One of the aspects of ADHD I wish I had known about earlier is Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, or RSD for short. Basically it means that rejection hits us like a ton of bricks, and in my case can trigger major anxiety.
I’ve had multiple occasions in the past where I had met someone I was interested in playing with or getting sexual with, we’d be texting and at some point they’d hit a minor rejection trigger. This shouldn’t be a big deal at all, but for me it would cause this deep anxiety about whether they liked me, found me attractive, etc.
That would often lead me to start fishing for approval way too hard, causing the other person to back away, which in turn triggered more RSD and then we’d have a lovely vicious cycle with a very explosive ending. Not good.
Learning more about ADHD in general and RSD in particular helped me a lot here. You can’t really fix RSD, but there are ways to manage it. What I tend to do these days is twofold:
- Take a step back: knowing that RSD will amplify any small feeling of rejection helps me to rationalize to some level. I can tell myself “yes, this feels huge but that doesn’t mean it is huge.”. When I feel myself slipping into that mood I try to either leave the conversation, or switch to a voice call / video call.
- Ask for help: since I now have language to describe what is happening, I can share this with the other person and start a meta-conversation. I’ll often say something along the lines of “Hey, my ADHD makes me more sensitive to rejection. Is it OK for me to ask you for some extra affirmation when I need it?”. I specifically frame it as a request, since this second one constitutes emotional labour on the other person’s end so it requires consent.
Combining these two strategies has helped me a lot. But what about the title? Well, I recently had an interesting insight.
When I first started in kink I straight-up identified as a Dominant. I’ve written before how I’ve slowly drifted away from that role as I embraced both the Daddy and sadist sides of myself. I recently realised though that what drew me most to being a Dominant was actually one very simple thing: knowing that I wouldn’t get rejected.
If I had negotiated with a partner that I had consent to touch them, to make them suck me, etc… What I was getting out of that was a deep sense of safety that they wouldn’t reject me. I also got a rush of power and a chance to satisfy my sadistic urges (though I realised that less back then), but it was really all about not being rejected.
My life has changed a lot since then. I’ve met people that won’t just not reject me, they’ve been very clear about their attraction to me and enthusiastic about having sex with me. My kitten in particular really changed the way I see myself. Seeing myself through her eyes did wonders for my self-image.
I’ll always have a fucktoy fetish, being allowed to do whatever you want to someone is just damn hot. These days it’s less based in fear though… and when attraction and fucktoy consent come together, fireworks happen. The good kind this time!