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How to Stay Safe in the Online BDSM Community

By CAGE Staff​(staff)     04/29/2021 191
How to Stay Safe in the Online BDSM Community

Part One

At THE CAGE, safety is one of our top priorities. We put a huge amount of energy into moderating our forums, getting good information out there, and preserving your anonymity. We think that’s what makes for a great online BDSM community.

That said, it’s still important for you to keep your own safety in mind too. Navigating the world of BDSM online can be tricky sometimes, so it pays to do a little reading, and always be vigilant. Here are our top tips for staying safe, and making sure you have a fun and fulfilling time.

Staying Anonymous Online

When interacting with an online BDSM community – even one that feels safe, secure, and friendly – it’s crucial to preserve your anonymity. Pick a screen name that has nothing in common with your real name, and make sure to keep your personal information personal. There’s no need to post a clear face picture, nor your phone number or a link to your Facebook profile.

While the best online BDSM communities are secure and private, it’s inevitable that some people will use them with bad intentions – perhaps even to blackmail or take advantage of other people. By keeping your personal info off your profile, you deny them that opportunity.

Picking Your Online Community

Before you really settle into an online community, it’s okay to lurk for a while. Leave your profile blank and take a look around. Read the writing of other members, browse forums, and take a look at other profiles. Doing so will help you get a feel for the place, and make up your mind as to whether you want to join in earnest.

A little bit of healthy skepticism is a good thing. If a profile looks too good to be true… well… maybe that’s because it isn’t true! Because BDSM communities are anonymous by default, it can be all too easy for scammers and impersonators to sneak into the community.

The best kinky networking sites know this, and do everything they can to address it. Phone verification is one brilliant tool they have at their disposal. By forcing members to register with a real phone number, site owners can cut down on scammers, stop users having multiple identities, and actually hold users who misbehave accountable for their actions.

Look for phone verification when you sign up. Make sure forums are moderated. Make sure you can report anything that looks a little dodgy. These are all signs that a particular BDSM community is healthy and looked-after.

Getting Into a Relationship

It’s pretty normal for people in the BDSM scene to meet their partners online – after all, it’s much easier to seek out people who share your kinky interests on the internet than it is in real life. But meeting people online requires a little bit of caution.

Before you set out to find your perfect kinky match, set yourself some rules. Then stick to them. You might decide, for example, that you want to talk on the phone before meeting anyone in person. Or perhaps that you’ll meet in a public place of your choosing in the first instance.

Whatever rules you pick, the important thing is that you abide by them. Think of them as a hard limit. If someone you’re thinking about meeting doesn’t respect your rules… that’s a warning sign, and indicates that they won’t respect your other limits further down the road.

Communicate a lot. Trust takes time to build, and shouldn’t be rushed. Talk to someone until you are able to form a good, strong gut feeling about them. And trust your instincts! If someone makes you feel bad, that’s reason enough to avoid them, even if they technically haven’t done or said anything wrong.

One thing that’s particular to BDSM: many people like to play in ways that are dangerous, or which leave us vulnerable. Taking risks is exciting! We understand that.
But it’s absolutely worth taking a moment or two to make sure that the person you’re taking risks with is responsible, compassionate, and interested in your wellbeing.

This means not engaging in dangerous activities (like, for example, sending nudes which also show your face) until you’ve built trust – and maybe not even then. Remember: make rules for yourself and stick to them.

And, in all cases, if someone is bothering you to break your rules, if you’re getting a bad feeling from a member of the site, if you feel in danger, or if someone has been rude or aggressive… report them! Not only will it keep you safe, but it’ll make the community a better place as well.

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That’s all for part one. In part two we’ll cover how to stay safe as you take your newfound relationship from the online space to the real one…

Part Two

You’ve met someone online. You’ve taken your time. You’ve chatted. Negotiated. Talked until you can get a good gut feeling about them… and now you’re ready to meet them in the real world. Here’s how to stay safe while you do that.

Messaging Issues

As you go about arranging a real life meet, you’ll probably want to switch from messaging via the website to messaging using a more conventional app.

Be careful when doing this, though. Some apps (WhatsApp, for example) may reveal your phone number and real name, while others (like Facebook) will give away lots of information about who your friends and family are. And that’s not to mention that it can be awkward having your kinky messages pop up unexpectedly on your phone screen!

Double check the setting on your chosen app before making the jump… and if in doubt, stick to good old SMS messaging.

The First Meeting

Meeting someone in the real world after chatting online can be a nerve-wracking experience – particularly if you’ve been chatting about your kinks and fetishes. You may initially want to pick somewhere private, so you can continue the discussion in peace… but for a first meeting this is a bad idea. Choose a public place where you know there’ll be plenty of other people.

First impressions count. While your match might surprise you in some ways, you should instantly be on guard if they look very different from their profile picture, or if they’ve lied about anything – even small details. If they’re willing to lie about something small and inconsequential, you can bet that they’ll be willing to lie about bigger things too.

And, just like before, remember to trust your gut. If you get a bad feeling from someone when meeting in person (even if they haven’t done anything wrong), it’s best to get out of there. Most decent people will totally understand you wanting to leave if something doesn’t feel right, and will respect this reasoning. If they don’t… well… all the more reason to steer clear.

Stay Connected

Dating is one of the main reasons that people use online BDSM communities… but it’s a great idea to stay connected even after you meet the kinkster of your dreams. Why? Well, apart from the fun of staying in touch with friends, it also helps keep you safe.

Your community is a place to ask questions, to read about the experience of others, and to get an idea of what is normal… and what isn’t! Because so much of BDSM is about power and control, being in a BDSM relationship can be confusing at times. Having a community to turn to for help and advice can significantly reduce that confusion.

If your newfound partner isn’t happy about you being online, or wants you to quit the BDSM community completely, consider it a bad sign. They may be trying to isolate you so that you don’t have this lifeline to call on, and can’t question their behavior.

On top of that, as someone who’s now found a kinky partner, you’re in a great position to help and advise others. Lots of people are on the same journey as you, and your experiences can be absolutely invaluable to them.

And, don’t forget, your BDSM community can also be a great place to discover new kinks, new fetishes, new interests, and new activities. Staying connected makes for not just a safer relationship, but a happier, hotter, healthier one too.

And Finally…

When you choose to become a part of a BDSM community, you’re making yourself an online home. It’s a place where you can go to learn, expand your horizons, meet others, and check in with friends and peers. It’s something that will be valuable to you at all stages of your kinky life.

That’s why we at THE CAGE put so much time and energy into building a kinky community that we’re proud of – one that’s as safe, inclusive, exciting, and kinky as we can make it. Why not join us, and make it even kinkier in the future?