Safety Is Priority #1
This is something that needs to be firmly imprinted in your mind. No matter what is taking place, personal safety has to be of the highest concern. We all know this is not just limited to the BDSM but everything we do. At work we are taught the safety procedures as required by our company. In dating, we are taught about safety in terms of sex and not putting oneself in a position of danger. We are shown what parts of town to avoid. Each day, safety precautions are taken to ensure our own survival.
Sadly, this sensibility goes out the window when dealing with the online community. What is really depressing is that it seems to worsen when focusing upon the BDSM world. People, especially submissive types, tend to have crazy ideas about what is required. Certainly submission is an important part of the process. However, that does not mean that one needs to listen to every individual who claims to be dominant. Until one submits to another, he or she is still a free person operating on a level of equality with all others.
Over the years, I have read about people doing the dumbest things and getting themselves into bad situations. Some have ended very badly i.e. death. This is something to keep in mind. The worst can happen if one is not careful. I do not write this to be a debbie downer as much to wake people up to the realities of life.
If you are not taking precaution in all that you do, especially as it pertains to your online BDSM interactions, you are playing with fire.
It Is Your Responsibility
Again, I am going to pick on the submissive types because they are the worst culprits of this even though they do not have a monopoly on this behavior. The bottom line is that safety is YOUR responsibility. I do not care what you believe proper protocol is. It means nothing when you are dealing with someone who is not apt to adhere to it. And that is another reality of life: many claiming to be dominant, or worse, Masters, are not worthy of that title. Imprint this idea upon your mind also. Safety for you falls directly to you.
So many want to obey the commands given to them. This is wonderful if one is involved in a BDSM relationship with someone who is knowing. It takes a great deal to "own" another meaning the responsibility is astronomical. To properly do it, one needs to embark on a major learning curve even if he or she has decades of experience within the lifestyle. Each person is different and a true dominant knows it will take time to learn about that person. Safety will be at the forefront of his (her) mind. Yet we do not see this in most.
Therefore, do not believe the online garbage that just because someone says he or she is dominant, that you need to pay attention or obey what that person says. This is especially true for those who have not earned that obedience. I am always amazed when submissives follow the orders of a "dominant" who sends in instructions in the first email. Are you kidding me? Why would one even entertain such a thought? Again, common sense is uncommon.
Above all else, be sure to monitor your actions to ensure you are behaving in a safe manner.
The advantage one has in dealing online is the anonymity. While most of us know the frustration that comes with this because it allows the pretenders to create whatever persona they desire, the truth is it is a protective measure. The great thing about it is that one need to do nothing to take advantage of it. The medium itself has it build it. One only need to keep information private and all is well.
Yet this is where people go wrong. The bottom line is the Internet is not a place to reveal too much information until you are sure what you are dealing with. Personal emails, im, and location are to be kept private. Most sites have communication tools, generic in nature, build in which allows interaction without revealing about oneself. This is handy. Hide behind your user name (or first name only) until you are at a point where it is safe to reveal it.
Many seem to feel that when a dominant says to answer the question, that is a must. In many instances this is true but when dealing online and getting acquainted, most true dominants will not push the issue. They understand that the release of information is earned and a submissive who is protective of his or her safety reveals a lot about the worth of that person. One who does not value him or herself to this degree most likely is not going to make a good sub. Take note if the person you are dealing with says you have to tell me (fill in the blank). If you feel the talk track is moving too fast, then mention it. This will be an indication of what you are dealing with.
Another area that seems obvious yet is often broken is the in-person meeting. The tendency here is to move quickly which is commonly a mistake. It is crucial that you get to know someone before meeting. Again, I am speaking solely from a safety standpoint. Online communication works well because of the anonymity. However, there comes a time when things need to progress. That is where the traditional methods of communication enter. Telephone calls works well even in the era of IM and text. The reason is simple: if you are dealing with a 45 year old woman yet she sounds like a 60 year old man, that might be an indication something is amiss. At the same time, if one claims to be 55 and single yet you hear a baby crying in the background, more questioning is required. There are signs in talking with someone which will confirm or deny some information provided.
When the point is reached for in person meeting, do it in a public place. This is a must. Too many want to head to private quarters for fun. Bad move. While the percentages are in your favor that this person is not akin to a Craigslist killer, one never knows. Sure there is never absolute certainty but if one is unwilling to meet for coffee or lunch, it could be a sign. Public meetings will might help to flush out inconsistencies in the person's story.
Much of this sounds negative and it is meant to be. The process that you are embarking upon is to disprove what the person says. There are too many liars and cheats out there to risk it. Safety is your responsibility and if a person is lying to you, that needs to be uncovered. Failure to do that could have catastrophic consequences.
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