1 month ago. December 10, 2022 at 3:52 AM
I had an enlightening conversation today about the nature of online sites, such as this one. My friend had good points about the whole of the "online kink dating" scene.
I want to start by praising some of the good that I have seen thecage provide compared to other places. When I joined thecage, I quickly learned that they do not mess around with unbridled harassment or fake/bot profiles. Namely I find the phone verification feature to reject VoIP numbers and impressive and much needed addition to sites as these to cut down on the ease of scammers making accounts and flooding targets for money, sex, trafficking, and whatever other dangerous people you can come across online. In addition to this, I appreciate the features to lock your DMs and mute individuals, giving you full array of control over your messages in chat but also having the same features on your inbox via your preferences. So at other sites where you would have to endure the harassment and abusive, provocative messages and unsolicited dick pics, thecage provides means to limit such messages. Of course, these protections aren't without trade-offs: it's a small community as the result, but a genuine one. I have not once had an issue with someone messaging me sweet nothings and empty promises to serve if I "sent money for gas" or requests for "tributes" or other such crap. Of course there will always be selfish, manipulative, and even belligerent people, but every site has this issue, it's a larger problem with dating sites in general.
But because the community is smaller, I think that to really find a lifestyle dynamic, the only option is to be open to long distance and eventual relocation. This has worked for a few folks here, and I still hear of people doing it, but it also obviously a huge, permanent commitment on someone's end to pick up and eventually leave their lives to move somewhere else. What's more is there are also some folks I've chatted with that would not move somewhere for a relationship because of the risk that relationship falls through, that it would have to be a multifaceted reason to justify moving: better situation, climate, friends/entertainment, "better fit," work, etc. It's valid of course, but it will ultimately boil down to individual decisions whether or not someone feels relocating somewhere is worth exploring or not.
But she has a great point: for most, the online community is probably just an aside, chat with other like minded folks while waiting for the next munch or big event locally to go out to. Of course, that's going to depend on your area too. I've been in some big cities with established communities and hefty membership fees. I've also been rural nowhere where there's next to no one into the scene. I think in that sense, I am lucky to find myself in Florida, though I haven't been able to get out too much yet. I've been very busy this year.
If you follow my blogs and my profile updates, you may have some idea of this year in synopsis. I moved out of a temp living situation into my first house. I did had a slave arrangement fall through a week prior, and rolled my ankle on move in on the levee step Infront of my garage lol I had to plan to budget my housing expenses, HOA dues, furnishing, appliances, lighting, all of it. I had to figure out returning to work, moving my things out of storage after 2 years and setting up my bedding, workplace, gym, entertainment center, finally built that PC I wanted, etc. I also had to keep up with family obligations like traveling to weddings and seeing people as well as disaster prepping for the Hurricane Ian, a month bout with covid, and all of it culminating in a spinal injury just as I was beginning to settle down, branch out, and planned to attend a rigging event in Sarasota lol
So onto the nature of this injury, why it ties into the solitary and search, I may have had an abnormally narrow disc canal and the going theory is the act of setting up my storm shutters alone exasperated the condition to the point of early stage degenerative disc disease, resulting in a herniated disc (bulging, slipped) and spinal stenosis (pinching of the nerve) in the L5 region, the lowest most part of the spine. In essence, I have a bulging disc pressing right into my spinal cord. I am turning 30 this year, but as my physician has put it, my back is now 60 lol.
Not too worried about it, the goal is to avoid surgery by doing physical therapy, and honestly the lifestyle change, body transformation, and weight loss were all things I was working towards for years. I started building out my home gym in 2020 like so many others lol but I paid to work with a personal trainer since 2018 and $2k with a nutrition/health coach on nutrition and cooking lessons for a couple months since August. Of course, having a live in slave would have cut down on several of these costs and laborious tasks, but I found ways avenues to do it all myself anyway eventually. It was exciting to get back to it as the winter months came the garage would be cool enough to lift in again and with the coaching I had an array of healthy, anti-inflammatory dishes to cook. Then in kink, I was networking and going to start working with actual professionals. Everything was moving in the right direction, and still will. The nurses seem confident I can return to my baseline at my age, just have to do pt, keep losing weight, lengthen my spine, and follow up. So you know, now I HAVE to be all fit and sexy all the time and maybe get a dapper cane I can double as an implement. lol darn.
And you know, it has not escaped me the challenges of living alone and doing these things, but I think it's better than the alternatives. I have a nice home with amenities I can enjoy. My brother wants me to sell and move closer to family. Fair, given this isn't the first incident lol I did wind up in a hospital prior for pneumonia, everyone thought it was covid. But it took me 2 years to finally get settled here and just...live lol moving costs thousands, and to give all that up? To limit myself to only living near family? Nah.
But in the aspects of the lifestyle, I also felt a brief consideration to ramp up my search for that slave dynamic and end these incidents hopefully. To which my friend echoed my feelings on the matter: that I shouldn't compromise just to find a sub.
So here I was, hobbled by the injury, drugged out of my mind, talking to her about these thoughts about acknowledging my limits and mortality to not be able to do everything by myself and achieve my life goals, a reflection I've already had, it is not a pride issue that I do these things with no help lol but at the same time, I'm relating my thoughts that I don't want to settle for anything less than what I want out of life, that I don't want to compromise just to find a sub in the immediate because of all that is happening. She, an experienced member of this lifestyle and communities here, echoed the same ideals: to never compromise just to get a sub.
So maybe the answer hasn't been online and what I've really needed is the time to get out into the local communities, and maybe something does stumble on me online lol who knows? But I think the bigger takeaway here is to not settle for what you can and in the process giving up on what you want. Even if it means doing it by myself, it's better than compromising with simply what's available or giving up any shred of my autonomy.
As a final note, if any of you folks know of a good quality crafter, I would be interested in looking at a discreet sword cane that can be converted into thin (cane) and thick (scabbard) implements. Yes, I will take caning classes