Meeting New BDSM Partners – Safety For Newbies and Beyond

by Sir Noble Savage

EMPOWERMENT

Whether you are a Top or bottom, you need to value yourself. Always remember that, and be able to say to yourself –

I am a worthwhile person
I deserve to be treated with respect
I can decide for myself what is best for me
I am not alone. I can ask others to help me
I am not the cause of another person’s behaviour

SUGGESTIONS IF YOU’RE NEW TO THE COMMUNITY

PRIVACY & PERSONAL SAFETY

Many of the things we do can be used against us. People have lost friends, spouses, jobs and even custody of their kids. In rare cases, people have lost their freedom and been put in jail, simply because they were a little kinky. We have made some strides in the “vanilla world” to become a little more accepted, but don’t take unnecessary risks.

Keep personal information private! Better safe, than sorry. Down the road, if you have a ‘falling out’ with someone, you don’t want them to have any private info to use against you. You never know who is listening or what their real intent is. So…

KEEP YOUR PRIVATE MATTERS AND INFO TO YOURSELF

ie… your real name, address, phone number, your employer, finances, or anything about your family.

If you do talk on the phone, use number blocking. Double check any accounts you use and make sure your last name is not included anywhere, and it can not be traced back to you. Never give anyone access to your financial information, credit cards, cheques etc. Never loan anyone money. Ever!

USE A SCENE NAME

It could be your middle name, nickname, internet “handle” or any other name out there you would like to be called. Sometimes a scene name indicates whether you are Top or bottom (Sir Noble, Master Savage or subbie-girl). If you fo use your real first name, never use your last name.

KEEP ALL YOUR KINK MATTERS SEPARATE

Separate personal accounts on your computer by getting a Yahoo, Hotmail etc mail account using that new scene name. This will help keep personal information private.

START WITH A LOCAL MUNCH

What is a munch? A munch is a discrete, informal meeting at a safe public place, (usually a restaurant). It is for people who share a similar interest in BDSM and other alternate lifestyles. We get together in a non-threatening manner and get to know one another. We have a few laughs, discuss whatever topics might come up, and in general just have a good time. It’s a great place to start meeting people in your local kinky community, share ideas, and give and get support from people who actually understand. Very friendly, very casual. Most munches even have a website you can go to, so you can chat and get to know people before you even get there. To find a munch near you, just put “BDSM Munch” + (the name of the closest city and state) in a search engine.

Why start there? It’s much safer, since it is in public and you have witnesses that actually understand what’s going on. Usually people know each other and can tell you who to trust or stay away from. A BDSM community creates accountability to the group, since anyone who repeatedly disrespects or endangers others is chastised or shunned.

Some Munches have optional private “play parties” afterwards. There should be no pressure to actually play. You can just visit with people further, or enjoy watching some of the action. What kind of action? All kinds of kinky things go on. It depends on the rules of the house. Most don’t allow actual intercourse, but a few do. There will probably be lots of kneeling, crawling, pinching, clamping, bondage and spanking. In some cases there is probing and pricking too, among other things. There are plenty of people around, so safety shouldn’t be so much of an issue. Go slow and get to know a group one person at a time.

BEFORE MEETING SOMEONE FOR THE FIRST TIME

LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS

If they seem crazy they probably are. Think twice!

USE COMMON SENSE

Think with your head, not your emotions or libido. Be realistic. Keep your wits about you and avoid taking any unnecessary risks.

GO SLOW! GET TO KNOW THEM

Take lots of time to ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask. If they are unwilling to answer, beware! Listen for any suspicious answers or excuses.

WATCH FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OR EXPERIENCE

If they don’t know much about BDSM, even if they mean well, they may accidently hurt you (in a bad way) because they don’t know any better. Don’t be their guinea pig. Let them learn at a local dungeon, club or play party where they can be monitored and mentored.

Also, it is a sign that this may just be a way of getting you alone or into their bed. There are many creeps online who have figured out that presenting themselves as a Top, is a quick, easy doorway to getting a lot of attention from women who are eager to fulfill their fantasies and desires.

WATCH FOR LACK OF RESPECT, CARE OR CONCERN

A good top takes care of his “toys” and wants them to be safe. If they seem to not respect your health, safety, comfort or limits, or if they constantly try to pressure, rush or guilt you, (verbally, mentally or physically) then stay away! If they get angry at your cautiousness or questions, too bad! Better to have them angry, than you battered, raped or dead.

DON’T BE PRESSURED (BULLIED, GUILTED, TRICKED or RUSHED). DON’T FALL FOR EXCUSES, LIES, MANIPULATION OR B.S.

Predatory Tops/Doms often use these strategies to take advantage of naïve and desperate bottoms/subs. Be careful of the “ego resume” – ie. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years, so I know what I’m doing”. Maybe they have, but older is not always wiser. Experience does not excuse them from respecting your need for safety and comfort. Watch out for guilt and manipulations, such as: “If you were a true submissive/slave then you would do it“. There is no such thing as a TRUE anything! People are not robots. Everyone is different. Your personal skills, needs and limitations will be different from others. That does not make you a bad sub. Submission is a very special and dangerous gift to give. Do not give it away frivolously. Be very careful who you give it to! It could save your life!

ASK FOR REFERENCES AND ACTUALLY CHECK THEM OUT

Some people figure you won’t actually call and give you a fake name or number as a reference. If they can’t give you any references, beware.

ACTUALLY MEETING SOMEONE FOR THE FIRST TIME

ALWAYS MEET IN PUBLIC AND STAY IN PUBLIC

If possible, meet at a local munch, play party, BDSM event or club. Otherwise, meet in a well populated public area, like a restaurant or coffee shop, Never anywhere secluded, like a park or parking lot. Stay in public. Do not go anywhere private on the first meeting ever! Meet publicly several times, until you completely trust them. Go slow! You can always do more next time. If there’s no next time, then you just saved yourself headache, heartache and maybe your life. Don’t be afraid to call a halt, if you are uncomfortable in any way.

HAVE HIM COME TO YOUR TERRITORY FIRST

You’re safest in familiar surroundings.

HAVE A ‘SAFE PERSON’

A safe person is someone you trust to be reliable in a crisis. It is best if it is a friend from the scene or at least knows about the lifestyle. If you don’t want to tell someone about your kink, just tell them it is a blind date from the internet or something.

A. Give the safe person as much information as possible: at least His name, address and phone number – verify it by directly reading it off his driver’s license before leaving the safety of a public place. Then add: car tags, descriptions etc. Verify the address when you get there.

B. Have a safe call. Tell the safe person that you will be calling them at regular intervals and when you are safely home. If they do not receive the call, have them call you or even drop in to wherever you are meeting. Make it clear to your friend that if you do not call and do not answer when they call, that you really do want them to call the police and explain that you asked them to do so. If there is some mistake, the police will no doubt give you a hard time, but it is much better than the alternative of not getting help. Always have a safe call, even if you are meeting this person locally. If they tell you that you don’t need one, then run … because they have something more up their sleeve.

C. Have a pre-determined secret word or phrase that signals that they need to call the police. Pick something common, that you won’t say accidentally. Such as mentioning, going shopping at a certain store the next day, or feeding a dog, when they know you don’t have one. Maybe you think this is overkill and you won’t need it. However, simply having it in place is a great deterrent, and it gives you the confidence to deal with things if difficulty arises. After all, what kind of an idiot would try anything non-consensual if you warn them a friend will pass their details to the police, if you are not heard from soon?

D. Also, have a pre-existing excuse to leave, in case you do not get along. Tell the new prospect at the beginning of the evening that you have to visit a relative later, or check in on a friend. If things are going wonderfully, you can always appear to make a quick phone call to cancel.

BEFORE PLAYING WITH SOMEONE FOR THE FIRST TIME

KNOW AND SHARE YOUR DESIRES AND FANTASIES, ALONG WITH YOUR LIMITS, CONCERNS AND HEALTH ISSUES

Tops are not mind readers. Do not fall for the myth “if they are a true Top, then they’ll just know what to do!” Every person is different. What may make one girl melt, may send you to therapy.

So, write it out: what you want and enjoy, along with your limits, concerns and health issues, in an email, letter or story. It may be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing, but it is not as uncomfortable as tears, hysteria, scars and therapy.

Tops: insist on communication in order to learn a bottom’s needs!

NEGOTIATE ALL LIMITS AND BOUNDARIES BEFOREHAND

Also, make sure in any agreement it’s clear the action will stop when either player uses safe words or safe signals. Save all this information. Be sure to mention all mental, emotional, or physical health conditions, limitations, problems or concerns. Include everything. Physical (allergies, medications, blood sugar issues, seizures), emotional (triggers) and mental (depression, PTSD, bi-polar).

HAVE SAFE WORDS/SIGNALS

In most places, the word ‘yellow’ means slow down, ‘red’ means stop. Putting your hand on a Top’s ankle means you’re hitting too hard, please lighten up. Other people have different words.

ACTUALLY PLAYING WITH SOMEONE FOR THE FIRST TIME

TRY TO PLAY IN PUBLIC THE FIRST TIME

At a local BDSM club, event or play party, preferably with someone you trust watching, who knows you and your limits.

DO NOT GO BACK TO YOUR PLACE

Getting up and leaving is generally much easier than trying to kick someone out who does not want to go. It also means that they do not know where you live and can not just turn up on your doorstep at some other time.

DO NOT LET THEM DRIVE YOU ANYWHERE

If you are moving on to somewhere more private, always drive yourself. That way you’ll know if they really are going to where you both arranged to go. Verify the address on the mailbox and relay it to your safe call. If they change locations on you, or there is anything you are uncomfortable about, don’t be afraid to drive away. If you don’t have a car, take a taxi rather than letting them drive. That way, there will be a witness to where you were taken, they can help verify the address, and at the very least, you know they will let you out when you want.

USE A HOTEL

Rather than moving on, if you have met in a hotel lobby why not use one of the hotel’s rooms? Certainly you will have to be a little quieter and you will not have the opportunity to set it up with all of your favorite toys, but it does leave you somewhere you can always shout loudly for help if you need it.

ACTUALLY USE YOUR SAFE WORDS. DON’T BE TOO SHY TO USE THEM

Don’t worry about ‘impressing the Top’ at the expense of your happiness. If in doubt, use YELLOW (since it just slows things down, there is no reason to worry about disappointing a Top). Either Tops or bottoms may want to call a halt to the action. Even when the words (or signals) are negotiated, it’s wise for a Top to be aware that a new bottom often hesitates to use them. They may be too anxious, shocked or deep in subspace to communicate clearly. Until you’re sure they will use safe words and signals, read body language and pay extra attention.

If a Top says you don’t need safe words, this is a big red flag! Do NOT play with that person! Period!

LIMIT BONDAGE

Until you have played with them a few times and completely trust them to respect safewords and limits, it is worth limiting how much bondage play you use. After all, in an emergency, you want to be able to get up and run.

This does not mean you can not use bondage, just keep it lighter. Cuffs you can quickly let yourself out of let you play with the image but leave you able to get free. Ankle cuffs and spreader bars are less of an issue as, so long as you have your hands free, you can always free your ankles yourself – just do not let them lock you into anything.

Try Using mental bondage, symbolic bondage, and perhaps even blindfolds instead. They can all add incredible levels of intensity without ever actually making it impossible to leave.

No gags, because:
A. if they try to abduct you, then you are helpless to call out for help
B. even if they are a well-meaning Top, you need to able to communicate and use safe words. Until they have played with you a few times and gotten to know your limits and desires, only use mental gags and voice restrictions.

RED FLAGS – WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR

If they tell you that you don’t need safe words, safe calls or limits, then RUN! They have something more up their sleeve. Big red flag!

Watch for lack of respect, care or concern for your well being.
If they do not respect your health, safety or limits in any way.
If they try to pressure, rush or bully you verbally, mentally or physically.
If they get angry or annoyed at your cautiousness or questions. Beware!
If they are unwilling to answer questions or give suspicious answers or excuses. These are big red flags!

If a male player refuses to give their real info, show his driver’s license or refuses to come to your territory first.

If they have no references.

If they express anger, fear or resentment or any other negative emotions about you talking to others, then you have warning that something is fishy.

If they try to seclude you from the outside world.

If they seem to have a lack of knowledge on the subject. It may mean this is just a way of getting you alone or getting you into their bed. Also, they may accidentally hurt you because they don’t know what they are doing!

If they insist on sex. ‘Do they ever play non-sexually?’

If they want money or financial information. Run! Never, ever, give anyone access to your financial info, credit cards, cheques etc. Never loan anyone money, ever.

If there’s a picture of their genitals but not their face in their profile.

If your potential partner says any of the following, run:
• “If you were a true submissive/slave then you would do this.“
• “Don’t ever question me! I’ve been doing this for 10 years. I know what I’m doing, “
• “I don’t want you to talk to anyone else about me. You have no right to ask other people about me.“
• “IF I find out you talked to others about me, I’ll never have anything to do with you again.“
• “You Should only trust what I tell you and not listen to anyone else. Everything other people said about me is a lie.”
• “Yes, what they told you was true, but I’m a different person now.“

About the Author

BDSMlogoDiligently compiled and lovingly plagiarized by Sir Noble Savage from every source He could find and more than He can name (special thanks to the “victims”), for the WHIMPER (West Atlanta) Munch Group and the safety of everyone. 🙂

For more information, comments or suggestions, you can contact Sir Noble Savage here.

Host of the WHIMPER (West Atlanta) Munch Group

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