I've had this blog rattling around in brain for a week or so, but just when I thought that I had it down, something related would come up in forums, blogs or private communication and take me off on a tangent. The title changed a few times, and may change again before I'm done writing.
Someone wrote in a forum post that we're all here for one thing; to be accepted for who we are. I suppose that's true, but I think that's a basic human need. I think we're all here to make connections. How we try to do that varies greatly from person to person.
Without injecting too much ego into the mix, I think I've done pretty well there, so perhaps my experience and methods will help some. Obviously I'm writing from the D side of the D/s slash, but I think the ideas are more universal than any role or label.
The first thing I did was fill out my profile. This is the first and most common reference for folks curious about you; take your time and pay attention to detail.
Doms especially; if you're sloppy with grammar and spelling, it says that your communication skills need work. If you can't use a keyboard properly and with precision, then some may assume that your other brain>hand skills in other areas may be sloppy or lacking too. Not a good look.
While we're here, Dominant, not Dominate is the title, and illeagle is a sick bird. :)
If you're going to call yourself an 'x' Dom, then when I Google "x Dom BDSM" a definition should pop up; otherwise you made that shit up and need to define it further.
If you're in a monogamous relationship, don't like cheaters, and are looking for someone, you need to explain those contradictions.
Folks assume the worst without it, but have sympathy for dead bedrooms, failed relationships with children involved, and trying to fix something with a partner who won't/can't communicate.
I have rarely approached a sub with the intention of starting a relationship; 99% of the time, they approach me. Why? Because of something I've written or said in chat, blogs or forums.
Point there is that it's easier to let the ones who are curious approach you. They can't do that if you're a ghost, and the more active you are, the better the chances are of that happening.
This is an online medium; the currency here is effective, thoughtful and polite writing. Being fuctionally literate lets you function; being fully literate lets you florish. Don't bring a knife to a gunfight.
Read the Code of Conduct and Terms of Service. Read Evangeline's welcome articles. Understand them (see fully literate above).
Understand your own needs and the needs of others, and know that you can have them met here outside of a relationship. You don't need a Dom/sub to get support or provide it, to learn about BDSM, to enjoy sexual gratification, or to learn how to express yourself.
This is a community of folks who can provide little bits of that casually while you take the time to find the right partner(s) for you.
You can meet Doms and subs and have your needs met in an informal, non sexual and social way. In fact, that's the better way to go about it. Don't hide and hinder that learning then dump it all on the first unlucky soul who pings your heart; that ain't fair to anyone.
Just like writing detail in profiles, it speaks to how you'll be in a relationship. If you can't talk, think, share and deal with your needs and moods socially, you're probably going to suck at it privately too. Don't make your partner do all the heavy lifting just because they like you enough to put up with that. It's still a chore.
Memes are great fun, but if it's your only method of communication, that's not effective. "But this spoke to me!!!" Great. Add a line or two telling us what it said and how it applies to you.
SAFE GENERALIZATIONS ABOUT BDSM IN BIG FONTS SAY NOTHING. I've got a "Hang in there, baby" poster with a cute cat on my dentist's ceiling for that. Everyone knows BDSM is not abuse and that submissives deserve respect. Turn off the lame and we'll worn out virtue signals and use your big boy words. You gonna Dom them with memes and Pintrest links too?
Subs, I know that's harder for you, and many of you have been hurt, demeaned or ridiculed for speaking your mind in the past.
Doms, I know some of you do something foolish when new and get a strip or three torn off you by old members who take issue with that.
I know that hurts, and believe me, all of us have moments and days we think "You're all rude/fake/idiots, screw this, I'm outta here..." Stick around. Try these;
"I'm sorry, I'm new at this and trying to learn"
"That hurt me.."
"I need help understanding"
"Why does this happen? What did I do?"
Don't attack the crowd. It's bigger than you, and has rocks and pitchforks. :)
Crowd, you're bigger than them and rocks and pitchforks are for monsters. Everyone likes a good mob storming, but it scares the new ones off. Attack Dr. Frankenstein. Have sympathy for the monster; he just wanted to be a human. Don't be so quick to attack the ones that come out wrong when they first open their mouths. Not their fault someone used the brain labeled "Abbie someone". ;)
Attack the ideas, not the person. If someone says something you feel is wrong, explain how you've been hurt by it.
Do not gatekeep. No one gives a fuck about who you think is real or true or your generalizations and labels. It's all here. You don't get to decide who comes into the tent.
If you think someone doesn't fit into your little niche slice of BDSM, cool. That's you putting a barrier up in a little part of the field and saying "No 'x' allowed". Have fun with that, but know that you're in a tiny roped off corner of a vast field all alone.
It's more fun to climb out of your play fort, stop sulking and throwing rocks and come run through the meadows. Save the fort for when you're hurt and alone, but remember the Unibomber did that too. Huddling alone and writing manifestos about all the meanies having fun in the meadow isn't a good look.
If someone makes a point you don't like publically that isn't a personal attack, don't delete comments, block or declare the discussion over. You aren't fooling anyone. You wrote that shit, you should be able to defend and explain it or admit that you were wrong. Again, think about what this says to potential partners. "Great..this one will just ghost, insult or shut me down when we have our first disagreement".
Also, back to full literacy; if your statement or rebuttal isn't logical or well written, the onus is on you, not the reader to bridge the gaps.
Don't make the rest of us suffer if you struggle with spelling, grammar, logic or reading comprehension. Don't come to the high stakes table with a bag of pennies and get mad about it.
Ooph. Long one. Sorry for the rant and snark. Sometimes my shit stinks. Tell me why and how so. No comment deletions or blocking here. Thanks for listening.