Online BDSM Relationships Need A Safety Net

Online sexting is a thing. We all have smartphones, laptops and gadgets that allow us to venture out into the cyber meat-market. In Malaysia and Singapore (and possibly your country too) it’s difficult to find (kink) social networks outside of the internet. Especially when the universal adage YKINMY (your kink is not my kink) is applied. If you’re into anything that’s socially taboo or not discussed in polite society, it’s pretty difficult to bring it up over a drink with a near-stranger. But it’s easy to dive into the vast murky ocean that is the internet and explore underground culture.

Cybersex allows you to experiment with your sexual psyche with very low physical risk. You can explore whatever taboo and deviant sexuality you feel that society doesn’t allows you to practice in a cyberspace. You’re in your own room, with the webcam, mentally connected with someone (hopefully) on your wavelength, in his or her room.

Online BDSM relationships are common. It’s not difficult to hit the apps/websites, make contact, explore through some conversation and establish a kind of temporal or longer term relationship.

Of course, online BDSM relationships present their own unique sets of challenges. Perhaps even dangers. These might be more mental than physical, but that doesn’t make them any less risky.

For example:

• How to you handle subdrop online?
• Do you really know much about your online sex partner at all?
• Is it just a form of escape from your reality or does the relationship have some kind of real meaning?
• Could partner potentially have mental health issues? Is that something you can be supportive of, or is it something potentially dangerous to you?

In short, how do you negotiate and communicate safely online and prevent the possible risks?

The risks are exasperated by the fact that (I believe) many of the people who engage with cyber M/s relationships are those who do not have ready access to public M/s space/community, or have identity issues in regards to self-acceptance and social acceptance. In other words, there is no other choice left for them, except to explore online, or part of their identity can’t live out properly.

THE CHALLENGES OF PROGRESSING TO SERIOUS M/S OR D/S ONLINE

Power exchange (TPE) relationships require a lot of focus and attention by both parties. It is a process of continual negotiation and adaptation. From the outset, there is a journey of discovery in terms of setting up rituals, protocols and energy levels. For a sustainable relationship, it’s about knowing each other intimately and developing the trust to explore the unexplored.

Online BDSM relationships usually start out by being about mental exploration, without the physical intimacy. Webcams and phonesex are pretty much the apex of intimacy. That mental exploration begins by exchanging and producing a mediated space between the Master and the slave – a “space” to form a mental mediated connection.

Mental space is intense, and:

• there will be times where you doubt the relationship. How real is the other person? How seriously involved are you both?
• it can be difficult to shift mental energy back and forth between cyber and real space, and that can take a toll. At the extreme end, it could start to feel like mental dissociation, but even if it doesn’t get that difficult it can still feel draining to be regularly switching energies.

WHEN CONFLICT HAPPENS

Online relationships can be intense, and our mental psych can become highly connected to someone who’s not physically there. When conflict happens, the stability of that connection falls apart. Everything can become hard work, and the tech tools we thought were so efficient and wonderful can start to seem blunt and ineffective. Or, it can suddenly seem to switch off, like a light switch. All the rituals and daily protocols that have been established over time can quickly be broken.

Hopefully that will never happen, but if or when it does, it’s important that you have social support you can rely on. Call it an “emergency plan”. There’s no moving of furniture in and out of the apartment in an online relationship. They can start fast and they can hit the rocks fast. You might be able to cope with the bad times alone, but it will always be a lot easier if you have support.

That goes for any online relationship of course, but D/s power exchange is a particularly intense and trusting environment, and the tough times can be very touch.

Real friends, who can listen to you and comfort you, are always going to be the best support, but if your BDSM relationship is something that you don’t share with your friends then it might mean having an online community around you. FetLife is a great place to start.

Whatever you can manage, make sure you have a safety net in place. Don’t ever isolate yourself.

FURTHER READING

• Dominant Life – Red Flags for Online BDSM Relationships
• The Journey of Will – Emotional Issues in Dom/Sub Relationships
• D/s Radio (YouTube) – Online BDSM Relationships
• BDSM Unveiled – Cyber BDSM Relationships
• Sensuous Sadie – The BDSM Cyber Relationship
• FetLife – Doing Kink Long Distance

 

 

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