Is it abuse or is it an online thing or something completely different? I read every profile that I come across and one of the things I come across on this profiles is people saying something to the extent of "I'm new and I want to learn." I'm all for learning, but I also notice that a lot of these people who are new and want to learn are also in a cyber (online relationship). These aren't husband and wife or real life partners of any kind that I'm referring to, its the he lives in state A and she lives 1000 miles away in state B.
I was brought up in the BDSM world that a mentor or a teacher or protector should not have sex with or try to have sex with someone they are mentoring or protecting. I'm not sure the rules stay the same in the online world. And if you are teaching I believe there needs to be more than one voice doing the teaching. Yes one person can teach a lot, but when you have several voices and several opinions you will learn more. The internet has a lot of information, but it doesn't have classes.
As someone new, if you don't know your kink likes or dislikes how can you be owned and in a relationship with someone? How could someone own someone if the person they own doesn't know what they are into?
Should I say something to these new people? Should I hope that their on line relationship isn't exploiting the new person? Should I reach out or create an outreach for those new people whose relationship goes sideways?
I am focusing on the net relationships side because most people in real life BDSM relationships have active community involvement which means classes and education. As well as a community that weeds out the predator type.
It would be good if everyone would want to listen when more experienced people try to help and educate others. But some don't even try to listen. They seem not to care.
They create an account on Monday, and on Tuesday they are already owned / owning. Usually it ends quickly, after two weeks or month there is some drama and rants about hurt feelings.
If that's what they need and want - great - apparently there is lots of people who are looking for easy, temporary fun, but then again, why there is so much grief afterwards?
I love this post from you, Dr. You have a lot of knowledge that is very beneficial to this community, and definitely newbies. Education and information doesn’t prevent people from making mistakes, but it does arm them with tools to be able to make more informed decisions. This is quite a natural role for you, the tricky part however, is determining (as you state), how to go about it. I think the difficult part about this exploration is that you don’t truly understand something until you “get” it. I was blessed to have a Mentor who was very patient in his guidance, but it took me a long time between learning something and understanding it. We can point things out to people, but ultimately they do need to discover it for themselves to truly understand it.
It is always worth a smile to see how many different ways there are to approach getting into a kinky life.. Now the Doctor was raised that mentors were not allowed to have sex with their mentees, which thankfully was never a pat of my initiation. Every clique works to different rules -- there are not many universal truths here beyond SSC.
It's a noble though, sort of a Submissive Academy or school for newbies. But I can't see it ever happening. People come looking for subs or Doms when they realize the strengths of their urges, or needs or curiosities. I suspect they feel a real urgency to dive right in and experience new sensations. This is , for good or ill, is very much a hands-on learning lifestyle. (It is that desire to dive right in which creates the shark pool of predators who pounce on any new profile here, and often terrorize a newbie with their crude approaches.)
For those fortunate to live in large cities, there are groups, munches, play parties, which can really help the newbie--BUT we don't do very well at publishing that info....there is nothing like a calendar here, or on fetlife, either. Outside of open and active areas like San Francisco, our subculture is largely an underground one, largely invisible to newbies. Maybe the Doctor would like to work on getting that useful info out?
Anyway, for me, helping newbies is often more about picking up the bruised minds after those headlong first experiments. Doing that can be satisfying, either as a mentor or as a second attempt to more calmly Dom the now-wary newbie.
I share your desire to protect the new blood but in practice for most cases a newbie diving headfirst into a online bdsm thing is the same as your first experiences dating irl. You are bad at it you think the first one, two no wait the third guy.. oh maybe fourth partner will be your soul mate and generally are horribly wrong your gunna make really stupid choices and hopefully suffer no lasting harm.
I believe a more useful approach would be to collect track and share the screennames etc of confirmed sociopaths/ abusers (both doms and subs btw)) who just prey on the newbies who just found about cuffs and paddles but even this would be a highly difficult task and easily influenced by bias potentially ( maybe even not legal))
I feel as though I should say something being a "newbie". I would give this advice to anyone and everyone entering the Lifestyle.
This is not something I signed up to do on a whim. I have spent countless hours reading blogs, forum posts, message boards, and talking to people within the Lifestyle. BEFORE you can ask someone to educate you, you must educate yourself. I took the time to research sub-types of individuals to the lifestyle, punishments, restraints, toys, and countless other items and I gained an INCREDIBLE amount of knowledge. I also have a whole host of personal, real-life experiences that I bring to the table. I know what I want and what I don't want. I know who I am and who I am not. I know what I have had in the past and what I want out of my future. I know who I am looking for and who I am not. If I am unsure about something I do not hesitate to ask and express my concerns clearly and honestly. There is NO REASON that a genuine heart-to-heart conversation can not be had outside of the respective D/s roles as frequently as needed. If I set a "soft limit" and I do not like it, then I do NOT have to do it again and this feeling is conveyed clearly.
There are a lot of different personality types within each sub-set of the Lifestyle. I would encourage new individuals to seek out as many different personality types as possible and ask for a conversation. Almost all are willing to answer questions or give advice. Talk about how they would handle a specific situation, what they would expect from the other person, and the consequences in both the positive and negative. You should learn fairly quickly who may be too intense for you or too much of a push over. With all of this being said, however, I would recommend that EVERY INDIVIDUAL who is new to the lifestyle take the test at bdmstest.org and find out about themselves FIRST. Take the time to learn about you and what you need out of this relationship. Research each answer. Get a notebook and write it down. Take the time to think using your head and not your reproductive organs BEFORE you act. Remember that you are placing your life in another persons hands EVERY TIME you play. It is not a decision to be made lightly or hastily. It is also important to remember that everyone learning (no matter how long they have been in the Lifestyle), everyone is human, we all make mistakes and that is OK. It will all boil down to clear expectations with open and honest communication. Lastly, LISTEN TO YOURSELF. If something does not feel right, move on in a respectful manner. There is no need to be an asshole.