One of the most commonly asked questions I see on the different BDSM-related email lists and discussion forums I frequent comes from submissives looking for a Dominant. Most of the time from female submissives, although I have seen male submissives asking it as well. "How do I find 'The One' for me?"
It seems that sometimes, when it finally clicks in a submissive's brain what they want, they tend to forget common sense in their pursuit of a D/s dynamic.
I've seen it dubbed "sub frenzy."
It sucks being alone. I know that, I get it. But just like in the vanilla world, relationships aren't something to be rushed into. The good and bad thing about the internet is that it allows people in various parts of the world who might never have met to come together. You can get some stuff out of the way, like learning about each other. But chatting over a computer is not the same thing as meeting in real life. Yes, I do know quite a few people who've met each other online and gone on to have successful real-life relationships. But I also have heard far more stories of online relationships ending badly.
Common sense can fly out the window in the face of bubbling hormones and throbbing...eh, body parts. But even moreso than a vanilla relationship, it's extremely important to keep a few things in mind when starting out on a fledgling BDSM relationship. If you can't be friends first, you can't have a D/s dynamic, period.
D/s (Dominant/submissive) is based first and foremost on trust. I don't know about you, but I have yet, in my life, ever been able to trust someone I can't at least be friends with. By trust I mean the kind of trust it takes to engage in BDSM activities, not trusting that the person will give you back exact change on a cup of coffee.
I always tell people find local munches, local groups. I frequently hear, "Oh, I'd be too scared to go." If you're too scared to go to a restaurant where a bunch of people are meeting, how do you ever think you're going to work up the nerve to meet someone safely and get to know them?
Fetlife.com is the best place to find local events. It's free, it's anonymous, you can pick any username you want. Heck, set up a fake email address you use only for Fetlife if it worries you that much. But instead of worrying about meeting "The One," get to know a group of people. Learn to be comfortable with who YOU are instead of focusing on trying to find someone for you.
Fine and dandy, but what if you do hook up with someone in a long distance relationship? Well, if they try to rush you to do anything, especially if it involves sending them money, do NOT do it. Period. Someone worth their salt will be patient and understand how valuable a trust bond is. Do NOT ignore red flags. Do NOT go somewhere to meet this person without an escape plan. It's preferable they come to you. (They are the Dominant, after all.) Meet for the first time over coffee, in a public place, with a separate way to get out of there. Have a safe call lined up. Better yet, take a friend with you to the meeting. (Again, any Dominant worth their salt will understand.) Even better, make friends with local kinksters in your area, and have the person come to a meeting, such as a munch, where you will have plenty of backup in case you don't like what you see.
There's a fine line between abuse and kink. Kink is always consensual. Abuse is not. If at any time you feel pressured to do something, that is a HUGE red flag you need to listen to. If you have several of your kinky friends expressing misgivings, LISTEN to them. It's not always easy for us to step back when we're in the throes of our libido and say hey, there's a problem here.
Good things come to those who can wait. This isn't just a trite cliche. In a case like this, it could mean saving yourself a huge heartache.
(Tymber Dalton is a bestselling author and lifestyle BDSM switch. Her website is http://www.tymberdalton.com )