This is a guest post by Mistress Steel. It was part of her Steel's Chamber Scrolls which is now defunct. Shared with Permission.

Venturing into the realms of Altered Mental States should be done carefully. The human mind is vulnerable to suggestion (as witnessed by the recent 'cult' suicides in LA). People often have an enormous desire to be 'part' of something greater or more important than themselves. They need to feel contributory, worthwhile, of significance. This desire or need makes them equally vulnerable to other humans who have no scruples on using their needs against them.

Within the BDSM community, there is a strong underlying foundation for voluntarily focused enthrallment. For a submissive, this state is called sub-space. It is a fundamental part of a healthy submissive to be able to access this mental state with relative ease. This predisposition toward a positive response to simple hypnotic triggers has allowed some people with questionable motives a ways and means of manipulating another human's mind.

People often seek help from qualified and licensed hypnotists to help them with minor lifestyle problems such as overeating or smoking. These real life hypnotists are generally quite good and almost never attempt any type of mental manipulation as such non-voluntary manipulation is unethical and fundamentally wrong.

Recently through the opening of the online community some members of the BDSM community have become accessible to huge numbers of 'unknown' individuals. Within this group have been a small but growing number of predators. Not all human predators like to physically molest, rape or kill other humans...some like to 'toy' with other people's minds. Many new or emergent submissives are vulnerable to the 'lines' or 'lures' offered by these predators. Exposure to the BDSM community often opens up huge windows inside a person. These changes, much like all type of changes in life, leave the individual groping their way along on a pathway of information seeking, education and exploration. Their formerly well known and understood 'rules' suddenly shift or change and quite often they do not have sufficient information to correctly identify one of these masked predators when they meet them. In many ways their defenses have not gained a level of understanding to ensure their integrity or personal safety.

There is an instinctive desire to trust. Especially if that person offers themselves in the role of Dominant and speaks to you with interest and or kindness. Often the predator is quite charming and innocuous in online appearance and demeanor. They will seek out and tell you the things you may wish to hear. It is relatively easy to be swayed into believing in them when in all likelihood they have offered nothing of substance for you to base that trust upon. Your desire is your vulnerability. Your submissive nature is a clue and key to further opportunities for them.

If you are a new or emergent submissive and any online Dominant tells you that they can take you into space or hypnotize you for any reason online or on the phone. . . know and understand that such a suggestion is a demonstration of a lack of care for your personal safety. Hypnosis is only safe when done in person. A submissive entering space is vulnerable to significant detachment from physical reality - that detachment can make them unable to rationally discern true danger! A real Dominant will never willingly risk the life and mental health of any submissive!

I have also noted a growing trend of 'online trainers'. It is my considered opinion that such 'training' especially online is almost always flawed, often significantly. A large percentage of these 'trainers' are simply individuals who want access to submissives without taking on the responsibilities, caring and love for them that a Dominant does. Dominants train their own submissives and usually have no desire for their submissive to be 'trained' by someone else. How will a Dominant learn the subtle significant details of their submissive if they are not present during that training? In real life there are occasionally times when a Dominant will cross train their real life submissive with another real life Dominant or submissive. Please note that I am stating that this is real life.

Many of these online 'trainers' promote themselves with a long and apparently venerable 'history' within the community yet they quite often have extreme difficulty in finding anyone within the real life community to verify or corroborate their reputation for those submissives educated enough to ask. These 'trainers' tend to seek out new, vulnerable submissives to train. It is important to remember that some of these predators have learned techniques which they deploy against the submissive to encourage that submissive to fall into their traps. All new submissives should know that true mentors or trainers are actively sought within their local communities if they are of quality. These individuals are generally of high character and well regarded and are very hard to become associated with due primarily to the fact that they are kept busy in real life. You will not find them online trolling for new submissives to 'train' for other Dominants.

If you are or believe yourself to be a new submissive just exploring this lifestyle, that simple belief may identify you as someone relatively easy to trigger into space. Quality Dominants are very familiar with this vulnerability and will attempt to not trigger you online or on the phone. They recognize the predisposition and will actively work on your behalf to keep you safe. All submissives belong to Dominants. You are our most precious resource. Anyone that elects to injure, sway, manipulate or damage you is not one of us. Pay attention to the actions of those you encounter, if you have memory gaps, lost time, physical symptoms you know are not normal with or during contact with anyone online then exit their presence as quickly as possible and take all measures possible to eliminate all further contact with them. Keep in mind that a submissive in sub-space will instinctively trust the person who puts them there. This means that you may or can divulge credit card numbers, the names of your children, your home phone number and address as well as all other screen names and other personal information. It will seem quite 'normal' within space. Report the incident to other BDSM people whom you know. Predators are not welcome here!

Written by F.R.R. Mallory - also known as Mistress Steel. This article may be excerpted from Extreme Space, The Domination and Submission Handbook, Safe, Sane and Consensual, Dangerous Choices or other books by F.R.R. Mallory and shared here with her permission. Please click on the book title for information on how you can order a copy of these books and others by F.R.R. Mallory.