more than integrity and moral
- Material things being a leading dictator of your happiness, personal fulfillment, or focus of life
- Often the respect you expect from others does not meet or exceed the respect you show others
- Consistently in a purposefully negative mindset
- Lacking accountability for your own decisions and actions
- Extremely sensitive to challenges, setbacks, constructive criticism, or friendly feedback
These are obviously some generalizations but my point remains the same: these can attribute to being high maintenance, and the definition can and will, differ from person to person.
Self care is not high maintenance
Do you enjoy the finer things in life (as far as how much you spend to suit your lifestyle)? Like to treat yourself to regular mani/pedis and spa days with deep-tissue massages, try 5-star hotels and matching meals? That’s okay, these things do not make you high maintenance (Psst…these are all things I do and don’t consider myself high maintenance since I am doing them for myself).
Why am I pointing this out? I’ve noticed a disturbing trend when searching for partners/submissives women, like myself, are being falsely accused of being “high maintenance”, when in fact we are not. Sorry boys. Don’t shame others for their forms of self care. This can wear and tear on someone’s sense of deserving and self-worth. I want to reaffirm that in order for a Femdom to have any chance of success in her dynamics and connections, she must uphold high standards in relationships. As well as understand what it means to have them and why they are crucial to finding and maintaining fulfilling connections.
*Ahem* Okay, now with that out of the way…
My high standards (and maybe yours too)
Everyone has varying expectations within a dynamic and connections and what we look for in others. However, I have my list of three must have kinky (relationship) standards that I think you should be setting before sharing your energy anyone.
1. Must be independent
I know it sounds funny to name this as one of my standards when looking for an obedient toy but I take great pleasure in knowing that those who serve me are just as fiercely independent as I am. Does the idea of independent s-type make you uneasy? You might want to question why that is. What do you gain/thrive on from someone who may be in a position of neediness and/or inability to think/care for themselves? I often find the abusers of power in the D/s world share the common symptom of not wanting an s-type who can stand up and for themselves when needed.
Beyond that I have to determine what type of person can offer me the stellar service I seek if he lacks motivation, stability, basic transportation, or direction to lead himself in the absence of a power as great as mine. I often believe that how someone is currently living is a good representation of how they tend to be in the long run. Think carefully because a Mistress can only change so much…
Obviously circumstances change and everyone goes through hardships. I try to weigh what seems temporary versus what appears longstanding. I don’t want to end up supporting my s-type if he thinks he never needs to work a day in his pathetic life. And on the flipside, maybe the s-type “has it all” but still isn’t really independent in other ways, again this isn’t all about material things. Trust your gut.
2. Must follow through
OMFG! Nothing makes me want to spit fire in your stupid face more than anticipating something promised, envisioning said promise, getting ready for it, and then…nothing. Total let down. This is soul crushing and in my mind, hugely disrespectful. When a submissive tells me all the ways he’s going to cater to my whims and then when we get down to things he immediately refuses or subverts trying anything my way….what a Femdom boner kill.
I understand, once in a while you may overpromise and oversell yourself, we like to put our best foot forward. Sometimes you may make an ass of yourself. Maybe more so because I know my beauty will give you the deepest of brain fog, but please don’t make this type of thing a repeat occurrence. This is a standard that I won’t tolerate. I hold myself to a high degree of follow through, it’s normally why I’m face-to-face with someone new, and that’s why it really stings when someone can’t follow through for even simple things like a first time meeting. If someone is unreliable there’s no reason for you to have faith in the dynamic because you aren’t receiving the respect you’re looking for. It’s worst than a ruined orgasm because it affects you too! Walk away before you are walked on (and not in the fun sexy way).
3. I must feel safe with this person
Again, I know it might sound amusing to think of me, big ol’ d20domme-y domme, wanting to feel safe with the person I will be (hopefully) beating the shit out of at some point but…it’s *very* important. When I am engaging with someone through kink or D/s, we are exchanging energy, some sexual, some not, but energy all the same. Energy exchange is a powerful, great, heady feeling. I am being given an enormous amount of power (sometimes this still fucks with me) to “use” someone usually, with no exact prior knowledge to them of how.
This is a part of my play style. For me, the best scenes and play are 95% unscripted. You are expected to share your limits and boundaries and with consent I’ll go nuts in between those cute little fences. I’ll lean on those boundaries. Hell, I might even piss on them (literally!) but I will never cross them. And you’re trusting me to do exactly that. You are expecting that when I say, “I’ve never accidentally strangled someone to death but please please let me choke you until you turn blue, and then purple, and then…” that I’m actually telling the truth.
I need to be able to know I can trust you, to trust me with your life. I need to feel safe in that knowledge.
And that’s not even to mention that you’ll be seeing me, your Mistress, in some vulnerable positions: reaching on my tip-toes for a paddle, sweating like crazy during beat downs, giggling at my own handiwork, etc.
I’m entitled and that helps build standards
I believe we all deserve a healthy relationship, doubly so when it comes to D/s/ because some of what we do is considered dangerous mentally, emotionally, and physically. And it won’t matter how ‘safe, sane, and consensual‘ things are when things go wrong. However, this doesn’t mean I am seeking perfection.
I am not perfect and neither are you. We don’t need to be perfect to feel entitled to thoughtful, respectful treatment from quality individuals. If you are willing to put in the hard work, care, attention, honesty, and respect for a relationship and dynamic, aren’t you entitled to expect that in return? Entitlement in this way is one of the first steps of many to creating a worthy place to spend your energy. Once you feel you are deserving, you are then free to set and demand the standards you have for any relationship.
Some people have told me to get over myself, that my standards were/are ‘too high‘. And to that I say ‘Kindly, fuck, all the way off. Kthxbye.’ I have kept to my elusive “list” of my wants and standards for my partners over the years. That list combined with these three standards shared above, is my ideal perception of what/who I am attracted to.
One of the questions I get asked most is, ‘How did you find your submissive?‘ But there is no big secret. I really believe I manifested Puppy and him, I. Why? Because I refused to lower my apparently, “high” standards. And you should too!
Understand and calculate your worth
I know that I have a lot to offer someone – a lot of personal growth guidance through mutual respect, trust and thoughtful companionship. Not to mention I’m fun as hell, cordial to all, and sexy to boot. If you feel like this, there is nothing wrong with expecting that in return.
Everyone you meet will have some unknown factors, but you should be your most known factor, this self awareness will give you an edge in finding what’s meant for you. That’s why I heavily advocate for devoting as much time as possible to getting to know yourself and figuring out how you define your personal standards. Don’t hold back during this process, as you’ll only be cheating yourself, and don’t be discouraged if it gets messy or hard to deal with some of the things you uncover about yourself. (I hated admitting that I had a temper before I learned why). The end results will be worth any struggles. I like to also envision concisely the wonderfully fulfilling and kinky life I want to live, my partners, and the future I hope to build together through meditation. This is why determining my worth and using my standards to vet was integral to my success with relationships.
Time is a high commodity
I have multiple partners, a robust social life, kinky aspirations, a business to manage, and hobbies I love to pursue. My time is very fucking valuable, and isn’t something to be wasted. I saved myself a lot of time by not waiting around, learning and further evaluating my standpoint as to what I expected in my connections, and my high standards as I created the trusted template below.
If you feel like me, you know that you deserve someone who values you for you, shows you through words and actions they care, and has no trouble making you feel indispensable. When I feel like this is compromised, I take it as a clear indication that the right choice to disengage and move on needs to be made.
Do you need help getting started on your standards discovery process? Check out my worksheet – d20domme’s Trusted Template of Standards. (Free for use with credit to me, duh)
And remember…make no apologies for having high standards, sometimes their ceiling is just your floor.
Enlightening difference between High Maintenance and High Standards.
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