Online D/s Relationships

onlinedsWith the Internet being widely available to many in the world for decades now, online dating is a natural evolution of human interaction. The Dom/sub culture has especially grown because of this. What was once relegated to classified ads in the back of local lifestyle magazines (which were only available in larger population areas), is now open to a massive audience.

Finding someone to date is always exciting. But finding someone to date that is into your kink can feel like it is “meant to be”. Often both people have been craving someone who can provide them an outlet for expressing their role. This creates a sense of urgency which often clouds judgement.

When two people interact online, the relationship can become intense very quickly. Our brains typically receive a lot of information about people when we meet in person from all of our senses: we see, hear, smell and feel them. Yes, feel. Our skin’s contribution to our interactions with others is greatly overlooked. I’m not talking about touch. The skin is very sensitive. When someone is angry or upset, it’s likely you can sense it. When you are around a person, your skin is receiving information that their skin is broadcasting. Electro-dermal activity reflects a person’s emotional state. Have you ever been talking to someone and get a gut feeling that something isn’t right? That’s because your subconscious mind is receiving billions of bits of information per second from the neurons in your body. Our conscious mind cannot focus on all of that at once, but the subconscious receives everything, processes it, and then notifies the conscious when something is important enough. That “feeling” is not a direct conscious observation, but rather an “instant message” to you from your subconscious.

I bring this up, because with online relationships, our input is extremely limited. We have visual data from pictures and video, and we have streaming audio and recordings. We also have the words we type and speak. But that’s it. And our brains expect more information. In the absence of that data, the brain simply fills in the blanks based on what it has. Often that can go one of two ways: either you feel like you really don’t like the person, or you feel like that person is fucking amazing! If the input you have is negative, your brain will fill in the gaps with negative data. For example: I disliked this guy that I first encountered online,  but after having a drink with him, my brain replaced the temporary filler impressions with real perceptions and the guy turned out to be an alright fellow, despite my first impression that he was a complete douche.

It’s difficult to be subjective when your brain is telling you someone is the bomb. Naturally you are inclined to “go with your gut”. But in the case of online relationships, your gut feeling is partially a fantasy. If you have ever met someone online only to meet them in person later and find out “they were not who I thought they were”, then you should totally understand this.

In my opinion, a D/s relationship inherently requires a high level of trust. So here are some things you should consider before meeting in person:

  1. You should never commit to being a submissive (outside of roleplay, and both parties should be fully aware that it is roleplay). Online time is a way to learn about the beliefs, interests and limits of someone. It is an initial way to determine is there is the possibility of physical, intellectual and emotional chemistry. While intellectual chemistry can be fairly accurately established, physical and emotional connections are only potentials.
  2. A Dom should never claim a woman as His without meeting. If you do, you are making promises that you may not be willing to keep.
  3. As a sub, your goals for online interaction is to determine if the Dom’s style matches your interests. This is an interview process. It is an exercise in critical thinking. You should also express your willingness to submit and show respect to the potential Dom, but only as example.
  4. A Dom should not issue any commands to a potential sub he has met online. Instead he should present her with “what-if” situations and discover how she would respond in those examples. She has not given herself to you, yet. If she offers herself as a sub without meeting, as the Dom, it is your responsibility to the both of you to exhibit the maturity and restraint to not accept until after you have met.

Do not enter into a D/s arrangement after one date. It takes some time for the brain to replace imagined information with real information and fully process the change. The length of time required will vary, but a good rule of thumb is not before six in person dates and at least two weeks of time since the first meeting. That’s a low estimate. Six months of dating before moving into a full time D/s exchange (I’m not talking about bedroom Dom/sub activity, that can certainly take place much quicker, but that will typically be a scene) would be a wiser choice for most people. Prior experience with D/s relationships will determine the time that is right for you.

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