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On-line, or V/L, BDSM

24 August 1997

This discussion took place on #SanTara on Sunday, the 24th of August, 1997.

The principal participants were:

  • frogaroo, a Dom
  • warrigal^
  • LordMilz, a Dom
  • Alexa^^, a professional Mistress, with her slave dina
  • fairlady, a submissive
  • MsCherie
  • Kole

Abbreviations used
LM LordMilz^
Frog frogaroo
FL fl fairlady
VL v/l Virtual-Life. Used to describe a relationship conducted other than in person. Eg. via IRC, email or by telephone
RL r/l Real-Life. Used to describe a person-to-person relationship
ppl People

* Alexa^^ smiles. welcome everyone to tonight's meeting; the topic being vl or online BDSM

<Alexa^^> The first point in tonight's meeting list is: "How it works". for some it means a different life; for some only a medium to facilitate rl

<Alexa^^> would anyone like to kick us off by sharing what or how they use online mediums within their BDSM life?

<MrEos> I have an online (mainly IRC and email) slave. We don't scene, instead I/we use the medium to train her to have the "right" (as I perceive them) attitudes. She has tasks, of course, many designed to bring out her submissiveness. Mostly, though, we discuss things (her attitudes and my desires for her)

* Alexa^^ smiles... thanks Eos

<LordMilz> OK. well, I use the medium as a means of communication with BDSM friendly/aware people. I have owned an online-only slave, had a collared, RL slave that I communicated with via online, and currently have an online submissive that I communicate with who will be visiting Australia in January. online was vital to the communication in all of those cases

* Alexa^^ smiles... thanks LM. anyone else?

<Alexa^^> you're up Frog:)

<frogaroo> In France, we have the Minitel, which is an antiquated online [system]. this is how I met alycia (although in a vanilla context) but we used it mostly to organise play parties, often with strangers

* Alexa^^ smiles. thanks Frog... warrigal?

<warrigal^> Thank you. I [am] quite new to online. I am finding it wonderful meeting and getting to know a whole new side to the scene and the opportunities are mind-boggling

<Alexa^^> thanks warrigal :) would anyone like to continue?

* Alexa^^ smiles. fairlady?

* fairlady{G} smiles... my Master and i have found a few ways to enhance our experiences. we use video-conferencing and audio, as well. this is as close to real-life as you can get, i think, over the net.

<fairlady{G}> as some of you may know, i have had a Master online now for a while and recently he sent me a collar <beams>. we had a ceremony online using the camera and it was as real to me as if he was standing in my lounge room; it was the most intense thing i have ever experienced

* Alexa^^ smiles broadly and hugs fl tight. thanks fl:)

<Alexa^^> For me there are two sides to vl: one is work. I check in on clients this way and it tends, at times, to be just simpler than the phone, and a way to relax and role play as well, though most of the time I see it [more] as an extension of reality than a fantasy thing though I know of some who only play vl

* Alexa^^ LM has the floor...

<LordMilz> I am listening here and finding that everyone is tying VL to RL - is there anyone (even if new) who only sees it as a fantasy place ??

<warrigal^> LordMilz, I find that the two are closely related, for me at least. I need to be in the right frame of mind to get into sub or dom space and it is just as intense vl as rl

<warrigal^> A Domme asked me online today if I saw her as a real person or just a fantasy. My answer was I see you as a real person with real feelings, so for me at least V/l and R/l are closely linked

<Alexa^^> thanks warrigal. fairlady has the floor...

<fairlady{G}> i think it has a lot to do with where you are at in your real-life. for example a lot of ppl can only explore this side of themselves online as in rl they are married to someone who may not be into it at all, or they are just to scared to say, hey i am sub or dom, or they may just live in a small community and feel so alone and unsure of where to find like minded ppl

<MrEos> I was discussing how "real" our relationship is with my slave a few days ago. Both our opinions are that it is as real as it can be; there is no fantasy there. We are Master and slave. Full stop. But I think that there as many different ways of having a "real" BDSM relationship as there are BDSMers. Whether it be via email, via IRC, person-to-person, scening, whatever, I think they are all VALID expressions of BDSM

* Alexa^^ smiles. thanks Eos. OK, moving on to the next point, what are some of the risks associated with using Vl as a medium for BDSM 'play', scening or generally?

<Alexa^^> would anyone like to kick this point off?

<MrEos> Getting your slave into subspace via IRC and not having the intimate "contact" to be able to "pilot" it as well as you should

* Alexa^^ smiles thanks. LM?

<LordMilz> One of the biggest risks is the 'unreality' of it. it is easy to type "pour a bucket of hot wax over your breasts" and technically 'nothing happens'. if they try to take that into RL then there will be problems, and that extends to a wide range of BDSM activities from online into RL, including giving RL instructions if you don't know what you are doing

<Kole> OK, I would think that a lot of the risk would be similar to anyone involved in a vl relationship, that of knowing how "real" it is for a start. there's also the side of it that milz just pointed out: what can be done virtually is rather different to what you may do for real. also a Master may come across as more dominant in a virtual setting, or a sub as more sub. it is easier to hide real reactions if you want to, so a VL sub and dom may interact quite differently in RL

* Alexa^^ smiles. thanks Kole. MrEos?

<MrEos> "Unreality". Hmmmm. You can be "unreal" over the 'phone or even in real-life. I choose to be the real me and not pretend at all when I am talking with my slave. One of my goals with her is to deepen her experience and her "slaveness". By staying "real" [myself] it keeps it real for her. This limits our risks because we NEVER play, NEVER pretend to be anything or feel anything that isn't completely real to us

<Alexa^^> Thanks Eos. for me a risk would have to be to have a sub enter 'subspace' vl with no rl backup should things go wrong emotionally; not everyone scenes vl with regular partners and emotions tend to become far more intense far more quickly vl than rl; perhaps this is due to the lack of 'outside' interference--when you meet someone vl you're less likely to worry about external appearances, etc.

<fairlady{G}> i can only speak from personal experience, but my Master likes to have all bases covered. we have back-up things to do if anything happens, i have mail from him (a letter he has written for this purpose) or the phone... [even] back-up talkers if there is a problem

<fairlady{G}> i think it all comes back to trust and the way you feel about the person you're scening with. i think that goes for vl and rl. the net is so fickle... it goes down just when you don't want it to. but if you cover those bases it can work

<Alexa^^> thanks fairlady:)... LM?

<LordMilz> There is also the risk of 'unwanted attention'. this is much greater online because there are few protections - other than logging off. and, then again, they can always be there to go after you next time you log on. in addition, the cross over of that from VL into RL

<Alexa^^> OK. next point? or would someone like to comment on risk before we move on?

* Alexa^^ smiles. OK, benefits :)

<Alexa^^> anyone care to comment on the benefits of using the vl medium?

<Alexa^^> MrEos?

<MrEos> A really great benefit, in general, is that you get to meet people from all over the world (ie. America mainly :( And if you work via email you have time to make sure that what you say is exactly right before "speaking". IRC, etc., are good, too, but I like having email that I can ruminate over before answering

<Alexa^^> thanks Eos. LM?

<LordMilz> One of the advantages is the non-threatening environment, as well as access to some knowledgeable people who you can ask questions. you don't have to take unnecessary risks in going to places you don't know, etc.

<Alexa^^> thanks LM. the floor is open...

<Alexa^^> you're up, Eos ...

<MrEos> I agree with LM. There are lots of good safety points about VL, but different safety issues to the ones in real-life. It's harder to work out if someone's for real in VL, for example

<Alexa^^> thanks Eos. anyone [else] before we move on?

<Alexa^^> OK. the next point and probably most difficult is: maintaining vl relationships

<Alexa^^> [would] anyone currently in a vl-only relationship like to comment?

<Alexa^^> MrEos has the floor...

<MrEos> My VL Master/slave relationship is based on friendship and mutual/common interests. It requires a slight effort to maintain, but we are both keen. It's a long-distance friendship. That's what keeps our relationship alive. The Master/slave relationship is on top of that friendship

<Alexa^^> thanks Eos. fairlady?

<fairlady{G}> I have known my online Master a long time, we were friends before we were M/s. we have worked on a deep trust and respect and love for each other. it's a hard thing to do some times, and we have had our ups and downs, but we have one rule we both stick to: be honest, and it works for us, and has now for nearly 2 years (next month). in a way its a very special relationship and i feel lucky we have come this far

* fairlady{G} smiles

<Alexa^^> I would just like to ask Eos and fl _how_ do you maintain--if it's not too personal--[the relationship]? is it email back-up? do you call each other? I agree with fl that honesty has to be a key but is there 'something' that makes maintaining easier? like a handy hint?

<Alexa^^> MrEos?

<MrEos> I would like to observe that the things that I think are important in real-life relationships (ie. trust, caring and respect) seem to be the basis for good long-term VL relationships, too.

<MrEos> To answer Alexa's question: ember and I use email and IRC (we met on IRC). We have spoken, very briefly, twice by phone in our six or so months. My handy hint is: to care about your partner, respect her and what she does for you (especially emotionally) and learn to be totally open and honest with her about yourself and your needs

<Alexa^^> thanks Eos. fairlady?

<fairlady{G}> we use telnet mostly, IRC, email, video-conferencing, and the phone. we phone each other about once a month; it depends on who calls who. we talk about rl things. i feel that is what really keeps us together. it's like sharing my whole life with him. we are honest, caring and loving, it's a complete package and its real enuff to us. that may sound strange, but it's how we feel. if i had to give a hint, it's honesty. we share as much rl stuff as we can, from family pics, to how boring his day has been, and we keep our BDSM play as real as we can, too. the camera helps in that

<Alexa^^> thanks fairlady. Kole has the floor...

<Kole> Just a quick comment, but any relationship requires honesty and trust, however I think an online one, to work, requires even more of both, particularly if it is likely to progress to rl

<Alexa^^> thanks Kole. MrEos?

<MrEos> I wanted to comment on Kole's "quick comment": a very good relationship requires, I think, a great deal of trust and honesty. But you can also have a very bad relationship in real-life just as easily as in VL--just leave out the honesty and trust. Many people have bad relationships because of bad communication. I don't see that there is that much difference, with regards to honesty and trust, between real-life and VL relationships

<Alexa^^> thanks MrEos. LM?

<LordMilz> Long distance is one of the biggest burdens. The phone helps - but I try to keep that for when my submissives needs to hear my voice (which is sometimes too often - hahaha). But there are many other things you can do as well. Get the submissive to keep a diary and post extracts out of it. Involve yourself in their day to day life (like work or study). Don't be too restrictive over long distances - they have to live in a complex world. But show a true concern and interest in what they are doing

<Alexa^^> thanks LM... MsCherie?

<MsCherie> I was wondering who your dom is fairlady? and I was wondering for people who have maintained relationships for a long time, is real-life an impossibility? How does rl fit in?

<fairlady{G}> Sir's name is Grateful, we mostly use telnet, and to answer MsCherie's question, rl is only a dream for us, we are not in a position where we can fly to meet each other... unless of course i win lotto...heheh

* Alexa^^ smiles... Kole?

<Kole> with respect to MrEos' comment, the reason I think an on-line relationship requires more honesty is that when in person there are things that often don't need to be said, but [in] vl they do, but may still not be said; but, yes, bad relationships can happen anywhere. I just think it's easier to think you have a good relationship virtually when you don't

<Alexa^^> thanks Kole... MrEos?

<MrEos> I agree, Kole, but to have a really good relationship either R/L or V/L I think you need that same amount of honesty and trust for both. I don't think there's a difference. As for things needing to be said, I agree, but that's a consequence of the medium, not honesty- or trust-related. It's a communications issue

<Alexa^^> thanks Eos. we only have about five minutes left. we may have to cover the rest of the points at the next meeting or at a later time. would anyone care to continue with this point? the floor is open...

* Alexa^^ smiles. OK. how about expanding on the point - where does real-life fit in solely vl relationships?

<Alexa^^> does it just mean following rl commands, etc.? following a regime of instructions, etc.? does it allow for rl interactions: lovers, friends, etc.?

<Alexa^^> MrEos?

<MrEos> If you have a fantasy v/l then I don't think R/l will fit in at all. If you have, as LM outlined, real-life interests with your v/l partner then I think they meld quite nicely

<Alexa^^> thanks Eos. LM?

<LordMilz> I already showed how I link RL in with VL. because of the distance factor there are so many things you can do - aside from any BDSM type tasks. I find though that many 'online' people seem to focus on clothes-pins, ice and tiger balm

* Alexa^^ chuckles... tiger balm? hmmm. MrEos?

<MrEos> I agree with LM. Although ember (my slave) has BDSM-related tasks, I am also involved in how she lives, what choices are made concerning her life away from the keyboard. I am not foolish enough to think that I can make all the decisions for her, but I use my relationship with her to guide her in the directions that I feel she needs to go; but in this regard I never order her. If she was here, in real-life, I would be more comfortable about doing so, but I see very little of the detail of her life away from me and therefore cannot make informed decisions

<Alexa^^> fairlady?

<fairlady{G}> i can say that i have grown with Sir's help in many ways; he has been there thru bad times and the good, a support when i needed him, and firm with me when i strayed from my training. its been a good thing for me, but i have meet a few ppl who have been devastated by vl relationships. i think you need to let it grow and nurture it ...just like a rl one

<Alexa^^> thanks fairlady. would anyone else like to comment before we close tonight?

<Alexa^^> Eos?

<MrEos> On fairlady's comment about "devastated". I, as a Dom, have been right royally devastated by not-real-serious subs

<Alexa^^> thanks Eos. anyone else?

* Alexa^^ smiles. OK. that's a wrap:) thanks, everyone, for coming :)

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