Oh gosh, well this is a big one. Online D/s relationships can be great, but they also have particular dangers you need to watch out for.
Let’s start with some positives.
One of my biggest pieces of advice is build your own ‘safety net’. Have another person who you keep accountable to – ideally a ‘real life’ friend or failing that a close online friend, who knows what you’re doing, yes, even though it’s online, and who you can tell about. You need regular reality checks.
Test #1: When in doubt, throw it out! Don’t waste your time with people that make you feel uncomfortable. Even if the guy was a real Dom, if his personality makes you feel uncomfortable, he’s not going to be fun to play with.
Test #2: “You’d better call me Sir!” is the mating call of a Horny Net Geek or control freak. Real Doms don’t have to ask for titles, we EARN them. Most real Doms will say things like “please, call me Mike…”
Test #3: “I want you to take my collar before you play with me.” This is another common demand of fakes, most often made by control freaks. They have to isolate you from other people and their advice, and sometimes a little ole “cyber-collar” is just the thing! Cyber-collars are worth less than the leather required to make one.
Test #4: If you get an Instant Message that says something like “On your knees you [slave, slut, bitch, whore, etc.]” This is the mating call of the HNG. Use some common sense here. Why waste time with somebody that’s not even polite? There’s a time and a place for these endearing terms, and it isn’t online!
Test #5: “I don’t have to answer that question!” or “It’s not proper etiquette for you to ask a Master that.” are examples of some the dangerous LIES that control freaks and snerts use. This is the Acid test I personally think is the most important! A Dom had better be ready to at least TRY and answer every question you have, and HONESTLY at that! Its literally your ass that’s on the line! Never forget this!
Test #6: “Its my way or the highway!” or words to that effect, are the mating cry of the common control freak. Doms can have Limits too, but its your Limits that count FIRST. Don’t let any would-be ‘dom’ tell you differently. Don’t let any of the wannabe subs tell you differently either. Where Male Dom/Fem sub play is concerned, it’s ALWAYS LADY’S CHOICE!
Test #7: Don’t bother with online collars. Don’t make decisions about a prospective partner based on his online play style. It’s a very simple test if you think about it: would a real life Dominant waste time on cyber sex? Please take my word for it; the answer is NO. Forget it, once you’ve done the real thing, cyber is just too damn dull.
Test #8: Ask your prospect if he’s ever made any mistakes during a scene. If he say’s ‘no,’ run for your life! If he says, ‘very rarely,’ at least be suspicious. Everyone makes mistakes, even if they are experienced players. Sometimes submissives have Limits they don’t even know about, and even the most careful and skilled Dom the world will trip over these occasionally. Remember, according to our good friends of the Christian faith, the last perfect guy to walk this planet got nailed to a tree for his trouble. So expect competence, but not miracles.
Test #9 “I’m a [bank president, captain of industry, TV producer, self-made millionaire… yadda yadda yadda.]” Wouldn’t it be nice to meet a rich Dom too? Sure it would! But use some common sense too. How many captains of industry have hours to spend in an AOL chat room? Also, think about this personality profile; if this super successful, always-in-control person is really into D/s, he’s likely a submissive! I have met a lot of female submissives that fit this ambitious profile, but not one Dom yet!
Test #10 “I’m 33 years old, and I’ve been a Master for 15 years.” Gimme a break! What are the odds? When you ask about a Doms level of experience (and its a good idea to do so) remember to do the math as well. 18 year old boys don’t care about the intricacies of D/s; they want to get laid. Trust me on this one Ladies, I was an 18 year old boy once! I personally believe that people do become what they are (be it gay, straight, Dom or sub) very early in life, but it takes maturity and training to be a Master. What are the odds a person became a Master when they were still using Clearasil?
Test #11 Ask for references! Especially if he claims to be ‘very experienced.’ Talk to the references ON THE PHONE. Lots of HNG’s have female screen-names set up to act as ‘references’ for them! I notice that a lot of newbies seem to have trouble with this concept. Which is understandable since in the vanilla world its considered rude to talk to a guy’s ex-girlfriend. But in the D/s Scene its the opposite, experienced players will accept and accommodate this kind of request gladly.
Test #12 “I have three real life collared slaves right now, but you can’t talk to them.” Okay, when you consider the ratio and all, this sounds possible. What makes this an acid test failed (and failed miserably at that) is the last part. I have met couples (and even triples) that really were looking for an extra person to add to the mix. This is not uncommon at all in the Scene. But these couples were looking TOGETHER. If a ‘dom’ has anyone already collared to them, you probably ought to talk to her FIRST!
Test #13 “I don’t need safe words.” Well of course he doesn’t! If he said this he’s likely a snert and therefore he’s never really been in a scene! Of course he might be a predator too, and then he wouldn’t need safewords either. Need I say more?
Test #14 “My slaves trust me to set their Limits for them.” If you hear a “dom” say this it’s most likely because these slaves only exist in his mind. Or worse still, his ‘slave’ is simply the victim of spouse abuse. Even so called TPE (Total Power Exchange) and other sorts of 24/7 (i.e., full time) D/s relationships should involve some careful negotiation.
Test #15 “I’m Married, my wife can’t know about us” If I have to explain this one too you, you’ve got problems. I have played with many married submissives in my time, but ONLY with the express permission (and more often than not, participation) of their husbands. Safe D/s requires complete honesty. You can’t build a good Scene on lies. There are plenty of people that will be willing to tell you differently; but please note, they will all turn out to be adulterers (and hence, liars) themselves.
Test #16 Insert your own Acid Test here. You will learn much from your mistakes and missteps. If you form an online contact with a “dom” that falls through, analyze WHY it fell through. Don’t make the same mistakes twice if you can help it.
So to finish, there are positives and negatives about an online D/s relationship. Some people tend to complete right them off as ‘not real’ but I hugely disagree, they are just different and it may be they suit you really well, especially if you’re at an early stage of just exploring.
Just be careful, okay… I know how strong the desire to be a sub to someone can be, but stay smart, stay safe and trust your instincts.