Online Safety and Meetings
This page has been written, primarily with the female in mind, but caution is a good thing for men too! It can all sound rather grim, but provided a few basic precautions are taken (which may not be obvious to someone new to the scene) there is no reason why you should not thoroughly enjoy your journey through kinky cyber-world.
The Basic Facts
It is an Internet fact that an online user is never truly anonymous. Internet computers must know what each other are called in order to communicate with each other, in just the same way that you must know the address of a house in order to mail a letter to it. The Internet uses IP addresses, and every single computer connected to it has a unique IP address (there are complicated exceptions to this, but for our purposes the basic explanation is valid). So, each little bit of data sent across the Internet can be traced back to the computer (and therefore the person) who sent it.
This is not as scary as it seems because only your ISP knows who gets which IP address, and they will only reveal this information when pressed for it by the authorities. Just be aware that if you are doing things that are categorically illegal, they will find you.
The obvious thing to do when applying for membership online (such as our Forum) is to use a "screen name" which has nothing to do with the real you, and most people click on to this very quickly.
How many of you used your real name when your ISP asked what you wanted to use as a "Domain name"? I can tell you, quite a few. This site uses page tracking to see which pages on our site are most popular, and amongst the information captured is your domain name. Many ISPs append your chosen name at the front of it, so someone coming from "jsmith.tiscali.com" is a bit of a giveaway. The same naming is also used as part of your email address, so "email@example.com" doesn't really fool anyone.
Before you set out into the big bad world, sign up for a free web-based email account. Hotmail and Yahoo are two of the most popular, but a quick Google search for "free email account" will turn up dozens more.
Selecting a Partner
Apart from the obvious scouring of adverts from people in your location, and replying to answers to your own advert, probably the best way to find someone to play with is exactly the same as you would in normal life, with the exception of any visual cues. You get to know people through conversation and we provide the ideal opportunity to engage in conversation here in our Forum. The conversations are monitored by moderators who try to ensure that everyone plays nicely together.
Often a good guide is to sit back and see how other people react to each other. The cyber 'wannabe' is often quite vocal and forthright, but is often only repeating thoughts and ideas they have heard elsewhere. They are generally not engaged in conversation by the more savvy inhabitants, but when challenged on their ideas they either go very quiet or flounce out dramatically. Whereas, the genuine may not say much, but what they do say is appropriate, sensitive, thought-provoking and meaningful. Their views are sought out by others, and respected. It is not uncommon for some online people to know each other very well, and they would otherwise get together, but continents divide them. In this case, they each wish the best for the other and will happily guide you without prejudice.
There is as much information written between the lines as there is consciously written. Always read the words, think about them, and then go back and read what has been left unsaid.
In general, my method is to accept everything and everyone at face value and go along with it, but at the same time, presume that every last detail is a lie. The truth always comes out, slowly but surely. And if in doubt, ask someone who has proven themselves to be trustworthy and discreet, for their opinion.
Beware the Frauds!
As you become more experienced with the Internet, you will come to recognise the real from the fake. But for someone unaccustomed to this new form of communication there are a number of very common ruses used by online fakes that you should guard against:
These are fairly harmless, but very annoying. Usually male, but not always. They strike up a friendship in the usual way, but you may notice that you are providing all the information and getting very little in return. Usually they want to know your most intimate fantasies, and sometimes they ask for a picture of you ("I can't talk to someone unless I know what they look like" - so why do I have to be naked in it?). I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out what they do with all this information, but you can be sure that you will never actually meet them.
The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
You must always be on your guard against this specimen. They start out appearing completely sane and normal, having learned by heart all the right things to say, and quite possibly cribbed their advert from someone else. But then, just as you are beginning to think things are going well, they turn into someone else entirely. They morph from appearing a completely sane and considerate individual, into a crude and uncaring thug.
Sub males have a very hard time finding dominant women. The answer? They start out as Doms, but suddenly when you are expecting to receive a toasty bum, they switch on you, and you are expected to deal with them.
The entire Internet is riddled with men masquerading as women, and almost as common, women masquerading as men. I know that many women do it in order to avoid being 'hit on' at every turn, and I can imagine that it gets very tiresome, very quickly. Presumably, the men do it so they can sneak up on you, avoiding the usual 'man defences'.
With experience they are easy to spot, but may appear wise and all-knowing to someone new to the scene. These individuals are almost exclusively male, and inhabit online chat-rooms bluffing, bullying and blustering their way around as if they had all the experience in the world. Most easily identified by the fact that they are never shy about bragging about their "exploits", but in practice they have probably never seen a bare bottom in the flesh, never mind spanking one!
This list will probably be added to, when we think of others....
There is nothing wrong with giving and receiving erotic information online, providing it is clear that you both want an "online only" (cyber) relationship. More than one story on this site was born of cybering when personal meeting wasn't possible, and very exciting it is too. Even better, is the spanker's version of telephone sex, as applying imagery to a real audio track can be very arousing.
Getting to know each other
Step 1 - On Line
The most important thing when making the initial connection is that you take time to get to know each other, probably via e-mail and/or online chat. By writing down your individual likes and dislikes you can take a long, cool look at your relative compatibility before deciding to progress. Never rush, as this to and fro will reveal so much more about your prospective partner than many hours of talking. It is vital that you each answer all questions as honestly and completely as possible, and of course it follows that you should be constantly on your guard that the answers you receive are truthful. It is not necessary to reveal everything, personal details such as real name and exact location should be withheld for as long as is practical.
Step 2 - The Telephone (optional)
As you become more confident about your prospective playmate's sincerity, you may feel able to arrange a chat by telephone. Remember that giving out your phone number is probably the first time that you have revealed any concrete information that can be tracked back to you, so exercise caution. You should be extremely wary of anyone who is not prepared to talk on the phone, especially in this age of mobiles! There may be genuine reasons (other partners etc), but I would suggest that a person who refuses to talk directly to you probably has something more to hide.
Step 3 - Face to Face
Finally, the time will come to meet. Not when you are pressured into it, but when your own instincts tell you the time is right. This meeting place will be chosen by you. It will be a public place where you feel safe enough to meet a stranger for the first time. It will be somewhere easily found by a stranger in town, possibly a cafe or pub which you know. It may need to be some distance from your own home should you need to avoid recognition. During this meeting you will be able to chat about the subjects which have cropped up in your emails, and confirm that what has been said is accurate. Review all the subtle details of your relative kinks, and thrash out those minor incompatibilities.
Trust your instincts!
Taking it Further
Following on from this first meeting, and possibly after a cooling-off period, you can arrange your first private session together. If at any time you begin to feel that you are not well matched, then face up to the fact. Do not be tempted to gloss over seemingly minor incompatibilities, as these may turn out to be more serious further down the line.
There is still a lot of talking to be done to ensure you are both 'singing from the same song sheet', and most importantly, you must organise how you can stop the action if you need to.
Don't miss "A First Meeting" - the firsthand experience of a female submissive meeting her new Dominant partner.
I strongly recommend that you always agree a system of "safewords" before any scene begins. Using the agreed system, you would be able to stop the scene dead, should you feel the need. If things go well, you will never feel the need to use your "safeword", since this would indicate that your partner has misjudged the situation, or you have a basic incompatibility. However, it is important that you have that degree of security. In addition, it is helpful to agree a code by which you can signal your satisfaction with progress, without the need to come out of character.
Your chosen Safeword must be a word that you will remember in the heat of the moment. Picture the scene, one of deep sensuality, where you have both been carried along on a wave of mutual perverted erotica, when suddenly you need to stop it. The last thing on your mind will be a hastily agreed and obscure Safeword. Many people use the word "RED", which functions perfectly well, although I personally use that word routinely (can you believe that? ~grin~). My own preference is to simply use the word itself, "Safeword".
In addition to the 'show stopper', I recommend you agree a system of codewords which signal your partner's satisfaction with the event, without necessarily bringing things to a shuddering and embarrassing halt.
GREEN - "I'm fine with this, let's get it on"
AMBER - "This is heavy, but I'm OK with it. Just don't take it too much further"
RED - "I'm pretty close to Safewording, this about my limit"
For a very complete set of hints and tips written by other submissive women, it is worth paying a visit to the "Submissive Women Speak" website. This site also holds a refreshingly different set of links to BDSM related material. The link appears on our Spanking Links page.