‘No Offense’ is an awful phrase and should never go in front of a statement.
In other news- it’s Asexuality awareness week!
Chris. You look like an ASSHOLE with that expression in that last panel.
He… also looks like… is he winking?
And yeah; there’s honest and then there’s BRUTAL. I get what he’s saying but I can’t help but think there was a more… tactful way to put it.
Really? I found him to be cheeky. Also John, I didn’t think of it as lacking in tact so much as safety issues. Anwar would have no idea what he was doing and wouldn’t be into it etc. Also we wouldn’t want to have anwar and Chris in an emergency situation.
I wonder if Anwar will start to get jealous of Chris’ kink partner(s). (Is that how you’d say it?)
Oh I agree with the sentiment, don’t get me wrong, but if someone I was interested in me said ‘not letting an inexperienced babydom… anywhere near me’ I’d feel like I’m not good enough as I am
I know this is just me putting my interpretation on it but while I agree Chris needs to reassure An about not having sex (or at least BDSM) with him I was just uncomfortable with the WAY he gave that reassurance.
i think special dispensation should be made for ‘I KNOW YOU’RE NOT INTO THIS AND I AM NOT GONNA BE YOUR RAPIST KTXBACKTOFOOTRUBSNAO”
i’m proud of chris. and if it’s a bit sharply phrased, i think anwar could use a bit of sharpening up on not just “if it’s what you want….” if anwar wants to be (for any reason) chris’s kink partner, he’s gotta own that for himself, not like what we see with all the headshaking.
I agree with you – if I was ‘War, that would’ve been my thought, “so… am I not good enough for you then?” But maybe ‘War won’t take it as an insult, you’ll just have to look to the next page
I think the key words are “who’s not even into it”. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be happy to have an inexperienced dom, just not one that wasn’t in to what he wanted/needed. But, that’s how I interpreted it anyway.
Pretty sure he put that facial expression on intentionally as a way of being silly. I mean, look at his line :D
I have mixed feelings on this page. Mostly on Chris. At first I kinda laughed a little at Chris but thinking about it, I dunno. I get what he’s saying and it makes sense, but it is a little bit blunt in his wording. Yeah, Anwar isn’t interested and is inexperienced, but, I dunno, you almost wonder if Chris could’ve worded it in a way that let Anwar off or in a way that could have left it open for him to gain experience in the future, if that makes sense. Meh, mixed feelings…
Anwar is still a cutie and he’s very much trying which says a lot about how much he likes Chris, too. Even though he’s not interested, he’d give being a Dom a go for him to make him happy. That makes me wonder if that’s part of what went wrong when he dated JD; he’ll put aside his interests and likes in order to make his partner feel better. I really often relate to Anwar and love watching him as the story progresses.
If he had worded it in a way that left it more open, Anwar might have misinterpreted that as expectation …
I think, at the moment, Anwar needs more reassurance that it’s okay to not want the kink than he needs reassurance that he can become a good dom. He seems very insecure about his asexuality and his dislikes, but he doesn’t seem to feel very insecure about what he’s able to learn.
I didn’t read Chris’ last comment as harsh but honest and playful, with a cheeky wink. Letting people know you don’t want sex with someone who doesn’t want sex with you is the opposite of asshole behavior.
I totally agree! I can see that Anwar might misinterpret it, but it felt like Chris saying “I’m not going to ask more of you than you’re comfortable giving.”
This exactly! And hell, BDSM can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing and adding disinterest into it can complicate things more. I too can easily see how Anwar could misinterpret, but I do believe Chris is thinking of Anwar’s best interests here (and not in a bad way).
That’s exactly how I read it. I actually giggled at the phrase “baby-dom”
I interpret Chris’s statement as cheeky and playful, yeah, but also a bit dismissive and blunt. No harm intended, but can still sting. Anwar’s obviously putting himself out there in a way that is pretty scary for him, and this might not be the best time for Chris to be playing around. I imagined that Chris would be flattered and touched by ‘War’s offer, and respond to it gently but seriously.
Did people really read that last comment as harsh? I read it as playful and him making sure that Anwar knows nothing is expected him and he shouldn’t feel pressured into doing anything? No? Idk, maybe that’s just me.
Okay, maybe Chris was a little harsh/blunt, but if I were reading a story about people who say things perfectly and nicely all the time and never leave a single sentence open to negative interpretation, it would be a pretty boring–and unrealistic–story. Even people with good intentions don’t always phrase what they want to say perfectly.
I think some of you guys are holding these characters to unreasonable expectations. They’re talking it out, they’re figuring things out. If they screw things up in what they say and do, that’s pretty realistic. People aren’t perfect.
Well said! Spot on.
…who said he shouldn’t say it in this story? He said it. He sort of sounds like an asshole. (Possibly because of the casual language and asshole-smirk.) But he said it. Some of us may think that’s not the best thing to say, but he said it. We don’t want Tab to re-write the scene, we’re just saying Chris maybe should’ve chosen something different to say. It’s in the story, and it should stay there, because people say things that may be unintentionally offensive in real life. But that doesn’t mean we can’t complain about what he said.
THIS times a million. We can think Chris was a bit insensitive, but it doesn’t mean we think the story should be written to where he reacts totally perfectly.
I misinterpreted people’s dislike towards Chris’s word choice as dislike towards the story. My bad.
Oof, that smarts… I don’t like the way he says ‘anywhere near me’… I mean he coulda been like “There’s no way I’m gonna let a inexperienced baby dom do something just to make /me happy/, what kind of guy do you think I am?” because I’m pretty sure that Chris does want Anwar near him, in a nonsexual sense :/ But hey maybe thats just how Chris talks.
So, you would be comfortable bound and possibly gagged while someone went to you with a whip, flog, hot wax, or any other various kink item, who had never done this before or held any interest in how to do it? I personally think “anywhere near me.” is a pretty appropriate phrasing.
Kink isn’t sex either, so that’s not what he’s talking about. The two can overlap, but Chris even says here himself, you can be into kink without engaging in sex.
Oh! you misunderstood me, I meant Chris’s statement could be taken in the sense that he could be trying to say he doesn’t want Anwar anywhere near him /at all/ for any reason. And to answer your question, if the person was wanting to learn then yes I’d be comfortable because they’d be learning, but they’d be doing it /because they want to/ not because it would make me “happy”. Does that make sense? If someone doesn’t want to do something, no matter how happy it would make someone else if they did it, they should not. I feel like I’m talking a little backwards.
This would definitely be a situation where I feel “no offense” appropriate. While Anwar might still end up taking offense to it, the fact is, he doesn’t want it. The most common reason I’ve seen relationships fail (any kind) is that the people involved have different needs and try to force themselves into filling those needs. It builds resentment and all kinds of negative feelings until they are no longer enjoying the things that brought them together in the first place.
It really is better to just get clear boundaries in place right up front and respect them.
i kinda see it as letting Anwar off the hook- like “I know you wanna be everything to me but it isn what you want and it isnt what I want either”. like I’ve done things I dun really like cuz I thought it would make the other person happy and Chris is cutting that off?
ahahahahah, such a funny line.
I Thought it was a cute line!
My new band name, methinks.
Personally I found it interesting that it’s both inexperience AND disinterest that he doesn’t want. If Anwar was interested I think Chris would give it a go. It’s the fact that he doesn’t want to that’s the clincher. Good Chris. I like you and totally BDSM appropriate.
I dunno, maybe I’m too straight/monogamous/close minded for this plot point, but to me, just declaring during the very first serious conversation about dating (they had like one and a half date, so far, no?) that Chris wants to basically have a free card for any sexual or BDSM relations with other people he likes, otherwise he’s not interested in dating Anwar at all, is kinda hurtful. Any relationship is a lot more than just a negotiation, and even if you think you know yourself and what you want or need from the other person, those things can change. Perhaps when Anwar actually means something to him, Chris will feel less like sharing intimate moments with other people – or maybe they can find some way they are both comfortable with to do some things together. Or maybe they’ll see it’s all too much fuss and they aren’t really that into each other in the long term, I dunno. But relationships are about evolving and changing together, and searching for the right path for both of you to be together, not about declaring in advance how it’s going to be. It feels like Chris is very concerned about staying himself, and Anwar is concerned about pleasing Chris no-matter-what, so it really doesn’t feel like a healthy starting point for anything. (Honestly, it’s as if Chris is doing him a favor by considering his dating-application… much like in that terrible book that’s being poked fun at.)
That said, the comic is, as always, an interesting read for me, so kudos Tab.
i agree :(
and the way chris said “you thought i wanted kink stuff with YOU?” sounded so.. idk condescening..? mean..?
i guess what i want to say is: chris’ a sexual person into the lifestyle and he is interested in anwar, but not interested in having sex / doing scenes with him? chris respects anwar’s asexuality and that’s great , but that shouldn’t make somebody’s attraction to him magically disappear, right?
I think that’s kinda bothering me and it’s a bit of a let down :P I also don’t really get the feels for chris and anwar’s interest in each other..
The point is not that Chris doesn’t want sex with Anwar. The point is that ANWAR doesn’t want sex with CHRIS. Or anyone. And frankly, having an inexperienced dom coming at you is DANGEROUS, because they don’t know what signs of distress to look for.
Additionally, having someone coming at you who doesn’t WANT to be doing it is both frightening and GROSS for any BDSM person with any kind of integrity, because BDSM is like sex: If you don’t want to and I do, it’s rape.
Chris’s babydom comment is cheeky and amusing. For anyone with experience, it would be a bit insulting, but Chris literally met Anwar on his first foray into the lifestyle. It fits.
Chris might have worded things a bit kinder, but he’s completely right. It’s sweet of Anwar to offer, but unless Anwar is willing to do some training, then no, he should not be trying to act like a dom. It not something you just decide to do on a whim without knowing what you’re doing.
My roommate is a dom, who did a 1-2 years training before actually starting, and from what I’ve learned about the lifestyle, being a dom is a huge responsibility. You need to know what you’re doing. The person who is the submissive is putting a lot of emotional and mental trust into a dom. And sometimes, their physical well-being is in question too.
Depending what Chris is into, he might like being whipped or other forms of physical pain. And Anwar is in no way ready to be doing that to anyone. A dom has to know what they’re doing, have extremely good control and finesse (for whipping, this is a must!), know how to read their sub and know how far they can be taken and when to stop, and other things I don’t even know. Not only that, doms sometimes have to deal with subs who mess up with their communication and put themselves in danger, and a dom has to be responsible and know when someone should not be played with. For example, my friend was about to play with someone when she realized the sub was under the influence. That’s a big NO NO, since a person who is impaired by alcohol or drugs cannot properly communicate their wishes, or if things have gone to far.
Anwar needs to learn a lot before he could properly dom, and like Chris says, he needs to be willing. Now granted, if he and Chris really got to know one another and Anwar really could understand Chris’s wants, then maybe he could do some minor kinds of domming, like verbal. But at this point, Anwar offering to dom Chris is like me going to someone and saying, “Hey, I wanna to do something nice for you, so how about I remodel your bathroom?” It’s nice to offer, but I don’t know jack about that sort of thing, so it’s better off to get a professional. And Chris knows this.
You are completely right about the BDSM stuff, I wasn’t suggesting that exactly. Just that every decision on a course of action needs to be based on mutual trust and confidence, not on Anwar being pressured into agreeing to things he might regret – and it doesn’t matter if it’s agreeing to have sex\BDSM\whatever with Chris or agreeing to Chris doing it with someone else.
I really don’t read this conversation as “If we’re going to date, I have to have a free card for any…relations with other people he likes.” “I would like to date you, and also (continue to?) have a relationship with my Domme” is not “I would like to date you, and also anybody else I am interested in.”
Adding: yeah, Chris’ exact wording is “keep seeing a Domme.”
A relationship is more than just an negotiation, absolutely, and feelings are confusing and they change. “I am sexually involved with Alice, and we hooked up that one time, and I would like to be involved with you without leaving Alice” is not “I am primarily concerned with doing what I want and keeping myself happy” but “I like Alice, and also like you, and have been involved with more than one person before. This is something we should absolutely discuss on the first serious conversation, because if you want me to leave Alice, or are unaware Alice exists, or are unaware Alice is important to me, we should talk about that right now.” Like, I read this conversation as “Chris cares about everybody’s feelings, including his own and his current partner’s and Anwar’s, and things are complicated.”
All of this would still be true even without the kinky fuckery.
Well, I dunno. I know I’d be very uncomfortable if any partner of mine wanted to see a domme, and presented it like it’s this non-negotiable condition to be in a relationship with him. He could have said something like “Listen, I like you, but I also like this thing that you can’t do with me very much… I think maybe sometime later if we decide this is actually a relationship, I’d like to be non-exclusive – but we don’t really have to worry about it right now, so only say no if you can never see yourself with anyone who is non-exclusive about sex”.
The way he does it, creating a reality in which Anwar sorta has to agree to everything he says without even knowing what it means or how it affects him, it just feels so wrong.
And *anyway* I hate how he refers to kinky stuffs as a “need” and as something he’s entitled to. Anwar is willing to basically change everything he is for Chris (which is wrong and would work, yeah, but it’s very meaningful), and Chris isn’t even willing to cancel his 9-oc’lock at the domme’s. It feels like he’s just toying with An. Hmpf.
Well considering his last relationship fell apart because he “needed” the kink I think yeah it totally should have been brought up at this point. Besides, there’s a difference between you starting to date a person and them telling you they have kinks that you don’t want to fulfill, and someone who you KNOW goes and sees a dom and you KNOW they have kinks that you can’t/won’t fulfill and then instigating a relationship with them. Anwar isn’t taken by surprise here, he knows what Chris needs.
HFN. When you’re kinky, or poly, or anything that falls outside of “normal” when it comes to relationships, you learn pretty fast that the best thing for everyone is to get that out on the table. For a lot of kinksters, myself included, kink IS an emotional need. And everyone is entitled to having their needs respected. I honestly feel that the healthy, responsible thing to do is to say up front, “hey, I have this thing I need to do sometimes. If you would ENJOY exploring that with me, that would be great, but if not, I will take care of it myself on my own time. Let’s talk a little bit about what that means and how you feel about it.”
Sure, it’s much more convenient to pursue a relationship with someone who’s already in the lifestyle, but attraction isn’t about what’s convenient, it’s about what you feel. And feelings are more complicated than just “I like you and want to do whatever it takes to make you perfectly happy.”
The selfish thing would be to lie about or try to give up what you already know about yourself, letting the relationship get much deeper, and then springing it all on your unsuspecting partner when it’s much harder for them to walk away. One of the worst ways to sabotage a relationship is to let the other person think you’re someone you’re not, or try to convince them that they can be the one to change you.
I’ve been there, I’ve tried that. More than once. It doesn’t work. Now I have two partners that make me happy – one kinky, one vanilla. They accept me and love me for who I am, and there’s nothing more beautiful than that. But I had to have the balls at the beginning to tell them – I have gender issues (I wasn’t ready to say “trans” at the time), I’m kinky as fuck, and monogamy doesn’t matter to me as long as everyone is being safe and honest. The reward has been almost a decade of love. What we have, a lot of people wouldn’t want, but it makes us happy.
I wish I could “like” this comment. I absolutely agree with this, the idea that it would have been better for Chris to bring this up later seems entirely dishonest. If I was about to get in a relationship with someone, and a week into dating they said “Oh, I didn’t want to bring this up before, but I also see some one else while we are together. I have been seeing someone actually for months.” I would feel betrayed. Honesty, and being upfront about your feelings, is crucial for any relationship to work.
I actually think that Chris is doing what’s best for both himself (protecting himself from an inexperienced Dom who’s lack of interest could potentially lead him to being unsafe because he isn’t fully focused on the kink occurring at the time), and for Anwar (who is obviously uncomfortable with the idea of of being a dominant for any individual in a sexual capacity), even if his phrasing is kind of harsh. He softens the phrasing with his facial expressions (a wink and smile), and I imagine also his tone (which we can’t really hear), to make certain ‘War knows that it really isn’t meant to be offensive, but is instead something he feels he’s doing for the benefit of both of them: himself for safety reasons, ‘War for mental ones. Personally, I think it’s amazingly responsible, given that some individuals don’t even discuss this aspect of life, regardless of the partners sexual preference (or lack thereof).
I read through the comments on the last few pages. Lots of people are interpreting Chris’s words in a very different way to me. “you thought I wanted sex with you?” “I’m not letting an inexperienced babydom who’s not even into it anywhere near me”…
Tab, unless they are all correct and I’m the wrong one maybe you need to refine your emphasis things in your speech bubbles?
The sentence “I never said she stole my money” has 7 different meanings depending on which word you stress. It’s extremely difficult to get your message properly across without using italics or bold or whatever when you write stuff. Chris probably means well, but his choice of words can easily be interpreted in a negative or insulting way. Anyway, we’ll find out how Anwar reacts tomorrow!
Even harder to show which words when it’s in writing :) Although Anwar is “hearing” it as it’s meant to be emphasized so there should hopefully be no misinterpretation!
Everyone is entitled to have relationship deal-breakers. For Chris, it looks like it has been and will be a deal-breaker if he can’t have his kinks satisfied within/outside/during a relationship. And since that’s the case, he should ABSOLUTELY be rolling this out right at the beginning, and Anwar is clearly free to take it or leave it.
Harsh or unfair would be getting entangled in the relationship and then pulling out this ultimatum, when it’s much harder for the other person to react without significant emotional pressure.
Both Anwar and Chris are being honest about what it is they really want out of this, while staying open to the possibility of accommodating the other on various points. After all, Chris was willing to entertain the idea until Anwar admitted that he *really* wasn’t into it. Anwar was willing to entertain the idea too, although perhaps too focused on pleasing Chris than tuning into his own needs and wants.
I think they’re both doing this very right.
Agreed. I think Chris is pretty blunt in the ways he phrases things (hell, remember what he said to his sister-in-law?), but he’s being open and honest about what he wants and needs. Putting something so important to him aside for a relationship with Anwar would be dishonest, and would ultimately damage them both.
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