As I mentioned in my introduction to this series, online submission is a bit of a hot-button among D/s practitioners. There are a lot of great arguments for why it doesn’t work, and for each of those, there’s an equally strong counterargument for why it’s a perfectly valid arrangement; but chances are, unless you’re submitting to an AI, you’ll eventually be confronted with the words: “I think it’s time we meet.” Whether it’s your suggestion to your Dominant, or a suggestion that your Dom makes to you, chances are, you’ll find yourself somewhere between “Yay!” and “Oh SHIT!”
The first meeting with the person that you’ve begun to build an emotional bond with can be a pretty daunting prospect. Sure, you’ve IM’d, you’ve video-called, spoken on the phone, seen pictures, but now you’re going to be in the presence of that person, and you’re going to see how much of his/her dominance or submissiveness carries over in their carriage and demeanor while lacking the time-gap that the internet presents.
So how do you go about making the most of your first bit of “face-time”? Like most things in life, it depends on your situation: your relationship with your Dominant, your expectations and aspirations regarding the development of that relationship, your financial situation, the distance between you and your Dom, etc. I can’t tell you the one hundred percent, works-every-time, right way to go about making that first meeting perfect, but I can give you a couple of tips and suggestions that will help you during your planning process and throughout your time together:
Location, location, location…
The first thing I want to talk about is probably one of the most important: where exactly are you meeting? Are you traveling to your Dom? Is your Dtravelinging to you? Remember that safety is ALWAYS your first priority. Never agree to meet someone at your home the first time you see them, and always make sure that you have an “escape” plan if things go sour. (I left the country to meet up with my Dom, and I made sure I knew where the U.S. embassy and all of the Salvation Army offices in the area were so that, if worst came to worst, I could get a hold of someone from home.)
Have a game plan
Once you’ve decided where you’re meeting up, it’s a good idea to have a general game plan. If you’re like me, this is the hardest part of planning your meeting is deciding what you want to do. I knew eleven months in advance that I was going, and somehow I still didn’t decide anything until probably the week before I got on the plan (and really only then because my Dom insisted that she was not going to drive aimlessly all over the country for a week), but I’m glad that I did.
Having a loose schedule did two things: the first was that it allowed me to focus on something other than my nervousness at meeting my Dom. The second thing that it did was give us something to do that was completely unrelated to our D/s relationship. Which leads me to my next point:
Leave D/s behind
As I’m sure I’ve said many times in my other articles, before you can embark on a healthy D/s relationship, you’ve got to make sure that you have a steady foundation. If you’re looking for a casual play-mate, the rules are obviously a bit different, but you’re looking for a long-term, committed relationship, then your focus on your first meeting shouldn’t just be whether or not the person can be the Dominant of your dreams, but on whether or not you, well, actually LIKE the person! Can you get along with each other outside of the roles of Dominant and submissive? Can you talk to the person as an equal? Can he or she meet your needs as your friend and partner? That in itself is a lot to look for on the first meeting, let alone throwing in the very complex ordeal of submission. My advice? Unless you’re just looking for a casual playmate, leave the D/s behind on your first meeting.
If you’re lucky like I was, you’ll be able to spend more than just a few hours together. Maybe you took the weekend off. Maybe you got to take a week’s vacation. Be sure to use that time to really get to know the person you’re planning on giving yourself to! Don’t feel like you need to rush to jump in bed with the person. Take it slow, talk, go on dates, and have fun doing things together outside of the bedroom. Nothing is more exciting than the first time you get to hold hands or hug. Don’t take those firsts for granted, and don’t skip passed them!
That’s great, but what if my Dom arrives expecting met to submit? What if he or she doesn’t leave time for all that getting-to-know-you stuff?
Talk about your expectations BEFORE you meet
My last article was all about communication, and it was a long article. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is more important in any relationship that you’re in than communication. Talk to your Dom, explain what you feel you might be comfortable or uncomfortable doing the first time you meet. Are you all right sleeping in the same bed? Kissing? What are your soft limits for this particular visit? What are your hard limits? Remember to stand firm if you feel strongly about NOT doing something the first time you meet. If the Dom you’re meeting is at all worth your time or your gift of submission, then he or she will respect your hard limits without fuss or complaint. And DON’T feel badly if you meet and you realize you’re less comfortable than you thought you’d be—especially if you’re new to the lifestyle. If you find yourself nervous or unsure about what you’ll actually be comfortable doing, underestimate.
It’s one of the hardest things that you’ll do. Whether your meeting was more than you ever hoped for or less than your lowest expectations, you’ll have to say good-bye in some regard. Hopefully, your good-byes will be full of the promise of “next time,” so take a few minutes to talk to your Dom about what you want to do next time. How did this meeting go? Have your limits changed? What do you think you’ll be ready for the next time you meet, and how will your online relationship change now because of this meeting? Be sure to make arrangements to keep up communication in as personal a way as possible. Make sure both of you have the means to continue to call each other or video chat as well as communicating via text and e-mail. Remember that especially in a long distance relationship, maintaining your connection with the other person relies solely on how much you talk to them, so talk often!
The last thing I want to talk about is what to do between meet ups. So what do you do between meetings? If your first meeting went well, you’ll probably pick up right where you left off online, with any additional arrangements that you made while in person. You’ll also, probably, be anxiously awaiting the next time you and your Dom get to meet.
If you’re like me, chances are visits will be a lot less frequent simply because of monetary issues. To finish this article, I’ve listed out a couple of ways that I’ve saved money so that my Dom and I can see each other more often.
- Put a portion of your paycheck in PayPal: What’s so great about PayPal? A couple of things: the first is that it takes the money out of your bank account. You still have it, you just can’t SEE it when you’re looking at your finances (and it’s a lot safer than stuffing money in your mattress). Also: it provides a good Rule of Thumb for impulse buyers. Money takes anywhere from 3-5 business days to transfer from PayPal to your regular bank account (Unlike your savings account which switches over almost immediately). Chances are, after that time period, that $75 dress doesn’t feel quite so much like a must-have.
- The Either/Or Trick: This is something my mom and dad taught me when I was little. Whenever I wanted something I didn’t absolutely need, my parents would ask, “Would you rather have X, or would you rather I give you the money that I’d be spending on it?” How’s it work for you? Say you’re driving passed McDonald’s and you think, “I really want a quarter pounder meal!” so you pull in to McDonalds. But would you rather spend the 7 dollars on the meal, or would you rather put the money aside and save it? Do that with everything that you buy that you know you don’t need. You’d be surprised how quickly you’ll save your dollars.
- Spare change: put it in a jar! When the jar is full, take it to the bank and collect your coins. Deposit the money and then transfer it to your PayPal.
Have a first meeting story you want to share? Any tips or advice I didn’t cover? A clever way to save money? Be sure to comment below!