January 13, 2015

Nowhere Men: Thieves of Time (and How to Avoid Them)

By Marc Esadrian

beware-nowhere-men-fake-masters

Artwork ©Richard Hambleton

“—No! this face is only a mask,
A wicked ornament,
Illuminated by an exquisite grimace.
Look and see, atrociously contorted,
The real head, and the sincere face
Turned back under the shadow
Of the face which lies.”

—Charles Baudelaire

When the Internet started gaining critical mass in 1998, a new era had dawned upon human beings: for the first time in history, scores of people could link anonymously to each other through shared interests online and it was not long before the notion of finding mates through this portal was explored by the most daring of pioneers. At first, the idea of finding a significant other through a computer network was dismissed as the province of techies and cloistered social dysfunctionals. Fast-forwarding another decade would prove that stigma to be entirely removed. Within the span of a handful of years, Internet dating had not only shuffled off its disreputable image, but became the norm.

Today, people have access to a vast pool of potential suitors they would otherwise never have been able to reach with slow and short-ranged traditional methods. In the digital sphere, powerful search tools augment the predictive match of strangers online across a wide collection of matchmaking sites. The “science” of this matchmaking may not be all that provable, and, currently, the success rate is under pretty strong contention. One study claims that marriages resulting from online first-encounters are more successful than marriages that began in traditional offline venues.1 Yet another goes on to completely contradict that finding and determines that break-ups happen more frequently with online dating.2

Whatever the true success story of online courting turns out to be, the fact that that the Internet is widely used to find significant others is irrefutable in that it is so deeply embedded in our tech-laden culture. This is not to say that finding romantic interests online is easy, by any stretch of the imagination. The effort usually takes a tremendous amount of time and patience (if not money) while sifting through inactive member profiles and incompatible matches. Worst of all are the shady hoaxes and online romance scams one may encounter on slick matchmaking sites. To put that problem in a little more perspective, a British Study in 2012 estimated that 230,000 people were successfully duped by Internet predators feigning love interest, and the crimes, involving money in some shape or form, cost England nearly $60 billion a year.3 In America, digital romance scams have become so widespread that the FBI released a cautionary press report on the matter.4

Behind the safe comfort of a keyboard, a willing predator is endowed with the power to lie about anything, really. With the right combination of intensity and intelligence, a scammer can be fairly convincing to someone who might not be so inclined to double-check the facts.

While known challenges arise in the common arena of dating and mating online, the path for the woman with wants toward submission is even more daunting, for not only must she find a man that attracts her eye to begin with, but one who is compatible with her arguably “esoteric” interests. Most importantly, he must be authentic in that compatibility. I make a distinction between compatibility and authenticity, for in the world of online romance the two are not always together in the same person. One having studied well the psychology of his mark can easily exude the qualities necessary to seduce her in a faceless digital world. Behind the safe comfort of a keyboard, a willing predator is endowed with the power to lie about anything, really. With the right combination of intensity and intelligence, a scammer can be fairly convincing to someone who might not be so inclined to double-check the facts.

For many scammers dealing with ordinary women on ordinary dating sites, the motive to deceive is typically monetary. I might dare to say that most with a pinch of common sense can avoid falling victim to money scams predicated upon illusions of budding online relationships. The problem with the charlatan dominant male, however, is not so straightforward. What these men want is not money, but license to play in the voluminous sandbox that is your mind. Their pet objectives are psychological and the payoffs they receive from their deceptive craft are often unfathomable to an innocent person who takes things at face value.

So what causes men to lie about their interests in this way of life? To begin with, lying in and of itself isn’t particularly unusual in humans. Many animals engage in deceptive behavior, but only humans are predisposed to deceive both themselves and others, due primarily to that part of the mind called “self-esteem.” Put plainly, we often lie so that we look good to ourselves and to others.5 This creates double trouble with the matter of human honesty: the desire to look good to others and ourselves often initiates a little bit of truth bending from both directions and lays fertile groundwork for fibbing—even fibbing that is unconscious. This phenomenon is encouraged to excess in the anonymous realm of online relationships, where falsity is even more unbridled in the absence of face-to-face interaction. The online world is the playground and refuge of this absence, offering shelter from the stark and disappointing realities some tend to be living. A man trapped in a dead-end and gridlocked marriage, for instance, might have a very good reason to live vicariously online and thus escape the drabness of his “real life” while his “online life” becomes more and more psychologically rewarding. In order to escape, however, the escapee requires a canvas upon which he will paint his fantasies. The woman, unaware of the deceptive nature of the psychic parasite she has attracted, unwittingly becomes a host of his escapism. The ruse is a crutch and the impostor instigating it seldom has intent to bridge the world of fantasy to the world of the real, but his victim will often remain unaware of this for some time. To some extent, he might be unaware of how deceptive he’s being to himself.

But gross escapism may not be the only underlying culprit in the charlatan a woman may “meet” online. There is always the darker matter of willful, unadulterated sadism to consider, too, especially in circles that commonly attract such psychologies. The havoc a mental sadist can wreak upon the mind of his victim is vastly entertaining in and of itself—to him, at least. In this sense, online victimizing becomes somewhat of a virtual hobby for the fiendish and unscrupulous who actually get off on seeing their victims suffer and endure unendingly for the never-ending false intimacies they weave.

Beyond escaping a miserable marriage through fantasy play acting or entertaining sadistic tastes, some men may only be curious in the act of dominance from afar, for they know they don’t have the mettle to dominate and lead another human being in the real world past the “hot sex talk,” nor do they have any substantive interest in doing so. To them, online D/s relationships constitute little more than a game of role play, but taking it all to the “real world” would put them in way over their heads. Some may, after having created these intimacies online, not know how to terminate them, and so avoiding conflict perpetuates the lie all the more. Further still, secrecy may come from other personal foibles and nondisclosures that would be difficult to come clean with in the world of flesh and bone. Initial lies about true age, physical appearance, or the stigma of an extreme criminal past may keep an Internet predator—and subsequently his prey—stuck in online limbo.

 

Real-life Accounts of Being Had Online

Talia’s Story

I was very new to dominance and submission at the time, having left a long-term vanilla marriage and just then allowing myself to explore submissive yearnings for the first time. I wanted a real-life D/s relationship that would be heart-felt…a deep connection, something I didn’t have in my marriage. I put up a profile on Lavalife (mostly a vanilla dating site), explaining as best as I could what I was looking for, and was shortly after contacted by a man who called himself Zachary.

He said that he was an “experienced Dominant” who just ended a relationship of a few years and was looking for something real, too. I didn’t understand myself very well at the time and he always seemed one step ahead of me, seemingly knowing what I was yearning for even better than I did. He wanted to know all about my fantasies, my past history—he was doing his best to get into my head. At some point I asked why he can’t give me more information about himself and he said it was because he was in a sensitive profession…a child psychologist, and that he occasionally testified in court. He needed to trust me before he could divulge any more information than he had given me already. It kind of made sense, but who was going to trust who first?

Eventually, I told him I couldn’t continue with this, and even told him I was back with my old boyfriend. He said he understood, and would be there for me if I ever wanted to talk. I should have left it there, but the situation with my old boyfriend was rocky to say the least, and Zachary seemed so understanding. I felt his pull, and damn it, I got sucked in again.

What I was willing to give is real. It was all directed at the wrong person, granted, but I’m the real thing, even if he’s not.

I was suspicious of Zachary (and everyone I knew told me he had “married” written all over him), but I wanted to believe, for I so badly needed the domination. I told him that this time I wasn’t going to change my mind, that I was his if he still wanted me. He agreed to give it another try, but that I would have to prove my trustworthiness to him. For three months, our only contact was to be online. I was to have no contact with my past boyfriend. I was to write to him every night with the details of everything I had done that day. I was to read a story from Literotica.com and give him my reaction to it. I was to ask for permission to do anything “unusual” (like going out with friends), and I was to take naked pictures of myself and send them to him (in the exact poses he wanted). If I was successful in all that, then he would allow me into his life in a real way. I agreed to those terms.

The 3 month waiting period became six months and then nine months because I apparently didn’t do things well enough (he used guilt a lot). I can’t remember the details of how I failed to please him, but one time I hadn’t properly asked if I could visit my dad (who lives out of the country). It eventually dawned on me that he was just buying time…he had no intention of having our relationship become real-life. But even though I couldn’t trust him (the two remaining functioning brain cells I had told me that my friends were right and he was married), I couldn’t leave the relationship, either. I was in a mental hell. He “released” me after some nine months, telling me that he had decided to “travel the world in search of himself.” This was a blatant lie because I put up another profile on Lavalife and he contacted me, wanting the same sort of thing. I realized then, finally, that he was a serial online player.

I knew that people sometimes lie and cheat big-time in order to get what they want. But I knew this only intellectually. I had lived a sheltered life and had little experience with such things. It left me shaken and jaded over the BDSM world. I was ready to give it all up, having come to the conclusion that BDSM was filled with only liars, cheats, and players. I’m still not as trusting as I used to be and I hate being this way, but once you’ve tasted the bitter fruit of deception, it stays with you.

I’ve tried to find something positive in the experience, so that it’s not a total disaster. I did learn more about myself as a submissive. My cravings and feelings are real. What I was willing to give is real. It was all directed at the wrong person, granted, but I’m the real thing, even if he’s not. I knew, more than ever, that I had to live life as a slave to a good and authentic man.

The only piece of advice I could give other women would be to stay away from men who are always secretive about their lives. You have to know (and be able to verify) that they are who they say they are, eventually. Don’t feel that you’re being a bad submissive for insisting that they give you information about themselves. Don’t let them guilt you into keeping quiet about that for months on end. If you’re going to be in an intimate relationship, you have to know who it is you’re relating to…otherwise you’re just relating to someone you’re imagining, and what you have, in the end, is an imaginary relationship.

Nina’s Story

Several years ago I met a man on a BDSM personals board who seemed clearly dominant. It had been almost four years since my husband (who was also my master) had died. I was still in bad shape emotionally but something had finally changed. I felt ready to look for someone, finally. Michael answered my questions clearly and thoroughly. He liked my attitude and my interests. He was 16 years my junior and because of that I did test him a little with my questions, but his answers passed with flying colors. Very early in the exchange he asked me a series of very practical questions: what I did for a living, if I could find work elsewhere or do the same job from another part of the country, how long my lease was for and could I break it, that sort of thing. That felt very natural and promising to me: while we barely knew each other, it seemed both of us recognized who the other was and how hard it was to find others who were equally compatible.

He moved us to chat after a few email exchanges. And there it remained…for over two years. He established a few standard rules for me at the start which I obeyed. They were good ones: rules that establish control fast. Sleep times, small rituals, and orgasm control combined with an order to continue to arouse myself so I was constantly aroused, hungry, and needy. During the first few months we did share thoughts and engage in question-and-answer sessions. We even spoke on voice chat a little, but we never moved to phone calls in real life. He said he hated phone calls. He had a web cam at that time and a couple of times displayed himself to me and chatted with me during those times. I liked everything he did, but it tapered off. He also grew tired of meeting me on Second Life, a virtual world we interacted in. He introduced me to World of Warcraft, a huge multiplayer game that is also like a virtual world. We played a lot together, for many months but then he grew bored of that. I felt lonely when he left there. I could still talk to him in chat, but we did not talk in depth.

But you know, actions speak louder than words. He gave every sign that he just wasn’t that into me (except telling me that to my face) and I refused to see it. I preferred the romantic fantasy over seeing clearly what was actually happening.

The first winter I knew him he developed a terrible cold and his apartment lost power for a few days. He was out of touch with me for a couple of weeks. But he didn’t tell me—he just disappeared three months into the relationship. I thought he’d deserted me and just didn’t have the courage to say goodbye. He suddenly came back and assured me that was not the case. During a number of times over the two years I was in contact with Michael he’d tell me that he planned to meet me in a certain number of months or during a particular season, but it never happened. There was always an excuse: moving, changing jobs, getting a roommate, etc.

Each of the times these sorts of excuses came up I’d be deeply disappointed, talk to him about it, take a deep breath, and get over it. But October of the second year was the worst incident: the straw that began the drawn out break of the camel’s back. I misunderstood something. He told me he was going to come see me soon but that he would not tell me when because he wanted it to be a surprise. I thought he meant real life. It turned out that he meant on Second Life. When I found out there would be no visit then and probably not until  after the winter holidays, I was crushed. I wrote him an angst-ridden email. I thought about trying to break away from him, but I realized I could not. We talked about it, a little (communication with him was different than what I was used to—not a lot of words but meanings got conveyed—or so I thought). I now see I supplied the meaning that was never there and I felt “better,” although he was decidedly colder toward me after that. At that point, in mid-October, I felt as though I needed an outside opinion. I did not believe him anymore when he said the real-life visit would be in “a few months.” He’d said that so many times before.

I cast about for help and answers. I think I knew what the answer was deep inside but it was very hard to accept. If I wanted to remain loyal to this man, I suppose I should not have read Marc Esadrian’s writings on slavery. I see that in hindsight now. Reading him was the beginning of the end of this confusing, half-light/half-dark online affair. I saw in what he said more clearly than I’d ever seen in anybody else: my destiny. I also felt that a little when I met my former husband, like I had been wandering around lost in a wilderness, and suddenly broken through some bushes to discover a clear path. My unconscious sent me a huge “you’re much warmer” message when I read those writings. It made me feel like a very bad slave to think or feel these things when I “served” Michael. It felt so disloyal! But what I read made me realize how little Michael actually controlled me, how generally passive he was, how uninvolved and removed he remained from me. While Michael claimed to have had some tough times in the past with some freaky women, I was surprised that (a) he couldn’t see that I wasn’t some freaky obsessive, (b) he couldn’t see that he could have controlled me even if I had been obsessive, and (c) he would not get to know me enough through talking or just chatting online to realize I was no danger to him and only meant him the best.

On the positive side, I think he felt affection for me. He cared about my health and questioned me when I had issues. He made sure I got enough sleep at night, and ate right. But underneath all of these positive things was an increasing loneliness and anxiety about meeting him that was never addressed because he preferred not to communicate with me to any great degree. What I remember most about this experience was my willingness to make excuses for Michael, to assume his inability to meet me in over two years was due to some wisdom on his part or due to the constant misfortunes and life changes that always seemed to be happening to him. I also kept trying to ignore the fact that I was getting more and more miserable, lonely, anxious, and fearful, despite the deeply calming effects of chatting with him. When I asked him about this he told me not to worry, that he had every intention of meeting me. But you know, actions speak louder than words. He gave every sign that he just wasn’t that into me (except telling me that to my face) and I refused to see it. I preferred the romantic fantasy over seeing clearly what was actually happening.

Although I felt “owned” by Michael, there was never any formal verbal agreement, as in “you’re mine and that’s it.” There was never much verbal clarity about anything: where were we going, how was he going to enslave me, and what I needed to do to get to the next level. His style was laid back, passive, and reactive. I’ll never really know what he actually felt, thought, or intended with me. But maybe that’s for the best. I moved on and met a real dominant man who was clear and unambiguous about what he wanted from me and he eventually took me as his slave. In real life. That clarity and communication has been like the clear brilliant light of day when contrasted with Michael’s murky darkness. My relationship today, as well as my servitude, is real. What I had online with Michael, as intense as it may have seemed at times, was not.

Kerry’s Story

I was in my early twenties when I first learned that there were other women who felt as I did—who desired more than anything to submit to and serve a strong man. I was elated that I was finally beginning to understand what had been going on inside me for as long as I could remember and I wanted to find answers to all of the questions that had been filling my mind all of that time, so of course I began searching the Internet.

It’s not hard, I’m sure, to imagine what kind of results an Internet and chat room search for submission turned up. After a shocking crash course in mainstream BDSM I was overwhelmed and, honestly, frightened. So much, in fact, that I was about ready to abandon my search in its infancy when along came a man who called himself a “master.” He’d noticed my timid comments in a chat  room we’d both been in and then sent me a private message asking if I’d like to ask him any questions as it seemed that I was new and perhaps shy.

No matter how much time passed or how much “testing” took place, there was always a reason why a phone call or meeting was impossible.

That message led to many more and after some time he expressed that he wanted me to serve him, but said that he would need to test me before a meeting or even speaking on the phone could take place. I found the idea of serving someone I had no proof was actually real a little strange, but then again, I had no experience at all with any of this. I thought to myself that maybe this was normal in long distance D/s relationships. How could I really know, otherwise?

He was very much into the cliché of orgasm control. He didn’t restrict orgasms, though: he’d want me to have as many as I could in one day, or he’d put a number on a day of the week (say Friday) and on Fridays he’d require that I have at least five orgasms. He also required that I had one day a week where I pampered myself and he would tell me how. For instance, sometimes it was getting a manicure, or buying myself something special. Most of the time the “pampering” wasn’t even related to grooming (which at least would have made a little sense). He called it “controlled spoiling.”

One of the tasks he often had me perform was writing erotica for him. It always had to be Daddy/little girl themed, though (a theme, I might add, that I eventually grew out of).

He said he didn’t believe in punishment and thought positive reinforcement was better, so if I broke a rule, like “not having enough orgasms in one day,” he’d have me write a list of all of the reasons I was a good girl and send them to him. How that was teaching me any sort of lesson at all, I’ll never know. Once in a while, though, he’d have me do something super strange like shower with all of my clothes on or sleep with my head at the foot of the bed and my feet on my pillows.

Months passed and I began to feel frustrated and confused. No matter how much time passed or how much “testing” took place, there was always a reason why a phone call or meeting was impossible. I felt torn between thinking that something was desperately wrong with the whole situation and that perhaps there was something wrong with me. I didn’t want to be disrespectful or ungrateful, but I also didn’t want to keep playing what was beginning to feel more and more like a huge game…and an odd one at that. My dissatisfaction led me to try searching the Internet again, hoping beyond hope that somewhere out there someone could tell me what a master was supposed be like so that I would know if what I was experiencing was in the least bit normal. That’s when I found Humbled Females and encountered real dominance for the first time. It completely changed everything, and, in many ways this community saved my life.

All three stories above are a little different, but there are recognizable patterns that run throughout each. These women started out with strong drives to pursue relationships with dominant men. One woman was coming from a lackluster traditional marriage, another was recovering from mourning the death of a former master, and the last was entirely new to dominance and submission. These energies, as different as they were, each served as potentially powerful catalysts to bring all three to their knees before good masters (or so they thought), but in the end, those energies were directed toward the wrong types of men. As their relationships progressed and each man avoided more intimate forms of contact, the absence of real communication became more and more painfully obvious. Despite these women understanding their predicaments over the courses of many months (and even years), their own emotive processes—and the investments they made in those processes—anchored them to the lies of their false intimacies. And that is the ultimate evil behind deceitful relationships such as these: the more time and energy one puts into the vision of something desired and hoped for, the harder it is to give up its ghost, regardless. Even if it’s for a female’s greater good that she stop, deeply set emotions with so much riding upon them are seldom rational enough to seriously allow her to consider doing so.

Eventually, however, emotions must surrender to the force of their own unsustainable weight. The dysfunctional patterns have gone on long enough and the limbo cannot be blindly accepted anymore. Each woman above had a “breaking point” in her mental prison, where she moved past the bars and dared to explore further. Each eventually found something that confirmed the good in breaking away from the Nowhere Man who kept her: a piece of evidence or inspiration that made her connect the dots and realize where her relationship was more than just a little lacking.

Whatever the motivations are behind the men who lie about themselves and their intentions, the manifestations of their game all take on a familiar pattern before long. Below are some of the more common telltale signs of long-distance trickery.

 

Signs and Symptoms of the Nowhere Man

He skips to the sex talk early on. Perhaps the most obvious sign of the Nowhere Man is an excessive interest in sexual subjects long before the context of even a cursory relationship is built. Within the first few exchanges online, you find yourself knee-deep in discussing experiences, preferences, and fantasies all centered around sexual acts. Your IM or email encounters frequently become prurient transcripts with little substance beyond that. You may not notice this at first, for the energy of a “new relationship” might blind you (and, to be honest, all the sensual dialog can be a turn-on), but if you take a sobering look at the direction of your conversation, from start to present, what do you see? Is there any real getting-to-know-you dialog exchanged, or is it mostly sex talk?

He otherwise puts the cart before the horse. The Nowhere Man will often attempt to dominate you without laying the proper groundwork for a relationship’s foundation. Outside of knocking someone over the head, stuffing them into a quintessentially creepy blue van and hauling them off to a hidden dungeon beneath a quiet rural home, a man’s dominance over a woman, like most energies exchanged in a relationship, requires personal context. One should not expect to have tall orders barked at them within the first few exchanges, but if this does happen, it’s a fairly good warning sign that something may be up. A man with the intent to control a woman will want to know her in some degree before exercising that control too openly, but a man with inauthentic motives probably won’t bother learning about you as a person much. Instead, he’ll go straight for the control (and sex) aspects. He comes on hot, heavy, and fast, for the relationship he offers is by nature intended to be temporary.

If the man you’re dealing with is grossly inconsistent or seemingly clueless in his understanding of dominance, you may very well find that you’re dominating yourself more than submitting to anyone in particular.

He avoids/curtails more personal forms of contact. Instant messaging and emails are decent forms of communication for a spell, but as time goes on you’ll both naturally and inevitably want to graduate to more intimate forms of exchange, like video chat or talking on the phone. But you’ll often find that the Nowhere Man is nowhere to be found when it comes to these richer forms of communication. He may bring himself to speak on the phone or in video chat periodically, but always has an excuse as to why he can’t do so for too long, or why he can only speak at specific times.

He is excessively secretive. The Nowhere Man has myriad reasons why he can’t give you his address or phone number too soon. The excuses often have something to do with caution over the “sensitivity of his profession” or his desire to “not be burned again.” He may also say he  is “very careful about his security” or “has trust issues.” All these reasons could be legitimate, of course, but that’s precisely what makes them so likely to be used by online predators. A pinch of common sense always goes a long way. If you have given over your name, address, phone number, social media data, and any other forms of personally identifying information only to be met by a permawall of secrecy from him for months on end, if you are to blindly follow his lead without questioning and he gets angry if you inquire about the plans he has for you, these are pretty sure signs you’re in Nowhere Land.

He continuously puts off meeting you in the flesh. The Nowhere Man always has an excuse as to why he can’t meet you. He’s too busy with work, he’s perpetually/conveniently never happy with your attitude, he’s working on building a brand new future life and will fit you in it when the time is opportune, or the “timing,” overall, just isn’t right. He may even make promising travel arrangements to fly out and meet you or have you fly to him—on your dime, of course—but he’ll cancel at the last minute and always have the most likely excuse…or none at all, because by then it’s usually evident you’ve been had. Needless to say, repeated delay from his end in meeting should trip your alert for bull. An authentic dominant man will want to meet a new prospective servant in a woman—to make a connection and resultant bond in the flesh sooner rather than later. A man who isn’t interested in creating that bond in the first place is not being forthright in the least.

Things just don’t add up. Names, dates, locations, personal facts, and claimed experiences he may have shared with you in one discussion doesn’t jive with things you’ve learned about him from another discussion. If you start to keep notes of these little details, you’ll notice the inconsistencies sooner. Regardless, if your memory seems to recall contradicting information he’s told you, don’t write it off always as faulty memory of your own: you may be spotting merely the tip of the iceberg.

He disappears for long periods of time and reappears randomly. You’re both regularly exchanging communications when suddenly—poof!—he’s nowhere to be found for an unusually long period of time. This sometimes lasts for weeks and, sometimes, even months. But just as suddenly as he left, he returns, and, despite your distress, long periods of his absence are expected to be waved away without much fuss when he reboots contact and acts like everything is hunky dory. In your desire to keep the peace, you’ll brush it off, but you can’t deny that it’s just plain weird. Baring unforeseen tragedies in life, this is not how normal humans communicate—even dominant humans who happen to be online.

His dominance fluctuates from fast and loose to dropping the ball entirely. The man who predicated his character through dominance and the seductive promises of control begins flagging in those interests before long. Past the smokescreen of sensual talk, you may notice his proclivity to dominate is waning. If you fail to follow through with his supposed structure and rules, soberly ask yourself: what are the reliable repercussions? If the man you’re dealing with is grossly inconsistent or seemingly clueless in his understanding of dominance, you may very well find that you’re dominating yourself more than submitting to anyone in particular.

 

Not all Victims are Submissive Females, Nor are all Predators Male

It would be remiss of me to fail in pointing out that Nowhere Men don’t always appear online as dominant males. Sometimes these pathological liars stoop to a far stranger form of vicariousness: posing as women. Every D/s Internet forum—including Humbled Females, too, unfortunately—is occasionally infected by men pretending to be submissive women. Their profiles and comments often make the ruse obvious, but some are more clever than others and may evade detection long enough to court the interests of men lured in by their sexy photos and all-too-likely talk. While their male victims may not stay on the hook for as long as submissive women lured in by the online phantoms of male dominance, the preferred mirage of a submissive female can still waste a man’s time and energy well enough. As with women who get taken advantage of online, men can be manipulated by the force of their own desires which they project onto the (manufactured) entities they’ve met online.

False submissive females are not always men pretending to be women, either. While it may seem somewhat of a stretch to conceive, there are some characters in our world who have love-hate relationships with things that compel their thoughts and attentions, and some of those conflicted personalities reside in females. Past traumas, abuse, disappointments, or sociopolitical axes to grind give some females the motives to don the pleasing caricatures of submission, if not for morbid curiosity, than pure mischief, and even spite. These falsities are not always intentional or have hostility in mind. Daughters estranged from their fathers, former victims of extreme abuse working through their issues, or wives trapped in troubled marriages may gravitate toward the apparition of male dominance, but their self-actualizations in being truly submissive and desiring to walk the path of submission leave much to be desired. A man need only scratch the surface of these women to realize what they project is not necessarily what they contain in any substantive degree.

 

How to Avoid Getting Stuck in Nowhere Land

Talk doesn’t have to be cheap—even online. Not only should we say what we mean and mean what we say, but the breadth and scope of what we have to say should reflect the sound intellectual underpinnings of someone who has thought deep and hard on the things that interest us. If a man is dominant and sure in that dominance, there should be a good bedrock of ideals and rationals that pushed him toward that way of being. Simply put, serious men will take this way of life seriously. And it is a way of life, mind you—not a sexual circus side show of deviance and debauchery. Lifting the haze of sexual appetite, what’s left of the man’s base motivating convictions? Does he sound like he breaths the fire you seek? Are his premises in conversation sound? Do they evoke the feeling of a man who has thought about these subjects long and hard, or does everything about his interests sound surface-level? Listen and measure his words with thought. A lot can be discerned just in this one step alone.

Honest hearts and sound minds eventually find each other, but the first step in reaching that goal is to make certain you’re in possession of an honest heart and sound mind yourself.

Procure more than a single photo of the person you’re speaking with. A picture speaks a thousand words, or so it is said. But a thousand words usually aren’t enough online—not by a long shot. Four to five thousand? That’s a little more reliable. The point being, real people have multiple photos of themselves and it shouldn’t take too long to procure those photos. In this day and age of smart phones, digital cameras, and rampant social media, it’s increasingly suspicious that a man (or woman) wouldn’t have recent photos of themselves to give. When they do give you photos of themselves, consider the images carefully. Watch for changes in body type with faceless pictures and note the overall composures: do they look a little too polished and professional? Might they have been ripped from a porn site or a stock photography archive? A trip over to Google Image Search might be in order.

It’s his call, but he seldom bothers making one, if at all. Gently insist he does. A common thread to the accounts of the three women above is the refusal of the men to get closer with more intimate contact. A man who avoids phone conversations or video chats for a prolonged period of time is putting up an enormous red flag. There really isn’t any good reason to ignore this. It’s hard, given the obvious disposition of a submissive female, to make gentle demands of a potential master, but if your attempts to explore deeper methods of communication are repeatedly denied for weeks on end, and for reasons that increasingly make little to no sense at all, it’s time to politely bow out of the entanglement you find yourself in.

Excessive suspicion is…suspicious. Secrecy for personal security is understandable during the beginning of an online encounter. There are plenty of crazy (for lack of a better word) personalities in the world that one would rather not have on his front doorstep. But as the man you’re dealing with explores your character and learns more about what makes you tick, the drawbridge to his castle should eventually lower. With each man the time frame will obviously be different, but if you’ve gone more than a month without so much as a first name or phone number, it’s most likely time to hang it up. If you have exposed your personal information out of good will and obedience and he remains constantly cloaked in anonymity, this is a pretty strong sign that you’re dealing with a Nowhere Man.

Meeting sooner rather than later is key. Once again, a submissive female finds herself in a difficult position when attempting to discern the authenticity of a potential master online. It’s not her place to ever direct or demand things, but at the same time, the need in her to know her prospective master is strong and getting to that path of truly knowing him can only be started upon by meeting face to face. A wise dominant male will understand this, inherently. He will assuage your doubts and fears with a plan to bring you to him, if even to simply to introduce himself and observe you. If the man you’re speaking with never seems to have a serious plan to meet you, or makes those plans but repeatedly breaks them, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Look inward. Some women, while pointing the finger sternly at men, fail to realize how unsavory and impure their own motives are for finding so-called masters. Possessiveness, brattishness, belligerence, substance abuse, gross obesity, and generally poor attitudes might otherwise turn off an authentic male who once held some interest in you. Honest hearts and sound minds eventually find each other, but the first step in reaching that goal is to make certain you’re in possession of an honest heart and sound mind yourself. As always, the beginning of any journey starts with you. Educate yourself and do plenty of soul searching before taking up the search for a dominant male in the first place, for this way of life certainly isn’t a game. Strong, pure, and resolute in your intent, you need only find the other half of this puzzle.

Listen to your instincts. Not all threats to our well-being are consciously recognized. Sometimes the alarm bells are subtle and muted, but they’re there, if you pay attention. If something strikes you as strange or out of place, don’t let other feelings cloud your judgment. It might not be pleasant to entertain second thoughts that darken your hopes a little, but sometimes looking twice can save you a lot of pain and suffering later on. If you have questions or urgent concerns, a prospective master should be quite willing to hear you out and provide answers that satisfy your mind, not merely trick it.

Beware the adaptation of deceptive tactics. Like viruses that continually produce new strains, online fakers adapt their games in an ever-escalating psychological “arms race” with their target victims. Rest assured that some predators are reading this very article and taking it into consideration while they adapt their methods. With that in mind, you must constantly attempt to keep your mind open to the new ways in which online charlatans will attempt to game your mind. An example might be giving you personal information that belongs to someone else, or even making an effort to meet you quickly at a café to assuage your surface suspicions. Nowhere Men attempt to “hack” the mind however they can in an attempt to get what they want. Be wary of this. Try to think of what you don’t know that you don’t know. Essentially, vigilance is key in order to avoid being taken advantage of.

 

Some Ending Thoughts

The charlatan master—the man who has built his entire image upon a lie told online (for whatever reason)—is an insidious enemy to male dominance, for he offers up a tempting goal that will make a woman suffer miles of hardship to reach it, only to continuously snatch it away from her. The ultimate truth he teaches is a crummy one: the god she would worship is a sham.

As a submissive female, it behooves you to hone good judgment in seeking a man to serve. Human lives are finite in this world. Time, therefore, is a tremendously precious resource. When you give someone your time you’re giving fragments of your life to them, too—fragments you’ll never get back. It’s absolutely imperative, then, to invest your time wisely and look before you leap. This does not mean you must be indomitable and overbearing in your trepidation about men, but it does mean you should hone your common sense and keep your wits about you before entirely buying into the ongoing story of someone you’ve never met and likely will never meet.

If you’ve been deceived by a Nowhere Man already, take heart in the fact that this bad experience does not anywhere near represent all men. For the good of your own nature, don’t buy into an indelible scar so broad and painful that you’ll never seek fulfillment of your desires again. There are, indeed, many good men in this world who are patiently waiting for your search (and your wits) to grow a little sharper in order to find them. If you know deep in your spirit that your intentions to submit are real, you need only find the second half of the equation to complete yourself: a real man—a man who talks straight, knows what he wants, and carries through with his words. He’s a man who will put you in your place with desire, wisdom, forethought, and a well-plied belt.

1. https://www.humbledfemales.net/research/online-marriage-success-PNAS-2013-Cacioppo.pdf
2. Paul Aditi. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. October 2014, 17(10): 664-667
3. Monica T. Whitty, Tom Buchanan. The Online Romance Scam: A Serious Cybercrime. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2012; 15 (3)
4. https://www.fbi.gov/sandiego/press-releases/2013/looking-for-love-beware-of-online-dating-scams
5. Tyler, J. M., & Feldman, R. S. (2005). Deflecting threat to one’s image: Dissembling personal information as a self-presentation strategy. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 27, 371-378

  1. Subsume says:

    Nice article Marc.

    I’d add that if you move too fast in ‘real-life’ or are to naive you can also end up with living with the same type of guy.

  2. MarcEsadrian says:

    @Subsume

    Thank you very much. You raise a very good point, too. This can and often does happen in “real life” when people go much too fast with things, the only caveat being that in such a scenario there’s actually a real warm body that you’re interacting with and can see. While a relationship’s downfall in that real world can be equally hurtful, at least the woman in question got to a “first base” of sorts and had some sliver of a normal face-to-face interaction. She wasn’t strung along for months on end only to make the gradual, crumby realization that meeting face to face will never happen.

  3. slave_rachel says:

    Wow that was GREAT! i hope you publish that elsewhere too.

  4. slave_rachel says:

    Every single thing you described has happened to so many i’ve met. Sometimes more than once with a little variation.

  5. slave_rachel says:

    i have a FB group, an educational group so people can information share and learn etc. i would LOVE to be able to put this writing in the group files. Is there anyway you would approve that?

  6. Subsume says:

    Also Google “getting catfished”, these deceptions are fairly common.

  7. DB says:

    “Catfished” was a new term for me and the poor woman who was strung along for fifteen years was perhaps not the best example to read…

    I have a good friend whose husband convinced her he flew a helicopter as a firefighter and dumped whatever that stuff is on forest fires all over the nation when in fact he was just living with another girl during the “fire season” and the guy had never been a pilot of any sort. I swear when busted he said he worked for the CIA. He at least offered entertainment value in the telling of the story but obviously she was devastated and questioned the entire idea of submission for a long time afterwards. She is a fairly smart girl and is great in tax season but for some reason this guy charmed his way past the so many obvious signs.

    And aren’t the signs obvious when looking from the outside in?

    The three women who shared their experiences were doing a service and hopefully fewer women will be taken in by the fantasy boys.

    I would say that if the “secret identify” phase lasts more than short time and there is not an attempt to move forward after few months then isn’t anything past an online friendship obviously not in the cards? Another one I have seen is elaborate, quickly instituted lists of protocols that seem like they are being made up randomly and … is weirdly a word? Google says yes.

    I hate that the article is necessary but it clearly serves to further educate and enlighten and offers help that is needed.

  8. denise says:

    This article has been very informative and helpful. I was saddened reading other accounts of deception that other women encountered.

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