Safety rules

Staying safe is a product of any number of things, and obviously this applies especially in the world of BDSM-related dating where it can be even easier for dangerous people to hide behind a veil of D/s type activities.

I’ve written before that newbies should do as I say, not as I do because what I SAY about safety actually makes a lot more objective sense than what I DO.

The reasons for that are many but the bottom line is that I trust my judgement. I feel like I am calling upon the gods of vengeance in saying that (“we’ll show her!”), but it’s true.

Unsafe things that I have happily done at first meetings with submissive men:

  • Met without knowing his full name or details
  • Met without telling anyone where I was going or with whom
  • Brought him home to play after a drink and a chat
  • Picked him up in my car at a meeting point, brought him home
  • Had him pick me up in his car at a meeting point, went to his house
  • Took him to my hotel room to play
  • Invited him stay at my house for a few days
  • Went to his house at night, let myself in, went into his bedroom (that was holy-fuck-beautiful-eyes in case you were wondering *smile*)
  • Went to his house to play without knowing his full name

I don’t want to downplay the risks, because they exist and I don’t want to sound like I’m encouraging other women to take them. I acknowledge those risks, but in none of those situations did I feel even a flicker of doubt or fear, nor did I feel like I was being cavalier with my safety.

I’m thinking about this because if you were to ask me how or why I felt safe, I can’t give you a credible answer.

I’ve recently been contacted by a ridiculously hot submissive who lives just over an hour away and who is only interested in something casual. Casual is totally not my thing, but for 6’3 of ‘ridiculously hot’, I’m testing to see if I feel like making an exception. For me, this context is strange and foreign because even though I did all of the above, the context was never ‘meeting for casual play’, and for me that changes things.

The best I can come up with is the theory that in all of those above situations, we were exploring the possibility of some kind of D/s relationship (HFBE is the exception in that), and that means that when we communicated prior to meeting, we organically fell into a kind of D/s dynamic because that’s how we related. In THAT context, I had the opportunity to feel them out for the kind of men they were in non-traditional ways.

By that I mean that it allowed me opportunities to quietly let them know if they were behaving in ways that I didn’t like and see how they reacted. A history littered with proof that they would happily accept what I said and adjust their behaviour accordingly gave me valuable insight into how they dealt with being told ‘no’.

If they responded by listening, paying attention, and changing their behaviour happily because that’s what I wanted, I would come to learn that they could be trusted to respect my preferences. This versus defensiveness or petulance or some kind of passive aggressive sulking or any of those other signs that would indicate that he cared more about getting what he wanted than he did about what I wanted, and that wouldn’t bode well for respecting boundaries in highly charged situations.

Of course it can be faked, but over time, it’s hard for most predators to be both patient and consistent and these interactions required both.

This works the same in a vanilla context also of course, but I do think that I have more opportunities for it in D/s because it’s not a surprise that I might voice my preferences for his behaviour and expect him to comply (that is, it’s not necessarily that he’s doing anything ‘wrong’, just that I prefer something else, and it’s not ‘normal’ behaviour in a vanilla context to voice those things and expect someone to take it on board).

I think there’s more to it than that, but it’s the only concrete thing I can point to and say ‘I think that helps’. The rest is unquantifiable beyond ‘I just know’.

And all that to say that no matter how tall or hot he may be, the 6’3 hottie has to make me feel safe or it ain’t happening, and I’m not sure how easy that will be since we aren’t exploring a D/s relationship and meeting up involves some 2.5 hours travel so a few coffee dates before deciding whether to play, while doable, is hardly convenient.

 

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9 Comments

    1. *laugh* Actually, I never said I’d be doing the driving.

      As a note, you’re one of the strange men I picked up and brought home at first meet *smile*. Hardly the same thing given context, but I felt no less safe with others.

      Ferns

  1. You’ve pushed one of my buttons! In my experience men are ignorant of rudimentary safety practices and oblivious to the need for them. Yet they seem perfectly amenable to having a strange woman tie them up on first meetin.

    My armchair analysis is that men, particularly big men, are used to feeling safe in their persons. When I’ve suggest that a man, say, set up a safe call, I have to explain the concept, overcome his embarrassment (You don’t have to tell your buddy you’re into D/s; just say you have a first date with a woman you met on-line.) and still know he’s a MAN and doesn’t feel a need to protect himself from a woman. Newsflash, sweetpea: when I tie you up you’re completely restrained until I release you.

    (Women are used to feeling some apprehension and I think they’re more likely to take sensible precautions.)

    Whew! It gets warm up on that soapbox! If you’re interested in more on safety and risk in F/m relationships you might check out Episode 40 of the Practically Kinky podcast, “Why Sensible People Take Sensible Risks.” Full disclosure: I was a guest on the podcast.

    It’s available free on iTunes or at
    http://practicallykinky.libsyn.com/ep-40-why-sensible-people-take-sensible-risks

    1. Ha! Good rant, and thanks for the link.

      I agree with you that men don’t consider their safety (though while I’m not against them, I think safe calls are only marginally useful for finding the perpetrator well after any badness has happened and are exactly zero use for actually keeping a person safe).

      The only way to try and truly avoid something bad happening is to take the time to build trust (still not iron clad: some predators are willing to play the long game).

      But honestly, when play is on the table, when it’s casual and immediate, many people (not just men, women also, and I include myself in this) aren’t always willing to do that even if they ARE 100% educated up on the risks. Education and information is great and everyone should have it, but when they do have it, everyone still has to make their own choices about the risks they are willing to take.

      Ferns

  2. I first became interested in D/s back in 2009, through someone I met online and flew out to meet her, in person, the following year.

    I have to admit, it never even occurred to me to let anyone know where I was going (I stayed at her place) because I figured that after a year, I knew here pretty well. As it turns out, I didn’t know her nearly as well as I thought I did, and while nothing bad happened, (Nothing at ALL happened!) the lesson I took from it is that you really don’t know who someone is until meeting them in person.

    However, it wasn’t until many weeks later, after the relationship had ended, that I even considered that there was a possibility that things could have ended badly.

    1. *smile* I’ve also done that so it’s hard for me to gasp and clutch my pearls in horror.

      If someone has been in your life for a year remotely, I think you can pretty safely assume that they haven’t invested that much time in you in order to finally (finally!! bwuhahahahhaa!!) do you some harm when you meet. That seems entirely ridiculous.

      But yes, safe to say that even after all that time, real life is the test of actual chemistry and attraction, and it can often fail even if you thought its existence had been solidly proven before meeting. I learnt that long ago also.

      Ferns

  3. Yep, I have done those stupid things too, apparently I am naive and trusting and got severe bollocking off a wonderful dominant female friend who told me in no uncertain terms exactly what she’d do to me if I ‘ever’, did it again… anyways, I needed that bollocking and I am very grateful as the genuine fear in her voice was the only thing that made me modify my approach.
    Anyways, with tall hottie who is only into casual, maybe do Skype casual first?

  4. I finally met a dom whom I’d been emailing and Skyping with for over 8 months. Coffee dates weren’t possible. It was a distance issue – major travel involving continents, and he came to me. If he were a predator, he couldn’t have devised a more inconvenient scheme.

    I (somewhat) jokingly asked if he’d set up a safe call. He laughed. Not from male privilege or domliness (he’d be staying briefly with me *and* my male partner), but because he knew me well enough to trust me.

    And then we went on vacation together in another country. And both lived to tell the tale :-)

  5. I think this is a good discussion to have. I am glad you bring it up, so people can discuss it and ponder it.

    Listening to your “gut”, “inner voice”, “intuition”, “instinct” is a well recognized way to avoid danger. This is often mentioned by experts in various fields that deal with dangerous situations. And it sounds like that is what you are doing and that you are sensitive to this “warning system”. Not everyone is.

    I think that following safety best practices helps, and perhaps sets the situation up so that the potentially bad people shy away from you, or decide not to act at the time, but the critical thing is for you to listen to your gut and take appropriate actions for the situation.

    A bad person can potentially, as you say, play along waiting for defenses to go down or the situation to get ripe, and rules of safe engagement won’t prevent that, but your gut feelings will give you a chance to avoid the danger if you are sensitive to what it is telling you.

    Another aspect is that people should think about how much risk they are willing to accept. This can help them sort out how much to adhere to safe practices. This takes some introspection, but is worth sorting out.

    It is often too easy to go with a one size fits all, risk averse posture, but then miss out on potentially good experiences. Finding the balance that works for you as an individual is not so easy.

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