1) Make connections with other people in the scene. You never know who might know the partner of your dreams. Guysubs especially tend to disregard the chances to network with each other. Networking is a great idea. Popular people often know lots of partners that are wrong for them, but may be right for you.

2) Be sociable. Attend parties, events, festivals, etc that are connected to the scene. (Actually, you might meet someone at a vanilla gathering, too. Never hurts to look.) The more people you connect with, the better your chance statistically of finding the one right for you.

3) Demonstrate good manners. You wouldn't want to find the right person, and have them pass by because you act like a lout. Be polite and nice to everyone. Rudeness isn't pretty, even in female dommes.

4) Demonstrate intelligence. Have a few conversational openings that require more than a yes or no response. Have opinions and state them. Be witty and charming.

5) Make eye contact. Shy is cute, but it helps to be able to determine that there is mutual interest. If someone doesn't look at me, I figure they are not interested, or they are trying to hide something. Either way, *I* lose interest.

6) Don't be a kiss ass. It's okay for subs to have opinions like anyone else. It's okay to disagree with people. Be polite, but for heaven's sake, stand up for yourself.

If you are a dom(me) don't expect subs to kowtow to you just because they are sub. Contrary to typical fantasy fodder, a sub who is NOT your collar, does NOT owe you anything but politeness. And if you are rude, they probably don't even owe you that.

7) Shower. This SHOULD go without saying, but I have had too many unpleasant experiences to believe any longer that bathing is a given in any circumstances. Being neat, clean, tidy, and smelling good helps to make that first impression a good one.

8) When you are at scene related gatherings, it helps to remember that scene manners preclude loud talking, interruptions, talking to people doing a scene, yelling comments, touching strangers without being invited to, and a host of other, mostly obvious, protocols. THINK before you speak or act.

9) Don't pretend to knowledge or experience you don't have. If you say you are a heavy pain puppy, and scream at the first whack of a flogger, NO ONE will EVER believe you again about your experience. And a lot of people will never play with you again.

If you are dom(me) and flail uncontrollably at a sub with a flogger, or mark one after discussing the delicacy of your touch, you will make an impression that won't be soon forgotten.

Most play parties and public dungeons have dungeonmasters/mistresses designated to regulate safe play. If you feel a scene that you are watching is unsafe, do NOT interrupt it yourself. Inform the dungeonmaster or the host of the party of your concerns and let THEM take action. Things that look too severe to you, may just be love taps to the people involved. Please remember that we share different kinks, and be tolerant. If you don't approve of a style of play, leave the area. Do NOT loudly express your opinion. Toleration is the best policy.

10) Inform yourself about D/s in general. If you don't recognize the terms, if your information came mostly out of fantasy magazine, if you THINK it sounds hot to be a domme/sub without really KNOWING what they are/do, you MAY be looking in the wrong place for your partner. Remember, it is easy to mentally or emotionally damage someone. Not to even mention the physical damage you can do to someone out of ignorance or lack of skill. For most of us, this is NOT a game, it's who we are.




Very often, in this age of home computer use, we meet people on line and form attachments to them. In the old days, people exchanged letters, photos, etc. and perhaps eventually met. Marriages happening this way were not at all unusual, especially in frontier environments. In our age, we use email, and things happen a lot faster and sometimes harder.'ve met someone on line you think is the dom(me)/sub of your dreams and now you want to meet them in person. You KNOW this person. You've been talking to them for weeks (months......a year if you are REALLY cautious) and you have shared all your thoughts with them. You've spoken to them on the phone. So of course there is NO danger, RIGHT????? WRONG!!!!!! You don't know this person at all.

First of all.....this is cyber, not real life. Your partner could be lying about any or all of the things you THINK you know. Age, looks, marital status, whatever.....until you meet this person, you can't know any of these things for sure. And maybe not even then. Before you meet someone for the first should take the time to set up a few ground rules. And gather a few bits of info. The time to check references is BEFORE you meet someone, not after. And if someone WON'T give you identifying info and references......well, it's your decision as to whether you want to persue this relationship, but for me, that would be a definite alarm. If you are a sub, negotiate the first meeting from the standpoint of an equal. DO NOT HAVE A SUB MINDSET FOR ANY NEGOTIATIONS. Do not, ever, allow a dom(me) to make you feel that you are being unreasonable or unsublike or disrespectful to have a high regard for your own safety. It ain't true. You have a right to be safe and to provide for your safety. Any dom who refuses to give you references MAY have a reason.....but probably not a GOOD reason. Even if his last sub hates him....he should have other people in the scene he can direct you to. If he is not involved with any scene in his area, he should be able to refer you to some vanilla friends who will vouch that he is loyal, sane, and bathes occasionally.

The next thing is identity. It is a BAD idea to go meet someone whom you have no way to identify to the police should they decide to maim you. At a minimum, you should have the home and work phone numbers of this person, their legal name, and a home address. If he's married, he will be leary about giving you this information. Insist on having it anyway. Your LIFE is just as or more important than his marriage. And that is what YOU are risking. Before you meet this person, make sure that at least ONE of your friends has this information so that if you don't make it back, there will be a starting place to look. Again, do NOT allow a dom(me) to buffalo you into NOT taking precautions.

The best place to meet is a public place for coffee or lunch or whatever. It is not a good idea to meet someone at their house, your house, or a hotel for a first meeting. Playing on the first meeting should NOT be expected. And if you are going to THEIR city for a meeting, it is best to meet them at a neutral place such as a restaurant rather than to have them pick you up at the airport. Getting into cars with strangers is never a good idea. One reason for NOT playing on first meeting is that you might not LIKE this person in real life. Maybe he/she has a laugh that drives you up the wall. Maybe he/she last had a bath on reaching puberty. Maybe he/she lied about looks/age/health/sanity/IQ or whatever. NOT expecting to play on the first date allows you to save face when your response to allowing this person to get close to you would be nausea. You can always say your sister is expecting you, you got called back home for an emergency, or long as you arranged for the meeting to end with your leaving separately. If you are sure this person is wonderful, and you WANT to can always arrange to do so after actually sitting down face to face and talking.

Another precaution to take is phone calls. Check in phone calls are wonderful little ways to say "I'm NOT okay, call the cops." Have a set time to call a friend and arrange a phrase that means I'm REALLY okay. Codes are good. Arrange for your last safe call to be AFTER you are home and have left your date. Tell your date that you have made these arrangements. This can help ensure that you GET home safely. Nothing can guarantee your safety, but you should definitely do all you can to cut your risk from stupid to acceptable. Be SURE to take these precautions the first time you play. And I make a rule that the first time I play, I don't do bondage. You may not want to limit yourself like this, but bondage is not something that, IMHO, should be practiced by near strangers.

A word to guysubs and male doms: Please Note, things happen to big, hairy, men all the time. Remember Fatal Attraction. Feynman didn't take safety precautions when he and I first met, and I nearly decided not to see him because of it. Who wants to date a fool?

The night I met him, I gave a one hour talk at the party we met at on meeting safety. He sat through all of it, and didn't take ONE precaution when it came to our having dinner and then when we played the first time. Why? Because he's a foot taller than me and he KNEW I wouldn't hurt him. How did he know this? Apparently his telepathy was functioning then. Please realize that a lot of perfectly crazy people look perfectly sane on first meeting. Or even on the tenth meeting. If I have a guy the size and strength of Hulk Hogan in bondage, and decide he'd look really good without portions of his anatomy.....he'll be minus those portions before he gets loose. I'm no slouch at bondage. Even small, delicate, -100 lb women can hurt or kill you. Please, please, please believe this and safeguard yourself.

Now that I've scared you, let me reassure you that I know any number of people who have met and loved and played as a result of online services and the internet. Some are happily married. Feynman and I met at a party given by a domme who knew us both just from on line. This is not a bad way to meet people. But you do need to take precautions.

There! Enough of that for now.

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