Last night, while surfing a kinky social networking site, we received an e-mail. Wait! What? Aren’t we a happily married couple? Very much so! Then why are we on a kinky social networking site? Simple! Our relationship, has been open, primary partnered and with agreements, since its inception. In essence, we are poly, short for polyamorous. We like to define that as “More than one simultaneous, fully disclosed, loving relationship, where all parties involved are aware of the dynamics.” Furthermore, we are actively open – meaning, our relationship is akin to SONAR. Each of us may send out a “ping.” If it is bounced back and amplified? Then we turn that direction, focus a bit and explore the energy that is coming back our way. But let’s save that particular discussion for another article.
Anyway, that is why we were on this site last night, checking our inbox for seeking and return “pings.” More often than not, we get a fair amount of mail each day, but this one stood out. It was a well-written segment of prose from a “serious” kinky guy most assuredly looking to make new long-term friends. The entirety of the message read “New to the BDSM world would love to meet for an encounter im sexy and dominant who love submissive women so if ud like to show me what your made of or looking for a new master hit me up friends are also needed thanks:)...” Can you imagine our delight at being the special people he decided to contact? We actually get a choice. We can be his encounter; we can show him what we are made of, or possibly get a new “master.” What fun!
Unfortunately, sometimes this is what passes for a pick up line on the Internet. Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t old-fashioned or conservative by any stretch of the imagination. But to attract our interest, there has to be a slight amount of intrigue, some intelligent banter or at the very least, use the spell check! We are certainly worth the time to add a little punctuation, passably correct grammar, or even somewhat correct capitalization. Really. Whatever happened to, “Hi, my name is…?” Hell, we’d even settle for, “Those pants look good on you; I bet they’d look better on my bedroom floor.”
Whether “you’ve got mail,” or are sending it, you are connecting through a computer screen. This doesn’t mean that common courtesy has been electronically removed. As a matter of fact, it is more important to be polite online. There is very little else upon which to base an opinion. Email and instant messenger grammar, text and phrasing (along with possibly a profile and picture) are the only ways the recipient has of forming a first impression.
That initial online exchange can tell you a lot about the person who is contacting you. In the above case, the verbiage conveys this message, “I want to use you, or anyone else who answers, because I don’t really care about you as a thinking, feeling human.” In our opinion, it is impersonal to the point of complete objectification (and while that can be fun if that’s what you are going for – we prefer to know someone well, then if it is a desire of theirs to be used…we will gladly help to create that scenario).
How To Get Where You Really Want To Go
As you are getting “out there,” here are some things to think about. During this little exercise, don’t judge your thoughts, just allow them to happen. A first consideration might be: What do I want from this relationship? Take a moment and write down the “goal” that you are looking for. Do you want a sexual encounter? A Dominant? A Submissive? Do you want a kinky play partner? Do you want friends? Do you want a date? Do you want a short term or long term relationship? Or are you searching for a professional Bridge player to join your Friday night game?
When you have a good idea of what you want and don’t; that becomes a good road map to interviewing tactics for potential dates, play partners and relationships. Use some tact, and intersperse these questions in casual conversation. This way, it will feel less like the Spanish Inquisition and more like you are trying to get to know each other.
Over the course of your search, you may encounter hundreds, if not thousands of HNGs (Horny Net Geeks), both male and female, and those pretending to be either; who are interested in any number of prizes. The most harmless is the hunter and gatherer – who seeks out only the rarest and most sought after naked pictures of their prey. And there are any number of variations, the most dangerous is the internet predator – who seeks a lot more than a picture. These predators are in search of personal information with which they can find, stalk, and potentially harm another; physically, emotionally or financially.
Pay Attention To The Signs – Be Safe
Remember, either side of the equation – D-types (Dominants, Masters and Tops) or S-Types (Submissives, Slaves or Bottoms) can be on the losing end of a dangerous partner. So how do you minimize your chances of becoming a victim? Easy! During the online discourse, pay attention to your intuition. If there are any “Red Flags,” or things that make you nervous, scared or hesitant? Heed those feelings, and explore them. For further thoughts on this, we recommend “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. Until you are sure, don’t reveal significant personal information; such as your home address, phone number, location of your work, etc.
What are the “red flags” when searching for kinky love online? Here are some of ours:
1. Isolating - keeping themselves secret
2. Genitals as a main avatar
3. Insistence on meeting quickly
4. Seeking out personal information – beyond that which is offered
5. Rapid attachment – jealousy, possessiveness, territorial behavior
6. Not wanting to meet in public
7. People who verbalize great experience but don’t show understanding of the basics.
When and if you decide to move from casual online flirting into a real time relationship, here are some quick tips for you –
1. Meet them at a public meet and greet where you have friends.
2. Tell someone (or a couple someones) whom you are meeting, where and when.
3. Arrange for that someone to call you – and what to do (like contact the police) if you don’t respond.
4. Meet in a public place. (We prefer a local chain restaurant.)
5. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR INTUITION.
6. Save going home with them or taking them back to your place until another night.
When we are face-to-face, we can hear the minute changes in their inflection and see their body language. Those indicators give us secondary information about what it is they are saying. Can we believe them? Are they being completely honest? What does their manner of dress and attention to personal grooming say about their feelings of self worth, or about their interest in us?
Put Your Best Foot Forward — But Make Sure It’s Your Foot
We are both people who believe in the old adage “walk your talk,” when getting to know people. If someone says they are adept at rope bondage and then is obviously skilled when playing, or community members vouch for them, you can put more stock in who they say they are. And conversely, if someone says they have been a bottom for years, but can’t take any pain? What are we to think? So we tend to pay attention to actions not words. We read into the person’s character by how they treat their friends, complete strangers and past relationships.
Sounds like a job interview? It really is. You are determining whether or not the other is a good fit for you and whether they have compatible play styles, kinks and desires. The Internet is simply one more way to gather information then shape the beginning stages of a relationship. It might just be similar to traditional dating game only with the addition of a little “slap, spank, and tickle.” Who knows?
While there are many game players, “needy nellies” and predators online, if you take your time, make decisions in advance about what you are looking for and know yourself? You might be able to actually find that proverbial needle in a haystack: another kinkster who is honestly looking on the net, because they really don’t know where else to go. Don’t believe us? We can honestly say Sheba’s Uncle Matt, a widower after 30 plus years of marriage to his high school sweetheart, found his current wife of 8 years; on an Internet dating site. It can happen, true love, romance, chemistry - via the Internet.
You may find it’s not so hard to turn a budding online relationship into a real time one. In fact, it’s easier than you might think. First, form a basic outline containing what you want from a relationship and your critical yes’s and no’s. Second, pay close attention to potential red flags and your own intuition. Third, have a few safety measures in place. And finally, use some of the aforementioned quick tips. If it works out? Let us know. If it doesn’t? We never wrote this.