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On Cyber and Getting to Know a Dominant or submissive

This section was formerly "On Cyber and Getting to Know a Dominant Online" but I decided that the issue of safety was the main point, and that Dominants have safety problems as well. Recently there have been several cases where both Dominant and submissive made mistakes which later put them in dangerous and (eeks) very public situations. I feel that everyone can learn from this information. I will, however start with and put emphasis on information for submissives. All the article links will open in a seperate browser window so you don't lose this page.

Reality or Fantasy a great article written on cyber by mstigger

The Bold approach
(nick changed for what ever reason)

A stranger messages me:
Session Start: Sun Feb 22 02:37:20 1998
MG: do come over here....may I ask you to describe yourself?
* caryl blinks
me: you said you had a channel question
MG: no, I have a higher motive for wanting to talk to you...
me: ohhh..... well.. you can get to know me in channel ;)
Session Close: Sun Feb 22 02:38:56 1998
Session Start: Sun Feb 22 02:39:13 1998
* MG insists you tell him about your body
* caryl smiles softly
me: you insist?
MG: yes, I do. all your measurements please
* caryl smiles.. i'm sorry.. i dont tell those things to HNGS
Session Close: Sun Feb 22 04:42:14 1998

The worst thing about this approach is how often it's used and how many subs give the information to him. He's obviously not a Master, as no Master would be so crude as to use that approach. Of course starting out the exchange with a lie about needing to message me about a channel question was the first insult. (i was an op in channel at the time). He didn't seem to see anything wrong with starting out with a lie, then the rudeness and disrespect of the question.. and the assumption that he had any right to ask it

Safe Sane and Consentual*: The concept we live by.. the words you'll see and hear anywhere and everywhere as soon as you take your first glimse into BDSM, no matter where you first look. But what does that mean? It's what seperates people interested in BDSM from the abusers and those who would be abused. Everyone tries to define what exactly it means and where the boundaries are, but I'd like offer these, Safe Sane and Consentual from Mistress Steel, who has a wealth of incredible information on her site. Over the years, "SSC" has become something that everyone seems to use whether or not they understand it's meaning or use those concepts in reality. The terms and concepts can be very relative and are often used to judge what others do negatively. (The SSC Mistake) Another phrase I've recently heard is "RACK: Risk Aware Consensual Kink" which I think better reflects the responsibility for all involved. More important than the phrases, though, is the premise of self knowledge, responsibility and integrity.

Offline / Online BDSM Safety 4 great texts: "Safety 101", Online D/s.. safety from your first visit online; "First Time Meetings", safety tips for meeting someone from online; "First Scene Safety", How to make sure this is not a disaster waiting to happen; and "Emotional Safety", protecting YOU. these texts are by screamer, and contain some very useful information. Here's the link to her entrance page: The Screamer Girl - Thoughts on D/s and BDSM screamer's widely distributed intelligent writings about rights and expectations of submissives and lots of other great information

A new essay, and one I found to cover a wide variety of excellent points was written by Mistress Constance, and with her permission I share it here in hopes it may help some of you, Thoughts on Safety. When meeting someone, one of the most important things we need to pay attention to is our instincts.. our "gut feelings". Very often our biggest clue that someone should be avoided is an uneasy feeling that we're not sure why we have. One lady generously shared her personal experience regarding this in a Serious Issue.

I had linked here a great list of questions to ask a potential partner before committing to a relationship, as well as a questionnaire, but the link is long since broken. I'll compile a [partial] list myself, but do know that those "submissive checklists should be filled out by both partners, and the range of questions you should ask is very wide. Ask about their experience in BDSM but also in relationships in general. Ask about how they handle anger and how they expect their partner to. Ask about medical issues, feelings regarding all aspects of children and family situations and desires. Ask how much time they want or need to spend with the person they're in a relationship with and how much time they CURRENTLY have for it. If they say they don't have time to get to offline events to meet someone in the community, they probably don't have time to devote to an offline relationship. Ask their feelings on polyamory (for themselves as well as their partner). Ask about their feelings on control of financial issues, as well as who should have responsibility for control of any other day to day household issues. Do they want to live together? Get Married? Meet once a week? How are problems to be addressed in the relationship?

Please note.. it's understood that many submissives have a hard time questioning a Dominant, but if you ask to speak with Him/Her outside D/s roles, a good Dominant should be more than happy to do so... and listen carefully to the answers.. if you don't understand the answer, ask Him/Her to clarify it for you. These questions can and should be spread out over the length of time you get to know each other before a commitment is made, and each one is important. The answers will also give you additional information about Him/Her. If the Dominant hedges or refuses to answer any questions, it should definitely be a warning to you. Here's another good essay on this subject: Interviewing a Prospective D/s or BDSM Partner by ClairMatin, and Considerations for Negotiation by babalon is another list of questions and considerations to take a look at.

Finding Your Dominant! An extremely well written essay about How to Find and meet a Dominant written by Mistress Steel

Ok.. You're new.. you're starving for information and training. You've been reading, but you want real training. There are countless Dominants online and in real life who have offered to be your "mentor". Is this a good idea for you? What do you look for in a mentor? Before making any decisions, read Debunking the Myth of Mentors by Lord Colm and jade and Master, Mentor, Trainer, Protector by Master John, An explanation of these terms and how they apply in the classical formal BDSM lifestyle. There is a wealth of information on the Castle Realm site.. Please be sure and set aside a lot of time to browse and learn.

I just *can't* recommend this article enough! The Mindset of Safety by SoftOwl (Victoria) .. Please read

I was speaking with a Dominant type person once.. quite a while ago. His picture showed him to be quite handsome, and he seemed quite charming and intelligent. As i spoke to him, the subject of past relationships came up. He started complaining about his last sub.. how he just couldn't understand why she left and how she'd been dishonest with him and told him only when she left that she didnt like the things he did to her and never had.

I asked him about his negotiations with her before and after scenes, and he told me that the only time he ever asked her if she liked something was when he was actually doing it. I tried to explain to him that of course she's going to say she's enjoying it.. she's tied up and will say anything to please you! But he didn't understand the concept, He had also never even heard of aftercare, and let me know in no uncertain terms that he had his own way of doing things and would continue to do it his way... and afterall, what did a sub know about it anyway ?!

The conversation let me know far more about him than he could have imagined... about his lack of respect and responsibility for a sub, his lack of communication and his lack of maturity or desire to learn.

sub's experiences Good and Bad signs to look for in a dominant and why.. a variety of subs share their true stories of meeting Doms online and from online. Another page to check out is Some Advice and A Warning for the Novice Submissive by remie1121 about the signs she learned to watch for from her experience
School of Hard Knocks is the moving story of a sub coming from a background of abuse and her journey. Click the link other venues of experience for some of her experiences while searching online for a partner.

Sarabande (formerly submissives United for Consensual Kink) has changing articles for some good information.

Gorean Whispers Real Life Warnings Page with safety information and cautionary true stories.

submissives: Before meeting anyone in real life to play, educate yourself on safety risks for general play. There are practices that can be extremely dangerous to your health, and YOU should know these things! It's YOUR responsibility to safeword or communicate your concerns if a Dominant is doing something that isn't safe!

For some wonderful safety information, please click on Resources.

For a wonderful article about personal experiences and advice on attending play parties, read this great post by Heidi

safetyNET safetyNET is a nationwide network of BDSM/fetish support and education groups joining together to promote safety awareness, increase precautionary safety procedures and provide safety 'buddies' for those people planning to meet a potential BDSM/fetish partner for the first time, especially when that meeting is being held in an unfamiliar venue or involves long-distance between the partners. Kudos to APEX in Phoenix and Shibari in Las Vegas for originating this program!

Other Safecall Networks (I can't vouch for any of these people or networks):

The manipulator

A guy messages me on irc... says he's not very good at typing.. has alot of trouble expressing who he is and answering alot of personal questions in detail with type and insists on calling me. i've been online for 2 years, and have definately learned better than to allow THAT to happen.. but no matter what i say, even telling him several times that i have a Master, he keeps insisting.. talking about trust and how if i were a GOOD or REAL submissive, i would trust him enough to let him call me. Even after trying to explain to him how he was proving himself to be a dangerous person, he continued to insist.. and plead.. finally trying all the guilt angles.. "Fine!.. shot down again!" i could actually hear the sniffles!

I am a relatively strong woman.. with experience both online and off, and i'm fairly secure in who and what i am. I have nothing to prove to anyone, so this person would only have been a minor irritation... IF i could have stopped thinking of how much more insecure i was when i was newer.. and how much more pliable i was. Just knowing that he would keep on using this tactic with others and that there was nothing that could be done to stop him or to stop other subs from falling for his manipulations.

..and another one..
(5:10 PM) "you feel always abandoned, alone, sad, lost, hate, neglect, unwanted, humiliated, painful, angry, leftout, worthless, embarassed, small, hurt, resentment, shameful, isolated, scared, cold, empty. you feel all this .... you feel all these things, to a greater or lesser degree in your life. right ??? "

Sadly, there are those out there, perhaps the scariest of all to me, who without knowing anything about a submissive, will start right out telling her how she feels and who she is. His goal is to make her feel like he knows her as no one ever has .. understanding her innermost vulnerabilities and fears and there to make her into a strong woman. If the sub denies having those particular emotions, he will tell her she doesn't know herself. If she says that she is indeed a very strong, happy and fulfilled person, he will insist she's not... making it sound as if HE knows her better than she does. He will typically share little to nothing of who he is. This person is a predator. He preys on those with low self esteem and sees himself as some kind of "white knight" or hero. He will eventually make all those original assumptions of negative emotions reality.

This is the log (with names changed) from a "conversation" with one such person:

D/s Help & Info Pack

Real Life Experiences
(things that could NEVER happen to you!)

The Night A lesson learned from lack of negotiations
Cold as Ice's Story one sub's heart-wrenching story of her submission
A Cautionary Tale and Shea's Story .. are experiences of two submissives being used and mislead by someone they met online
Safety and Sanity in Our Lifestyle A very recent tragic murder in our Community
Jim's Story ...male submissives are just as vulnerable as females
Abuse in BDSM Moonvine's experience and a lesson in what can happen if you move too fast into a relationship with the wrong person

Kansas City Star Article: OLATHE, Kan. (AP) - A man who allegedly used the name "slavemaster'' to develop online relationships with women is suspected in the deaths of two women whose bodies were found in barrels on his property, authorities said.... John E. Robinson Sr., 56

abcnews.com article on "slavemaster" ..

The IRCops on bondage.com have stated this man was known to frequent subs_seeking_Masters and Masters_seeking_slaves channels.

Here's a posting regarding the submissive from Texas:

Tidbits from MistrsMare this page is well worth a visit.. there are many texts, some already widely distributed around the net, but some nice little jewels..

Subs: To be a more informed submissive, you should also understand what dangers face Dominants:

Safety For Dominants

Related Articles:
"Student Guilty in
Internet date-abuse case"

Justice for Oliver Jovanovic
How "Safe" is it being a Dominant? Probably more safe than for a submissive, but there are many dangers for Dominants as well. Experienced Doms advise that a Dom should get the same information on subs before meeting them and follow the same safety procedures.

Recently there was a very informative discussion on the soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm newsgroup which stemmed from someone asking about safety procedures for Dominants. Which follows are some responses offered by several Dominants, and permission was received to reprint each of them. [mega thanks to those who shared their knowledge and experience]

Clicking the below buttons for the articles will bring up a small window which can be closed when done reading.

Abuse Toward Dom/mes by Mistress Infinity. Second essay down

Dominant Ideas: Playing and Staying Safe a wonderful article by Gloria Brame.

and finally.. the other side of the coin.. The Shoe Box, a Master's Gift

Do you have a true story about what can happen in real life or on cyber that others can learn from? Please email me

Other Sites with Great Information on Safety and Insights

vaash's Home Page A beautiful Page with a wonderful section on safety
Submissive Women Kvetch Great Links and Essays regarding safety and resources from Jay Wiseman, author of SM 101

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* consentual - You will find this spelled both consentual and consensual. Consensual, from the word consensus is the most widely used and accepted spelling, but consentual, from the word consent is shown in a few dictionaries as an accepted spelling

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