The Duchess and the Dominatrix: November

DutchessDominatrixTop: published in the printed publication.
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I have a crush on a guy. […] I have always handled these by admiring said guy as much as I can without drawing suspicion […] but never saying anything. However I have come to think that perhaps I should do something more–but what?
— Clueless Claudette

At some point, you are going to have to decide if you want to continue your friendship with this person as it is, or if you want to pursue a romantic relationship and possibly lose him as a friend. If you want to take things in a more romantic direction, START “DRAWING SUSPICION!” It’s not fair to drop a bomb like that on anyone and it’s not fair to either of you to maintain this sham of a friendship while you actually want something different than what you are projecting.
—Captain Dominatrix

What does “esquire” mean?
—F. W. Olin, Esq.

Nothing in particular. Historically, it was associated with high social rank but never precisely defined. Now it is used in the United Kingdom as a generic courtesy title for a man. In the United States, it usually indicates that a person is a licensed lawyer (male or female), but there are no strict rules surrounding its use.
—Duchess of Deportment

I have a car and I feel like my friends are taking advantage. They are really cheap and never pay for gas, even when I ask. I really don’t want to be mean and I’m really shy. What should I do?
—Shy Shawn

If your friends aren’t paying you even after you ask, it’s time to take control. I know confrontation is difficult and you don’t want to fight with your friends. Instead, if they don’t pay next time you drive them somewhere, send them a reminder using Venmo or BillMonk. Then don’t drive them anywhere until they pay you.
—Captain Dominatrix

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Full Text
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I have a crush on a guy. Because I am as dense as lead when it comes to emotional matters, I have always handled these by admiring said guy as much as I can without drawing suspicion and treasuring what time we spend together as colleagues and even friends, but never saying anything. However I have come to think that perhaps I should do something more–but what? Your advice is greatly appreciated.
-Clueless Cadette

Some length of time spent as friends before you let him know you’re interested in a relationship is wise: it can help you figure out whether you’ll be compatible. (It’s easy to have a crush on someone who would be a terrible partner for you!) However, if you’ve already been friends for a few months and you really want to take this further, do not remain silent about your feelings. Stop worrying about “drawing suspicion” and be open with him about your feelings. It’s a difficult conversation to start, but it will be worth it. He might feel the same way! Even if he doesn’t, if he’s a mature adult and good friend, he’ll be able to break it to you kindly and preserve your friendship.
–Duchess of Deportment

At some point, you are going to have to decide if you want to continue your friendship with this person as it is, or if you want to pursue a romantic relationship and possibly lose him as a friend. By all means, if you want to take things in a more romantic direction, START “DRAWING SUSPICION!” Nothing is worse than having a devoted slave for a few years suddenly confess their love for you out of nowhere. It’s not fair to drop a bomb like that on anyone and it’s not fair to either of you to maintain this sham of a friendship while you actually want something different than what you are projecting.
-Captain Dominatrix

I have a friend I have been friends with for a while but over the last few years, I have felt more and more like service for this person than a friend. I am always there when they need help with something or need to vent or need a skill that I have, but whenever I have a crisis or even just want to hang out, they are never available. I like this person, but I am sort of starting to resent them. What should I do?
-Feeling Used

While feeling used can be hot occasionally, this is not that time. At some point in your life, you have to realize that you don’t have to be friends with everyone, even people you have known for a long time. That’s not to say that you have to have a huge “friend breakup” but next time this person needs help with something, consider saying no. Don’t feel guilty about it. Clearly, you value this person’s friendship more than they value yours.
-Captain Dominatrix

Have you considered letting the person know that you feel this way? He or she may not be aware of the imbalance in your friendship, or may be aware and want to rectify it but be unsure of how to do so. Gently but honestly broach the topic. If that does not work, it’s your prerogative to cut back your level of commitment to the friendship to match his or hers, if you so choose.
–DD

My room is dreadfully bare. The walls remind me of sour milk, and I find myself avoiding my room because it’s so drab. How should I dress it up?
~Bored in the Bedroom

Posters are always a safe bet, but boring and predictable. Draping fabric on the walls can create an interesting look, but can also collect dust, so you should make sure to have your slaves shake them out regularly. Never underestimate the ability of human furniture to pull a room together, and you will never be bored. Hope this helps!
-Captain Dominatrix

Consider storing your collections of hats, shawls, gloves, and evening bags on your walls and shelves. They are wonderfully decorative, and you are more likely to wear them if they are in sight.
–DD

I have a car and I feel like my friends are taking advantage. They are really cheap and never pay for gas, even when I ask. I really don’t want to be mean and I’m really shy. What should I do?
-Shy Shawn

If your friends aren’t paying you even after you ask, it’s time to take control. I know confrontation is difficult and you don’t want to fight with your friends. Instead, if they don’t pay next time you drive them somewhere, send them a reminder using Venmo or BillMonk. Then don’t drive them anywhere until they pay you.
-Captain Dominatrix

You have to balance two factors here, your friendship and your wallet. Try to strike a middle ground, letting your friends know that you’re happy to help them out in a pinch, but that you can’t afford to operate as a regular free ride service. Ask them to agree to contribute to parking or gas costs before you drive them anywhere.
-DD

My boyfriend is so not romantic! How do I get him to be more romantic?

Put your dominatrix pants on and tell him there’s something that’s been bothering you lately. Tie him to your bed and don’t let him go until he promises to be more romantic in the future. It will be fun for both of you.
-Captain Dominatrix

Talk to your boyfriend. Let him know that you’d like more romance in your relationship and explain what that means to you. “Romance” is a broad term–are you seeking sealed love letters and candlelit dinners or simply more compliments and whispered endearments? Tell him, and be sure to invite him to tell you what he finds romantic too.
–DD

My teammate/friends waste time socializing and then bitch about not having enough time to do homework. How do you resolve this issue?

Part of your role as a friend is listening to your friends vent. If they seem unaware of how much time they spend socializing, you could try informing them: “It seems like you’ve spent a lot of this week chatting with friends and attending parties. That may be contributing to your stress.” Chances are, they know and consciously prioritize friends above schoolwork. In that case, fake sympathy while you listen to their complaints and inwardly revel in your superior time management skills. If these are your teammates, the situation is different: their actions are affecting your academic success. Confront the problem directly: “You’ve been complaining about being too busy to get project work done. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of your time has been filled with social activities. This project is really important to me. Can we agree to prioritize it?” If the scope of the project work you’re asking them to do is reasonable and they still don’t respond, you’re stuck with bad teammates. I’m sorry. Push through this project and hope for more conscientious teammates in the future.
–DD

There’s this person on campus who I have to work with who really annoys me through no fault of their own! It’s just their mannerisms! I don’t want to be a jerk, but I’m afraid I am going to blow up at them if I do nothing! Help!

Get yourself a nice masochist who you can take out your physical and verbal frustrations on before and/or after you have to meet with this person. It will relieve your stress, the masochist will enjoy it, and your annoying team mate will not be in danger of suffering a blow up at your hands.
-Captain Dominatrix

This is a challenging but common situation, and it’s one in which you need to exercise your professionalism and gentility. Talk to the person. Acknowledge that his or her mannerisms are by no means objectively bad or annoying, but explain that you find some of them (be specific) inexplicably grating and ask if he or she can attempt to minimize them around you. However, mannerisms can be difficult to change. Ultimately, it’s up to you to work with the person graciously and find a different outlet for your frustration.
–DD

What does “esquire” mean?

I’ll let the Duchess take this one. The only titles I am familiar with are Captain and Mistress.
-Captain Dominatrix

Nothing in particular. Historically, it was associated with high social rank but never precisely defined. Now it is used in the United Kingdom as a generic courtesy title for a man. In the United States, it usually indicates that a person is a licensed lawyer (male or female), but there are no strict rules surrounding its use.
–DD