Shadow's Essays

"Words are loaded pistols."Jean Paul Sartre ~ "The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." Anais Nin

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Location: San Jose, Ca, United States

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

#120. Fresh Out of the Box

Are you going to go to something in real time or stay on line?

Essays on a life of P.E.
March 20, 2007
by shadow

First off, let me say that everyone has their own truths, and what *i* have as personal experience might not be the same for someone else of another age, place, date, or time...

When i came into the scene, i was as nervous about identity and staying "out of sight" as you are now.
i didn't WANT or NEED to be a public player, my life was full, and i was fairly unconcerned about making any new friends.

In my head, i thought i could attend a few munches- where there would be a plethora of unattached tops and bottoms attending infrequently, but in sufficient numbers that i could easily make a connection with another kinky person- find someone to play with, and then start a private relationship.

That was not to be.
i was very afraid of running into people that i knew in vanilla i went FAR afield. i drove 90 min each way to attend Monterey events (i have since met a dear friend who drove to L.A. every weekend!).

In my head, this fantasy relationship had NOTHING to do with my vanilla relationships, either in appearance nor in considerations... in my head, MY fears would all be carefully worked out by this anonymous person (the Dom!) who would make sure that *i* felt really secure and all comfy and knew all about them- yet i would get to keep my life private and walled off from them until i was VERY secure and we had established some kind of relationship.
It was a very one way street. Even the best case scenario-that we would reveal each other's personal information at the same time, equally, was a pipe dream (after all, what if they didn't HAVE a jobsite, or kids, or moved a lot, or weren't married)?.

i did not KNOW a lot about my REAL sexual self either... i was just beginning the journey, and had no idea that i was either an attention slut nor a public humiliation player- both of which would have languished and died had i not taken the plunge after a while (out of necessity) and started attending public events.

i had spent YEARS on line- and since the ratio of "players" (fakes, people getting their kicks out of ONLY on line, no matter what they say, other fearful people who would NEVER really MEET but swore they would, and those who had such problems that they needed to lie like a dog and therefore COULD never show their face) outnumber those who are seriously intent on carrying out their promised actions by about 200 to one.

Yes, you heard me... 200 to 1

That means that if out of every serious committed person i talked to i found only 1 in 100 that had the same likes and dislikes as i did, and the same sincere needs, i would have ended up dealing with (taking the time to write and get to know) over 20,000 people.

i do believe that you would need several LIFETIMES to dig through that pile.

And if i had been a male slave seeking a FemDom, it would have been WORSE ... for there are maybe 200 serious male bottom players for every female i know.

i found a few other things too...
i found out that i was playing some dangerous games by not really KNOWING what i was doing and playing at the "but i will find someone that is trustworthy that will KNOW what they are doing with that whip/crop/cane/gag/rope/teeth/anal plunger/enema/knife/ etc....".

MOST of the people out there that have not spent time taking classes, going out into stores and asking questions, working out with other pro's to TELL them the scary parts, well, most of the time those people end up being dangerous and hurting others unintentionally.
Permanently too.

i have met a woman in a wheelchair for the rest of her life due to her FIRST playdate with someone she had communicated and trusted for YEARS on line before they played...turned out he did not know what he was doing and he damaged her spinal column with nothing more than a bondage mess up.
i have met a lady who speaks with a guttural whisper due to a broken larynx from a SINGLE incident where her partner grabbed her throat and crushed it by mistake.
i have met tons of boys with serious scars and marks due to accidents with fire and knives and bondage and everything you can think of.

Since THEY never took the time to learn about safety and the right/wrong ways to use certain items, they had no way of knowing-or stopping-the person they were playing with from doing something REALLY stupid.

i know a gal who's partner died of a heart attack while she was on the cross-tied (shades of Gerald's game!). But *i* also know how to do that with some safe calls in place if it's me... and how to get a partner DOWN from a cross if they pass out tied up-- even if they outweigh me by 300 pounds.

i have taken Dungeon Monitor courses and learned what to expect in a dungeon, what is responsible and what is foolhardy.
i have taken classes on how to *do* things well- from fisting and singletails to creating a kidnap torture scene that can start at a public venue, to how to run a great interrogation play scene.

Getting oriented to the area players you are hanging out with is smart ... because you will find out pretty fast WHO is out there with a rotten reputation (maybe she steals money, maybe she spreads genital herpes, maybe she abuses boi's and then tosses them away and breaks their hearts), and who is a *great* introductory player.

You will quickly find out who is *into* your specific kinks- and who isn't.
You will get a "feel" for what munches and events make you comfortable-people that you can ask questions to- and who gives you the heebees and might be better for you to avoid. You will learn who is VERY friendly and good at helping, who is a great party animal that might invite you to the ONE great private party of the year where all the kinky people show up that NEVER show up elsewhere, and you will learn what is appropriate to saying hello and what is just yuccky.

Then of course, there is the *reality* of dating rather than the fantasy.
While there are more serious players that are not public and do not attend functions, most of them are KNOWN players to at least a few people... and they might never meet you or even run across you without a reference from one of their friends.

Because, for all the dark dungeon stories of hanging off the walls and being sold at anonymous slave auctions, the REAL world runs on making friends and getting to know people real time. References. Building trust by being there in person.

The scene is no different than your church or your office or your college. People make friends and get to know you, and they introduce you to THEIR friends and invite you to private things with MORE friends and get to see you out there and how you act and talk and then even more friends make the connections about you and your future permanent dream partner eventually sizes you up from across the room when you are least expecting it and suddenly you are HAPPY.

There are thousands of boys that will throw themselves at someone's feet and offer everything-it bores some of the women, and they hate being non-consentually added to someone's fantasy. Most women in scene that are FemDommes want to have a man who is not a doormat and knows how to act like a gentleman rather than simper at them. Most dominant types do not want to micromanage a slave and would like someone with skills and independent tendencies that they can both rely on as well as use against us for their enjoyment.

Yes, anyone can (and do) find their partners without ever leaving their keyboard. But why not advance your odds, shorten the search time, learn enough to not make stupid choices or foolish decisions, and get some play time in before you become so *hungry* for play and touch that you ignore warning signals and make a bad decision?

Most simple basic public munches do not allow any kind of recording devices, and no one really (so far) anywhere in the USA has surreptitiously recorded folks or taken pictures--- it would be their death knell as they were run out of their community and shunned across America.
Us leaders talk to each other, and we KNOW who the bastards are out there- the jerks cannot just slip in and make a new life if their local leaders are paying attention.

And really- why should anyone bother? They are all much too busy with their own lives and fun to car about someone else's face. There are specific events for those who want dungeon pics, and there are always warnings to anyone when a vanilla meeting includes some snaps of friends- and people are VERY careful about saying so right up front.

There are concert pianists, comedians, politicians, judges, TV personalities, and a host of other well known people that are into BDSM and do not want it shared on Letterman. They stay in smaller circles, but they still get out. They crave new people, using dungeon furniture they cannot get home (or afford), strange places, wild times, just like the rest of us.
They have all survived well knowing that their identities are pretty secure.

There are "protocols" in every community (i hate to call them community standards- screw you US Court rulings over obscenity), but really, there are. Most are the same.
Don't use your real name if you don't want to have it known- pick something and it will be honored.
Use a blind mail box like hotmail.
Meet strangers in public rather than take risks in private.
Take early playdates in public dungeons where risks are minimal and you have support and monitors for protections until you are better acquainted with your partners.
NEGOTIATE with everyone in advance from a place of equality. Until you put on that collar, you are just as good as they are, and have just as much right to an answer-- and if they don't want to do it that way, they are probably not as safe or as smart as you would need them to be.

Reading nonfiction is better than fiction for getting your sea legs in BDSM, and there are hundreds of great sites, from Castle Realm to Southern Cross to Alt Sexuality and the BSS boards. Use them. Read everything. Google things. Use library computers if you have to. But a computer on Craig's list cheap just for web searches and emails.

Play safe by playing with knowledge and coming from a position of educated BDSM player.

Copyright Strong Eagle's shadow, March 20, 2007
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for permission to repost. All reposts must be complete with copyright and contact info.


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