BDSM Education- Tips about Online BDSM

Chat Rooms

Online BDSM


The Internet sure has become a popular place for people claiming to be Dom/me's, Submissive’s, Dominissive.  It also has become a breeding ground for wannabes and people that are into hurting others by claiming to be something they are not.  (Something not just limited to BDSM, but chat rooms in general).  Anonymity makes some folks a lot more bold than they would be face to face.  You have no idea if you are chatting or e-mailing a 12 year old, 60 year old, male, female, child.  To quote Philip Miller, co-author of Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns when talking about chat areas "where men are men and so are half the women!"  

One of the things that gets tossed around in chat rooms, is that online is not real and others that say online is real, but more commonly “it’s the only way I can do BDSM”, i.e. they are married or in a committed relationship, hiding behind the monitor replacing Hustler magazine with hot “play” chat, seeing just how much they can get someone to do, or just out to see how many they can collect as “theirs” or “their one and only.”  

A few things to think about: There is a real person on the other end sitting at a keyboard.  Who are you to criticize, put down or make fun of someone involved in an online relationship?  If both involved are happy then that's all that matters right?  You of course are entitled to feel it's not real, it's not viable if no face to face actual real time experience is included.  If the people are game players, its a game.  If the people are cons or wannabes, then its not real.  If people are getting something rewarding from it, it feels real to them.

The majority of those online do not play in real life.  Yes you do have some that are toying with ideas before trying them out in real life, some that play or live it in real life and a few that are prominent in the BDSM community, just not the majority of those found online.  The largest number of those online are simply living out a fantasy or looking to have an affair.

Remember online they really don’t have to know how to handle a whip, how to tie someone up safely, etc.  That comes from real life hands on experience. So PLEASE keep it in your head that those online are not a good representation of the real world BDSM.  Also keep in mind that if you are seeking advice you should do so in real life as the majority offering their guidance and opinions haven't any real life experience.  Find a munch near you, you are more likely to get your questions answered by folks that actually participate and/or live it.  

Another thing you want to avoid is the person that is saying "that's wrong," "that's bad" or "your not real" etc.  Commonly they accompany these statements with I am here to help newbies and/or protect them from wrong advice/information and those that aren't real.  In general these people haven't a real world view/clue about BDSM and their limits and judgmental ideas come shining through.  Often these folks will be making claims about what is safe and what isn't.  Single tails, fire, piercing, knives for example are safe for some of us, and beyond others limits so they deem them unsafe.  News flash--You are the only one that gets to decide what is safe for you, not someone else.  

Along the way you might run into some people that think it’s okay to non-consensually make demands of you.  One of the biggest ones is “I am a Domme so you will cap my name” (in most cases nickname) or call me Mistress/Master/Daddy, etc.  Or I am a submissive so lowercase my name (in most cases nickname).  The other popular one “it’s the rules/protocol of this chat room that you address all Dom/me's with caps, all sub's with lower case and a upper and lower case (M/m) for Switches”.  Don’t let them try to inflict such upon you.  The other common argument you hear “it's respect to cap a Dom/me's name.”  Why just because you claim to be a Dom/me?  I am pretty sure respect has to be earned and you can’t non-consensually demand someone to respect (Webster’s-to feel or show honor or esteem for) you or another.  How can one honor (Webster’s- high regard) or show esteem (Webster’s-value highly) to someone you don’t know making demands of you?  You can’t.  They must have a pretty big ego and/or low self esteem to make such demands of someone they just met or chat with online.  Some will even cease speaking to you if you don’t kowtow to their demands or worse yet start an online fight with you about it.

Long ago the caps/lowercase mess was started by a male (claiming to be a Master) that decide if you wished to speak with him (Dom/me or sub) you would address him using a capital and the name he wanted or he wouldn’t talk to you…talk about ego!  What he didn’t ever get was he was missing out of chatting with some nice folks, his loss.  From there as a matter of convenience, or so that people could assume one was a Dom/me or sub, people started using caps and lower case in their names/handles/nicknames.  Be an individual and do as you wish and NEVER let anyone tell you what to do or how to, especially someone you just met online.  

Food for thought- Most people believe that both Dom/me and sub are equals and neither is less than the other.  So think about either capping or lowercasing everyone so that all are equals.  

Additional food for thought- Have you thought that maybe some people just don't want to be bothered to do the caps/lowercase stuff or they feel it doesn't matter to them and the way they live their BDSM life, or they consider themselves writers that use good grammar?  I suggest you not be judgmental and not try to demand people do things one way or the other.

Another thing you might find online is a persons name inside {brackets} [brackets] some do this to represent that they are collared.  Also common is Blah’s_nickname, representing they are with someone/taken.

Online collars are NOT REAL; it’s no more real than giving someone a wedding ring to wear when you aren’t married.  It really demeans a real collar that is put upon a submissive by their Dom/me, face to face in real life.

It is also not okay for anyone to be punishing another unless they are a couple or consent has been given.  This seems to get forgotten way to often.

All too often you will find someone wanting to be the chat room police or the rule maker.  Best to ignore them unless they can prove they own or work for the chat room provider. (Some chat rooms have monitors/operators)

Online BDSM brings fantasy play where you can do anything you want without repercussions.  Cut a cock off for example, no pain, no blood, no trip to ER, and no arrest.  But remember it’s NOT REAL.  Online gives everyone with particular fetishes/kinks a place to find someone with the same likes.  Oh yeah and if you don’t like the “scene” that is going on, leave, don’t ruin it for those that are enjoying it.  Remember it is just your limits intruding on their erotic/bizarre/sick/boring play.  At the same time don’t try to hog the chat room with you doing long fantasy/play scenes constantly.  And yes people can still chat while others are playing/doing online-collaring ceremonies/etc.  Trying to make everyone be quiet and watch is not consensual, rude and should be avoided.

If you are involved in online play, I highly recommend you set up safe words just like you would in real life.  All too often some get so wrapped up in the fantasy that they blur reality with online fantasy.  Yes some even say they get into subbie headspace or that it feels so real.  Besides why not get into the habit of something you would do in real life?  You should also learn about the toys that you are claiming to be using in the online play.  It helps both Dom/me and sub if they can visualize the toy.

Online brings a different aspect to BDSM; you only have the person’s mind/mental capacity to play with.  If you are a Dom/me in an online relationship giving orders/instructions you have to believe the sub is doing the things you told them and they are not just typing oh yes I did blah. (web cams are a whole different story)  If you are a sub you have to believe the instructions are given with thought and care and not just to see how far you will go or how many weird things you will do for them.

Web cams-These make online relationship appear more real.  It is quite common for the sub to have a web cam and Dom/me not.  Some also have voice capabilities and others just type at the keyboard.  This expands the online relationship by the Dom/me giving instructions and then watches the sub carry them out.  A large percent of this type of interaction is the Dom/me having the sub do things to themselves, i.e. hit their ass with their hand/belt/ruler, slap their tits, put clothespins on body parts and the biggie- play with themselves (by hand/dildoes/butt plugs/vibrators/etc).  Some times they are allowed to cum and other times not.

A few friendly suggestions for online:

Act like you were actually at a party or in a public place in real life.  You’d be polite right?

You wouldn’t walk up and insult someone for their thoughts on a conversation they were having with a group of folks or with an individual.  If someone is sharing their knowledge or experience, listen, don’t insult or start a fight with them or tell them they don’t have a clue.  Don’t call them a wannabe or say "you can’t possibly have any real life experience"; that just shows your ignorance and shows everyone around you that you have no manners.

Don’t come in to a chat room and say: “How big is your dick?”  “Anyone in here horny?”  “Kneel bitch” you wouldn’t do that in real life so why do you think it’s okay online?  

Tell the truth.  Nothing is more hurtful than someone hiding behind a lie.

Just because you claim yourself to be a Dom/me don’t expect to treat submissive’s as if they were your submissive, that is NOT OKAY.  Just because you claim yourself to be a submissive don’t expect Dom/me's to treat you as if you are theirs, that is NOT OKAY.

Don’t be over eager to find someone and jump at the first person that talks to you.  All too often new subbies will be professing their subbiness to the first Dom/me to give them the time of day, placing them high upon a pedestal.  That is a recipe for failure from the get go.  When it fails all to often the subbie starts bad mouthing the Dom/me.  Why?  Because the Dom/me didn’t meet the expectations they created in their minds.  Same goes for the Dom/me don’t be so eager to want a sub that you will jump into having them change their handle/profiles to reflect they belong to you within the first day of hooking up with you and later figure out that it won’t work out.  Just another recipe for hurt feelings and bad mouthing.

Also sub's don’t expect the Dom/me to fix/solve all your problems.  Sure your Dom/me wants to hear about your life but they don’t want to hear you talk about your problems continuously, this makes you into a needy, high maintenance sub, get a therapist if you have real problems.  Dom/me's it goes for you as well, if you are constantly dumping your problems on your subbie, you are just weighing them down with things they can’t fix (and they do want to fix everything for you), if you have real problems see a therapist.

Submissive’s don’t keep bothering and begging a Dom/me for attention.  Don’t try to manipulate the Dom/me to get what you want from them that is exactly the opposite of what a subbie should be doing.  You want to attract their attention?  Try “I read your profile and can’t stop thinking about what you wrote” or strike up a conversation with them, ask polite questions.  You might even want to offer to get them an online drink or something to eat.  This would show your interest and submissiveness.

Once you get a conversation going, be responsive; be as impressive as you can be with your well-worded responses and attitude.  Show your sense of humor, your intelligence, etc.

Want to get to know someone better/more?  It is best to use the chat rooms IM (instant message) or the chat's e-mail program/address.  This will cut down on being hassled or stalked by someone you don't feel is right for you.

Let's face it there are a bunch of jerks out in the world.  People try to do things that would not be acceptable or be put up with in the real world, so don’t put up with it online either.  If it doesn’t feel right to you, end it, but do at least attempt closure so no one is left hanging in the air wondering what the heck he or she did wrong...COMMUNICATION!

If you get involved with an online relationship, don’t break the rules you two have set up and agreed upon.  Don’t lead someone on.  Don’t promise your Dom/me you will only learn/be with them and be off searching, don’t promise your sub they will be the only one and you are off collecting others.

If you two part there is no reason to start gossiping or talking badly about the other person.  It is usually simply incompatibility, expectations not matching, one not getting what they wanted or someone else has interfered and created doubt within one of you.  Trying to wreck someone’s reputation is probably not the way to go, remember the shoe could be on the other foot next time.

Online can be addictive and one can immerse themselves so much that their real life begins to suffer.  It's easy to make a few clicks and be chatting and/or flirting as you sit in curlers with goop on your face or sit in your stained and holy boxers.  It's easy to flirt and prod to see if someone is interested, for some reason it seems to be human nature to see if someone wants you, it strokes your ego in some way.  Some folks have lost their jobs, cheated on their spouses and ruined their marriages and a zillion other things.  So ALWAYS put real life first.

Bottomline: Everyone gets to feel about BDSM online they way they wish, you must respect them for their beliefs.

Always remember what Nathaniel Hawthorne once said:

“Words— so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”

A few tips for online to real life 

Beware of predators.  In general they are looking for the vulnerable, for them to brutally abuse, injure, and maybe even exploit or rob, and the biggie--turn them into a sex slave or the quick affair.

Be aware that Long distance relationships rarely work.  Online, phone calls and seeing each other a few times a year is not really going to cause the relationship to grow.  It takes hands on face to face for a relationship to grow.  Long distance relationships seem to end up as non committed affairs without much responsibility.  Long distance relationships also tend to attract people that have commitment issues.  To quote Philip Miller, co-author of Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns when talking about long distance relationships "I have learned two things from them. First, the endurance of a long distance relationship is proportionate to the patience of the lovers multiplied by the depth of their pockets, divided by the distance between their abodes.  Secondly, nobody has that deep a pocket nor that much patience."  For more on long distance relationships and those thinking about moving to be with someone.

If a person has been involved with BDSM in real life for any length of time, they will know about local BDSM organizations, a title of BDSM books, play spaces, munches and places to purchase BDSM toys/attire/books.

Real life is NOTHING like online.  Real life is much more rewarding.  In real life the person doesn’t go away when you walk away from your computer.

Do not rush meeting face to face, spend time talking, online, on the phone, web cam interactions, it may take weeks even months for both of you to feel comfortable.  If either is pushing to meet right away the first time you talk this might be a sign of moving too fast.

Lots of people never give out their real identity.  It is very common to have a name/nickname for the BDSM community and one for the rest of your life.  Some even have a separate phone number and address for BDSM community and another for the other part of their life.  Remember in this day and age it is common for people to only have a cell phone and not have a phone at home.  It is a very real threat to be outted and have your life ruined.  Don’t let someone guilt you into giving this information, especially when they try to manipulate this information from you claiming “everything I have learned about safe calls says you must give me this information otherwise you are hiding something.”  Asking for personal information like Drivers License Number, Social Security Number, credit card numbers, etc., should send up a red flag that this person might be trying to collect information for unlawful purposes.  If someone sends you (mail, e-mail or fax) a copy of such, it might not even be real.  They could be providing you with someone else's identification, have altered their own information or simply are an imposter.

Prevent Identity theft--Never give anyone your Social Security number, Drivers License Number, Credit card numbers, PIN numbers, passwords, etc.  For more information contact the Federal Trade Commission.

References are they worth anything?  For the most part no.  Why?  Would the person you are asking for references give you someone to check with that would say they were someone not to be trusted? or didn't know a whip from artichoke?  No, they would be giving you a name of someone they have already gotten permission from (privacy) to back them up.  What if they are well known?  That really doesn't mean anything one way or the other (maybe they are good with self PR or some people like them or some people dislike them).  It's an individual thing when it comes to respecting someone.  Just because someone doesn't like another they may say unfavorable things about someone that does know their stuff and is a safe player.  You really need to make your own judgments and not rely on others perceptions.  It is easy to have an opinion about someone.  It is really easy to spread an opinion around (good or bad).  What one believes is the truth can become blurred very rapidly.  Someone jealous or hurt can say something just because they now dislike the person.  Remember that what you are hearing is just one persons perspective and prejudice.  Try listening to the person when they talk to you or others, do they sound like they know what they are talking about?  Does it match your expectations or wants about BDSM?  If the opportunity comes along at a play party, watch them play.  Does the person they are playing with look like they are enjoying themselves?  Do they look like they know how to use the toys?  Trust you instincts they've worked for you so far in your life.

Meeting for the first time is probably best at a munch, restaurant, other public place or BDSM function.  Similar to how you would meet someone not into BDSM.  Since this is pretty low risk and only if you felt the need, would I suggest a minimal safe call.  Safe call-Where you set up ahead of time with a person that you will call and check in when you arrive and when you are in your car (or departing) on the way back home.  Follow up with the person you met to let them know you have arrive home safely. 

Playing for the first time alone (not at a BDSM dungeon—if at a BDSM function I’d set up safe calls just like meeting for the first time) you might want a more detailed safe call.  (Do you set up safe calls for non BDSM sexual encounters?  If no, then why do one now?)

Safe calls- The concept is a good one, but the reality of it working well is not always easy.  Police are not interested in checking on someone from a call from your check in person just because you haven't checked in with them or you haven't answered your cell phone, or haven't answered the phone at where you are supposed to be, when called by the check in person.  Police see it as a wild goose chase.  Also anyone being the check in person might be required to become part of an investigation or testify in court.  If your check in person is not out to the entire world about their lifestyle then they are probably not a good choice for you to ask, you'd be outing them if anything happened to you.  With that in mind, the best I have been able to come up with:

~Let the person you are going to play with know you are setting up a person(s) to do check in calls with.  If they have a problem with it, don’t bother to meet them; it’s not worth the risk.

~Set up ahead of time with a person that you know that you will call and check in when you arrive, make sure they know how you are arriving.  If in your own vehicle they should know your license plate number and description of your car.  If you are arriving by plane, they should know dates of travel and flight information and what city, state you will be in.  What transportation you will be using on the other end and if you are staying at a hotel, all it's information.

~When you arrive call them, if you haven’t already given them the name/nickname of whom you are meeting do so now, give them if possible your current location.

~A second call should be made within the next hour once you are in the location you will be playing at.

~A third call should be made within a specific time period that you and the person you are calling agree to.  Example—within 3 hours of the second call.

~You should have set up in advance words that you can say that would communicate to the person if you are ok or you need help.  What if I am being forced to call and say I am okay? And what if the person is listening in on the call?  This will be a bit trickier so try setting up something as simple as a long ummmmmm or start your answer off with a code word such as "well", you could also try a long pause as a response to a question from your safety person.  Use your imagination for your code word for I am in trouble as well as I am okay.  BUT be sure you don’t set up something that is second nature to you and could be taken wrong by your safe person.

~Call your safety net person when you are in your car (or departing) on the way back home so they can stop worrying.

~Call them again when you are home.

~Follow up with the person you met to let them know you have arrive home safely. 


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