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On-line domination

29 July 1997


So! What is all this BDSM about? Is is safe? Are you likely to get anything out of it? Is there any way to try it out and minimise the risks even further?

If you don't wish to get dressed up in your 'basic black' and venture into one of the many BDSM clubs that may be found in your city then you may find that 'testing the waters of BDSM' through some form of on-line communication may suit you. Many clubs prefer couples to attend and turn away singles. Or you may not have an easy way to get out and about. If you have a computer and are connected to the Internet then there are other options that you may try before taking the bigger plunge into the real world of BDSM.

I will try to cover as much here as possible about BDSM on-line from the point of view of a Dominant.

The Medium

There are a number of on-line places where BDSM is regularly practised. These included:

  • IRC (Internet Relay Chat),
  • MUDS (Multi-User Dungeons and similar role-playing places),
  • Talkers (room-based chat systems)
  • Email (don't laugh - it does work)
Each has its pro and cons and if you intend to visit these places realise that the first rule when you are new is to watch, listen and learn. Remember, you will be using words only to communicate. There is no inflection, no body language, no 'eye power'. You do have to make adjustments and learn the expressive methods that people use on-line.

Of course, if you are familiar with on-line communication in the first place, then that will give you a head start.

Creating The Scene

As with any good BDSM session, you have to create the scene. It may be just you and another in private, you and another in public with others watching, or possibly you and two or more other people. As with any scene anywhere, it should be negotiated. For the sake of simplicity, I will just focus on a public scene between a male Dominant with a female submissive - but the process can be extended easily for other combinations. Whatever the mix and the audience, part of your initial job as the Dominant will be to create a mind-set in the submissive (or submissives) that are participating in the scene. Of course, there may be other Dominants involved and you would have to co-ordinate with them as well.

The submissive should be aware of the basics of what is intended before the scene begins. It may be a punishment situation (which really should be given for actual punishment - not just because the Dominant feels like punishing someone), it could be a demonstration of bondage or formal serving, a dungeon, a pony-girl scene or even a vampire fantasy. But the basic premise of what is going to happen should be known to both. Of course the Dominant will know more detail of where they will take it so that there is the element of surprise for the submissive to respond to.

Having both know what the mind-set is will place both in a better position to choose words appropriately. As I have said - you can and should keep plenty of surprises so that the scene has some spontaneity about it.

Words! It is all about words. Yes you can come up with fun little combinations of characters [smilies] to express things but in the end it will be your words that make the difference between a good and bad on-line scene. There is no audio (well, not in any amount or speed that makes it worthwhile).

So "the resounding crack of a whip connecting mercilessly with the submissives naked quivering flesh" has to be described. The "sound of the rusty shackles as they clink loudly against the icy-cold stone of the dark dungeons walls" must be descriptive enough to "send cold and tingling shivers up peoples' backs".

Well.... I think you get the idea ;)

Having worked out your mind-set and having put some thoughts into your words, you are almost ready to go into scene proper. But you must create a mood. It is no good launching into a beating or punishment if submissive or the audience aren't 'situated'.

Again - choose your words carefully. If the scene is to be in a dungeon then create the grounds and the house. Lead the participants (and audience) through the house, down into the dungeon. Give anyone that is there watching your scene a complete picture of where they are, what they are seeing and even what the submissive is experiencing. Take them there with your words. It isn't easy - but then being a Dominant isn't easy either - it is hard work.


Ok, so you have everyone hanging on your words and the words of the responses that you illicit from your submissive. Now what are you going to do?

Well it depends on your scene of course. You can just about do anything on-line but the closer you keep to real-life the more believable you will be. Don't go giving 100 lashings when you know it would kill someone. If you don't know - then don't do it at all - or ask someone else first what is reasonable and make sure the submissive you are working with knows too.

Fantasy play on-line is fun - but it still has to be within sensible guidelines. If you don't learn to practice safe, sane and consensual BDSM on-line correctly then you will never be able to make the transition to real-life. Even if this is not your intention, you will still gain greater respect from the real-life Dominants on-line if you practice correctly on-line. And you never know if you may suddenly decide you do want to make the transition. If you don't do it right on-line you will be a danger to others and yourself.

What about real-life play directed on-line? Yes - this works. Your greatest challenge is 'proving' that your instructions have been followed correctly. There is one sure-fire way to know about real life play directed through on-line commands. Try things yourself. Experience it so you know what it feels like. Then get the submissive to describe it. Compare what they say with what you know. But make sure you know. You will look silly if others on-line have experienced something and expose your submissive for a fraud. Real-life directions can be especially effective through email as the submissive has more time to carry out the tasks, think about what has happened and provide a coherent reply.

Reality play directed via on-line can be very exciting for everyone - but make sure you know what you and your submissive are really doing.

Taking Virtual Reality into Real-Life

Now the big question ...

Can this on-line investigation of BDSM really lead to things in real-life?

Simple answer - yes! But there are things you have to watch out for.

Remember that when you move into real-life, that there is a physical entity on the end of your whip or crop. No matter how much you try on-line, you will never really know how what it is like to actually wield a striking tool against a body until it happens. Regardless of the experience of the submissive that you may find yourself with, take it slowly. Remember the rules of safe, sane and consensual, make sure you have your safe-words sorted out. Take what you have learnt from your on-line domination about negotiation a scene, setting the mood, etc. and being able to use all the other senses available to you. Still use words - a blindfolded subject will respond wonderfully to the sound of your voice.

But be cautious. You may scene wonderfully with a submissive on-line but may find that their submission is less than perfect in real-life. They may not be prepared to do all the things in real-life that they do on-line. Once again - TALK. Then talk some more. And after that TALK!! In BDSM, communication is paramount. This is why starting on-line can be very effective. It forces you to communicate in the first place.

Is there anything against taking it into real-life? Well, you may ruin a good friendship. If moving into real-life, don't simply assume it is going to 'happen'. You may actually find that you cannot take any on-line submissive into a real-life situation because the levels of relationship involved on-line have been pushed past a point where you cannot establish the same levels in real life. Then you will doubt the validity of the on-line situation.

Are there risks? Well everything in life carries risks. Yes there have been situations (even completely outside of BDSM) where people on the Internet have not been truthful about themselves - even to the point of it being dangerous or life-threatening. However, if your make your initial meetings either in groups of other on-line people or in public places, you can get a chance to gauge the reality of the other person. I would suggest that this is especially important for submissives because they are the ones more likely to be open to possible abuse in a BDSM relationship. Whatever you do, don't hand out your personal information on-line until you get to know the person or people in real-life first. This may of course only take one or two public meetings before you feel comfortable.

Having said that, the rewards can be significant. Taking it into real-life can be just the spice that a virtual situation requires to go further. After experiencing each other in real-life, you and your submissive may find that your on-line scenes suddenly have greater meaning and consistency. In addition, you only get the real sense of BDSM from real-life experiences. You will never forget your first rush of adrenaline when someone bends over a bed or table and allows you to place even just a few strokes on them. And, similarly for submissives, the feel of a real 'toy' against you will change the way you think about BDSM.


On-line BDSM is possible, practical and can be perfect. It can be a great place to learn and gain experience and to understand who you are in a BDSM context. In addition, there are real-life BDSM people on-line that can give you information and advice and who may even provide contacts in your area that may allow you to look more closely at real life BDSM.

And for those people that may have some reason that stops them participating in real-life BDSM (i.e. situation, distance, etc.) then it is an excellent alternative.

Try it - you may like it.


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