A while ago (pre-coronavirus) I received this question –
Reader: I am a beginner Dominant and I keep on making BDSM mistakes. Can you give me some pointers so I am more proficient in my BDSM?
In order to answer your question, I will concentrate on Internet BDSM mistakes that I, and friends, have made. Hopefully, after our virus nightmare ends, you can put these suggestions to good use. (I also suggest you watch https://www.kinkweekly.com/photography/beginners-guide-bdsm-basics/
here on kinkweekly!)
Back to your question. I will concentrate on Internet slipups as the Internet saccounts for a significant number of BDSM hookups – and slip ups!
So, here is my list of “Internet BDSM Blunders” – made not in the face of good advice but rather with a lack of any. Some of these might seem obvious. But if I had a dollar for everyone who ignored some obvious advice, with disastrous results, I would own the world!
Facetime. Back in the day, “I don’t have a scanner” was the excuse du jour for the lack of a picture. A couple years later, “I don’t have a digital camera” became the buzzword of the faker generation. Now with Photoshop, anyone can lose twenty pounds and twenty years instantly. If you are starting to get serious and you are far away from each other, insist on the webcam/skype/facetime or any live face-to-face platform that is on every cellphone. And, when you finally meet, both of you will look 30% better than you did online. Guaranteed!
Get to real time meetings as quickly as possible. This piece of advice is as valid today as it was back in the day. Spending an inordinate amount of time online without a face-to-face meeting is a risky strategy. (Unless your thing is online BDSM, which is a valid approach.) It is very easy to bond with someone you only know through emails, yahoo messenger, Skype, Tinder, Facebook, IG, Twitter, Fetlife, IM’s and even cellphoning. Each person can tell the other person what they want to hear, without the necessity of looking the other person in the eye. Obviously, if you are on a good track, meeting will only validate your judgments and speed up the whole process. But, if the relationship is built on a hidden incompatibility that only a real time meeting can uncover, you can spend time almost falling in love — only to have that shatter when you finally meet.
Give, and demand, honesty online. Not to suggest you play Sherlock Holmes, but a liar can be spotted very easily. If you spot major untruths or inconsistencies, the operational word should be “next!” This is one principle that has not changed — give, and demand, honesty no matter what platform you are using to communicate.
Fly the friendly skies. Even if you are facetimeing, don’t use distance as an excuse to postpone a real time meeting. In-person is still more revealing than the webcam and bargain airline tickets are readily available. Ten years ago I attempted an LDR. But, I procrastinated our meeting, month after month. Finally, I got on a plane. We were totally incompatible! I should have scheduled a visit much sooner – and I would not have wasted all that time. Obviously, all this advice must wait until the pandemic is over.
“There’s a sucker born every minute!” I think P.T. Barnum must have had the Internet in mind when he coined that saying. Don’t take anything at face value; see how the whole picture is painted before you judge it. If we have learned anything about “fake news” this election cycle, it is that people can say anything online and it will be believed.
Don’t exaggerate. Although we all exaggerate from time to time (weight, height, age, job experience?), it is very tempting to go for the home run online, via texting or with any communications app. It is especially appealing when the other person says, “I like Nipsey Hustle,” so you agree – even thought you hate hip-hop. Although that might not technically be “lying,” it should be kept to a minimum. Unless you are down with online, sexting, DM’s or any non-contactual (my word!) BDSM, exaggerations will eventually catch up to you when you meet.
The Internet is a great tool for meeting people – people you might not ever have met in a million years pre-Internet. (Although I miss Blockbuster, an Internet victim.) But, as with any interpersonal medium, one should be cautious – but not paranoid. Hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes. Because I sure made a bunch of them!
About the Author
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.