I hope that this article will prove helpful to (possibly young and inexperienced) Dominants taking their first steps into exploring online domination. I will attempt to offer some guidance on basic chat etiquette and how, once you find some kind of online community, to talk to submissives, set up and interact with play scenes, and hopefully how to start taking steps towards a relationship that goes beyond mere roleplay.
This is, of course, kind of a douchey thing for me to claim to be qualified to do, and so I’ll start with a story, and by telling you that all the usual disclaimers apply. Your mileage may vary, one person’s kink is not another person’s kink, do what works for you etc.
Basically, take what is useful to you from these words and leave what is not.
A couple of years ago I met a special boy. he was bouncing in and out of Skype “relationships” and madly one-handed-typing with an ongoing series of online Dominants. It had taught him to be quite perceptive at reading people and then mirroring their desires for them. he’d become very good at giving guys what they wanted, and in return he got attention and respite from his stress and loneliness.
I understood the attraction of that, but I didn’t see any depth in it and I told him it wasn’t for me. It felt like there was an underlying foundation of manipulation. No real “relationship” was ever formed, the interactions were really built on two people using each other to get what they wanted. It was kind of a Faustian pact. No real power ever changed hands, but pretending that it did was part of the fantasies.
A few years have passed, and now I’m much less critical. I have come to understand some things about technology and how it works within power exchange relationships. I’ve developed techniques for using it and I’ve become comfortable exerting my dominance within it.
I’m now a few years into something quite successful and long distance. It has its rough patches, but mostly I like to think that it works and it works pretty well.
THE TOTAL NEWBIE’S GUIDE TO GOOD ETIQUETTE
On Your Own Name
You’re a Dom, so use a capitalised name. Don’t use cursing in your name, or numbers. Don’t be anything-24. Pick a name that sounds masculine and dominant without being gross or dangerous. When in doubt, use something Latin or Greek.
On Others’ Names
In many online communities, there is a cultural expectation that Doms will have uppercase names and subs will have lowercase names. That may be a handy, quick rule of thumb, but it’s not the law and everyone is entitled to do what they like. Don’t ever assume. This won’t be a problem for you, of course, because you’re going to always Be Respectful (see below), but still, be aware that a name may be misleading, in content and in character.
If you meet someone with a name like MasterMarc’sboy, or you see in their profile that they are in a relationship, this is an indication that they are “collared”. Collared can mean a wide variety of things, and it can involve a real collar or just a metaphorical one, but one thing it almost always means is “I don’t want to be hit on”. You can still start conversations, but always respect the collar.
Every time a strange Dom approaches a sub online, they’re right to be on their guard. You could be dangerous or, at the very least, annoying. If you try to play a part, like what you think a Dominant “is supposed to act like”, you will come off as creepy and threatening. subs will not be excited by your mysterious demeanor or authoritative ways. They will be freaked out, and they will not want to talk to you.
Respect vs Deference
If I could ask you to take one thing away from this article it is this golden rule. Don’t be a dick! Respect is treating everyone like an equal human being, the way you’d like to be treated. Deference is when one person chooses to position themselves under another to some extent, and address/treats them as such. Everyone owes everyone respect, and the only person who can take your respect away is you, through your own actions. Nobody owes anybody deference.
What you’ll find is that respect is like currency. You build up an account over time by being decent. Over time, if you build up enough respect, some people may start offering you some degree of deference. This is a gift. It is to be treasured. It is not for you to demand, it is not for you to insist on. Conversely, if you act like an asshat you’ll find that you quickly lose deference, and may even lose respect.
TOPPING VS DOMINATING
Topping is taking control in the context of a scene. It’s loads of fun. It’s what most people would describe as “sexting” but it’s better because it involves BDSM. Topping is something that can be done, in a variety of ways, with very little prior knowledge of a partner. You might exchange a few messages with a sub in an app and top him the same day.
Domination, on the other hand, takes a bit longer, but is (I think) more rewarding. It’s about building a D/s relationship. Rather than being about playing a part in a scene, or bending someone to your will for an hour’s fun, domination is about longer term exchange of power.
Is there a difference between Domination/submission and Master/slave? The lines are blurry, but I believe there are some differences. I think, if we’re honest with ourselves, that going as far as a real Master/slave relationship online would be incredibly hard work. More work than 2 parties would probably ever want to put into something.
But I have come to understand that online D/s is not only possible, but has some aspects that make it quite special.
HINTS FOR TOPPING
Seriously. Write in complete sentences with proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. When you’re playing online all you have is words, which means the equation is Your Desirability = Your Writing + Your Partner’s Desperation. If you want a less desperate partner (you do!) then you need to write better. It’s always better to type slowly than to type poorly. It’s always better to use complete sentences. It’s always better to be descriptive. It’s always better to think carefully before hitting the “send” button.
Play with one person at a time. Don’t split your focus. Especially when you’re not good at this. You need to concentrate on your partner and make sure you’re figuring out what he needs, responding to it well and doing a good job driving the scene. If you’re chatting (or worse, sceneing) with multiple boys, you’re going to screw it up.
Keep It In Your Pants
Don’t jerk off while you’re sceneing. This may seem counter-intuitive, as your whole goal with topping may very well be the achievement of an orgasm. Trust me though, make a log of your play session and jerk off later. The problem with masturbation during play is twofold: first, you’re going to be distracted, typing more slowly and writing more poorly. Second, you’re going to have uneven energy levels. You’ll start slow, build, pop, and then become either very low energy or else “OMG sorry, internet lost connection” rather than finish the scene. In the long run that’s going to lead to disgruntled partners, a lack of experience on your part, and a damaging of your reputation.
Seriously, just log it, and then jack off later. I promise it will feel just as good.
HINTS FOR DOMINATION
Assuming that you’ve built up enough trust with someone by chatting with them to start walking the road of his long-term submission to you:
Force him To Choose
Make him choose his path. Don’t do some kind of role-play take-down to ensure his submission. At every step lay a clear, real choice out before him and let him choose whether he wants to submit a piece of his life or control to you. If you’re asking for something, be prepared to tell him why you want control of the thing you’re asking for. It’s a negotiation.
Start to dominate slowly, with a single, simple rule. Let him try it on for size. Move slowly into more rules. Don’t overburden a boy with too many rules at once, give him time to absorb and apply each new thing.
Be Clear and Specific
Remember that you are communicating online and no-one is a mind-reader. Let him know exactly what you expect or want from him. If you can’t express what you want clearly, in a way that he can verify that he understands, then you’re not sure enough of what you want to demand it from someone. Be very clear with yourself, and with him.
Don’t Ever Punish a boy For Not Being Psychic
Don’t ever assume that he knows Rule X. If you want him to do something, tell him. Don’t ever punish for something he failed to do that wasn’t in the rules you gave him.
Don’t Get Mad
Don’t ever lose your temper. Don’t yell, don’t curse. Lay out clear rules, and correct him firmly and dispassionately when he disobeys them.
Role Play Punishments Are Bullshit
Role playing punishments are completely ineffectual and are basically a backslide to virtual Topping. Punishments should be real, things that actually affect him and make him think about/reconsider his behaviour. Some examples of appropriate punishments are:
‚• Writing sentences
• A timeout standing with his nose in the corner
• Time away from you
• Time with a degrading form of address (depends on the sub)
• Physical pain (self spanking, clamps, other)
Pain Is Overrated
Note that physical pain is last on the list above. I don’t believe it makes a very good training tool, particularly online, and I tend to only use it for punishment when I am very unhappy and am combining it with the message that his behaviour is completely unacceptable. Use physical pain very sparingly. Make it mean something very serious, and make sure that there’s a tone of strong disapproval and disappointment attached to it
Make him obey the rules 100% of the time. Always correct him when he fails. Always keep track, and discipline him daily for all of his failings. You must always be on the lookout for his failure to live up to his expectations, and he can’t ever get away with it. he will test you, perhaps even without meaning to, and you have to catch it. You have to punish it. Every single time. If you become inconsistent then you are effectively untrustworthy. A sub doesn’t need a Dom who is untrustworthy and inconsistent.
Note that this is another great reason to keep it in your pants. If you can’t control your own emotional ebb and flow, you’re going to miss his, and you’re going to react wrong.
Be Ready to Explain
If he ever asks why you’re instituting a certain rule or punishment, you need to be able to explain. You don’t have to have a perfect answer, but you need to be able to prove that it’s something you have thought about and isn’t just a capricious whim.
Be Quick to Apologise (if you are wrong)
When you make a mistake, recognise it. You will make mistakes. You will yell at him for mistakes he didn’t make, you will threaten him with punishments for rules you forgot to give him, etc. I’ve had days where I’ve snapped just because the relationship is over long distance and it’s frustrating me. When you realise your error, apologise. If he’s remained polite and respectful throughout his disagreement with you, honour that and tell him you appreciate it. If he hasn’t, then apologise but let him know that disrespect is never acceptable.
Demand and Reward Honesty
Always reward honesty. A punishment should always be less for a boy who comes to you telling you about a mistake he made than if you have to remind him about the mistake. Likewise if he comes to you with a complaint you should always reward his honestly speaking up. If you try to silence him you will breed first resentment, then contempt. If you have honest discussions you will deepen his submission with every conversation.
I am personally completely uninterested in anyone who is “fiery”, “bratty”, “rebellious”, “spunky”, a “spitfire”, “feisty” etc. Brattiness goes back to a lot of the other rules, and it’s insidious because it spreads like a flu, through contact. Unless brats and SAMs (smart assed masochists) are your thing, don’t accept brattiness, don’t reward it and don’t ever give him what he wants when he is being bratty (especially if sometimes what he wants is punishment). I recommend ignoring him until he decides to not be bratty.
Never Reward Bad Behavior
Never, ever reward bad behaviour. Again, this can go back to “keep it in your pants.” Never, ever give him a treat if he’s behaving poorly. You’ll be tempted, many times, to let him cum or to give him some other reward if he “has been mostly good” or “did one very good thing”. Resist this impulse. Never ever reward him for disobeying you. Ever.
Recognise Consistently Good Behaviour
If he’s been consistently obedient, even if just in following a small rule, recognise him for it and let him know that you appreciate it. Following rules isn’t easy, even for the most submissive boy. It’s something he works at, really hard, to remember and to apply. When he gets it right he deserves your recognition and, depending on how obedient he’s been, perhaps some further reward.
Don’t Be Insecure
Life is complicated, and we all have busy lives. subs have friends, plus family, plus work, etc. Don’t ever let yourself feel insecure. Online relationships are already complex without you feeling bad. Always be confident that he’ll come back to you and, if you’ve got your relationship right, he will. But don’t ever chase him, don’t ever beg him, and don’t ever, ever whine. These are not qualities that he will value in you.
Be Prepared For Heartbreak
You will get your heart broken, multiple times. Internet relationships move fast, and can start, bloom, flower, grow and die in months, weeks or days. You’ll choose the wrong guy more than once, you’ll screw up more than once, and you’ll get your heart broken more than once. Continue to be honourable and ethical. Continue to be polite and respectful. Over time you’ll build experience and confidence, and will find the right one/s.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Well this list got really long, really fast. I’d love to hear what you think and whether I’ve forgotten anything important or said something you don’t agree with. I hope this has been somewhat helpful, and that it hasn’t offended anyone’s PC-ness. Please do let me know what you think!