Today’s post comes from Jessie Beth, a submissive pet in a D/s relationship with experience in online submission. Thank you, Jessie Beth! Online D/s is perhaps one of the most controversial subjects in the Dominance and submission community. The stance I will take on this subject, based on online D/s relationships of my own, is that yes; it can and does work. Is it anything like real time, face-to-face Dominance, and submission relationships? No, not at all. That said, it is still very real and intense for those of us in online or Long Distance Relationships (LDR), and often can and will lead to a real-time (RT) relationship. In my opinion, the most important thing to remember here is safety. There are a few things you can do to keep yourself safer while in an online relationship, or looking for someone to begin a relationship with online:

  • First and foremost do not, under any circumstances, give out your home address before you have really gotten to know this person. Wait a few weeks or even a few months. While in the end, you must use your own judgment, if you have any “red flags” about the person you are chatting with do not give out personal information.
  • If you and your online partner really want to exchange things via “snail mail” but you still do not want to give out your home address, get a post office box.
  • Along the same lines as not giving out your home address, do not give out other important information such as your social security number, debit/credit card pin numbers and so forth. These things may happen once you are in a stable, secure, full-time real time relationship, but until then keep these things to yourself.
  • If the person you are chatting with asks for your home address after a few days and you decline, they should respect that, they should say they respect that, and then they should leave it alone. If they do not, that is a big red flag for you. Reconsider this relationship!
  • One other thing you must think hard about is exchanging photos of yourself. This is especially important if the photos are nude, fetish or kinky. Once a photo is on the internet, you no longer have control over who sees it. You must take into consideration what would happen if family, friends and/or co-workers found naked and/or kinky photos of you. And also please keep in mind, while you may simply be emailing the photos, once the recipient has them, s/he may do with them as they please. If you are going to be “free” with your photos, you must be able to accept and cope with other's seeing them, and the possibility of them being posted online. These also apply to webcam usage. It's very easy to download a program that can capture what the user is looking at on their computer screen. This can include the webcam video of you doing whatever it is you are doing for your online D/s partner. These can be saved, and then uploaded to many websites.
Alright, safety aside, perhaps the most commonly asked question is “Why online??” “Why LDR??” Well, the answer is different for everybody. I will go over a few of the answers here.
  • First many of us enter online and/or LDR's because we are in a community with a small to no D/s presence. This is the primary reason for me being in an online/LDR right now. The community I live in is quite conservative and the local BDSM community is incredibly small and quite frankly not safe in my opinion. As such, I am choosing to be in a long distance relationship with my Master until I can be closer to Him.
  • Secondly, many online D/s'ers do so because they are in other relationships, perhaps even married and use the online D/s relationship to get their Dominance and submission needs to be fulfilled. And so long as the Dominant or submissive is fully honest with all of their partners, can be quite successful. If this is you, I urge you to be honest with your real time partner. While there often is no sex involved, it is still another relationship and in my opinion, you owe it to your real time partner, to be honest about those needs and how you are getting them fulfilled. And you also owe it to your Dom or sub that you have another relationship.
  • Another reason is that some use an online D/s relationship to learn more about Dominance and submission. To see if it's something that they may be interested in for a real time experience. While I do agree that it is nothing like the real time thing, there are many similarities, which I will go into shortly, and can be a good primer to see if something more intense would be a right fit for that individual.
  • A fourth reason is that the person simply does not want the real time thing. They want the, for lack of better words, pseudo- or watered-down version of a Dominance and submission relationship that an online relationship can provide. My opinion of this is: whatever makes them happy. If that's how they get their needs fulfilled, then all the more power to them.
Now that we have the “why's” aside I am sure you are wondering “HOW??” “How is it done??” Well, there are several ways.
  • When it comes to giving tasks, orders and controlling the submissive's life, orders can be given in many ways. Please remember the safety talk above. Most of these will come after you have established the trust with your partner:
    • A favorite of mine is text messages. I love that Master has the ability to text me an order. How does He know I did it though? Well, that is...
    • Photos. You can take photos of your completed task and picture mail them to your Master. (i must say this is my favorite thing to do for Master...especially when it's a surprise. This is something you real-timers can do too! Surprise your Master with a photo of you doing something He just loves) You could also take photos with a digital camera and upload them then email them to Him as “proof.”
    • Webcam. While you are chatting online you can turn on your webcam and your Master can watch you actually perform the task.
    • Simple honesty. There are some things where you will only be able to answer questions about after you have done it. As such, if you are unable to provide an apt description, your partner will know you didn't do it.
  • Online calendars and email reminders. This can be handy if your Dom wants to randomly give you tasks for the week/month. I'm quite fond of Yahoo's calendar system for this. The tasks can be set into the program and it sends you a reminder email. Another nice thing about it is you can program in your work schedule so your Dom knows when you're at work and can thus alter the tasks to fit a work environment.
  • Daily emails and/or blogs. Master wants me to do daily blogs as a way to “keep up” with how I am doing, etc. This can also be a way for your Dom to know what you do during your day, etc. Another thing this is good for is writing “reports” or “essays” for your Dom that S/He assigns you. I've seen both real-time and LDR couples doing this, and I myself quite love it.
  • Self-bondage and other self-induced BDSM play. For this please keep in mind BDSM safety. But, many things you can do is under-the-clothes bondage, using things such as pleasure (ben-wa) balls, and/or anal beads under your clothes at work and/or simple breast bondage. With this, you're limited to things you can do to yourself, but it's still fun and it's getting a little of the “kink” in your life.
Well, that's a pretty basic, partially detailed description of how we do online/LDR D/s relationships. I would like to mention that I'm sure you've noticed I used “real time” instead of “real life.” The reason I did this is that for those of us in online/LDR D/s relationships, they are very real to us. They simply do not face to face as live-in relationships are. While I am not living with Master right now and am, in my opinion, way too far away from Him right now, He gives me orders and I follow them as I would if I were living with Him. The orders may be altered a bit, but they are still there. The feelings I have for Him are just as real as if O/our relationship were face to face. Many times those of us in long distance D/s relationships, we are in them because of circumstances beyond our control. I honestly was not looking when I met Master, but it just sort of took off from there. The emotions, desires, and feelings, while different than in real time, are still there and are still incredibly intense. One last word about safety:
  • Beware of predators. Many people out there use the internet as a tool for their own pleasure, and nothing else. Someone who has contacted you because they truly wish to get to know you better is incredibly unlikely to 'order' you to undress on the webcam and perform some BDSM act. This is a huge red flag. As are other 'standard' BDSM and D/s red flags:
    • 'Ordering' you to call them Master, Mistress, Sir before the relationship is established and those titles have been “earned.”
    • Similarly, calling you “slave” and other submissive pet names before the dynamics have been established.
    • Expecting you to immediately act submissive simply on the grounds you are submissive and s/he is Dominant.
  • Also, beware those who have other relationships and are not honest about them. If they are unwilling, to be honest with their husband/wife/main slave/what-have-you, what are the chances they will be honest with you?
All these safety precautions aside, the internet is a wonderful tool for meeting people. I and many others have met their Masters/slaves on it. If you are safety conscious while being honest and true to yourself, you'd be surprised what can come of it.Jessie Beth is a 24/7 submissive pup in her late 20’s. She has been into pet play since she discovered the D/s lifestyle and can be reached at: requiemskye@yahoo.com for emails and also YIM chat.