The path to a D/s relationship can be full of pitfalls for the unwary. Following on from my article on top tens, here are a few more to get you having a think.
1) Find a submissive support network in the local (real life) community.
This is especially good advice even if you are an old timer. There is nothing like talking in real life to other submissives who know and understand the local community. If there isn’t one you could consider starting your own. Always meet in a public place. You do not need to discuss what you are doing with the proprietors. One thing that my local groups does it that we change venues; too many of them were being attempted to be crashed by Dominants.
Local groups where you are on the same side of the slash, provide a safe and welcoming space where you can be yourself.
2) Get involved in local munches.
OK so this is a little different than the first point as obviously this time you will be mixing with people on the different sides of the slash. But there will be wiser heads around who have seen it all before, who know the predators and will try and make the space as welcoming as possible; it’s in their own best interests. if you feel shunned or if there is a clique, try another munch.
3) If you are on Fetlife, read peoples’ profiles properly and carefully.
Try not to just see what it is you want to see. And if you think you are in danger of being hoodwinked by your own eagerness, is there someone from your new support network who is more experienced who can help you?
4) Never go anywhere when meeting up with a new partner without a safe call.
By that, I don’t mean you calling; that at a certain time and they call you. This might mean a discreet trip to the bathroom for example. Never take this one for granted and I would avoid playing with anyone in private on a first date. Possibly the second one too.
5) Beware of any new Dominant who has no wish to negotiate a scene with you or insists on no safe words.
Un-negotiated scenes and Consensual Non-Consent are for people in very well established dynamics. Power Exchange (PE) should not happen from the get go. Any Dominant worth his salt would never try to force the exchange before you really do know each other; for his sake as much as yours.
It might seem unromantic or unsexy to go through a potential scene in minute detail. But believe me, the inter-web is full of stories of submissives of all genders who have been horribly abused.
6) Trust your gut.
Meet somewhere neutral, open and around other people. Always make your own way to and from the venue. If you get the feeling that they are trying to manipulate you, by words, actions, promises or trying to get you drunk (!). Make an excuse and walk away.
7) Don’t assume everyone else thinks like you
Women especially tend to be far too trusting. Try to take a step back and question the underlying motivations of the person in front of you. A good Dominant will be patient, kind, restrained and will have their eye on the long term goal, not the short term fuck. They will be sizing you up for fit to their ways as much as the other way around.
8) Don’t sext before you are in a dynamic
Unusual eh for a kink person and self confirmed slut to be recommending restraint? Fine if sexting is your game and that’s all you want. But is it? So many women exchange pictures on the premise that they will get something back; long term play, a relationship etc. If the new person is asking for them before a dynamic is established you can bet your bottom line that you are just providing wank fodder. Or worse, they are just ‘picture collectors’.
9) Don’t automatically dismiss public play.
Despite all of the horror stories that you read on the internet, public play spaces provide one of the safest ways of getting your fix without placing yourself in danger. Always remember to negotiate with the Top, they are just your Top for that session but that makes it no less important. Never play under the influence of drink or any type of dis-inhibiting drug.
Of course when you are not playing, you can meet and chat with other members of the community and build your kinky network!
10) Accept that mistakes will be made.
On your side and theirs. Not everyone who you meet will be a predator. But neither will they be everything they pretend to be either. There might well be hidden agendas e.g married when you have said that’s a deal breaker for example. There will be times when you do make mistakes. Be gentle with yourself.
Make no mistake, the drive to have sex is one of the most powerful urges we can have. It is so powerful that it will lead some to abuse and manipulate to get their fix and others to overlook the red flags; it truly goes both ways.
Keep safe and enjoy yourself on your new Kinky journey!