Tiny things tend to play into what I find appealing in a Dom/Top/Partner, what I find unappealing, and what things trigger or “inspire” my submission.
As for the unappealing, I’m very much not a fan of pretentiousness. If you’re smart, you don’t have to also act hipster or indie or super-cool, rather it will be clear that you’re intelligent just from conversation. If you actually have those hipster or indie interests, power to you, own them. But please, don’t put on airs.
Additionally, spelling and grammar do matter to me. I know it is relatively shallow, and that people can be super smart and have bad grammar. I know we all have our tired, mistake-ridden moments, and I get that. That said, there is a very clear point when the number of errors skyrockets past the number to be expected by mistake into a number that shows a lack of understanding. If things are consistently spelled incorrectly, lack punctuation, or misuse words, I will get very annoyed.
That leads quite well into a turn on, in that intelligence is highly attractive. This is for several reasons (good conversation, learning opportunities, shared interests), but also because I have a large amount of respect for those who are as or more intelligent than myself. For me to submit to someone (not just bottom), I have to have a very high measure of respect for that person. Respect comes from a variety of places, but a major part is knowing that I am not smarter than you. If I feel smarter than you, I end up feeling somewhat more superior and in-control, which doesn’t lend itself to my submitting to you. I realize this probably makes me come off as the pretentious that I was just dissing, but this is honest.
Another turn on is confidence. A man who is sure of himself, knows his mind, and knows his intent is a huge turn on.
I’m also turned on by a man’s strength, both mental/emotional and physical. Knowing he can support me emotionally is sexy. Knowing he can pin me down, or essentially win in a fight, reiterates that he is in control. I don’t want to be forced, and I am not interested in nonconsensual play, but I adore knowing that my Dom has that power.
I think the sexiest part of a man’s body are his hands, arms, and shoulders… going back to the “pin me down” and “spank me” things.
Another turn on is a man who is taller than me. Yes, it is superficial, and I acknowledge that. No, it is not a rule I go by (I don’t rule out short men). Even so, if you are taller than me there is usually a stronger initial attraction. There’s just something about having to look up at someone that is innately sexy to me. Let me reiterate yet again though, that chemistry trumps superficial turn-on/offs, and if we have it, height really wouldn’t matter.
I’m somewhat turned on by awkwardness or dorky-ness, or by men who know how to alleviate or make light of those situations. My life is one giant awkward moment, and it helps to approach that with a sense of familiarity and/or humor.
I’m turned on by men who treat women like ladies, including holding open doors, walking on the street-side of the sidewalk, occasionally ordering at a restaurant, etc. I am fully capable of doing these things on my own, but it is fun to have the man take control in tiny ways such as that.
I’m turned off by men who are intensely quiet or unresponsive. I have quiet moments, we all do, and I appreciate a good silence, but I strongly dislike being the one who is always responsible for initiating and carrying-on conversation. I almost always have a question, but when I get no response to work off of, when even I can’t make a conversation happen without discomfort, than I draw the line. I’m ok with comfortable silence, just not continual awkward silence or one-word answers. I value discussion and good conversation too much to not have it.
I’m turned off by men who have little or no ambition, no solid career interests, and no path to their future. This goes back to the respect issue, in that I’m pretty on-top of my career, and if you have no clue at all, I respect you marginally less. AKA, have a job, have a genuine reason for not having one, or be occupying your time with something that contributes to society (volunteer, parenting, something). It is less about the position and goals than the productivity aspect and whole contributing to society thing. That said, though success in the field may increase my respect level it doesn’t necessarily affect my interest level. The marginal utility of success is less than the marginal cost of lack of success (can you tell I’m in econ classes?).
I’m turned on by a Dom who doesn’t necessarily equate submission with domestic service. I actually enjoy many domestic things, but I am busy too and an expectation of mandatory, consistent domestic service reeks of laziness and inconsiderableness to me. Most likely, I will do these things to please my Dom, without him needing to ask, but sometimes a division of domestic duties is necessary for a stable living situation. Additionally, skills in the kitchen or being neat are turn ons.