In the recent months I have seen D/s relationships started and ended. I have seen the heartache it caused, the despair, the pain (not in a good way). I have seen the misunderstandings between people, have seen the confusion, the wavering confidence in oneself and others. The anger, the sadness. All of the relationships I talk about have started online and all of them – in my humble opinion – have started too quickly.
Let me first say: I totally understand the longing of fulfilling those deep feelings, of wanting to be controlled by a Dominant if you have submissive feelings, or wanting to be given the gift of someone’s submission when you have dominant feelings. Still, a BDSM relationship should not be thought about lightly. It is a commitment you make and the intensity of such a commitment might be more intense than that of a ‘normal’ relationship. This is even more true for relationships between people who are not living together and where part of the relationship happens online or with written communication.
There are some things that I see as very important before you embark on this kind of journey – things that should be common knowledge, but it’s remarkable to see how many people forget about this in their eagerness to have a BDSM-based relationship.
First of all, get to know each other.
Getting to know each other doesn’t mean that you should talk online for one or two days and then make the commitment to have a BDSM-based relationship. No. You have to talk, and talk, and talk. For weeks. Not two, not three, but double that. Get to know each other. Reveal as much of your real life as you want, but when it comes to BDSM you should reveal all. Your views on it, your desires, your needs and wants, your limits, your limitations. Talk about it, see if you are a match. See if you can work around differences. Talk to each other about everyday things and see if the initial feeling of ‘there’s a click’ or ‘being in love’ is still there after weeks of talking. Do not make a commitment before you are more or less sure that there is a chance for it to succeed. And once again, you don’t know this after one or two days.
During the period of getting to know each other, you can engage in BDSM activities. Give the potential submissive tasks and rules to follow. Accept rules and tasks from the potential Dominant. This is part of the process of getting to know each other and part of the process of knowing whether you are a good match for a BDSM-based relationship. If at all possible, arrange to meet each other a couple of times in real life before a commitment is made. Sometimes things can click perfectly online, but when you meet in real life, the click might just not be there.
Secondly, practice comprehensive reading.
When most of your communication is in writing, make sure that you read and understand every word. Also always keep in mind that you cannot see the other person’s face. You cannot hear the intonation in his/her voice. In other words, you might misinterpret the words. Communication through Skype, Whatsapp, KIK or any other kind of chat program is quite direct, meaning responses come and are given quicker than when you communicate using email. When you read something that makes you feel uncomfortable, take a moment to breathe before you answer. Read it again! Instead of starting an online quarrel, ask whether you have understood the other’s words the way they were intended.
Email conversations are a bit slower than chat conversations, giving you more time to answer. And, more time to think. When you read an email that upsets you, stop! Don’t answer it immediately, but stop and let it sink in. Let the words work their way through your brain. Try to take into account that you might not read the words the way they were intended to be taken. Only answer the email once you have given it time (not minutes, but hours!) and then, if things are still not clear and you have a feeling you might have misunderstood the words, please ask! Clarify the meaning of the words to avoid misunderstandings. Remember, you are still getting to know each other!
Third and last: enjoy!
While you are getting acquainted, enjoy! Enjoy the journey of discovery. Enjoy getting to know someone new. Enjoy the activities you engage in. And when you are ready, make the commitment and keep on enjoying. But even after you’ve made the commitment, you should always keep in mind that written words can be misinterpreted, that online relationships need a lot of work to keep them healthy.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with online BDSM-based relationships, but please be sensible about it and don’t just jump into it. It’s not a game!
Just my two cents…
© Rebel’s Notes