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Kinky Dating Safety

The world of online dating has a bunch of guidelines for safety, and kinky dating is no different. In this instalment, we will be discussing kinky dating safety and how to protect yourself from harm. If you’ve missed the other articles in this series, check out Sending Kinky Messages, Creating a Kinky Profile, Creating a Kinky Personal Ad and Know Yourself. Future instalments will include topics such as getting involved in the kink community.

KINKY DATING SAFETY

I should point out that there are no real hard and fast rules that will keep you safe; bad people exist and will do shitty things. We can take some steps to minimize our contact with bad people or limit their ability to harm us. Of course, if the worst happens, it is important not to blame the person who has been harmed. Bad things can happen no matter how many precautions you take. Victim blaming is really poor behaviour, and sadly the BDSM community is just as quick to jump on the blame bandwagon as the vanilla world.

NICKNAMES & PERSONAL INFORMATION

When online, you will want to protect your personal information. The extent of this protection will depend a lot on your personal circumstances. Remember, you need to find a balance between privacy and openness to potential partners.

Use a nickname to protect your identity; this is discussed in some detail in Creating a Kinky Profile. You may choose to use your first name if you have a common one. You also want to avoid posting your telephone number, workplace, home address, and other identifying info.

Make sure your nickname is not be connected to other online profiles. This will help to keep your interest in BDSM private from people who search your nickname on social media platforms.

To balance this, you may choose to post the city or neighbourhood you live in or the nearest large city. You can include the field that you work in, without revealing your specific employer. Keeping your identity private is harder for people in smaller or rural areas than for people in large cities, because of the tendency of everyone to know everyone in smaller areas. Keep this in mind as you share information.

YOUR PICTURES MAY GIVE YOU AWAY!

kinky dating saety bdsm protectionBe aware that the pictures you post can lead back to your vanilla identity. A reverse image search will show all of the places a picture is posted on the internet. This can reveal your interest in BDSM to some people or your legal name to others.

Be wary about giving out other social media contacts to people you meet or listing them in your profile. Social media is fantastic, but it often contains enough information to identify you. An unscrupulous love interest could very well use this information to stalk you, online or off.

Understanding how the internet works and how it can be exploited is the key to kinky dating safety.

KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO

Take your time to talk to people you meet. Get to know them and feel comfortable before moving to different communication platforms. Always be wary of giving contact info out.

Many people choose to maintain a separate dating or kinky email address. You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by doing the same. If a date gets out of hand, emailing constantly, you can abandon the account with little worry.

You may want to do a reverse image or google search on the photos your date has provided, to see if the info they’ve given matches up. You can also search their nickname or email to see where they may have other profiles or accounts and determine if this lines up with what you know. Personally, I don’t bother with this, unless the person has raised some red flags or I have other doubts about them.

MONEY

kinky dating saety bdsm protectionI regard requests for money as a huge red flag. If you are talking to a BDSM professional such as a Pro-Dom/me, sub or switch, they should make it clear from the start. It is the same if you are talking to a person into financial domination. You can then make an informed choice about continuing to communicate with that person (which entails spending money – either on their hourly rate or by way of tributes).

Dishonest people exist everywhere, and BDSM is no exception. Scammers are a reality in the kink world, people who use manipulation and lies to steal money. There are too many types of scams to get into here, but keep your eyes open for a future article on BDSM dating scams.

If someone you are talking to asks for or demands money, walk away (unless you’re trying to arrange a session with a professional or you’re into consensual financial domination).

MEETING FOR THE FIRST TIME

Anyone who has heard of internet dating knows that you meet in a public place, and kinky dating really isn’t that much different than vanilla dating. You should choose a public place for the initial meeting so that if things don’t go well, your date doesn’t know where you live.

Many people choose to meet at a munch for the first time. They do this for a number of reasons, but aside from kinky dating safety, a big factor is the ‘no show factor’. A date may ‘no show’ due to fear or any other reason. Making BDSM a reality is a terrifying proposition for many people and they ‘chicken out’ at the last minute. Having your first meet at a munch means that you get to hang out with friends if your date bails out at the last minute.

SAFE CALLS

kinky dating saety bdsm protectionYou may choose to have a safe call in place for your date. A safe call is when you have a friend call you part way through the date, to make sure that you’re okay. Often people will use a code word or phrase to indicate that all is well, or that they need help.

You also want to provide that friend with information about your date. They should know where you are, who you are with (giving as much information as possible) and know where to find a photo, should the need for one arise. If you don’t want to share that information with anyone, write it all down and let a friend know where to find it if needed.

TRANSPORTATION

You should be arranging your own transportation to and from the date. This affords privacy to both you and your date, as neither will know where the other lives. If the date goes poorly, you avoid an awkward ride home or a situation that makes you feel unsafe.

For further kinky dating safety, some people choose to park around the corner from the place they are meeting (if driving) so that their date can’t see them get in and out of their car. You may think that this sounds paranoid, but as anyone who has had to deal with a stalker can tell you, it’s the lesser of evils.

STAY SOBER

I am a strong believer in sobriety while engaging in kink. For me, this includes meeting a potential partner for the first time. Your mileage may vary, just be aware of the potential pitfalls.

BDSM PLAY

The general advice is not to play on a first meeting, but life doesn’t always work out that way. Other well-meaning advice that isn’t always practical is watching your potential partner play with others at play parties, and that you should have your first few scenes with a person at a party before moving to more private venues.

kinky dating saety bdsm protection

If you enjoy playing on a first date or don’t do public play, there are other ways to keep yourself as safe as possible.

Don’t engage in play that involves bondage. A person is vulnerable when bound, and would have a hard time resisting in a worst-case scenario. If you do choose to engage in bondage, don’t use gags as well. If a person finds themselves in a bad spot, without the ability to get up and walk away, at least they can make enough noise to draw attention to the situation.

For kinky dating safety, negotiate play thoroughly using an opt-in method. People who are intent on harming others will do so no matter what, but opt-in negotiation helps eliminate misunderstandings or accidental consent violations. Opt-in negotiation means that only the things consented to are okay to do. Everything else is off limits.

GET REFERENCES

You can ask your potential date for references. Talking to people they have played with in the past can give you insight into your date and their attitude towards safety.

Check their profile history to see the kinds of comments they make and how they interact with others online. A profile that consists mostly of crass comments or argumentative trolling will paint a more accurate picture of who they are. Websites like Fetlife have a full history of what a person does on the site.

Make use of the kink community by asking around about your potential date. You can find out what others think of them. You can find out if they have been at the centre of accusations.

OTHER RED FLAGS

kinky dating saety bdsm protectionSome people claim to be a part of the super secret, European BDSM houses. Many people online say they were trained in such a place, some were even raised in one! I’ve never met anyone in the BDSM community who has visited one of these illustrious places. Even my European friends have never seen one. Of course, the reason for this is that they don’t exist.

On the rare occasion that I’ve seen one of these “trained in a European BDSM house” people play, it’s been sloppy and unsafe, using poor quality toys.

In a similar vein, some people claim membership in BDSM organizations that either doesn’t exist or that they are not actually a member of. You should verify these types of claims as they can create a false sense of authority.

If your potential date objects to any of your kinky dating safety precautions, like meeting in public, walk away. If a person can’t respect your need to be cautious on a first meeting, they aren’t likely to respect other things you request.

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

The above is just the basics of kinky dating safety. Many people find that different things work better for them. I have tried to present a gender-neutral and orientation neutral set of precautions. I am a woman and a dominant, so there may be a bias toward the types of concerns that people in my position face.

I would love to hear your kinky dating safety tips, so leave them in the comments!

Always remember that if someone seems too good to be true, they probably are!

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