What’s so good about being called a ‘good girl’?

Image by the fabulous Stuart F Taylor

The first time he says it, he makes a face as he utters the words. Not in disgust, but definitely discomfort, as if he’s not used to saying them. The phrase might sound weird to his ears, but it’s wonderful to mine: good girl.

We don’t have a D/s dynamic, especially not with him on top. This is quite unusual for me. In the past (barring one notable exception in my lovely subby toyboy) I’d have wanted any guy I was with to take me by the wrist and drag me to bed, then fuck me like I was in trouble. Call me a slut and force my mouth open so he could spit in it.

I like this stuff because it’s hot, of course. I have a powerful kink for misogyny, so being treated like shit is fun for its own sake. But it’s also desirable because the more I’m degraded, humiliated and hurt during a fuck, the better it feels afterwards to bask in my reward: the praise.

Well done for taking that beating.

I fucked you so hard in the ass, and you barely squealed.

You have been such a good girl. 

My Hot Punk Guy and I don’t have that dynamic but sometimes, with a nod to my desire for degradation, he jokes about what a disgusting slut I am and it gives me that sexy shiver. It turns out I need a man to fuck me like I’m naughty far less than I need one to be playful with me. I love these funny gestures to my subby self outside of the bedroom – I don’t need him to beat me up and spit in my mouth to fulfil that part of my ego.

But I do still need that praise.

The second part is vital, even without the first. I like to be told ‘well done’ after something especially sexy. Maybe ‘you looked so hot in the socks‘, or ‘that was a lovely lubed-up hand job!’. I need positive affirmation in the bedroom so much more than I ever need to come. The correct amount of praise is always ‘a bit more than this.’ Every morning, afternoon, evening and in the dead of night: I want my ‘good girl‘, goddammit!

That craving for validation, though fun to play with during sex, isn’t particularly healthy when it bleeds into the rest of my life. It translates into a codependent level of people-pleasing, especially when it comes to men. I hope it won’t surprise regular readers to learn that I desperately want men to like me. I want hot boys to think I’m sexy and good at taking it up the ass. I want other boys to think I’m competent, funny and good at writing. I’d love women and people of other genders to think it too, of course, but broadly I yearn for the approval of men.

A ‘good girl’ in the bedroom is my favourite, but it’s far from the only one I thirst for. I need to be praised for everything. A ‘that was great!’ when I’ve written something awesome for the blog. ‘That’s delicious, well done’ if I bring you a sandwich or bake you a cake. I want you to notice when I’ve cleaned the whole house or put up new shelves or painted something – tell me it’s looking lovely and that you’re impressed. As my ex boyfriend eventually realised to great effect, I can sometimes be motivated to do even the most difficult things if you’ll only tell me ‘attagirl!’ at various points on the journey. Call me ‘needy’, call me ‘desperate’, call me whatever you like: I crave men’s approval, and this aspect of my personality probably won’t ever change.


The second time he says it, we’re on the sofa. I’ve been bold enough to lay my head in his lap for what might be the first ever time. I love lying like this – curled up small while he sits above me, feeling the heat of his thigh beneath my cheek. It trips a similar pleasure neuron to the one that fires when I’m little spoon in bed. The ‘switch off, snuggle down, let someone else protect you’ vibe that nearly all of us need from time to time.

I lie with my head in his lap and I feel safe. And I can’t remember what it is I say, but it prompts him to stroke my hair and ask softly, almost tentatively:

“Is it because you’re a very good girl?”

And everything inside me turns to liquid gold.


I’ll always be haunted by the need to have men praise my accomplishments. Whether it’s my father telling me he’s proud of something I’ve done (fat chance), a friend telling me ‘attagirl!’ when I write something they think is insightful, or a boyfriend growling that I’m such a good girl because I let him unload in my ass, I’ll always feel a pull towards that sweet sweet hit of validation. Retweets, clicks, boosts on Mastodon, nice emails in my inbox telling me you liked a particular post… there’s a reason I’ve chosen such a performative job, friends: I want my fucking applause! And in the absence of real-life clapping I’ll hoover up your likes and shares instead. Fuck it, even guys in my comments telling me they came extra-hard at some porn I wrote – that all tops up my self-esteem too.

Regular praise keeps me happy. Secure. Stable. It helps me kick more ass and weather greater storms. The unhealthy bit isn’t that I need approval in the first place, it’s that in the past I have relied too heavily on men I’m dating to dish it out. For understandable reasons, other people can’t be held responsible for my own self-worth – keeping that afloat is a huge and lifelong task, one that’s mine alone to project manage.

In an ideal world I wouldn’t be so driven by a need for men’s approval, of course. But in this world, in which I am flawed and fucked up, acknowledging the shape of my praise-hungry baggage helps me avoid blundering into it all the time in ways that hurt me. I know I have a tendency to rely heavily (and unhealthily) on external validation to keep my resilience topped up, and thanks to therapy, I know I’m meant to take mitigating steps to lessen the impact of this need by giving myself regular hits of praise instead. Reminding myself that I’m basically OK and worthy of friendship/love/kindness/whatever even if there aren’t any men nearby to stroke my hair and dish out a cheeky ‘good girl’. I can make a note to give myself rewards and kudos: go for a little walk to celebrate finishing the audio editing; pat myself on the back once I’ve written this blog post; look in the mirror and try to note the good instead of the bad.

My desire for praise doesn’t go away, though. My abject need for it might fade, but the craving remains. The correct amount of praise is still always ‘a bit more than this.’ The feeling of being told that I’m good (impressive, cool, fun, pretty, clever, worthy, valid, OK) isn’t just a soothing balm for my fishbowl ego (large but incredibly fragile), it’s also something I genuinely desire.

He and I don’t have a D/s dynamic. I don’t need him to grab me by the wrist or spit in my mouth. I can survive without him hurling me onto the bed and fucking me like I’m in trouble. But from the bottom of my soul I still crave that praise.


The third time he said it we were in bed. Him lying on his back with his head on the pillow, looking up at me as I rode him. There’s often a moment when I’m doing this where I switch from ‘trying to make him come’ to ‘just making myself come’. It’s usually when I start to feel an orgasm building from deep inside me, near my cervix – these internal orgasms don’t happen as often as other kinds, and I haven’t yet learned how to make them appear on command. I have to just stay vigilant for that warm-clench feeling in the pit of my stomach, and when it appears switch from up-and-down movements to more of a deep-crush grind.

I’m used to praise being dispensed when I’ve done something for somebody else.

Well done for taking that beating.

I fucked you so hard in the ass, and you barely squealed.

You have been such a good girl.

But the third time he said it, the time it felt right, was three seconds after I did something solely for me. Panting, sweating, victorious, I grinned and collapsed forward onto his chest as the last spasm of my deep-grind climax rolled away. Laughed:

Fuck, sorry. Need to pause. I came so hard that time.”

And he cupped my head in his hands. One palm on each cheek, holding me close, my face six inches from his. My hair was hanging down onto the pillow either side of his head so it shut the world out completely.

He looked me dead in the eyes, the third time he said it:

“Good girl.”


The correct amount of praise is always ‘a bit more than this.’

But this is good. This is powerful.




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