July 6, 2009

Online Is Not Real

Everyday I encounter someone else who believes that their online experience is real. Again, I am perplexed by this idea. Why does common sense exits when it comes to BDSM? It seems that whatever smarts someone had, they left it at the door upon entering the BDSM community.

Let me ask this "would you consider an online 'marriage' to be real"? The answer is that most would say that this is not reflective of reality. Alas, these same individuals will turn around and proclaim to be a Master or a slave because they have some experience online. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Online is not real. I do not know how to make it any clearer than this. The Internet is a mechanism which allows people to create any persona they desire. To become something online, it is as simple as creating a profile on a site, reading a few different sites to get the basics of that topic and then starting the process. Instantly, one is whatever he or she wants.

My philosophy is that the Internet is a wonderful way to gain some basic knowledge about the BDSM lifestyle. Also, with the advent of the different "dating' sites, it allows us to interact with people all over the world. Those of us who were involved in this way of life before the Internet remember how small a community it was since the reach was so limited. Before long, you knew every Master, Dom, slave, sub, and swinger in your town. The options were minimal.

Now, we can meet people from all over the world. I personally am involved with people from England, Montana, and Canada. This is only possible through the reach of the World Wide Web. Introductions and prospecting is an excellent use for this medium. However, if things never move from online to some other form of human interaction, one is not involved in reality. Instead, he or she is stuck in the virtual world.

One of the first things I ask when I am interacting with someone who is new to me is whether she is willing to come and visit. Over the years, there were more than a few who chastised me for taking this approach. At that instant I knew what type of person I was dealing with. These types are not willing to move things to the human level. They prefer it to remain online.

Online BDSM is a game. My experience tells me most of the people are pretenders. They create the image they way while having no foundation in the real world. Reading, studying, and writing about a scene are vastly different than being involved in one. Being told what a leather strap feels like is nothing compared to the sensation of having it strike your skin. Real life involves human contact.

Those who are online have the knowledge and perhaps background in BDSM. However, what they lack is the experience. Regardless of what people believe, individual personalities sway any type of relationships. There is not a "one size fits all" mold. Knowledge provides a foundation, experience offers individual tastes. There is no way to know what is desired (or not desired) until it is tried. Online interaction fails to provide this.

The other consideration that we never see online is how others are affected. Few live in a vacuum. They have others to consider. Yet, the ones online rarely mention these factors. It is up to you to be pragmatic about what is going on in the lives of those you love. When others are put at risk for something that is less than certain, you are neglecting your responsibilities. Online chats are fun. Nevertheless, they rarely turn into much more. The percentages are against you.

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